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  • Literary Friction - Luxury With Shola Von Reinhold

    What does it mean to write luxuriously? How can books be rich and generous? This month we’re talking about luxury in literature - and no, we don’t mean books about the 1% having spa days or flying first class. Instead, we’re talking about writing that explores the aesthetic, opulent, baroque and decadent. Through writers including Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sylvia Plath, we’ll be thinking about what makes writing luxurious, and why engaging with luxury can be a subversive act of resistance for marginalised communities. Our guest today is Shola von Reinhold, whose debut novel Lote is about present-day narrator Mathilda's fixation with the forgotten Black Scottish modernist poet, Hermia Druitt. It's also a beautiful meditation on aesthetics and beauty and who is allowed access to them. Listen in for all the usual recommendations, and a chance to find out if you're an Arcadian or a Utopian. So, come indulge with us in a little literary friction. Recommendations on the theme, Luxury: Octavia: Ariel by Sylvia Plath Carrie: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst General Recommendations: Octavia: The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel Shola: Race, Sexuality and Identity in Britain and Jamaica: the Biography of Patrick Nelson by Gemma Romain Carrie: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett Email us: [email protected] Tweet us & find us on Instagram: @litfriction This episode is sponsored by Picador

  • Fat Cow, Fat Chance
    Penguin Books UK

    At sixty-four, Jenni Murray's weight had become a disability. She avoided the scales, she wore a uniform of baggy black clothes, refused to make connections between her weight and health issues and told herself that she was fat and happy. She was certainly fat. But the happy part was an Oscar-winning performance. In private she lived with a growing sense of fear and misery that it would probably kill her before she made it to seventy. Interwoven with the science, social history and psychology of weight management Fat Cow, Fat Chance is a refreshingly honest account of what it’s like to be fat when society dictates that skinny is the norm. It asks why we overeat and why, when the weight is finally lost through dieting, do we simply pile the pounds back on again? How do we help young people become comfortable with the way they look? What are the consequences of the obesity epidemic for an already overstretched NHS? And, whilst fat shaming is so often called out, why is it that shouting ‘fat cow’ at a woman in the street hasn’t been included in the list of hate crimes? Fusing politics, science and personal pain, this is a powerful exploration of our battle with obesity.

  • Final Days: Colony by Nathan Hystad and Jasper T. Scott, Narrated by Ray Porter

    Earth is gone. Eden promises a new start for mankind. Kendra, Andrew, and the other survivors arrive with Lewis Hound’s chosen people at an unfamiliar planet with more questions than answers: how did they get there? Where did all of the advanced technology come from? And is this really Proxima B Centauri? The colony ship breaks into sections and makes an emergency landing amidst a meteor shower, and Lewis Hound, Eden’s enigmatic leader, goes missing. Despite their misgivings and the initial chaos, people soon settle into a routine in the fledgling colony. But a growing number of suspicious circumstances lead Andrew and Kendra to doubt what they’re being told, and they begin to think that there might be more dangerous predators about than the ones on four legs. With new friends and old adversaries, they struggle to find the truth behind a growing web of deceit. What is beyond the forbidden mountain ranges that surround the valley where they landed? And where is Lewis Hound? Final Days: Colony is the second book in an epic new series by Jasper T. Scott and Nathan Hystad. Final Days: Colony by Nathan Hystad and Jasper T. Scott on Audible:

  • The Queen of Tuesday by Darin Strauss, read by Tavia Gilbert, Darin Strauss
    PRH Audio

    “A gorgeous, Technicolor take on America in the middle of the twentieth century.”—Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Nickel Boys

    From the award-winning, bestselling author of Chang & Eng and Half a Life, a new novel about Lucille Ball, a thrilling love story starring Hollywood’s first true media mogul.

    This indelible romance begins with a daring conceit—that the author’s grandfather may have had an affair with Lucille Ball. Strauss offers a fresh view of a celebrity America loved more than any other.

    Lucille Ball—the most powerful woman in the history of Hollywood—was part of America’s first high-profile interracial marriage. She owned more movie sets than did any movie studio. She more or less single-handedly created the modern TV business. And yet Lucille’s off-camera life was in disarray. While acting out a happy marriage for millions, she suffered in private. Her partner couldn’t stay faithful. She struggled to balance her fame with the demands of being a mother, a creative genius, an entrepreneur, and, most of all, a symbol.

    The Queen of Tuesday—Strauss’s follow-up to Half a Life, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award—mixes fact and fiction, memoir and novel, to imagine the provocative story of a woman we thought we knew.

  • Goddess Meditations - Journey with Gaia
    Penguin Books UK

    Welcome, sister. From Artemis to Isis, Athena to Aphrodite, goddesses throughout time can teach us how to access our divine feminine and nurture our feminine energy. The voices of the goddesses speak to us through time. We can connect to them and to ourselves, When we are truly connected to ourselves, we can build a field of positive energy that effects everyone around us. Through seven unique guided meditations and practices, certified Guide and Healer in the King Solomon Lineage Tanmaya George empowers you to connect with your inner being, quiet outside voices, and unleash the goddess within. ** CONTENTS Introduction: Why these practices? Chapter 1: Embodied Presence • The goddess is here, embodied presence • Practice: Embodied Presence • Goddess Archetype: Lakshmi • Guided Self-Inquiry Chapter 2: Selfcare and Healing with the Great Mother • Building your inner resources, and why it matters • Practice: Selfcare • Goddess Archetype: Gaia the Earth Mother • Practice: Journey with Gaia Chapter 3: Empowerment and the Warrior Goddess • Who is the Wariorress? • Goddess Archetype: Durgha • Practice: Connecting to the inner warrior goddess with Durgha • Goddess Archetype: Kali • Practice: Guided self-inquiry Chapter 4: Sisterhood and Community • Introduction • Practice: The healing of sisterhood • Practice: Guided self-inquiry Chapter 5: The 7 Keys of Goddess Chapter 6: About the Mystery Traditions

  • Shadows Rising (World of Warcraft: Shadowlands) by Madeleine Roux, read by Susan Wokoma
    PRH Audio

    An all-new official prequel novel to Shadowlands, the next expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s legendary online game World of Warcraft
    “The Horde is nothing!” With those infamous words, Sylvanas Windrunner betrayed and abandoned the Horde she vowed to serve. The Dark Lady and her forces now work in the shadows as both the Horde and Alliance, including her own sister, Alleria, race to uncover her next move. Struggling to shoulder the crushing weight of leadership, King Anduin entrusts the void elf and High Exarch Turalyon to uncover Sylvanas’s whereabouts.
    The Horde now stands at a crossroads. The various factions form a council, leaving the mantle of warchief to rest. Thrall, Lor’themar Theron, Baine Bloodhoof, First Arcanist Thalyssra, and many other familiar faces rise to this new challenge. But the threats are numerous, and the distrust runs too deep.
    When the council is derailed by a failed assassination attempt on Talanji—the Zandalari queen and a key ally—Thrall and the rest of the Horde leaders are forced into action. They empower the young troll shaman Zekhan, still grieving the loss of Varok Saurfang, with a critical mission to aid Talanji and help uncover the rising threat against her.
    Meanwhile, Nathanos Blightcaller and Sira Moonwarden have been tasked by the Dark Lady with a terrifying gambit: to kill the troll loa of death himself, Bwonsamdi.
    As Zekhan and Talanji work to save Bwonsamdi, their journey will be a key turning point in bolstering the Horde against the coming darkness and finding themselves along the way. Failure to save their allies and the trickster god will surely doom them—but through success, they may rediscover what makes the Horde strong.

  • Make Money, Not Excuses by Jean Chatzky, read by Jean Chatzky
    PRH Audio

    Get Rich, Don't Bitch

    Today, more than ever before, wealth is something every woman has the power to create. Yet Jean Chatzky constantly hears all the excuses why women can’t and don’t master their money. Now, she reveals the secrets and the strategies she created to take control of her own money–strategies through which she gained her “money confidence.” It’s time for you to find yours!

    In Make Money, Not Excuses Jean shares these valuable lessons:

    • Where to start
    • How to get over your “I’m not smart enough to deal with money” feelings
    • Why being a “good-enough investor” will make more money for you in
    the long-term (while trying to be a “great investor” will drive you crazy)
    • How (and where) to save your money
    • Why women make better investors––and higher returns––than men
    • How to track where you’re overspending
    • How to pay off your debt

    Jean is unsurpassed in her ability to explain money and investing in simple, straightforward ways. Here she breaks down the scariest parts of dealing with money–from investing in stocks to saving for your retirement–and makes them practical, easy, empowering, and, yes, even enjoyable. This is your road map to real wealth.

    “Chatzky writes like the smart, candid best friend you wish you had.”

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  • Minecraft Dungeons: The Rise of the Arch-Illager by Matt Forbeck, read by Dan Bittner
    PRH Audio

    Learn the tragic origins of the wicked Arch-Illager in this official Minecraft novel, a prequel to Minecraft Dungeons!

    Brave heroes have banded together to take a perilous journey through the war-torn Overworld to defeat the Arch-Illager and his formidable army. But how did that army come to be? And just where did the Arch-Illager come from?

    The terrible truth behind the Arch-Illager is that he never asked for ultimate power. Known as Archie, this little Illager is bullied by his fellow Illagers and mistrusted by fearful Villagers. Archie only ever wanted a place to call home, but he finds himself shunned by all. As he wanders through deep forests and up craggy mountains, he stumbles upon a dark cavern—with a sinister secret waiting inside.

    Archie discovers an object that whispers to him promises of power: the Orb of Dominance. With it, Archie realizes he can wield incredible magic and reshape a world that turned its back on him. All he needs to do is exactly what it tells him . . .

    After all, it’s called the Orb of Dominance for a reason, right? But is it named for the way Archie uses it—or is it using him?

  • DO WHAT YOU WANT by Bad Religion with Jim Ruland Read by Rob Shapiro - Audiobook Excerpt

    From their beginnings as teenagers experimenting in a San Fernando Valley garage dubbed "The Hell Hole" to headlining major music festivals around the world, Do What You Wanttells the whole story of Bad Religion's 40-year career in irreverent style. Do What You Want: The Bad Religion Story reveals the ups and downs of the band's forty-year career. From their beginnings as teenagers jamming in a San Fernando Valley garage dubbed "The Hell Hole" to headlining major music festivals around the world, Do What You Want tells the whole story in irreverent style. While Do What You Want tracks down nearly all of Bad Religion's members past and present, the chief storytellers are the four voices that define Bad Religion: Greg Graffin, a Wisconsin kid who sang in the choir and became an L.A. punk rock icon while he was still a teenager; Brett Gurewitz, a high school dropout who founded the independent punk label Epitaph Records and went on to become a record mogul; Jay Bentley, a surfer and skater who gained recognition as much for his bass skills as for his onstage antics; and Brian Baker, a founding member of Minor Threat who joined the band in 1994 and brings a fresh perspective as an intimate outsider. With a unique blend of melodic hardcore and thought-provoking lyrics, Bad Religion paved the way for the punk rock explosion of the 1990s, opening the door for bands like NOFX, The Offspring, Rancid, Green Day, and Blink-182 to reach wider audiences. They showed the world what punk could be, and they continue to spread their message one song, one show, one tour at a time -- with no signs of stopping. Available August 18, 2020 from Hachette Audio as a digital download, and in Print and Ebook from Hachette Books. Pre-order here: Check out our other great titles and more at: Follow us at:

  • C.A.L.M. Written and Read by Jehnny Beth

    Click here to buy: 'Because a life lived in fear is equal to no life at all' This is the uncompromising vision of Jehnny Beth and Johnny Hostile. Fearless and highly erotic, these stories delight in ideas of sexual transgression and liberation, offering a window onto a world where anything is permitted, and everything is safe. As each of Jehnny Beth and Johnny Hostile's characters break from the bonds of acceptability and enter a darkness of desire, submission and sex, they discover their own humanity, a place where they can truly be free. A manifesto in the form of erotic photography, monologues and dialogues, Johnny Hostile's stimulating photography punctuates Jehnny Beth's seductive prose. Collapsing the barriers between sex and art while examining the universal values of human existence and consciousness through uninhibited desire, C.A.L.M. established Jehnny Beth and Johnny Hostile as two of the bravest and most provocative voices in fiction and erotic art today. The full collection of Johnny Hostile's photography is featured in a limited-edition hard cover art book of C.A.L.M.

  • Always Home, written and read by Fanny Singer with Alice Waters

    Click here to buy: 'A beautifully written celebration of food, home, and above all, family' - Jamie Oliver 'So charming and beautiful' - Gwyneth Paltrow 'The most delicious kind of memoir' - The Times Stories and recipes from growing up as the daughter of revered chef/restaurateur Alice Waters: food, family, and the need for beauty in all aspects of life. In this extraordinarily intimate portrait of her mother - and herself - Fanny Singer, daughter of food icon and activist Alice Waters, chronicles a unique world of food, wine, and travel; a world filled with colourful characters, mouth-watering traditions, and sumptuous feasts. Across dozens of vignettes with accompanying recipes, she shares the story of her own culinary coming of age, and reveals a side of her legendary mother that has never been seen before. A charming, smart translation of Alice Waters' ideals and attitudes about food for a new generation, Always Home is a loving, often funny, unsentimental, and exquisitely written look at a life defined in so many ways by food, as well as the bond between mother and daughter. 'Singer's writing reminds me about everything important to me in life, the four f's: friends, food, family and fun' - Claire Ptak, owner of Violet bakery 'Fanny [is] a seductive wordsmith of deliciousness!' - Sally Clarke, owner of Clarke's Restaurant 'Fanny's confident, honest, warm words beautifully read like a foodie fairy tale' - Skye Gyngell, owner of Spring Restaurant 'A true delight to read, full of pearls of homely wisdom.' - Lily Cole 'A delicious book and deserving of all the praise already heaped on it.' - Bryan Ferry 'Joyful, witty and loving...A book like no other, an instant classic.' - Al Hilton, staff writer at The New Yorker FEATURED IN VOGUE'S 'The 5 Best Books of 2020 (So Far)'

  • [Audible Exclusive] Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, performed by Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Compete to Create Audio Trailer

    The modern world bombards us with messages that we are not enough and need something outside ourselves to be fulfilled. The truth is everything we need is already inside us. We just need to uncover it. Based on the ground-breaking mindset training and culture building platform co-founded by Dr. Michael Gervais and NFL coach Pete Carroll, Compete to Create provides a blueprint to unlock your authentic self, explore the edges of your potential, and live a life of purpose and meaning. In this Audible Original you’ll get an in-depth look at how world-class athletes, artists, and entrepreneurs organize their inner lives to thrive in any environment. Dr. Gervais, who has spent the last two decades as a high performance psychologist, translates his experience in the trenches into actionable skills that you can apply to your everyday life. In each chapter, Coach Carroll shares lessons from his career, insights into building relationship-based teams, and how he helps people find their best. If you know there is more inside you to discover—more to contribute, more room to grow—Compete to Create gives you the tools you need to embark on a life-changing adventure.

  • Matthew Francis: Yellow

    Adventurous and illuminating, Matthew Francis’s new poetry collection is full of flight, air and possibility. Read by the author. Matthew Francis’s latest collection celebrates the richness of nature and of our responses to it. The pleasures of summer are emblazoned in the colourful wings and evocative names of butterflies, while a nocturnal encounter with an earwig becomes a joyous incantation to the ‘witchy-beetle, forkin-robin’ of dialect. His love of history, embodied in his acclaimed Mandeville and The Mabinogi, gives rise to a sequence based on Robert Hooke’s microscopic observations. There are tributes to the poets Basho, Dafydd ap Gwilym and W. S. Graham, to fireworks, apple varieties, and hot toddies. And, in a moving elegy for a friend killed in a parachute accident, Francis shows us a vertiginous vision of a world where even the dead ‘sleep on the wing’.

  • Doesn't Hurt to Ask by Trey Gowdy, read by Trey Gowdy
    PRH Audio

    Former congressman and prosecutor Trey Gowdy teaches you how to effectively communicate and persuade on the issues that matter most to you, drawing on his experience in the courtroom and the halls of Congress.

    “A must-read for people who want to learn how best to succeed.”—Dana Perino, Fox News host and bestselling author of And the Good News Is . . .

    You do not need to be in a courtroom to advocate for others. You do not need to be in Congress to champion a cause. From the boardroom to the kitchen table, opportunities to make your case abound, and Doesn’t Hurt to Ask shows you how to seize them. By blending gripping case studies from nearly two decades in a courtroom and four terms in national politics with personal stories and practical advice, Trey Gowdy walks you through the tools and the mindset needed to effectively communicate your message.

    Along the way, Gowdy reflects on the moments in his life when he learned the most about how to argue and convince. He recounts his missteps during his first murder trial, the conversation that changed his view on criminal justice reform, and what he learned while questioning James Comey and Secretary Hillary Clinton.

    Sharing the techniques he perfected advocating in law and politics, Gowdy helps you identify your objective, understand your personal jury, and engage in the art of questioning so you can be heard, be understood, and, ultimately, move others. Whether it’s getting a boss to take a chance on your idea, convincing someone to support your cause, or urging a child to invest more effort in an important task, movement requires persuasion. Doesn’t Hurt to Ask shows you how to persuade, no matter the jury and no matter the cause.

  • The Sandpit by Nicholas Shakespeare, read by David Bark-Jones
    Dead Good Audio

    The Sandpit by Nicholas Shakespeare is a gripping thriller in the vein of le Carré and William Boyd involving the disappearance of a nuclear scientist in Oxford. Listen to a chapter of the audiobook, read by David Bark-Jones. ----- Who do you trust with a secret that could change the world – or destroy it? When John Dyer returns to Oxford from Brazil with his young son, he doesn't expect to find them both in danger. Every day is the same. He drops Leandro at his smart prep school and walks to the library to research his new book. His time living on the edge as a foreign correspondent in Rio is over. But the rainy streets of this English city turn out to be just as treacherous as those he used to walk in the favelas. Leandro’s schoolmates are the children of influential people, among them an international banker, a Russian oligarch, an American CIA operative and a British spook. As they congregate round the sports field for the weekly football matches, the network of alliances and covert interests that spreads between these power brokers soon becomes clear to Dyer. But it is a chance conversation with an Iranian nuclear scientist, Rustum Marvar, father of a friend of Leandro, that sets him onto a truly precarious path. When Marvar and his son disappear, several sinister factions seem acutely interested in Marvar’s groundbreaking research at the Clarendon Lab, and what he might have told Dyer about it, given Dyer was the last person to see Marvar alive. 'A remarkable contemporary thriller – with shades of Graham Greene and Le Carré about it – but also a profound and compelling investigation of a hugely complex human predicament. Brilliantly observed, captivatingly written, grippingly narrated – a triumph' – William Boyd

  • Evil Geniuses by Kurt Andersen, read by Kurt Andersen
    PRH Audio

    When did America give up on fairness? The New York Times bestselling author of Fantasyland tells the epic history of how America decided that big business gets whatever it wants, only the rich get richer, and nothing should ever change—and charts a way back to the future.
    “The one book everyone must read as we figure out how to rebuild our country.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci

    During the twentieth century, America managed to make its economic and social systems both more and more fair and more and more prosperous. A huge, secure, and contented middle class emerged. All boats rose together. But then the New Deal gave way to the Raw Deal. Beginning in the early 1970s, by means of a long war conceived of and executed by a confederacy of big business CEOs, the superrich, and right-wing zealots, the rules and norms that made the American middle class possible were undermined and dismantled. The clock was turned back on a century of economic progress, making greed good, workers powerless, and the market all-powerful while weaponizing nostalgia, lifting up an oligarchy that served only its own interests, and leaving the huge majority of Americans with dwindling economic prospects and hope.

    Why and how did America take such a wrong turn? In this deeply researched and brilliantly woven cultural, economic, and political chronicle, Kurt Andersen offers a fresh, provocative, and eye-opening history of America’s undoing, naming names, showing receipts, and unsparingly assigning blame—to the radical right in economics and the law, the high priests of high finance, a complacent and complicit Establishment, and liberal “useful idiots,” among whom he includes himself.

    Only a writer with Andersen’s crackling energy, deep insight, and ability to connect disparate dots and see complex systems with clarity could make such a book both intellectually formidable and vastly entertaining. And only a writer of Andersen’s vision could reckon with our current high-stakes inflection point, and show the way out of this man-made disaster.

  • The Penguin Podcast: Jackie Morris with Nihal Arthanayake
    Penguin Books UK

    Illustrator and author Jackie Morris, who has collaborated with the likes of Ted Hughes and written over 40 books, talks to Nihal about how she gets creative and the objects that inspire her such as a gold hare with a fascinating backstory. They also chat about her award-winning book 'The Lost Words' (written by Robert Macfarlane), which won The Most Beautiful Book award and in audiobook form has been narrated by Benjamin Zephaniah, Guy Garvey, Cerys Matthews and Edith Bowman with nature sounds by Chris Watson (who has worked with David Attenborough). 'The Lost Words' audiobook is available to download here: #PenguinPodcast

  • The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin, Read by Adam Sims

    Click here to buy: 'Her worlds have a magic sheen . . . She moulds them into dimensions we can only just sense. She is unique. She is legend' THE TIMES 'Le Guin is a writer of phenomenal power' OBSERVER George Orr is a mild and unremarkable man who finds the world a less than pleasant place to live: seven billion people jostle for living space and food. But George dreams dreams which do in fact change reality - and he has no means of controlling this extraordinary power. Psychiatrist Dr William Haber offers to help. At first sceptical of George's powers, he comes to astonished belief. When he allows ambition to get the better of ethics, George finds himself caught up in a situation of alarming peril.