Contact

Fiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy14/09/2017 • 128kbps

Contact

The future is here…in an adventure of cosmic dimension. In December, 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who – or what – is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future – and our own.

©1997 Carl Sagan (P)1997 Simon & Schuster

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Women in Love

Classics, Fiction29/08/2017 • 128kbps

Women in Love

Considered the most widely read novel of the 20th century, D. H. Lawrence’s fiery fifth book continues the loves and lives of The Rainbow‘s Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gerald Crich, son of a wealthy colliery owner, captures the heart of Gudrun, while Ursula becomes enamored with Rupert Birkin, a school inspector – their complex relationship likely modelled on that between Lawrence, his wife Frieda, and John Middleton Murry and Katherine Mansfield. Things are far from harmonious, and the discord and conflict leads to many heated and elaborate philosophical discussions about modern society and the nature of love, while tragedy looms large. Lawrence held this to be his best book, and F. R. Leavis regarded it to be his most profound and rewarding.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks

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The Handmaid’s Tale: Special Edition

Fiction02/08/2017 • 128kbps

The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

“Are there any questions?” The final line in Margaret Atwood’s modern classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, has teased and perplexed fans since the book’s original release more than 30 years ago. Now, in this Audible Original production, listeners get some of the answers they’ve waited so long to hear.

Featuring an all-new interview with Professor Piexoto, written by Atwood and performed by a full cast, The Handmaid’s Tale: Special Edition is a must-listen for both fans and newcomers alike. Emmy Award winner Claire Danes (HomelandTemple Grandin) gives a stirring performance of this classic in speculative fiction, where the message (and the warning) is now more timely than ever. In addition to rich sound design that honors the audio origins of Atwood’s classic, the special edition also includes a brand-new afterword from the author and an essay written by author Valerie Martin (Mary ReillyProperty).

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name. Despite the danger, Offred learns to navigate the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life for mere glimpses of her former freedom, and records her story for future listeners.

Whether you’re a fan of the original novel or someone who has recently discovered it, The Handmaid’s Tale: Special Edition will shock, impress, and satisfy all those who listen.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Special Edition features performances by Claire Danes, Margaret Atwood, Emily Bauer, Allyson Johnson, Gabra Zackman, Suzanne Toren, Tim Gerard Reynolds, Jennifer Van Dyck, Ray Porter, Emily Cox, Lauren Fortgang, Dan Reiss, Prentice Onayemi, Therese Plummer, and Mark Boyett.

©1985 O.W. Toad, Ltd. First American Edition 1986. Published by special arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

Social Sciences28/05/2017 • 128kbps

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

Evidence of a bloody history has always been around us: the genocides in the Old Testament and crucifixions in the New; the gory mutilations in Shakespeare and Grimm; the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals; the nonchalant treatment in popular culture of wife-beating, child abuse, and the extermination of native peoples. Now the decline in these brutal practices can be quantified.

With the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps, Pinker presents some astonishing numbers. Tribal warfare was nine times as deadly as war and genocide in the 20th century. The murder rate in medieval Europe was more than thirty times what it is today. Slavery, sadistic punishments, and frivolous executions were unexceptionable features of life for millennia, then suddenly were targeted for abolition. Wars between developed countries have vanished, and even in the developing world, wars kill a fraction of the numbers they did a few decades ago. Rape, battering, hate crimes, deadly riots, child abuse, cruelty to animals — all substantially down.How could this have happened, if human nature has not changed? What led people to stop sacrificing children, stabbing each other at the dinner table, or burning cats and disemboweling criminals as forms of popular entertainment? Was it reading novels, cultivating table manners, fearing the police, or turning their energies to making money? Should the nuclear bomb get the Nobel Peace Prize for preventing World War III? Does rock and roll deserve the blame for the doubling of violence in the 1960s — and abortion deserve credit for the reversal in the 1990s?

Not exactly, Pinker argues. The key to explaining the decline of violence is to understand the inner demons that incline us toward violence (such as revenge, sadism, and tribalism) and the better angels that steer us away. Thanks to the spread of government, literacy, trade, and cosmopolitanism, we increasingly control our impulses, empathize with others, bargain rather than plunder, debunk toxic ideologies, and deploy our powers of reason to reduce the temptations of violence.

With the panache and intellectual zeal that have made his earlier books international best sellers and literary classics, Pinker will force you to rethink your deepest beliefs about progress, modernity, and human nature. This gripping book is sure to be among the most debated of the century so far.

©2011 Steven Pinker (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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Hachiko Waits

Kids17/04/2017 • 128kbps

Hachiko Waits

Every morning in the Japanese town of Shibuya, Professor Ueno awakens and is greeted by his loyal Akita dog, Hachiko. They enjoy a breakfast together before the professor leaves to catch the train to the school where he teaches. And Hachiko sits at the station eagerly awaiting his master’s return. Then one afternoon Professor Ueno does not return. And Hachiko waits. Days and weeks pass and still no one – not even the young boy Yasuo who comes to care for him – can persuade the faithful dog to leave his post. Years go by and yet still he waits. In time, Hachiko will come to be remembered and honored throughout Japan for his singular devotion.

Poet, author, and animal advocate Lesleá Newman earned an ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Honor and scores of other accolades for this touching tale based on a true story. Sprinkled throughout with Japanese vocabulary words, this audio production serves as an excellent introduction to a different culture while simultaneously illustrating the universality of human emotions.

©2004 Lesléa Newman (P)2008 Recorded Books

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