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Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts

Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts (2008)
Lutie and Fate McFee can’t seem to catch a break. They’ve been abandoned by their alcoholic father; his ex-girlfriend (and their current caretaker) dies at Wal-Mart; and so the fifteen and eleven-year-old siblings decide to make the trip from Spearfish, South Dakota, to Las Vegas to reconnect with their father.

What could go wrong does. Many of the things that happen to these kids are truly horrifying. There are times when you really struggle to like Lutie. But you just have to keep reading. It’s a compelling story, and it’s mesmerizing to listen to. Cassandra Morris does a fabulous job bringing Made in the U.S.A. to life.
Listen to an excerpt at the publisher's website. Find out more about the author and read reviews at BookBrowse.com.
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The Woman Who Can't Forget by Jill Price with Bart Davis

The Woman Who Can’t Forget by Jill Price with Bart Davis (2008)
Jill Price remembers everything she’s ever done since 1970 – in minute detail. If she heard about events happening around the country or the world, she can tell you about those too. Sounds great, right? For Jill, her astounding memory is both a blessing and a curse. Her memories constantly play through her head, triggered by a sound, a smell, or something else. The emotions of the memory – both good and bad – remain strong.

Follow Jill’s story from her childhood to the present. See how her extraordinary memory impacted her life and kept her mired in the past. Find out what researchers have discovered about her memory. Listen to this CD – when Jill introduces medical jargon, it’s nice to have the correct pronunciation.

View the ABC News story and video and read the 2006 Orange County Register article about the scientists' study.

Enchantment by Donald Spoto

Enchantment: the life of Audrey Hepburn by Donald Spoto (2006)
I enjoyed listening to this intelligent and respectful biography of the elegant actress who charmed us with performances in many classic movies, including her first US film, Roman Holiday, for which she won an Oscar (watch her acceptance speech). We learn about her difficult life during WWII, and there is the expected “dish” about her romantic life, but it doesn’t come across as a tell-all. My only complaint: the narrative moves too quickly through the important work she did with UNICEF and the illness that took her life.

You: Staying Young by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet Oz

You: Staying Young by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet Oz (2007)
Drs. Roizen and Oz review the systems of our aging bodies. Better yet, they provide some “signature” YOU tips to stay young at any age. Quality of life requires a degree of effort. I cannot think of anything more important than keeping my independence. This particular CD flows easily. The authors present their ideas clearly and humorously. This combination works.

 

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child (2007)
As read by expert reader Dick Hill, Bad Luck and Trouble (#11 in the series) goes into overdrive as Jack Reacher solves the brutal murder of a former colleague. Jack Reacher reunites his old team of elite investigators into a wildly exciting assault. Not always probable, tough, mach Jack raises the level of excitement to high – fun. Listen and enjoy.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (1982)
"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." If you can resist an opening sentence like that, you have more willpower than I. The Gunslinger begins The Dark Tower series, which follows Roland’s quest to reach the nexus of all universes. Since King finished the seven volume series in 2004, it’s safe to start reading! I also would highly recommend George Guidall or Frank Muller’s narrations.

(Nota Bene: This is NOT a horror series or story. King may be best known for writing horror novels, but he is a masterful storyteller and writer in other genres too!)

The Wandering Hill by Larry McMurtry

The Wandering Hill by Larry McMurtry (2003)
This is the second in a series of novels about the Berrybender family’s adventures in the American West during the mid-19th century. I especially enjoyed listening to the CD version as each part is read in the character’s voice, and this book is full of characters. It is especially entertaining to watch the father pursue his two main loves: hunting buffalo and young women.

An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabigina

An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabigina (2006)
Paul Rusesabagina, in powerfully simple prose and with the effective use of repetition, recounts the background and horrific facts of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, including how he sheltered—and thus saved--1200 of the Tutsi people. Don Cheadle played Rusesabagina in the motion picture Hotel Rwanda. I listened to the CD of this and highly recommend it.

Listen to an interview with Rusesabagina and hear an excerpt from the book at NPR.

Loud and Clear by Anna Quindlen

Loud and Clear by Anna Quindlen (2004)
I have only recently “discovered” the Pulitzer Prize-winning Quindlen. A gifted cultural interpreter, as shown in these essays culled primarily from the New York Times and Newsweek, she gets to the heart of the matter--she articulates the truths-- of the contemporary social and political scene. Enjoy—whether you agree or not!
--Shirley

Quindlen provides a collection of her Newsweek and New York Times columns offering her opinions and insights into social issues of the day. She divides the book into themes: heart, mind, soul, voice and body. I listened to it on CD and loved it!
--Cindy K.

Blood on the Tongue by Stephen Booth

Blood on the Tongue by Stephen Booth (2002)
Narrated by Christopher Kay, this mystery stars the “everyman” of hometown detectives, Ben Cooper. The heart of the story hangs on an airplane that crashed during World War II. The intertwining threads of the plot create a great audio experience.

The Greatest Generation Speaks by Tom Brokaw

The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections by Tom Brokaw (1999)
After the publication of the bestselling The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw received mail from readers across the country. The letters provide accounts of WWII soldiers who reconnected after fifty years because of a name mentioned in Brokaw’s book. Children and grandchildren wrote of the deceased soldiers they never knew – and how important the book was in understanding their ancestors. Others wrote of similar tales mentioned in The Greatest Generation, or pointed out areas of the war that Brokaw overlooked. At times heartrending and uplifting, Brokaw’s follow up to The Greatest Generation is truly inspiring.

The audiobook is a great way to “read” this book. Brokaw reads the introductions to the chapters, while a supporting cast reads the letters and accounts featured. The various voices allow the listener to move between stories with ease.