Maria Pendolino performs this short collection of essays featuring Dr. Ashley Shew's concept of "technoableism," a type of ableist belief that technology can, and should, "cure" disabled people. Shew uses her experience as a chronically ill, hard-of-hearing cancer survivor and amputee to illustrate how technology helps assist her in her everyday life. But, at the same time,... Read More
To cite a few of the many fine narrators of these essays and blogs about food, Nikki Massoud gives an inspired performance with perfect pitch of "Border Lines," Anya von Bremzen's nuanced debunking of national dishes. Johnny Rey Diaz, with clear Italian enunciation, does a fine turn on John Last's clever "There is No Such Thing as Italian Food." Dylan Moore brings empathy and... Read More
Malcolm Hillgartner epitomizes a fine nonfiction narrator. He lets these often disturbing stories of road ecology (annals of roadkills) reveal themselves in an understated way. A master of pace and cadence, his tone works with the dramatic statistics provided: About one million wild animals perish daily from cars, 40 million miles of roads ring the planet, and the fires in... Read More
Rattlesnakes are just one of the creatures science writer-turned-academic Robles ponders as she blends her own perspectives and historical writings into this audiobook of essays on the human study of various species, such as coral and sharks. Narrator Daniela Acitelli brings a sense of wonder to a Native American story about the rattlesnake world. Her pace increases with... Read More
Astronomer and physicist Marcelo Gleiser's manifesto calls for more awareness, gratitude, and kindness toward our planet. Focusing on biocentrism, he reminds listeners of the sacred relationship between humanity and our world, and argues that a call to action is crucial for their continued existence. Timothy Andrés Pabon's soft-spoken and lyrical narration supports the author's... Read More
This thought-provoking audiobook presents listeners with a curious neuroscientific argument: Free will doesn't exist. The bestselling author, a Stanford neuroendocrinologist, argues that all life is predetermined; it's a product of conditioning and hormones, expressed as unconscious and reflexive neurological responses. With a measured pace and a tone of excitement, Kaleo... Read More
Author and narrator Naomi Klein shares the complicated autobiographical story of how her online presence became entwined with that of another Naomi. A liberal Canadian activist and writer, Klein discovered that her name was being frequently confused with that of an American writer who was sharing false information about COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic. What started as a... Read More
Four men, four environmental philosophies, three wilderness settings. From these various and, at times, competing perspectives, author John McPhee weaves a deep debate over how to best protect the future of the planet and humanity. Grover Gardner's clear, conversational narration makes these sometimes complex discussions easy for listeners to follow. There's no false drama, but... Read More
Sarah Lohman is a surprisingly effective narrator of her thoughtful audiobook. She narrates with a pointed reportorial style and measured cadence that suit this text on vanishing foods. She does Native accents impressively in sections on the Navajo (Diné) and Choctaw people. And she's an active participant in the journey to test and taste foods identified by the Ark of Taste,... Read More
In this manual on pandemic management, a professor of infectious diseases describes how containment methods can be used more sparingly, be just as effective, and cause less disruption to people's lives. Gabra Zackman's performance sounds warm, authoritative, and quietly persuasive. The clarity of this scientific writing is helped by her pure timbre, natural-sounding diction,... Read More
Journalist Bianca Bosker narrates her witty audiobook about the art world with pizzazz. She has a pleasing sound, paces the sometimes frantic-sounding proceedings well, and comes across as an authentic seeker. Performing in a comic style, she enhances the audiobook's ironic undertone, which suggests that many in the art world see journalists as "the enemy." In this work she... Read More
Jeffrey Toobin gives a thorough, detailed, yet quickly moving account of Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh's life, beliefs, actions, and death--and how his credo lives on in current right-wing extremism. Like his text, Toobin's narration is brisk, clear, and free of adornment. His guy-next-door manner keeps the material approachable and the focus on the story. No emotional... Read More
This timely audiobook on migration translates extremely well to audio due to its straightforward organization and clear summaries of statistical material. Matthew Spencer's measured pacing and professorial tone are well suited to represent the author, a Dutch sociologist who is director of Oxford University's International Migration Institute. The audiobook begins with precise... Read More
Tiana Yarik does well in narrating Kostyuchenko's collection of essays and stories of life in Russia as she saw it. Kostyuchenko, an émigré Russian journalist now living in Germany and an outspoken critic of Putin, has compiled a work that one critic has called a "haunting book of rare courage." Yarik, a non-native speaker of English, does a splendid job delivering this work.... Read More
UK-born-and-bred author Fuchsia Dunlop adds zest to her ardent narration of her epicurean adventures around China and the history of Chinese food. A year-long academic scholarship in Sichuan, China, led to an invitation to study at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine. Her acceptance, which stemmed from a love of food, cooking, and a desire to spend more time in the city,... Read More
Manjula Martin delivers this audiobook as if reading to a friend. While she's not blessed with a sonorous voice, her delivery is both passionate and authentic. She captures the complications of living in proximity to wildfires in Sonoma County, California, which was devastated by conflagrations in 2020. The audiobook presents three interlocking stories: The first is about a... Read More
Adam Goodheart shares his experiences visiting "the most isolated people in the world" on North Sentinel, in the Andaman Islands in India's Bay of Bengal. In this audiobook he shares accounts of their history. Will Tulin calmly narrates Goodheart's first visit, leaving room for amazement at flying fish and dolphins. Tulin reflects Goodheart's lament over the plastic trash that... Read More
Nathaniel Priestley's creative pitch patterns and British enunciation give wonderful vitality to Michel Faber's colorful prose and expansive thinking about music. The Scotland-based writer of short stories and novels is controversial in literary circles. His idiosyncratic opinions on how music connects with the human race can sound snarky and unsubstantiated--more like "sofa... Read More
Suzanne Toren's exquisite enunciation and no-nonsense manner meld beautifully with Donna Leon's sardonic, witty reflections on Venice and its denizens. Author of the much loved mystery series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti, American-born Leon has made her home in the watery city for more than 40 years. Many of her Brunetti mysteries are built around Venice's essential... Read More
If you're looking to get more out of the simple things in life, this audiobook is for you. A transplanted Londoner, Niki Brantmark has thoroughly embraced the Swedish custom of njuta, finding satisfaction in the smallest pleasures: a beautiful sunrise or sunset, a sweet treat, a walk in the woods. Karen Cass keeps to a brisk pace and an appropriately upbeat tone as she itemizes... Read More
The gun control debate in America has both emotional and legal dimensions, and this audiobook focuses on the latter. It's a brief audiobook that would have felt longer without the energetic narration of Dan Bittner, who prevents it from bogging down. Not that the writing is turgid--on the contrary, it's as lucid and conversational as one can expect from a dissection of the... Read More
AudioFile Golden Voice narrator Grover Gardner comfortably inhabits McPhee's curious mind and captures the eloquence of his prose in this splendid rendition of his short classic. The audiobook brings together the supreme storyteller and the exceptional story performer. Gardner's singular voice and intelligent style were made to deliver McPhee--his voicing of the author's TABULA... Read More
Peabody Award-winning journalist Michele Norris and a full cast deliver a must-listen performance of Norris's riveting examination of race in America. Based on 12 years of submissions to Norris's Race Card Project--six words about race from over half-a-million people--the audiobook shifts between Norris's clear, warm, thoughtful commentary and participants' contributions, all... Read More
Rebecca Lowman's warm, easygoing performance creates a relaxed space for listeners to engage with this expansive cultural and scientific exploration of Earth's and humanity's relationship with the moon across time. The interconnectedness between each section is enhanced as Lowman clearly voices the science behind our world and its living organisms, and the mythos inspired by... Read More
It's not just you. Social media is built around a model that encourages conflict and rewards users with more of the same. It's refreshing that Justin Price's performance is so warm and, in a welcome contrast to the subject matter, thoughtful and evenly paced. Listeners are provided a clear, concise history of the Internet and social media. Why do people gravitate so quickly to... Read More
Cultural historian Kliph Nesteroff narrates his affected and opinionated treatise on the evolution of American cultural trends, especially how immediately succeeding generations find newer forms of entertainment to be outrageously without merit. It all adds up to a dry narrative. While maintaining an appropriate pace, Nesteroff's delivery is breathy and includes... Read More
Jon Vertullo narrates this ecological warning with an even tone and a deliberate pace. His thoughtful delivery allows the detailed and meticulous reporting to speak for itself, that is, without excessive drama. His task is made easier by author Miller's crisply written journalistic reports from three sites: northeast Japan, where in 2011 seawalls were no match for a massive... Read More
Grover Gardner imbues this exploration of a charming section of rural New Jersey, first published in 1968, with a knowledgeable and authoritative tone. The celebrated and groundbreaking NEW YORKER reporter John McPhee runs into several colorful characters, now long gone, during his visit. This look back at a simpler, more rural time both entertains and informs. Gardner's even... Read More
It's impossible to hear this posthumously released collection of essays and fiction without heartbreak, knowing it will be So's last. Keong Sim narrates it expertly, infusing it with the electric energy, wry humor, and curiosity that defined So's first story collection, AFTERPARTIES. The fiction pieces, from his unfinished novel STRAIGHT THRU CAMBOTOWN, are full of that same... Read More
Bird lovers should flock to this fascinating audiobook. David Allen Sibley's field guides for bird identification are the worthy successors to Roger Tory Peterson's classic guides and are indispensable for birders. Here, Sibley has thoughtfully adapted his beautifully illustrated print version of WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A BIRD. Sibley's son, Evan Sibley, narrates with aplomb,... Read More
Jennifer Jewell does a fine job narrating her own work, a fascinating and sometimes frightening examination of the complex world of seeds. It is personal, political, and technical as it dives into the work of seeds, the threats they face, and the politics and economics that surround them. Jewell hosts a National Public Radio program and podcast, so she is no stranger to the art... Read More
Narrator Harry Lloyd's affable narration echoes physicist Carlo Rovelli's casual writing style. Their conversational approach to the concept of white holes allows a variety of listeners to engage with complex physics regardless of how much knowledge they start with. Simply put, white holes cannot be entered but allow information to escape; they are the opposite of black holes,... Read More
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