Set on Cape Ann in the early 1800s, The Last Days of Dogtown is peopled by widows, orphans, spinsters, scoundrels, whores, free Africans, and "witches". Nearly a decade ago, Diamant found an account of an abandoned rural backwater near the Massachusetts coastline at the turn of the nineteenth century. That pamphlet inspired a stunning novel about a small group of eccentrics and misfits, struggling in a harsh, isolated landscape only fifty miles north of Boston, yet a world away. Among the inhabitants of Dogtown are Black Ruth, an African woman who dresses as a man and works as a stone mason; Mrs. Stanley, an imperious madam whose grandson, Sammy, comes of age in her rural brothel; Oliver Younger, who survives a miserable childhood at the hands of a very strange aunt; and Cornelius Finson, a freed slave whose race denies him everything. At the center of it all is Judy Rhines, a fiercely independent soul, deeply lonely, who nonetheless builds a life for herself and inspires those around her to become more generous and tolerant themselves. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Kate Nelligan. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/sans/000606/bk_sans_000606_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In 1524, in what is now Germany, hundreds of thousands of peasants revolt against the harsh treatment by their aristocratic overlords. Agnes, the daughter of one of these overlords, is not a typical 16th-century girl. She refuses to wear dresses and spends more time with her pet falcon than she does trying to attract potential suitors. In fact there is only one man who interests her: Mathis, a childhood friend, whom she can never marry because of his lowly birth. But the situation changes dramatically when a rogue knight attacks Agnes, Mathis shoots the knight to save her life, and the two are forced to go on the run together, into the midst of the raging peasants' war. Over the next two years, as Agnes and Mathis travel the countryside, are captured by and escape from various factions of the war, participate in massive battles, and make new friends both noble and peasant, they also, of course, fall in love. Meanwhile, Agnes' falcon finds a mysterious ring, and Agnes begins having strange dreams that lead the two lovers to revelations about their place in the world and in the emerging German states. With The Castle of Kings, Oliver Pötzsch has written a historical epic that calls to mind Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth and Bernard Cornwell's Agincourt. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Kate Reading. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/008710/bk_blak_008710_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.