AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook
Get our Newsletter
blog post image
Mothers & Others: Recent Audiobook Biography and History

With events and awards taking the limelight for the last few months, I haven’t had a chance to simply highlight some of the most interesting audiobooks we’ve recently reviewed. A classic “Robin picks a quirky group of audiobooks” roundup follows.

The Matriarch
America's Jewish Women
The Moment Of Lift

Mother’s Day approaches this weekend, so “mothers” seems like a good theme to start with. Three recent Earphones Award-winning audiobooks give us some different ways of thinking about one iconic mother, Former First Lady Barbara Bush—THE MATRIARCH—and the many Jewish mothers who are portrayed in AMERICA’S JEWISH WOMEN. My third choice in the group is Melinda Gates’s new memoir THE MOMENT OF LIFT, not just because this audiobook inspires, but also particularly because of her views on service and giving back—see the video below. That’s certainly a purpose wholly shared by Mrs. Bush as well as by 19th-century philanthropist Rebecca Gratz, who is profiled in AMERICA’S JEWISH WOMEN.

In selecting these biographies, I was also stuck by the excellent audiobook history titles recently published—and getting high marks from our reviewers. David McCullough’s THE PIONEERS, with an excellent narration by John Bedford Lloyd, is getting a lot of attention from us—in newsletters and an upcoming podcast episode. AudioFile reviewer David Walton says it’s “a feast for the ear, the mind, and the heart.”

Stony the Road
American Moonshot
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

Harvard professor and PBS regular Henry Louis Gates, Jr., offers a complex history of black identity in a racist America. The audiobook is carefully and effectively narrated by Dominic Hoffman. Hearing STONY THE ROAD makes this social and intellectual history accessible in a way the print edition might not be. I’m also seeing several new audiobooks leading up to the 50th Anniversary of the first lunar landing, and Douglas Brinkley’s MOONSHOT: John F. Kennedy and The Great Space Race is a welcome addition. We’ve highlighted several recent history audiobooks, but David Treuer’s THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE is also worth your listening time. Podcast contributor Jonathan Smith talked about this carefully researched history and collection of first-person accounts of indigenous people of North America in one of our 4-minute podcast episodes.

My final array of recommendations this week looks at some audiobooks that profile contemporary activism—from a meditation on the U.S. justice system to the exposure of sexual harassment in the military to fighting for LBGTQ rights. All are presented by the authors themselves.

Doing Justice
Unbecoming
Mamas Boy

Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York,  narrates his DOING JUSTICE: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law with a clear prosecutor’s delivery. Anuradha Bhagwati is a former U.S. Marine Captain whose memoir covers her personal life and military career and her subsequent dedication to fighting the military’s culture of gender discrimination and sexual abuse. UNBECOMING: A Memoir of Disobedience is both shocking and heartbreaking—and hearing it is a powerful experience. To come full circle to mothers, I recommend Dustin Lance Black’s MAMA’S BOY: A Story from Our Americas. Black is the Oscar-winning screenwriter (Milk) and LBGTQ rights activist whose storytelling gifts are evident in this Earphones Award-winning memoir. AudioFile reviewer Julie Thompson notes, “Mother and son’s powerful connection, forged through a lifetime of shared experiences and love, forms the heart of Black’s memoir.”

Random end notes:  I wrote about Mrs. Bush’s passion for audiobooks—”Barbara Bush Loved Audiobooks“—just a year ago on this blog, in April 2018. Before titling this post “Mothers & Others,” I checked for references and found that anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy wrote an exploration of the connection of our evolutionary ancestors to modern parenting, MOTHERS AND OTHERS. This “Nova” interview tells more: “The Evolution of Motherhood.”

Share This
More From Audiofile
blog post image
5 Audiobooks to Perk Up Your Spring
I don’t know about your part of the world, but here in central Pennsylvania we’re finally enjoying some lovely spring weather, which is made all the nicer as the fruit trees come
blog post image
The Many Mysteries of the Big Apple: Audiobooks Set in Manhattan
Springtime in Manhattan—yes, this is a city of steel, glass, cement, and towering testaments to man’s need for architectural dominance. But in between those structures there is
blog post image
SYNC Audiobooks for Teens Celebrates its 10th Season
We opened SYNC: Audiobooks for Teens's 10th season this week! The lineup of teen titles this year seems like the best ever, including everything from Shakespeare's OTHELLO to
blog post image
Barbara Bush Loved Audiobooks
[caption id="attachment_20665" align="aligncenter" width="1161"] Photo © The George Bush Presidential Library/ Chandler Arden-Specialties Photography[/caption] Former First Lady
The latest audiobook reviews, right in your inbox.

Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.

envelope

AudioFile Newsletter

Let us recommend your next great audiobook!

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

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

×

Thank you for signing up.

×

Thanks!

Thank you for contacting us!

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

Back Home ×