In an era of multi-tasking, audio resources provide a sound

alternative for enjoying the pleasures of books while driving, cooking or

gardening. Hundreds of titles on audiocassette and compact disc are

available for three-week loan from Newport Beach Public Library branches.

New additions to the collection are listed online, under "Top Picks,"

at They include such fine escapist fare as

Robert Ludlum's "The Hades Factor," in which a drug company chief plots

to start and cure a deadly viral epidemic for profit. In this first of

his "Covert-One" series, the suspense master introduces driven Army

doctor Jon Smith, eccentric genius Marty Zellerback and fearless foreign

intelligence expert Peter Howell.

There's suspense, as well as romance, in the audio version of Amanda

Quick's "Slightly Shady," offering 10 hours of listening pleasure on CD.

In one of her newest romps, the queen of Regency-era mysteries spins a

fast-paced tale starring a beautiful antiques dealer who allies with a

professional investigator to pursue a killer. In typical Quick style, the

two are drawn together in more ways than one.

For Oprah Book Club fans, more than 22 hours of literary diversion on

cassette are on the audio version of "We Were the Mulvaneys." In her 26th

novel, Joyce Carol Oates weaves a story about a middle-class clan that

can boast a star athlete, a class valedictorian and a popular

cheerleader. When a traumatic event unhinges the family, ripple-down

scarring ensues.

Domestic dysfunction is equally far-reaching in "Looking Back," Belva

Plain's yarn about the intertwined lives of three college friends.

Betrayal, misguided loyalties and the awkward dramas of everyday life

figure into this saga on audiocassette about the strength of friendships.

If you prefer to listen to something that may really affect your life,

check out "Millionaire Mind" on audiocassette, a literary encore for the

best-selling "The Millionaire Next Door" from Stanley Thomas. High IQ,

stellar SAT scores and attendance at a top college have nothing to do

with financial success, Thomas maintains. Instead, the numbers show that

average millionaires had a lowly 2.92 grade-point average, SAT scores

below 1200 and teachers who told them they were mediocre students but

personable people. "Discipline 101 and Tenacity 102" made them rich.

If money has nothing to do with your life goals, you may be better

served by "Success is a Choice," offering eight hours of motivational

coaching from legendary Boston Celtic coach Rick Pitino. With anecdotes

from 17 years as a college and professional trainer, Pitino outlines

strategies for overachieving at home and at the office in this new title

on CD. Whether heading for a professional meeting or driving the kids to

school, it's a good bet you'll arrive supercharged with this in the CD


* CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public

Library. This week's column is by Melissa Adams. All titles may be

reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog ato7

www.newportbeachlibrary.orgf7 .

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