Archive for the ‘Audiobooks’ Category

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, The Audio

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

An “exclusive” nine-minute clip from the audio of Fifty Shades of Grey is on Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” blog. We were suspicious, since the post is dated April 2nd (this year’s unofficial alternate to April Fool’s Day, since it was on a Sunday) and no publisher is listed.

Turns out, dear listeners, that it’s true. RH/Books on Tape confirms that they are doing the audio and that it will be available on OverDrive (UPDATE: it is downloadable ONLY).

BOT Library Edition Downloadable only, OverDrive; ISBN: 9780449808177 Price : $95

The book’s reader Becca Battoe, is the narrator of several YA and children’s audios, including Judy Blume’s It’s Not the End of the World. Her voice sounds young, appropriate for the innocent college student, Anastasia Steele. Don’t worry, the clip is very SFW.

Who should play Anastasia in the planned movie? People magazine suggests six actresses, including Emmy Rossum (starring in Showtime’s series Shameless and in the upcoming film version of the YA title, Beautiful Creatures).

The Book I Can’t Stop Talking About

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Hold on to your seats, I am about to recommend a business audio. It is true that I rarely write about books (or audiobooks) for grown-ups, but I can’t stop talking about Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Tony Hsieh
Retail Price: $29.98
Audio CD: Unabridged
Publisher: Hachette Audio – (2010-06-07)
ISBN : 9781607882305

What is our experience as librarians with the business book category? Do we read them because the Director went to a “who moved my cheese” seminar and found a way to force the staff to read a book not of their choosing? Because the Four Hour Work Week has an appealing title and is on best seller lists? Did a friend recommended Freakanomics?

Business books are a genre I read for fun after a pile of picture books. My first reading of Managing The Non-Profit Organization by Peter Drucker was when I worked as a retail manager for a children’s museum. I was intrigued by the way he laid out organizational structure, interpersonal relationships and above all the difference between a for-profit entity and a non-profit.

I heard the rumors that everyone who worked on Composing a Life by Mary Catherine Bateson quit their job and went to something else, following “their calling.” Within a year of reading it, I, too, quit my job in publishing, enrolled in graduate school and started my career as a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. That’s what a thoughtful examination of how we evaluate our work will do… instigate change.

What is about Delivering Happiness? I’m not in a rut at work. I have high expectations of interesting developments, my managers encourage and support new ideas, curriculum and projects (like the recent BookFest@Bank Street). They expect me to stretch and grow, to mentor and teach, to be passionate about our work and to enjoy the daily work of teaching.

So here comes Tony Hsieh examining and sharing what makes Zappos.com a great place to work. He lays out how serendipity, exciting hard work, kindness, generosity, passion and personal growth can all be part of a corporate strategy for success. Hsieh’s presentation jells with my own philosophy of work life. To be passionate, to encourage others, to be of service, to blow off steam in productive but fun ways, to find ways small and big to improve how we do things to serve our students and teachers, and to do more with less, to learn that obstacles or misaligned philosophies are growth opportunities.

Hsieh’s passion for “delivering happiness” is palpable on the audio edition of the book. He sounds almost amazed at where life has taken him, he generously shares his mistakes and errors in judgement as well in a sure-why-don’t-we-try-that attitude. The audio includes the voices of others on his team who grew Zappos with him as well as Jeff Bezos after the Amazon buy-out. (More complicated than that… read the book).

It confirms my own business philosophy and articulates how I can grow within my organization as well as partner with those outside who share our core values.

Needless to say, I’ll be giving it to many friends this holiday.

ROOM Discussion Group

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

To read Emma Donoghue’s Room is to want to talk about it. Entertainment Weekly‘s “Shelf Life” blog has initiated a Room discussion group that’s bringing in some fascinating comments; we won’t reveal them here because most of them contain spoilers (don’t link if you plan to read it; on the other hand, the spoilers serve as a great cheat sheet for those who don’t want to be left out of the discussions).

One comment we can reveal; “the audio recording is amazing, and probably works even better than print.”

The book, of course, is shortlisted for the Booker. The winner will be announced on Monday.

Room: A Novel
Emma Donoghue
Retail Price: $29.98
Audio CD: 0 pages
Publisher: Hachette Audio – (2010-09-13)
ISBN / EAN: 1607886278 / 9781607886273

Audiophiles

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

David Sedaris is a master of the audio format, so it’s no wonder that he is also a fan.

On the New Yorker Book Bench blog last week, he writes about his favorite audios, a slim selection of four from all time, that achieve the perfect match of both material and narrator. Among his choices are the entire Harry Potter series, but the British version, featuring Stephen Fry a narrator, rather than the American favorite, Jim Dale. The idea of Elaine Stritch reading Dorothy Parker had us salivating, but, sadly, it is no longer available.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of tasty titles on these best audios of 2009 lists:

Gaiman & Sedaris; Audio Fans

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Audiobook sales have dropped this year. On NPR’s Morning Edition today, Neil Gaiman gave the love to the format, supported by David Sedaris also calls himself a “tapeworm,” a habit fostered by his library, and Martin Jarvis, an audiobook reader as well as producer.

It’s worth listening to just to hear all of those great voices.

Jim Dale Fans Rejoice

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

As part of the launch of the Winnie-the-Pooh sequel, Return to The Hundred Acre Wood, Jim Dale, narrator of the audiobook, entertained a group of children at NYPL.

Ron Hogan at GalleyCat recorded Dale, including this brilliant dressing-down of adults who dare to keep their cell phones on:

Several more videos from the event are available on YouTube:

Jim Dale: Return to the Hundred Acre Wood

Jim Dale: Lottie the Otter

Jim Dale: Creating Voices for Winnie the Pooh

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
David Benedictus
Retail Price: $19.95
Audio CD:
Publisher: Penguin Audio – (2009-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 014314507X / 9780143145073

OverDrive Moves to Wireless

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Library customers no longer need to be at their computer to download titles from OverDrive, if they are on the Windows Mobile platform. OverDrive’s new media console allows users to wirelessly download audio, video and music.

OverDrive says in its press release that this is “the first in a series of free mobile applications” and it “sets the stage for future support on additional platforms including iPhone and BlackBerry.”

The full press release is available here.

MAGICIANS Rises Above Mixed Reviews

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Lev Grossman’s novel, The Magicians, about a college student whom USA Today compared to “Holden Caulfield attending Harry Potter’s Hogwarts,” debuts at #77 on USA Today list, and rises to #231 on Amazon. Libraries are showing heavy holds on very light ordering of 3 to 42 copies, even though pre-pub reviews were strong in Booklist, BookPage, Kirkus and Library Journal.

Pervasive review coverage is probably a sign of Grossman’s clout as Time magazine’s book critic, but newspaper reviews have been mixed. USA Today deemed the premise of The Magicians original, but added

It’s like a video game featuring scenarios from classic fantasy writers. And sometimes Grossman can be slyly funny, as when he describes what conversation with a real talking bear would probably be like: dull monologues on honey. But it becomes a chore to slog through this homage to fantasy filtered through an ironic 21st-century sensibility, complete with sex and profanity. Nifty premise aside, Quentin and company never fully grab our attention.

However, the Chicago Tribune wanted “to shake Grossman’s hand and congratulate him for his courage. His book wanders into Harry Potter territory without a backward glance, and that’s gutsy stuff,” and said Grossman’s second novel “blooms with grace and wit and imaginative brio. Grossman has a sense of humor as well as a sense of wonder.”

The Magicians: A Novel
Lev Grossman
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2009-08-11)
ISBN / EAN: 0670020559 / 9780670020553

Also available from Penguin Audiobooks

  • CD: $39.95; ISBN 9780143144397

Books to Watch For Next Week

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Here’s an early jump on some titles going on sale next week that we’re likely to be hearing more about (for more titles, check B&N.com’s Coming Soon section).

Phillippa Gregory returns with The White Queen, about Britain’s wars of the Plantagenets, with a more cinematic jacket look than usual for Gregory (perhaps influenced by huge success of the tie-in to the film of The Other Boleyn Girl). People heralds it this week with 3.5 of a possible 4 stars,

…Gregory’s lush detail and deft storytelling are all in top form here, making The White Queen both mesmerizing and historically rich.

Libraries we checked showed high reserves on orders of up to 56 copies. This is the first of a planned trilogy.

The White Queen: A Novel
Philippa Gregory
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Touchstone – (2009-08-18)
ISBN / EAN: 1416563687 / 9781416563686

Audio available from Simon & Schuster Audio

  • CD: $29.99; ISBN 9780743582292

Large print available from Thorndike

  • $34.95; ISBN 9781410419309

Gail Parkin’s debut novel Baking Cakes in Kigali is an Indie Next pick for September. Set in Rwanda, it features a woman who finds healing after the losses of her two grown children, as we mentioned in an earlier post. Libraries we checked are showing modest reserves and under 10 copies on order. This could be a sleeper.

Baking Cakes in Kigali: A Novel
Gaile Parkin
Retail Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press – (2009-08-18)
ISBN / EAN: 0385343434 / 9780385343435

Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater by New York Times food critic Frank Bruni gets a B+ in Entertainment Weekly. Libraries are showing modest reserves on modest orders. Our guess is that it’s likely to get enough review attention to change that.

Born Round
Frank Bruni
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press Hardcover – (2009-07-21)
ISBN / EAN: 9781594202315/1594202311

Also available on Penguin Audio

  • CD: $39.95: ISBN 9780143145240

NYT Hardcover Fiction – 8/14

Friday, August 14th, 2009

On this week’s New York Times bestseller list, Sherrilyn Kenyon lands in the #1 spot with Bad Moon Rising, her eighth title to achieve that position, according to her website. However, libraries are not so high on her – those we checked have only 12 -48 copies, with holds ranging from 34 to 123.

Bad Moon Rising: A Dark-Hunter Novel (Dark-Hunter Novels)
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – (2009-08-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0312369492 / 9780312369491

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo rises to #2, helped by intense review coverage and some critical controversy, as we mentioned in an earlier post. Libraries we checked have received their orders (from 29 to 206 copies), and show substantial holds (from 200 to 250).

That Old Cape Magic
Richard Russo
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-08-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0375414967 / 9780375414961

Available from Random House Audio

  • CD $40; ISBN 9780739318928

Random House Large Print

  • $26; ISBN 9780739328613

Kathleen Stockett’s debut novel, The Help, rises to #3. We’ve written about the book several times, but libraries we checked still have heavy holds (from 107 to 595) on anywhere from 64 to 129 copies. Given the demand, and the book’s upward trajectory (last week it was at #4) perhaps it’s time to order even more (libraries have been steadily adding copies, but demand continues to outstrip supply). It’s a long wait for the paperback; scheduled for release February 2, 2010.

the-help
The Help
Kathryn Stockett
Retail Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books – (2009-02-10)
ISBN / EAN: 0399155341 / 9780399155345

Also on audio:

  • Audio CD: $39.95, Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio;  (February 10, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0143144189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143144182

Large Type:

  • Hardcover: $32.95; 721 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press (May 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1410415538
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410415530

Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice lands at #5, helped by last week’s major reviews, with holds and copies lower than for Russo’s That Old Cape Magic in the libraries we checked (orders ranged from 9- 29 copies, with holds from 17 to 145).

Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The – (2009-08-04)
ISBN / EAN: 1594202249 / 9781594202247

Also available from Penguin Audiobooks

  • CD: $39.95; ISBN 9780143144762

And finally, Winds of Dune appears at #15. Libraries we checked are in good shape, with few reserves on modest orders.

The Winds of Dune
Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
Retail Price: $27.99
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Tor Books – (2009-08-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0765322722 / 9780765322722

Also on Macmillan Audio

  • CD: $59.99; ISBN  9781427207630

The Obama Book Club

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

President Obama’s gotten caught reading by the press fairly consistently since May 2008 – though more often during the campaign than during the first six months of his presidency. Rather handily, the Daily Beast has recapped his reading picks, which shows “a predilection for presidential profiles, a weakness for explain-it-all bestsellers, and the occasional hankering for literary fiction.”

There are 12 entries so far – that’s a year’s supply of reading for enterprising book clubs!

What Is the What
Dave Eggers
Retail Price: $15.95
Paperback Edition: 560 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2007-11-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0676979491 / 978-0676979497 /

Also available from BBC audio:

  • 17 CDs $39.95; 978-1-60283-262-6

Library editions:

  • 17 CDs $124.95; 9780792748953
  • 2 MP3 CD’s  $74.95; 978-0-7927-4916-5
2 MP3CD Audiobook 20 Hr 31 Min
ISBN: 978-0-7927-4916-2 MP3 CD’s $74.95; 978-0-7927-4916-5
Netherland (Vintage Contemporaries)
Joseph O’Neill
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2009-05-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0307388778 / 9780307388773

Also available from Recorded Books

  • CD: #34.99; ISBN 9781436155427
Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet
Jeffrey D. Sachs
Retail Price: $17.00
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2009-02-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0143114875 / 9780143114871

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Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer
Fred Kaplan
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2008-11-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0060773340 / 9780060773342

Available from Brilliance Audio

  • CD: $34.99; ISBN 9781423370994
  • MP3 CD: $24.95;  ISBN 9781423371014
The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope
Jonathan Alter
Retail Price: $16.00
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2007-05-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0743246012 / 9780743246019

Available from BBC Audiobooks America

  • CD: $19.95; ISBN 9781572705531
FDR
Jean Edward Smith
Retail Price: $20.00
Paperback: 880 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks – (2008-05-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0812970497 / 9780812970494

Available from Random House Audio

  • CD: $34.95; ISBN 9780739343449
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
Steve Coll
Retail Price: $18.00
Paperback: 738 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2004-12-28)
ISBN / EAN: 0143034669 / 9780143034667

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Collected Poems, 1948-1984
Derek Walcott
Retail Price: $20.00
Paperback: 516 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (1987-01-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0374520259 / 9780374520250

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Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America
Thomas L. Friedman
Retail Price: $16.00
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Picador – (2009-11-24)
ISBN / EAN: 0312428928 / 9780312428921

Also available from BBC Audio:

  • 17 CD’s $124.95; 9780792754756
Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age
Larry M. Bartels
Retail Price: $29.95
Hardcover: 328 pages
Publisher: Princeton University Press – (2008-04-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0691136637 / 9780691136639

Available in large print paperback:

  • $17.99; ISBN 9781594133350

And from MacMillan Audio

  • CD: $59.95: ISBN 9781427204585
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Retail Price: $21.00
Paperback: 944 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2006-09-26)
ISBN / EAN: 0743270754 / 9780743270755

Available from Simon & Schuster Audio

  • CD: $39.95; ISBN 9780743539135
The Post-American World
Fareed Zakaria
Retail Price: $15.95
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. – (2009-05-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0393334805 / 9780393334807

Available from Simon & Schuster Audio

  • CD: $39.95; ISBN 9780743576857

Diamant is Indie Next Pick for Sept.

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Day After Night by Anita Diamant is the top choice on the independent booksellers’ Indie Next list for September. At one library we checked, reserves were as high as 106 on 38 copies, but World Cat shows that only 53 libraries have it.

Here’s how Kris Kleindienst, co-owner of Left Bank Books, Saint Louis, MO pitched the novel:

“Four women with four different stories of surviving the European Jewish Holocaust find themselves in an internment camp run by the British military in Palestine as illegals, Jews without papers. Based on the true story of a dramatic rescue in 1945 of more than 200 prisoners at the Atlit internment camp, this extraordinary novel is equal parts history, adventure, and celebration of the profound determination of the human psyche. I loved this book and will recommend it for reading groups.”

Day After Night: A Novel
Anita Diamant
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Scribner – (2009-09-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0743299841 / 9780743299848

Also available from Simon & Schuster Audio on Sept. 1

  • CD $29.99; ISBN 9780743598392

The Indie Next #3 pick for September, Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin, is a debut novel that’s a strong favorite of Jen Childs, over at Random House’s library marketing department, and was also picked by librarians at the BEA “Shout and Share” panel. World Cat shows that 93 libraries have it, but libraries we checked show only modest reserves – though it’s still early.

Here’s a pitch from Sandy Scott at The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT:

“Cake maker Angel Tungaraza lives in a multicultural community in Rwanda, where she finds healing after the losses of her two grown children as she helps others solve their own problems with equal doses of common sense and kindness. Tragedy and humor find balance in this thoroughly enjoyable novel.”

Baking Cakes in Kigali: A Novel
Gaile Parkin
Retail Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press – (2009-08-18)
ISBN / EAN: 0385343434 / 9780385343435

Divided Response to Russo’s Latest

Friday, August 7th, 2009

It’s a busy week for big league book critics – on the heels of reviewing Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, they’re quickly turning to Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Russo’s That Old Cape Magic, about a middle-aged college writing professor and screenwriter who struggles to deal with his father’s death, the dissolution of his marriage and the stress of his daughter’s wedding. As the reviews proliferate, libraries are showing widely varying reserves – from 5 to 160 – on anywhere from 5 to 53 copies.

But guess what?  While the guys like it, at least one female critic is skeptical of how Russo treats his women.

In Newsweek, Jennie Yabroff comes right out and asks, Is Richard Russo a Misogynist?, declaring  

“One would expect a writer of such celebrated humanism to treat his female characters with as much compassion as his male ones. But Russo simply doesn’t.  . . . [His] novels and stories contain multitudes, yet only two types of women: perfect bitches and perfect angels. Either way, these women are like smooth, shiny ball bearings, their interiors impenetrable and unknowable. None of them seems at all conflicted about who she is or what she wants.”

However, critic and online chat host Bethanne Patrick of The Book Studio.com disagrees with Yabroff:

“Where she sees foils, I see detailed portraits of women whose lives have been forever changed and sometimes ruined by the actions of men they’ve chosen to love and live with. . . . Where Yabroff sees men simmering with resentment towards women, I see men who can’t live without women and know it – they’re trying mightily to figure out what lack in themselves causes them to need women yet also not treat them on an equal level.”

Meanwhile, The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles calls the book a “dyspeptic romantic comedy” that’s more intimate and written on a smaller canvas than his recent sprawling epics, but which

“makes up for it with psychological nuance about the ties that bind — and snap. It’s a marvelous portrayal of the strands of affection and irritation that run through a family, entangling in-laws and children’s crushes and even old friends.”

The Wall St. Journal interviews Russo, who reveals that he “worked on the novel while he was mourning the death of his mother and marrying off his two daughters. (His marriage of 37 years is doing just fine, he says.)” He’s also working on an HBO pilot about the conflict between failing dairy farmers and people with second homes over the discovery of natural oil deposits in the Catskills and Western Pennsylvania, with a woman as the central character.

That Old Cape Magic
Richard Russo
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-08-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0375414967 / 9780375414961

Available from Random House Audio

  •  CD $40; ISBN 9780739318928

Random House Large Print

  • $26; ISBN 9780739328613

Listen to THE HEDGEHOG

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

My EarlyWord partner Fred Ciporen is an audiophile and a Barbara Rosenblat fanatic. I swear, the man sometimes choses to drive when it would make more sense to fly, just so he can listen to her.

So, I was pleased that not only has HighBridge Audio (this week’s sponsor), just released an audio version of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, but that Barbara Rosenblat is one of the two narrators. Give it a listen by clicking on the banner above; I think you’ll see why Fred is enamored.

It’s a timely release, since Newsweek just included The Elegance of the Hedgehog as one of the few newer titles on their What to Read. Right Now list. Even though the book was published in September, libraries are still showing long reserve lists.

Oprah Gives Push to ‘Precious’

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Precious, an upcoming film based on Sapphire’s 1996 novel Push, got a big boost yesterday when Oprah interviewed Mo’Nique, the actress who plays the snarling mother of the movie’s tragically abused 16 year-old protagonist. “I saw Mo’Nique’s performance in this film and was so blown away,” Oprah said. “She is giving the performance of a lifetime.”

Set for release November 6, the film has already won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. On viewing the trailer, Entertainment Weekly declared:

Precious actually looks like it’s about something. Namely, a teenage girl (newcomer Gabourey Sidibe) wrestling with pregnancy, economic hardships, and a monstrous mother (Mo’Nique) who berates her every chance she gets. This is a side of America most of us rarely see, especially in the movies.”

Libraries we checked showed reserves on Push, with fewer than 10 copies on hand. But here’s some justification for buying more: Oprah is likely to continue her drumbeat for the film, which will be distributed in cooperation with her own Harpo Productions and Tyler Perry’s 34th Street Productions.

 Here’s the trailer:


 
Push: A Novel
Sapphire
Price: $12.95
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (1997-04-29)
ISBN-10: 0679766758
ISBN-13: 9780679766759

A movie tie-in edition is also forthcoming from Vintage, but the jacket art is not yet available.

Push: Movie-Tie in Edition
Sapphire
Price: $12.95
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage Books USA – (2009-05)
ISBN-10: 0307474844
ISBN-13: 9780307474841

An audiobook version will be released on July 28, 2009 by Books On Tape :

  • Narrator: Bahni Turpin
  • ISBN: 9781415967171
  • $60; 6 CDS; Unabridged