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Library book picks: AudioBookCloud reads

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library Local History Librarian. This week’s column features titles from AudioBookCloud. Don’t forget that you can access AudioBookCloud from the website https://wcvpl.biblionix.com and you don’t need a library card to access these titles.

The Association of Small Bombs by Karen Mahajan explores the effects of terrorism on both victims and perpetrators. One day in 1996, three New Delhi schoolboys—Tushar and Nakul Khurana and Ahmed Mansoor—are picking up their family’s television from the repair shop when a bomb tares through the marketplace. Tushar and Nakul are killed, but Ahmed survives with physical and psychological scars. Years later he attends university in America and falls in with a mysterious and charismatic young man named Ayub who is more malleable than Ahmed expected. Woven among this is the story of Shockie, a Kashmiri bomber who has given up a life of his own to see his country free.

Jim Harrison delivers three novellas in The Ancient Minstrel. In the title story, an aging writer spars with his estranged wife with whom he still lives in Montana, weathers the slings and arrows of literary success, and deals with the pregnant sow he bought on a whim. In Eggs, a Montana woman reminisces about gathering eggs at her grandparents’ house in London. Years later, after never having a child, she attempts to do so. Finally, in the Case of the Howling Buddhas, retired Detective Sunderson is hired as a private investigator to look into a strange cult that derives enlightenment by howling with the howler monkeys at the zoo.

In Sister Women, playwright Mark Dunn presents four audio plays about Southern women. In Dix Tableaux, two women chart the course of each other’s lives, nurturing a friendship that, in the end, becomes the strongest and most sustaining of their lives. Van Choc Straw is a bittersweet comedy about tenuous family ties and the often stronger bonds of friendship that lattice the final years of our lives. Inspired by My Fair Lady, PIGmalion tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, who sells pork rinds and dreams of working as a waitress at “one of those nice downtown barbecue restaurants where all the tourists go”. Deep in the Heart is a serious comedy about the value of family and friendship, the importance of self-forgiveness, and the special healing joy that comes to those who know how to “drink life to the dregs”.

Mona Awad explores body obsessed culture in 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl. Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks—even though her best friend Mel says she’s the pretty one. She starts dating guys online, but she’s afraid to send pictures, even when her skinny friend China does her makeup: she knows no one would want her if they could really see her. So, she starts to lose. With punishing drive, she counts almonds consumed, miles logged, pounds dropped. She fights her way into coveted dresses. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?

A serious comedy about the value of family and friendship, the importance of self-forgiveness, and the special healing joy that comes to those who know how to “drink life to the dregs,” Deep in the Heart, adapted from the award-winning comedy-drama The Deer and the Antelope Play, by Mark Dunn tells the story of an East Texas family – a mother, daughter, and grandmother – who face tragedy and assorted misfortunes head-on with the help of the strange young woman, believed to be a former prostitute, who comes to live with them.

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