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THE ACTOR'S LIFE

THE ACTOR'S LIFE A Survival Guide

by Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell [Fore.] | Read by Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson [Fore.]

Novel Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Unlike recent books by her peers, Jenna Fischer's book is not an autobiography. It's an advice book about the life of the actor and the years of toiling away at the craft that it often takes to become a working actor. Fischer does relate many of her useful tips to experiences in her own life, so the guide is a thoroughly enjoyable listen for fans of her work who are not... Read More

THE ART OF THE GOOD LIFE

THE ART OF THE GOOD LIFE 52 Surprising Shortcuts to Happiness, Wealth, and Success

by Rolf Dobelli | Read by Keith Wickham

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Keith Wickham's cheery performance is pleasing to hear, despite pitch and phrasing patterns that sound repetitive. His lively vocal personality captures the wisecracking tone of the Dobelli's writing, which uses entertaining examples and vignettes to illustrate the mental errors we make in managing our lives. Drawing from his background in economic philosophy and his prodigious... Read More

ATOM LAND

ATOM LAND A Guided Tour through the Strange (and Impossibly Small) World of Particle Physics

by Jon Butterworth | Read by Wayne Forester

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Particle physics is not easy to understand, but Butterworth's geography metaphor offers a simple frame of reference to cling to. Wayne Forester narrates in a perfectly appropriate affable style that sounds more like friendly storytelling than scientific explanation. His pace is steady, giving the listener a bit of time to process the information. The text includes only a few... Read More

THE BATTLE FOR PARADISE

THE BATTLE FOR PARADISE Puerto Rico Takes On the Disaster Capitalists

by Naomi Klein | Read by Erin Bennett

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This short audiobook packs as potent a punch as the hurricanes that devastated the island of Puerto Rico in 2017. Its intent is to clear a path forward for the people and institutions that are still subject to American rule but who wish to remake Puerto Rico into a sustainable, unique place to live. The author also warns about those who want to profit from its pain. Narrator... Read More

BORN WITH WINGS

BORN WITH WINGS The Spiritual Journey of a Modern Muslim Woman

by Daisy Khan | Read by Daisy Khan

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Daisy Khan is the feminist Muslim voice we need in our turbulent global climate. She narrates her memoir on spirituality, resilience, and change using the informal tones of a friend chatting to the listener over a cup of coffee. Khan sounds down to earth, lively, and engaging as she recounts her journey from Catholic school student to feminist activist based in New York City... Read More

THE BOY CRISIS

THE BOY CRISIS Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It

by Warren Farrell, John Gray | Read by Warreb Farrell, John Gray [Intro. and Epilogue]

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Farrell and Gray delve deep into the systematic and cultural challenges faced by white, heterosexual males in American culture and its toxic effect on their masculinity. Raspy and aged, Farrell's voice can be enjoyable to listen to, though, at times, its benign tone can sound condescending. Despite this trait, his energy and emphasis enliven the text as it generates a sense of... Read More

CADDYSHACK

CADDYSHACK The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story

by Chris Nashawaty | Read by Peter Berkrot

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Peter Berkrot has a meta connection to this story of how the classic comedy CADDYSHACK came to be. A young Berkrot is in the movie, most memorably on the business end of a pitchfork during Bill Murray's iconic dalai lama speech: "Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga . . . gunga, gunga-lagunga." This isn't Berkrot's memoir, though, and he narrates from a... Read More

CHEFS, DRUGS AND ROCK & ROLL

CHEFS, DRUGS AND ROCK & ROLL How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession

by Andrew Friedman | Read by Roger Wayne

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook, vigorously narrated by Roger Wayne, covers a lot of ground. It is packed with stories of celebrity chefs, influential restaurateurs, and their lives and times. Wayne is more than an adept narrator, he aptly interprets Friedman's accounts of the chefs who would become stars. If you want to hear the origin stories of Alice Waters, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Paul... Read More

THE COMMON GOOD

THE COMMON GOOD

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

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The title will tell you much of what you need to know about what this thoughtful audiobook has to say. Having served in three presidential administrations, the author, and narrator, Robert Reich has the knowledge and perspective to offer real solutions to why we are so divided as a nation. The United States was founded on the idea of the common good. Reich's point is that we... Read More

THE CRAFTSMAN

THE CRAFTSMAN

by Richard Sennett | Read by Sean Runnette

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Sean Runnette narrates this contemplative work on making physical things by sociologist Richard Sennett. Runnette's thoughtful pacing and pleasing tonal palette create a meditative space for savoring these moving perspectives. Sennett leaves no physical detail unexamined as he explains why, from ancient clay bricks to Stradivari's violins and today's software creations, the... Read More

CREATIVE QUEST

CREATIVE QUEST

by Questlove | Read by Questlove et al.

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The founding member of The Roots, Questlove shares his insights about the creative process through a discussion of his own idiosyncratic methods, plus those he has learned from others. He takes his own advice and produces a quirky audiobook, which he delivers in a lively baritone voice. He doesn't hesitate to break into song, act a part, or, if the situation calls for it, pull... Read More

THE DEATH OF TRUTH

THE DEATH OF TRUTH Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump

by Michiko Kakutani | Read by Tavia Gilbert

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Versatile narrator Tavia Gilbert performs this significant audiobook with a sure sense of its importance. Her focused reading suits the intent of its thought-provoking treatise on how and why truth and reason are vanishing from our national politics and discourse. The literary allusions and philosophical insights packed into the work would create a challenge for any narrator.... Read More

THE DESTINY THIEF

THE DESTINY THIEF Essays on Writing, Writers and Life

by Richard Russo | Read by Richard Russo

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo narrates this thoughtful audiobook aimed at writers and readers. While not blessed with an extraordinary voice, Russo's timing, wit, and delivery animate this memoir. One of our most gifted comic fiction writers, he shares his knowledge of the writing life and brings his empathetic spirit to the thorny subject how best--in this era... Read More

DIRECTORATE S

DIRECTORATE S The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

by Steve Coll | Read by Malcolm Hillgartner

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The title of this taut audiobook refers to a small wing of the Pakistani Intelligence Service, the I.S.I., whose job it was to train and arm Taliban fighters to expand Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan after 9/11. The work of this directorate had a direct and negative effect on the United States' ability to successfully prosecute a war that continues to this day. Narrator... Read More

DISAPPOINTMENT RIVER

DISAPPOINTMENT RIVER Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage

by Brian Castner | Read by Brian Castner

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Brian Castner's canoe trip along the 1,100-mile Mackenzie River in the Canadian Northwest Territories sounds daunting to the point of completely terrifying. His deep voice and matter-of-fact tone combine with a keen sense of timing, a glint of amusement, and a dash of fear to evoke hardship, awe, isolation, and clouds of buggy misery. Castner, along with a relay of four... Read More

DIY RULES FOR A WTF WORLD

DIY RULES FOR A WTF WORLD How to Speak Up, Get Creative, and Change the World

by Krista Suh | Read by Krista Suh

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Krista Suh shares the roller coaster of emotions she felt after the 2016 national election and how her feeling of powerlessness led her to act. Suh is the creator of the Pussyhat Project, which involves women knitting pink cat-eared hats as a symbol of empowerment. Here she calls women to exercise power and creativity in their everyday lives. She delivers the audiobook in a... Read More

THE EDEN EXPRESS

THE EDEN EXPRESS A Memoir of Insanity

Earphones Award Winner

by Mark Vonnegut | Read by Pete Cross

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This compelling true story chronicles Vonnegut's experience with mental illness and recovery in the late '60s and early '70s. Pete Cross imbues his narration with plenty of good humor and jaunty warmth, helping the listener to empathize with the author's experience. Young Vonnegut sets forth in his VW with his girlfriend, Virginia, some recreational drugs, and his loyal dog,... Read More

THE FEATHER THIEF

THE FEATHER THIEF Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century

by Kirk Wallace Johnson | Read by MacLeod Andrews

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author became obsessed with the true story of a young American flautist with a penchant for tying salmon flies who stole hundreds of rare dead birds from the Natural History Museum in London to sell feathers to other collectors and flytiers. MacLeod Andrews's narration is so engaging and enthusiastic that he gives this engrossing story extra zip. In particular, he perfectly... Read More

FRENEMIES

FRENEMIES The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)

by Ken Auletta | Read by Jonathan Todd Ross

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Longtime NEW YORKER contributor Ken Auletta intelligently discusses the changes in global advertising, emphasizing the perspectives of the most powerful players and influencers. A great deal of our economy is directly tied to media used for advertising and marketing. Both are fraying around the edges, resulting in those who desire to promote products, those who broker... Read More

THE GIFT OF THE GAB

THE GIFT OF THE GAB How Eloquence Works

by David Crystal | Read by Derek Perkins

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Derek Perkins is a wonderful choice for this work on the art of eloquence by renowned language expert David Crystal. Crystal defines the core elements of eloquence, and Perkins employs his steady British-accented delivery to great effect in demonstrating the various components of this art, such as pacing, pitch, and patterns of word distribution. As models of... Read More

GOD SAVE TEXAS

GOD SAVE TEXAS A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State

by Lawrence Wright | Read by Lawrence Wright

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Lawrence Wright lives in Austin, Texas, a funky "blue freckle" in a red state. He tours both the physical and political landscapes of Texas, offering both criticism and defense for his home in the wake of a national political shift. Wright doesn't speak with a twang anymore, but he demonstrates it occasionally as he quotes other natives. His soft-spoken narration is engaging,... Read More

HAPPINESS HACKS

HAPPINESS HACKS 100% Scientific! Curiously Effective!

by Alex Palmer | Read by Stephanie Spicer

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Despite the encyclopedic nature of this collection of research findings, Stephanie Spicer's performance conveys enough enthusiasm to make it sound like an interesting and helpful documentary. She's a pleasing narrator whose interpretations are creative and unambiguous. Though the title suggests a discussion of obstacles to happiness, the audiobook is actually focused on the... Read More

HAS ANYONE SEEN THE PRESIDENT?

HAS ANYONE SEEN THE PRESIDENT?

by Michael Lewis | Read by Michael Lewis

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Michael Lewis shares his insights on the Trump administration, specifically key moments and the figures connected to them. Though his analysis can be light, he enhances them through his insightful descriptions coupled with a deadpan delivery intended to say more without saying a thing. Lewis's exploration of unconsidered details in the Stormy Daniels scandal, his reflections on... Read More

THE HEART IS A SHIFTING SEA

THE HEART IS A SHIFTING SEA Love and Marriage in Mumbai

by Elizabeth Flock | Read by Sunil Malhotra, Nicol Zanzarella

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Two experienced narrators, Sunil Malhotra and Nicol Zanzarella, deliver this extended reportage about modern love in Mumbai, India. Zanzarella gives voice to the author, American Elizabeth Flock, and her explanatory comments about the story behind this collection. Malhotra then takes us into the lives of three real-life couples: Veer and Maya, Shahzad and Sabeena, and Ashok and... Read More

HOW WE GET FREE

HOW WE GET FREE Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

by Keeanga -Yamahtta Taylor | Read by Lisa Reneé Pitts

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Taylor interviews some original members of the Combahee River Collective, one of the first black feminist groups that emerged from the Civil Rights movement. The interviewees include Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter. Narrator Lisa Reneé Pitts creates distinct voices for each of the interviewees that align well with their personalities. While the editorial choices... Read More

HUMAN INSTINCT

HUMAN INSTINCT How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will

by Kenneth R. Miller | Read by Fred Sanders

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Tackling the thorniest of thorny issues--human development and the nature of humanity itself--Kenneth R. Miller sets out to retell the story of our evolution. Thankfully, Fred Sanders offers a steady performance, unflagging despite the breadth, depth, and spiritual weight of the subject matter. In the fields of science and philosophy, human development is most often considered... Read More

I SEE LIFE THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES

I SEE LIFE THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES

by Lisa Scottoline, Francesca Serritella | Read by Lisa Scottoline, Francesca Serritella

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Are you and your mother as funny as Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella? If not, these authors will keep you laughing as they share their meditations on life with vigor, energy, and pluck. The ladies are hilarious as they hold forth on lost scarves, old dogs, and missed connections. Serritella's chapters are told in a sassy voice that keeps you listening as she details the... Read More

I'M STILL HERE

I'M STILL HERE Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

by Austin Channing Brown | Read by Austin Channing Brown

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Austin Channing Brown enters the conversation on race, gender, class, and inequality in America, in particular discussing her experiences growing up as a black Christian woman. Her vocal delivery is sincere, languid, and well tempered. Often, she vocally balances her incredulity at the challenges she encounters as an intelligent black woman and her ability to be calm in the... Read More

KEEP MARCHING

KEEP MARCHING How Every Woman Can Take Action and Change Our World

by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner | Read by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author and narrator Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner delivers an enthusiastic, practical guide for women who want more than a shot at breaking the glass ceiling. Rowe-Finkbeiner is the executive director of MomsRising and was one of the speakers at the January 2017 Women's March on Washington, the largest protest of its kind in the history of the nation. Her audiobook is full of... Read More

KINGS OF THE YUKON

KINGS OF THE YUKON One Summer Paddling Across the Far North

by Adam Weymouth | Read by Charlie Anson

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Charlie Anson does a fantastic job making listeners feel as though they are right beside the author as he travels the length of the Yukon--all 2,000 miles of it--in a canoe. KINGS OF THE YUKON is, ostensibly, the story of the salmon that once thrived in one of North America's great rivers. During his travels, Weymouth describes, and Anson conveys expertly, the... Read More

LATE ESSAYS

LATE ESSAYS 2006-2017

by J.M. Coetzee | Read by Steven Crossley

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Steven Crossley is a clear and confident narrator who helps guide his listener through a wordy and dense set of literary essays by the Nobel Prize-winning South African writer Coetzee. Crossley varies his emphasis to underscore the more interesting moments in the lives of such luminaries as Daniel Defoe, Samuel Beckett, and Irene Nemirovsky, among many others. Crossley has the... Read More

LETTERS TO MY PALESTINIAN NEIGHBOR

LETTERS TO MY PALESTINIAN NEIGHBOR

by Yossi Klein Halevi | Read by Yossi Klein Halevi

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Yossi Klein Halevi narrates a sober, heartfelt examination of one of the world's oldest conflicts. In doing so, he transforms a personal book into an even more intimate experience for the listener. Halevi is precise and measured in his delivery. These are deliberate choices that allow the listener to focus on the historical facts and the emotional, often difficult-to-hear... Read More

LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE

LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE Essays

by Sloane Crosley | Read by Sloane Crosley

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In her latest collection of essays, author-narrator Sloane Crosley takes a sharp look at the freelance life, traveling for work, making reproductive decisions, and dealing with her New York City neighbors. Her expressive, clear delivery conjures a variety of moods, such as her feeling of awkwardness while awaiting a cameo appearance on a TV series, her struggle with altitude... Read More

MEET THE FRUGALWOODS

MEET THE FRUGALWOODS Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living

Earphones Award Winner

by Elizabeth Willard Thames | Read by Ann Marie Gideon

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Ann Marie Gideon warmly delivers author Thames's encouraging call to create a deep sense of fulfillment by living frugally. In this enlightening and entertaining narrative, Thames explains how working the 9-to-5 grind in urban Cambridge, Massachusetts, inspired her to let go of everything that was not deeply important to her and pursue a simpler life. Gideon's... Read More

MILK! A 10,000-YEAR FOOD FRACAS

MILK! A 10,000-YEAR FOOD FRACAS

by Mark Kurlansky | Read by Brian Sutherland

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Brian Sutherland sounds professorial and polished, two essential qualities for someone telling us about milk throughout human history. He keeps the details interesting by giving them to us at a steady pace. The making of cheese, lactose intolerance, and harvesting milk from other mammals are a few examples of the details listeners will learn about a food many consider... Read More

A MORE BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE HISTORY

A MORE BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE HISTORY The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History

by Jeanne Theoharis | Read by Kim Staunton

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

With a tone of defiance and pride, and the authority of having grown up on the southeast side of Washington, DC, during the turbulent 1960s-70s, Kim Staunton narrates this blistering re-examination of the Civil Rights movement. Author Jeanne Theoharis takes exception to the popularized notion that a few statues and plaques honoring Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,... Read More

NASTY WOMEN

NASTY WOMEN Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America

by Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Kate Harding [Eds.] | Read by Bahni Turpin

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This incredible collection of essays from a diverse array of well-known women writers, narrated by Bahni Turpin, focuses on the aftermath of the surprising election of Donald Trump. Addressing the issues and divisions of identity politics and coalitional politics, the selections are angry, poignant, entertaining, and inspiring. Turpin expertly voices the frustration, passion,... Read More

A NATURALIST AT LARGE

A NATURALIST AT LARGE The Best Essays of Bernd Heinrich

by Bernd Heinrich | Read by Rick Adamson

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If there's such a thing as ideal spring listening, this audiobook is it. Of course, the best essays by renowned naturalist Bernd Heinrich can be enjoyed year-round, but it's a special treat to hear them in May, particularly for those who endure long, cold winters. Narrator Rick Adamson provides a clear, spirited voice that is informative but also captures the author's... Read More

NIGHT THOUGHTS

NIGHT THOUGHTS

by Wallace Shawn | Read by Wallace Shawn

Haymarket Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This is a curious little listen. You likely know Wallace Shawn in one of three ways: 1. As the son of famed NEW YORKER editor William Shawn; 2. As the costar of the acclaimed film MY DINNER WITH ANDRE; or, 3. As Vizzini from THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Shawn's voice has the power to captivate and engage. This extended essay, which is meditative and, at times, meandering, touches on... Read More

NOT THAT BAD

NOT THAT BAD Dispatches from Rape Culture

by Roxane Gay [Ed.] | Read by Roxane Gay, Brandon Taylor, Emma Smith-Stevens, A.J. McKenna, Lisa Mecham, Vanessa Martir, xTx, Sophie Mayer

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This anthology addressing rape is a compelling and nauseatingly exhaustive collection that offers variety in tone, gender dynamics, cultural practices, and so much more. Overall, the audiobook examines the normative ways humans intimately and violently respond to each other as social beings. It's baaaaad! Profoundly bad in a wonderfully uncomfortable way. The authors are both... Read More

OBAMA

OBAMA An Oral History

by Brian Abrams | Read by Tom Parks, Fred Stella, Emily Sutton-Smith

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This collection of remembrances sounds like the bones for a more complete history of the Obama presidency. All that's lacking is text to tie the quotes together--the flesh that would bring these bones to life. The snippets are revealing, at times even fascinating. But listeners will need a fairly solid knowledge of the facts for these episodes to have significance. The... Read More

ONE GOAL

ONE GOAL A Coach, a Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together

by Amy Bass | Read by Will Collyer, Amy Bass {Intro.]

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Amy Bass's deep dive into Lewiston, Maine's high school soccer team is about more than sports. It's about immigration and acceptance. The author examines the wave of Somali immigrants that hit this small city in the early 2000s, focusing on the boys who join the soccer team. As they experience outright racism, the refugees bond with the local players through the leadership of... Read More

THE ORDER OF TIME

THE ORDER OF TIME

by Carlo Rovelli | Read by Benedict Cumberbatch

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Keep your finger near the rewind buttons as you listen to this stunning exploration of the physics and philosophies of time. Rovelli is a patient teacher, but the subject matter is very difficult to grasp. Fortunately, we have narrator Benedict Cumberbatch's talents to carry us along. His velvety bass voice is a delight to listen to--comforting and companionable, with perfect... Read More

OUR TOWNS

OUR TOWNS A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America

by James Fallows, Deborah Fallows | Read by James Fallows, Deborah Fallows

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Scattered across the nation, from Maine to Oregon, Arizona to Georgia, there are small towns doing amazing things. OUR TOWNS, written and read by James and Deborah Fallows, offers an engrossing, entertaining, and, at times, surprising look at some of these places. Over the course of five years (from 2012-2017), the Fallowses flew their single-engine plane to the four corners of... Read More

PATRIOT NUMBER ONE

PATRIOT NUMBER ONE American Dreams in Chinatown

by Lauren Hilgers | Read by Angela Lin

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Listeners follow the true stories of Zhuang Liehong and his wife, Little Yan, Chinese immigrants who sought asylum in the U.S. following Zhuang's leadership of pro-democracy protests in his Southern Chinese village of Wukan. Narrator Angela Lin's clear, feminine delivery is well paced and comfortable as she describes the political situation that led to the couple's departure... Read More

THE PEOPLE VS TECH

THE PEOPLE VS TECH How the internet is killing democracy (and how we save it)

by Jamie Bartlett | Read by Sandro Monetti

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Bartlett exposes the tension between democratic societies and technologies that are often anything but democratic. Sandro Monetti narrates with a consistent flow and solid emphasis throughout the production. Yet Monettii's genial voice with its British accent may turn off listeners. Her tone comes across as condescending or insincere and, as such, may discourage listeners from... Read More

THE PLANT MESSIAH

THE PLANT MESSIAH Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species

by Carlos Magdalena | Read by Roy McMillan

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Roy McMillan puts passion into Carlos Magdalena's vows not to let endangered plants become extinct on his watch. Magdalena's love of plants was instilled in him by his mother in Spain. It played a role in his early jobs, whether he worked as a sommelier or a bird counter. Now his work for Kew Botanical Gardens in England gives him the chance to teach others how to... Read More

PLAYFUL INTELLIGENCE

PLAYFUL INTELLIGENCE The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World

by Anthony T. DeBenedet | Read by Peter Berkrot

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Anthony DeBenedet asks listeners to consider how creativity, imagination, and humor can enhance their lives. Narrator Peter Berkot gives the stories that illustrate playful intelligence the dramatic feel of fiction. Listeners will hear about the small wins in the life of a girl with epilepsy and the entrepreneurial decisions at Cherry Republic. DeBenedet also recounts lessons... Read More

POLITICAL TRIBES

POLITICAL TRIBES Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

by Amy Chua | Read by Julia Whelan

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This intriguing audiobook looks at how the U.S. has failed to recognize the power of tribalism, the propensity of societies to break down along ethnic, religious, or clan identities, in its foreign policy and its domestic politics. The author prescribes a healthy dose of unity and common purpose as the cure and says that this will not be easy, but it is essential to our... Read More

A PRECAUTIONARY TALE

A PRECAUTIONARY TALE How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement

by Philip Ackerman-Leist | Read by Will Damron

Chelsea Green Publishing | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

An inspiring David and Goliath tale features the remote town of Mals, located high in the Alps of Italy, and its memorable band of citizens turned activists. Though Will Damron narrates serviceably, managing the various pronunciations and accents well, this triumphant story of collaboration among individuals against the infiltration of agribusiness and pesticides would have... Read More

THE PRODIGAL TONGUE

THE PRODIGAL TONGUE The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English

by Lynne Murphy | Read by Pam Ward

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Pam Ward's clipped, wry tone is an excellent match for author and linguist Lynne Murphy's sharp analysis of how and why British English and American English came to be such different languages. She also channels Murphy's occasionally acid remarks on her own experience of speaking American English in England, a country where an editor was once chastised her for using... Read More

RETHINKING SCHOOL

RETHINKING SCHOOL How to Take Charge of Your Child's Education

by Susan Wise Bauer | Read by Christina Moore

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Bauer takes traditional schooling to task for the ways it disregards the needs of dynamic individual learners for the sake of convenience. Narrator Christina Moore communicates Bauer's frustration with the standardization of learning but also captures the enthusiasm that Bauer has for discovering the right strategies for learning for each child. Moore's slightly mature voice... Read More

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE DINOSAURS

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE DINOSAURS A New History of a Lost World

by Steve Brusatte | Read by Patrick Lawlor

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

A new dinosaur turns up every week, Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh says. Thus, human knowledge of the giant beast who still exists in smaller avian form needs filling in. Patrick Lawlor's narration injects Brusatte's enthusiasm into the informative writing. Brusatte's timeline updates the dinosaur saga, emphasizing their storylines while mixing in stories of... Read More

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam

by Max Boot | Read by Henry Strozier

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Henry Strozier's easygoing delivery and resonant voice work well in this account of the life of CIA operative Edward Lansdale. The work focuses on the two decades from the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu to the ignoble fall of the Republic of Vietnam in 1975. Using documents and interviews, Boot argues, quite persuasively, that Lansdale's methods, which had been proven in the... Read More

ROBOT-PROOF

ROBOT-PROOF Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

by Joseph E. Aoun | Read by John Glouchevitch

Gildan Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Aoun wants colleges to rethink what it means to earn a degree in an age of automation. Narrator John Glouchevitch's gentle voice invites listeners to consider the importance of the author's message. As Aoun repositions higher education as a place to embed flexibility and fluidity through learning and thinking, Glouchevitch uses emphasis and timing to draw out the deeper points... Read More

RUSSIAN ROULETTE

RUSSIAN ROULETTE The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump

by Michael Isikoff, David Corn | Read by Peter Ganim

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Let's be honest, if you're a fan of the current administration, there are only two reasons to listen to this audiobook: 1. A resurrected Ronald Reagan tells the story; 2. "Hate-reading" it might give you lift. The real reason to listen is to hear Peter Ganim narrating the origin story of the "Russia investigation" and the Trump family's determination to build a hotel in Moscow.... Read More

SEARCHING FOR STARS ON AN ISLAND IN MAINE

SEARCHING FOR STARS ON AN ISLAND IN MAINE

by Alan Lightman | Read by Bronson Pinchot

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Lightman, who is a physicist, reflects on both the material world, which he studies, and the world of religion, which humans have for eons used to explain the material world. Recognizing the impermanence of the material, he senses that there may be something eternal in the universe. This interesting work is adroitly narrated by Bronson Pinchot, whose soft voice and deliberate... Read More

SHARP

SHARP The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion

by Michelle Dean | Read by Bernadette Dunne

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The 10 women writers Bernadette Dunne brings to life in this provocative audiobook share a quality women are thought to dislike: All of them relished expressing strong opinions in print, regardless of whether they would hurt feelings or invite retaliation. A sisterhood this is not; none of these women thought of herself as a feminist. Confrontation is a fascinating subject for... Read More

SHE HAS HER MOTHER'S LAUGH

SHE HAS HER MOTHER'S LAUGH The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

by Carl Zimmer | Read by Joe Ochman

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If you've submitted your DNA to one of the popular ancestry services and would like to increase your ability to interpret the results or are just curious about heredity, biological inheritance, and genetic research, this is the audiobook for you. Narrator Joe Ochman's personable delivery helps listeners become caught up in these accessible explanations of the meaning and... Read More

THIS IDEA IS BRILLIANT

THIS IDEA IS BRILLIANT Lost, Overlooked, and Underappreciated Scientific Concepts Everyone Should Know

by John Brockman [Ed.] | Read by Cassandra Campbell, Charles Constant

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook consists of 206 short essays by just as many authors on important but neglected scientific ideas: memes such as Navier-Stokes equations, confirmation bias, surreal numbers, and so many more, covering a great variety of thinkers from antiquity to the Middle Ages and to modern times. Charles Constant presents those from the male contributors, and Cassandra Campbell... Read More

THIS LAND IS OUR LAND

THIS LAND IS OUR LAND How We Lost the Right to Roam and How to Take It Back

by Ken Ilgunas | Read by Andrew Eiden

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Andrew Eiden gives this utopian audiobook a focused and remarkably convincing reading. Eiden's tone is spot-on, and his reading is thoughtful overall. He lets listeners immerse themselves in a work that celebrates walking and promotes the idea that trespassing is as American as property rights. The author's mission is to tear down the notion that "good fences make good... Read More

TONIGHT I'M SOMEONE ELSE

TONIGHT I'M SOMEONE ELSE Essays

by Chelsea Hodson | Read by Chelsea Hodson

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Essayist Chelsea Hodson contemplates modern life, love, and video games. Her deep, contemplative voice is soothing--so much so that those who prefer a more lively performance may even find themselves falling asleep. Hodson's interesting life experiences, which vary from working at NASA to falling in love with the wrong man, allow listeners to dip in and out of the various... Read More

TYRANT Shakespeare on Politics

by Stephen Greenblatt | Read by Edoardo Ballerini

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Stephen Greenblatt is not only a Shakespeare scholar who teaches at Harvard but also a key figure among literary theorists who view fiction in its historical context. But when narrator Edoardo Ballerini opens this audiobook by asking, "How is it possible for a whole country to fall into the hands of a tyrant?", it's clear the subject is not Elizabethan England. Greenblatt's... Read More

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

UPON FURTHER REVIEW The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History

by Mike Pesca | Read by Mike Pesca, Shira Springer, Peter Thomas Fornatale, Jesse Eisenberg, Ben Lindbergh, and a Full Cast

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author Mike Pesca assembles a cadre of "what-if?" questions from the sports world. Malcolm Gladwell starts things off with a cerebral foreword, which precedes more than 30 stories written in varying styles. Some are potentially history altering--such as Mary Pilon's "What If Title IX Never Was?"--some are thought provoking and creative--such as Jonathan Hock's "What If Jerry... Read More

THE VIEW FROM FLYOVER COUNTRY

THE VIEW FROM FLYOVER COUNTRY Dispatches from the Forgotten America

by Sarah Kendzior | Read by Sarah Kendzior

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Sarah Kendzior narrates her essays from the past several years, political critiques of American labor, power, and injustice, in this powerful audiobook. While the title invokes the American Midwest, and portions of the audiobook are written directly from that perspective, the overall theme of social injustice is not exclusive to that region. Actions often thought to be pillars... Read More

THE WEATHER DETECTIVE

THE WEATHER DETECTIVE Rediscovering Nature's Secret Signs

by Peter Wohlleben, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp [Trans.] | Read by Nicholas Guy Smith

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook will inspire you to go out into your garden and look at it closely, with new understanding. Wohlleben's tour of the natural world just outside your door is given a genial and avuncular narration by Brit Nicholas Guy Smith. As Wohlleben (THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES) explores the secrets and seasons of the garden--from which plants can predict rain to which wildlife,... Read More

WHAT THE EYES DON'T SEE

WHAT THE EYES DON'T SEE A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

by Mona Hanna-Attisha | Read by Mona Hanna-Attisha

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Pediatrician Hanna-Attisha presents a personal story of Flint, Michigan, as it deals with its health crisis, which began in 2014. Her narration is just as pivotal and profound as her book's content. There is a nurturing passionate and faintly humorous side to Dr. Mona's spoken words. The shock of what is occurring in the city--high levels of lead in the water--is evident from... Read More

WHAT TRUTH SOUNDS LIKE

WHAT TRUTH SOUNDS LIKE Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America

by Michael Eric Dyson | Read by Michael Eric Dyson

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy met with influential African-Americans, including James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Harry Belafonte, and others from various walks of life, to discuss civil rights issues. Here Michael Eric Dyson weaves together the original icons, along with contemporary figures such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Jay-Z, to... Read More

WHITE AWAKE

WHITE AWAKE An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White

by Daniel Hill | Read by Joe Hempel

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Hill dives deeply into his growing understanding of how his whiteness limits his ability to do God's work. Narrator Joe Hempel manages Hill's tone effectively, conveying the uncertainty, confusion, and humility that Hill feels as he learns how his approaches prove alienating to the very people with whom he wishes to build alliances. The blend of author and narrator effectively... Read More

YOU CAN STOP HUMMING NOW

YOU CAN STOP HUMMING NOW A Doctor's Stories of Life, Death, and in Between

by Daniela Lamas, MD | Read by Daniela Lamas, Susannah Jones

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Intensive care patients, their loved ones, and even their doctors rarely consider life after the ICU. In this medical nonfiction narrated by Susannah Jones, with an introduction and epilogue read by the author, a critical care physician examines life after a stay in intensive care. One man lives with a battery-powered pump that keeps his blood moving because his heart is not... Read More

YOUNG CHINA

YOUNG CHINA How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World

by Zak Dychtwald | Read by Zak Dychtwald

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Zak Dychtwald immersed himself in life in China; he rode the railways, learned the language, and now tells us about it. Dychtwald gives his storytelling an energetic delivery that makes his experiences all the more fascinating. He will have listeners laughing as his friends tell him his attempts to speak Chinese are "cute." He also recounts his experiences answering a range of... Read More

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