Every town has at least one beloved if misunderstood eccentric, and Beanie Bradsher belongs to Mayhew Junction. Some - LouWanda Crump, for example - would call Beanie a spectacle, but Beanie just marches - and dresses - to the beat of a different drum. Not much has changed over the years in this town. On any given morning, you'll find the same people at the same table at the same cafe, and none of them have changed one iota in the past 20 years. But now Beanie Bradsher has won the lottery and might be dating Sweet Lee Atwater's husband. And the hometown basketball star Vesuvius Jones just got a face full of red velvet cake at the trunk-or-treat. The gossip has never been juicier, which might just be a good thing. Lord knows this town could use a good shaking up. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Pam Ward, Dan John Miller, Kevin Kenerly, Robert Fass, Cherise Boothe, Rebecca Gibel, Carrington MacDuffie. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/010134/bk_blak_010134_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
There has never been a craze like Beanie Babies. The $5 beanbag animals with names like Seaweed the Otter and Gigi the Poodle drove millions of Americans into a greed-fueled frenzy as they chased the rarest Beanie Babies, whose values escalated weekly in the late 1990s. A single Beanie Baby sold for $10,000, and on eBay the animals comprised 10 percent of all sales. Suburban moms stalked UPS trucks to get the latest models, a retired soap opera star lost his kids' six-figure college funds investing in them, and a New Jersey father sold three million copies of a self-published price guide that predicted what each animal would be worth in 10 years. More than any other consumer good in history, Beanie Babies were carried to the height of success by a collective belief that their values would always rise. Just as strange as the mass hysteria was the man behind it. From the day he started in the toy industry, after dropping out of college, Ty Warner devoted all his energy to creating what he hoped would be the most perfect stuffed animals the world had ever seen. Sometimes called the "Steve Jobs of plush" by his employees, he obsessed over every detail of every animal. He had no marketing budget and no connections, but he had something more valuable - an intuitive grasp of human psychology that would make him the richest man in the history of toys. Through first-ever interviews with former Ty Inc. employees, Warner's sister, and the two ex-girlfriends who were by his side as he achieved the American dream, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble tells the inspiring yet tragic story of one of America's most enigmatic self-made tycoons. Best-selling author Zac Bissonnette uncovers Warner's highly original approach to product development, sales, and marketing that enabled the acquisition of plush animals to activate the same endorphins chased by stock speculators and gamblers. 1. Language: English. Narrator: P.J. Ochlan. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/peng/002521/bk_peng_002521_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.