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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (MP3 CD)
A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal"--three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew--has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside the superstar pop group Destiny's Child. Among the Bravos is the Silver Star-winning hero of Al-Ansakar Canal, Specialist William Lynn, a nineteen-year-old Texas native. Amid clamoring patriots sporting flag pins on their lapels and Support Our Troops bumper stickers on their cars, the Bravos are thrust into the company of the Cowboys' hard-nosed businessman/owner and his coterie of wealthy colleagues; a luscious born-again Cowboys cheerleader; a veteran Hollywood producer; and supersized pro players eager for a vicarious taste of war. Among these faces Billy sees those of his family--his worried sisters and broken father--and Shroom, the philosophical sergeant who opened Billy's mind and died in his arms at Al-Ansakar. Over the course of this day, Billy will begin to understand difficult truths about himself, his country, his struggling family, and his brothers-in-arms--soldiers both dead and alive. In the final few hours before returning to Iraq, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for home and mourn those missing, face a heart-wrenching decision, and discover pure love and a bitter wisdom far beyond his years. Poignant, riotously funny, and exquisitely heartbreaking, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is a devastating portrait of our time, a searing and powerful novel that cements Ben Fountain's reputation as one of the finest writers of his generation.
Sophronia Angelina Temminnick spends her days running around on adventures in her family’s Victorian country home in a very un-ladylike manner. So to prepare her to enter society as she becomes a young woman, her family enrolls her into Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But the school isn’t what Sophronia expects… firstly, it’s not in any sort of building but a giant, floating dirigible! Although she and her new classmates do learn dance, dress, and etiquette, she soon realizes that the school is also an academy to use feminine guiles for more sinister aims like espionage, manipulation, and even assassination! Sophronia’s lessons at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s include learning how to poison with proper tea service and the ins and outs of the aristocracy from a Vampire. With the author’s dry humor and wit, this series both celebrates and satirizes the steam punk world. An exciting, saucy, and hilarious read! - Linnea