06. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Thriller/Suspense

Crime of Privilege by Walter Walker, read by Madeline, on 06/23/2013

A murder on Cape Cod. A rape in Palm Beach.
All they have in common is the presence of one of Americas most beloved and influential families. But nobody is asking questions. Not the police. Not the prosecutors. And certainly not George Becket, a young lawyer toiling away in the basement of the Cape & Islands district attorneys office. George has always lived at the edge of power. He wasnt born to privilege, but he understands how it works and has benefitted from it in ways he doesnt like to admit. Now, an investigation brings him deep inside the world of the truly wealthy–and shows him what a perilous place it is.
Years have passed since a young woman was found brutally slain at an exclusive Cape Cod golf club, and no one has ever been charged. Cornered by the victims father, George cant explain why certain leads were never explored–leads that point in the direction of a single family–and he agrees to look into it.
What begins as a search through the highly stratified layers of Cape Cod society, soon has George racing from Idaho to Hawaii, Costa Rica to France to New York City. But everywhere he goes he discovers people like himself: people with more secrets than answers, people haunted by a decision years past to trade silence for protection from lifes sharp edges. George finds his friends are not necessarily still friends and a spouse can be unfaithful in more ways than one. And despite threats at every turn, he is driven to reconstruct the victims last hours while searching not only for a killer but for his own redemption.

Teaching children ethics, values, and morals has become a real challenge for parents today. These topics aren’t usually covered in school curriculums, and many families no longer attend religious services, so most modern moms and dads are clamoring for a helping hand.

Ian James Corlett, an award-winning children’s TV writer, was inspired to write this book as his own family grappled with this issue. When Ian’s two kids were very young, he and his wife started a weekly discussion period he dubbed “Family Fun Time.” Every Monday after dinner, they all sat down and Ian would tell his two kids tales about two young children, Elliott and Lucy, who were much like them.

- They hated going to the dentist.

- They were disappointed when a favorite aunt couldn’t visit.

- They dreaded raking the leaves in their backyard.

Ian’s kids really looked forward to these talks and they hardly even realized that the stories were serving a deeper purpose — to teach tact, understanding, and responsibility. So he decided to write these stories down to help other parents — like you. The result is in your hands: twenty-six simple, clear, original, and entertaining stories for you to read aloud with your child.

Teaching your children values, life skills, and ethics has never been so much fun!

06. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Thriller/Suspense

Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes, read by Madeline, on 06/17/2013

Genevieve has finally escaped the stressful demands of her sales job and achieved her dream: to leave London behind and begin a new life aboard a houseboat in Kent. Not many people know that she financed her fresh start by working weekends as a dancer at a less-than-reputable gentlemens club called the Barclay, and shes determined to keep it that way. But on the night of her housewarming party the past intrudes when a body washes up beside the boat, and Genevieve recognizes the victim, a fellow dancer from the Barclay.

As the sanctuary of the marina is threatened, and Genevieves life seems increasingly at risk, the story of how she came to be so out of her depth unfolds, and she discovers the hard way the real cost of mixing business with pleasure.

06. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, History, Madeline, NonFiction

We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson, read by Madeline, on 06/10/2013

The inspiring story of one of the greatest moments in civil rights history as seen through the eyes of four young people who were at the center of the action.
The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March was a turning point in American history. In the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, the fight for civil rights lay in the hands of children like Audrey Hendricks, Wash Booker, James Stewart, and Arnetta Streeter.
Through the eyes of these four protesters and others who participated, We’ve Got a Job tells the little-known story of the 4,000 black elementary, middle, and high school students who voluntarily went to jail between May 2 and May 11, 1963. The children succeeded – where adults had failed – in desegregating one of the most racially violent cities in America.
By combining in-depth, one-on-one interviews and extensive research, author Cynthia Levinson recreates the events of the Birmingham Children’s March from a new and very personal perspective.

A terrific book! I’ve read a good amount about the civil rights movement but didn’t know about this.

06. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Madeline

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout, read by Madeline, on 06/06/2013

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

03. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Madeline, Mystery

Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo, read by Madeline, on 05/30/2013

When Solly and Rachel Slabaugh, along with Solly’s brother Abel, are found dead in a hog pit, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder investigates the gruesome scene. Once again teaming up with Agent John Tomasetti, Kate reveals that the death may not have been accidental, but one of the most horrific hate crimes ever to befall the Amish community of Painter’s Creek.

03. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Madeline, Thriller/Suspense

The Intercept by Dick Wolf, read by Madeline, on 04/18/2013

An adrenaline-fueled thriller debut in the tradition of “Three Days of the Condor” from the famed creator of TV’s “Law & Order,” featuring NYPD Special Agent Jeremy Fisk, who is New York City’s last hope against an ingenious, multi-pronged terrorist attack.

03. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Madeline, NonFiction

We Learn Nothing, Essays by Tim Kreider, read by Madeline, on 05/16/2013

A “New York Times’ political cartoonist and writer presents a collection of his most popular essays and drawings about life and government hypocrisy.

03. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Madeline

Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg, read by Madeline, on 05/09/2013

Cecilia Ross is looking for a change. She has decided to take time off from her job as a successful motivational speaker and sell her home. She moves in to a beautiful old house in St. Paul, Minnesota, complete with a big front porch, a wild garden, a chef’s kitchen–and three roommates. The four women are different ages, but all are feeling restless, and want to take a roadtrip to find again the people and things they miss. One woman wants to connect with a daughter she gave away at birth; another wants to visit her long-absent ex-husband; a third woman, a professional chef, is seeking new inspiration from the restaurants along the way. And Cecilia is looking for Dennis Halsinger, the man she never got over, who recently sent her a postcard out of the blue. This novel is classic Elizabeth Berg–a portrait of how women grow through the relationships that define them, and a testament to the power of female friendship.

03. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Madeline

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, read by Madeline, on 05/02/2013

Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by brash “beautiful boy” Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband’s career.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Madeline

All This Talk of Love by Christopher Castellan, read by Madeline, on 04/28/2013

It’s been fifty years since Antonio Grasso married Maddalena and brought her to America. That was the last time she saw her parents, her sisters and brothers– everything she knew and loved in the village of Santa Cecilia, Italy. Their daughter Prima was raised on the lore of the Old Country. And as she sees her parents aging, she hatches the idea to take the entire family back to Italy– hoping to reunite Maddalena with her estranged sister and let her parents see their homeland one last time.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Madeline, Mystery

Six Years by Harlan Coben, read by Madeline, on 04/25/2013

Six years have passed since Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for . . . but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life–a time he has never gotten over–is turned completely inside out. As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, and who lied to him. soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Madeline, Poetry

This is my Body; poems by Terry Song, read by Madeline, on 04/22/2013

This first book of poems dwells in lived experience-women and farms, women and men,raising kids, cooking bread, the front porch, the marriage bed. Terry Song has an uncanny ear for real voices.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Madeline, Mystery

The Boyfriend by Thomas Perry, read by Madeline, on 04/17/2013

Jack Till, who has retired from the LAPD after a respected career as a homicide detective, now works as a private investigator, comfortable chasing down routine cases while visiting his 24-year-old daughter, Holly, who has Down Syndrome. But when the parents of a recently murdered young girl, about Holly’s age, ask for his help when the police come up empty, Till reluctantly takes the case. It was discovered after her death that the victim had been working as a high-class prostitute, and the police are content to assume she was killed by a client, common in such a dangerous line of work. Yet as Till digs deeper, he realizes that the victim is just one of several young female escorts killed in different cities in the exact same way–all had strawberry blonde hair, and all were shot with a 9mm handgun in the sanctity of their apartments. Till must find his way around the tawdry and secretive online escort business, and decode ads placed by young women who all use false names, sometimes advertise using other women’s pictures, and move from city to city every few months. Yet when Till is finally able to catch up with the killer, he finds that the man he’s after is far more dangerous and volatile than he ever could have imagined. As the body count rises, Till must risk his life to find this seductive and ruthless killer whose murderous spree masks a far deadlier agenda.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Madeline, NonFiction

Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal by Melanie Warner, read by Madeline, on 04/14/2013

From breakfast cereal to frozen pizza to nutrition bars, processed foods are a fundamental part of our diet, accounting for 65% of our nation’s yearly calories. Over the past century, technology has transformed the American meal into a chemical-laden smorgasbord of manipulated food products that bear little resemblence to what our grandparents ate. Despite the growing presence of farmers’ markets and organic offerings, food additives and chemical preservatives are nearly impossible to avoid, and even the most ostensibly healthy foods contain multisyllabic ingredients with nearly untraceable origins. The far-reaching implications of the industrialization of the food supply that privleges cheap, plentiful, and fast food have been well documented. They are dire. But how did we ever reach the point where ‘pink slime’ is an acceptable food product? Is anybody regulating what makes it into our food? What, after all, is actually safe to eat? Former York Times health columnist Melanie Warner combines deep investigatory reporting, culinary history, and cultural analysis, to find out how we got here and what it is we’re really eating. Vividly written and meticulously researched, Pandora’s Lunchbox blows the lid off the largely undocumented world of processed foods and food manipulation. From the vitamin “enrichments” to our fortified cereals and bread, to the soy mixtures that bolster chicken (and often outweigh the actual chicken included), Warner lays bare the dubious nutritional value and misleading labels of chemically-treated foods, as well as the potential price we–and our children–may pay.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Madeline, NonFiction

Behind the Kitchen Door by Saru Jayaraman, read by Madeline, on 04/11/2013

How do restaurant workers live on some of the lowest wages in America? And how do poor working conditions-discriminatory labor practices, exploitation, and unsanitary kitchens-affect the meals that arrive at our restaurant tables? Saru Jayaraman, who launched the national restaurant workers’ organization Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, sets out to answer these questions by following the lives of restaurant workers in New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Detroit, and New Orleans.

Blending personal narrative and investigative journalism, Jayaraman shows us that the quality of the food that arrives at our restaurant tables depends not only on the sourcing of the ingredients. Our meals benefit from the attention and skill of the people who chop, grill, sauté, and serve. Behind the Kitchen Door is a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out. Jayaraman focuses on the stories of individuals, like Daniel, who grew up on a farm in Ecuador and sought to improve the conditions for employees at Del Posto; the treatment of workers behind the scenes belied the high-toned Slow Food ethic on display in the front of the house.

Increasingly, Americans are choosing to dine at restaurants that offer organic, fair-trade, and free-range ingredients for reasons of both health and ethics. Yet few of these diners are aware of the working conditions at the restaurants themselves. But whether you eat haute cuisine or fast food, the well-being of restaurant workers is a pressing concern, affecting our health and safety, local economies, and the life of our communities. Highlighting the roles of the 10 million people, many immigrants, many people of color, who bring their passion, tenacity, and vision to the American dining experience, Jayaraman sets out a bold agenda to raise the living standards of the nation’s second-largest private sector workforce-and ensure that dining out is a positive experience on both sides of the kitchen door.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Madeline

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, read by Madeline, on 04/08/2013

Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.

When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.

Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, one crazy summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them-an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Madeline

The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Baumeister, read by Madeline, on 04/04/2013

Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And there’s Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn’t expect. . . .Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes joining in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given.

29. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Madeline

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, read by Madeline, on 04/01/2013

Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising twenty-five-year- old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.

The story opens on New Year’s Eve in a Greenwich Village jazz bar, where Katey and her boardinghouse roommate Eve happen to meet Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a ready smile. This chance encounter and its startling consequences cast Katey off her current course, but end up providing her unexpected access to the rarified offices of Conde Nast and a glittering new social circle. Befriended in turn by a shy, principled multimillionaire, an Upper East Side ne’er-do-well, and a single-minded widow who is ahead of her times, Katey has the chance to experience first hand the poise secured by wealth and station, but also the aspirations, envy, disloyalty, and desires that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her orbit, she will learn how individual choices become the means by which life crystallizes loss.

Elegant and captivating, Rules of Civility turns a Jamesian eye on how spur of the moment decisions define life for decades to come. A love letter to a great American city at the end of the Depression, readers will quickly fall under its spell of crisp writing, sparkling atmosphere and breathtaking revelations, as Towles evokes the ghosts of Fitzgerald, Capote, and McCarthy.

02. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Madeline, Mystery · Tags:

The Golden Egg by Donna Leon, read by Madeline, on 03/30/2013

At the request of his wife, Commissario Brunetti looks into the death of deaf, mentally disabled man who worked at their dry-cleaners and uncovers a mystery when the man left no official records and his mother is reluctant to speak to him.