During your time at home, enjoy these great reads … I mean listens

Published 10:34 am Friday, April 3, 2020

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library Local History Librarian. This week’s column focuses on the audiobooks available through the library. Due to the concerns of the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the library is closed through at least April 20. Remember, you can find additional titles at wcvpl.blogspot.com.

This week’s column features titles from our AudioBookCloud resource. Remember to go to https://wcvpl.biblionix.com and select AudioBookCloud from the list on the left side of the page. This resource does not require you to login or even to have a library card.

Patricia Highsmith delivers a taut psychological thriller in This Sweet Sickness (originally published in 1960). David Kelsey is a young scientist with an unwavering belief that his life will turn out as he wants if he can just eliminate one hurdle. His problem is that he is passionately in love with a married woman and the only way they can be together is if the husband is no longer around. Annabelle is the object of his obsession and his delusional belief that she will be his leads David to keep a fully furnished cabin for her, but how far will he go to attain his perfect life?

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Jazz musician Evan Horne returns to the United States after a successful European tour and settles into San Francisco in Shades of Blue by Bill Moody. Evan reconnects with his old flame, FBI agent Andie Lawrence and begins to make headway in the San Francisco jazz scene. When his old friend Calvin Hughes dies, he leaves Evan his Hollywood house, his money, and quite a collection of handwritten sheet music. Evan begins playing through the handwritten music and he recognizes some of the songs in the stacks. Was his friend an uncredited writer of these jazz classics? Soon he is on his way across the country to confront his mother and get some answers about his old friend and mentor.

Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley is a novel about a vibrant young woman living abroad in the 1980s. Willie Pears has lived in Paris for six months surrounded by the people she loves the most: her brother, Luke; her funny and wise college roommate, Sarah; and Sarah’s do-gooder husband, Rajiv. She’s met Macon Ventri, a passionate attorney for the detained girls at the immigrant center where she teaches. Willie becomes very involved in the lives of the young women seeking asylum; so much so, that the lines between teaching and mothering have become blurred. Willie is especially drawn to a young Indian girl named Gita who is determined to be free. When Luke comes down with a serious, but yet-unnamed illness, Willie will have to confront her fears about her brother’s death and what it means to be family.

In The Wolf and The Man by Max Brand, a simple act of compassion leads to a man named Dave Reagan becoming a fugitive. When a huge, lone wolf named Grey Cloud begins terrorizing the territory, if falls upon big Dave to kill the animal. Dave is considered little more than a dimwit, but when Grey Cloud gets caught in two of Dave’s traps, he cannot bring himself to destroy the animal. Instead, he brings the injured wolf home and chains it in a shed behind his blacksmith shop and cares for it. Thinking this act of kindness will earn him the respect of his cousins was Dave’s biggest mistake, however. With a $2,500 reward for Grey Cloud, his cousins are set to kill the animal and collect, but Dave and Grey Cloud escape to the wilderness where they become fugitives. Not only must they survive the elements, but they must stay one step ahead of their money-hungry pursuers.

In The Collectibles by James J. Kaufman, two men from different worlds are brought together and are dramatically changed by their encounter. Joe Hart has never forgotten his uncle’s words: “Do what the other fella can’t. Be what the other fella ain’t. And then help the other fella.” An orphan from the Adirondack Mountains, Joe has distinguished himself, first as a Navy submarine commander, and then as a top attorney in his field. Preston Wilson grew up in a world of wealth and privilege yet harbors a deep-rooted fear of financial failure. When his fears appear to be coming true, Preston need for an attorney leads him to Joe who agrees to help but adds a caveat to their agreement: an unspecified condition when called upon. Preston is desperate so he agrees. When the IOU is called in, the self-absorbed Preston balks when Joe tells him he must meet, earn the trust of, and care for several people.

Snowflakes in a Clear Night Sky is a short-story collection by Jamie Sutliff that contains ten tales based on a diverse range of subjects, from true crime to historical fiction and fantasy. The title story is based on Native American folklore. “A Dark Quiet Place” is based on a true-crime incident involving a troubled boy and gun violence. In “Adirondack Mountains 5000 BC,” based on early northeastern indigenous peoples, an archaeologist discovers cave drawings in the Adirondack Mountains and tells the story she finds in a pictograph. “Amanda Paine and the Yah-Ko” is another tale based on Native American folklore. In “Village Murder,” based on a true crime, a man murders his wife for insurance money. “Motorcycle Man” is a comedy based on a true incident of a motorcycle gang traveling in the mountains. “Phyllis” is a dark comedy about a woman who decides to kill her boyfriend because he will not marry her. “The Son of Amaros” tells the story of a fallen angel and is based on the Books of Enoch, discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls. “Virginia and Mouse” is the true story of a woman and her horse. Finally, “The Devil Wind” is based on a true incident that occurred during the Iraq War, when approximately $9 billion-in cash-went missing while under the care of Blackwater contractors. In 2012, $6 billion was recovered. This story is a fictionalized account of what could have happened to the missing $3 billion.