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Allen Klein

Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.

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Allen Klein

John Villere

Your bottom line starts with your front line.

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John Villere

July 31, 2015

The other night, I discovered a new way to read and float in the pool after dark. I grabbed my pool chair, my book (DEAR DAUGHTER, which was a Summer Reading contest title this week) and my book light, and spent a happy hour relaxing and reading while floating. I highly recommend this as a nice way to unwind after a busy day!

July 31, 2015 - August 21, 2015

Tell us about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars for both the performance and the content.

Editorial Content for Brush Back: A V. I. Warshawski Novel

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Jennifer McCord

Summertime brings a new V.I. Warshawksi detective novel from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. V.I., the much beloved Chicago private eye, is one tough cookie --- particularly when her professional and personal lives mix it up. This latest story has it all: family secrets, crooked politicians, and unresolved mysteries from the old neighborhood. Read More

Teaser

For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. Warshawski thought she was in love with Frank Guzzo. When he broke up with her, she went off to college and he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister to death. Newly released from prison after 25 years behind bars, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. Her questions about the case lead her straight into the vipers’ nest of Illinois politics she’s wanted to avoid.

Promo

For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. Warshawski thought she was in love with Frank Guzzo. When he broke up with her, she went off to college and he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister to death. Newly released from prison after 25 years behind bars, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. Her questions about the case lead her straight into the vipers’ nest of Illinois politics she’s wanted to avoid.

About the Book

Chicago’s V. I. Warshawski confronts crooked politicians and buried family secrets in the gritty new novel from New York Times bestselling author Sara Paretsky.

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help.

For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full twenty-five years for her daughter’s murder.

Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. V.I. doesn’t want to get involved. Stella hated the Warshawskis, in particular V.I.’s adored mother, Gabriella.

But life has been hard on Frank and on V.I.’s other childhood friends, still stuck on the hardscrabble streets around the dead steel mills, and V.I. agrees to ask a few questions. Those questions lead her straight into the vipers’ nest of Illinois politics she’s wanted to avoid. When V.I. takes a beating at a youth meeting in her old hood, her main question becomes whether she will live long enough to find answers. 

Editorial Content for Kitchens of the Great Midwest

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Reviewer (text)

Norah Piehl

I knew I was going to love J. Ryan Stradal's KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST from the very first page, where he mentions Happy Chef, a beloved diner I remember well from my years growing up in Minnesota. Stradal, a lifelong Midwesterner who recently moved to Los Angeles, suffuses his debut novel with place-specific details like this, but it's not just current or former Midwesterners who will respond positively to the book. It's about food, family, and maturing into the life you were born to live, sometimes without really knowing why. Read More

Teaser

When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine --- and a dashing sommelier --- he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. Each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.

Promo

When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine --- and a dashing sommelier --- he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. Each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.

About the Book

KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST, about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation, is the summer’s most hotly anticipated debut.
 
When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine --- and a dashing sommelier --- he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter --- starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience.
 
Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious and vividly sensory, KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life --- its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

Editorial Content for Badlands

Book

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Joe Hartlaub

C.J. Box has been quietly but steadily developing a second series alongside his iconic Joe Pickett canon. These novels would be the loosely connected BACK OF BEYOND and THE HIGHWAY, the latter of which introduced detective Cassie Dewell. The sequential connection firms up in the newly published BADLANDS, which finds Cassie at the crossroads of her career and life in a setting that is the closest thing to an American frontier in the 21st century. Read More

Teaser

In the small town of Grimstad, North Dakota, resides 12-year-old Kyle Westergaard, who wants to get out of town, take care of his mother and give them a better life. While delivering newspapers, he witnesses a car accident and takes a mysterious bundle from the scene. Now in possession of a lot of money and packets of white powder, Kyle wonders if his luck has changed. As detective Cassie Dewell is propelled on a collision course with a murderous enemy, she finds that the key to it all might come in the most unlikely form: an undersized boy on a bike who keeps showing up where he doesn't belong.

Promo

In the small town of Grimstad, North Dakota, resides 12-year-old Kyle Westergaard, who wants to get out of town, take care of his mother and give them a better life. While delivering newspapers, he witnesses a car accident and takes a mysterious bundle from the scene. Now in possession of a lot of money and packets of white powder, Kyle wonders if his luck has changed. As detective Cassie Dewell is propelled on a collision course with a murderous enemy, she finds that the key to it all might come in the most unlikely form: an undersized boy on a bike who keeps showing up where he doesn't belong.

About the Book

Edgar Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author C.J. Box is back with a masterpiece of suspense set in a time and place that readers won't soon forget.

Twenty miles across the North Dakota border, where the scenery goes from rolling grass prairie to pipeline fields, detective Cassie Dewell has been assigned as the new deputy sheriff of Grimstad --- a place people used to be from, but were never headed to. Grimstad is now the oil capital of North Dakota. With oil comes money, with money comes drugs, and with drugs come the dirtiest criminals hustling to corner the market.

In the small town resides 12-year-old Kyle Westergaard. Even though Kyle has been written off as the "slow" kid, he has dreams deeper than anyone can imagine. He wants to get out of town, take care of his mother, and give them a better life. While delivering newspapers, he witnesses a car accident and takes a mysterious bundle from the scene. Now in possession of a lot of money and packets of white powder, Kyle wonders if his luck has changed.

When the temperature drops to 30 below and a gang war heats up, Cassie realizes that she may be in over her head. As she is propelled on a collision course with a murderous enemy, she finds that the key to it all might come in the most unlikely form: an undersized boy on a bike who keeps showing up where he doesn't belong. Because a boy like Kyle is invisible. But he sees everything.

Editorial Content for Ideal

Book

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Maggie Harding

It's hard to imagine that the writer of THE FOUNTAINHEAD and ATLAS SHRUGGED ever suffered a moment of insecurity or doubt about her writing. Yet this is exactly what happened when Ayn Rand, in her early 20s, wrote IDEAL. She was not satisfied with the novel and rewrote it as a play. Neither one met her standards, so the manuscripts were put aside. Today, fans and followers have the opportunity to read a “new” work and gain more insight into the iconic woman they have admired over the years. Read More

Teaser

Originally conceived as a novel, but then transformed into a play by Ayn Rand, IDEAL is the story of beautiful but tormented actress Kay Gonda. Accused of murder, she is on the run and turns for help to six fans who have written letters to her, each telling her that she represents their ideal. Each reacts to her plight in his own way, their reactions a glimpse into their secret selves and their true values. In the end, their responses to her pleas give Kay the answers she has been seeking.

Promo

Originally conceived as a novel, but then transformed into a play by Ayn Rand, IDEAL is the story of beautiful but tormented actress Kay Gonda. Accused of murder, she is on the run and turns for help to six fans who have written letters to her, each telling her that she represents their ideal. Each reacts to her plight in his own way, their reactions a glimpse into their secret selves and their true values. In the end, their responses to her pleas give Kay the answers she has been seeking.

About the Book

Originally conceived as a novel, but then transformed into a play by Ayn Rand, IDEAL is the story of beautiful but tormented actress Kay Gonda. Accused of murder, she is on the run and turns for help to six fans who have written letters to her, each telling her that she represents their ideal --- a respectable family man, a far-left activist, a cynical artist, an evangelist, a playboy, and a lost soul. Each reacts to her plight in his own way, their reactions a glimpse into their secret selves and their true values. In the end their responses to her pleas give Kay the answers she has been seeking.

IDEAL was written in 1934 as a novel, but Ayn Rand thought the theme of the piece would be better realized as a play and put the novel aside. Now, both versions of IDEAL are available for the first time ever to the millions of Ayn Rand fans around the world, giving them a unique opportunity to explore the creative process of Rand as she wrote first a book, then a play, and the differences between the two.

Editorial Content for The Pine Tar Game: The Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees, and Baseball's Most Absurd and Entertaining Controversy

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Ron Kaplan

Filip Bondy, the veteran sports columnist for the New York Daily News, has done yeoman’s work in assembling this thoroughly researched volume on one of the weirdest games in Major League history.

The “Pine Tar Game” took place just over 30 years ago --- July 24, 1983 --- between the Kansas City Royals and the host New York Yankees. Future Hall of Famer George Brett hit a two-run homer off future Hall of Famer Goose Gossage in the top of the ninth to give the Royals a 5-4 lead.

Or did he? Read More

Teaser

On July 24, 1983, during the finale of a heated four-game series between the dynastic New York Yankees and small-town Kansas City Royals, umpires nullified a go-ahead home run based on an obscure rule, when Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out an illegal amount of pine tar on Royals third baseman George Brett’s bat. The call temporarily cost the Royals the game, but the decision was eventually overturned, resulting in a resumption of the game several weeks later that created its own hysteria. THE PINE TAR GAME chronicles this watershed moment.

Promo

On July 24, 1983, during the finale of a heated four-game series between the dynastic New York Yankees and small-town Kansas City Royals, umpires nullified a go-ahead home run based on an obscure rule, when Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out an illegal amount of pine tar on Royals third baseman George Brett’s bat. The call temporarily cost the Royals the game, but the decision was eventually overturned, resulting in a resumption of the game several weeks later that created its own hysteria. THE PINE TAR GAME chronicles this watershed moment.

About the Book

An award-winning veteran sportswriter who personally covered the Pine Tar Game looks back and explores one of the wackiest events in baseball history.

On July 24, 1983, during the finale of a heated four-game series between the dynastic New York Yankees and small-town Kansas City Royals, umpires nullified a go-ahead home run based on an obscure rule, when Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out an illegal amount of pine tar --- the sticky substance used for a better grip --- on Royals third baseman George Brett’s bat. Brett wildly charged out of the dugout and chaos ensued. The call temporarily cost the Royals the game, but the decision was eventually overturned, resulting in a resumption of the game several weeks later that created its own hysteria.

THE PINE TAR GAME chronicles this watershed moment, marking a pivot in the sport, when benign cheating tactics --- like spitballs, Superball bats and a couple extra inches of tar on an ash bat --- gave way to era of soaring salaries, labor struggles and rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs. Filip Bondy paints a portrait of the Yankees and Royals of that era, featuring two diametrically opposed owners in George Steinbrenner and Ewing Kauffman, a host of bad actors and phenomenal athletes, and lots of yelling. Players and club officials like Brett, Goose Gossage, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Sparky Lyle, David Cone and John Schuerholz offer fresh commentary on the events along with their take on a rivalry that culminated in one of the most iconic baseball tantrums of all time. Rush Limbaugh, employed by the Royals at the time as a promotions director, offers his own insider’s perspective.

Through this one fateful game, the ensuing protest and ultimate fallout, THE PINE TAR GAME examines a more innocent time in professional sports, as well as the shifting tide that gave us today’s modern iteration of baseball.

Editorial Content for Crooked Heart

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Kate Ayers

Ten-year-old Noel Bostock lives with his godmother Mattie in London. Despite no family of his own, he’s quite content there. But one evening, Mattie wanders off, probably a result of her worsening dementia. With the threat of German bombs looming, Noel is evacuated to St. Alban’s, what is hoped will be a safe place. Read More

Teaser

When 10-year-old Noel Bostock is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge --- a 36-year-old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Noel is mourning his godmother Mattie, a former suffragette. He has little in common with other children and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war has provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs --- and what she’s never had --- is a cool head and the ability to make a plan.

Promo

When 10-year-old Noel Bostock is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge --- a 36-year-old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Noel is mourning his godmother Mattie, a former suffragette. He has little in common with other children and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war has provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs --- and what she’s never had --- is a cool head and the ability to make a plan.

About the Book

PAPER MOON meets the Blitz in this original black comedy, set in World War II England, chronicling an unlikely alliance between a small time con artist and a young orphan evacuee.

When Noel Bostock --- aged 10, no family --- is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge --- a 36-year-old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she’s unscrupulous about how she gets it.

Noel’s mourning his godmother Mattie, a former suffragette. Wise beyond his years, raised with a disdain for authority and an eclectic attitude toward education, he has little in common with other children and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war’s provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs --- and what she’s never had --- is a cool head and the ability to make a plan.

On her own, she’s a disaster. With Noel, she’s a team.

Together, they cook up a scheme. Crisscrossing the bombed suburbs of London, Vee starts to make a profit and Noel begins to regain his interest in life. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war --- and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn’t actually safe at all…