by Richard Mason
read by Dan Stevens
Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens reads Mason’s "glittering confection" (New York Times) about God, sex and overcoming fear in the Gilded Age.
The story comes to life with photos of old Amsterdam, author videos, historical notes, and performances of Chopin, Bizet and Mozart.
Piet Barol, "the fantasy everyman that every man would like to be" (Times Literary Supplement), is hired by Europe’s richest hotelier, a self-made Calvinist who has rolled the dice on the building of New York’s Plaza Hotel.
Maarten’s wife tries not to mind that they never have sex, while his daughters reign as queens over their social set.
From the outside, all is enviable. But the wheels are coming off Maarten’s business empire, and his 10-year-old son refuses to leave the house. The dysfunctions of the glittering family are more than Piet bargained for.
In this "enthralling and perfectly paced novel" (Observer) he walks a tightrope between delight and danger.
by Harriet Sergeant
read by Joanna Lumley
Commissioned in 2008 to write a think-tank report on British gangs, Sergeant discovered firsthand how the government fails its inner-city youth. What began as a conversation outside a chicken take-away shop became a three-year attempt to change the lives of a group of teenaged boys, taking her from job centres and the care system to prisons and failing schools.
Her experiences left her believing that the state has played an integral part in creating gang culture in Britain--and that the entire system must change if we want to help these young men.
The author’s proceeds from the sale of this Orson are being split between her, the boys featured in the book, and the parents of Swagger, who first introduced her to them.
“What Sergeant conveys, subtly, yet with anger, is how the gang's behaviour makes crazy sense.” (Daily Telegraph)
“Sergeant shares George Orwell’s clarity and integrity and his readiness to mix with those he seeks to understand." (Mail on Sunday)
by Tom Sancton
read by Tom Sancton
Teeming with illustrations, archival photography, 27 sound recordings and 10 short films, the Orson edition of Song for My Fathers is a triumph in digital storytelling.
A young white boy is driven by a consuming passion to learn the music and ways of a group of aging black jazzmen in the twilight of the segregation era. Contemporaries of Louis Armstrong, they called themselves "the mens", and they welcomed the young apprentice into their ranks.
His memoir unfolds against the vivid backdrop of New Orleans which is perhaps the central player, for this story could not have taken place anywhere else.
"A story with an insider's heart, a reporter's eye, and the pure feeling of a New Orleans musician." (Wynton Marsalis)
"Sancton's prose seduces like a good second-line parade." (Entertainment Weekly)
"Finally, a book about New Orleans music from a totally fresh perspective." (Woody Allen
by Nicholas Fox Weber
The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
A preview of the upcoming Orson edition of Sounding Albers, this sample features the drawings and designs of Anni Albers.
The unique technology of an Orson allows you to combine the experience of listening to well-suited music while looking at the art for which it has been chosen.
Anni Albers delighted in the weaving process almost as soon as she entered the Bauhaus at age twenty-two. The music that accompanies the selections of her work within this Orson provides a delightful progression--from the concerns of everyday living to the realm of artistic beauty, and to what is “universal and timeless,” the goal Anni often stated for her work.
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
read by Shawn Carter Peterson
Includes over 80 images, original musical selections referenced by Fitzgerald, and essays and short lecture films.
The ultimate edition of the greatest American classic, curated by leading Gatsby scholar Sarah Churchwell. American magazine covers from the months of 1922 when the novel is set animate pages to reveal further contemporaneous windows into the context of the story.
The music to which Fitzgerald set Gatsby’s parties accompanies the relevant passages, while Q&A essays and videos with Churchwell will make you unlearn everything your teacher taught you about this classic.
by Leslie Maitland
read by Leslie Maitland
An award-winning New York Times reporter’s investigation into her mother’s forbidden romance and harrowing flight from the Nazis – and the life she found thereafter in America.
On a pier in Marseille in 1942, an eighteen-year-old German Jewish girl was pried from the arms of the Catholic Frenchman she loved and promised to marry. Five years later she would build a new life in New York with a dynamic American husband.
Maitland grew up enthralled by her mother’s accounts of forbidden romance and harrowing flight from the Nazis. Her book is both a vivid depiction of a world at war and a personal pursuit of her mother's lost love.
by Benj Hewitt
read by Sam Riegl
Clinton still believes in a place called Hope, the dot-com boom is on the horizon, and the nation smells like teen spirit. It’s the early ‘90s, and a recent Harvard graduate figures everything is breaking his way. Until it isn’t.
Childhood begins in Berkeley, California, where “mothers attend women’s groups; fathers prepare dinner; and grandparents are, in general confused.”
Enter the era of Gen X, Green Day, and Dr. Dre. Late nights become heated over the merits of Dazed and Confused versus Schindler’s List. But when the narrator’s mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he slips into an escapist whirl of romantic liaisons and crystal meth benders.
This début novel blends humor and heartbreak with the realities of what it means to grow up.
A Steinbeck Short Fiction Award Winner
by Émile Zola
read by Tim Campbell
It’s about filthy-mouthed fruit-sellers and a market full of people “gorging themselves and growing fat”.
Florent Quenu is painfully thin after escaping seven years of imprisonment in French Guiana. Paris in 1858 has abandoned the ideals of the resistance for which he fought and has swallowed Louis-Napoleon’s materialism whole-hog. Nowhere do the consequences of Haussmanns’s urban reconstruction feel more nauseating than in Les Halles, where rotting food can be sold at a premium and gossip is a prized commodity.
Zola’s apocalyptic descriptions are for realists, not romantics. His unsweetened account of human nature reeks of today.
This third volume in Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series is illustrated by Ian Sklarsky and includes the photographs of Charles Marville and paintings by Manet and Cézanne.
by William Shakespeare
read by L.A. Theatre Works
This illustrated edition is set to the script for the 2011 L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) radio recording. Images include historic set designs and staged portraits of some of the play's most notable performers.
Infamously known as the cursed “Scottish play,” Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When three witches tell General Macbeth that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way.
As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.
Starring James Marsten (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Hawaii Five-O) and Joanna Whalley (The Borgias, Edge of Darkness, Gossip Girl). Directed by Martin Jarvis.
The Bible Beautiful Series is written and illustrated by Benjamin Morse. This award-winning Torah or Old Testament was published in 2012 and named a Top Religion and Spirituality Book for Youth (Booklist). Universal figures appeal to all ethnicities. Hand-cut collages bring a distinctive beauty to the greatest classic of all time.
"Staggering, sophisticated, offbeat, and enticing. Highly recommended for all libraries." (The Association of Jewish Libraries)
"A beautiful, brilliant work of art" (Jewish Book World, starred review)
"Children and adults will relish this journey of epic proportions." (Publishers Weekly)
"Amazingly ambitious" (The Rev. Prof. Jane Shaw, Dean of Religious Studies, Stanford University)
"A gorgeous retelling: a new delight for all." (Jane Ciabattari, National Book Critics Circle)
The News about Jesus and How He Saved the World is a New Testament "sequel" that offers a faithful summary of the sacred writings about Jesus, his disciples, and God’s love for the world.
Released in October 2018, it emphasizes the call to compassion and the mission of one who healed the sick, befriended the outcasts, and comforted the poor.
Like an illuminated manuscript of old, Scripture comes alive through expressive forms and vibrant colors. The prose style respects the young reader’s intelligence
"It gathers up [the author's] knowledge, humor, imagination, aesthetic brilliance, and faith in the most wonderful way possible.” (Ellen Davis, Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke University)
The Junior Library Guild has awarded it a Gold Standard Seal for 2019.
It also won the 2019 Illumination Award for Best Children's Picture Book.