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A IS FOR ARSENIC

A IS FOR ARSENIC The Poisons of Agatha Christie

by Kathryn Harkup | Read by Beth Chalmers

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Released just in time to celebrate Agatha Christie's 125th birthday on September 15, this is essential listening for both aficionados of the Queen of Mystery and anyone with a morbid interest in dangerous chemicals. Narrator Beth Chalmers's demure British accent is easy to listen to and quite addicting. Harkup, a delightfully nefarious chemist and Christie fan, takes listeners... Read More

ACCORDING TO A SOURCE

ACCORDING TO A SOURCE

by Abby Stern | Read by Therese Plummer

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ella is an undercover celebrity gossip writer who loves her job. That shows in narrator Therese Plummer's lively tone, which also fills with attitude when Ella has to fight for her place among other Hollywood writers. Plummer seamlessly switches from voicing Ella to portraying her British celebrity bestie whose voice oozes "darling" with languid affection just as easily as it... Read More

AGAINST EMPATHY

AGAINST EMPATHY The Case for Rational Compassion

by Paul Bloom | Read by Karen Cass

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Though listeners will need some patience to sort through the nuances of this philosophical broadside, narrator Karen Cass's affecting narration adds the dramatic flair needed to keep the action moving--even when the author's distinctions and arguments are challenging. Her confidence and appealing British diction provide the elegance needed to make Bloom's ruthless clarity... Read More

ALIENS

ALIENS The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

by Jim Al-Khalili [Ed.] | Read by Nicholas Guy Smith, Bruce Mann, Katharine McEwan, Paul Michael, Kimberly Farr

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In this eclectic collection of essays, some of today's leading scientists address the ongoing search for extraterrestrial life. Five talented narrators deliver lively audio interpretations of these essays, striking an effective balance between science and entertainment. Each narrator brings a unique voice and can be at once professorial, conversational, and even a little... Read More

THE ALIENS ARE COMING!

THE ALIENS ARE COMING! The Extraordinary Science Behind Our Search for Life in the Universe

by Ben Miller | Read by Ben Miller

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In today's world, science needs its champions, and Ben Miller is certainly one of them. He narrates his work with enthusiasm and precision. Rigorously researched, this history of the search for extraterrestrial life takes us from the twentieth-century fixation on UFOs right up to present day. Miller's clear, entertaining guide to the complex search for alien life explains the... Read More

THE AMERICAN SPIRIT

THE AMERICAN SPIRIT Who We Are and What We Stand For

by David McCullough | Read by David McCullough

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ever since the author made a national reputation with his voice by narrating Ken Burns's Civil War documentary in the late 1980s, he has staked a claim to being "America's Storyteller." This audiobook of McCullough's collected speeches contains no new research, only recitations of what he believes are our strengths as a nation. The speeches are interesting, and this work... Read More

ASTEROID HUNTERS

ASTEROID HUNTERS

by Carrie Nugent | Read by Carrie Nugent

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

There are millions of uncharted objects in the solar system left to be catalogued, and apparently we'd better make sure they're all accounted for. Some may be headed for Earth. With an encyclopedic knowledge of our "cosmic neighborhood" and infectious enthusiasm, NASA/JPL space physicist Carrie Nugent takes listeners on a grand search for the many and varied asteroids in near... Read More

AWKWARD

AWKWARD The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward and Why That's Awesome

by Ty Tashiro | Read by George Newbern

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This charming examination of people who are somehow "off" in their behavior and relationships offers a reassuring perspective and many useful prescriptions. George Newbern's low-key narration is a big part of the audiobook's engaging appeal. His vocal humility and conversational phrasing create a comfortable space for learning, especially for people with shame or doubts about... Read More

THE AWKWARD THOUGHTS OF W. KAMAU BELL

THE AWKWARD THOUGHTS OF W. KAMAU BELL Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian

Earphones Award Winner

by W. Kamau Bell | Read by W. Kamau Bell

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author, political satirist and comedian W. Kamau Bell, is the best person to narrate this look at race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary America. Bell infuses the contradictions and confusion of his youth, when he was a burgeoning intellectual, with his signature sardonic delivery, which will be familiar to fans of his CNN show. Listeners will appreciate his casual... Read More

COP UNDER FIRE

COP UNDER FIRE Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America

by David A. Clarke, Jr., Sean Hannity [Foreword], Nancy French [contributor] | Read by David A. Clarke, Jr.

Oasis Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke discusses race, the media, politics, and religion in the rough-and-tumble fashion that has propelled him to the national stage and to becoming an advocate for President Trump. Experienced as he may be with public speaking, he lacks the skills to narrate and should have opted for a professional audiobook narrator. Too often, the... Read More

CORK DORK

CORK DORK A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste

by Bianca Bosker | Read by Bianca Bosker

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Bianca Bosker is an enthusiast. Her passion for wine expertise makes this fun and fact-filled audiobook an extraordinary listening experience. She narrates her text with joy, and her pursuit of the special knowledge and wisdom possessed by sommeliers comes through in every syllable of her journey from oenology novice to working cork dork. Bosker is an excellent companion as she... Read More

THE CREATIVE SPARK

THE CREATIVE SPARK How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional

by Agustín Fuentes | Read by Agustín Fuentes

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Drawing on a rich understanding of biological and social evolution, this stimulating audiobook shows how collaboration fueled our transformation from ape-like ancestors to the imaginative species we are today. The author's palpable reverence for the miracle of human creativity makes this audio shine, along with his attractive phrasing, excellent vocal tone, and a narrative... Read More

THE CRISIS OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS CONSTITUTION

THE CRISIS OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS CONSTITUTION Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic

by Ganesh Sitaraman | Read by MacLeod Andrews

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

MacLeod Andrews's inflections on contemporary catchphrases like "rising inequality" make the rising economic disparity in our nation seem less ominous than this book's title might suggest. Rather than sounding detached, however, Andrews's tone leaves room for the listener to consider the author's arguments in the context of history. His upbeat vocal style is necessary for the... Read More

CULINARY REACTIONS

CULINARY REACTIONS The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking

by Simon Quellen Field | Read by Sean Pratt

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Sean Pratt's peppy narration conveys the intrigue and diversion to be found in the kitchen. In this book he analyzes what exactly is being stirred up and and created when one cooks. Embedded in the layers of cake, bread, ice cream, sugar, and spices of culinary creations is a myriad of chemical reactions involving microbial life, the denaturing of proteins, and intricate... Read More

CULTURE SMART! AUSTRALIA

CULTURE SMART! AUSTRALIA The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

by Barry Penney, Gina Teague | Read by Peter Noble

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

For those who are interested in the land down under, this audiobook presents an overview of Australian culture and history. Narrator Peter Noble's narration is easy to understand, though some aspects of the work do not transition well from the written page to the audio format--for example, when Noble seems to be doing rote recitations of facts and figures. During these lists,... Read More

DEAR WHITE AMERICA

DEAR WHITE AMERICA Letter to a New Minority

by Tim Wise | Read by Tim Wise

Audible, Inc./ Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

As he has in much of his life's work, Wise tackles white privilege and the problems of historical and cultural racism that penetrate a great many facets of U.S. society. In narrating, listeners get the opportunity to hear both his sincerity and passion as he recounts the ways in which white America perpetuates and contributes to racial inequalities in both recognized and... Read More

DEVIATE

DEVIATE The Science of Seeing Differently

by Beau Lotto | Read by Beau Lotto

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Beau Lotto, a neuroscientist who specializes in perception, has polished his presentation skills on public stages around the world, including a couple of hugely popular TED Talks. He brings these well-honed talents to his discussion of how humans evolved to see not what is real but, rather, what is useful. The material--centering as it does on optical illusions--presents some... Read More

DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?

DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR? Why Writing Well Matters

by Harold Evans | Read by Greg Tremblay

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Legendary editor (THE GUARDIAN, THE SUNDAY TIMES) Harold Evans examines the ways writers can communicate their ideas with greater clarity and purpose in this age of rapid digital communication with its tendency toward lesser precision in writing. Narrator Greg Tremblay has a pleasant, down-to-earth narration style, but, ironically, the topic of clear writing presents some... Read More

THE FACT OF A BODY

THE FACT OF A BODY A Murder and a Memoir

by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich | Read by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich passionately narrates her memoir of childhood abuse at the hands of her grandfather and the capital murder case she researched in order to come to terms with her experiences. The daughter of two lawyers and a lifelong opponent of the death penalty, she finds her convictions are tested when she encounters the case of a convicted murderer that eerily... Read More

FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE

FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE Man, Nature, and Climate Change

by Elizabeth Kolbert | Read by Hope Davis

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Kolbert's 2006 volume on climate change is gaining the iconic status associated with Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING and Bill McKibben's THE END OF NATURE. A decade old, FIELD NOTES still contains some of the best explanations of the feedback mechanisms associated with global warming. It also serves as a lens through which to see how much (and how little) has changed. Narrator... Read More

FLAVOR

FLAVOR The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense

Earphones Award Winner

by Bob Holmes | Read by Jonathan Yen

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Jonathan Yen brings an expressive reading to a scientific subject that remains an elusive concept, difficult for many of us to verbalize: flavor. Scientific works can sometimes prove difficult to follow in the audio format, but Yen's enthusiasm helps to keep the information fresh as he describes the intricacies of cutting-edge research into flavor, including such... Read More

FOOD FIGHT

FOOD FIGHT GMOs and the Future of the American Diet

by Mckay Jenkins | Read by Robert Fass

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Robert Fass thoughtfully delivers this provocative exploration of the role of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in our agriculture and diet. He navigates the complexities of genetic engineering with a straightforward delivery that makes accessible both the science and the stories associated with it. This audiobook explores a major issue of the 21st century,... Read More

FOR WHITE FOLKS WHO TEACH IN THE HOOD

FOR WHITE FOLKS WHO TEACH IN THE HOOD ...and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education

by Christopher Emdin | Read by JD Jackson

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In the tradition of Lisa Delpit, Jonathan Kozol, and bell hooks, author Christopher Emdin offers a powerful treatise on creating a respectful and powerful learning environment for marginalized populations. Society, he says, has repeatedly failed to embrace these young people. JD Jackson narrates Emdin's words with such focus that listeners will be all the more keenly drawn to... Read More

THE GATEKEEPERS

THE GATEKEEPERS How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency

by Chris Whipple | Read by Mark Bramhall

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook introduces listeners to people the author believes may have more influence over the success of presidencies than anyone except the chief executives themselves--chiefs of staff. Narrator Mark Bramhall's deep pitch will rattle the low end of your sound system, and he uses it to report the facts in a no-nonsense approach that fits this book's tone. Bramhall doesn't... Read More

THE GREAT UNKNOWN

THE GREAT UNKNOWN Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science

by Marcus du Sautoy | Read by Marcus du Sautoy

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Marcus du Sautoy narrates his tour of seven "edges" of scientific knowledge with infectious enthusiasm, chasing the limits of what science can and can't reveal. When quoting others, du Sautoy employs different voices, and some of his accent work is uneven. But, overall, his genuine passion for science comes through, most powerfully when he speaks about his own discipline,... Read More

GROCERY

GROCERY The Buying and Selling of Food in America

by Michael Ruhlman | Read by Jonathan Todd Ross

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The grocery story has been an American institution for more than a century, but not many people know how it came into existence and how it operates. In Jonathan Todd Ross's genial tone, this audiobook acts as the ultimate tour guide of produce, layout schemes, chain growth (and collapse), dietary shifts, and many other features that impact grocery stores. Ross manages the book... Read More

HOMO DEUS

HOMO DEUS A Brief History of Tomorrow

by Yuval Noah Harari | Read by Derek Perkins

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In the follow-up to SAPIENS, Harari looks ahead, examining the next stage of human evolution. In his well-researched and thorough manner, Harari details experiments, studies, and other data to explain what factors will influence humans now that the major threats from history--famine, disease, and war--are essentially disarmed. Derek Perkins narrates the audiobook with an... Read More

IF I UNDERSTOOD YOU, WOULD I HAVE THIS LOOK ON MY FACE?

IF I UNDERSTOOD YOU, WOULD I HAVE THIS LOOK ON MY FACE? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

by Alan Alda | Read by Alan Alda

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook's subtitle--"My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating"--alerts us to a lesser-known part of Alan Alda's persona. Alda, best known for his movie and TV roles, has spent the better part of his life and career attempting to understand the fine art of connecting with others. After he hosted the 1993 TV show "Scientific American Frontiers,"... Read More

I'M JUDGING YOU

I'M JUDGING YOU The Do-Better Manual

Earphones Award Winner

by Luvvie Ajayi | Read by Luvvie Ajayi

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

"Who does that?" This central question running throughout Luvvie Ajayi's comic memoir is asked again and again in her signature tone of mock horror. Listeners who enjoy pithy humor will laugh out loud as she describes violations of social codes and her version of heaven. Do not drink liquids (hot or cold) while listening to this rumination on all that is wrong with the current... Read More

i-MINDS

i-MINDS How Cell Phones, Computers, Gaming, and Social Media Are Changing Our Brains, Our Behavior, and the Evolution of Our Species

by Mari K. Swingle | Read by Lisa Bunting

Post Hypnotic Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Too much tech can change your brain waves. Anxiety and depression also can result from too time spent online. Narrator Lisa Bunting's voice often takes on a clinical tone, as much of therapist Mari K. Swingle's writing deals with topics such as shifting brain-wave patterns on EEG readings. There's also a sternness to Bunting's voice as she cautions parents about substituting a... Read More

INFECTIOUS MADNESS

INFECTIOUS MADNESS The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness

Earphones Award Winner

by Harriet A. Washington | Read by Robert Petkoff

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Quiet wonder and intellectual security dominate Robert Petkoff's narration of this engaging audiobook, an astute and fast-moving exposition on how microbes can figure in mental disorders as diverse as anorexia, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Petkoff's pleasing voice and conversational phrasing lighten the book's subject matter and give the narrative verve.... Read More

THE INKBLOTS

THE INKBLOTS Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing

by Damion Searls | Read by Paul Boehmer

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Searls's study of Hermann Rorschach and his famous psychological test is thorough and competent, though at times it strains to engage the listener. Paul Boehmer's narration mirrors its strengths and weaknesses. He narrates with energy, even enthusiasm, matching tone to sense well, helping to interpret the text and draw the listener along. But at times, especially early on, his... Read More

JANESVILLE

JANESVILLE An American Story

by Amy Goldstein | Read by Joy Osmanski

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Just before Christmas in 2008, General Motors shut down its Janesville, Wisconsin, assembly plant. Amy Goldstein tells the stories of those who were left to cope with joblessness, and those in its wake. Joy Osmanski reads the stories with passion. Listeners hear the emptiness of the once-bustling plant, and the anxiety of the workers who once made 28 dollars an hour. A woman... Read More

KIRK AND ANNE

KIRK AND ANNE Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood

by Anne Douglas, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas [Foreword] | Read by Cameron Douglas, Kelsey Douglas

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Entertainment icon Kirk Douglas, now 100, and his wife, Anne, have been married for 63 years. Here, they share stories of their evolving relationship through personal correspondence between themselves and with others. Thankfully, the couple provides pithy contextual remarks for many of the letters. Kirk's actor son Michael's two grown children voice the work, a first-time... Read More

THE KNOWLEDGE ILLUSION

THE KNOWLEDGE ILLUSION Why We Never Think Alone

by Steven Sloman, Philip Fernbach | Read by Mike Chamberlain

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Mike Chamberlain's optimistic voice keeps the tone light in this extensive look at how good thinking depends on the interplay of many factors outside our individual brains. His flawless phrasing and enunciation give this audio appealing clarity and impact. Written with a breezy tone by two academic psychologists, the audiobook covers the way we acquire a broad range of... Read More

LETTERMAN

LETTERMAN The Last Giant of Late Night

by Jason Zinoman | Read by Michael Goldstrom

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

As is the case with many good nonfiction audiobooks, Michael Goldstrom's narration of LETTERMAN is straightforward and well paced--engaging listeners but keeping the focus on the subject matter. Goldstrom deftly guides us through this detailed account of Letterman's career as well as the professional paths of the writers, producers, and other collaborators who helped make his... Read More

LETTERS TO A YOUNG WRITER

LETTERS TO A YOUNG WRITER Some Practical and Philosophical Advice

by Colum McCann | Read by Colum McCann

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Colum McCann lends a personable voice to his warm words of advice for budding writers. Although McCann is fast becoming one of the most respected novelists of our time, he reads and writes with humility, charm, and earnest good intention. He brings the affability of a reader who does not focus on acting as a profession, and the end result is something akin to a fireside... Read More

MERCIES IN DISGUISE

MERCIES IN DISGUISE A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them

by Gina Kolata | Read by Anfrea Gallo

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If your family carried a deadly genetic mutation, would you want to know if you inherited the gene? Narrator Andrea Gallo gives this well-researched account of the discovery of prions and the devastating diseases caused by their mutated forms the feel of a medical thriller, engaging listeners from the first moment. The story focuses on the Baxley family, which is affected by a... Read More

MIRACLE CURE

MIRACLE CURE The Creation of Antibiotics and the Birth of Modern Medicine

Earphones Award Winner

by William Rosen | Read by Rob Shapiro

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Rob Shapiro's resonant baritone carries the listener smoothly through this fascinating history of the chemicals and the personalities that helped create contemporary medical culture. While a handful of words are oddly pronounced, Shapiro effortlessly articulates the names of chemical compounds, bacterial species, French scientists, and German companies. Whether... Read More

MOZART'S STARLING

MOZART'S STARLING

by Lyanda Lynn Haupt | Read by Linda Henning

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Might Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's pet starling have contributed to some of the brilliant composer's celebrated musical works? Haupt poses this question while developing two lines of discussion in tandem: the scientific background on and her own personal observations of these frequently maligned yet clever birds combined with an exploration of Mozart's life, including his... Read More

MY CUBS

MY CUBS A Love Story

by Scott Simon | Read by Scott Simon

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

It's no secret that National Public Radio host Scott Simon is a lifelong dedicated fan of the Chicago Cubs. It's impossible to think of anyone but the author, who has made a living with his voice for decades, telling this story. He describes past heartbreaks, coming-of-age perspectives, and laugh-out-loud moments regarding his love affair with his team. Throughout, Simon... Read More

THE NATURE FIX

THE NATURE FIX Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

by Florence Williams | Read by Emily Woo Zeller

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Did you know that breathing in the scent of pine trees can immediately lower your blood pressure? That's just one of the facts listeners will learn in Williams's exploration of how exposure to nature can affect our well-being. Unfortunately, Emily Woo Zeller inserts herself a bit too much into the narration, which distracts from rather than enhances the text. A more... Read More

NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE

NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America

by Ron Powers | Read by Ron Powers

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ron Powers is angry at the lack of treatment for the mentally ill in this country and personally heartbroken at the loss of his son, Kevin, to suicide from losing his battle with schizophrenia. Powers's voice is resonant and strong with an undercurrent of melancholy and an overlay of fury, making it a raw and searing experience for the listener, too. The litany of outrage... Read More

NORWEGIAN WOOD

NORWEGIAN WOOD Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way

by Lars Mytting | Read by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

You might just catch a whiff of resin and wood smoke in the air as you listen to Lars Mytting's treatise on wood--chopping it, stacking it, and burning it. Narrator Matthew Davies's pleasing British accent and accurate-sounding Norwegian pronunciations are a great match for this conversational translation of Mytting's work. The history of wood burning in cold Scandinavian... Read More

POPULAR

POPULAR The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World

by Mitch Prinstein | Read by Mitch Prinstein

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Behavioral science with a side of personal growth, this timely review of the causes and consequences of popularity will draw listeners back to their grade-school years--the crucible, according to the author, where adult popularity and status are formed. Reading his well-organized research findings, Prinstein is a decent speaker whose boyish sincerity is appealing and never too... Read More

THE POTLIKKER PAPERS

THE POTLIKKER PAPERS A Food History of the Modern South

by John T. Edge | Read by John T. Edge

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

John T. Edge, an accomplished food writer focusing on the South, narrates his audiobook in a discernible drawl. A native Georgian, he directs the Southern Foodways Alliance housed at the University of Mississippi. His voice, literal and figurative, informs every page of this work. The discerning listener will embrace Edge's folksy style as he moves through 60 years of... Read More

RULES FOR REVOLUTIONARIES

RULES FOR REVOLUTIONARIES How Big Organizing Can Change Everything

by Becky Bond, Zack Exley | Read by Tia Rider Sorensen

Chelsea Green Publishing | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Tia Rider Sorensen enlivens the words of authors Bond and Exley, senior advisers to Bernie Sanders's tech-driven presidential campaign. This spirited rendering gives a feel for the 75 million calls, eight million text messages, and 100,000 public meetings that took place during the campaign. In alternating chapters, Sorensen portrays Bond and Exley as they earnestly... Read More

SMART BASEBALL

SMART BASEBALL The Story Behind the Old Stats that are Ruining the Game, the New Ones that are Running it, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball

by Keith Law | Read by Mike Chamberlain

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The message of this audiobook by ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law is loud and clear: Like it or not, big data and statistical analysis are now essential in evaluating professional players. Mike Chamberlain narrates with a clear, resonant voice that is appropriately reminiscent of sports broadcasting. Law explains how traditional statistics like batting average, runs batted in,... Read More

THE SONGS OF TREES

THE SONGS OF TREES Stories from Nature's Great Connectors

by David George Haskell | Read by Cassandra Campbell, David George Haskell [Pref.]

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Trees have songs, says Haskell, and he wants to record them. Cassandra Campbell's narration is soothing and perhaps musical, a good match to Haskell's descriptive writing on the beauty of trees. He starts his global tour in the Amazonian forest of Ecuador, where he considers the environment of a sabo tree. He then discusses the spiders and monkeys that surround it, and the oil... Read More

THE SOUL OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT

THE SOUL OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT

by Floyd Abrams | Read by James Foster

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The lead attorney in the defense of Citizens United at the Supreme Court explores the historical, cultural, and legal ramifications of the First Amendment. Specifically, he recounts how the U.S. has at times failed or succeeded in protecting its essence. James Foster offers a clear, consistent, and well-enunciated narration. He enhances meaning for listeners as he uses emphasis... Read More

SOUTH AND WEST

SOUTH AND WEST From a Notebook

by Joan Didion | Read by Kimberly Farr, Nathaniel Rich [Foreword]

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Kimberly Farr dissolves the barrier between author and listener, creating an intimate atmosphere. Her unforced performance conveys Didion's unguarded reactions to life in the South, primarily in 1970. Farr enlivens Didion's recollections, highlighting the author's curiosity about the people she meets and the conversations she overhears as well as her uneasiness both in... Read More

THE STING OF THE WILD

THE STING OF THE WILD

by Justin O. Schmidt | Read by L.J. Ganser

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt doesn't TRY to get stung when he's dealing with harvester ants and other venomous creatures. However, he's been stung enough to consider the stings a data point. Narrator L.J. Ganser's voice is cheerful as he reads Schmidt's first-person account, even when the text is comparing the painful ant stings the author has lived through. Schmidt's... Read More

THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS

THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

by Michael Finkel | Read by Mark Bramhall

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

A fascinating story, great writing, and strong narration come together in this audiobook. In 2013 Christopher Knight was arrested after breaking into yet another camp in Maine. Investigators soon learned he was a hermit who had been living in the area since 1986 and whose exploits were known to many. Through research and narrative, the author tells a story about a type of... Read More

SUNSHINE STATE

SUNSHINE STATE Essays

by Sarah Gerard | Read by Madeleine Maby

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author of the breakout novel BINARY STAR believes she's more of a memoirist than a journalist. Sure enough, she herself is the unifying principle in this series of wide-ranging essays. Narrator Madeleine Maby has the rare gift of a light, strong voice, soft at the edges but very clear as she delivers topics that document the author's evolving point of view from that of a... Read More

THE THIRD WAVE

THE THIRD WAVE An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future

by Steve Case | Read by Steve Case

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

AOL cofounder and entrepreneur Steve Case narrates his prescient guide with the confidence you'd expect from a top-shelf Internet pioneer. With the digital age's fascinating history propelling the narrative, his conversational writing and authentic delivery promote curiosity and make these chapters fly by. At first, he says, we used the Internet as a communication tool--like... Read More

THIS FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT

THIS FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT The Battle to Save America's Middle Class

by Elizabeth Warren | Read by Elizabeth Warren

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Senator Elizabeth Warren narrates her new audiobook on the state of the nation with passion and conviction. Her clearly written treatise explores the rise and fall of the middle class over the last 80 years and ends with a handful of action points that can help make life better for working families, even in today's divisive political climate. Warren is a natural behind the mic,... Read More

THE UNNATURAL WORLD

THE UNNATURAL WORLD The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age

by David Biello | Read by Peter Berkrot

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Biello wrestles with the often disparate elements of the "Anthropocene," the current geological age in which humans are the primary drivers of environmental change. He stitches together the apocalyptic tradition of climate-change journalism and the much more hopeful, but occasionally dark-edged, journalism of technological innovation. Peter Berkrot is an accomplished audiobook... Read More

THE UNSETTLERS

THE UNSETTLERS In Search of the Good Life in Today's America

by Mark Sundeen | Read by Mark Sundeen

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Mark Sundeen offers a journalistically rigorous and personally felt account of three back-to-the-land farming families in three different U.S. regions: Missouri, Detroit, and Montana. Sundeen follows his accounts with discussions of the decisions he and his wife are in the process of making about how to live and raise their family. Sundeen's reading of his own work provides... Read More

THE VANISHING MIDDLE CLASS

THE VANISHING MIDDLE CLASS Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy

Earphones Award Winner

by Peter Temin | Read by Stephen R. Thorne

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The mildly cheery tone in Stephen Thorne's performance helps the medicine go down in this astute and timely overview of why our rich and poor are so economically divided. Along with effortless-sounding enunciation and phrasing, his narration has a personality that connects with the author's progressive ideals without discernible outrage or hectoring. The author, an MIT... Read More

A VERY EXPENSIVE POISON

A VERY EXPENSIVE POISON The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin's War with the West

by Luke Harding | Read by Nicholas Guy Smith

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Deep-voiced English narrator Nicholas Guy Smith gives a matter-of-fact tone to this detailed account of the murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko. A former member of the KGB's successor (the FSB) and a defector to the UK, he became a well-known, outspoken critic of Putin and was murdered in London, probably on orders from Russian officials, through the use of... Read More

THE WAY OF THE WRITER

THE WAY OF THE WRITER Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling

by Charles Johnson | Read by Mirron Willis

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

With an immediate sense of the author's considerable intelligence and considered intensity, narrator Mirron Willis reads this thorough, rigorous, and thought-provoking guide to finding one's voice and working in the real world as a writer. National Book Award winner and MacArthur Fellow Charles Johnson believes that writing is a serious business no matter if one is working on a... Read More

WELCOME TO THE UNIVERSE

WELCOME TO THE UNIVERSE An Astrophysical Tour

by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, J. Richard Gott | Read by Michael Butler Murray

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Michael Murray's narration is such that he could be a first-rate college lecturer. In terms of delivery, he ranks right up there with the venerable authors of this fine astrophysics survey. In fact, the print version of this book would make a great text for an introductory college course. As an audiobook, however, much is lost without continuous access to the 100-page PDF that... Read More

WHAT IS POPULISM?

WHAT IS POPULISM?

by Jan-Werner Müller | Read by Simon Vance

Post Hypnotic Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This short but useful audiobook explains the features of the authoritarian forms of populism that are on the rise throughout the world today. Yes, Müller looks at the United States and Donald Trump, but he also considers populism in places like France, Italy, and Venezuela. The audiobook is fully accessible to the average listener. Simon Vance's narration is as engaging as the... Read More

WHAT PATIENTS SAY, WHAT DOCTORS HEAR

WHAT PATIENTS SAY, WHAT DOCTORS HEAR

by Danielle Ofri | Read by Ann M. Richardson

Beacon Press Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Between doctors and patients, communication is critical. Danielle Ofri looks at the ways communication happens--and sometimes doesn't happen--from a professional standpoint. Narrator Ann M. Richardson shares Ofri's research and perspective with a personal touch. Richardson's narration is upbeat, with concern in her voice when necessary, matching the best-case scenario for a... Read More

WHERE THE WATER GOES

WHERE THE WATER GOES Life and Death Along the Colorado River

by David Owen | Read by Fred Sanders

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Environmental writer David Owen takes listeners on the Southwest's most iconic and troubled waterway. To his credit, he does some digging into a very complicated topic as he travels (physically) from the Colorado's headwaters near Rocky Mountain National Park to its delta in Mexico. Narrator Fred Sanders adds gravitas to Owen's narrative. His crisp baritone could make a... Read More

THE WOOD FOR THE TREES

THE WOOD FOR THE TREES One Man's Long View of Nature

Earphones Award Winner

by Richard Fortey | Read by Michael Page

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Everything about Fortey's unusual memoir is distinctly British. Narrator Michael Page's precise, stately, and almost courtly British accent perfectly suits Fortey's observations. After retirement from the British Natural History Museum, author Fortey purchases a small beech wood colorfully named Grim's Dyke Wood and closely observes the natural environment for a year. As Fortey... Read More

WORD BY WORD

WORD BY WORD The Secret Life of Dictionaries

Earphones Award Winner

by Kory Stamper | Read by Kory Stamper

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Lexicographer Kory Stamper has always loved words. After struggles with organic chemistry steered her from a medical career, she joined the Merriam-Webster company in Massachusetts. In her book, she takes listeners on a verbal tour of her office and the work that goes into creating dictionaries. She narrates with a delight and fascination with language. Showing wry,... Read More

YOUR SONG CHANGED MY LIFE

YOUR SONG CHANGED MY LIFE From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, Thirty-Five Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It

by Bob Boilen | Read by Bob Boilen

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Boilen constructs an oral history of music through interviews with music legends and rising stars to discuss the one song that changed each of their lives. As an audiobook, it falls a bit short. Boilen narrates, and does an admirable job, communicating enthusiasm for the project and distinguishing his voice from the voices of the people he interviews. But for an audio... Read More

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