Self: The Book of Human Emotions

An encyclopedia of feeling from anger to wanderlust

Can we find the words for all the emotions we feel? AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Suzanne Toren to hear about her experience narrating THE BOOK OF HUMAN EMOTIONS.

“In the 21st century we tend to think of emotions as being fundamental to our humanness, cross-culturally.” —Narrator Suzanne Toren

The Book of Human Emotions
THE BOOK OF HUMAN EMOTIONS

Tiffany Watt Smith, read by Suzanne Toren
Hachette Audio
Earphones Award Winner

With a subtitle like this: From Ambiguphobia to Umpty—154 Words from Around the World for How We Feel, THE BOOK OF HUMAN EMOTIONS is one audiobook everyone will want to give a listen. Narrator Suzanne Toren makes us curious from the get-go as we learn about the evolution of the words for emotions. Listen to a sound clip of Suzanne and read our full review here!

Suzanne Toren
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Self: Frientimacy

The experience of a meaningful friendship

Women’s friendships are the key to everything. Shasta Nelson’s advice begins with a description of intimacy that will resonate with everyone. Narrator Robin Eller makes us believe it.

FrientimacyFRIENTIMACY
Shasta Nelson, read by Robin Eller
Vibrance Press
AudioFile Earphones Award

Explore the impact of friendship on our health and happiness. Shasta notes, “With the constant connectivity of today’s world, it’s never been easier to meet people and make new friends—but it’s never been harder to form meaningful friendships.” Robin Eller gives listeners a deeply-connected audio performance. Listen to a sound clip of Robin and read our full review here!

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Self: Come In, We’re Open

Opening up to possibilities in life and work—part 2

We’re included more listening titles on the topic of exploring how we think, make decisions, and impact the world around us. Heather Havrilesky’s subtitle “…Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life” seems to sum up our choices nicely.

Live Happy
LIVE HAPPY: TEN PRACTICES FOR CHOOSING JOY

Deborah K. Heisz, read by Karen White
Harper Audio
Intuitive, well-crafted advice for making your life more joyous

How To Be A Person In The World
HOW TO BE A PERSON IN THE WORLD: ASK POLLY’S GUIDE THROUGH THE PARADOXES OF MODERN LIFE

Heather Havrilesky, read by Heather Havrilesky
Random House Audio
Advice on becoming a good person, partner, worker, and citizen

The Power Of Paradox
THE POWER PARADOX: HOW WE GAIN AND LOSE INFLUENCE

Dacher Keltner, read by Kaleo Griffith
Penguin Audio
How empathy and collaboration can increase the difference you make in life

Old Age: A Beginner's Guide
OLD AGE: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE

Michael Kinsley, read by Danny Campbell
Random House Audio
Earphones Award Winner
Thinking about your life, getting ready for death—in a good way

Meet The New You
 MEET THE NEW YOU: A 21-DAY PLAN FOR EMBRACING FRESH ATTITUDES AND FOCUSED HABITS FOR REAL LIFE CHANGE
Elisa Pulliam, read by Renee Ertl
Oasis Audio
A Christian coach shows how to find your value and purpose.

For more SELF recommendations, browse AudioFile’s newest personal growth reviews!

Tom Walken has spent most of his professional life in clinical psychology, primarily as a psychotherapist and now as a management consultant. Reviewing audio programs for more than two decades has exposed him to some great thinkers and helped him become more effective in his work. But the biggest gift has been how listening helps him grow personally, look at himself with calmer eyes, and connect with others with a kinder heart.

Self: Love Warrior

An Oprah Book Club Pick for Fall 2016

Author-narrator Glennon Doyle Melton bravely and expressively shares her struggles—with addiction, love, intimacy, and self-truth.

Love WarriorLOVE WARRIOR
written and narrated by Glennon Doyle Melton
Macmillan Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

This powerful memoir will move you—even if books for a better life are not your usual listening fare. So many of Melton’s challenges are universal to us all. Listen to a sound clip of Glennon and read our full review here

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Self: The Mind Club

Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters . . . with jokes

How do we, as individuals and in groups, communicate thoughts and feelings? How do we arouse empathy from others? Narrator David Marantz went Behind The Mic with AudioFile to tell us about his experience narrating THE MIND CLUB. And, we’re surprised and delighted to hear about the humor of this audiobook. David even includes his own “outtake” when he laughed so hard he had to stop recording.

“It’s not just dry philosophy—it’s philosophy filled with humanity and philosophy filled with humor.”—Narrator David Marantz

The Mind Club
THE MIND CLUB

Daniel M. Wegner & Kurt Gray, read by David Marantz
Audible, Inc/Brilliance Audio

We love when audiobooks surprise you. Here the authors discuss many very human, very serious topics about our emotions, but as narrator David Marantz shows us, there’s a lot to learn, to ponder, and even to laugh about in THE MIND CLUB.

David Marantz

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Self: Opening up to Possibilities

Effective living suggestions—evidence-based and actionable

The personal growth sector of the audiobook catalog is alive and well. I started reviewing self-help tapes (yes, tapes) in the 1990s and am blown away at how sophisticated and varied today’s audios have become. A lot of today’s offerings are written by experts such as psychologists, social scientists, and behavioral science journalists, along with a variety of public speaking luminaries. Each with its own mix of insights, inspiration, and advice, these audios are gaining popularity with people who are fascinated with the human condition, fascinated with the possibility that their lives could be better.

Pre-SuasionPRE-SUASION
by Robert Cialdini, read by John Bedford Lloyd
Simon & Schuster Audio

INVISIBLE INFLUENCE and PRE-SUASION are good examples of how a behavioral scientist can put together an enlightening audio lesson on what makes people tick. These authors teach effective living with evidence-based suggestions for improving the way we think, make decisions, and impact our worlds.

Pathways to PossibilityPATHWAYS TO POSSIBILITY
written and narrated by Rosamund Stone Zander
Penguin Audio/Books On Tape

I’ve also learned to be more open to the softer messages embodied in an audio like PATHWAYS TO POSSIBILITIES, Rosamund Stone Zander’s touching meditation on how to step out of our isolated comfort zone and explore the joy of connecting with others. Her message alone is powerful enough, but what opened my heart as well as my brain was how the author’s kind voice was an ever-present messenger for her humanitarian worldview.

Bon courage!

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This post has been edited from its original longer form in the print issue of AudioFile Magazine, October/November 2016.

Tom Walken has spent most of his professional life in clinical psychology, primarily as a psychotherapist and now as a management consultant. Reviewing audio programs for more than two decades has exposed him to some great thinkers and helped him become more effective in his work. But the biggest gift has been how listening helps him grow personally, look at himself with calmer eyes, and connect with others with a kinder heart.

Self: Put Your Intuition to Work

How to Supercharge Your Inner Wisdom to Think Fast and Make Great Decisions

Personal and workplace decision-making can be a mercurial process. AudioFile goes Behind the Mic with narrator Hillary Huber to hear her thoughts about her accessible performance of Lynn Robinson’s authoritative guide to trusting your intuition.

“Success is based on so many decisions throughout each day.”—Hillary Huber

Put Your Intuition To Work
PUT YOUR INTUITION TO WORK

Lynn A. Robinson, read by Hillary Huber
Vibrance Press

We all like good, actionable ideas to help our day, and our lives, go better. When an audiobook narrator connects listeners to those ideas, it’s a win-win. Hillary Huber helps us absorb Lynn Robinson’s approach to using our inner wisdom. Listen to a sound clip and read our review here.

Hillary Huber

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Self: Parenting Advice

Who said you have to be a perfect parent?

Though my children are both grown, listening to these audios had the curious effect of taking some pressure off of me, as well as reminding me of a few things I could adjust in my approach to my children and grandchildren.

The Happy Kid Handbook THE HAPPY KID HANDBOOK: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World
Katie Hurley, read by Kate Rudd
Lessons to help parents become more laid-back and confident.

American Girls AMERICAN GIRLS: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers
Nancy Jo Sales, read by Therese Plummer
Frightening research into how digital connections shape our daughters’ lives.

Becoming the Kind Father BECOMING THE KIND FATHER: A Son’s Journey
Calvin Sandborn, read by Michael Puttonen
Moving account of how one man broke the cycle of paternal abuse.

How To Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy StepsHOW TO RUIN YOUR CHILD IN 7 EASY STEPS: Tame Your Vices, Nurture Their Virtues
Patrick M. Quinn, Ken Roach, read by Tom Hatting
AudioFile Earphones Award
Pointed advice based on the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Virtues.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids PEACEFUL PARENT, HAPPY KIDS: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
Laura Markham, read by Xe Sands
A message of quiet empowerment.

Good listening and bon courage!

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This post has been edited from its original longer form in the print issue of AudioFile Magazine, June/July 2016.

Tom Walken has spent most of his professional life in clinical psychology, primarily as a psychotherapist and now as a management consultant. Reviewing audio programs for more than two decades has exposed him to some great thinkers and helped him become more effective in his work. But the biggest gift has been how listening helps him grow personally, look at himself with calmer eyes, and connect with others with a kinder heart.

Self: Tribe

On Homecoming and Belonging—by journalist and filmmaker Sebastian Junger

What can we learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning? The author of WAR, Sebastian Junger uses his experience and observations to examine the misalignment of the culture at home and the military experience.

Tribe
TRIBE
by Sebastian Junger, read by the Author
Hachette Audio

Journalist Junger delivers his audiobook with forceful and emotional conviction. Combining history, psychology, and social observations, Junger gives listeners thought-provoking points of view. Listen to a sound clip and read our full review here.

Browse our newest reviews to find your next great listen!

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Self: Simplify September

AudioFile is Listening to Learn this month with personal growth, business, and inspirational titles that give us advice and help us improve

If clutter is the common cold of American life, here are some audiobook ideas for a cure.

MESSMESS: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act
Barry Yourgrau, read by Peter Brook
A personal journey and broad survey of how people tackle clutter.

SPARK JOYSPARK JOY: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying up
Marie Kondo, read by Sumalee Montano
A category system and Zen-like wisdom to keep your home organized. 

THE HAPPINESS PROJECTTHE HAPPINESS PROJECT
Gretchen Rubin, read by Gretchen Rubin
Inspiring memoir on creating space for happiness in your life.

THE ART OF GRACETHE ART OF GRACE: On Moving Well Through Life
Sarah L. Kaufman, read by Christina Delaine
Sublime reflections on bringing grace and order back into your life.

More Listens To Simplify Your Life

THROW OUT FIFTY THINGS: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life
Gail Blanke, read by Gail Blanke
How all that clutter keeps you from your best life.

7: AN EXPERIMENTAL MUTINY AGAINST EXCESS
Jen Hatmaker, read by Rebecca Gallagher
Bold steps to help you shed the stuff you don’t really need.

LIVE HAPPY: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy
Deborah K. Heisz, read by Karen White
How everyday practices can clear the way for lasting happiness.

LIGHTEN UP: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier With Less
Peter Walsh, read by John Lee
People are happiest when they simplify their lives.

100 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
Joyce Meyer, read by Sandra McCollom
Clutter and confusion are conditions that can be fixed.

Want to make be sure your next personal growth listen is credit-worthy?
Browse AudioFile‘s newest reviews to get our latest recommendations!

Tom Walken has spent most of his professional life in clinical psychology, primarily as a psychotherapist and now as a management consultant. Reviewing audio programs for more than two decades has exposed him to some great thinkers and helped him become more effective in his work. But the biggest gift has been how listening helps him grow personally, look at himself with calmer eyes, and connect with others with a kinder heart.