Wednesday, June 22, 2016

BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME (Michael Jackson bio)

A powerful chronicle of the sixteen weeks leading up to King of Pop Michael Jackson’s death. Michael Jackson’s final months were like the rest of his short and legendary life: filled with deep lows and soaring highs, a constant hunt for privacy, and the pressure and fame that made him socially fragile and almost—ultimately—unable to live. With the insight and compassion that he brought to his bestselling telling of Martin Luther King Jr.’s final year, Tavis Smiley provides a glimpse into the superstar’s life in this emotional, honest, yet celebratory book. Listeners will witness Jackson’s campaign to recharge his career—hiring and firing managers and advisors, turning to and away from family members, fighting depression and drug dependency—while his one goal remained: to mount the most spectacular series of shows the world had ever seen. Before You Judge Me is a humanizing look at Jackson’s last days. Author Tavis Smiley is the host of PBS’ Tavis Smiley and Public Radio International’s The Tavis Smiley Show. He is also the bestselling author of numerous books. BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME is co-written with David Ritz, and narrated by Leo Coltrane. For other special deals click HERE.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Should We Fear Alien Attack?

UFOs Audiobook: Alien abductions, crop circles, inflight encounters... Witnesses have come forward because of Leslie Kean, an investigative reporter who has spent years studying the still unexplained UFO phenomenon. Kean reviewed hundreds of government documents, aviation reports, radar data, and case studies with corroborating physical evidence. With the support of former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, Kean draws on her research to separate fact from fiction and to lift the veil on decades of US government misinformation. Throughout, she presents irrefutable evidence that unknown flying objects—metallic, luminous, and seemingly able to maneuver in ways that defy the laws of physics—actually exist. WHAT SHOULD WE BE WORRIED ABOUT: John Brockman, editor of This Will Make You Smarter, presents his latest thought-provoking book, featuring insights from leading thinkers such as Steven Pinker, Lisa Randall, Matt Ridley, and Daniel C. Dennett. He is the founder and CEO of Brockman Inc., a literary and software agency, and the publisher and editor of the website Edge. “Water resources, viruses, low science literacy, and our failure to achieve global cooperation are all addressed with striking clarity. By taking this bold approach to significant quandaries, Brockman and the Edge contributors offer fresh and invaluable perspectives on crucial aspects of our lives.” --Booklist (starred review)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

HOW NOT TO DIE by Michael Greger

HOW NOT TO DIE is an expensive audiobook only if you compare it to others, but even not then. The reduced download price is $25, while many others are in the $8 to $15 range. But here’s the thing. How much is saving your life worth? If you follow the advice given on a wide variety of illnesses (and what to eat and avoid), you may save yourself dying from heart disease, stroke, cancer, plus diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, kidney failure, and all those pharmaceutical pills they put on the network news toward the end of the broadcast to fight what you may have gotten from eating junk food, soda, smoking, and not exercising. (Watching too much TV.) I say “but even not then” because look at the length. It is 17 hours of knowledge, a virtual college course in nutrition. Most audiobooks are 8 hours. And what makes this particular health book special is the tone the narrator takes. (That he is also the author makes it doubly authentic.) Dr. Michael Greger is a nutritionist, vegetarian, and Humane Society director. His tone is not condescending. He is not out to chastise you for eating meat. He is presenting the science in a personal way, with case studies from his own practice aiding people dying of diseases, between the facts regarding how foods affect health. Some things you will learn is how certain teas are better than hypertensive drugs, how coffee reduces liver inflammation, how soy prevents certain cancers, and what whole foods beat any expensive supplement you care to name. (High cholesterol? Forgot statins: eat brazil nuts and exercise instead.) Greger explains why grilling meat is better than frying in the kitchen (if you must eat meat, which increases chances of many cancers), and why boiling hot dogs is better than grilling or frying them. I doubt that Greger has eaten a hot dog in a long time, but my point is that he’s not angry with listeners, he’s being honest and is not into supplements (but rather slow, whole foods) so he’s not pushing vitamin brands on the side like so many health food books do. Also, listening to this book instead of reading it means you’re not stuck in a chair with eye strain problems, you’re out walking or hiking or biking (as I do), listening AS you exercise. It’s a win/win. And a no brainer. So, even though this audiobook was released last year, I’m just now hearing it and making it AUDIOBOOK OF THE MONTH. Tower Review: "What is the takeaway you'd like listeners to leave with in hearing this audiobook, and how was the recording experience?" Greger: “I hope people take away the good news that we have tremendous power over our health destiny and longevity—the vast majority of premature death and disability is preventable with a plant-based diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors. Recording it was brutal. Took five days and my vocal cords were not happy. But lots of slippery elm bark and licorice tea got me through it!"

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high school. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his monster-fighting bartender friends, her demons become a lot more literal. It turns out evil creatures stalk the city streets after hours, and they can only be hunted with the help of magically mixed cocktails: vodka grants super strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and tequila lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will all of these powers be enough for Bailey to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths? And what will she do when the safety of a “real world” job beckons? This sharp and funny urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and grown-up readers of Harry Potter. LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE includes fifteen recipes from a book of ancient cocktail lore.  Paul Krueger is a fantasy writer and avid cocktail connoisseur whose work has appeared in the Sword & Laser Anthology. He lives in Los Angeles. Reader Emily Woo Zeller is a performing artist and yogi currently based in New York City. Her voice-over career includes work in animated film and television in Southeast Asia. She has also worked as an actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer on stage throughout the United States and Southeast Asia. 
Suspended license? DUI? Better not be be black and resist arrest. The last decade witnessed a vast increase in police aggression, misconduct, and militarization, along with a corresponding reduction in transparency and accountability. Nowhere is this more noticeable and painful than in African American and other ethnic minority communities. Racism—from raw, individualized versions to insidious systemic examples—appears to be on the rise in our police departments. Overall, our police officers have grown more and more alienated from the people they’ve been hired to serve. In To Protect and To Serve, Norm Stamper offers new insights into the conditions that have created this crisis, reminding us that police in a democratic society belong to the people—and not the other way around. TO PROTECT AND SERVE also delivers a revolutionary new model for American law enforcement: the community-based police department. It calls for citizen participation in all aspects of police operations: policymaking, program development, crime fighting and service delivery, entry-level and ongoing education and training, oversight of police conduct, and, especially relevant to today’s challenges, joint community-police crisis management. Nothing will ever change until the system itself is radically restructured, and here Norm Stamper shows us how.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June is Audiobook Month

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced A Good Audiobook Speaks Volumes, an exceptional national public awareness video campaign that will highlight the many advantages of audiobooks and inspire millions to try this format.  The campaign has begun and will continue throughout the summer.

Videos from bestselling celebrity authors James Patterson (The Games), Tyler Oakley (Binge), Stephen King (End of Watch), Whoopi Goldberg (If Someone Says "You Complete Me," Run!), and Chelsea Clinton (It's Your World: Get Informed, Inspired, and Get Going!) kick off the campaign the first week of June as these authors share their personal audiobook stories. 

"The APA is excited about launching this campaign that includes testimonials from so many authors sharing their enthusiasm for the audio format," says APA President, Linda Lee.  "Video has proven to be an effective way to create a connection with potential audiences and who better to bring that message than the authors themselves!"

The campaign comes at a time when the audiobook industry is seeing tremendous growth.  The APA's most recent sales survey revealed a 24% increase in unit sales of audiobooks. The exponential growth shows that there are still plenty of readers discovering audiobooks every day, and this campaign will capture their enthusiasm.

In addition to the author videos, which will be shared online across social media platforms, the campaign will include online advertising, a sweepstakes, and will encourage listeners to share why they #loveaudiobooks on social media.

As the campaign gains momentum within all of the major audiobook publishers, more authors commit each day to record and release videos throughout the summer, from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors to exciting debut authors, including those shown below. 

  • Brad Thor, Foreign Agent
  • Esta Spalding, Look out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts
  • Andrew Solomon, Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change
  • Francesca Serritella, co-author with Lisa Scottoline, I've Got Sand in All the Wrong Places
  • Lisa Scottoline, Damaged
  • Faith Salie, Approval Junkie
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, Aurora
  • Douglas Preston, Beyond the Ice Limit with Lincoln Child
  • Hollie Overton, Baby Doll
  • Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places
  • Brad Meltzer, The House of Secrets
  • David Levithan, Twelve Days of Dash & Lily
  • Christina Lauren, Beautiful Bastard series
  • Caroline Kepnes, Hidden Bodies
  • Jazz Jennings, Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen
  • J.A. Jance, Clawback: An Ali Reynolds Novel
  • Lisa Genova, Inside the O'Briens
  • Sean Patrick Flanery, Jane Two: A Novel
  • Max Firestone, The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss
  • Tim Federle, The Great American Whatever
  • Delia Ephron, Sircausa
  • Amy Cuddy, Presence
  • Justin Cronin, The Passage trilogy
  • John Connolly, A Time of Torment
  • Kresley Cole, The Immortals After Dark series
  • Julie Buxbaum, Tell Me Three Things
  • Jordana Brodsky, The Immortals
  • Julie Berry, The Passion of Dolssa

Thursday, May 26, 2016

THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP by Michael D’Antonio

No one in current memory grabs the attention of Donald Trump. Using lessons gleaned from Muhammad Ali, Donald is the “verbal jab” equivalent: floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee. In THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP author Michael D’Antonio details the history of the man from birth, including his father’s story, his influences, his rise to power, his women, his love of sports (particularly boxing and wrestling), and the Art of the Deal. D’Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, spares nothing in his examination of Trump’s empire. As such, it is a must read (or must hear) for anyone considering voting for him or not. Echoing studies in psychology quoted in another new book THE POWER PARADOX, D’Antonio endeavors to explain how we came to this point, where a proud, self-proclaimed narcissist is running (and dominating) as a Presidential candidate. Trump is an enigma to many, saying whatever it takes to grab headlines. But when listeners hear the history and the mindset, it all begins to fall into focus. Trump views public life as a struggle for dominance and control, and for “winning” against opponents (with everyone a potential foe.) When someone throws a punch, he punches back, just like a fighter in the ring. There is no “right” or “wrong,” it’s just “business.” On the many occasions where he has contradicted himself, that’s all part of the game. For example, he once said about Bill Clinton during his administration, “talk about scandals with women, if I ever ran for office, I’d have him beat there.” Yet he recently criticized Bill for being a philanderer. “The rich,” says Dachner Keltner in The Power Paradox, “invariably assign blame to others while they themselves feel no guilt for committing the same things.” It is also a trait of the narcissist to refer to themselves in the third person, as when a basketball player like Lebron James (quoted in the audiobook “The Narcissist Next Door”) says, “You know, I wanted to do what was best for Lebron James, and whatever Lebron James has to do to make him happy.” (‘Him?’ He’s speaking!) Trump has done this too, frequently on stage, besides liking the title “The Donald.” Does Trump really care about his voters? Just as voters, says D’Antonio. People are tools to achieve success, and you do “whatever it takes.” It’s not about love, it’s just business. Personally, Trump (and other very rich people) feel superior to their underlings, and refer to their blue blood roots (as Trump has done) to imply that they are racially and intellectually above the riff raff. (Ironic, that many of Trump’s supporters are NASCAR fans, 95% of which vote Republican and don’t read non-fiction books.) Obviously this is a controversial book with stats that many will dispute. But Trump disputes most science, including global warming, since it has implications to business profits and pollution. Who is right? That’s for you to decide. D’Antonio ends the book by genuinely praising Trump for his accomplishments, yet also saying that in a society and culture that values wealth and fame, he is what we deserve (following the famous quote, “voters get what they deserve.”) He notes that no one, not even many far more wealthy than he, has been able to capitalize on his fortune and fame as has Trump. Enigma, because although he is fair and rewarding to those he perceives on his side, cross him or join the “opposing team” and he will do or say anything to defeat and humiliate you. Welcome to the sport of politics. It’s a winner-take-all cage fight to the death. Audiobook is narrated by Eric Pollins, a voiceover artist and TV/Movie actor whose tone is always spot-on. Related audiobooks to hear on the psychology of power related to Trump are SUCCESS AND LUCK, and MADNESS UNDER THE ROYAL PALMS, reviewed at this site.