AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook
Get our Newsletter

New Reviews: Contemporary Culture

Home»Reviews»New Reviews by Category
ACROSS THAT BRIDGE

ACROSS THAT BRIDGE A Vision for Change and the Future of America

by John Lewis, Brenda Jones | Read by Keith David

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Hearing essays and reflections from Congressman John Lewis's 2012 book gives one a sense of the old and the new. Keith David's warm baritone projects great equanimity and power--which are exactly what inform Lewis's recollections. Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders in 1960 and has continued as a Civil Rights leader and advocate throughout his life, which includes 17... Read More

THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM

THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

by Shoshana Zuboff | Read by Nicol Zanzarella

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Shoshana Zuboff offers a well-researched and detailed examination of a global framework that, in her view, threatens everyone who employs even a trace of Internet-based technology. The highly accomplished and experienced Nicol Zanzarella applies her impressive skills; her narration is, at once, sincere, powerful, intense, and deeply personal. Zuboff coins the term "surveillance... Read More

AIN'T I A WOMAN

AIN'T I A WOMAN Black Women and Feminism, 2nd Edition

by Bell Hooks | Read by Adenrele Ojo

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Adenrele Ojo is a familiar, poetic voice for a heavy topic: black women's unique experiences with racism and sexism, and their role in standing with black men and white women in the fight against these oppressions. This classic book doesn't feel dated, though the buzzword "intersectionality" is never uttered. The audiobook is a primer on the study of black women in... Read More

ALL THAT REMAINS

ALL THAT REMAINS A Life in Death

by Sue Black | Read by Angela Dawe

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Sue Black isn't afraid of death--she thinks about joining the cadavers at the University of Dundee when she's gone--and Angela Dawe's narration reflects that matter-of-fact attitude. There's even enthusiasm in Dawe's voice as she recounts Black's first memories of dealing with death on the job--working part-time in a butcher shop when she was only 12. Black is a forensic... Read More

APOCALYPSE ANY DAY NOW

APOCALYPSE ANY DAY NOW Deep Underground with America's Doomsday Preppers

by Tea Krulos | Read by Eric Michael Summerer

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Eric Michael Summerer deftly introduces the author as he investigates the thoughts of those predicting and preparing for turbulent times--terrorism, natural disasters, the end of the world. Summerer's Krulos is a first-rate interviewer who draws out even the most secretive individual. His appealing voice is realistic and respectful of each interviewee. Krulos visits... Read More

ARCTIC DREAMS

ARCTIC DREAMS

by Barry Lopez | Read by James Naughton

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In a warm, inviting voice, James Naughton narrates Lopez's detailed natural history and firsthand observations of the Arctic, originally published in 1986. Lopez spent four years researching the ecosystem of this fascinating world. This audiobook provides an encompassing listening experience as he closely observe animals indigenous to the region, where night and day don't... Read More

THE BACK CHANNEL

THE BACK CHANNEL A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal

by William J. Burns | Read by Mark Bramhall, William J. Burns [Prologue]

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

From a diplomat and former secretary of state who was on the scene as the Cold War ended, and as the world changed again after the 9/11 attacks, comes an audiobook that effectively details the recent history of American foreign policy and the key role it played, and plays, in the world. Burns narrates the prologue, and his voice has the gravitas and expression you might expect... Read More

BIASED

BIASED Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

by Jennifer L. Eberhardt | Read by Jennifer L. Eberhardt

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Jennifer L. Eberhardt sounds like she's trying to deliver the words of her audiobook clearly while adding some emotional depth. In doing so, her narration comes across as too stilted, even when such an effect could be useful in projecting emotional tension. In powerful prose she explores how implicit bias works in a myriad of ways. This audiobook weaves her life's work and her... Read More

THE BIG NINE

THE BIG NINE How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity

by Amy Webb | Read by Amanda Dolan

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Amanda Dolan narrates Webb's exploration of the social problems (mostly) and possibilities (a few) that artificial intelligence could create. By first examining the major companies exploring artificial intelligence and then mapping out best- and worst-case scenarios, Webb ensures that listeners understand his position on how unlikely the optimistic projections are, based upon... Read More

THE BIRTH OF LOUD

THE BIRTH OF LOUD Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll

by Ian S. Port | Read by Pete Simonelli

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Pete Simonelli rolls through this history of the electric guitar like he's cruising down the interstate. His steady pacing and relaxed tone are just what's needed to complement author Ian Port's captivating anecdotal story of innovation and rivalry. Port uses the solid-body electric guitar and bass as metaphors for the cultural changes that occurred from the end of... Read More

THE BOOK OF DELIGHTS

THE BOOK OF DELIGHTS Essays

by Ross Gay | Read by Ross Gay

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

After receiving acclaim and two literary awards for his poetry book CATALOG OF UNABASHED GRATITUDE, Ross Gay continues to share his talent in this enlightening audiobook of essays, which he narrates himself. The audiobook consists of Gay's observations on his life over a period of one year. Both his writing and narration are humorous, fluid, playful, and, at times, quite... Read More

THE BREATH OF A WHALE

THE BREATH OF A WHALE The Science and Spirit of Pacific Ocean Giants

by Leigh Calvez | Read by Karen White

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This book was written more for the eye than the ear, which makes its transition to audio difficult. The author offers up fascinating facts about whales, dolphins, and porpoises, such as how some dolphins can shut down half their brains at will. Long sentences with complex structures can be a challenge to follow. Narrator Karen White helps with an easy-on-the-ears narration. She... Read More

BROAD STROKES

BROAD STROKES 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order)

by Bridget Quinn | Read by Tavia Gilbert

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In this audiobook, Quinn, an art historian, explores the lives of 15 twentieth-century American female artists such as Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning. Some have not been substantially covered in similar biographies. However, there are some disappointments. The print edition is richly illustrated, and references to plates throughout the audiobook fall flat without the images... Read More

DAEMON VOICES

DAEMON VOICES Essays On Stories and Storytelling

by Philip Pullman | Read by Philip Pullman, Simon Mason [Intro.]

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Sounding erudite and professorial, author Philip Pullman delivers this collection of his nonfiction writings. The tone is apt, as many of these speeches and essays were originally given as lectures at universities or published as introductions to new editions of classic works. Topics range from his own writing process, such as for the His Dark Materials series, to the... Read More

DAILY RITUALS: WOMEN AT WORK

DAILY RITUALS: WOMEN AT WORK

by Mason Currey | Read by January LaVoy, Michael Crouch

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator January LaVoy uses her ample vocal talents to deliver powerful stories of mostly well-known female artists and performers, specifically, how these women managed their day-to-day lives while keeping their creative sides alive and thriving. These often emotional stories and brief biographies are strengthened by LaVoy's careful narration. Her pacing captures the humor in... Read More

DEMOCRACY

DEMOCRACY Stories From the Long Road to Freedom

by Condoleeza Rice | Read by Condoleeza Rice, Grace Angela Henry

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The subject of democracy--how it begins and how bad actors cause it to fail--is personal to author and narrator Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state. Rice's delivery of her introduction makes the listener want to hear more of her voice, and the emotion she conveys adds strength to her argument for democracy. The handoff to Grace Angela Henry, who narrates the chapters,... Read More

DIRTY JOHN AND OTHER TRUE STORIES OF OUTLAWS AND OUTSIDERS

DIRTY JOHN AND OTHER TRUE STORIES OF OUTLAWS AND OUTSIDERS

by Christopher Goffard | Read by George Newbern

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

LA TIMES reporter Christopher Goffard took two decades' worth of articles he wrote for various newspapers and turned them into a series of stories, character studies, and insights for this outstanding audiobook. Narrator George Newbern generally does a good job telling the augmented stories based on real events--but listeners would appreciate a full stop between stories. At... Read More

DOING JUSTICE

DOING JUSTICE A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law

by Preet Bharara | Read by Preet Bharara

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook recounts the dangers, duties, and adventures of a federal prosecutor. Bharara rose to the position U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York--one of the most powerful law enforcement jobs in the country--and served until he was canned by President Trump. During his career, Bharara went after bad guys of all kinds, including mobsters, drug dealers,... Read More

E PLURIBUS ONE

E PLURIBUS ONE Reclaiming Our Founders' Vision for a United America

by Sophia A. Nelson | Read by Sophia A. Nelson

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author intent for this audiobook is to present her interpretation of the Founding Fathers' vision for our nation at a time when Americans may welcome being reminded of what we're all about. However, the fact that her sources include popular websites, encyclopedias, and Wikipedia does not inspire one's full confidence in her discussion. Nelson also narrates, and her voice... Read More

EARTH-SHATTERING

EARTH-SHATTERING Violent Supernovas, Galactic Explosions, Biological Mayhem, Nuclear Meltdowns, and Other Hazards to Life in Our Universe

by Bob Berman | Read by Peter Ganim

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Berman's audiobook is filled with details of past cataclysms, present- day near-cataclysms, and possible future cataclysms. Narrator Peter Ganim navigates listeners through colliding galaxies, solar storms, and gamma-ray bombardments on earth with ease and confidence as he details scientific findings about the Big Bang theory and its present-day consequences. Berman's... Read More

EMPTY PLANET

EMPTY PLANET The Shock of Global Population Decline

by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson | Read by Robert Petkoff

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Bricker and Ibbitson present a compelling case that the world should be concerned about population decline, which comes across somewhat dramatically in Robert Petkoff's narration. His clear and declarative projection merges with the authors' prose in ways that make their premise seem a fait accompli, yet their argument hinges entirely on the rejection of long-held historical... Read More

THE END OF ICE

THE END OF ICE Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption

by Dahr Jamail | Read by Tom Parks

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

There's urgency in narrator Tom Parks's voice as he ticks off the names of cities that may be underwater by 2050: New York, Miami, Tokyo, Mumbai. The loss of glaciers isn't our only problem as the seas become more acidic, creating toxic algae blooms and endangering the food chain. Dahr Jamail blends interviews, studies, and statistics with his own experiences mountain climbing... Read More

ERA OF IGNITION

ERA OF IGNITION Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution

by Amber Tamblyn | Read by Amber Tamblyn, Alrea D. Matthews, Meredith Talusan

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Amber Tamblyn authentically delivers her memoir, but that doesn't mean it's enjoyable. She explores questions of female identity and place amid the social hierarchy in the age of #MeToo and also discusses how these questions have impacted her own sense of self, her relationship with her husband, and her growing daughter. Her delivery is often languid, and even when she's... Read More

EVIL

EVIL The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side

by Julia Shaw | Read by Teri Schnaubelt

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

With a topic like evil, this audiobook might have suffered from an overly dramatic narration, but Teri Schnaubelt's cool tone and direct delivery align well with Shaw's prose. Shaw examines modern ideas about evil and argues that it can be contextually defined. This does not necessarily mean that evil is culturally relative; rather, she explains how a blend of culture,... Read More

FALTER

FALTER Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

by Bill McKibben | Read by Oliver Wyman, Bill McKibben [Intro.]

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Oliver Wyman has the difficult task of engaging listeners with this audiobook's grim tidings on climate change and pending social collapse. The sobering introduction, read by the author, renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben, warns listeners not to expect unwarranted hope. While McKibben is cautiously optimistic about renewable energy and the power of the people,... Read More

FOOTBALL FOR A BUCK

FOOTBALL FOR A BUCK The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL

by Jeff Pearlman | Read by Joel Richards

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Joel Richards has a rich story before him, and he presents it in the perfect tone. That means that on rare occasion he imitates--appropriately--one of the many subjects interviewed. Most of the time he narrates with an interested and incredulous voice, using slight accents here and there. Jeff Pearlman has written a fascinating, comprehensive, and laugh-out-loud... Read More

HEADING HOME

HEADING HOME Motherhood, Work, and the Failed Promise of Equality

by Shani Orgad | Read by Gabrielle Baker

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Gabrielle Baker comes across as smart, knowledgeable, and firm, three qualities essential when narrating a well-researched look at contemporary women's workplace choices. Her delivery is easy on the ears while at the same time informing listeners about the lives of the women who make up the case studies at the heart of this book. Her tone is sympathetic when delivering the... Read More

HORIZON

HORIZON

by Barry Lopez | Read by James Naughton

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

There is an appropriate gravitas to James Naughton's fine performance of this ambitious audiobook. Lopez's far-reaching self-proclaimed "autobiographical reflection" crosses broad swaths of time and boldly travels the world, and Naughton provides excellent navigation throughout this expansive recording. His patient, capable voice steers the listener through shifts not only in... Read More

HOTBOX

HOTBOX Inside Catering, the Food World's Riskiest Business

by Matt Lee, Ted Lee | Read by Matt Lee, Ted Lee

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Award-winning cookbook authors and brothers Matt and Ted Lee go behind the scenes to examine the most competitive cooking of all--New York City's high-end catering. As the Lees deftly interview chefs, workers, and clients, their Southern charm enhances their narration. Listeners will feel part of the team as they spend four years working at all levels of preparing "fiestas" for... Read More

THE HUMAN TIDE

THE HUMAN TIDE How Population Shaped the Modern World

by Paul Morland | Read by Zeb Soanes

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Veteran BBC broadcaster Zeb Soanes has just the right British tone for this fascinating and dense audiobook. His gives the text an intelligent reading. This audiobook details the impact of demographics on human history. Author Paul Morland, a research fellow at the University of London, argues that demography affects human destiny on a planetary scale. He highlights the role of... Read More

HUMANIMAL

HUMANIMAL How Homo sapiens Became Natures Most Paradoxical Creature: A New Evolutionary History

by Adam Rutherford | Read by Adam Rutherford

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Geneticist and seasoned broadcaster Adam Rutherford shares his excitement for human evolution and animal behavior with listeners. The research sounds captivatingly new, and Rutherford makes evolutionary theory understandable. Through jaw-dropping examples, he shreds any notion of normalcy when it comes to animal sexual behavior. He delivers a commendably steady performance even... Read More

A HUMAN'S GUIDE TO MACHINE INTELLIGENCE

A HUMAN'S GUIDE TO MACHINE INTELLIGENCE How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control

by Kartik Hosanagar | Read by Joe Knezevich

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Joe Knezevich's even, restrained tone and mastery of timing help make this enlightening audiobook a smooth, fast listen--which is no small feat, considering its high-tech subject matter. But don't let the title throw you; this is not a coder polemic, and you won't have to rewind complex passages for a second listen. Author Hosanagar weaves together examples of how... Read More

THE IMPOSSIBLE CLIMB

THE IMPOSSIBLE CLIMB Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life

by Mark Synnott | Read by Mark Deakins

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This is a listen for fans of the Oscar-winning documentary FREE SOLO. It's a listen for fans of incredible feats of daring and athletic accomplishment. And it's a listen for those wanting a glimpse of what drives extreme athletes. Mark Deakins does an excellent job narrating the story of Mark Synnott--a climber, a friend of Alex Honnold (the subject of FREE SOLO), and perhaps... Read More

IN MINIATURE

IN MINIATURE

by Simon Garfield | Read by Adrian Scarborough

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Adrian Scarborough narrates Garfield's examination of "how small things illuminate the world." By small things, the author is referring to such miniatures as the world's smallest book; the largest model railroad, in Hamburg; and Queen Mary's dollhouse. He also includes "micro-miniatures," things listeners would need a microscope to see. Garfield approaches the meaning in... Read More

IN PUTIN'S FOOTSTEPS

IN PUTIN'S FOOTSTEPS Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia's Eleven Time Zones

by Nina Khrushcheva, Jeffrey Tayler | Read by Kathleen Gati

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Kathleen Gati is a gifted narrator whose Russian enunciations flow through this fine work. This sprawling audiobook takes the listener across Russia's 11 time zones, through its Eurasian cities and its vast landscapes. Consistently insightful about Putin's autocracy, authors Nina Khrushcheva, the great-granddaughter of Nikita, and Jeffrey Tayler, a Moscow-based journalist, have... Read More

IT WAS ALL A DREAM

IT WAS ALL A DREAM A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America

by Reniqua Allen | Read by Shayna Small

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Shayna Small's narration is empathetic, honest, and direct. She lends her voice to a series of black millennials who believe that the cultural shift signaled by the Obama presidency has failed to materialize. Allen's audiobook presents interviews with those who continue to face pervasive, ingrained cultural barriers in their search for the "American Dream." Despite taking on... Read More

MAMA'S LAST HUG

MAMA'S LAST HUG Animal and Human Emotion

by Frans de Waal | Read by L.J. Ganser

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator L.J. Ganser's conversational delivery perfectly matches author-primatologist de Waal's easygoing style, increasing the accessibility of this examination of animal behavior in captivity and in the wild. Humans have long thought of themselves as having a monopoly on complex emotions such as empathy, delayed gratification, long-term memory, and friendship. But after... Read More

MEMES TO MOVEMENTS

MEMES TO MOVEMENTS How the World's Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power

by An Xiao Mina | Read by Erin Bennett

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook may leave listeners hopeful, concerned, and curious. Erin Bennett narrates American technologist Mina's discussion of how the digital world has created real-world movements from memes, hashtags, and online communities. Bennett's slightly nasally voice moves between the U.S. and China to show how resistance communities such as Black Lives Matter and the Umbrella... Read More

THE MOMENT OF LIFT

THE MOMENT OF LIFT How Empowering Women Changes the World

Earphones Award Winner

by Melinda Gates | Read by Melinda Gates

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

At a time of celebrity biographies, Melinda Gates, philanthropist and wife of Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, narrates her own story of growing awareness of women's lives worldwide. She does so in a strong, affirmative voice that tells all, even her own reluctance, as a practicing Catholic, to become a spokesperson for contraception. Gates is the feminist we all need; she... Read More

NETWORK PROPAGANDA

NETWORK PROPAGANDA Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics

by Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, Hal Roberts | Read by Steve Menasche

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Steve Menasche misses the mark in his narration of this audiobook as often as he hits it, thereby undermining the complexity of the authors' argument. Through several studies they performed and in conjunction with ample research, the authors offer a nuanced breakdown of the intersection of politics, culture, and digital technology in the U.S. They highlight how the mix... Read More

NEW DARK AGE

NEW DARK AGE Technology and the End of the Future

by James Bridle | Read by Emily Beresford

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

While the author's cautionary message should concern listeners, Emily Beresford's emphatic narration will send them into full-throttled fear. Bridle offers a stark and sobering look at how digital technology contributes to extremism of thought, surveillance and manipulation of users, and the undermining of democratic institutions. The problem continues to grow as newer... Read More

NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL

NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL An Attorney on the Front Lines of the Immigration War

by J.J. Mulligan Sepúlveda | Read by Robertson Dean

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This powerful audiobook will give listeners a unique perspective on what may be the hottest topic in American politics today. The author visits detention centers on the U.S. border to defend people who are asking for asylum. Narrator Robertson Dean uses his inimitable smooth baritone to bring Sepúlveda's experiences to life. In addition to Dean's near-perfect diction, he adds... Read More

NONE OF THE ABOVE

NONE OF THE ABOVE The Untold Story of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal, Corporate Greed, and the Criminalization of Educators

by Shani Robinson, Anna Simonton | Read by Lisa Renee Pitts

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Lisa Renee Pitts channels the author's outrage at this true story of prosecutorial and judicial overreach. The allegations in the 2013 Atlanta schools cheating scandal were shocking enough--that teachers and administrators had plotted to change standardized test answers to make it appear that students performed better than they actually did. Educators went to prison... Read More

OFF THE RAILS

OFF THE RAILS A Train Trip Through Life

by Beppe Severgnini | Read by Edoardo Ballerini

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Edoardo Ballerini's skill at portraying many accents enhances this look at traveling the world by train from 1986 to 2017. Severgnini shares his experiences and impressions of the places he visits, fellow travelers, and diverse trains. Ballerini gamely delivers Severgnini's condescending remarks about fellow passengers and bias against some of the places visits,... Read More

PASTA, PANE, VINO

PASTA, PANE, VINO Deep Travels Through Italy's Food Culture

by Matt Goulding | Read by Will Damron

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Will Damron narrates James Beard Award-winning food journalist Matt Goulding's audiobook with energy, poise, and precision. The decision to emulate rather than imitate the myriad Italian accents adds to the enjoyment of this audiobook. All the Italians speak with the same intonation. This choice lets the author's American voice ring true and focuses on the essence of the work:... Read More

REAL QUEER AMERICA

REAL QUEER AMERICA LGBT Stories from Red States

by Samantha Allen | Read by Samantha Allen

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

As narrator, journalist Samantha Allen's earnest tones reflect her journey to a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of the reasons that trans people, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and other queer-identified persons build lives in Georgia, Texas, Utah, Indiana, and other red states. She invites listeners to share a road trip through the red states that have shaped... Read More

RECLAIMING OUR SPACE

RECLAIMING OUR SPACE How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets

by Feminista Jones | Read by Melanie Taylor

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

While Melanie Taylor does not fully embrace Jones's tough attitude and playfulness, she certainly narrates with some pizzazz. Jones discusses how central women of color have been to the work of equal rights movements--from suffrage to the Civil Rights movement, Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo. She says that digital technology has been pivotal in amplifying black women's voices... Read More

RENEGADE WOMEN IN FILM AND TV

RENEGADE WOMEN IN FILM AND TV

by Elizabeth Weitzman | Read by Mozhan Marno

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Mozhan Marno provides an intimate, consistent, and competent performance of this audiobook. Employing extensive research, including some exclusive interviews, former NY DAILY NEWS critic Elizabeth Weitzman offers a brief encyclopedic guide to the women who contributed their special gifts to the film and television industries, both in front of and behind the camera. The... Read More

THE SCIENTIFIC SUBLIME

THE SCIENTIFIC SUBLIME Popular Science Unravels the Mysteries of the Universe

Earphones Award Winner

by Alan G. Gross | Read by Bob Souer

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Several popular audiobooks attempt to explain contemporary science, the best known being Bill Bryson's A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING. In this work Gross is unique in his focus on one central feature, the sublime--in nature, in the theories of scientists, and in scientific writing. Bob Souer proves an excellent choice as narrator for this challenging and provocative text.... Read More

THE SECOND MOUNTAIN

THE SECOND MOUNTAIN The Quest for a Moral Life

by David Brooks | Read by Arthur Morey

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Though Brooks, a NEW YORK TIMES columnist, is a frequent television commentator, this audiobook is narrated by Arthur Morey. But it seems as if Brooks is talking directly to the listener. Since this is an intimate work about finding life's meaning that relies heavily on research and quotes from philosophers and writers, that conversational tone is critical to the audiobook's... Read More

THE SECRET WISDOM OF NATURE

THE SECRET WISDOM OF NATURE Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things--Stories from Science and Observation

Earphones Award Winner

by Peter Wohlleben, Jane Billinghurst [Trans.] | Read by Sean Barrett

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Sean Barrett's warm baritone is perfect for Peter Wohlleben's fascinating final installment in his Mysteries of Nature trilogy. Following THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES and THE INNER LIFE OF ANIMALS, Wohlleben now considers the connection of all living things. A former German forestry official, he writes with an enthusiast's thrill and a scientist's precision. And if the... Read More

SEE YOU IN THE PIAZZA

SEE YOU IN THE PIAZZA New Places to Discover in Italy

by Frances Mayes | Read by Cassandra Campbell, Frances Mayes [Preface, Note]

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

For centuries, listeners have been transported by the lively accounts and fantastic tales of travelers. Now audiobook listeners, as armchair travelers, can experience the sumptuous pleasures, cultural enlightenment, and untrammeled beauty of small Italian towns spread throughout Italy, as described by author Frances Mayes, who wrote UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN. Mayes introduces the... Read More

SHORTEST WAY HOME

SHORTEST WAY HOME One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future

Earphones Award Winner

by Pete Buttigieg | Read by Pete Buttigieg

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

It seems almost contradictory to describe the narration of an autobiography as exuding a sense of humility--but that is the best description of this work by the youngish mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg writes intelligently in a way that nearly any listener will understand. He is soft-spoken, yet it's clear what's important to him. Sections about his family and personal... Read More

SKELETON KEYS

SKELETON KEYS The Secret Life of Bones

by Brian Switek | Read by Will Damron

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Will Damron gives the opening anecdote of this audiobook the tone of a true-crime story. It's not a murder case, but a would-be suicide stopped by an ossified larynx. The author, who has worked with paleontology field crews, tells the story of life's rise from the sea as seen in a tiny doodle of a fossil that had an early spine and skeletal system. Damron keeps up the... Read More

THAT THIN, WILD MERCURY SOUND

THAT THIN, WILD MERCURY SOUND Dylan, Nashville, and the Making of Blonde on Blonde

by Daryl Sanders | Read by Graham Halstead

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This incredible audiobook tells in microscopic detail how and why the historic Bob Dylan album BLONDE ON BLONDE was made in Nashville. It's a must for Dylan fans or fans of great music. Narrator Graham Halstead takes listeners through the process of recording Dylan's masterpiece, every track, even those that were not used. He explains why there is a Salvation Army band on... Read More

THICK

THICK And Other Essays

by Tressie McMillan Cottom | Read by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

To listen to sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom narrate her prose confirms that no other narrator could do better. Her personal essays reflect both her lived experiences and the intersectional opposition she and others have faced. She cuts to the quick to discuss the ways in which dominant white cultural expectations invade her space, her body, and her mind. As narrator,... Read More

THIS CHAIR ROCKS

THIS CHAIR ROCKS A Manifesto Against Ageism

by Ashton Applewhite | Read by Ashton Applewhite

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ashton Applewhite narrates her hard-hitting broadside about the realities of age discrimination. In doing so, she turns her well-documented message into a call to action for senior citizens who feel the sting of being treated like second-class citizens. Her gender-neutral vocal character--neither too feminine nor too masculine--is confident, clear, and assertive. This, along... Read More

THIS VIEW OF LIFE

THIS VIEW OF LIFE Completing the Darwinian Revolution

by David Sloan Wilson | Read by René Ruiz

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Curious listeners hoping for an educational experience that is equally compelling and informative will enjoy René Ruiz's joyful narration of this audiobook. The author explores the often misunderstood evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and provides many relatable examples from modern human nature. This thoughtful work gives listeners the practical applications of... Read More

THE THREAT

THE THREAT How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump

by Andrew G. McCabe | Read by Andrew G. McCabe

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe is a surprisingly good narrator for a guy who made his bones climbing that agency's career ladder and not behind the mic. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe, who had served as acting FBI director, just 26 hours before he was to retire from the agency. McCabe is critical of Sessions and President Trump, but that's just a... Read More

TRUTH IN OUR TIMES

TRUTH IN OUR TIMES Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts

by David McCraw | Read by Stephen Graybill, David E. McCraw [Intro.]

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Stephen Graybill uses a steady professional tone for this audiobook in which ethics in journalism and the law are held to the highest standard. McCraw was the deputy attorney general for the NEW YORK TIMES for 17 years, including the time of the 2016 national election. He discusses his struggles with obtaining information under the Freedom of Information Act (the U.S.... Read More

THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH

THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH Life After Warming

by David Wallace-Wells | Read by David Wallace-Wells

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author David Wallace-Wells narrates his impressively researched work on climate change, providing statistics and probable outcomes of the catastrophic effects already in progress as a result of global warming. Also included are descriptions of how much worse they could potentially become if drastic action is not taken. While he provides a passable narration, a more experienced... Read More

WINNERS TAKE ALL

WINNERS TAKE ALL The Elite Charade of Changing the World

by Anand Giridharadas | Read by Anand Giridharadas

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author/narrator Anand Giridharadas has a serious message about economic inequality, but his lively pacing and gently mocking tone provide the spoonful of sugar that makes WINNERS TAKE ALL an engrossing and enjoyable audio experience. He argues that superrich philanthropists are something of a contradiction. They want to make the world a better place but without changing the... Read More

A YEAR IN PARIS

A YEAR IN PARIS Season by Season in the City of Light

by John Baxter | Read by Graham Halstead

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook is given a nuanced and able narration by Graham Halstead. However, despite its ostensible subject, Parisian seasons, it ranges widely, inexplicably, with whistle stops in Los Angeles, around Australia, and other parts of France. The author spends much time on the short-lived Republican Calendar that came out of the French Revolution and its scoundrel creator,... Read More

Search by Range

The latest audiobook reviews, right in your inbox.

Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.

envelope

AudioFile Newsletter

Let us recommend your next great audiobook!

No algorithms here!
We pick great audiobooks for you.
Sign up for our free newsletter with audiobook love from AudioFile editors.

If you are already with us, thank you! Just click X above.

×

Thank you for signing up.

×

Thanks!

Thank you for contacting us!

Our group will review and follow up within 72 hours.
Thanks for your interest!

Back Home ×