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Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas

Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas Lowest new price: $172.14

In the first-ever Seven Seas history of the world's female buccaneers, Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas tells the story of women, both real and legendary, who through the ages sailed alongside-and sometimes in command of-their male counterparts. These women came from all walks of life but had one thing in common: a desire for freedom. History has largely ignored these female swashbucklers, until now. Here are their stories, from ancient Norse princess Alfhild and warrior Rusla to Sayyida al-Hurra of the Barbary corsairs; from Grace O'Malley, who terrorized shipping operations around the British Isles during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; to Cheng I Sao, who commanded a fleet of four hundred ships off China in the early nineteenth century. Author Laura Sook Duncombe also looks beyond the stories to the storytellers and mythmakers. What biases and agendas motivated them? What did they leave out? Pirate Women explores why and how these stories are told and passed down, and how history changes depending on who is recording it. It's the most comprehensive overview of women pirates in one volume and chock-full of swashbuckling adventures that pull these unique women from the shadows into the spotlight that they deserve.


Everybody Had an Ocean: Music and Mayhem in 1960s Los Angeles

Everybody Had an Ocean: Music and Mayhem in 1960s Los Angeles Lowest new price: $172.14

Los Angeles in the 1960s gave the world some of the greatest music in rock ’n’ roll history: “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas and the Papas, “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds, and “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, a song that magnificently summarized the joy and beauty of the era in three and a half minutes.

But there was a dark flip side to the fun fun fun of the music, a nexus between naive young musicians and the hangers-on who exploited the decade’s peace, love, and flowers ethos, all fueled by sex, drugs, and overnight success. One surf music superstar unwittingly subsidized the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. The transplanted Texas singer Bobby Fuller might have been murdered by the Mob in what is still an unsolved case. And after hearing Charlie Manson sing, Neil Young recommended him to the president of Warner Bros. Records. Manson’s ultimate rejection by the music industry likely led to the infamous murders that shocked a nation.

Everybody Had an Ocean chronicles the migration of the rock ’n’ roll business to Southern California and how the artists flourished there. The cast of characters is astonishing—Brian and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, eccentric producer Phil Spector, Cass Elliot, Sam Cooke, Ike and Tina Turner, Joni Mitchell, and scores of others—and their stories form a modern epic of the battles between innocence and cynicism, joy and terror. You’ll never hear that beautiful music in quite the same way.


Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America: 101 Stories about What Makes Our Country Great

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America: 101 Stories about What Makes Our Country Great Lowest used price: $5.99
Author: Amy Newmark

It's time for an antidote to all the negativity! You’ll find that in this collection of 101 inspiring stories about what makes America great. From apple pie and baseball to our military heroes and first responders, from our vast and varied country to our energy and spirit, these stories will make you proud to be an American!

We live in a great country, but we can forget that sometimes amid all the negativity that surrounds us. Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America will uplift and inspire you with its true, personal stories about the many different things that make this country great. This book will make you proud to call America home!


A Hand to Hold: Helping Someone Through Grief

A Hand to Hold: Helping Someone Through Grief Lowest new price: $9.98
List price: $9.98
Author: Lauraine Snelling

We are not taught how to grieve, and yet grief comes to every one of us at some time. Bestselling author Lauraine Snelling discovered this truth when she began her own journey with grief in 1985, the year her twenty-year-old daughter, Marie, lost her battle with cancer. In this nonfiction book, A Hand to Hold, Lauraine helps us release the fears that make us uncomfortable around those who grieve. She urges us to offer those who grieve the gifts of touch, tears, talk, and time. Lauraine also includes helpful, honest words of encouragement from some of her writer friends, including: Birdie L. Etchison, Mona Gansberg Hodgson, Tracie Peterson, Karen Steinlight, Kay Marshall Strom, and Stephanie Whitson.


Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Jesus + Nothing = Everything Lowest new price: $14.98
List price: $14.98
Author: Tullian Tchividjian

It's so easy to forget what the Christian faith is all about. We struggle so much, work so hard, and fail so often that we frequently sense something in the equation of life must be missing.

Tullian Tchividjian argues that what we are missing is the gospel--a fuller, more powerful understanding of Jesus and what his finished work means for everyday life.

During a year of great turmoil, Pastor Tchividjian discovered the power of the gospel in his own life. Sharing his story of how Jesus became more real to him, Tchividjian delves deeply into the fundamentals of the faith, explaining the implications of Christ’s sufficiency--a revelation that sets us free and keeps us anchored through life’s storms.

Ultimately, Tchividjian reminds us that Jesus is the whole of the equation as he boldly proclaims that Jesus plus nothing really is everything.


Tied Up, Tied Down (Rough Riders)

Tied Up, Tied Down (Rough Riders) Lowest used price: $45.96
Author: Lorelei James

The strongest bonds are the ones unseen… Businesswoman Skylar Ellison never intended to get tangled up with a sexy Wyoming cowboy—let alone conceive a baby with him in the parking lot of a honky-tonk. When it appears her baby daddy has taken off for greener pastures, Skylar pulls up her bootstraps and carries on alone. Rancher Kade McKay is knocked for a loop when he returns home after a year on the range and finds out he’s the father of a three-month-old baby girl. When Skylar refuses to marry him, Kade grits his teeth, moves in and plays house by her rules to prove he’s a man in for the long haul. Despite Skylar’s insistence they are to remain strictly parenting partners for baby Eliza, their old passions flare hot as a prairie fire, spurring Kade to demand total sexual surrender from the headstrong woman. Skylar willingly submits her body to the hot-blooded cowboy, but she’s hesitant to hand Kade the reins to her heart. Can Kade convince Skylar the wicked sex games aren’t a temporary distraction? Or will he have to break out the ropes to show her he wants to be tied to her…forever?


The Lost World

The Lost World Lowest new price: $27.95
Lowest used price: $98.91
List price: $27.95
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle

The unabridged classic on MP3 audio, narrated by Anais 9000. Three playback speeds on one disk; etext edition included. Running time: 7.2 hours (slow), 6.5 hours (medium), 6.0 hours (fast). Professor Challenger leads a fantastic expedition into a pre-historic hell.

Forget the Michael Crichton book (and Spielberg movie) that copied the title. This is the original: the terror-adventure tale of The Lost World. Writing not long after dinosaurs first invaded the popular imagination, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spins a yarn about an expedition of two scientists, a big-game hunter, and a journalist (the narrator) to a volcanic plateau high over the vast Amazon rain forest. The bickering of the professors (a type Doyle knew well from his medical training) serves as witty contrast to the wonders of flora and fauna they encounter, building toward a dramatic moonlit chase scene with a Tyrannosaurus Rex. And the character of Professor George E. Challenger is second only to Sherlock Holmes in the outrageous force of his personality: he's a big man with an even bigger ego, and if you can grit your teeth through his racist behavior toward Native Americans, he's a lot of fun.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray Lowest new price: $27.95
List price: $27.95
Author: Oscar Wilde

The unabridged classic on MP3 audio, narrated by Anais 9000. Three playback speeds on one disk; etext edition included. Running time: 4.9 hours (slow), 4.4 hours (medium), 4.1 hours (fast). "A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction," wrote Wilde -- but what evils would a man commit, if they were not reflected in his countenance.

A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife," Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."

As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."

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Roughing It

Roughing It Lowest new price: $33.95
Lowest used price: $108.44
List price: $33.95
Author: Mark Twain

The unabridged classic on MP3 audio, narrated by Anais 9000. Three playback speeds on one disk; etext edition included. Running time: 15.7 hours (slow), 14.3 hours (medium), 13.0 hours (fast). Here is Twain at his best, spinning yarns of the old West from personal experience.


Kim

Kim Lowest new price: $27.95
List price: $27.95
Author: Rudyard Kipling

The unabridged classic on MP3 audio, narrated by Anais 9000. Three playback speeds on one disk; etext edition included. Running time: 10.0 hours (slow), 9.1 hours (medium), 8.3 hours (fast). Fun, jingoistic story of an orphaned Irish boy dragooned into the British secret police in Colonial India -- while serving as chela (disciple) to a Tibetan lama! Makes a spooky read today.

One of the particular pleasures of reading Kim is the full range of emotion, knowledge, and experience that Rudyard Kipling gives his complex hero. Kim O'Hara, the orphaned son of an Irish soldier stationed in India, is neither innocent nor victimized. Raised by an opium-addicted half-caste woman since his equally dissolute father's death, the boy has grown up in the streets of Lahore:

Though he was burned black as any native; though he spoke the vernacular by preference, and his mother-tongue in a clipped uncertain sing-song; though he consorted on terms of perfect equality with the small boys of the bazar; Kim was white--a poor white of the very poorest.
From his father and the woman who raised him, Kim has come to believe that a great destiny awaits him. The details, however, are a bit fuzzy, consisting as they do of the woman's addled prophecies of "'a great Red Bull on a green field, and the Colonel riding on his tall horse, yes, and'--dropping into English--'nine hundred devils.'"

In the meantime, Kim amuses himself with intrigues, executing "commissions by night on the crowded housetops for sleek and shiny young men of fashion." His peculiar heritage as a white child gone native, combined with his "love of the game for its own sake," makes him uniquely suited for a bigger game. And when, at last, the long-awaited colonel comes along, Kim is recruited as a spy in Britain's struggle to maintain its colonial grip on India. Kipling was, first and foremost, a man of his time; born and raised in India in the 19th century, he was a fervid supporter of the Raj. Nevertheless, his portrait of India and its people is remarkably sympathetic. Yes, there is the stereotypical Westernized Indian Babu Huree Chander with his atrocious English, but there is also Kim's friend and mentor, the Afghani horse trader Mahub Ali, and the gentle Tibetan lama with whom Kim travels along the Grand Trunk Road. The humanity of his characters consistently belies Kipling's private prejudices, and raises Kim above the mere ripping good yarn to the level of a timeless classic. --Alix Wilber


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