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CD The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow THE FIRST MAJOR WORK IN NEARLY A DECADE BY ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT THINKERS—A MARVELOUSLY CONCISE BOOK WITH NEW ANSWERS TO THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS OF LIFE When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? And, finally, is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? The most fundamental questions about the origins of the universe and of life itself, once the province of philosophy, now occupy the territory where scientists, philosophers, and theologians meet—if only to disagree. In their new book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by both brilliance and simplicity. In The Grand Design they explain that according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. When applied to the universe as a whole, this idea calls into question the very notion of cause and effect. But the “top-down” approach to cosmology that Hawking and Mlodinow describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us. The authors further explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. Along the way Hawking and Mlodinow question the conventional concept of reality, posing a “model-dependent” theory of reality as the best we can hope to find. And they conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing us and our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a complete “theory of everything.” If confirmed, they write, it will be the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, and the ultimate triumph of human reason. A succinct, startling, and lavishly illustrated guide to discoveries that are altering our understanding and threatening some of our most cherished belief systems, The Grand Design is a book that will inform—and provoke—like no other.' Learn More
Audio CD's The Litigators by John Grisham (Goodreads Author) The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago. And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him. With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25 billion, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it have suffered heart attacks. Wally smells money. A little online research confirms Wally’s suspicions—a huge plaintiffs’ firm in Florida is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. All Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they won’t even have to enter a courtroom! It almost seems too good to be true. And it is. The Litigators is a tremendously entertaining romp, filled with the kind of courtroom strategies, theatrics, and suspense that have made John Grisham America’s favorite storyteller. Learn More
Audio CD's The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella (Goodreads Author) Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership. Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer–and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope–and finds love–is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake. But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back? Learn More
Audio Genesis Force (Star Trek: The Next Generation) by John Vornholt As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create. -- Spock, STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan Following on the success and popularity of Genesis Wave: Books One, Two, and Three, John Vornholt pulls together a group of STAR TREK(R) heroes with a mission unlike any other The passing of the Genesis Wave has damaged hundreds of worlds in the newly named Genesis Sector, and chaos reigns throughout that area of space. Each world has been changed in different ways, and a group of extraordinary men and women -- some old friends, some new faces -- have been assigned the job of getting the devastated planets back on their feet. The first job: To resettle an entire displaced alien race on its altered home planet, where the dead come back to life, microbes have reached gigantic size, and the new ecology taking over the world is one not fit for man or genetically altered beast... Learn More
Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) by Janet Evanovich (Goodreads Author), Lorelei King Janet Evanovich’s #1 New York Times bestselling sensation Stephanie Plum returns in her twenty-fourth thriller as mutilated corpses litter the streets of New Jersey... Trouble comes in bunches for Stephanie Plum. First, professional grave robber and semi-professional loon, Simon Diggery, won’t let her take him in until she agrees to care for his boa constrictor, Ethel. Stephanie’s main qualification for babysitting an extremely large snake is that she owns a stun gun—whether that’s for use on the wandering serpent or the petrified neighbors remains to be seen. Events take a dark turn when headless bodies start appearing across town. At first, it’s just corpses from a funeral home and the morgue that have had the heads removed. But when a homeless man is murdered and dumped behind a church Stephanie knows that she’s the only one with a prayer of catching this killer. If all that’s not enough, Diesel’s back in town. The 6-foot-tall, blonde-haired hunk is a man who accepts no limits—that includes locked doors, closed windows and underwear. Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli isn’t pleased at this unexpected arrival nor is Ranger, the high-powered security consultant who has his own plans for Stephanie. As usual Jersey’s favorite bounty hunter is stuck in the middle with more questions than answers. What’s the deal with Grandma Mazur’s latest online paramour? Who is behind the startling epidemic of mutilated corpses? And is the enigmatic Diesel’s sudden appearance a coincidence or the cause of recent deadly events? Learn More
Leopards Kill by Jim DeFelice (Goodreads Author), William Dufris A journey into the hell that is the War on Terror--a Heart of Darkness for the new century. Former Army Special Forces soldier Jack Pilgrim has it all - big bucks, a successful security business with plush government contracts, a beautiful wife. Then Pilgrim's partner, Merc Conrad, goes missing in Afghanistan with a chunk of government cash and most of the company's assets. The CIA threatens to throw Pilgrim in jail if he doesn't find Merc and return the money. Pilgrim knows his business--and his extravagant lifestyle--are on the line, but Merc saved Jack's life three times while they served together in the Army in Afghanistan. So Jack owes him. Big. Determined to find Conrad, Pilgrim returns to Afghanistan. The country in chaos as the US prepares to pull out. Pilgrim follows Merc's trail to the border area of Pakistan; with every step he seems to descend deeper into a Dantesque hell. Rumor has it that Conrad has fielded a guerilla army and is hot on the trail of Osama bin Laden. The further into the uncharted border zone Jack Pilgrim goes, the larger the legend of Merc Conrad becomes. Warding off insurgent attacks and pockets of terror cells, Pilgrim's odyssey into the Afghan badlands has him questioning his own reality, and the closer he seems to get to Conrad, the more peril he faces. If Jack Pilgrim wants to get out of Afghanistan alive, he may need Merc Conrad now more than ever. Learn More
Audiobook - 6 discs 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton, Jack Garrett (Narrator) This is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who entered Afghanistan immediately following September 11, 2001 and, riding to war on horses, defeated the Taliban. Outnumbered 40 to 1, they capture the strategic Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, and thereby effectively defeat theTalibanthroughout the rest of the country. They are welcomed as liberators as they ride on horses into the city. And then, the action takes a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers are ambushed by the would-be P.O.W.s and, still dangerously outnumbered, they must fight for their lives in the city's ancient fortress known as Qala-I Janghi, or the House of War . . . Learn More
Audiobook - 6 discs The Longest Ride: Bookrack Edition by Nicholas Sparks (Goodreads Author), Ron McLarty (Reading), January LaVoy (Reading) In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways. Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together. A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first. Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart. *Booktrack editions are essentially a new genre of digital storytelling entertainment. Music and ambient audio are added to complement and enhance the audiobook experience. It is a synchronized movie-style soundtrack that complements the narration of existing audiobooks; the tempo and rhythm of the score harmonize with action, dialogue and the characters' emotional arcs. Learn More
Aurdiobook - 5 discs Iron River (Charlie Hood #3) by T. Jefferson Parker (Goodreads Author), David Colacci (Read by) On a dusty highway just north of the United States/Mexico border, a man named Mike Finnegan is struck by a fast-moving vehicle and flung into the desert. Miraculously, he survives and winds up in a hospital in the tiny border town of Buenavista, seemingly in full possession of his faculties — including the eerie ability to understand events happening well outside the view from his hospital bed. Charlie Hood joins a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms task force patrolling the “iron river,” where illegal guns flow from United States dealers to the Mexican drug business. Hood is part of a stakeout team when a federal officer’s bullet kills an innocent boy. The boy happens to be the son of Benjamin Armenta, head of the Gulf Cartel and one of the most violent men in the world. Armenta’s thirst for vengeance even in routine business matters is well known. His hired killers are credited with many of the murders and beheadings of the fifteen thousand people who have died in the cartel wars along the border in recent years. Hood and ATF brace themselves for brute vengeance. As this unthinkable violence leaks from Mexico into the United States, and as Finnegan’s predictive powers become even stranger and stronger, Charlie Hood works to understand the mysterious forces fighting for control of this tiny border town, forces that may have the power to slow the iron river — and to save the ATF men he has come to think of as his brothers. Learn More
Audio CD's The Nanny Diaries (Nanny #1) by Emma McLaughlin (Goodreads Author), Nicola Kraus (Goodreads Author) Wanted: One young woman to take care of four-year-old boy. Must be cheerful, enthusiastic and selfless--bordering on masochistic. Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a deliberately nap-deprived preschooler. Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family. Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculously erratic pay. Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employers Hermès bag. Those who take it personally need not apply. Who wouldn't want this job? Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family. She rapidly learns the insane amount of juggling involved to ensure that a Park Avenue wife who doesn't work, cook, clean, or raise her own child has a smooth day. When the X's' marriage begins to disintegrate, Nanny ends up involved way beyond the bounds of human decency or good taste. Her tenure with the X family becomes a nearly impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four-year-old, her own integrity and, most importantly, her sense of humor. Over nine tense months, Mrs. X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power as they test the limits of modern-day servitude. Written by two former nannies, The Nanny Diaries deftly punctures the glamour of Manhattan's upper class. Learn More
Audio The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer (Goodreads Author) When her husband Kenny dumps her (by cell phone) mere months before their ten-year wedding anniversary, Gracie Pollock finds herself reeling. Though her role as the wife of a semifamous Hollywood studio executive often left her cold, Gracie had grown accustomed to the unique privileges extended to Tinseltown’s power elite: reservations at Spago on a Friday night; beauty treatments by dermatologists (Arnie), manicurists (Jessica), and colorists (Christophe) to the stars; line-jumping at Disneyland with her daughter and Ugg-wearing celebrity offspring. And despite consenting to naming their daughter Jaden in a (failed) attempt to lure Will Smith into one of Kenny’s productions, Gracie believed she and Kenny were different from other Hollywood couples. She never thought she’d be a starter wife. But now that her marriage is over, she’s a social pariah, and it’s only through a faux pas by her world-class florist that she learns her husband has upgraded: Kenny is dating a pop tartlet. With images of the ‘tween queen everywhere she turns, Gracie seeks refuge at her best friend’s Malibu mansion for some much-needed divorce therapy. Soon she’s associating with all the wrong people, including a mysterious hunk who saves her from drowning, the security guard at her gated community, and—God forbid—Kenny’s boss, one of Hollywood’s better-known Lotharios. With her signature wit, sassy style, and cameos of the rich and famous—and wannabe rich and famous—Gigi Grazer tackles the most delicious and dastardly details of a divorce and recovery, Hollywood style. Learn More
Audio Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wriggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same. Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, and stole women's undergarments. Obedience school did no good -- Marley was expelled. And yet his heart was pure. Just as Marley joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. A dog like no other, Marley remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms. Learn More