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Talking Books Talk provides news and updates about the Kansas Talking Books Service (KTBS). Talking Books staff will highlight relevant announcements from KTBS and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Questions: KTB@ks.gov or 800-362-0699

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Sep 04

PBS Great American Read Talking Book List

Posted on September 4, 2018 at 12:44 PM by Michael Lang

The Great American Read Logo

Not all of the books on The Great American Read list are available from Kansas Talking Books or NLS. Below is a list of what is available.

Those interested in reading these titles can contact the library at KTB@ks.gov, phone 800-362-0699, request them online through the WebOPAC; or download the digital and available braille books from the Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD).

Happy Reading!

1984 by George Orwell

DB025710 (Spanish Language) Read by Maria del Carmen Siccardi. Reading time: 14 hours, 42 minutes.

DB034268  Read by Andy Pyle. Reading time: 11 hours, 15 minutes.

DB073474  Read by Andy Pyle. Reading time: 13 hours, 56 minutes.

A satirical, frightening novel about a future time under a totalitarian regime, where the people believe ignorance is strength and war is peace. For high school and older readers. For senior high and older readers. 1949.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
DB015223  Read by John Pielmeier. Reading time: 6 hours, 17 minutes.

DB029965 (Spanish Language)  Read by Aroura Urby. Reading time: 5 hours, 19 minutes.

DB053084  Read by Terence Aselford. Reading Time: 7 hours, 21 minutes.

A mischievous boy growing up in a Mississippi River town in the 19th century impresses his friends and horrifies adults by associating with the son of the town drunk, running away from home, attending his own funeral, witnessing a murder, and finding lost treasure. For grades 6-9 and older readers. 1876.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

DB037602  Read by John Polk. Reading time: 4 hours, 15 minutes.

DB046982 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Ramirez. Reading time: 4 hours, 47 minutes.

Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, dreams of riches and longs to see the world. He sails to Tangiers, crosses the desert, and eventually reaches Egypt, where he discovers his real destiny. On his journey, Santiago encounters a series of spiritual guides, including the alchemist who advises him to follow his heart. 1988.

Alex Cross Mysteries (series) by James Patterson

DB035894 (First Book in Series)  Read by Chuck Benson. Reading time: 11 hours, 2 minutes.

Serial murder; bank robbery; kidnapping -- all of these crimes and more are investigated by Washington, D.C. police detective/psychologist Alex Cross. Told from the points of view of both Cross and the killer, these roller-coaster cases have plenty of twists and grisly details. Strong language, violence, and descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 1993.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

DB012392  Read by Yvonne Fair Tessler. Reading time: 6 hours, 10 minutes.

DB050842  Read by Yvonne Fair Tessler. Reading time: 6 hours, 11 minutes.

Extraordinary things happen to Alice when she follows a white rabbit into a hole and encounters the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, and other strange characters. For grades 4-7 and older readers. 1865.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

DB077188  Read by Erin Jones. Reading time: 18 hours, 29 minutes.

After studying in the United States for thirteen years, Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman who blogs about race, returns home to Lagos. She has endured enough cultural issues and misses her first love. But the Nigerians label her an "Americanah." Some strong language. National Critics Book Prize winner. 2013.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

DB011077  Read by Burt Blackwell. Reading time: 6 hours, 13 minutes.

DB052972 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 6 hours, 9 minutes.

Ten oddly-assorted people find themselves the house-guests of an invisible host who slowly begins killing them one by one. 1967.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

DB014670  Read by Dale Carter. Reading time: 9 hours, 29 minutes.

DB056114  Read by Barbara Rappaport. Reading time: 11 hours, 15 minutes.

Classic story of mischievous orphan girl with fiery red hair, a quick temper, and a vivid imagination. The orphanage sends her to a shy Nova Scotia farmer and his no-nonsense sister even though the family had requested a boy. But the longer Anne stays with them, the less they can remember life without her. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 1935.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

DB010370  Read by Gordon Gould. Reading time: 62 hours, 4 minutes.

DB051074  Read by Michael Scherer. Reading time: 58 hours, 4 minutes.

Dagny Taggart, manager of a transcontinental railroad, opposes John Galt and others who relinquish control over their enterprises in exchange for security through government regulations. Espouses the clear-cut social values of the author's philosophy of objectivism within a fictional story line. Thirty-fifth anniversary edition with new introduction in 1992. Some strong language. 1957.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

DB026026  Read by Yvonne Fair Tessler. Reading time: 11 hours, 31 minutes.

Related in kaleidoscopic fashion and set in rural Ohio during the period immediately following the Civil War, this chronicle of slavery and its aftermath traces the life of Sethe, a former slave. Sethe has a secret in her past so horrific that it has alienated the community, driven off her two sons, isolated her surviving daughter, and threatened her new, loving relationship with Paul D., also a former slave. Bestseller. Some violence.1987.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

DB062431  Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 15 hours, 32 minutes.

DB067987 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 14 hours, 59 minutes.

Death narrates the tale of nine-year-old Liesel from 1939 to 1943 in Nazi Germany. Liesel copes with a foster family, air raids, her friend Rudy, and a hidden Jew, sustained by the books she steals. Michael L. Printz honor book. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2006.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

DB065402  Read by Barry Bernson. Reading time: 9 hours, 33 minutes.

DB067964 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Ramirez. Reading time: 13 hours, 43 minutes.

New Jersey. Overweight Dominican American Oscar works as a substitute teacher and dreams about being a famous writer. Oscar grew up with his rebellious sister Lola and beautiful mother, but the ancient curse of fukú haunts their lives--until he decides to do something about it. Violence and strong language. Pulitzer Prize. Bestseller. 2007.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

DB012550 (Spanish Language)  Read by Emilio De Torre. Reading time: 4 hours, 37 minutes.

DB027843  Read by Steve Grad. Reading time: 3 hours, 18 minutes.

DB049486  Read by L. J. Ganser. Reading time: 3 hours, 36 minutes.

Buck, a St. Bernard, is stolen and trained to be a sled dog in the Alaska gold fields. Abused by both men and dogs, Buck learns to fight ruthlessly until he finds in John Thornton a master he loves and respects. 1903.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

DB018132  Read by Leon Janney. Reading time: 18 hours, 23 minutes.

DB048063  Read by Gary Telles. Reading time: 20 hours, 3 minutes.

Bombardier Yossarian desperately tries to stay alive during World War II. Military rules make it impossible for anyone to achieve the combat quota necessary to quit flying. Yossarian and his buddies concoct ways to avoid the ridiculous orders of their officers. Strong language and descriptions of sex. 1989.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

DB012335  Read by Ray Hagen. Reading time: 6 hours, 8 minutes.

DB047480  Read by Ray Hagen. Reading time: 6 hours, 54 minutes.

As Christmas vacation begins, Holden Caulfield recounts his feelings and reactions to flunking out of Pencey, his third prep school. Instead of heading straight home, he wanders around New York City. This account of his adventures conveys his dismay at the adult world. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 1945.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

DB046839  Read by Jamie Horton. Reading time: 3 hours, 31 minutes.

DB061062 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 4 hours, 2 minutes.

DB074950  Read by Alexander Scourby. Reading time: 3 hours, 10 minutes.

A little girl who can talk to animals is devoted to both Wilbur, the foolishly smug pig, and Charlotte, the beautiful gray spider who saves Wilbur's life. For grades 3-6. 1952.

Chronicles of Narnia (series) by C.S. Lewis

DB016987 (First Book in Series)  Read by Bryan Clark. Reading time: 4 hours, 3 minutes.

DB050083 (Full Series)  Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 35 hours, 32 minutes.

The Pevensie siblings and other children are magically transported to the land of Narnia where they battle evil witches, help kidnapped princes, and go on many other exciting adventures guided by the lion Aslan who is the guardian of this world. For grades 4-7. 1955.

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

DB015791  Read by Diane Eilenberg. Reading time: 20 hours, 41 minutes.

DB052680  Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time: 19 hours, 40 minutes.

DB054959 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 25 hours, 6 minutes.

After her people perish in an earthquake during the Ice Age, Cro-Magnon girl Ayla is adopted by a beetle-browed Neanderthal clan. Punished repeatedly for flouting taboos, teenaged Ayla eventually realizes she must leave the group and find her own kind. Earth's Children series, book 1. Bestseller. Some explicit descriptions of sex and some violence. 1980.

The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah

DB057412  Read by Michele Schaeffer. Reading time: 11 hours, 20 minutes.

Gritty portrayal of the coming-of-age of Winter Santiaga, born in 1977 to a fourteen-year-old mother and a drug-dealing father in Brooklyn's projects. The family's lavish lifestyle falls apart when Winter's mother is shot and her father is imprisoned, sending Winter to the streets. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 1999.

The Color Purple
by Alice Walker

DB040883 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 8 hours, 5 minutes.

DB058842  Read by Tracy Mickens-Hundley. Reading time: 8 hours, 51 minutes.

Follows two black sisters--Nettie, a missionary, and Celie, raped by her father and married to a cruel man. Nettie's letters do not reach Celie, and Celie's shame is so great that she writes only to God. Anniversary edition includes Walker's 1992 preface. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Pulitzer Prize. 1982.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

DB015948  Read by Joel Crothers. Reading time: 13 hours, 10 minutes.

DB050482  Read by Bruce Huntey. Reading time: 12 hours, 35 minutes.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about slovenly, obese Ignatius Reilly, who is forced to seek employment in New Orleans after his tipsy mother has a car accident. Reilly, a medievalist who hates everything modern, runs through a succession of jobs in which he wreaks havoc. Some strong language. 1980.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

DB011299  Read by Guy Sorel. Reading time: 18 hours, 51 minutes.

DB056946  Read by Robert Blumenfeld. Reading time: 44 hours, 23 minutes.

DB072960 (Spanish Language)  Read by Paul Gamache. Reading time: 53 hours, 6 minutes.

DBF04202 (Russian Language)  Read by Viachislav Gerasimov. Reading time: 53 hours, 30 minutes.

Young sailor Edmond Dantès, unjustly accused of helping the exiled Napoleon in 1815, escapes from jail after fourteen years to take revenge on the four men who caused his imprisonment. Now wealthy after recovering a buried treasure, Dantès assumes a new identity and plots the ruin of his accusers. 1845.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

DB021783  Read by Alexander Scourby. Reading time: 22 hours, 36 minutes.

DB050147  Read by Fred Major. Reading time: 24 hours, 10 minutes.

Psychological chronicle of a sensitive intellectual who nearly convinces himself that he is exempt from moral law because poverty drives him to murder. 1950.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

DB056893  Read by Bruce Huntey. Reading time: 6 hours, 9 minutes.

Fifteen-year-old Christopher, who exhibits behavioral problems associated with autism, investigates the murder of his neighbor's dog. His severely logical approach leads him down an unexpected path, bringing him face to face with the dissolution of his parent's marriage while providing insight into the workings of his mind. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2002.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

DB055735  Read by Jack Fox. Reading time: 16 hours, 31 minutes.

DB058957 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 18 hours, 20 minutes.

Professor Robert Langdon investigates the crime scene of the Louvre's murdered curator. Joining him is French cryptologist Sophie Neveu. The clues left behind pit two Catholic societies against each other in search of the Holy Grail. Robert Langdon series, book 2. Gateway Book Award nominee, 2005-2006. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. 2003.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

DB024290  Read by Ed Blake. Reading time: 38 hours, 19 minutes.

DB060979 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Ramirez. Reading time: 80 hours, 51 minutes.

A Spanish parody of romances of chivalry, whose hero is an addlepated, idealistic old country gentleman. Accompanied by his ignorant but shrewd and practical squire, he sets out like a knight of old to search for adventure and to right wrongs. 1964.

Doña Barbara by Rómulo Gallegos

DB026423 (Spanish Language)  Read by Carlos Montalban. Reading time: 10 hours, 58 minutes.

The setting for this novel is a Venezuelan estate, which is divided between the heirs: one-half goes to Santos Luzardo who abandons it, while the other half is acquired by Dona Barbara. Years later Santos returns to claim his ranch, which powerful Dona Barbara has seized. 1968.

Dune by Frank Herbert

DB044126  Read by J.P. Linton. Reading time: 22 hours, 47 minutes.

In this science fiction novel with sociological and religious overtones, an exile with psychic powers becomes the prophet of the savage people on the planet Dune. 1965.

Fifty Shades of Grey (series) by E.L. James

DB074504 (Full Series)  Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 54 hours, 32 minutes.

DB074993 (First Book in Series-Spanish Language)
Read by Gabriela Garcia. Reading time: 20 hours, 45 minutes.

Set in Portland and Seattle, this erotic trilogy was conceived as Twilight fanfiction and mirrors many of Edward and Bella’s story arcs, taking their dynamic and placing it in the context of a consensual, sexual adult relationship with an extreme edge. It traces the turbulent relationship between an inexperienced, impulsive, and romantic young woman and a sexually experienced but emotionally stunted man with a well-defined fetish for submissive women and BDSM. What they lack in outright compatibility is compensated for by their mutual attraction and the willingness to repeatedly indulge one another. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex. 2011.

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

DB036176  Read by Barbara Caruso. Reading time: 13 hours, 59 minutes.

In order to inherit a fortune, Corrine Dollanganer hides the existence of her four children from their grandfather by packing them off to live secretly in an attic. But the grandfather's death takes years, and the children's ordeal of boredom and desire, interrupted only by their grandmother's acts of sadistic cruelty, stretches into months and years. Dollanganger series, book 2. Bestseller. Explicit descriptions of sex. 1979.

Foundation (series) by Isaac Asimov

DB010365 (First Book in Series)  Read by Robert Donley. Reading time: 7 hours, 54 minutes.

Set in the year 12,000 (Galactic Era) amidst the titanic Galactic Empire, this classic hard science fiction series stars Hari Seldon, developer of psychohistory, a highly accurate method of forecasting the future. When Hari predicts the downfall of the Empire, he establishes a hidden colony to preserve the Empire's culture. The colony's survival and later control of the Empire ensue. 1970.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

DB025709 (Spanish Language)  Read by Luis Felipe Covarrubias. Reading time: 2 hours, 29 minutes.

DB025835  Read by Ronald B. Meyer. Reading time: 8 hours, 32 minutes.

A science student, Victor Frankenstein, invents an artificial man using body parts from several corpses. The hideous creature cannot find companionship and becomes violent. Eventually he turns on his creator. 1818.

Game of Thrones (series) by George R.R. Martin

DB045742 (First Book in Series)  Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 31 hours, 2 minutes.

DB080992 (First Book in Series-Spanish Language)  Read by Aurelio Dominguez. Reading time: 47 hours, 59 minutes.

In the shadow of an oncoming winter likely to last longer than a decade, families ruthlessly vie for power in the Seven Kingdoms. As war threatens to erupt, the last heirs to a fallen dynasty wander the continent, and dragons make their return to the world. Some descriptions of sex, some strong language, and some violence. 1996.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

DB085921  Read by Jon Pinnow. Reading time: 3 hours, 50 minutes.

Aspiring to be the fastest sprinter on his city's elite track team, gifted runner Ghost finds his goal challenged by a tragic past with an abusive, alcoholic father. Tracker series, book 1. For grades 5-8. 2016.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

DB059561  Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 9 hours, 22 minutes.

1950s. Dying seventy-six-year-old Gilead, Iowa, minister John Ames writes a parting letter to his young son. John reflects on the tensions between his pacifist father and militant abolitionist grandfather (both preachers), the death of his first wife and child, the gospel, a friend's transgressions, and life's eternal mystery. Gilead series, book 1. Pulitzer Prize. Bestseller. 2004.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

DB037689  Read by June Carter. Reading time: 5 hours, 1 minute.

Jonas lives in a utopia: there is no hunger, no disease, no fear; the elderly are tenderly cared for, and every child has attentive parents. The society is uniformly run. Jonas eagerly awaits the Ceremony of Twelve, when twelve-year-olds receive assignments for their lifelong professions. He is selected to be the new Receiver of Memories. As such he learns of misery and pain, but also of joy and love. Giver series, book 1. For grades 6-9 and older readers. Newbery Award. 1994.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

DB011773 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Cañas. Reading time: 21 hours, 25 minutes.

DB025677  Read by Robert O'Keefe. Reading time: 16 hours, 38 minutes.

The world and underworld of the Mafia is revealed in this novel of paradoxical terror and benevolence. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex. 1969.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

DB074888  Read by Mare Trevathan and Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 17 hours, 55 minutes.

DB079986 (Spanish Language)  Read by Nadia Garzon. Reading time: 20 hours, 19 minutes.

Nick and Amy alternate telling the story of their troubled marriage, their move from New York to Nick's Missouri hometown, and Amy's disappearance on their fifth wedding anniversary. As clues begin to implicate Nick, he learns more about Amy. Strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2012.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

DB033082  Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 42 hours, 45 minutes.

A romantic Civil War epic in which Scarlet O' Hara, a forceful and ruthless heroine, and Rhett Butler, a war profiteer, play out their tempestuous love affair against the background of the war-torn South. Pulitzer Prize. 1936.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

DB054967 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 21 hours, 21 minutes.

DB068308  Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time: 17 hours, 20 minutes.

The story of the Depression farmers and their families driven from the dust bowl of their Oklahoma farms to the promised land of California to find work. Instead, they face organized opposition to their struggle to survive. Strong language. Pulitzer Prize. 1936.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

DB011454  Read by Clark Niederjohn. Reading time: 20 hours, 37 minutes.

DB053991  Read by Graeme Malcolm. Reading time: 17 hours, 25 minutes.

Pip, a poor orphan boy, is befriended by an unknown benefactor and goes to London to live the life of a gentleman. The sequence of events and his meetings with strange and colorful characters, change him from a shallow youth to a mature man. Oprah's Book Club. 1932.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

DB012249 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Cañas. Reading time: 6 hours, 38 minutes.

DB016147  Read by Alexander Scourby. Reading time: 4 hours, 56 minutes.

DB055714  Read by David Hartley-Margolin. Reading time: 6 hours, 34 minutes.

Against the glitter and recklessness of the Jazz Age, Jay Gatsby makes a desperate attempt to recapture the past and, along with it, the love of Daisy Buchanan. Amid extravagant parties at Gatsby's palatial estate, his neighbor narrates the story of his obsession with the American dream. 1925.

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

DB023150  Read by Bradley Bransford. Reading time: 14 hours, 32 minutes.

The 18th century biting satire on morals, art and politics from four different points of view. Includes an introduction and a summary of the literary criticism on this classic. 1967.

Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

DB024695  Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 10 hours, 48 minutes.

Set in the future, the United States of America is now the Republic of Gilead, a fundamentalist Christian theocracy that arose after fanatics shot the president, machine-gunned the Congress and forced the army to declare a state of emergency. To reverse the declining birthrate, women are forcibly recruited into the ranks of Handmaids and are assigned to the Commanders of the Faithful, whose wives are barren. Some strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller 1986.

Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling

DB047260 (First Book in Series)  Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 8 hours, 55 minutes.

DB050988 (First Book in Series-Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 9 hours, 20 minutes.

Harry Potter, a neglected orphan, learns on his eleventh birthday that he is actually a wizard and is invited to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His life changes dramatically as he learns of his fame in the wizarding world for surviving a killing curse by the dark wizard Voldemort, whose fate is connected with Potter's. Through the series, Harry faces many dangers with his friends Ron and Hermione as they try to stop Voldemort's rise to power. Bestseller. For grades 4-7. 1998.

Hatchet (series) by Gary Paulsen

DB030535 (First Book in Series)  Read by Gary Tipton. Reading time: 4 hours, 17 minutes.

Brian, thirteen and troubled by his parent's divorce, is flying in a single-engine plane to visit his father. As Brian is the only passenger, the pilot casually shows him how to fly the plane. When the pilot has a heart attack and dies, Brian must take control. After the plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, Brian has only the hatchet attached to his belt to help him survive. For grades 6-9 and older readers. 1987.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

DB058105  Read by Gary Telles. Reading time: 6 hours, 58 minutes.

The new captain of a river steamboat takes his first journey upstream deep into the African continent, into adventures among natives and unseen danger. Some violence and strong language. 1902.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

DB068889  Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 17 hours, 37 minutes.

Jackson, Mississippi; 1962-1964. College grad and fledgling writer Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan searches for a book-worthy project. At the urging of an editor, Skeeter interviews African American maids Aibileen and Minny about their relationships with their employers. Violating integration laws, the three women question their lives. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2009.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

DB018339  Read by Dennis Bateman. Reading time: 5 hours, 49 minutes.

When Earth is demolished to make room for a galactic freeway, sole survivor Arthur Dent is forced to take up a life of hitchhiking around the cosmos with the aid of his alien friend, Ford Prefect, and a book called the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Hitchhiker's series, book 1. 1980.

Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins

DB068384 (First Book in Series)  Read by Erin Jones. Reading time: 9 hours, 14 minutes.

DB074957 (First Book in Series-Spanish Language)  Read by Maria Fernanda Lloreda. Reading time: 12 hours, 10 minutes.

Readers will be riveted by the world-building in in this sometimes bleak but always compelling dystopian science fiction trilogy. Balancing a fast pace with well-developed, complex characters (including a strong female protagonist), the action blends grim tales of survival against a backdrop of social commentary. Adding to the intrigue is an intense romantic quagmire. For junior and senior high readers. 2008.

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

DB021513  Read by Merwin Smith. Reading time: 17 hours, 19 minutes.

The entire crew of "Red October," a new Soviet missile submarine under the command of Marko Ramius, is defecting to the United States. Most of the Russian navy is sent to the U.S. Atlantic coast to find and destroy the sub. Jack Ryan, a CIA data analyst, gets the job of making contact with Ramius, and the United States mobilizes all its resources to protect our shores and the sub. Some strong language. Jack Ryan series, book 1. 1984.

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

DB091574  Read by Peter Jay Fernandez. Reading time: 9 hours, 42 minutes.

In this allegorical mystery set in the 1940s, Lila Mae Watson, the city's first minority woman elevator inspector, works by psychic intuition. When an elevator fails on her watch and her empiricist rivals seek her undoing, Lila conducts a secret probe that yields a startling discovery. Some strong language. 1999.

The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

DB009600  Read by Stanley Eisenberg. Reading time: 17 hours, 43 minutes.

DB056346  Read by Peter Jay Fernandez. Reading time: 20 hours, 57

Classic novel of a young man's search for identity. Follows the unnamed protagonist from his youth in a Southern town through the depression years in Harlem, where he examines and rejects the values thrust on him by both whites and blacks. Some strong language. National Book Award 1953. 1947.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

DB010886  Read by Rachel Gurney. Reading time: 18 hours, 50 minutes.

DB047868  Read by Jennifer Mendenhall. Reading time: 20 hours, 15 minutes.

This 19th-century English novel is about a plain and intelligent woman who becomes the governess for an estate, is caught up in the mysteries of the manor, and falls in love with the master of the house. 1941.

Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

DB029021  Read by Yvonne Fair Tessler. Reading time: 11 hours, 6 minutes.

DB065996 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 11 hours, 15 minutes.

In 1949 four Chinese women living in San Francisco founded the Joy Luck Club where they met to play mah jong, tell stories, and "feast" on scraps. Forty years later one of the women dies, her daughter takes her place at the club, and a secret is revealed that unleashes in each person the need to reach back and remember. Bestseller. 1989.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

DB032018  Read by Chuck Benson. Reading time: 14 hours, 20 minutes.

DB040859 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Ramirez. Reading time: 22 hours, 24 minutes.

Something is terribly wrong at Jurassic Park on a remote island off the coast of Costa Rica. Visitors and residents are being attacked by strange looking animals that maul them and leave behind a sticky saliva. In reality, dinosaurs cloned and raised by a genetic engineering firm have escaped. Consultants are brought in to solve the problem, but soon everyone is running for dear life. Jurassic Park series, book 1. Some strong language. Bestseller. 1990.

Left Behind (series) by Tim F. LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

DB047462 (First Book in Series)  Read by Bob Askey. Reading time: 11 hours, 11 minutes.

DB050980 (First Book in Series-Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Ramirez. Reading time: 15 hours, 42 minutes.

The Rapture has stolen true Christian believers away to Heaven, with those left behind thrown into chaos and confusion in what is now Hell on Earth. While most in the world have no earthly idea what caused their loved ones and leaders to disappear, a small group of born-again Christians has realized the truth and formed the Tribulation Force to defeat the Anti-Christ, save lost souls, and prepare for the Tribulation. 1995.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

DB044071  Read by James DeLotel. Reading time: 1 hour, 56 minutes.

The narrator's plane is forced down in the African desert, where he meets the little prince from Asteroid B-612, who freely shares his experiences with the fascinated pilot. For grades 3-6. 1943.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

DB018128  Read by Patricia Beaudry. Reading time: 18 hours, 40 minutes.

DB058830  Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 21 hours, 35 minutes

DB076966 (Spanish Language)  Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 11 hours, 4 minutes.

Recounts the lives of the four March sisters--quick-tempered Jo, who is restless for freedom; Beth, who loves her home and family; Meg who longs for pretty clothes; and self-absorbed Amy. March Family/Little Women series, book 1. For grades 6-9 and older readers. 1868.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

DB022959  Read by Bob Askey. Reading time: 35 hours, 16 minutes.

A three-thousand-mile cattle drive, from the banks of the Rio Grande to Montana's big sky country, is the centerpiece of this vivid epic of the late-nineteenth-century American West and its adventurous inhabitants. Lonesome Dove series, book 1. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. Pulitzer Prize. Bestseller. 1985.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

DB061873  Read by Ken Kliban. Reading time: 8 hours, 36 minutes.

Entering boarding school in Alabama, sixteen-year-old Miles "Pudge" Halter encounters new experiences: challenging classes, extreme pranks, and Alaska Young, a moody, sexy girl whose death in a car crash might be a suicide. Printz Award. Some explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. For senior high readers. 2005.

Lord of the Rings (series) by J.R.R. Tolkien

DB047486 (First Book in Series)  Read by David Palmer. Reading time: 18 hours, 35 minutes.

DB060980 (First Book in Series-Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 20 hours, 15 minutes.

The epic Lord of the Rings trilogy is a world-building fantasy about a quest to rid the world of a great, terrifying menace. Richly detailed and magnificently descriptive, the series is populated by creatures drawn from Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology. It may be read either as adventure or as an allegory for the battle between good and evil. 1954.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

DB054698  Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 10 hours, 45 minutes.

Susie Salmon, a fourteen-year-old girl murdered by a neighbor, watches over her family and friends from heaven. While adjusting to a new habitat, she reaches out to them as she observes their struggle to survive their grief. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. Bestseller. Gateway Book Award nominee, 2004-2005. 2002.

The Martian by Andy Weir

DB078389  Read by J.P. Linton. Reading time: 12 hours, 45 minutes.

Six days after becoming the first man to walk on Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is caught in a windstorm. Though his support crew thinks he died, Mark survived and now faces abandonment, failed machinery, and a hostile environment. Strong language. Bestseller. 2011.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

DB045008  Read by Yolande Bavan. Reading time: 21 hours, 5 minutes.

A fictionalized account of the life of a typical geisha in 1930s and 1940s Japan. Sayuri recalls being nine years old when she and her sister are sold to a geisha house as their mother lies dying. From then on Sayuri learns the traditional exotic art of pleasing men. Bestseller. 1997.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

DB034184  Read by Gordon Gould. Reading time: 25 hours, 36 minutes.

DB038812 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Ramirez. Read by Reading time: 28 hours, 49 minutes.

Sailor Ishmael narrates this allegory of human potential and limitations. Seeking adventure, Ishmael signs on as a harpooner with Captain Ahab's whaling ship. Once at sea, the crew discovers that, despite dire warnings from other ships and a prophet, Captain Ahab is obsessed with killing Moby Dick, the white whale responsible for his missing leg. Violence. 1991.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

DB043180  Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 5 hours, 41 minutes.

An elderly man reads from a notebook to his wife, who has Alzheimer's disease. Gradually he unfolds the story of a couple who fell in love the summer after high school and were reunited by a fluke fourteen years later. But will his wife recognize her own story? Calhoun-Lewis. book 1. Some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 1996.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

DB059490  Read by Peter Gil. Reading time: 14 hours, 33 minutes.

DB060988 (Spanish Language)  Read by Peter Gil. Reading time: 14 hours, 51 minutes.

1820s to 1920s. Latin American epic tale follows seven generations of the Buendía family through triumphs and disasters that parallel the fortunes and misfortunes of their utopian town, Macondo. By the Colombian Nobel Prize-winning author. Oprah's Book Club. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. 1967.

Outlander (series) by Diana Gabaldon

DB036535 (First Book in Series)  Read by Barbara Caruso. Reading time: 33 hours, 24 minutes.

Who would have known stepping into a circle of standing stones would transport you back in time to eighteenth century Scotland? Claire Randall learned this the hard way in the year 1945. While there, she falls in love with the young Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser as they are swept up in the events of the Jacobite uprising. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex. 1991.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

DB022433  Read by Ray Foushee. Reading time: 4 hours, 58 minutes.

This young adult classic is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Fourteen-year-old Ponyboy tells how it looks and feels to be a Greaser from the wrong side of the tracks. He describes the guerilla raids into Greaser territory by their upper-middle-class enemy, the Socs, and the beating that led to a murder charge and two deaths. For junior and senior high readers. 1967.

Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

DB011341  Read by Richard Clarke. Reading time: 9 hours, 30 minutes.

DB056794  Read by David Cutler. Reading time: 8 hours, 42 minutes.

A beautiful youth has his portrait painted by an artist with a flair for the morbid. The portrait becomes the mirror of its innocent appearing subject's inner life. 1891.

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

DB010053  Read by Richard Norman. Reading time: 11 hours, 20 minutes.

An allegory of Christian life in which Christian, the hero, leaves the City of Destruction to find Zion, the city of God. As he travels along with his burden of sins, various incidents embody the essentials of Christianity. 1964.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

DB030999  Read by Merwin Smith. Reading time: 40 hours, 34 minutes.

DB070968 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 50 hours, 49 minutes.

Historical novel set in twelfth century England. Philip, prior of the monastery at Kingsbridge, and Tom, a master mason, would like to build a new cathedral. They are helped along when Tom's stepson torches the current cathedral. They are hindered, however, by a powerful and jealous bishop, and Ellen--who witnessed an ancient treachery. Kingsbridge series, book 1. Oprah's Book Club. Some violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 1989.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

DB029012  Read by Bob Askey. Reading time: 25 hours, 12 minutes.

When he was eleven years old, Owen Meany hit a foul ball that struck and killed the mother of his best pal, Johnny Wheelwright the story's narrator. Thereafter, Owen believes himself to be an instrument of God. What happens to the two pals after that accident is extraordinary and terrifying. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. Book club selection. 1989.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

DB020513  Read by Rachel Gurney. Reading time: 13 hours, 56 minutes.

DB050549  Read by Jennifer Mendenhall. Reading time: 12 hours, 8 minutes.

DB070966 (Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 14 hours, 25 minutes.

A classic novel of social customs in late eighteenth-century England. Depicts the personality clash between Elizabeth Bennet, one of five daughters of a country gentleman, and prosperous, aristocratic landowner Fitzwilliam Darcy, which eventually develops into courtship. 1813.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

DB073772  Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 16 hours, 46 minutes.

2045. Multibillionaire James Halliday dies, leaving his last will and testament online for the world to see. His massively multiplayer online game OASIS has a hidden feature--an Easter egg--and the person who finds the egg first wins Halliday's fortune. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2011.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

DB011106  Read by Dale Carter. Reading time: 14 hours, 28 minutes.

DB048914  Read by Barbara Caruso. Reading time: 16 hours, 34 minutes.

Rebecca, the glamorous mistress of a great English estate, died eight months before Maxim de Winter brought a young and frightened second wife to live there. Mystery, intrigue, and violence eventually reveal the circumstances surrounding Rebecca's death. 1907.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

DB024697  Read by Christopher Hurt. Reading time: 5 hours, 41 minutes.

The rivalry in the friendship of two roommates at a New Hampshire boarding school during the summer session of 1942 is traumatized by a crippling accident that leads to further tragedy. Some strong language. 1959.

The Shack
by William P. Young

DB067237  Read by Guy Williams. Reading time: 9 hours, 55 minutes.

DB067982 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Ramirez. Reading time: 11 hours, 27 minutes.

Years ago, Mackenzie "Mack" Phillips's daughter Missy disappeared during a family vacation in Oregon. Now Mack receives a cryptic letter--apparently from God--inviting him back to the remote shack where Missy may have been murdered. There Mack confronts his grief, communes with God, and makes life-changing discoveries. Bestseller. 2007.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

DB016148  Read by Alan Haines. Reading time: 3 hours, 32 minutes.

DB052190  Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time: 4 hours, 12 minutes.

An allegory, based on East Indian mysticism, about a young man's spiritual journey. He becomes consort to a courtesan, then a wealthy businessman, and finally companion to a humble ferryman whose wisdom comes from the endlessly murmuring river. 1951.

Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

DB015759  Read by Sam Tsoutsouvas. Reading time: 7 hours, 50 minutes.

The richest and most depraved man in America blasts off in a space ship with the one woman capable of resisting him. A novel of science fiction, satire, and black humor. 1959.

The Stand by Stephen King

DB012942  Read by Diane Eilenberg. Reading time: 32 hours, 11 minutes.

DB031946 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Cañas. Reading time: 44 hours, 27 minutes.

DB056081  Read by Bruce Huntey. Reading time: 46 hours, 37 minutes.

An experimental virus called superflu hits the world--rapidly wiping out the whole of civilization except for the few who are immune. Strong language, some explicit descriptions of sex, and some violence. 1978.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

DB034114  Read by Alexander Scourby. Reading time: 6 hours, 28 minutes.

A group of wealthy English and American expatriates in post-World War I Europe travel from the cafes of Paris to the bullfights of Spain--eating and drinking, aimlessly socializing, and quarreling among themselves. The disillusioned characters reflect the war-weary lost generation of the 1920s. Some strong language. 1926.

Swan Song by Robert R. McGammon

DB026498  Read by David Palmer. Reading time: 31 hours, 23 minutes.

A horror novel set in a future world born of nuclear disaster where ancient evil roams a devastated America. The Man with the Scarlet Eye, the Man of Many Faces, gathers under his power the forces of human greed and madness while searching for the child named Swan who has the gift of life. Violence, strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1987.

Tales of the City (series) by Armistead Maupin

DB039531 (First Book in Series)  Read by Ray Hagen. Reading time: 8 hours, 28 minutes.

Set in San Francisco in the 1970s, these "tales" were first published as a daily column in the Chronicle. Fresh from Cleveland, Mary Ann Singleton gets a quick initiation into California lifestyle when she takes a room at 28 Barbary Lane, a bohemian boarding house run by Anna Madrigal, who welcomes new tenants with a home-grown reefer. Strong language and descriptions of sex. 1978.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Huston

DB035745  Read by Catherine Byers. Reading time: 6 hours, 32 minutes.

This classic novel tells the story of Janie, a handsome black woman, and her three marriages: to middle-aged Logan Killicks, a prosperous farmer; to Joe Starks, a go-getter who makes Janie Mrs. Mayor Starks of Eatonville, Florida; and to Tea Cake Woods, who teaches Janie, at forty, the reality of love and happiness. 1937.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

DB047510  Read by Bob Moore. Reading time: 6 hours, 9 minutes.

Portrays traditional Ibo society in nineteenth-century Nigeria and one of its great men, Okonkwo. Through rituals, the lives of the individual and the community are unified, giving them order and significance. But the time-honored system of beliefs and behavior falls apart with the arrival of missionaries and colonists. 1992.

This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti

DB029252  Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 16 hours, 9 minutes.

Ashton is a typical small American college town. Or is it typical? There seems to be some unknown force that is trying to destroy this peaceful town. Can the prayers of a few faithful people prevail against this evil force? Darkness series, book 1. 1986.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

DB072989 (Spanish Language)  Read by Juan Carlos Rueda. Reading time: 12 hours, 12 minutes.

DB077672  Read by Mare Trevathan. Reading time: 10 hours, 12 minutes.

Six-year-old Scout and her brother Jem are intrigued by their reclusive neighbor. Meanwhile, their father Atticus, an attorney, defends a black man charged with raping a white woman in their small Alabama town. Some violence and some strong language. Pulitzer Prize. For junior and senior high and older readers. 1960.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

DB010426  Read by Maria Tucci. Reading time: 14 hours, 45 minutes.

DB044769  Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 17 hours, 1 minute.

DBC11252 (Spanish Language)  Read by Maria Luz Sandoval. Reading time: 20 hours.

A novel about an Irish American girl's childhood and youth, her struggles with poverty, and her efforts to get an education, set in the midst of Brooklyn tenement life in the early 1900's. 1943.

Twilight Saga (series) by Stephenie Meyer

DB062066 (First Book in Series)  Read by Anne Hancock. Reading time: 14 hours.

DB067970 (First Book in Series-Spanish Language)  Read by María Pino. Reading time: 15 hours.

Moving to the small town of Forks in Washington State, high school student Bella Swan is captivated by the mysterious Edward Cullen who she later finds out is a vampire. The series follows their love story and the dangers they face in order to be together. For senior high readers. 2005.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

DB026275  Read by Alexander Scourby. Reading time: 60 hours, 52 minutes.

DB067136  Read by Conrad Feininger. Reading time: 63 hours, 28 minutes.

Epic historical novel portrays five aristocratic families against the background of Russian social life during the Napoleonic Wars (1805-1814). Depicts campaign battles, the burning of Moscow, and the French army's winter retreat. 1869.

The Watchers by Dean Koontz

DB025982  Read by James DeLotel. Reading time: 16 hours, 22 minutes.

A fable-like tale that blends suspense, fantasy, and sentiment. World-weary Travis Cornell stumbles upon a super-intelligent golden retriever with uncanny powers in a California wood. The dog, Einstein, reveals how he and a vile murderous creature called "The Other" were created by U.S. scientists in a secret genetic experiment. The plot includes a romance and follows a psycho killer hired by Soviet spies. Strong language, violence, and some descriptions of sex. 1987.

Wheel of Time (series) by Robert Jordan

DB034701 (First Book in Series)  Read by Jon Beryl. Reading time: 31 hours, 35 minutes.

The richly detailed Wheel of Time series is epic fantasy chronicling the adventures of reluctant heroes forced to defend humanity against monsters and dark prophecies. Lushly written, possessed of a strong sense of place, its rich detail and intricate plotting guarantee one hair-raising adventure after another. Some violence. 1990.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

DB032449  Read by David Palmer. Reading time: 7 hours, 11 minutes.

Ten-year-old Billy, a country boy in the Ozarks, wants a pair of coonhounds so badly that he works hard for two years to pay for them. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 1961.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

DB050261  Read by Anne Flosnik. Reading time: 19 hours, 16 minutes.

Set in London and spanning some twenty-five years, these are the misadventures of World War II buddies Archie Jones, an Englishman, and Samad Iqbal, a Bengali Muslim. Encompassing their marriages and offspring, their story explores religion, ethnicity, and gender. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. Bestseller. 2000.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

DB025178  Read by Dale Hodges. Reading time: 14 hours, 47 minutes.

This classic nineteenth-century English novel, set in the wild moor country of Yorkshire, is about Heathcliff, a foundling raised in the Earnshaw home, who