June/July 2012

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Contemporary Culture THINKING SMALL: The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle Andrea Hiott Read by Suzanne Toren As narrator Suzanne Toren opens with pop-culture images of the iconic Beetle, listeners will find their own memories of the car evoked. However, the empha- sis is on history, not nostalgia. Author Andrea Hiott traces the origins of the "people's car" back to Nazi Germany and shows how, after WWII, advertising made the Beetle a part of our culture. Toren's narration lets in emotions and feelings—from sentimentality toward "a beloved car" to horror at Hitler's crimes—yet remains focused on a fasci- nating history. Advertising, war, politics, the '60s, and automotive innovation and culture are among the subjects woven into Hiott's grand tapestry. J.A.S. Audible, Inc. 16 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD $29.95 HEAR SOUND CLIPS Scan QR codes next to reviews with your smartphone to hear sound samples THE CRISIS OF ZIONISM Peter Beinart Read by Lloyd James This book will generate praise or rebuke, depending upon the listener's opinions about Israel, the Palestinians, the Israeli government, and Zionism. Beinart's controversial ideas benefit from narrator Lloyd James's steady and level cadence, which allows the material to ignite or affirm the listener. Audiobook listeners recognize the nuances of words, and this book highlights them. To some, the issue in Israel is the "occupation" of the West Bank; to others, it is the Palestinians who occupy the land and have created an "Intifada" without any right to do so. To Americans, particularly Zionists, the issues are equally polar- izing. Regardless, Beinart's analysis evokes emotions and will lead to intense debates. James senses this chasm, and his performance demonstrates how every inflection and nuance may be perceived differently, depending upon the listener's views. D.J.S. Tantor Media 7.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD (also MP3 Library Ed.: CD , DD ISBN 9781452607238 $34.99 ) ISBN 9781452637235 $71.99 THE MAGIC ROOM: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters Jeffrey Zaslow Read by Sandra Burr, Jeffrey Zaslow Sandra Burr is an outstanding interpreter of this thought-provoking look at how modern women begin the transition from daughter to wife, and how the colorful proprietors of a wedding-dress business cope with them. After the gravelly voiced author delivers the introduct ion, Sandra Burr performs his ultra-smooth writing with the touching authority of someone who understands family relationships. The texture and maturity she brings to this production enhance the book's impact, especially the dialogue. The book, by a former personal advice columnist, tells the story of eight women and their families who patronized a landmark bridal boutique in a small Michigan town. He provides a sensitive look at how the culture of raising a daughter has changed and an insider's view of how the owners and employees of a family business deal with their own issues. T.W. Brilliance Audio 11 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781455829064 $29.99 (also MP3 ISBN 9781455829071 $79.97 (also MP3 , DD ) ) Burr performs with the authority of some- one who understands family relationships. 30 s AudioFile/ EXTRA VIRGINITY: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil Tom Mueller Read by Peter Ganim The subtitle of this work,"The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil," captures the delectable, and distasteful, essence of its topic. Mueller, the world's expert on olive oil production and olive oil fraud, delves into the shocking realities of deception, product globaliza- tion, lax regulatory practices, and illegal mixology and bottling that are associated with this product. Narrator Peter Ganim presents this work in a style reminiscent of fiction. His voice lavishes the descrip- tions of beautiful landscapes of olive groves and delicious olive-oil-infused cuisine with audible love. He gives studied accents to the global range of olive oil producers, farmers, professors, and wholesalers, according to their country of origin. Historical context is provided, which is peppered with references and lavish quotes that still inspire olive oil makers today. A.W. Dreamscape 10.25 hrs. Unabridged Library Ed.: CD (also MP3 , DD ) ISBN 9781611203486 $44.99 , PRE ENEMIES: A History of the FBI Tim Weiner Read by Stefan Rudnicki This history of the FBI's intelligence and counterintelligence operations—its battles against spies, sabotage, and ter- rorism—is often dramatic and, because of its scope, quick moving. Stefan Rudnicki's rumbling bass hits the right note of seriousness, and his fluency and precision keep details clear while he moves the account at just the right quick pace. He varies his voice slightly, but sufficiently, to indicate quotations, especially by well-known speakers, though his accents (such as those of the Kennedys) can be a bit weak. His voice is as grave as a news announcer's with an urgent story, but he matches tone to text to indicate, for instance, subtle disapproval of some of the bureau's failures and excesses. It's an absorbing history that Rudnicki translates into an equally absorbing listen. W.M. Books on Tape 18.5 hrs. Unabridged Library Ed.: CD (also DD ) ISBN 9780307933959 $45.00

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