October/November 2015

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SPINSTER: Making a Life of One's Own Kate Bolick Read by Kate Bolick Kate Bolick considers the question of two competing forces facing contem- porary women today: societal pressure to get married and the desire to remain an independent single woman. Bolick takes on an academic tone while narrating her work with precise diction and pronunciation befitting her literary approach to her topic. Bolick explores the possibility of living an unconventional life through a selection of five literary women in recent history who, in her estimation, espouse the "spinster" lifestyle to which she aspires, and whom she designates as her "awakeners." The result is an academic and historical approach to the author's contemporary experiences as both a cou- pled and an uncoupled woman. S.E.G. Random House Audio 9.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9780553397451 $40.00 (also DD) Books on Tape Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780553397475 $40.00 (also DD) PIRATE HUNTERS: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship Robert Kurson Read by Ray Porter Narrator Ray Porter's deep, resonant voice works well with this swashbuck- ling story of two pirate ship hunters, John Chatterton and John Mattera, who are hot on the trail of a famous seven- teenth-century wreck that was captained by one of the most notorious pirates that few people have ever heard of, Joseph Bannister. The story's twists and turns take the two around the globe, but they don't succeed in their endeavor until they start thinking like pirates themselves. Porter gets excited when the action calls for it and does enough with his character voices to keep things interesting. R.I.G. Random House Audio 8.5 hrs. Unabridged Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780553550856 $35.00 (also DD) Books on Tape Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780553550870 $35.00 (also DD) THE OREGON TRAIL: A New American Journey Rinker Buck Read by Rinker Buck Rinker Buck sucks the listener into his "see America slowly" trip over the Oregon Trail in a mule-drawn covered wagon with his brother, Nick. It's a crazy, arduous, and sometimes dangerous adventure completely out of its time. The hilarious and heartwarming relationship between Rinker—neat freak, control freak, plan- ner—and Nick—a slob with a dirty dog, a penchant for swearing, and the ability to fix absolutely anything—is clearly appar- ent in Buck's voice. He shares a fair bit of history about mules, Schuttler wagons, cholera, Mormons, and female pioneers. Occasionally, Buck can be a bit stiff in the historical narration, but this weakness is more than made up for by his humorous self-deprecation as he chases runaway mules across the Wyoming plains in Walmart slippers dodging antelope skel- etons and gets ripped off by an Amish tack merchant. A.B. Simon & Schuster Audio 16.75 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781442395503 $49.99 (also DD) MONOLOGUE: What Makes America Laugh Before Bed Jon Macks Read by Johnny Heller Johnny Heller tells the story of the man who wrote the jokes that made the whole world laugh. Jon Macks wrote literally hundreds of thousands of jokes for Jay Leno in the decades he worked for him, and each joke has a story. Heller confidently tells the story of Macks and his life in the late-night bubble with the skill of a come- dian. The jokes are funny enough, but Heller makes them sound even better. His behind-the-scenes accounts are priceless. Macks doesn't talk exclusively about himself and Leno—he also compares and contrasts all the late-night impre- sarios from Steve Allen to Seth Meyers and has a ton of fascinating anecdotes. This is an audiobook you can't stop lis- tening to. M.S. Tantor Media 4.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781494508746 $35.99 (also MP3, DD) MODERN ROMANCE Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg Read by Aziz Ansari The stand-up comic and actor shows his intellectual side in this research-based discus- sion of modern love. Aziz Ansari narrates his extended look at how Americans' marriage habits have changed since the 1960s. Ansari recounts the details of extensive surveys, interviews, and anecdotes in a conversa- tional tone. He maintains a casual approach in explaining women's rights, divorce laws, and the early days of feminism. In true comedic style, he interjects jokes into the reporting and often expresses what the listener may be thinking during anecdotes. Ansari's interest in research may be surprising, but his humor is essential to keeping the listener engaged in this well-covered subject. M.R. Penguin Audio 6.25 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781611764253 $35.00 (also DD) Books on Tape Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781101914717 $35.00 (also DD) Contemporary Culture Ansari's humor is essential to keeping the listener engaged. October/November 2015 n 45

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