AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook
Get our Newsletter

New Reviews: Contemporary Culture

Home»Reviews»New Reviews by Category
ALL THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

ALL THE LIVING AND THE DEAD From Embalmers to Executioners, an Exploration of the People Who Have Made Death Their Life's Work

Earphones Award Winner

by Hayley Campbell | Read by Hayley Campbell

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Journalist Hayley Campbell explores the often hidden world of those who work closely with death, visiting their workplaces and finding small displays of compassion in some unexpected settings. In this author-narrated work, Campbell's British accent and matter-of-fact delivery take the listener on a tour of mortuaries, postmortem experimentation, death-mask artistry, crime-scene... Read More

AUTHORITY AND FREEDOM

AUTHORITY AND FREEDOM A Defense of the Arts

by Jed Perl | Read by Daniel Oreskes

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Daniel Oreskes's strategic pauses work well to clarify complex phrasing, often making the exact meaning of a sentence jump into the spotlight. This use of his dramatic skills, along with his clear voice and assertive tone, makes absorbing this thoughtful writing an invigorating experience. Artistic innovation versus the authority of tradition is the subject of this defense of... Read More

BAD CITY

BAD CITY Peril and Power in the City of Angels

Earphones Award Winner

by Paul Pringle | Read by Robert Petkoff

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Robert Petkoff is especially effective at narrating this account in which the author's judgments heavily dominate the narrative. L.A. TIMES reporter Pringle's painstaking multi-year investigation, starting in 2016, pitted him against the prestigious University of Southern California and his own editors, who did not want to run afoul of the city's most influential advertiser--or... Read More

BLACK MARKET

BLACK MARKET An Insider's Journey into the High-Stakes World of College Basketball

by Merl Code | Read by James Shippy

Harlequin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author is a former college basketball player who, as a recruiter of player-representatives for Nike, saw firsthand how colleges exploited young athletes, often manipulating them to become part of the money-making machines that college sports have become. Narrator James Shippy's masculine voice and big-city vocal personality work well to convey Merl Code's intelligent... Read More

THE CEILING OUTSIDE

THE CEILING OUTSIDE The Science and Experience of the Disrupted Mind

Earphones Award Winner

by Noga Arikha | Read by Fenella Fudge

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The British narrator Fenella Fudge delivers this audiobook with dramatic flair that is captivating on its own merits while never failing to connect with the deepest parts of the author's message. Fudge's tonal range and phrasing artistry are a joy to hear performing this beautiful poetic writing. Focusing on the boundary between human consciousness and our physical bodies, this... Read More

DESSERT CAN SAVE THE WORLD

DESSERT CAN SAVE THE WORLD Stories, Secrets, and Recipes for a Stubbornly Joyful Existence

by Christina Tosi | Read by Christina Tosi

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Baker Christina Tosi has been gaining a national reputation for sugary treats with Milk Bar, her online sweet shop. In her audiobook, she delivers advice for living joyfully. As narrator, Tosi is bubbly about how surprised she always felt when her early concoctions succeeded. The conspiratorial tone she takes on when recounting her mother's concept of "joy giving" will make... Read More

DOWNTON SHABBY

DOWNTON SHABBY One American's Ultimate DIY Adventure Restoring His Family's English Castle

by Hopwood DePree | Read by Graham Halstead

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Graham Halstead milks the full scale of drama and humor from American Hopwood DePree's memoir about his discovery of his family's ancestral castle in England and their ensuing attempts to restore its crumbling remains. This is a fun listen, made more so by Halstead's upbeat performance. We are treated to the ups and downs--many downs--of attempting to reconstruct the... Read More

EARTHSHOT

EARTHSHOT How to Save Our Planet

by Colin Butfield, Jonnie Hughes | Read by Jonnie Hughes, David Attenborough, Christiana Figueres, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Naoko Yamazaki, Adam James, Penelope Rawlins

Hodder & Stoughton Limited | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This timely call to action is narrated by a cast of talented voice pros, along with four notable conservation activists who read their own reflections and views. Coauthor and British filmmaker Jonnie Hughes narrates most of this audio with pleasing clarity and dignified passion. He explains how the Earthshot Prizes, initiated in 2019, will every year for the next 10 years... Read More

ENDLESS FORMS

ENDLESS FORMS The Secret World of Wasps

by Seirian Sumner | Read by Seirian Sumner

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

With her strong British accent, author Seirian Sumner's narration takes a little getting used to. But she projects an attractive personality and proves to be a knowledgeable, engaging narrator. Her expansive study of one of nature's most abundant forms--the much-despised wasp--makes for fascinating listening and will have listeners taking a fresh look at their backyards. The... Read More

FACTS & FURY

FACTS & FURY An Unapologetic Primer on How the GOP Has Destroyed American Democracy

by Bill Kuhn | Read by Nick Thurston

Greenleaf Book Group | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Timely and well researched, Kuhn's work is a must-listen for anyone interested in how we got to the divided, broken government we have today. Narrator Nick Thurston perfectly matches the sarcasm, intelligence, and unexpected humor included in this historical look at the people and policies that helped shape our current political environment. Broken into easy to understand... Read More

FEN, BOG & SWAMP

FEN, BOG & SWAMP A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis

Earphones Award Winner

by Annie Proulx | Read by Gabra Zackman

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Gabra Zackman's intelligent performance of this eloquent audiobook encourages listeners to absorb its powerful message. As Zackman narrates with exquisite timing and thoughtful pacing, listeners learn much from Proulx's longtime focus on the wetter world. Unlike that of a pure scientist, Proulx's prose sparkles and is enlivened by stories, quotations, and memories. She shares... Read More

FIRE AND FLOOD

FIRE AND FLOOD A People's History of Climate Change, from 1979 to the Present

by Eugene Linden | Read by Paul Bellantoni

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Is a scientifically authoritative yet emotionally calm narrator essential for guiding listeners through a planet's climate apocalypse? Most definitely yes, and Paul Bellantoni's narration makes this audiobook an engaging way to learn what seems like everything about climate science. Bellantoni would even make this work fun except that each chapter hurtles listeners closer to an... Read More

THE FUTURE IS ANALOG

THE FUTURE IS ANALOG How to Create a More Human World

by David Sax | Read by David Sax

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

David Sax narrates his extended plea for a return to real-life experiences in a world awash in technology. His earnestness is evident in his performance. Sax provides deep introspection on the nature of life during the Covid pandemic, a moment that technology companies promised we'd cope with through Zoom meetups, virtual school, and ever-present mobile devices. The problem,... Read More

THE GREATEST POLAR EXPEDITION OF ALL TIME

THE GREATEST POLAR EXPEDITION OF ALL TIME The Arctic Mission to the Epicenter of Climate Change

by Markus Rex, Marlene Goring, Sarah Pybus [Trans.] | Read by Paul Boehmer

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Markus Rex is a serious scientist who is on a unique mission to gather data and experience conditions in the Arctic Ocean by spending an entire year there, including purposely trapping his ship in the ice. Paul Boehmer's sonorous voice and deliberate pace match the scientist's seriousness of purpose. His delivery sounds a bit ponderous at the beginning, but Boehmer soon relaxes... Read More

HOTHOUSE EARTH

HOTHOUSE EARTH An Inhabitant's Guide

by Bill McGuire | Read by Mike Cooper

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Mike Cooper's clear British English, deliberate delivery, and overall thoughtful rendition well serve this serious audiobook. He delivers its straightforward yet bleak findings authoritatively. The environmental studies are presented unflinchingly, and the conclusions--we are very late in the climate-change fight--are disturbing. McGuire, a climatologist and geologist, has been... Read More

HOW THE MIND CHANGED

HOW THE MIND CHANGED A Human History of Our Evolving Brain

by Joseph Jebelli | Read by Joe Eyre

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Hearing Joe Eyre narrate this dexterously written text by a neuroscientist is both intellectually stimulating and just plain fun. Eyre's smooth, lively voice impresses listeners with its authority, warmth, and enthusiasm for the topic. While listeners learn about both contemporary theories in neuroscience and the latest findings in paleoanthropology, the author also shares his... Read More

HOW TO READ NOW

HOW TO READ NOW Essays

by Elaine Castillo | Read by Elaine Castillo

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Elaine Castillo is that rare author who writes a stimulating series of essays and is also a fine narrator. She uses pauses adeptly, restrains irony, and has a naturally empathetic tone. Plus, she has a gift for languages: Her French is spot-on; her German, Germanic . . . Her essays have a distinctively political valence. White supremacy in publishing, literature, and life is... Read More

THE INLAND ISLAND

THE INLAND ISLAND A Year in Nature

by Josephine Johnson | Read by Madeleine Maby

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Madelaine Maby's even tempo and restrained approach guide listeners' attention through the meditative and poetic tone of this nature memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Josephine Johnson. Originally published in 1996, the book chronicles a year on the Ohio farm that Johnson and her husband converted back to wilderness. Maby enhances Johnson's work with pacing that gives... Read More

LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI

LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI An Epic American Adventure

by Rinker Buck | Read by Jason Culp

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Flatboats were once the most common craft on America's great rivers, but when Rinker Buck took his down the Monongahela, Ohio, and Mississippi to New Orleans in 2016--as he recounts in this audiobook--it was an object of considerable curiosity. Narrated by Jason Culp, his story of that trip weaves together the history of America and the towns along the rivers, as well as the... Read More

LIFE ON THE ROCKS

LIFE ON THE ROCKS Building a Future for Coral Reefs

by Juli Berwald | Read by Juli Berwald

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author and narrator Juli Berwald brings expertise and passion to this deep dive into the science and conservation of coral, which is being severely damaged by global warming. She guides the listener on a meandering journey from the waters of the Florida Keys to the corporate offices of the Mars candy company and the far-off reefs of Indonesia. Her own voice is crucial to the... Read More

THE MILKY WAY

THE MILKY WAY An Autobiography of Our Galaxy

by Moiya McTier | Read by Moiya McTier

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Biographer to the literal stars, Dr. Moiya McTier combines her background in folklore and astrophysics into an engaging performance of the Milky Way's life story, told from our home galaxy's point of view. McTier-as-Milky Way imbues her performance with confidence and grandeur befitting a dynamic galaxy that is billions of years old. With conversational flair and wry humor, she... Read More

PARADISE FALLS

PARADISE FALLS The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe

by Keith O'Brien | Read by Eileen Stevens

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The listener would be forgiven for calling this audiobook a horror story. However, it's not from the imagination of a writer like Stephen King. Instead, it is the true story of Love Canal, an environmental disaster in Niagara Falls, New York, that captured the attention of the nation in the 1970s. Narrator Eileen Stevens's pacing is perfect. She seamlessly moves through a cast... Read More

REBEL WITH A CLAUSE

REBEL WITH A CLAUSE Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian

by Ellen Jovin | Read by Ellen Jovin

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ellen Jovin's attractive middle-register voice with its hint of a scratchy burr is as enthusiastic and welcoming as you'd expect from someone who chats about words and punctuation with anyone who's interested. The author of three previous books on language, Jovin took her passion on the road by creating a pop-up grammar advice table, which she used as she and her husband... Read More

SOMEWHERE WE ARE HUMAN

SOMEWHERE WE ARE HUMAN Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings

by Reyna Grande, Sonia Guiñansaca [Eds.] | Read by Avi Roque, Diana Pou, Marisa Blake, Christian Barillas

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Avi Roque, Diana Pou, Marisa Blake, and Christian Barillas, the narrators of this anthology about undocumented immigrants, are as diverse as the authors who contributed their stories. Perhaps that's why listening to these tales of terror, joy, and disappointment differs dramatically from reading them. It's a visceral experience to hear a Guatemalan or Dominican-born narrator... Read More

THE THINGS WE LOVE

THE THINGS WE LOVE How Our Passions Connect Us and Make Us Who We Are

by Aaron Ahuvia | Read by Steven Jay Cohen

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Steven Jay Cohen captivatingly introduces listeners to Dr. Aaron Ahuvia's findings on the science behind people's emotional connections with things. He explains how biology and experiences play essential roles. Using intriguing case studies, Cohen enthusiastically shares how personal identity, a sense of belonging, the act of gift giving, and individualism all affect our... Read More

THIS AMERICA OF OURS

THIS AMERICA OF OURS Bernard and Avis DeVoto and the Forgotten Fight to Save the Wild

by Nate Schweber | Read by Fred Sanders

Mariner Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Fred Sanders has a warm and pleasing voice. He delivers this underappreciated history of Bernard and Avis DeVoto crisply and thoughtfully. His clear tone and eloquent delivery give this audiobook authority. Author Schweber unearths the story of the courageous journalist/historian who fought for Western lands and freedom of speech. To that he adds the companion biographical... Read More

TIMECODE OF A FACE

TIMECODE OF A FACE

by Ruth Ozeki | Read by Ruth Ozeki

Canongate Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author/narrator shares revelations that occurred while she was engaged in the experiment of observing her face in the mirror for three hours. As narrator, Ozeki has a clear, easy voice with a varied inflection and pace that are in tune with her commentary. This brief memoir is filled with stories of Ozeki's experiences of growing up half-Caucasian and half Japanese,... Read More

TREE THIEVES

TREE THIEVES Crime and Survival in North America's Woods

by Lyndsie Bourgon | Read by Hayden Bishop

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Hayden Bishop's down-to-earth, slightly edgy voice maintains a tone of authenticity that is in tune with this nuanced investigation of the poaching of old-growth trees for timber. Bourgon stresses the fundamental importance of healthy ancient trees to the sustainability of both forests and the planet while also recognizing the complexity of what the loss of jobs, and... Read More

TWO WHEELS GOOD

TWO WHEELS GOOD The History and Mystery of the Bicycle

by Jody Rosen | Read by Sean Patrick Hopkins, Amanda Carlin, Fred Sanders

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

More people around the world travel by bicycle than any other form of transportation, says author Jody Rosen. This audiobook is filled with interesting anecdotes about bikes and the people who ride, build, repair, worship, and, sometimes, despise them. (One of Hitler's first acts when he was in power was to smash Germany's bicycle union.) Sean Patrick Hopkins narrates smoothly... Read More

WHEN ANIMALS DREAM

WHEN ANIMALS DREAM The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness

by David M. Pena-Guzman | Read by Charlie Thurston

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrating with excitement, Charlie Thurston tells the story of an octopus who changes colors while sleeping, as if reliving catching and eating a crab. Thurston comes across as engaged and fascinated with the author's accounts of scientific experiments suggesting that animals dream. Occasionally, Thurston's voice softens, as when delivering speculation as to whether animals... Read More

WILD SHORES

WILD SHORES The Magic of Ireland's Coastline

by Richard Nairn | Read by Ruairi Conaghan

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ruairi Conaghan lends his gentle Irish brogue to Nairn's environmental memoir of his journey along the coast of Ireland. Sounding like a kindly professor of science from the nineteenth century, Conaghan enlivens descriptions of the wildness of the cliffs, the sea, the waterfowl, the fish, and the sea mammals with his inviting voice. Listeners will feel like they are hearing not... Read More

Search by Range

The latest audiobook reviews, right in your inbox.

Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.

envelope

AudioFile Newsletter

Let us recommend your next great audiobook!

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

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

×

Thank you for signing up.

×

Thanks!

Thank you for contacting us!

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

Back Home ×

Thanks!

Thank you for signing up!

Our group will review and follow up soon.

Back Home ×