Fans of the music business will devour this fascinating audiobook about the inner workings of the renowned British recording studio Abbey Road and the engineers and musicians who made it famous. The author, a veteran music journalist and gifted storyteller, narrates with slow and deliberate articulation typical of his generation, but his performance is full of color and... Read More
Christine Lakin delivers this audiobook about the politics of Helen Keller, an early-twentieth-century deafblind disability rights activist. The story of how she learned to communicate at the age of 7, dramatized in the 1959 play THE MIRACLE WORKER, captured the hearts of Americans, and she became an iconic figure. But many people didn't know she was a member of the Socialist... Read More
Primarily narrated by Kim Young-Gi, this biographical audiobook celebrates the ten-year-long career of the Korean boy band BTS. Kim's tender narration details the band's immense trials and unprecedented successes. He approaches the content with a voice full of wonder and admiration throughout their joys and quiet sympathy when detailing their tribulations. The audiobook also... Read More
Imani Jade Powers narrates this exploration of the early life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, long before she was known as the wife of two famous men. As the WASHINGTON TIMES-HERALD's "Inquiring Camera Girl," young Jacqueline Bouvier turned an ignored part of the paper into something special while maintaining a delicate balance of debutante, daughter of divorce, and educated... Read More
Des Linden won the 2018 Boston Marathon on a miserably cold, rainy, windy day, becoming the first American woman to win the race in decades. She hadn't even planned to be a contender; in fact, she had insufficient training precipitated by a life-threatening health issue. Linden's narration isn't dramatic, and she's not big on flair, but her gravelly voice is appealing, and her... Read More
Joan Walker narrates the first modern biography of Cleopatra Selene, the only daughter of Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Mark Antony of Rome. Walker's delivery is crisp and bright, her tone affecting something between a university lecturer and a popular documentary narrator. The historical material presented is from secondary or tertiary sources, as well as educated speculation, so... Read More
Writer R. Eric Thomas's second essay collection is just as funny and exuberant as his debut--and, if possible, even more nuanced and moving. Writing about the complicated emotions that arise when he moves back to his hometown of Baltimore, the beautiful challenges of marriage, the isolation of the pandemic, being in his 30s and still feeling like a mess, and so much more,... Read More
With a steady narration, Andrew Leland shares how he copes with the onset of blindness, caused by progressive retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Dispassionately and eloquently, he describes himself as being at the border between the country of the blind and the land of the sighted. He sees this spot as a unique vantage point for curiosity and thought and is convincing in his point of... Read More
Heidi Julavits's midrange voice and crisp pronunciation combine for an engaging narration of her disarming collection of essays about life. Candid, thought-provoking, and often laugh-out-loud funny, the essays encompass the four years when her youngest child grows from a hand-holding-boy-child to a preteen. Amid her attempts to help him be the best possible person he can be,... Read More
Famed narrator of the Dune series Scott Brick dials back his usually dramatic tone and gravelly timbre to a more conversational style as he narrates this legendary science fiction author's biography. Starting with Frank Herbert's humble beginnings in Tacoma, Washington, Brick adds extra warmth to heroic moments, such as the time Herbert saved his baby sister from parental... Read More
An heir to the Anheuser-Busch brewing fortune, Billy Busch is remarkably candid about both his life and the family succession issues that ultimately led to the purchase of the well-known corporation by InBev, a Belgian conglomerate. Busch's memoir seems backbiting, petty, and self-aggrandizing. Busch, who also narrates, frequently pauses inexplicably mid-sentence, especially... Read More
Suzanne Toren delivers this absorbing discussion of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's contributions to the nation during WWII. She expanded the role of first lady during wartime by becoming actively involved in social issues and by traveling widely. In 1943, Eleanor visited with troops stationed in the Pacific Theater, providing practical support through the Red Cross and... Read More
With a story as gripping as this chronicle of a female war correspondent, narrator Kate Handford wisely stays out of the way. She recounts the life of Dickey Chapelle at a steady pace, expressing emotion where appropriate and regularly pausing to let selected passages sink in. Even though this is a biography, not an autobiography, Handford almost becomes Chapelle, whose career... Read More
Saskia Maarleveld's appealing voice never disappoints in this true story of Marguerite Harrison (1879-1967), a widowed socialite who was fluent in several languages who volunteered to spy for the U.S. As a reporter in postwar Germany for the BALTIMORE SUN, she was able to file stories and send secret dispatches home. Maarleveld manages an objective distance yet still captures... Read More
Michelle Dowd's youthful voice makes it easy for listeners to be transported to the Field--the apocalyptic cult begun by her strict, religious grandfather in 1931 in which she grew up. She begins each chapter with an instructive recitation of her mother's teachings about healing plants, information that eventually gives her new ways to view the world. Her narration is almost... Read More
Frieda Hughes applies her poetic sensibilities to her memoir about taking care of a baby magpie that fell out of its nest in a storm. She names him George and recounts, through her diary entries at the time, how she raised him while negotiating rough marital seas and the final tasks of fixing up her house and garden in Wales. A poet and artist, Hughes is the daughter of... Read More
With an upbeat delivery, Elizabeth Wiley narrates this fascinating, thoroughly researched, and long overdue celebration of the brave, resourceful women who first joined the New York Police Department in the early 1920s. Particular focus is given to the life and career of Mary "Mae" Foley, who grew up in Manhattan's old Gas House District and became one of the NYPD's first... Read More
If listeners are initially disoriented by this audio, it's because the title is deceptive: It's as much a memoir as it is maritime history. This split personality is emphasized by the narration of Lynch Travis, who is much more comfortable with the personal elements of the story. Author Sullivan and a friend embark in a kayak on a perilous journey over the Columbia River Bar,... Read More
For fans of naturalist John Muir, this is a must-listen. Desz sets just the right tone as King recounts the friendship between Muir and journalist Robert Underwood Johnson. Plenty has been written about Muir, but this audiobook shares an important aspect of his writing and how it helped with his conservation efforts. Muir and Johnson collaborated and, at times, fought, to get... Read More
Author/narrator Safiya Sinclair emphasizes the poetry of her words as she narrates her memoir. Her soft Jamaican accent sounds like gentle waves. Sinclair begins by defining "Babylon," the term that Rastafarians coined to refer to the corrupting influences of Western culture--white oppression, in particular. Her father, a musician, became a strict Rastafarian who expected women... Read More
Shaun Taylor Corbett splendidly narrates this biography of Ira Hayes, a Native American Marine who was one of the six men pictured in Joe Rosenthal's famous picture of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima in February 1945. Many historians have emphasized the tragedy in parts of Hayes's life, and there was certainly much of that, including his... Read More
Judy Rakowsky recounts her thirty-year search for her long-lost relative, Hena, the only survivor of a family that was killed one night in Poland near the end of WWII. Investigative journalist Rakowsky has the perfect skills to follow her older cousin, Sam, a Holocaust survivor, on this journey. Rakowsky candidly expresses her frustration with waiting for translations, Sam's... Read More
Greg Marshall taps into the joy, pain, and bizarre family habits that shaped who he's become in this memoir about growing up with cerebral palsy. Unabashedly exploring his sexuality and relationships, Marshall shows how the limp he developed as a child influenced his life, including his clunky stint as a young stage actor, the complexity of dealing with parents who lied about... Read More
Author Amelia Possanza's conversational tone welcomes listeners to a topic that ranges from ancient Greece to modern times. She delves into archival records in search of lesbian history while also reflecting on her own. The connections Possanza develops with the complex women she researches are audible, by turns thoughtful, awed, and eager. These women include... Read More
Hannah Curtis narrates this retrospective on lessons to be learned and inspiration to be gleaned from a group of women writers, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, and Elena Ferrante. In each chapter the author weaves the experiences of one writer, examining her marriage, her work as a writer and an editor, and the difficult life... Read More
Stories of courage during life's most difficult moments are a staple of Holocaust literature. This audiobook fits that mold. The emotional story of a teenage girl's coming of age in Italy during WWII excels on audio because of the exceptional performance of Nancy Peterson. Employing a well-paced delivery and a firm tone that bring to life the fear of Lilia and her family,... Read More
Presenting this moving account of how immigration restrictions keep romantic partners apart, the author performs with gentle phrasing and clarity that make every sentence and narrative thread easy to absorb. The audio focuses on the author, a U.S. citizen with Middle East heritage who fell in love with a Syrian refugee and faced constant threats to their being together as they... Read More
Lincoln Hoppe's welcoming tone fits the folksy memories and reflections in this short audiobook as former TV news anchor Tom Brokaw recounts his memories of his family's struggles with prairie living. The stories reach back to his grandparents, who operated a hotel. His father, Red, helped out as a child and learned the hardscrabble values that informed how his son was raised:... Read More
It must be especially difficult to write a biography of someone like the poet Amy Clampitt, who became prominent late in life but lived mostly unrecorded until then. Willard Spiegelman's work-around in this audiobook is to focus mostly on what we do know, which is primarily the writing and the last two decades of Clampitt's life. With Arthur Morey narrating Spiegelman's words... Read More
Tracy Thorne narrates this memoir with respect for the emotions McPhee experienced while caring for her mother in her dilapidated childhood home near Princeton, New Jersey, during the pandemic. Thorne's narration gives listeners a strong sense of McPhee's dilemmas, past and present. In the present, Thorne emphasizes the frustration of having to deal with a leaking septic system... Read More
Actor Richard E. Grant delivers his touching memoir with a combination of honesty, humor, and hope. Grant takes listeners into his long, loving relationship with his late wife, Joan Washington, from their first meeting through her treatment and eventual death from cancer. When he talks about his first meetings with Joan, a well-respected dialect coach, Grant sounds shy,... Read More
This imaginative audiobook combines science, history, and what might be called speculative biography to create one of this season's most memorable nonfiction titles. Listeners will be helped by having some background in Kant, Borges, and Heisenberg, and in Einstein's theory of relativity. But the general line of the narrative is fairly easy to follow. Narrator David Glass is... Read More
In this quiet and far-ranging blend of memoir, history, and nature writing, poet Camille T. Dungy uses her small garden in Colorado to explore topics ranging from the isolation of parenting during Covid to the history of Black nature writing. Her narration, like her writing, is both careful and warm. In her prose and with her voice, she excels at drawing vivid pictures. It's... Read More
Astrophysicist Sarafina El-Badry Nance's honest and unadorned performance invites listeners to share experiences both universal and deeply personal. Her youthful voice frays as she opens up about the mix of uplifting and negative experiences she had as a biracial Egyptian American girl in Austin, Texas, and the misogyny that pervaded her collegiate career. Her memoir is... Read More
Stand-up comic Maria Bamford shows her sense of timing, audience, and humor as she narrates her memoir. Upbeat and whimsical, she begins by defining sounds that signal what's coming: Brakes squealing, for example, heralds "creepy stuff." She also warns listeners that her memoir will not follow a linear structure. Indeed, while pondering bouts of mental illness and her need to... Read More
This heartfelt memoir takes listeners from Kerry Washington's childhood in the Bronx through her award-winning career thus far. The Emmy and SAG winner and Golden Globe nominee recounts her extraordinary life as a Black female actor and activist who aims to break down barriers, as well as a devoted daughter, mentor, director, and producer. With humor and honesty, Washington... Read More
Scottish art critic Laura Cumming's lyrical voice works perfectly with her poetic writing for this rambling story of an event that occurred in 1654 Holland. The Thunderclap, a massive explosion in a gunpowder store, killed the artist Carel Fabritius, known for his painting THE GOLDFINCH. Cumming's sometimes emotional performance weaves her personal memories of her father, an... Read More
Kyo Maclear gently shares the story she uncovered after she learned that her English father's DNA does not match hers. Her candid tone nurtures a desire to accompany her as she unearths secrets of her dying mother--in particular, her parents' infidelities--and struggles to find compassion and forgiveness. Maclear's curiosity comes through clearly when she describes gazing at... Read More
Journalist Paul Burston narrates his memoir about growing up gay in South Wales, his transformation into an AIDS activist and author in London, and the establishment of Polari salon in 2007 and the first Polari Prize in 2011. Taking its title from a David Bowie song, the audiobook shows Burston's struggle to find acceptance of who he was and wanted to be. He doesn't apologize... Read More
Journalist Meg Kissinger gives a stellar narration of her extraordinarily affecting memoir about growing up in the 1960s in a close-knit Irish-Catholic family of eight children, many of whom were afflicted with mental illness. Kissinger's father suffered from bipolar disorder, her mother was hospitalized for depression during Kissinger's childhood, and she lost a brother and... Read More
In a compassionate, relatable tone, Allyson McCabe delivers a compelling case for the importance of the late Sinead O'Connor's musical artistry and ability to use her platform to advocate for such issues as abortion rights and HIV/AIDS prevention and care. McCabe uses a direct, enthusiastic tone in supporting O'Connor and viewing the singer's controversial words and actions.... Read More
Narrator Ann Richardson brings a calm and pleasant feminine voice to the legendary life of Thurídur Einarsdóttir. Captain Thurídur's life from the late 1700s and early 1800s was difficult because of weather, terrain, and social customs, but it didn't stop her from being the strong and independent purposeful woman she was. The challenges of life in a rural, rugged, and risky... Read More
Eunice Wong perfectly delivers this powerful biography. Author Mattie Kahn has a simple goal: to bring attention to the teenage girls throughout history who have sparked protests and social justice movements. She infuses these stories with a conversational tone that matches the well-researched stories of girls we know (like climate activist Greta Thunberg) and those we don't... Read More
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