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Audiobooks by Charles River Editors

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LoveReading Top 10

  1. Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man Audiobook Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man
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  2. The Sin Eater Audiobook The Sin Eater
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  3. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Be Audiobook Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Be
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  4. Near Dark: A Thriller Audiobook Near Dark: A Thriller
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  5. Coming Home to Island House Audiobook Coming Home to Island House
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  6. Outsider: A Novel of Suspense Audiobook Outsider: A Novel of Suspense
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  7. What You Wish For: A Novel Audiobook What You Wish For: A Novel
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  8. The Alchemist Audiobook The Alchemist
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  9. Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex Audiobook Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex
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  10. Tempt Me Audiobook Tempt Me
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Black Bart: The Life and Legacy of the Wild West’s Most Notorious Gentleman Bandit Audiobook

Black Bart: The Life and Legacy of the Wild West’s Most Notorious Gentleman Bandit

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: July 2020

There was no shortage of targets for thieves in the West, and some infamous criminals struck dozens of times. Billy the Kid was rumored to be responsible for 21 deaths, and Jesse James was involved in holding up at least 19 banks, trains, and stagecoaches with his vicious gang, resulting in the deaths of some 20 men. The Sam Bass Gang, captained by another hot-tempered gunslinger and seasoned bandit who terrorized the Midwest, as well as the Lone Star State, carried out what is now remembered as the largest heist in the history of the Union Pacific Railroad, fleeing with $65,000 in gold coin and valuables (equivalent to approximately $1.5 million today). Few could compare to the frightening Felipe Espinosa, the Mexican-American outlaw who killed 32 men in the Colorado Territory in the summer of 1863 alone. Among the outlaws who were known for their gun skills and crimes, a criminal of an entirely different breed emerged – the gentleman bandit. Of them, the most famous is Charles E. Boles, more commonly known by his legendary sobriquet, “Black Bart.” Black Bart reportedly committed at least 28 stagecoach robberies in a span of eight years, but his name never evoked fear or hatred; instead, he was widely respected and even somewhat admired in both criminal and civilian circles. He was, in many ways, unlike any other desperado the Wild West had ever seen, famed for his debonair appearance, his twisted, yet almost commendable sense of morality, and the way he pulled off his crimes, rounded out by his signature calling card, which came in the form of self-penned, poignant poems left behind at crime scenes. In many ways, later outlaws who were in a sense glamorized by the public in the early 20th century, such as Bonnie and Clyde, owed their reputations to the path Black Bart blazed over the course of his criminal career.

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Sulla: The Controversial Life and Legacy of the Roman Dictator Audiobook

Sulla: The Controversial Life and Legacy of the Roman Dictator

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Gregory T. Luzitano Release Date: June 2020

It’s quite possible that none of what Caesar did would’ve happened without the template for such actions being set by Lucius Cornelius Sulla 40 years earlier. At the time, when Caesar was in his teens, war was being waged both on the Italian peninsula and abroad, with domestic politics pitting the conservative, aristocratic optimates against the populist, reformist populares, and this tension ultimately escalated into an all-out war. One of the leading populares was his Caesar’s uncle, Gaius Marius, a military visionary who had restructured the legions and extended the privileges of land ownership and citizenship to legionaries on condition of successful completion of a fixed term of service. In the late 2nd century BCE, Marius had waged a successful campaign against several Germanic tribes, and after earning eternal fame in the Eternal City, Marius was appointed a consul several times, but in 88 BCE he entered into conflict with his erstwhile protégé, the optimate Sulla, over command of the army to be dispatched against Mithridates. Sulla had become renowned in Rome as a general during the Jugurthine, Social, and Mithridatic Wars, but naturally he is now remembered for the gruesome acts committed during his tenure as Rome’s first lifelong dictator. Sulla’s unprecedented period of one-man rule is viewed by many historians as a means of re-establishing peace and order in Roman politics while safeguarding the Republican system from abuse by powerful individuals. In other words, with no small amount of irony, Sulla justified assuming sole power temporarily to prevent others from doing so in the future. However, there are also those who believe that Sulla was just another ambitious politician who wanted to seize power for himself, and once he had power, he used it to carry out mass murder against his political enemies. Either way, the civil war that Sulla ended would give way to another civil war 40 years later. 

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1889-1890 Flu Pandemic, The: The History of the 19th Century’s Last Major Global Outbreak Audiobook

1889-1890 Flu Pandemic, The: The History of the 19th Century’s Last Major Global Outbreak

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Gregory T. Luzitano Release Date: June 2020

The first known influenza pandemic may have occurred in China in 6000 BCE, and the renowned Greek physician Hippocrates described the symptoms of influenza around 600 BCE. The first well-documented pandemic, however, occurred in 1580. It originated in East Asia, spread through Central Asia and the Russian Empire, and then on to Europe. In Rome, about 8,000 people perished and some settlements in Spain disappeared entirely. Europeans brought it to the Americas in the 16th century, where it may contributed to decimating the indigenous populations. After that, flu epidemics hit Europe sporadically for more than 200 years, with that of 1830–33 being one of the worst, when about 25% of 135 million Europeans were infected. Therefore, when an outbreak of flu occurred in the Central Asian city of Bukhara in 1889, it could not have excited any great concern. Certainly, some nearby communities may have anxiously braced themselves, but epidemics had occurred before and Europe had survived. Besides, then – as now – influenza was a disease that affected mostly the elderly and ill. But Europe – and the world – had changed profoundly in recent times. Its states had been industrializing, experimenting with new methods of communication, transportation, and trade, and these very innovations would be the means of spreading the flu, not just through Europe, but across the entire world. For the first time in its history, the world faced a pestilence that would cross every geographical barrier, even the oceans. This meant it would not be an epidemic but a pandemic, embracing the entire globe in its deadly grip.

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English Sweating Sickness, The: The History and Legacy of the Mysterious Disease that Plagued Mediev Audiobook

English Sweating Sickness, The: The History and Legacy of the Mysterious Disease that Plagued Mediev

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Ray Howard Release Date: June 2020

The plague, for all its horrors, became a known quantity that moved through a predictable progression, so by the 15th century, citizens learned to go on with their lives resigned to the fact that these curses seemed inescapable. However, in the mid-15th century, a new “febrile” disease of an entirely unknown cause struck again in Britain in a series of erratically paced and lethal outbreaks between 1485 and 1551. Confined almost entirely to England, the new and unfamiliar wave of illness paled before the statistical destruction caused by the Black Death. However, what came to be known as the “English sweating sickness” reappeared through the decades in a stunning display of unpredictable timing and terrifying symptoms. The anxiety produced by its rapid and grim emergence rivaled that of the previous continental scourge. Surviving the disease offered no defense against reinfection, and what began as mild discomfort in the morning often left a victim dead by nightfall. The new plague’s arrival was indeed poorly timed for a country still recovering from the Black Death. To worsen the burden, respiratory diseases already stalked various communities throughout the British Isles, and a syphilis epidemic was widespread. Typhus and malaria were well known to larger Britain. All that the citizens of England knew was that the new peril was different, lacking the rash of typhus or the boils of bubonic plague, cold comfort at best. The new “sweating sickness” was not preying on Britain - only England. In an uncustomary manner, the sweating sickness chose the aristocracy for its primary target rather than the usual assault on the poor. Worse for the wealthy and ruling class, including the royals, the sweating sickness uncharacteristically infiltrated the ranks of young men aspiring to high places in society and government. In turn, few men and women in their households were spared.

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Landsknechts, The: The History and Legacy of the German Mercenaries Who Fought for the Holy Roman Em Audiobook

Landsknechts, The: The History and Legacy of the German Mercenaries Who Fought for the Holy Roman Em

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Stephen Platt Release Date: June 2020

Artillery and handgonnes had been known since the early 14th century but only became effective near the end of the 15th century, when they were the final factor in the infantry revolution and began to change warfare forever. By the middle of the 15th century, artillery was knocking down castle walls that had stood for generations. Infantry also proved their worth with powerful longbows and tight formations of polearms upsetting the long dominance of mounted, heavily armored knights, and handheld firearms threatened to make armor obsolete. New types of warriors were developed, and new tactics had to take the emerging era of black powder weapons into account, ushering in a time of great change in military strategy, tactics, and technology. The Middle Ages witnessed almost constant warfare in Europe, so mercenaries were a constant on the battlefield, but the 15th century also saw the rise of mercenary usage by the increasingly wealthy aristocracy. One of the finest groups of mercenaries were the Landsknechts from central and northern Europe. The term means “servant of the country,” and they mostly served the Holy Roman Empire, first under Emperor Maximilian I (r. 1508-1519) and then under his successors. The Landsknechts (German: Landsknechte) were masters of the battlefield, adept at pike, sword, and dead shots with the crude matchlocks of the day. The only mercenaries rivaling them were the famous Swiss, who they hated and often fought bitterly. The Landsknechts were as famous for their flamboyant costumes as much as their prowess on the battlefield, and they became symbols of rebellion and freedom in early modern Europe, even as they fought in service of Europe’s largest empire.

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Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars, The: The History of the Russian Conflicts against the Kingdom of Poland a Audiobook

Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars, The: The History of the Russian Conflicts against the Kingdom of Poland a

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: June 2020

The Mongols were pushed out of the region by the Poles and Lithuanians, who then occupied state territories in the 14th century. Poland seized areas in the west, known as Galicia, while Lithuania occupied a northern area called Volynia. The Mongol-Tatars, however, retained control of the Crimean Peninsula, using it as a base for trade, including that of slaves, with the Ottoman Empire. The Tatars would actually strengthen their grip on the Crimea after the Golden Horde’s demise and continue terrifying other European powers. By allying themselves with the Ottomans, the Tatars seemingly lost the potent position they had when they were a part of the Mongol Empire, they were still close to being a superpower from Southeast Europe and the Middle East. Meanwhile, the Ottomans would continue to expand their territory and threaten other European nations for centuries to come. Meanwhile, Russia also began expanding its influence by playing a role in defeating the Mongol hordes. The Russian ruler, Grand Prince of Moscow Ivan III, married the final heir to the Byzantine throne, Sophia (born Zoe) Palaiologina, the daughter of the last emperor of Byzantium, in 1480. Sophia would go on to be the grandmother of Ivan the Terrible, the first tsar of Imperial Russia from 1547-84. As a result of this lineage, the Romanov tsars would claim they were the torchbearers of Orthodox Christianity, descending directly from Byzantium. All of this political maneuvering would bring about one of the most famous battles in the history of Eastern Europe as the various parties sought to fill the power vacuum. The battle would be fought around Orsha, which is today a city of about 118,000 inhabitants on the fork of the Dnieper and Arshytsa Rivers in northern Belarus. One of the oldest settlements in that nation, Orsha has historically been an important center of communication and trade, situated as it is on a major river that flows down into the Black Sea. 

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Eureka Rebellion, The: The History and Legacy of the Gold Miners’ Uprising against the British in Au Audiobook

Eureka Rebellion, The: The History and Legacy of the Gold Miners’ Uprising against the British in Au

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Gregory T. Luzitano Release Date: June 2020

Although Australia was actually colonized by the forced dispossession of the indigenous Aboriginals, the Commonwealth of Australia came about by the free federation of six self-governing British colonies in 1901, which makes it one of just a handful of nations that can proudly claim this.[1] Thus, Australia is often imagined as a nation untouched by the pains that have accompanied the births of most other nations. While it is certainly true that the founding fathers of the Australian federation discussed the future of their nation without the fear of war, it is equally true that Australia’s history was shaped by violence. Along with the forced dispossession of indigenous populations across the continent, there were occasional uprisings among the transported convict population in early colonial times, notably the Castle Hill Convict Rebellion of 1804. In that conflict, 233 Irish convicts faced 97 British soldiers, resulting in the deaths of 15 prisoners. Then there was the so-called Rum Rebellion in 1808, when the New South Wales Corps led by Major George Johnston and the pastoralist John Macarthur deposed the Governor of New South Wales, William Bligh. This event was notable in being the only successful seizure of political power by force of arms in the history of colonial Australia.[2] To the list of politically violent deeds, many historians and commentators add the acts of some bushrangers, notably Ned Kelly (1854–1880), who is often regarded as a political revolutionary.[3] In the relatively short history of colonial Australia, one event stands apart, both for its revolutionary spirit and its impact: the Eureka Rebellion of December 3, 1854. This was the only time in Australian history when a government was resisted by free subjects of the Crown in a violent conflict. It only took place in one colony, Victoria, but it was an important event in the evolution of the democratic government in Australia as a whole.

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Ma Barker and the Barker-Karpis Gang: The Controversial History of the Criminal Gang during the Grea Audiobook

Ma Barker and the Barker-Karpis Gang: The Controversial History of the Criminal Gang during the Grea

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Stephen Platt Release Date: June 2020

Among America’s most infamous “Public Enemies,” perhaps the most unique and controversial was Kate Barker. With her prominent, hawk-tipped nose and plump, doughy face, framed by a classic dark curly coif and frilly day dresses to match, Ma Barker was as non-threatening as they come. Nary a second glance was given to this grandmotherly figure by those who crossed her path, perhaps at most a polite tip of the hat. Of course, as the age-old adage goes, appearances are often deceiving. According to the FBI and portrayals in popular culture, not only was Ma Barker a crass, greedy, and highly manipulative individual who coaxed her sons into the abyss-like vortex of criminality, she was the matriarchal mastermind of one of the most notorious gangs of the Dirty Thirties era.  The Ma Barker Gang, as they were so branded, wasn't a typical band of small-time crooks. Quite the contrary, the unorthodox family-run enterprise was, as described by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, “the most vicious, cold-blooded crew of murderers, kidnappers, and robbers in recent memory.” The gang was as accomplished – and dangerous – as it was elusive, and between 1930 and 1933 alone, they made off with an estimated $3 million. In their heyday, the gang boasted some 25 members, and through it all, the Barker boys remained its core members. Blood, as per the Barker code, would always be thicker than water. The obvious novelty of the alleged gang leader's identity aside, the disturbing fates of the Barker brothers and many of their associates served as a cautionary tale about the dangers and delusions that ensue when one becomes consumed by unbridled avarice and arrogance. But why were the Barker brothers, once innocent young lads, steered so far off the path of righteousness? What was the true depth of Ma's involvement in the gang's laundry list of despicable crimes? How did the once untouchable gang's winning streak culminate in such catastrophic disaster? 

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European Union, The: The History of the Political and Economic Union of Europe’s Nations after World Audiobook

European Union, The: The History of the Political and Economic Union of Europe’s Nations after World

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: May 2020

After two world wars that had decimated the continent of Europe in little more than thirty years, leading politicians believed that a supranational body needed to be created to bring a permanent form of peace to Europe. After the First World War, there was a failed attempt led by US President Woodrow Wilson to create a global League of Nations. After the Second World War, in 1945, the intercontinental organization designed to bring peace and security to the world, the United Nations, was established. However, those in Europe wanted to create a pan-European movement due to European countries’ historical, cultural, economic, and social ties. Such a union of European countries would also make it easier to for the United States to administer aid to the countries it had agreed to financially help with the Marshall Plan. The origins of the European Union started with a bilateral treaty signed by France and Britain in 1947. Through a number of treaties, the alliance among Western European countries grew in strength and power to encompass economic, political, and social ideals. The first formal organization, the European Coal and Steel Community comprising six countries, gave way to the more cohesive organization the European Economic Community, which in turn was a forebear to the European Union. During this evolution the European confederate project continued to grow in geographical size, economic cohesion, and shared political beliefs. Today, the European Union now has 27 member countries and a population of nearly 450 million, with shared political institutions, a common economic market, an international currency in circulation in the majority of member states, and a commitment to peace, democracy, justice, and human rights.

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Domestication of Dogs, The: The History of Dogs’ Genetic Divergence from Wolves and the Origins of T Audiobook

Domestication of Dogs, The: The History of Dogs’ Genetic Divergence from Wolves and the Origins of T

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Gregory T. Luzitano Release Date: May 2020

As the oft-repeated and invariably accurate pearl of wisdom goes, a dog truly is man's best friend. For a long time, people have almost universally loved dogs, and it seems to have been that way for at least tens of thousands of years. When affection is abundantly and consistently expressed, this pure, unspoken, wholesome love is one that is very much requited, and then some. This bond can be demonstrated by the mere existence of pet keepers who unironically refer to themselves as “dog parents,” not merely “dog owners.” Of course, this camaraderie between man and dog did not materialize overnight. Quite the contrary, the relationship between people and dogs gradually evolved and steadily strengthened over several millennia, following a premise best summed up by the dog's metamorphosis from a predator to a lifelong companion. Apart from friendship and companionship, dogs may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and they have been trained to provide loyal and competent service in a variety of fields, ranging from seeing-eye dogs to vest-wearing police partners, among other lines of work. The Domestication of Dogs: The History of Dogs’ Genetic Divergence from Wolves and the Origins of Their Relationship with Humans examines the origins of this exceptional bond, including scientific and mythical theories, and explores how wolves gave rise to a new species marked by hundreds of breeds. It also looks at the cultural roles that canines have played around the world throughout the ages.

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Crypto-Jews, The: The History of the Forcibly Converted Jews Who Secretly Practiced Judaism during t Audiobook

Crypto-Jews, The: The History of the Forcibly Converted Jews Who Secretly Practiced Judaism during t

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: May 2020

By the end of the 14th century, the distrust and prejudice against Jewish communities quickly spread to Spain. In 1391, James II of Aragon boarded the bandwagon; backed into a corner by the Roman Catholic Church, he established a law that banned Jews from Spain altogether. Jews were shunned in droves, and the remaining were given an ultimatum to either convert/revert to Catholicism or face immediate death. Yet another wave of gory pogroms ensued across the country, especially in Barcelona. For nearly 400 years, the city of Barcelona had served as the central hub of the European Jewish communities, but in just 3 years, all 23 Jewish synagogues in Barcelona had been forcibly demolished. Nothing but charred remnants and ashes lay in its place.  When the Spanish Inquisition was in full swing, the inquisitors' handbooks included tips and guidelines on how to identify a rogue Jewish converso, or as others mocked them, the “crypto-Jews.” Inquisitors were on the lookout for individuals who did their cooking and cleaning on Friday nights, which was a Jewish habit. These relapsos frequented local Jewish stores to stock up on kosher meals. The latter individuals were fairly easy to spot, as most Spaniards at the time consumed hearty amounts of pork, a staple prohibited in Jewish and Muslim law. The absence of chimney smoke on Saturday nights was another clue that those inside could be honoring the Sabbath. Nonetheless, the “crypto-Jews” would continue to secretly practice their religion and run the risk of incurring the Inquisition’s wrath, all the way up until the notorious expulsion of the Jews in Spain at the end of the 15th century. 

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Great Schism, The: The History and Legacy of the Split Between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Chu Audiobook

Great Schism, The: The History and Legacy of the Split Between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Chu

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Stephen Platt Release Date: May 2020

For nearly a thousand years following its foundation, there was only one Christian Church. Centered in the city of Rome, the Church expanded and grew until it became the dominant religion in Europe and beyond. The early growth of the Church had been suppressed by the Romans until the Emperor Constantine became the first to convert the empire to Christianity, and from that point forward, the growth of the Church Was inextricably linked with the Roman Empire, the most powerful military, economic, and political force in the ancient world. Constantinople became the second most important city of the Roman Empire, thriving in parallel with Rome, but then the empire split into Eastern and Western provinces, with Constantinople the capital of the east and Rome the capital of the west. Control of trade routes made Constantinople increase in power and influence while Rome became less important. However, not all power and influence shifted east, because one important institution remained firmly linked with the city of Rome: the Bishops of the Church. Under the rule of previous emperors, Christian Bishops had not only been formally recognized, but had been given power within the Roman state. The most important of all was 'I Sommi Pontefici Romani” the supreme pontiff of Rome. The earliest holders of this title were martyrs and saints of the Church, but by the time of the rise of Constantinople, this role was elected by the other Bishops of the Church. This role would later become known as the Pope (from the Greek word “pappas” meaning “father”), but even before that title was adopted, the Supreme Pontiff in Rome was widely recognized as the leader of the Church. In historical terms, these early leaders of the Church are often referred to as “popes” even though that title was not formally adopted until after the division the Church.

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