Self: Current Events, Critical Thinking, and You

Seeking inward and outward clarity through audiobooks

The Vanishing Middle ClassThe learning audios I heard this month are about a range of issues that people are thinking about today: the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the erosion of contract between corporations and labor, some important social science topics, and a timely lesson on the way we acquire knowledge of the world.

We’re all seeking clarity, and finding it requires a commitment—whether you’re working on understanding yourself or becoming better informed as a consumer, employee, business owner, or citizen. These audiobooks can help because once you decide to start listening, thinking more critically becomes a habit and a priority. By just making the time and paying attention, you can absorb the substance and stimulation you need to participate more fully in life.

THE VANISHING MIDDLE CLASS: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy
by Peter Temin, read by Stephen R. Thorne
Blackstone Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

THE CONFIDENCE GAME: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time
Written and read by Maria Konnikova
Penguin Audio/Books on Tape

ECONOMISM: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality
by James Kwak, Simon Johnson [Foreword], read by Mark Bramhall
Random House Audio/Books on Tape

THE END OF LOYALTY: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America
Written and read by Rick Wartzman
Hachette Audio

THE CREATIVE SPARK: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional
by Agustín Fuentes, read by Agustín Fuentes
Penguin Audio/Books On Tape

INFECTIOUS MADNESS: The Surprising Science of How We “Catch” Mental Illness
by Harriet A. Washington, read by Robert Petkoff
Hachette Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award

THE KNOWLEDGE ILLUSION: Why We Never Think Alone
by Steven Sloman, Philip Fernbach, read by Mike Chamberlain
Penguin Audio/Books On Tape

Visit our website for more personal growth audiobooks!

This post has been edited from its original longer form in the print issue of AudioFile Magazine, August/September 2017.

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.

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