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AFTER THE LAST BORDER

AFTER THE LAST BORDER Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America

by Jessica Goudeau | Read by Soneela Nankani

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

What would it take to leave everything behind and restart life in another country? Narrator Soneela Nankani enlivens the harrowing story of two refugee families that are forced to move to Austin, Texas, after leaving their war-torn homes. Mu Naw spent decades in a refugee camp before seeking asylum. Hasna and her family were forced from their home during the civil war in Syria... Read More

BACK FROM THE FUTURE

BACK FROM THE FUTURE A Celebration of the Greatest Time Travel Story Ever Told

by Brad Gilmore | Read by Joe Hempel

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

When it comes to BACK TO THE FUTURE, author Brad Gilmore is no dispassionate critic--he's the ultimate fanboy, and this audiobook is made for people like him. Narrator Joe Hempel has picked up "Future" podcaster Gilmore's zeal for the film trilogy and performs this audiobook with tenderness and enthusiasm. Gilmore shares behind-the-scenes secrets about the films--the abandoned... Read More

THE BACK ROADS TO MARCH

THE BACK ROADS TO MARCH The Unsung, Unheralded, and Unknown Heroes of a College Basketball Season

by John Feinstein | Read by John Feinstein

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Venerable sportswriter John Feinstein narrates his latest audiobook, which chronicles the stories of lesser-known basketball coaches, players, and colleges. From Howard to Harvard, he catches games and dives into the lives of those involved. He doesn't imitate anyone he quotes, except for one person: Lefty Driesell. His drawl for the legendary coach is absolutely perfect, and... Read More

BECOMING WILD

BECOMING WILD How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace

by Carl Safina | Read by Carl Safina

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Carl Safina starts off by bringing listeners along on a drenching trip to watch--and listen to--sperm whales off the coast of Dominica in the Caribbean. Listeners can feel his exasperation with the wetness and his growing understanding of the language hidden in the whales' clicks and squeaks. It's a feeling of learning along with the author. He's studying the ways whales and... Read More

BIG FRIENDSHIP

BIG FRIENDSHIP How We Keep Each Other Close

by Aminatou Sow, Ann Friedman | Read by Aminatou Sow, Ann Friedman

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The hosts of the "Call Your Girlfriend" podcast prove to be warm, open, and matter-of-fact as they share personal details about the path their friendship has taken. Sounding comfortable and natural behind the mic, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman trade off narrating as they chronicle how they met, maintained a long-distance friendship, supported each other's careers, took the leap... Read More

BIOGRAPHY OF RESISTANCE

BIOGRAPHY OF RESISTANCE The Epic Battle Between People and Pathogens

by Muhammad H. Zaman | Read by Kyle Tait

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Kyle Tait's calm, almost soothing, performance is welcome, given the difficult topic of this audiobook--antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Zaman's work is concise; each chapter provides listeners with insight into the history of bacteria and the battle to address infections scientifically. Each section provides a case history of how researchers fought to develop and deploy... Read More

THE BIRD WAY

THE BIRD WAY A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think

by Jennifer Ackerman | Read by Jennifer Ackerman

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

"There is the mammal way, and there is the bird way," says author/narrator Jennifer Ackerman at the outset of this highly engaging, highly informative audiobook. It turns out there's quite a bit more to the bird way than most people imagine, and Ackerman offers an impressive collection of examples of advanced bird communication, reasoning, mating and parenting strategies, and... Read More

BLUFFING TEXAS STYLE

BLUFFING TEXAS STYLE The Arsons, Forgeries, and High-Stakes Poker Capers of Rare Book Dealer Johnny Jenkins

Earphones Award Winner

by Michael Vinson | Read by Peter Lerman

University Press Audiobooks | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Peter Lerman recounts the inevitable demise of Stetson-wearing Johnny Jenkins, former president of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. Jenkins, an expert on Texas history and rare books, started out as a successful businessman in Austin. Lerman gives him outsized Texas charm and a good-old-boy accent. Listeners will have an exhilarating ride as he... Read More

THE BOOK OF EELS

THE BOOK OF EELS Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World

by Patrik Svensson | Read by Alex Wyndham

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Did you know eels can live for an impressive amount of time out of water or that, despite thousands of years of observation, we still don't fully understand the eel's life cycle? Narrator Alex Wyndam skillfully uses pitch and thoughtful pacing to underscore author Svensson's passion for these singular fish, which have been studied by a diverse range of researchers and have had... Read More

THE BOOK OF ROSY

THE BOOK OF ROSY A Mother's Story of Separation at the Border

by Rosayra Pablo Cruz, Julie Schwietert Collazo | Read by Almarie Guerra, Jayme Mattler

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrators Almarie Guerra and Jayme Mattler create a heartbreaking portrait of a mother's detention and forced separation from her sons under this country's recent zero tolerance immigration policy. This compelling memoir alternates between the perspectives of the two authors. Guatemalan Rosayra Pablo Cruz is portrayed by Guerra. Her voice is clear and strong, but breaks in... Read More

BREATH

BREATH The New Science of a Lost Art

by James Nestor | Read by James Nestor, Anders Olsson

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This is two, two, two audiobooks in one. Inspired journalist James Nestor talks us through the million-year history of breathing, telling how large brains and small jaws narrowed human blowholes to the extent that 90 percent of us, including Nestor himself, now have trouble getting air. Breathing properly is an ancient if neglected art, an art he employs to escape his own... Read More

BROWN ALBUM

BROWN ALBUM Essays on Exile and Identity

by Porochista Khakpour | Read by Porochista Khakpour

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Porochista Khakpour narrates her own reflections on Iranian-American identity. She interweaves stories of her personal experiences, commentary on important historical moments, and long discussions of terms such as "Persian" and "Oriental." Khakpour is, by turns, steady, sardonic, and straightforward in her examination of her hyphenated background. As she looks back on the... Read More

BUZZ SAW

BUZZ SAW The Improbable Story of How the Washington Nationals Won the World Series

by Jesse Dougherty | Read by Angelo Di Loreto

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This well-timed audiobook details what it took for the Washington Nationals to overcome a more than sluggish start and turn into a cohesive unit that became the first team to win four road games in a World Series. Angelo Di Loreto brings gravitas and a genuinely interested tone to his narration. He provides emotion when appropriate--so when a player shouts over a controversial... Read More

THE COLD VANISH

THE COLD VANISH Seeking the Missing in North America's Wildlands

by Jon Billman | Read by Stephen Graybill

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Jacob Gray's bicycle is found in Olympic National Park in April 2018, but there is no sign of Jacob. His father, Randy, abandons his life to search for him even as the odds of finding him alive diminish. Narrator Stephen Graybill is steady and compelling as he guides the listener through the art and science of looking for missing persons, including Jacob, on America's public... Read More

DIRT

DIRT Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

by Bill Buford | Read by Bill Buford

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Buford narrates this culinary journey, taking listeners with him to Lyon, France, as he seeks to learn classic French cooking methods. Whether he's encountering famous French chefs or attempting to learn recipe secrets, his voice smoothly transitions between incredulity, awe, determination, and curiosity. His appreciation for the region's people and food is palpable as he... Read More

DISABILITY VISIBILITY

DISABILITY VISIBILITY First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century

by Alice Wong [Ed.] | Read by Alejandra Ospina, Alice Wong [Intro.]

Random House Audio | Unabridged Selections
Contemporary Culture

Author Alice Wong tells listeners the personal stories of various disabled people, including herself, for the purpose of creating a stronger sense of community among them. In her introduction, which she delivers herself over sound effects of traffic, Wan recalls her own excitement about accessible public transit. She then turns her collection over to Alejandra Ospina, who... Read More

THE EIGHTY-DOLLAR CHAMPION

THE EIGHTY-DOLLAR CHAMPION Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

by Elizabeth Letts | Read by Arthur Morey

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This seems an opportune time for Letts's classic horse biography to be rereleased as an audiobook. Arthur Morey's delivery brings this history, much more than a horse story, to life. His narration is smoothly conversational--whether he's recounting the history of immigrant horse master Harry de Layer and Snowman, the old plow horse he trained to become the champion jumper that... Read More

ENTANGLED LIFE

ENTANGLED LIFE How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

by Merlin Sheldrake | Read by Merlin Sheldrake

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author Merlin Sheldrake delivers his love letter to fungi in a smooth British-accented voice. He clearly admires the problem-solving behavior of slime mold and other life-forms without a central brain. Sheldrake explains how the study of fungal networks has applications for transportation systems and the World Wide Web. When he tells how Easter Islanders compared lichen to... Read More

FIVE DAYS

FIVE DAYS The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

by Wes Moore, Erica Green | Read by Wes Moore

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In this audiobook, Baltimore native Wes Moore provides a moving and nuanced account of the 2015 Baltimore uprising in the five days after Freddie Gray was killed by police. Moore's voice spills over with emotions that range from rage to hopeful determination. He delves into the intersecting stories of several Baltimoreans involved in the uprising, including a Black police... Read More

FOOTPRINTS

FOOTPRINTS In Search of Future Fossils

by David Farrier | Read by Mike Grady

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

A touch of anxiety creeps into narrator Mike Grady's voice as he talks about crumbling coastal cliffs in Britain. The coastal erosion has yielded clues to the past--in the form of footprints of early humans. Author David Farrier, who teaches English literature at the University of Edinburgh, ponders what trace fossils will remain of our own society in "the very deep future."... Read More

FROM HERE TO THERE

FROM HERE TO THERE The Art and Science of Finding and losing Our Way

by Michael Bond | Read by Pete Cross

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Pete Cross narrates with clarity and precision, assuming just the right pace for this fascinating audiobook on the meaning of navigation. His style lets the information speak for itself, illuminating the complex science. The result is an audiobook that sounds authoritative as Bond addresses human navigation, way finding, and the positives and negatives of getting lost, doing so... Read More

GHOSTING THE NEWS

GHOSTING THE NEWS Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy

Earphones Award Winner

by Margaret Sullivan | Read by Amanda Carlin

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Listening to this book, one might think narrator Amanda Carlin is the author. Her narration is filled with the emotion and emphasis the author brought to the work. She stresses the important points without sounding strident and largely overcomes the fact that this book was written for the eye, not the ear. She breaks complex sentences into easier to comprehend segments without... Read More

THE HILARIOUS WORLD OF DEPRESSION

THE HILARIOUS WORLD OF DEPRESSION

by John Moe | Read by John Moe

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Inspired by his podcast of the same name, this combination memoir and informational text is narrated by its author with sincere emotional investment and subtle humor. As the title suggests, Moe examines the serious subject of depression with wry observations and self-effacing irony. Moe's voice is casual and endearing, largely delivering the funny moments with solid comic... Read More

HOW TO BE GOOD

HOW TO BE GOOD or How to Be Moral and Virtuous in a Wicked World

Earphones Award Winner

by Gary Cox | Read by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Popular philosophical writing doesn't get any better than this, especially when it's delivered by British narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies. Infusing every phrase with lighthearted charm and meaning, he gives listeners a satisfying aural experience as he unfolds the author's ideas about goodness. Philosopher Gary Cox has a gift for juxtaposing today's moral dilemmas with the... Read More

HOW TO SURVIVE A PANDEMIC

HOW TO SURVIVE A PANDEMIC

by Michael Greger | Read by Michael Greger

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If sheltering in place has given you more time to listen to audiobooks, this one may scare you into never leaving the house. Greger has a highly idiosyncratic style: He speeds up and slows down mid-sentence, with the cadences of a casual conversation rather than a formal reading. Once you get used to this, Greger draws you in with this genuinely frightening but rigorously... Read More

HUNGRY

HUNGRY Avocado Toast, Instagram Influencers, and Our Search for Connection and Meaning

by Eve Turow-Paul | Read by Taylor Meskimen

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Describing how technology and other modern innovations are shaping people's indulgence in food, fitness, and other obsessions, a keen cultural observer provides worldwide examples of how mankind's search for a satisfied mind has derailed. Narrator Taylor Meskimen provides a vocal performance that is true to the author's ideas but stays in a pitch range that sounds trapped in... Read More

IN SEARCH OF MEADOWLARKS

IN SEARCH OF MEADOWLARKS Birds, Farms, and Food in Harmony with the Land

by John M. Marzluff | Read by Danny Campbell

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

I started listening to this audiobook on sustainable agriculture while tending my vegetable garden. While that was a pleasant coincidence, one hopes that those most in need of hearing the message of this book will listen and learn from it. Danny Campbell takes an almost conversational tone in his narration. It makes the anecdotes sound like personal stories told among friends... Read More

IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE

IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE Thomas Jefferson on Equality, Faith, Freedom, Compromise, and the Art of Citizenship

by Jon Meacham [Ed. and Intro.], Annette Gordon-Reed [Afterword] | Read by Fred Sanders, Edoardo Ballerini and a Full Cast

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Fred Sanders and Edoardo Ballerini highlight a full-cast narration--punctuated with musical interludes--in this stirring presentation of Jefferson on America and Americans on Jefferson. In these exquisitely chosen texts, Jefferson is passionate and prescient, insisting on a free press and freedom of religion, even foreseeing foreign enemies who might subvert the electoral... Read More

INTANGIBLES

INTANGIBLES Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team Chemistry

by Joan Ryan | Read by Joan Ryan

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Sportswriter Joan Ryan is a first-time narrator, and she makes a fine debut in this thoughtful look at whether team chemistry is a real phenomenon or simply a myth. Can a bond between players really turn a merely good team into a champion? Ryan explores this idea with a healthy mix of scientific rigor and entertaining anecdotes, consulting both scientists and athletes. Her... Read More

THE LANGUAGE OF BUTTERFLIES

THE LANGUAGE OF BUTTERFLIES How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World's Favorite Insect

by Wendy Williams | Read by Angela Brazil

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Angela Brazil brings spirit and animation to Wendy Williams's personal look at one of nature's most cherished, admired, and vulnerable species. The study of butterflies has never been far from the collecting of specimens, and that pursuit has attracted more than its share of "thieves, hoarders, scientists, and other obsessives." These make for a high romance, for which... Read More

THE LONGING FOR LESS

THE LONGING FOR LESS Living with Minimalism

by Kyle Chayka | Read by Christopher Ragland

Bloomsbury Publishing | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Christopher Ragland sounds like an approachable guy you might want to have coffee with. This warmth makes him an ideal choice for an audiobook that explores the practice of minimalism. Ragland comes across like a knowledgeable friend. Listeners will lean into chapters that examine the roots and benefits of minimalist culture. His quick, upbeat pace keeps his... Read More

A MORE PERFECT REUNION

A MORE PERFECT REUNION Race, Integration, and the Future of America

by Calvin Baker | Read by Landon Woodson

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Landon Woodson's quiet confidence is a great vehicle for expressing the perspective that permeates this important audiobook about racism. The young actor connects in a balanced way with the author's mission to call out the realities of slavery and the rationales, denials, and hypocracy associated with its continuing effects on African-Americans. Woodson's matter-of-fact tone... Read More

THE MUSEUM OF WHALES YOU WILL NEVER SEE

THE MUSEUM OF WHALES YOU WILL NEVER SEE And Other Excursions to Iceland's Most Unusual Museums

Earphones Award Winner

by A. Kendra Greene | Read by A. Kendra Greene

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

A. Kendra Greene's love for Iceland, its hundreds of quirky museums and private collections, and the people behind these diverse institutions is obvious in her delightful narration of this unusual travel book. Greene's voice is rich and expressive, and she rolls through the Icelandic words with authenticity. (She thanks her language coach in the acknowledgments.) Her curiosity... Read More

MUSLIM WOMEN ARE EVERYTHING

MUSLIM WOMEN ARE EVERYTHING Stereotype-Shattering Stories of Courage, Inspiration, and Adventure

by Seema Yasmin | Read by Seema Yasmin

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Seema Yasmin is proud of the unique Muslim women she knows personally as well as the increasing number of Muslim women role models in the public sphere. As narrator, her enthusiasm spills over to listeners in this series of short essays about Muslim congresswomen, athletes, and musicians who defy media stereotypes. Those interested in feminist identity will enjoy this... Read More

NO JUSTICE IN THE SHADOWS

NO JUSTICE IN THE SHADOWS How America Criminalizes Immigrants

by Alina Das | Read by Alina Das, Roxana Ortega

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Provocative, powerful, and informative, this audiobook about how our nation criminalizes immigrants is an important and timely listen. Immigration rights activist and attorney Alina Das, author and narrator, draws in listeners with an impassioned introduction that lays the foundation for her work. Narrator Roxana Ortega shares the heartbreaking and compelling stories of those... Read More

NOTHING IS WRONG AND HERE IS WHY

NOTHING IS WRONG AND HERE IS WHY Essays

by Alexandra Petri | Read by Rebecca Gibel

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Rebecca Gibel offers a humorous performance of this collection of satirical essays that provide insight into several political topics. Gibel's crisp and understated yet energetic voice explains how safe spaces coddle American children and deny them the same struggles their parents experienced. With tongue in cheek, Gibel also states the author's "claim" that Trump is a... Read More

OUR TIME IS NOW

OUR TIME IS NOW Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America

by Stacey Abrams | Read by Stacey Abrams

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In a voice full of grace, warmth, and determination, politician and activist Stacey Abrams provides listeners with a road map for building a more just and democratic nation. She gives an overview of the history of voter suppression in the U.S. and then delves into the myriad ways Republican lawmakers continue to block minority voters from the polls. As examples, she details... Read More

PHARMA

PHARMA Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America

by Gerald Posner | Read by Jacques Roy

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Jacques Roy's consistently clear performance of Posner's audiobook is appropriate for its tone. Posner's research into the pharmaceutical industry is unsparing. Listeners are guided through the history of an industry that routinely seeks profit over public interest. Key details are covered: Why are there so many variants to over-the-counter painkillers? How did Oxycontin become... Read More

THE PINK LINE

THE PINK LINE Journeys Across the World's Queer Frontiers

by Mark Gevisser | Read by Vikas Adam, Mark Gevisser

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

For a book several years in the making, South African journalist Mark Gevisser interviewed LGBTQ individuals around the world to investigate "the pink line" drawn across various cultural, political, and socioeconomic phenomena. Narrator Vikas Adam's assured tone focuses listeners on the people who share their lived experiences in Malawi, Palestine, Mexico, Uganda, the United... Read More

PROPHETIC CITY

PROPHETIC CITY Houston on the Cusp of a Changing America

by Stephen L. Klineberg | Read by Danny Campbell

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Danny Campbell puts energy into telling listeners about Houston's rowdy roots and keeps that energy throughout. His voice puts emphasis on the highs and lows as the evolution of the city is revealed, his tone ranging from boosterish to harshly critical. Author Klineberg and his Rice University students worked as part of a team that regularly polled Houston residents... Read More

THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF THE SKIN

THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF THE SKIN

by Monty Lyman | Read by Matthew Spencer

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Matthew Spencer voices Monty Lyman's fascination with our largest organ as he asks listeners to take a look at their own skin. As the audiobook turns to skin conditions, the effects of sleeplessness, and how mental stress affects the skin's immune system, many a listener will be doing just that. Lillard covers a wide range of topics, so listeners might find themselves... Read More

RIGGED

RIGGED America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference

by David Shimer | Read by Kevin R. Free

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Kevin Free narrates this timely audiobook forcefully, clearly, and with the gravitas it deserves. He ably guides listeners through the political thickets that author David Shimer's work identifies. Free gives an authoritative tone to the many experts, former officials, and stories the text reveals. The author evenhandedly discloses the "covert election influence" of both the... Read More

THE SHADOW SYSTEM

THE SHADOW SYSTEM Mass Incarceration and the American Family

by Sylvia A. Harvey | Read by Janina Edwards

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Janina Edwards delivers an impassioned performance as she describes the lives of multiple families dealing with the complicated racism and general destructive nature of our nation's mass incarceration system and the school-to-prison pipeline. Each story is made more personal as Edwards tells the heartrending stories of children raised without fathers and mothers,... Read More

SISTERS IN HATE

SISTERS IN HATE American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism

by Seyward Darby | Read by Susan Bennett

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

What draws a seemingly decent white woman into the horrifying world of white supremacist hate groups? Susan Bennett takes on the narration of this highly researched exposé on white women and hate groups in the United States. The audiobook explores what leads seemingly well-adjusted women to become involved in the world of hate speech, neo-Nazism, and the expansion of the causes... Read More

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA

by Neil Shubin | Read by Marc Cashman

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This is primarily a history of DNA and other evolutionary discoveries, entertainingly written and nicely narrated by Marc Cashman. Using a particular explanatory style, he sounds young and enthusiastic. The primary ideas in the work come through, eloquent and clear. Particularly fascinating are the explorations of the constant changes going on in the micro world to this day and... Read More

STEALING HOME

STEALING HOME Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between

by Eric Nusbaum | Read by David Owen Nelson

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook takes a sociological look at Southern California in the time leading up to the building and opening of Dodger Stadium in 1962. It's a story about immigration, subsidized housing, and other topics, and narrator David Owen Nelson brings an appropriate tone to the work. His beautiful Spanish accent, used for Spanish words and names, is a delight to hear, and the... Read More

SUNNY DAYS

SUNNY DAYS The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America

by David Kamp | Read by David Sadzin

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

David Kamp's meticulous research provides a history of the Children's Television Workshop, and narrator David Sadzin is a fine guide through the neighborhoods of Make Believe and Sesame Street. Sadzin's friendly, open narration captures the feel of the '60s and '70s--that sense of wanting to make change for the greater good. Devoted to improving the quality of children's... Read More

SUPREME INEQUALITY

SUPREME INEQUALITY The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America

by Adam Cohen | Read by Dan Woren

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Since Nixon's presidency, the Supreme Court has systematically ignored the rights of everyone except the powerful and wealthy. Narrator Dan Woren manages to convey the urgency of the author's arguments without sounding like he's preaching to the choir. Woren's evenhanded and carefully modulated delivery provides conclusive evidence of the right-leaning decisions that have... Read More

SURVIVING AUTOCRACY

SURVIVING AUTOCRACY

by Masha Gessen | Read by Masha Gessen

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Born in the Soviet Union, journalist Masha Gessen narrates with a slight accent that gives this audiobook a kind of authenticity. Their work adds a singular angle of vision to the cottage industry of works critical of the president. An astute student of autocrats, they bring their analysis and scorn to Donald Trump. They have reported on autocrats in Russia, Hungary, and... Read More

SWAY

SWAY Unravelling Unconscious Bias

by Pragya Agarwal | Read by Aysha Kala

Bloomsbury Publishing | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Aysha Kala's performance of Agarwal's thoroughly researched audiobook is unflinchingly effective. Dr. Agarwal's work is not merely a collection of theories about the nature of implicit bias. Listeners are provided with current examples: how "fake news" meets the desire to reject information the listener doesn't want to hear, how everyday technology like digital assistants Siri... Read More

THE SYSTEM

THE SYSTEM Who Rigged It, How We Fix It

by Robert B. Reich | Read by Robert B. Reich

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Robert Reich is an excellent narrator of his own work. He is passionate, expressive, and commands the listener's attention. The former Clinton Administration labor secretary argues that economic inequality is eroding democracy in the U.S. The richest of the rich--the oligarchs--ensure that ever larger shares of economic and educational advantage stick to their own fingers while... Read More

THIS IS MAJOR

THIS IS MAJOR Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope

by Shayla Lawson | Read by Shayla Lawson

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Shayla Lawson's agile narration adds another layer of depth to this collection of essays about Black girlhood and womanhood. Whether she's writing about microaggressions at work or the idiosyncrasies of Twitter, her blend of humor and critique is always engaging. What's especially remarkable is how Lawson alters her voice to fit her material. In an essay about performing FOR... Read More

TROOP 6000

TROOP 6000 The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World

by Nikita Stewart | Read by Robin Miles

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

There's gentleness in narrator Robin Miles's voice as she switches between the viewpoints of Giselle Burgess and her daughter, Hailey. Miles takes on a clinical tone as she describes the impersonal process through which Burgess and her family, who had just become homeless, were placed in a shelter in a New York City hotel. Burgess, who was working for the Girl Scouts, decided... Read More

UPLIFTING STORIES

UPLIFTING STORIES True Tales to Inspire You to Take Action

by Ione Butler | Read by Ione Butler

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The stories in this remarkable audiobook are about the best in humanity: our desire for connection with others, our determination to pursue dreams, and our generosity in serving others or a greater good of some kind. The author/narrator offers these stories as a model for our higher angels to follow, a remedy for the pernicious news and argumentative social climate that... Read More

VERITAS

VERITAS A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife

Earphones Award Winner

by Ariel Sabar | Read by Robert Petkoff

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

A good story well told cuts across every category of audiobook listening. This remarkable tale of a high-profile fraud combines elements of scripture studies, academic politics, investigative journalism, and true-crime reporting. Narrator Robert Petkoff is pitch-perfect in delivering author Ariel Sabar's examination of "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife," a forged parchment of dubious... Read More

WEIRD BUT NORMAL

WEIRD BUT NORMAL Essays on the Awkward, Uncomfortable, Surprisingly Regular Parts of Being Human

Earphones Award Winner

by Mia Mercado | Read by Mia Mercado

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Humorist Mia Mercado's debut collection of self-deprecating, insightful essays drawn from her personal experiences is a must-listen for anyone wondering if their perceived idiosyncrasies are "normal." Suitable pauses between essays transition listeners through sections dedicated to various modes of being that millennials will find relatable. Mercado's essays combine humor and... Read More

WHY FISH DON'T EXIST

WHY FISH DON'T EXIST A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life

by Lulu Miller | Read by Lulu Miller

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Lulu Miller's friendly, curious voice braids together history, biography, and memoir. The former host of the NPR podcast "Invisibilia" introduces listeners to taxonomist and former Stanford president David Starr Jordan, famous for his work classifying fish. Initially, Miller is inspired by Jordan because he personifies resilience after his life's work seems to have been... Read More

WHY WE DRIVE

WHY WE DRIVE Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road

by Matthew B. Crawford | Read by Ron Butler

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ron Butler's narration of this meditation on the meaning of driving takes listeners by the lapels and gently shakes their preconceived notions. His smoothly instructive and carefully paced rendition of this audiobook gives life to this examination of the assumption that a problem's technological solution--whether it's cameras on street lights, autonomous autos, or smart... Read More

WUHAN DIARY

WUHAN DIARY Dispatches from a Quarantined City

Earphones Award Winner

by Fang Fang, Michael Berry [Trans.] | Read by Emily Woo Zeller

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Emily Woo Zeller's melodious voice, clear diction, and thoughtful pacing shape these dispatches from the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. She emulates Fang Fang's tone whether she discusses daily life, takes officials to task for an insufficient response to the pandemic, or vigorously defends herself from the Internet trolls and ultra-leftists who attack her. Novelist Fang... Read More

X + Y

X + Y A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender

by Eugenia Cheng | Read by Moira Quirk

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Moira Quirk narrates this fascinating examination of society, gender, and mathematics. That may initially seem like an odd trio, but listeners quickly discover how author Eugenia Cheng's mathematical specialty, called category theory, could break down barriers imposed by gender. Quirk immediately draws in listeners with an energetic and magnetic voice that makes what could be... Read More

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