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J.A. JANCE (read by Karen Ziemba)/Fatal Error: Well, it's billed as thriller but it has so many moving parts in the story that it could easily have been a Harlequin Romance gussied up with a load of contemporary touches. With mid life career changes and cyber psychos afoot, how's a former broadcast journalist that's ditched it all for going to cop school supposed to keep her head above water when her old pal turns up, her suitor turns up dead and all the women he done wrong turn up as suspects? Quite a mouthful, and this unabridged tale is quite a story full. A few years ago, this might have been chick lit but now it's a full blown, full blooded (bloodied?) mystery that invites one and all into the tent. Jance writes for everyone these days and she knows how to deliver well as she‘s sure to continue her best selling ways. Check it out.

MARTIN SELIGMAN/Learned Optimism: A recent study came out saying that the Lady Gaga's of this world go farther because they really believe they have God on their side. This tome doesn't go that far, but it really should be rebranded as The Real Secret" since Seligman takes people to task for holding themselves back simply because they think like screw ups----and they can change that! Common sense talk that won't land anyone on Oprah to plug their wares, Seligman's postulate is that to stop being a screw up, you have to start by stop thinking like a screw up. Do they give out research grants for this?

RONALD REAGAN/An American Life: The autobiography from one of the stars of the first made for TV movie is reissued in honor of his 100th birthday, recently observed. Changing the face of American life with his hosting roles for "Death Valley Days" and "GE Theater", this boy from Illinois had an interesting life with some non-actorly jobs along the way in later life. We tend to be apolitical, but political junkies can certainly get into this I-was-there recollection of a time that was.

(read by CAMPBELL SCOTT)/O A Presidential Novel: Not exactly "The Story of O" that we all know and love, this is a political fiction by someone alleged to be close to Obama telling us a fictional laydown of the 2012 election, but it's done "Animal Farm" style. It's hard to top the world wide brouhaha unfolding these days on CNN, but literate types that enjoy politics will have fun with this hefty, unabridged telling of the kind of political fiction that rears it's head every four years. The fun, of course, will be seeing how much of this fiction comes true.

HOWARD GORDON (read by Carlos Bernard)/Gideon's War: So what happens when you can't get enough "24" or "X Files" now that they are both out of production? Well the exec producer of both shows is hanging around the house with nothing to do, so he wrote a rip roaring thriller and got one of the actors from "24" to give it voice. A super agent, a rogue agent who turns out to be his brother and an oil rig full of terrorists. Sound like something the political thriller/conspiracy junkie might love? Taking all the stuff from current headline and mixing it with the fiction stored up in his fevered brain with no where to go, this is a solid, unabridged two fisted tale that easily replaces cold war intrigue. "24" fans, start your engines!

MIKE DOOLEY/2012 Prophecies & Possibilities: Hell, the Mayans already said it's all over next year. Isn't that why we're walking away from our mortgages and maxing out our credit card?. In an audio only presentation, you get a night with Dooley, which is certainly not for the people who prefer a night with Kevin Smith, where Dooley looks into the crystal ball and tells you how to survive and get ahead in the coming chaos---even if the world doesn't end on schedule. So what's wrong with a little positive thought from a guy that really believes it?

PATTON OSWALT/Zombie Spaceship Wasteland: Filter Mort Sahl through Chris Rock and leaven with Dennis Miller type references the average pomo kid can understand and you begin to get a sense of where Oswalt is coming from. Giving us something approximating his autobiography but heavily laced with stand up, Oswalt proves he'd be funny reading the phone book, particularly if it was a yellow pages with a hefty "escort" section. Certainly, if you dug him before you will dig him again as he fits himself into another skin to shed his own. A wild ride of an unabridged gasser. Check it out.

ANNIE PROULX (read by Joan Allen)/Bird Cloud: As a fiction writer, we all have to agree that Proulx is a top shelf call brand all the way. Here we find her in non-fiction/autobiography mode detailing how she wanted to live in harmony with nature in the wilderness and how she went about getting it done. A nice change from something like "Flip This House", this isn't about anything other than wanting to live right and being able to afford to call the shots on your own terms, without worrying about resale value or over improving the property for the neighborhood. Anything but dry and self-congratulatory, this is merely a slice from a life well lived, openly shared in fine style.

Volume 34/Number 111
February 20, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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