Tolstoy and the Purple Chair


From Publishers Weekly

When Sankovitch lost her older sister to cancer, she was determined to "live her life double" in order to make up for her family's painful loss. But after three years spent at a frenetic pace, Sankovitch decided to slow down and rediscover the pleasure of books in order to reconnect with the memory of her sister. Despite the day-to-day responsibilities of raising four sons—and the holidays, vacations, and sudden illnesses that accompany a large family—Sankovitch vowed to read one book a day for an entire year and blog about it. In this entertaining bibliophile's dream, Sankovitch (who launched and was profiled in the New York Times) found that her "year of magical reading" was "not a way to rid myself of sorrow but a way to absorb it." As well as being an homage to her sister and their family of readers, Sankovitch's memoir speaks to the power that books can have over our daily lives. Sankovitch champions the act of reading not as an indulgence but as a necessity, and will make the perfect gift from one bookworm to another.
“A beautifully fluid, reflective, and astute memoir that gracefully combines affecting family history with expert testimony about how books open our minds to ‘the complexity and entirety of the human experience.’ Sankovitch’s reading list in all its dazzling variety is top-notch.” (Booklist )

“What Sankovitch has accomplished in her first book is not only to celebrate the transformational, even healing, powers of reading, but to give the reader a feeling of reading those books as well, through the eyes of an astute reader.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

“Her deeply moving memoir artfully intertwines her immigrant family’s history with the universal themes of hope, resilience, and memory. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair celebrates not only the healing power of literature but its ability to connect us to the best of ourselves — and each other.” (American Way )

The Lady in Gold


The spellbinding story, part fairy tale, part suspense, of Gustav Klimt'sPortrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, one of the most emblematic portraits of its time; of the beautiful, seductive Viennese Jewish salon hostess who sat for it; the notorious artist who painted it; the now vanished turn-of-the-century Vienna that shaped it; and the strange twisted fate that befell it.

The great Austrian artist Gustav Klimt painted sensually in a repressed age, and Adele Bloch-Bauer may be his most famous subject. Her story was almost lost, though, as the Nazis rewrote artistic history. Coleen Marlo's voice captures the romance, drama, and emotion, along with the wry ironies, of a fascinating story. This story of a painting is also the story of women's lives, Adolf Hitler's failed artistic career, the Nazi treatment of Jews, and the efforts to reclaim the painting after WWII. It involves such famous people as Mark Twain, Hedy Lamarr, and Sigmund Freud. Art lovers and history buffs alike will want to hear about the famous disputed portrait. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine [Published: FEBRUARY 2013]
Review Excerpts
"O'Connor resurrects fascinating individuals and tells a many-faceted, intensely affecting, and profoundly revelatory tale of the inciting power of art and the unending need for justice." ---Booklist Starred Review
"This is an essential title for [listeners] interested in art history, European history, and Judaic studies." ---Library Journal Starred Review
"Art-history fans will love the deep details of the painting, and history buffs will revel in the facts O'Connor includes as she exposes a deeper picture of World War II." ---Kirkus

Now, Voyager


“Don’t let’s ask for the moon! We have the stars!” The film that concludes with Bette Davis’s famous words, reaffirmed Davis’s own stardom and changed the way Americans smoked cigarettes. But few contemporary fans of this story of a woman’s self-realization know its source. Olive Higgins Prouty’s 1941 novel Now, Voyager provides an even richer, deeper portrait of the inner life of its protagonist and the society she inhabits. Viewed from a distance of more than 60 years, it also offers fresh and quietly radical takes on psychiatric treatment, traditional family life, female desire, and women’s agency.
Boston blueblood Charlotte Vale has led an unhappy, sheltered life. Lonely, dowdy, repressed, and pushing 40, Charlotte finds salvation at a sanitarium, where she undergoes an emotional and physical transformation. After her extreme makeover, the new Charlotte tests her mettle by embarking on a cruise—and finds herself in a torrid love affair with a married man.

A World Without Cancer


A provocative and surprising investigation into the ways that profit, personalities, and politics obstruct real progress in the war on cancer—and one doctor’s passionate call to action
As a diagnostic radiologist who has watched patients, friends, and family suffer with and die from cancer—and who was deeply affected by the enraged husband of one particular patient—Dr. Margaret I. Cuomo has been inspired to seek out new strategies for waging a smarter war on cancer.
About 1.6 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed a year, and more than 1,500 people die each day. We’ve been asked to accept the disappointing strategy to “manage cancer as a chronic disease.” We’ve allowed pharmaceutical companies to position as breakthroughs cancer drugs that extend life by mere weeks and may cost $100,000 for a single course of treatment. Where is the bold leadership that will transform our system from treatment to prevention? Have we forgotten the mission of the National Cancer Act of 1971 to “conquer cancer?”
Through an analysis of more than forty years of medical evidence and interviews with the top cancer researchers, drug company executives, and health policy advisers, Dr. Cuomo reveals the intriguing answers to these questions. She shows us how all cancer stakeholders—the pharmaceutical industry, the government, physicians, and concerned citizens—can change the way we view and fight cancer in this country.

The Glitter and the Gold


Consuelo Vanderbilt was young, beautiful and the heir to a vast family fortune. She was also deeply in love with an American suitor when her mother chose instead for her to fulfill her social ambitions and marry an English Duke. Leaving her life in America, she came to England as the Duchess of Marlborough in 1895 and took up residence in her new home—Blenheim Palace.The ninth Duchess gives unique first-hand insight into life at the very pinnacle of English society in the Edwardian era. An unsnobbish, but often amused observer of the intricate hierarchy both upstairs and downstairs at Blenheim Palace, she is also a revealing witness to the glittering balls, huge weekend parties and major state occasions she attended or hosted. Here are her encounters with every important figure of the day—from Queen Victoria, Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Tsar Nicholas, Prince Metternich and the young Winston Churchill.This intimate, richly enjoyable memoir is a wonderfully revealing portrait of a golden age.

"A woman of poise, beauty, and charm looks back on her life at the very center of the most opulent and aristocratic society of three countries, the United States, Britain, and France . . . and emerges . . . a woman of courage, public spirit refinement, and surprisingly democratic convictions." ---The New York Times

The Grieving Garden


Every year, some two million parents in the U.S. suffer the death of a son or daughter. The unnatural sequence of the child's preceding the parent in death creates a wrenching loss and overwhelming emotional and spiritual disorientation. Most of these bereaved parents find relief from their isolation only in the company of others like themselves. The Grieving Garden offers the support, understanding, and ultimately comfort and hope, from those who have shed the same tears over the death of a child.



A wildly inventive new collection of stories by Joyce Carol Oates that charts the surprising ways in which the world we think we know can unexpectedly reveal its darker contours
The New York Times has hailed Joyce Carol Oates as "a dangerous writer in the best sense of the word, one who takes risks almost obsessively with energy and relish." Black Dahlia & White Rose, a collection of eleven previously uncollected stories, showcases the keen rewards of Oates's relentless brio and invention. In one beautifully honed story after another, Oates explores the menace that lurks at the edges of and intrudes upon even the seemingly safest of lives—and maps with rare emotional acuity the transformational cost of such intrusions.
Unafraid to venture into no-man's-lands both real and surreal, Oates takes readers deep into dangerous territory, from a maximum-security prison—vividly delineating the heartbreaking and unexpected atmosphere of such an institution—to the inner landscapes of two beautiful and mysteriously doomed young women in 1940s Los Angeles: Elizabeth Short, otherwise known as the Black Dahlia, victim of a long-unsolved and particularly brutal murder, and her roommate Norma Jeane Baker, soon to become Marilyn Monroe. Whether exploring the psychological compulsion of the wife of a well-to-do businessman who is ravished by, and elopes with, a lover who is not what he seems or the uneasily duplicitous relationships between young women and their parents, Black Dahlia & White Rose explores the compelling intertwining of dread and desire, the psychic pull and trauma of domestic life, and resonates at every turn with Oates's mordant humor and her trenchant observation.

The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age


A captivating biography of America's first female tycoon, Hetty Green, the iconoclast who forged one of the greatest fortunes of her time.
    No woman in the Gilded Age made as much money as Hetty Green. At the time of her death in 1916, she was worth at least 100 million dollars, equal to more than 2 billion dollars today. A strong believer in women being financially independent, she offered valuable lessons for the present times.

Narrator Coleen Marlo aptly portrays a woman ahead of her time--intelligent and cunning enough to have amassed a fortune. Her net worth of $100 million dollars, for which she was tagged the "Witch of Wall Street," was unprecedented for a woman in the Gilded Age. Marlo deftly delivers the author's deep insights into historical events during Green's lifetime, including the Civil War, bank failings, stock market crashes, and the struggles of the women's movement. Green's life was filled with rewards and disappointments. Never quite gaining her father's approval despite her success in the world of finance, she was simultaneously despised and envied by men less capable. Her fortune helped support churches, municipalities, and even New York City itself. B.J.P. © AudioFile 2013



Lauren Stevenson, who has been transformed into a stunning beauty as a result of necessary plastic surgery, should be enjoying her new good looks. Instead, a series of accidents and near-misses at her home and business put her in fear for her life, and she becomes suspicious of Matt Kruger, the hunky new man in her life. Coleen Marlo's smooth, often breathless voice is the perfect vehicle for this romantic thriller. Marlo's delivery is rapid-fire and enthusiastic, with an unusual elongation of some words that is interesting. Her changes in tone and slight accents make the characters generally recognizable. Although the story is not as memorable as some of Delinsky's other work, Marlo's narration makes for an enjoyable audio experience. A.C.P. © AudioFile 2012


Audio Sample Link

How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children
National polls show that Americans are increasingly concerned about vaccine safety and the right to make individual, informed choices together with their healthcare practitioners. Vaccine Epidemic focuses on the searing debate surrounding individual and parental vaccination choice in the United States. Featuring more than 20 experts from the fields of ethics, law, science, medicine, business, and history, Vaccine Epidemic urgently calls for reform. It is the essential handbook for the vaccination choice movement and required reading for all people contemplating vaccination for themselves and their children.
Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland edit and introduce a diverse array of interrelated topics concerning the explosive vaccine controversy, including:
  • The human right to vaccination choice
  • The ethics and constitutionality of vaccination mandates
  • Personal narratives of parents, children, and soldiers who have suffered vaccine injury
  • Vaccine safety science and evidence-based medicine
  • Corrupting conflicts of interest in the national vaccine program
  • What should parents do? A review of eight advice books on vaccines that span the gamut.

The Marriage Bargain



"Actor and award-winning narrator Coleen Marlo provides a clear and well-paced reading of a light, contemporary romance." ---Library Journal Audio Review

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner Alexa Maria McKenzie casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend's older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart. A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn't be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans . . .


This important audiobook combines authoritative information and humanitarian insight into the transsexual experience.
Filled with wisdom and understanding, this groundbreaking book paints a vivid portrait of conflicts transsexuals face on a daily basis - and the courage they must summon as they struggle to reveal their true being to themselves and others. True Selves offers valuable guidance for those who are struggling to understand these people and their situations.
Using real-life stories, actual letters, and other compelling examples, the authors give a clear understanding of what it means to be transsexual. They also give other useful advice, including how to deal compassionately with these commonly misunderstood individuals - by keeping an open heart; communicating fears, pain, and support; and respecting choices.



From critically acclaimed true crime writer Kathryn Casey comes the story of the brutal murders of a mother and child in a quiet suburb of Houston—at the hands of the one closest to them. 

There was no damning evidence directly linking the brutal murder to husband David, who stood by emotionless and dry-eyed as police searched the crime scene. But a dogged eight-year investigation would expose a shocking history of cruelty and domination, infidelity and rage—ultimately resulting in an epic courtroom battle for the ages—as the scandalous truth was revealed about love betrayed and innocent lives . . . shattered. 

Mansion of Happiness, A History of Life and Death


 Renowned Harvard scholar and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has composed a strikingly original, ingeniously conceived, and beautifully crafted history of American ideas about life and death from before the cradle to beyond the grave. How does life begin? What does it mean? What happens when we die? “All anyone can do is ask,” Lepore writes. “That’s why any history of ideas about life and death has to be, like this book, a history of curiosity.” Lepore starts that history with the story of a seventeenth-century Englishman who had the idea that all life begins with an egg and ends it with an American who, in the 1970s, began freezing the dead. In between, life got longer, the stages of life multiplied, and matters of life and death moved from the library to the laboratory, from the humanities to the sciences. Lately, debates about life and death have determined the course of American politics. Each of these debates has a history. Investigating the surprising origins of the stuff of everyday life — from board games to breast pumps — Lepore argues that the age of discovery, Darwin, and the space age turned ideas about life on earth topsy-turvy. “New worlds were found,” she writes, and “old paradises were lost.” As much a meditation on the present as an excavation of the past, The Mansion of Happiness is delightful, learned, and altogether beguiling.   

Calling Invisible Women

“Women of a certain age will devour Ray’s sly satire on the perils of big pharma, middle age, and the unseen consequences of living the quiet life.” –Booklist

“Offers a lot of witty charm.” –Kirkus

“Jeanne Ray is truly wise and funny about family, friendship, and love—about the ways in which we see (and don’t see) each other. Calling Invisible Women is an utter delight.” –Hilma Wolitzer

A Single Rose


Matchmaking comes as easily to Victoria Lesser as breathing. Then two of the couples she has brought together decide to turn the tables, and set up a match for her with a treasure-seeking professor who's sailing to Costa Rica. Usually fearless, the intrepid Victoria gets cold feet, and talks her niece, Shaye, into coming with her. The professor shows a little caution, too - he's brought along his nephew, Noah. As the four of them head for their exotic destination, sparks fly between Shaye and Noah, and the older couple can't help but fan the flames.

Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency

Nearly fifty years after being sworn in as president of the United States in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Baines Johnson remains a largely misunderstood figure. His force of personality, mastery of power and the political process, and boundless appetite for social reform made him one of the towering figures of his time. But he was one of the most protean and paradoxical of presidents as well. Because of his flawed nature and inherent contradictions, some claimed there were as many LBJs as there were people who knew him.

Through original interviews and personal accounts from White House aides and Cabinet members, political allies and foes, and friends and family—from Robert McNamara to Barry Goldwa­ter, Lady Bird Johnson to Jacqueline Kennedy—as well as through Johnson’s own candid reflections and historic White House telephone conversa­tions, Indomitable Will reveals LBJ as never before.

The Master's Muse

In the tradition of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife comes an unforgettable novel based on the life of George Balanchine’s fifth wife, a star ballerina whose career was cut short after she contracted polio at age twenty-six.
Set against the backdrop of the fashionable, creative New York of the 1960s and ’70s, The Master’s Musetells the remarkable story of two artistic legends whose profound love and complicated relationship forever changed American cultural history.

Once author Varley O’Connor, the daughter of a polio survivor, came across the facts about Tanaquil (Tanny) Le Clercq, she could not get the story out of her mind. O’Connor dug deeper, reading countless articles and interviews and watching hundreds of hours of documentaries and New York City Ballet footage to capture Le Clercq’s essence. The result is an evocative, compelling portrayal of the seventeen-year marriage between George Balanchine—the ballet master credited with creating an American style of dance—and his final wife, Tanaquil Le Clercq.

“Graceful and penetrating…This passionate novel not only gives a glimpse into the ballet world of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, its eccentric characters bring the story to life.”—Publishers Weekly

“This is not a novel about victimization or the malevolence of genius but rather about the painful accommodations all of us make for the things and people we love. Thoughtful, tender, and quite gripping, even for readers unfamiliar with the historical events the author sensitively reimagines.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A brilliant novel in memoir form, The Master’s Muse is pure magic. As I read and was thoroughly absorbed by the writing, the remarkable characters, and the story, I simply could not believe this was a work of fiction, not an authentic memoir, expertly written. The Master’s Muse is a superb performance by Varley O’Connor. From one writer to another, my hat’s off.”—Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife

Slouching Toward Adulthood


Millions of American parents sit down to dinner every night, wondering why fully grown children are joining them—or, more likely, grunting good-bye as they head out for another night of who knows what. Sally Koslow, a journalist, novelist, and mother of two "adultescents" digs deep to reveal what lies behind the current generation’s unwillingness—or inability—to take flight.
By delving into the latest research and conducting probing interviews with both frustrated parents and their frustrated offspring, Koslow uses humor, insight, and honest self-reflection to give voice to the issues of prolonged dependency. From the adultescent’s relationship to work (or no work), money (that convenient parental ATM), or social life,Slouching Toward Adulthood is a provocative, razor-sharp, but heartfelt cri de coeur for all the parents who sent their kids to college only to have them ricochet home with a diploma in one hand and the DVR remote in the other.

Cuts Like a Knife

Chicago has a new resident—a heartless killer on a long crime spree. Kristen Conner (think Sandra Bullock inMiss Congeniality) is a good cop and a good girl: she loves her mom, goes to church and coaches her niece’s soccer team. And her track record and instincts as a detective are impeccable . . . but this case and this killer expose a blind spot that ultimately endangers those closest to her. Can she catch this hauntingly familiar culprit before he strikes again? Cuts Like a Knife is loaded with action, humor and wry introspection.

The Richer Sex

Bestselling journalist Liza Mundy's smart, deeply reported analysis of the most important cultural shift since the rise of feminism: the coming era in which women will earn more than men, and how this will change work, love, and sex.

A revolution is under way. Within a generation, more households will be supported by women than by men. In The Richer Sex, Liza Mundy shows how this reality will transform the sexual, dating, marriage, and work habits of men and women worldwide.

The first in-depth examination of this cataclysmic social revolution, The Richer Sex is one of those rare nonfiction books that will cause men and women to rethink how they are living their lives and what the changes around them mean.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

"First off let me say that Ms. Marlo's performance was the best I've heard from a narrator since I've been listening to books. She was perfect. I don't use that term often either! Listen and you will see!!" Audible review.

Book List *Starred Review* In a series of brutally introspective missives to her husband, Franklin, from whom she is separated, Eva tries to come to grips with the fact that their 17-year-old son, Kevin, has killed seven students and two adults... Guiltily she recalls how, as a successful writer, she was terrified of having a child. Was it for revenge, then, that from the moment of his birth Kevin was the archetypal difficult child, screaming for hours, refusing to nurse, driving away countless nannies, and intuitively learning to "divide and conquer" his parents? When their daughter, loving and patient Celia, is born, Eva feels vindicated; but as the gap between her view of Kevin as a "Machiavellian miscreant" and Franklin's efforts to explain away their son's aberrant behavior grows wider, they find themselves facing divorce. In crisply crafted sentences that cut to the bone of her feelings about motherhood, career, family, and what it is about American culture that produces child killers, Shriver yanks the reader back and forth between blame and empathy, retribution and forgiveness. Never letting up on the tension, Shriver ensures that, like Eva, the reader grapples with unhealed wounds.

Mad Women

Mad Women is a tell-all account of life in the New York advertising world of the 1960s and '70s from Jane Maas, a female copywriter who succeeded in the primarily male environment portrayed by the hit TV show Mad Men.

Fans of the show are dying to know how accurate it is: did people really have that much sex in the office? Were there really three-martini lunches? Were women really second-class citizens? Jane Maas says the answer to all three questions is unequivocally yes. And her book, based on her own experiences and countless interviews with her peers, gives the full stories, from the junior account man whose wife nearly left him when she found the copy of Screw magazine he’d used to find “entertainment” for a client, to the Ogilvy & Mather agency’s legendary annual sex-and-booze-filled Boat Ride, from which it was said no virgin ever returned intact. Wickedly funny and full of juicy inside information, Mad Women also tackles the tougher issues of the era, such as equal pay, rampant jaw-dropping sexism, and the difficult choice many women faced between motherhood and their careers.

LIBRARY JOURNAL  STARRED AUDIO REVEWThe packaging blurb proclaims Maas to be “a real-life Peggy Olson, right out of Mad Men,” but this memoir and exploration of women’s roles in 1960s advertising proves that Maas was far more than the TV character. A major force in many ad campaigns at numerous agencies, Maas provides here an insider’s view of the social, political, gender, censorship, class, and related issues brought up by the popular series—and much the TV audience doesn’t get to see. Her book offers a highly informative and humorous look at not just the advertising industry but the plight and promise of working mothers of the time. VERDICT Coleen Marlo has won multiple audiobook awards for her narrations and along with the author makes the listener want to hear more stories. Essential for collections of history and media and women’s studies for and marketing courses.—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo

Other People We Married

Other People We Married

A debut collection of quirky, thoughtful, and resonating short stories by Emma Straub.

by Emma Straub

read by Coleen Marlo


A rising literary star debuts with twelve wry, poignant stories of love, hope, and transformation. In 'Some People Must Really Fall In Love,' an assistant professor takes halting steps into the awkward, adult world of office politics and blind dates while harboring feelings for one of her freshman students. Two grown sisters struggle with old assumptions about each other as they stumble to build a new relationship in 'A Map of Modern Palm Springs.' Rome is the setting of 'Puttanesca,' as two young widows move tentatively forward, still surrounded by ghosts and disappointments from the past. These twelve stories, filled with the sharp humor, emotional acuity, and joyful language that are sure to become Straub's hallmarks, announce the arrival of a major new talent.
Straub’s collection of short stories gives listeners a voyeuristic glimpse of the lives of very different people as they make profound choices and discoveries. Whether examining young or old, gay or straight, singles or parents—each work is personal and revealing. Narrator Coleen Marlo delivers the collection impeccably. She sets the appropriate tone for each story and captures the essence of the diverse characters with subtle style. Along with expressing the discomfort of difficult decisions to be made, she enhances the humorous small details sprinkled throughout. Listeners will mostly likely enjoy some of the stories and dislike others in this varied collection. Marlo’s understated narration is effective for these thought-provoking slices of life.  AudioFile 2012

First, Best and Only

Audio Sample Coming Soon

First, Best and Only

A classic tale of love, tragedy, and forgiveness by NYT bestselling author Barbara Delinsky.

by Barbara Delinsky

read by Coleen Marlo


Marni Lange was just seventeen when she fell passionately in love with the irresistibly sexy Brian Webster. Then a tragic accident tore them apart. Fourteen years later, Marni is now a successful businesswoman, about to appear on the cover of a national magazine - and come face-to-face with the world-famous photographer profiling her...Brian Webster. As Marni struggles with her attraction to the man who haunts her past, is she now brave enough to follow her heart and fight for what matters most?

Vaccine Epidemic

National polls show that Americans are increasingly concerned about vaccine safety and the right to make individual, informed choices together with their healthcare practitioners. Vaccine Epidemic focuses on the searing debate surrounding individual and parental vaccination choice.