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1996

1996 A Biography Reliving the Legend-Packed, Dynasty-Stacked, Most Iconic Sports Year Ever

by Jon Finkel | Read by Barry Abrams

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If you think you know sports from the mid-1990s, Jon Finkel's audiobook may surprise you. He covers the gamut of big players, teams, and moments from that time and their effects on popular culture. One example is the influence of Seattle Mariners outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., and his backwards cap. Narrator Barry Abrams's delivery of one-liners and creative descriptions fits the... Read More

AFTER THE FALL

AFTER THE FALL Being American in the World We've Made

by Ben Rhodes | Read by Ben Rhodes

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author's prowess as a speech writer shows in this sweeping account of why liberal democracy and America's global influence are being threatened by autocratic regimes. Rhodes, an MSNBC contributor and former Obama adviser, narrates with passion and strategic pacing that call to mind the gravity of a presidential speech. But the performance never sounds overwrought because... Read More

AMERICA'S BILINGUAL CENTURY

AMERICA'S BILINGUAL CENTURY How Americans Are Giving the Gift of Bilingualism to Themselves, Their Loved Ones, and Their Country

by Steve Leveen | Read by Sean Pratt, Heavenly Reyna

Steve Leveen | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Sean Pratt delivers an upbeat and conversational performance of this well-researched audiobook advocating that monolingual Americans learn to speak more than just English. Featuring several interviews with polyglots, linguists, businesspeople, teachers, and others, this audiobook clearly demonstrates the advantages of learning a second language, such as advancing one's... Read More

THE ANTHROPOCENE REVIEWED

THE ANTHROPOCENE REVIEWED Essays on a Human-Centered Planet

Earphones Award Winner

by John Green | Read by John Green

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook, narrated faithfully by its author, offers a complex and insightful look at the various human experiences that shape us. John Green (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS) delivers impassioned reviews on a five-star scale of Diet Dr. Pepper, Canada geese, Halley's Comet, the Indy 500, and several other miscellaneous experiences, connecting each to his personal life and to... Read More

THE ART OF PATIENCE

THE ART OF PATIENCE Seeking the Snow Leopard in Tibet

Earphones Award Winner

by Sylvain Tesson, Frank Wynne [Trans.] | Read by David Pittu

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator David Pittu unpacks his full valise of vocalizations in this exceptional story of encountering one of the planet's least seen animals--the snow leopard. He narrates this all-too-brief audiobook, modulating its quiet drama, poetic riffs, and personal asides at a careful pace in a style that reveals the workings of the famous French travel writer's philosophical mind.... Read More

AWAKENING

AWAKENING #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women's Rights

by Rachel B. Vogelstein, Meighan Stone | Read by Rachel B. Vogelstein, Meighan Stone, Cindy Kay, Saskia Maarleveld, Sol Madariaga, Tyla Collier, Suehyla El Attar, Caitlin Davies, Nikki Massoud

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Most people in the U.S. know the #MeToo movement in the context of sexual harassment by politicians and people in the entertainment industry. This audiobook provides stories of women around the globe who have been aided by the movement in other contexts. Each country's story is told by a different narrator. Worthy of particular note are narrator Cindy Kay, who speaks for the... Read More

BECOMING A DEMOCRACY

BECOMING A DEMOCRACY How We Can Fix the Electoral College, Gerrymandering, and Our Elections

by Kristin Eberhard | Read by Kristin Eberhard

Kristin Eberhard | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Kristin Eberhard's earnest, engaging delivery is the perfect match to the important, accessible information she provides in this timely listen. Eberhard begins by introducing herself and setting the stage for the content presented. She is knowledgeable and clear in explaining the ways our democracy is broken and the consequences of not addressing these issues. Each chapter... Read More

BELOVED BEASTS

BELOVED BEASTS Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction

by Michelle Nijhuis | Read by Christina Delaine

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Christina Delaine delivers a fable in a tone of childlike wonder as she begins her narration of the story of conservation. The tone continues as author Michelle Nijhuis describes her summer job of watching a desert tortoise. That magical feeling continues to pop up from time to time, as when Delaine describes Nijhuis's first visit to the Smithsonian. Conservation and the people... Read More

THE BLUES

THE BLUES The Authentic Narrative of My Music and Culture

by Chris Thomas King | Read by Adam Lazarre-White

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This well-researched history of the blues and its connection to nineteenth-century Louisiana reveals that the popular music genre was not invented on plantations in rural Mississippi, as is often reported. The author, a Grammy-winning blues artist, says that it was an outgrowth of a well-established Black classical music culture in New Orleans, one that was systematically... Read More

A BRIEF HISTORY OF EARTH

A BRIEF HISTORY OF EARTH Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters

by Andrew H. Knoll | Read by Tom Parks

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Andrew Knoll, a Harvard professor and researcher in geology and paleontology, covers a lot of ground in just five hours of listening. But Tom Parks's pacing of the narrative never feels rushed during this primer on the origins of life, geological catastrophes, and mass extinctions, continuing right up to our current climate crisis. Knoll has an approachable writing style; only... Read More

CAN'T KNOCK THE HUSTLE

CAN'T KNOCK THE HUSTLE Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets' Superstars of Tomorrow

by Matt Sullivan | Read by Will Damron

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Will Damron brings gravitas to Matt Sullivan's words. This audiobook isn't about Xs and Os on the court; it's about professional athletes, as seen through the Brooklyn Nets, voicing their opinions on a lot of issues--from politics to dealing with COVID and more. The overarching themes are racial equality and the movement in the NBA to gain more control over contracts.... Read More

CARRY ON

CARRY ON Reflections for a New Generation

by John Lewis, Andrew Young, Kabir Sehgal | Read by Don Cheadle

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This short but powerful audiobook collects the wisdom of the late Civil Rights activist and congressman John Lewis. Covering a wide variety of topics, narrator Don Cheadle wisely does not attempt to mimic Lewis's distinctive speaking voice but creates a similar effect of thoughtful consideration tempered by subtle humor. As Lewis's subjects range from reflections on racism and... Read More

CHEESE, WINE, AND BREAD

CHEESE, WINE, AND BREAD Discovering the Magic of Fermentation in England, Italy, and France

by Katie Quinn | Read by Katie Quinn

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Enthusiasm! That's the hallmark of author Katie Quinn's delivery of this paean to the wonders and delights of cheese, wine, and bread--and the fermentation processes that make them possible. There's an audible smile and abundant excitement in Quinn's voice as she recounts working at London's famous Neal's Yard Dairy cheese shop, making goat cheese on an English farm,... Read More

COVERED WITH NIGHT

COVERED WITH NIGHT A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America

by Nicole Eustace | Read by Laural Merlington

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This memorable audiobook, narrated by Laural Merlington, is a deep dive into the now obscure and largely forgotten 1722 Pennsylvania murder of Sawantaeny, a Seneca hunter, by John and Edmund Cartlidge. The two white traders were upset that Sawantaeny was resisting what they considered to be a fair deal. Eustace uses the crime and its aftermath as a starting point to explore... Read More

THE DEVIL'S CANDY

THE DEVIL'S CANDY The Anatomy of a Hollywood Fiasco

by Julie Salamon | Read by Julie Salamon

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Journalist Julie Salamon wrote and narrates this account of the making of the 1990 film BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES. Director Brian De Palma granted her unlimited access to the entire film production of Tom Wolfe's novel. Salamon's vocal pitch and a degree of nasality detract from what is otherwise a carefully enunciated workmanlike narration. While anticipated to be a blockbuster,... Read More

DON'T LET IT GET YOU DOWN

DON'T LET IT GET YOU DOWN Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body

by Savala Nolan | Read by Savala Nolan

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author Savala Nolan uses her voice to full effect in her narration of this collection of essays about Black womanhood and the complicated realities of living in a racialized body. Her narration, like her prose, has heft. Her voice is full of life, inviting yet firm. She often pauses at the end of meaningful passages, allowing their full impact to sink in. The essays themselves... Read More

EINSTEIN'S FRIDGE

EINSTEIN'S FRIDGE How the Difference Between Hot and Cold Explains the Universe

by Paul Sen | Read by Malk Williams

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Malk Williams's fine English accents and clear delivery bring this scientific work to life. A study of the significance of thermodynamics--the branch of physics dealing with heat, work, and temperature--it presents a real challenge for the narrator. Williams more than meets it. His deliberate pace and comprehensible style keep the listener engaged. His tone is spot-on.... Read More

THE ENGAGEMENT

THE ENGAGEMENT America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage

by Sasha Issenberg | Read by Graham Halstead

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Journalist Sasha Issenberg's history of the political and cultural fight Americans mounted for and against same-sex marriage laws becomes compelling listening through Graham Halstead's narration. The issue was raised on the backs of couples caught in the AIDS epidemic and cultural conservatives seeking to push back against perceived anti-evangelical legal developments. Halstead... Read More

ENGLAND'S MAGNIFICENT GARDENS

ENGLAND'S MAGNIFICENT GARDENS How a Billion-Dollar Industry Transformed a Nation, from Charles II to Today

by Roderick Floud | Read by Gildart Jackson

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook is unusual amid gardening literature as it focuses not on gardens or gardeners, but on the economics of gardening. Floud looks at the retail side of British gardening history, and his endless conversations of pounds and dollars then and now eat up a substantial portion of the narrative. But the rich voice of narrator Gildart Jackson brings a resonance and... Read More

EXTRA LIFE

EXTRA LIFE A Short History of Living Longer

by Steven Johnson | Read by Steven Johnson

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author/narrator Steven Johnson strikes an engaging conversational tone as he talks about the increases in life expectancy humans have achieved over centuries. Listeners might not get as excited as Johnson does about the advent of an improved form of pharmaceutical testing, but he covers a lot of interesting ground. Johnson traces the study of life expectancy back to its origins... Read More

FAILURES OF STATE

FAILURES OF STATE The Inside Story of Britain's Battle with Coronavirus

by Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott | Read by Ben Onwukwe

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Ben Onwukwe is appropriately respectful to the seriousness of this audiobook. The U.S. is not alone. The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could have been less devastating; history is already showing how world leaders failed the public. This exhaustively detailed work, written by investigative journalists at Britain's SUNDAY TIMES, looks at COVID in the United... Read More

FEAR OF A BLACK UNIVERSE

FEAR OF A BLACK UNIVERSE An Outsider's Guide to the Future of Physics

by Stephon Alexander | Read by Stephon Alexander

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

A self-described outsider in academic physics, author/narrator Stephon Alexander brings a welcome lilt to his delivery of this barrier-breaking cosmology guide. Alexander's voice blends his native Trinidadian accent with the Bronx accent he picked up in boyhood as he coaxes listeners to ponder complex physics concepts such as invariance, superposition, emergence, and dark... Read More

FINDING THE MOTHER TREE

FINDING THE MOTHER TREE Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

Earphones Award Winner

by Suzanne Simard | Read by Suzanne Simard

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This beautifully written, scientifically stunning, and deeply personal audio memoir will forever alter your understanding of forests. It's lucky for listeners that it's also a master class in read-by-the-author audio. In silky, rich vocal tones forestry ecologist Suzanne Simard describes growing up and working in the fecund forests of British Columbia. With the pacing and... Read More

FULL SPECTRUM

FULL SPECTRUM How the Science of Color Made Us Modern

by Adam Rogers | Read by Michael Crouch

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Michael Crouch's personable tone lends itself to storytelling, and there are plenty of tales to be told in this history of the human experience of color. Because the audiobook delves into history, culture, art, chemistry, biology, nature, economics, and politics, Crouch's peppy delivery is helpful when drier portions dominate. Author Adam Rogers's enthusiasm for the subject... Read More

HELGOLAND

HELGOLAND Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution

by Carlo Rovelli, Erica Segre [tTans.], Simon Carnell [Trans.] | Read by David Rintoul

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli invites quantum theory novices on an engrossing exploration of his latest work. Narrator David Rintoul embodies the author's zest for sharing all things quanta. His clear, well-paced delivery and rich British baritone further complement Rovelli's accessible writing. Divided into three parts, it becomes a dialogue with listeners, encouraging... Read More

HORIZONTAL VERTIGO

HORIZONTAL VERTIGO A City Called Mexico

by Juan Villoro, Alfred MacAdam [Trans.] | Read by Gabriel Porras

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Gabriel Porras guides listeners through the eloquent essays novelist Juan Villoro wrote to share his wonder at his own Mexico City. Villoro has been exquisitely translated by Alfred MacAdam, the imagistic writing perfectly captured in its move from Spanish to English. Porras narrates with a moderate accent; his pacing and intonation are faithful to Villoro's phrasing... Read More

IDEAS TO POSTPONE THE END OF THE WORLD

IDEAS TO POSTPONE THE END OF THE WORLD

by Ailton Krenek | Read by Lorne Cardinal, Jenny Lee Craig

Post Hypnotic Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

With his commanding voice and calm demeanor, actor Lorne Cardinal adds gravity and urgency to this plea for global change. Cardinal is not a flashy narrator; he rarely modulates or changes tempo. But his resonant delivery and his Cree heritage enable him to convincingly convey the author's spirit of Indigenous activism. According to Krenek, our survival depends on whether we... Read More

IN THE HEIGHTS

IN THE HEIGHTS Finding Home

by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Jeremy McCarter | Read by America Ferrara, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Jeremy McCarter

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Before HAMILTON, before Lin-Manuel Miranda became a household name, there was IN THE HEIGHTS. This audiobook, read by many of those directly involved, recounts how the creative team of multicultural newcomers struggled to get their first Latino hip-hop project to Broadway and then, 10 years later, made into a Hollywood film. Here Miranda and HAMILTON co-author Jeremy McCarter,... Read More

THE JOY OF SWEAT

THE JOY OF SWEAT The Strange Science of Perspiration

Earphones Award Winner

by Sarah Everts | Read by Sophie Amoss

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If you feel kind of gross when you sweat, Sarah Everts will make you realize how cool it is that we humans regulate our body temperatures this way. Narrator Sophie Amoss channels the author's wry humor with impeccable timing and a slightly scratchy timbre. Everts travels down several fascinating and quirky paths--sauna theater (yes, that is a thing), sniff dating events (yes,... Read More

JUNGLE

JUNGLE How Tropical Forests Shaped the World--and Us

by Patrick Roberts | Read by Leighton Pugh

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

At first, Leighton Pugh gives his narration echoes of the old-time jungle stories that are invoked by author Patrick Roberts. But Pugh shifts to a more informative tone as Roberts, an archaeologist, works to counter those pop culture myths. Pugh's British accent lends authority to this work, despite the author's tendency to get bogged down in details. Roberts takes listeners... Read More

THE KISSING BUG

THE KISSING BUG A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nations Neglect of a Deadly Disease

by Daisy Hernandez | Read by Frankie Corzo

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Biting insects and intrepid parasites populate this memoir of a misunderstood illness and a family. Narrator Frankie Corzo's deft voice brings Daisy Hernandez's story full circle from childhood to adulthood and then to a poignant blend of both. Hernandez was 5 when her Aunt Dora moved from Colombia to New Jersey to seek care for a parasitic illness called Chagas, transmitted by... Read More

A KNOCK ON THE DOOR

A KNOCK ON THE DOOR The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Edited and Abridged (Perceptions on Truth and Reconciliation, Book 1)

by Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Phil Fontaine [Foreword], Aimée Craft [Afterword] | Read by Michelle St. John

University of Manitoba Press | Abridged
Contemporary Culture

Acknowledging the disgraceful legacy of residential schools is the first step toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada. This approachable report includes historical background and powerful firsthand testimony from survivors. The audio version could have brought those voices to a wider audience. Sadly, it is torpedoed by poor editorial decisions. Most glaringly,... Read More

LANGUAGES OF TRUTH

LANGUAGES OF TRUTH Essays 2003-2020

by Salman Rushdie | Read by Raj Ghatak, Salman Rushdie

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The narration of these essays, revised speeches, reviews, and ephemera begins with Rushdie himself, who perhaps wanted his own voice--British inflected and cultured--to tell the stories of the "wonder books" of his Bombay youth that influenced his "fabulist" fiction. His finely honed narration style allows him to move smoothly from wit to wisdom. British actor Raj Ghatak then... Read More

LAST BEST HOPE

LAST BEST HOPE America in Crisis and Renewal

by George Packer | Read by George Packer

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author deftly defines four Americas: Free America (independent, "don't tread on me"); Real America (Christian nationalist, anti-expertise); Smart America (winners in the meritocracy); Just America (equality overall). He takes on all four while narrating with precision, passion, and empathy, letting the stories and quotations speak for themselves. He delivers this pithy... Read More

LET THE RECORD SHOW

LET THE RECORD SHOW A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993

by Sarah Schulman | Read by Rosalyn Coleman Williams, Sarah Schulman

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Rosalyn Coleman Williams delivers this oral history of New York City's ACT UP movement without theatricality. Author Sarah Schulman helped to collect transcripts from the original members, which were recorded in various formats as they recounted how they performed in-your-face protests that revealed gross inequities in law, medicine, and politics in the late '80s and... Read More

LIFELINES

LIFELINES A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health

by Leana Wen | Read by Leana Wen

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Dr. Leana Wen digs deeply into the topic of public health and argues for its importance from a vantage point that is not often presented to the public. Delivering vital information, she discloses her own insider's accounts of various health crises in the U.S. and throughout the world. She is determined to convince listeners how crucial it is to make healthcare and all it... Read More

NOTHIN' BUT A GOOD TIME

NOTHIN' BUT A GOOD TIME The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion

by Tom Beaujour, Richard Bienstock | Read by Gary Furlong, Amy McFadden, Tom Beaujour, Richard Bienstock

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Gary Furlong uses a friendly, objective style as he narrates this oral history of hard rock music. Amy McFadden helps by voicing the handful of women involved. Considering that this work includes some contentious contributors with divergent memories, Furlong and McFadden maintain an impartial, nonjudgmental point of view. Most recollections support the Spinal Tap stereotype of... Read More

NOTHING PERSONAL

NOTHING PERSONAL

by James Baldwin | Read by JD Jackson

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator JD Jackson has a way of projecting a calm yet alert tone of awareness. This short piece, which James Baldwin wrote in the 1960s, is philosophical. His thoughts on America's material conditions and how people love and don't love one another are just as relevant now. Jackson delivers a sense of clarity and urgent thoughtfulness when he speaks. His tone is reflective,... Read More

OUR TEAM

OUR TEAM The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball

by Luke Epplin | Read by Leon Nixon

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In a serious tone that captures the significance of breaking the color barrier and with a flair for portraying quirky characters, narrator Leon Nixon guides listeners through the lives of four men who transformed the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series in 1948. Larry Doby was signed a few months after Jackie Robinson; then aging Negro Leagues legend Satchel Paige finally... Read More

OUTLANDISH

OUTLANDISH Walking Europe's Unlikely Landscapes

by Nick Hunt | Read by Nick Hunt

John Murray | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Nick Hunt travels to four "outlandish" European landscapes--places that are out of place--Arctic tundra in Scotland, desert in Spain, primeval forest in Poland, and the steppe in Hungary. The author's gentle but compelling narration evokes an otherworldly and mystical atmosphere perfect for these unique locations visited mostly on foot. Hunt's wry humor and genuine interest in... Read More

PASTORAL SONG

PASTORAL SONG A Farmer's Journey

by James Rebanks | Read by Peter Noble

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

With the soul of a poet and the keen eye of a realist, author James Rebanks explores how greed and hubris have ruined British agriculture and are endangering its natural environment. Narrator Peter Noble does full justice to Rebanks's style. Phrases such as "puffy white stars floating in the black night sky" come off sounding natural, not forced. But Noble also captures the... Read More

PERSIST

PERSIST

by Elizabeth Warren | Read by Elizabeth Warren

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author/narrator Elizabeth Warren's conversational audiobook details the personal stories behind many of the policies she has fought for. The Massachusetts senator's consistent and leisurely pace allows listeners to focus on detailed plans involving taxing the ultra-rich to benefit the poor and middle class. She shifts seamlessly to a sharper tone while recalling her debates... Read More

THE PLAGUE YEAR

THE PLAGUE YEAR America in the Time of Covid

by Lawrence Wright | Read by Eric Jason Martin

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Completely predictable. That's the refrain throughout Wright's thorough evaluation of the year the world faced the crippling COVID-19 pandemic. Narrator Eric Jason Martin takes a documentarian approach as Wright frames the pandemic in historic terms: He provides details of the protests against precautions that took place during the 1918 influenza pandemic and points out that... Read More

PLANET ON FIRE

PLANET ON FIRE A Manifesto for the Age of Environmental Breakdown

by Matthew Lawrence, Laurie Laybourn-Langton | Read by Julian Elfer

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Julian Elfer brings an orator's passion to his narration of the manifesto set forth by the authors. Elfer is eloquent when talking about their ideals and angry when recounting how white men brought eco-disaster to Easter Island. Lawrence and Laybourn-Langton believe a power imbalance is behind the problems facing the environment, and they hold the capitalist... Read More

THE PREMONITION

THE PREMONITION A Pandemic Story

by Michael Lewis | Read by Adenrele Ojo

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If Michael Lewis is writing about it, you know it will be important, interesting, and will offer insights not obvious. And if Adrenrele Ojo is narrating, you know you're in for a measured, professional, empathetic, and engaging listen. THE PREMONITION, as its subtitle notes, is a pandemic story. It's the story of how the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the nation (and the... Read More

THE PRICE OF HEALTH

THE PRICE OF HEALTH The Modern Pharmaceutical Industry and the Betrayal of a History of Care

by Michael Kinch, Lori Weiman, Mark Cuban [Intro.] | Read by John McLain

Oasis Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator John McLain sounds like one of the many voices that listeners have been hearing on newscasts as he asks at the start of this audiobook whether we could have anticipated the pandemic. He keeps that urgent tone as authors Michael Kinch and Lori Weiman examine the evolution of pharmaceuticals, the rules that govern them, and their current high cost. Listeners will feel... Read More

PROBABLE IMPOSSIBILITIES

PROBABLE IMPOSSIBILITIES Musings on Beginnings and Endings

by Alan Lightman | Read by Christopher Grove

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Christopher Grove gives this relatively short look at life, the universe, and just about everything else a good performance. Lightman is a professor of both physics and the humanities at MIT. In this audiobook he presents his musings on topics ranging from consciousness to the Big Bang and to how infinitely small and large infinity may be, among other subjects. Grove's... Read More

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

PUTTING IT TOGETHER How Stephen Sondheim and I Created SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE

Earphones Award Winner

by James Lapine | Read by Adam Grupper, Alyssa Bresnahan, Eva Kaminsky, T. Ryder Smith, Graham Winton, Len Cariou

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Adam Grupper is impressive as he portrays writer-director James Lapine in this mixed bag of an audiobook--part oral history, part memoir, and part description of how a musical gets written and produced. The musical? Stephen Sondheim and Lapine's Tony Award-winning SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (1984). Lapine interviewed 40 people connected with the show, and Alyssa... Read More

THE QUIET ZONE

THE QUIET ZONE Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence

by Stephen Kurczy | Read by Roger Wayne

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Journalist Stephen Kurczy took himself to Green Bank, West Virginia--"the quietest town in America " and home to the Green Bank Observatory. Narrator Roger Wayne ably explains that the Observatory requires locals to limit their use of electronic equipment, including wi-fi, microwaves, and cell phones, to avoid interference with their radio telescopes' ability to pick up signals... Read More

REMEMBER

REMEMBER The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting

by Lisa Genova | Read by Lisa Genova

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Part neuropsychology lesson and part user's guide, this fast-moving audiobook is sure to give listeners more control over one of the brain's most important functions--memory. Genova, a Harvard-trained neuroscientist, has a gift for explaining complex brain functions in accessible and empowering language. With youthful enthusiasm that doesn't oversell her message, she narrates... Read More

RESCUING THE PLANET

RESCUING THE PLANET Protecting Half the Land to Heal the Earth

by Tony Hiss, E.O Wilson [Intro.] | Read by Adam Barr, Paul Boehmer [Intro.]

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Adam Barr's delivery is well matched to this optimistic look at what we need to do to save our planet. Barr is engaging and lacking in undue outrage or unrealistic cheerfulness. The proposal Hiss outlines may seem crazy: Start by protecting half the Earth within 50 years. The idea, however, may not be an impossible one. Progress already is being made through efforts of... Read More

RODNEY SCOTT'S WORLD OF BBQ

RODNEY SCOTT'S WORLD OF BBQ Every Day Is a Good Day: A Cookbook

by Rodney Scott, Lolis Eric Elie | Read by Rodney Scott

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Rodney Scott narrates his memoir/cookbook, which reveals how he and his renowned restaurant, Whole Hog BBQ, in Charleston, South Carolina, came to win a James Beard Award for Best Chef. Scott shares his love for his work and the trials of life in the pit, along with some do's and don'ts for successful barbecuing. Family gave him his start with barbecue, but it is clearly his... Read More

THE SCANDAL OF THE CENTURY

THE SCANDAL OF THE CENTURY And Other Writings

by Gabriel García Márquez, Anne McLean [Trans.] | Read by Bernado de Palma

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

García Márquez is mostly known, and justly so, as a Nobel Prize-winning novelist, but his background and first love was journalism. This audiobook collects some of his best and best-known magazine and newspaper pieces--some reporting, some commenting, and some just musing on the writing life. Bernardo de Paula's narration is not flawless, but the flaws are mostly minor. He is... Read More

THE SCIENCE OF MIDDLE-EARTH

THE SCIENCE OF MIDDLE-EARTH A New Understanding of Tolkien and His World

by Roland Lehoucq, Loic Mangin, Jean-Sebastien Steyer | Read by Ralph Lister

Novel Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Ralph Lister's amiable enthusiasm enlivens this mixed bag of essays by French scholars who apply various scientific lenses to the imaginary minutiae of Tolkien's works. Lister's match of tone to text is skilled, and his buoyant expressiveness sometimes more than it deserves. Given the level of technical detail, he tends to let his energy move listeners too quickly,... Read More

SECOND NATURE

SECOND NATURE Scenes from a World Remade

by Nathaniel Rich | Read by John Pirhalla

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator John Pirhalla delivers the surprising, and sometimes shocking, science topics discussed in this audiobook. For instance, the passenger pigeon, extinct since 1914, is now being considered for resurrection by inserting its DNA into a current species of pigeon--shades of Jurassic Park! Speaking with the Russian and Spanish accents of the scientists involved, Pirhalla... Read More

THE SECRET HISTORY OF FOOD

THE SECRET HISTORY OF FOOD Strange but True Stories About the Origins of Everything We Eat

Earphones Award Winner

by Matt Siegel | Read by Roger Wayne

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Roger Wayne embraces the author's enthusiasm and has many fun moments narrating this irreverent, informed guide to little known stories about food. From his emulation of a squeaky, pretentious English cookbook writer downgrading American pie to his imitation of a working-class Brit in a quote from TRAINSPOTTING, Wayne's voice work shines. The pie section is splendid: American... Read More

SEED TO DUST

SEED TO DUST Life, Nature, and a Country Garden

by Marc Hamer | Read by Owen Teale

Greystone Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If it's possible to sound exactly like an English country gardener, Owen Teale nails it. His narration of this series of essays on gardening carries the work along in a gentle yet compelling manner. The entries cover philosophy, botany, and personal memoir. The author's style is almost poetic at times. For example, he compares walking on frozen leaves to stepping on crinkled... Read More

SIDELINED

SIDELINED Sports, Culture, and Being a Woman in America

Earphones Award Winner

by Julie DiCaro | Read by Julie DiCaro

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Julie DiCaro was an especially rare phenomenon--a woman on sports talk radio who was allowed to express an opinion. With palpable and justified anger, DiCaro outlines the underlying sexism of her industry, the harassment she and other female reporters experienced when they dared to report on the sexual misconduct of male athletes, and the evil and anonymous Internet trolls who... Read More

THE SOMMELIER'S ATLAS OF TASTE

THE SOMMELIER'S ATLAS OF TASTE A Field Guide to the Great Wines of Europe

by Rajat Parr, Jordan Mackay | Read by P.J. Ochlan

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrating with the careful French pronunciations one would expect, P.J. Ochlan is spirited (pun intended), sunny, affirmative, consistent, and professionally workmanlike in this detailed, thoroughly researched, region-by-region compendium of European wines, including champagnes. The effort consistently ranges from information and analyses the average wine aficionado can easily... Read More

TALL MEN, SHORT SHORTS

TALL MEN, SHORT SHORTS The 1969 NBA Finals: Wilt, Russ, Lakers, Celtics, and a Very Young Sports Reporter

by Leigh Montville | Read by Leigh Montville

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The venerable sportswriter (THE BOSTON GLOBE, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED) narrates his own work--part memoir, part look back at basketball. Montville recounts the 1969 NBA Finals between Boston and Los Angeles and all their accompanying trappings--reporting, side stories, and biographies. He refers to himself as "the bright young man," a third-person approach that fits his style--never... Read More

THIS IS YOUR MIND ON PLANTS

THIS IS YOUR MIND ON PLANTS

by Michael Pollan | Read by Michael Pollan

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Michael Pollan's pleasant midrange voice and upbeat delivery enhance his latest exploration of humankind's sometimes fraught relationship with the surrounding natural world. With a title that's a variation on the 1980s antidrug campaign featuring a frying egg--"this is your mind on drugs"--the audiobook examines how the chemicals produced by poppies (opium), coffee (caffeine),... Read More

TOXIC LEGACY

TOXIC LEGACY How the Weedkiller Glyphosate Is Destroying Our Health and the Environment

by Stephanie Seneff | Read by Jill Smith

Chelsea Green | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Jill Smith gently expresses author Stephanie Seneff's feelings of loss as she recounts how her grandfather was found dead next to an open bag of DDT. Such emotion pops up again throughout Seneff's discussion of health problems relating to the herbicide Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate. These range from interference with gut bacteria to effects on... Read More

THE TYRANNY OF EXPERTS

THE TYRANNY OF EXPERTS Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor

by William Easterly | Read by Chris Andrew Ciulla

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

As "rebel" economist William Easterly raises his concerns about autocracy and individual rights, narrator Chris Ciulla serves as a guide, encouraging listeners to think about the questions Easterly raises. Ciulla's voice highlights the gaps between what people say and what they mean as Easterly tells us the code words that substitute for debate. Ciulla takes on both cynical and... Read More

WATERLOG

WATERLOG A Swimmers Journey Through Britain

by Roger Deakin | Read by Mike Cooper

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Mike Cooper's enthusiasm and wry British tones capture the luminous wonders of this reissued nature classic of "wild swimming." Robert Deakin swims across Britain in every sort of body of water--freezing mountain lochs, moats, canals, spas, oceans, lakes, clean and dirty rivers. He swims with salmon and eels, naked and in a wet suit, in midsummer and midwinter. Cooper... Read More

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? Why We Believe in Luck

by Barbara Blatchley | Read by Wendy Tremont King

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Psychology professor and statistics expert Barbara Blatchley bridges the gap between the reality of random events and our human need to control or at least understand what happens around us. With examples from many realms, she explains how fear of the unknown can lead us to invent order, to believe in causal myths or luck, just to keep life from feeling too chaotic. Wendy... Read More

WHAT WHITE PEOPLE CAN DO NEXT

WHAT WHITE PEOPLE CAN DO NEXT From Allyship to Coalition

by Emma Dabiri | Read by Emma Dabiri

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Emma Dabiri narrates with the same clarity, thoughtfulness, and directness with which she wrote this guide to going beyond the nebulousness of "allyship" to the action of building coalitions for change. The Irish-Nigerian author delves into the history of racial formation and its corresponding power and legal structures, and advocates for the need to do away with these... Read More

WILD NIGHTS OUT

WILD NIGHTS OUT The Magic of Exploring the Outdoors After Dark

by Chris Salisbury | Read by Chris Salisbury

Chelsea Green Publishing | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Nighttime is one of the least explored aspects of the natural world. In this audiobook, naturalist Chris Salisbury seeks to shine some light on this neglected topic and make exploring it fun and exciting. He does this through a series of exercises and games that can involve the entire family. He narrates his book in a conversational style. Particularly when he is outlining the... Read More

THE WINDOW SEAT

THE WINDOW SEAT Notes from a Life in Motion

by Aminatta Forna | Read by Aminatta Forna

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

With an African father and a Scottish mother, novelist, essayist, and BBC Radio commentator Aminatta Forna was destined to travel. So it makes complete sense that many of the essays in this thought-provoking collection address family and home. Is home Scotland, where she was born? Or Sierra Leone, where she saw her father fight and die for freedom? Or is it Tehran, where, as a... Read More

WOMEN AND OTHER MONSTERS

WOMEN AND OTHER MONSTERS Building a New Mythology

by Jess Zimmerman | Read by Vanessa Moyen

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Vanessa Moyen's narration is the perfect blend of the heartfelt and the academic in this collection of essays about the feminist possibilities of female monsters. Zimmerman examines some of Greek mythology's most famous female monsters, from Circe to Medusa, and the traits that make them monstrous: greed, hunger, ambition, ugliness. Blending personal stories and a critique of... Read More

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