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1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Mark Manson, author of the recently published millennial self-help book THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK, went from selling dating advice products online to helping people live a more meaningful life. How’d he do it? It’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck.” Give it an effin’ listen. (One of the books mentioned in this episode is COWS, PIGS, WARS, AND WITCHES: THE RIDDLES OF CULTURE by Marvin Harris)

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2. You Are Not Special by David McCullough Jr.

You Are Not Special by David McCullough Jr.

An interview with David McCullough Jr., author of You Are Not Special (HarperCollins, April 2014). The interview is conducted by Karen Dziekonski, Executive Producer @HarperAudio_US. A profound expansion of David McCullough, Jr.'s popular commencement speech—a call to arms against a prevailing, narrow, conception of success viewed by millions on YouTube—You Are (Not) Special is a love letter to students and parents as well as a guide to a truly fulfilling, happy life. Children today, says David McCullough—high school English teacher, father of four, and son and namesake of the famous historian—are being encouraged to sacrifice passionate engagement with life for specious notions of success. The intense pressure to excel discourages kids from taking chances, failing, and learning empathy and self-confidence from those failures. In You Are (Not) Special, McCullough elaborates on his now-famous speech exploring how, for what purpose, and for whose sake, we're raising our kids. With wry, affectionate humor, McCullough takes on hovering parents, ineffectual schools, professional college prep, electronic distractions, club sports, and generally the manifestations, and the applications and consequences of privilege. By acknowledging that the world is indifferent to them, McCullough takes pressure off of students to be extraordinary achievers and instead exhorts them to roll up their sleeves and do something useful with their advantages.

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3. The Wind Is Not a River by Brian Payton

The Wind Is Not a River by Brian Payton

An interview with Brian Payton, author of The Wind Is Not a River (HarperCollins, January 2014). The interview is conducted by Erin Wicks, producer A gripping tale of survival and an epic love story in which a husband and wife–separated by the only battle of World War II to take place on American soil–fight to reunite in Alaska's starkly beautiful Aleutian Islands Following the death of his younger brother in Europe, journalist John Easley is determined to find meaning in his loss, to document some part of the growing war that claimed his own flesh and blood. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Helen, after an argument they both regret, he heads north from Seattle to investigate the Japanese invasion of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, a story censored by the U.S. government. While John is accompanying a crew on a bombing run, his plane is shot down over the island of Attu. He survives only to find himself exposed to a harsh and unforgiving wilderness, known as "the Birthplace of Winds." There, John must battle the elements, starvation, and his own remorse while evading discovery by the Japanese. Alone in their home three thousand miles to the south, Helen struggles with the burden of her husband's disappearance. Caught in extraordinary circumstances, in this new world of the missing, she is forced to reimagine who she is–and what she is capable of doing. Somehow, she must find John and bring him home, a quest that takes her into the farthest reaches of the war, beyond the safety of everything she knows. A powerful, richly atmospheric story of life and death, commitment and sacrifice, The Wind Is Not a River illuminates the fragility of life and the fierce power of love.

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Paul Stanley discusses the writing and narration of his memoir, FACE THE MUSIC (on-sale 4-8-14). This episode also includes an excerpt from the prologue. "People say I was brave to write such a revealing book, but I wrote it because I needed to personally reflect on my own life. I know everyone will see themselves somewhere in this book, and where my story might take them is why I'm sharing it." Well known for his onstage persona, the "Starchild," Paul Stanley has written a memoir with a gripping blend of personal revelations and gritty war stories about the highs and lows both inside and outside of KISS. Born with a condition called microtia (an ear deformity rendering him deaf on the right side), Stanley's traumatic childhood experiences produced an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of places: music. Taking readers through the series of events that led to the founding of KISS, the personal relationships that helped shape his life, and the turbulent dynamics among his bandmates over the past forty years, this book leaves no one unscathed—including Stanley himself. With never-before-seen photos and images throughout, Face the Music is a colorful portrait of a man and the band he helped create, define, and sustain—made larger than life in artfully told stories that are shocking, funny, inspirational, and honest.

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5. All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior

All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior

An interview with Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun (HarperCollins, January 2014). The interview is conducted by Karen Dziekonski, Executive Producer @HarperAudio_US. Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But almost none have thought to ask: What are the effects of children on their parents? In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources—in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology—she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations—and luxuriate in some of its fi nest rewards. Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture's most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today—and tomorrow.

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6. Matt Damon reads Howard Zinn

Matt Damon reads Howard Zinn

Since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools–with its emphasis on great men in high places–to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace. In this recording you’ll hear from Zinn reading from his introduction to the book, and you’ll hear Matt Damon, an American actor and Academy Award-winning screenwriter for his work on Good Will Hunting, read passages that span the Summer of 1966, the 1967 Urban Riots in Newark and Detroit, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, to name a few highlights.

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7. The Gift of Failure

The Gift of Failure

Want to give the children in your life the gift that keeps on giving? Give them the gift of failure. Jessica Lahey, New York Times columnist and Atlantic Magazine contributor tells you how to teach children responsibility, organization, manners, restraint, and foresight. Lahey offers encouragement and targeted advice. It’s easier than you might think!

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Tabatha Coffey, author of OWN IT! (HarperCollins, April 2014), shares her secrets of business success in her trademark no-nonsense style. The interview is conducted by Karen Dziekonski, Executive Producer @HarperAudio_US. Tabatha is back to share her secrets of business success . . . With her characteristic savvy expertise and no-nonsense advice, the perfectly coiffed celebrity hairstylist, Tabatha Coffey, returns with her second book, teaching readers that the secret of success is taking charge—of your priorities, your future, and your life. Fans of her hit show, Tabatha Takes Over, value Tabatha's sound approach to overhauling failing businesses, and now, in Own It!, she takes to the page to reach out to anyone with a dream: whether you're just beginning, revamping your career, or starting your own enterprise. Sharing her blunt but rock-solid wisdom, Tabatha provides tips for every aspect of business—from entrepreneurship, to customer service, to management—as well as on the home front, to help women seeking to balance their family lives with their careers. Filled with stories about real people who have faced challenging transitions, in addition to anecdotes from Tabatha's own experiences, this book reveals, through her unflinching honesty, Tabatha's commitment to the dreams and goals of her readers, and her never-say-never attitude when it comes to bringing them to life. Success is the result when you Own It! in all aspects of your life, and Tabatha breaks it down step-by-step as your straight-shooting personal coach to show you how it's done.

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9. THE FREE by Willy Vlautin

THE FREE by Willy Vlautin

Willy Vlautin is an author, a musician, and the narrator of his book THE FREE. This interview with Willy is conducted by his editor at HarperCollins, Amy Baker. Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook @HarperAudio_US In his heartbreaking yet hopeful fourth novel, award-winning author Willy Vlautin demonstrates his extraordinary talent for illuminating the disquiet of modern American life, captured in the experiences of three memorable characters looking for meaning in distressing times. Severely wounded in the Iraq war, Leroy Kervin has lived in a group home for eight years. Frustrated by the simplest daily routines, he finds his existence has become unbearable. An act of desperation helps him disappear deep into his mind, into a world of romance and science fiction, danger and adventure where he is whole once again. Freddie McCall, the night man at Leroy's group home, works two jobs yet still can't make ends meet. He's lost his wife and kids, and the house is next. Medical bills have buried him in debt, a situation that propels him to consider a lucrative—and dangerous—proposition. Pauline Hawkins, a nurse, cares for the sick and wounded, including Leroy. She also looks after her mentally ill elderly father. Yet she remains emotionally removed, until she meets a young runaway who touches something deep and unexpected inside her. In crystalline prose, both beautiful and devastating, this "major realist talent" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) considers the issues transforming ordinary people's lives—the cost of health care, the lack of economic opportunity, the devastating scars of war—creating an extraordinary contemporary portrait that is also a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.

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10. Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman discusses three upcoming @HarperAudio_US titles: THE TRUTH IS A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS (on-sale: June 17, 2014), CHU'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL (on-sale: June 24, 2014), and the full cast audio edition of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (on-sale: September 30, 2014) with Senior Producer Caitlin Garing. This episode also includes audiobook excerpts performed by Neil Gaiman. About The Books THE TRUTH IS A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS You ask me if I can forgive myself? I can forgive myself... And so begins The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains, a haunting story of family, the otherworld, and a search for hidden treasure. This audiobook is brought to vivid life by the characters and landscape of Gaiman’s award-winning story. In this volume, the talents and vision of two great creative geniuses come together in a glorious explosion of color and shadow, memory and regret, vengeance and, ultimately, love. ...for many things. For where I left him. For what I did. Buy Link: CHU'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL It is Chu's first day of school. Chu is nervous. He hopes the other boys and girls will be nice. Will they like him? What will happen at school today? Will Chu do what Chu does best? Buy Link: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (Full Cast Production) Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except he lives in a sprawling graveyard and has been raised since infancy by ghosts and a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in a graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, and the strange and terrible Sleer. There are dangers though too, and if Bod leaves the graveyard, he may fall prey to the man Jack, who has already murdered Bod’s entire family. Inventive, chilling, and magical, Neil Gaiman’s Newbery winning and bestselling Graveyard Book is an a classic in the making. This special audiobook features a stunning full cast rendition of the beloved story. Buy Link:

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11. THE TEENAGE BRAIN by Dr. Frances E. Jensen

THE TEENAGE BRAIN by Dr. Frances E. Jensen

Join Dr. Jensen as she translates recent medical discoveries and clinical trials into easily understood information about the brains of teenagers. Dr. Jensen offers a revolutionary look at the adolescent brain, and provides remarkable insights that translate into practical advice for both parents and teenagers.

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This episode is a round table discussion featuring three rising stars in the new adult genre: CORA CARMACK, J. LYNN, and JAY CROWNOVER in conversation with @HarperAudio_US Producer, Caitlin Garing.

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13. A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES read by Dylan Thomas, introduced by Billy Collins

A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES read by Dylan Thomas, introduced by Billy Collins

This holiday season celebrate the joy of poetry with former poet laureate Billy Collins as he introduces the historic Caedmon recording of poet Dylan Thomas reading A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES (in its entirety) recorded in February of 1952.

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14. Anthony Burgess reads A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

Anthony Burgess reads A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

In this 1973 recording, author Anthony Burgess gives a masterful performance of Chapter One of his dystopian novel, “A Clockwork Orange.” Burgess was a linguist and a polyglot, as well as an author, and the dialect he created for his teenage protagonist bursts forth in a seemingly effortless flow. Download A CLOCKWORK ORANGE audiobook via iTunes or Audible

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15. Garth Nix and Ilona Andrews on Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Garth Nix and Ilona Andrews on Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

A discussion about writing genre fiction for adult and children with New York Times bestselling authors Garth Nix, author of the Old Kingdom series including the prequel Clariel, and the duo behind Ilona Andrews, author of several series including the upcoming Hidden Legacy series. Together they talk about how they build their works, creating rules for magic and of course the genres so many of us love, science fiction and fantasy.

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16. THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen


Erika Johansen discusses her new book THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING (HarperCollins, July 8, 2014) with Producer Erin Wicks from @HarperAudio_US. The episode also includes an excerpt from the audio edition featuring the voice of Katherine Kellgren. ABOUT THE BOOK An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy. Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands. Long ago, Kelsea's forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen's Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling. Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen's vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen's Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as "the Fetch." Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea's journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

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17. Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth

#1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth discusses her new book FOUR: A DIVERGENT COLLECTION (HarperCollins, July 8th, 2014) with senior producer Caitlin Garing from @HarperAudio_US. The episode also includes an excerpt from the audio edition of FOUR: A DIVERGENT COLLECTION featuring the voice of Aaron Stanford. Fans of the Divergent series by number-one New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by Four: A Divergent Collection, a companion volume that includes four pre-Divergent stories told from Tobias' point of view. Listeners first encountered Tobias as "Four" in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Listeners will find more of this charismatic character's backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection. When taken together, these long narrative pieces illuminate the defining moments in Tobias' life. The first three pieces in this volume - "The Transfer", "The Initiate", and "The Son" - follow Tobias's transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, "The Traitor", runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving listeners a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty - and love - that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior. Exclusive scenes included!

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18. THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA by Katy Simpson Smith

THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA by Katy Simpson Smith

Katy Simpson Smith discusses her debut novel THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA (on-sale: 8-26-14) with @HarperAudio_US Producer Erin Wicks. This episode also includes an excerpt from the audio edition performed by Edoardo Ballerini. ABOUT THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA Set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, this incandescent debut novel follows three generations of family—fathers and daughters, mother and son, master and slave, characters who yearn for redemption amidst a heady brew of war, kidnapping, slavery, and love. Drawn to the ocean, ten-year-old Tabitha wanders the marshes of her small coastal village and listens to her father’s stories about his pirate voyages and the mother she never knew. Since the loss of his wife Helen, John has remained land-bound for their daughter, but when Tab contracts yellow fever, he turns to the sea once more. Desperate to save his daughter, he takes her aboard a sloop bound for Bermuda, hoping the salt air will heal her. Years before, Helen herself was raised by a widowed father. Asa, the devout owner of a small plantation, gives his daughter a young slave named Moll for her tenth birthday. Left largely on their own, Helen and Moll develop a close but uneasy companionship. Helen gradually takes over the running of the plantation as the girls grow up, but when she meets John, the pirate turned Continental soldier, she flouts convention and her father’s wishes by falling in love. Moll, meanwhile, is forced into marriage with a stranger. Her only solace is her son, Davy, whom she will protect with a passion that defies the bounds of slavery. In this elegant, evocative, and haunting debut, Katy Simpson Smith captures the singular love between parent and child, the devastation of love lost, and the lonely paths we travel in the name of renewal.

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19. Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational

Why was the solution to poor sales of a bread-making machine the introduction of an additional bread-making machine? Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely offers the answer to this and other economic curiosities in his groundbreaking 2008 work, Predictably Irrational. Download the PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL audiobook via iTunes or Audible

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20. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

New York Times bestselling author Karen Abbott discusses her new novel Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy (on-sale: 9-2-14)with @HarperAudio_US Producer Erin Wicks. This episode also includes an excerpt from the audio edition performed by Karen White. About Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy Belle Boyd Emma Edmonds Rose O'Neal Greenhow Elizabeth Van Lew In Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, bestselling author Karen Abbott tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything—their homes, their families, and their very lives—during the Civil War. Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines, all the while fearing that her past would catch up with her. The beautiful widow Rose O'Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians, used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals, and sailed abroad to lobby for the Confederacy, a journey that cost her more than she ever imagined. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives. Abbott's pulse-quickening narrative weaves the adventures of these four forgotten daredevils into the tumultuous landscape of a broken America, evoking a secret world that will surprise even the most avid enthusiasts of Civil War–era history. With a cast of real-life characters, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, Detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoléon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy shines a dramatic new light on these daring—and, until now, unsung—heroines.

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