Listeners looking for an audiobook that is both relatable and hilarious will enjoy Natalie Beach's take on life. Beach, who is known for writing about her unhealthy friendship with Instagram influencer Caroline Calloway, shares more of her thoughts and signature narrative style in these essays on love, careers, activism, and culture. Playful and animated, she offers a fresh... Read More
The authors explore changes that have taken place in the home. American narrator Marisa Calin's accent was influenced by growing up in England. In a British-sounding voice she moves through the basics, slowing down to deliver more emotional words with intimacy. The topics, such as cooking, cleaning, and caregiving, lean toward discussions of gender roles, as well as... Read More
Since the 2008 election of our first African American president, incidents of hate crimes and profiles of white supremacist groups have increased dramatically. In this audiobook, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wesley Lowery asks how, after 400 years, can white supremacism and extreme racism continue to be driving forces in America? With a mostly neutral delivery underscored by... Read More
Mike Ortego gets Talese. Ortego artfully performs Talese's polished sentences and captures the flavor of his urbane worldview with a writerly tone. For this is an audiobook of enhanced remembrances. Talese returns to the sights and sounds of his most famous and influential piece of creative nonfiction, the New Journalism classic "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," and entertains the... Read More
Author Keggie Carew asks listeners to reconsider how they relate to animals, starting out with anecdotes that fascinate and shifting to opinions she herself characterizes as strong. Pippa Haywood narrates with her British accent, switching briefly to an Eastern European one to tell the story of a mischievous raven and later taking on the voice of Pigeon Pete, a bird trainer.... Read More
Sean Runnette is comfortable with the athletes' names, the jargon, and the general tone of this audiobook. He's a good fit for MacCambridge's conversational style. The 1970s were a decade of fundamental change in American society, and nowhere was this more apparent than in the world of professional sports. At just under 18 hours, THE BIG TIME is sprawling--some long sections... Read More
Hey there, demons! After seven spooky seasons of their beloved web series, cohosts Shane Madej and Ryan Bergara add Marc Vietor to the cast for their debut audiobook. Explore 101 creepy locations and the supernatural, otherworldly, and paranormal histories behind them. Vietor, the deliberately monotone narrator, introduces each case with a brief overview but is constantly... Read More
Slow down and sink into these beautiful meditations on the natural world around us. Margaret Renkl's syrupy Southern voice and measured rhythm are perfect for her essays and praise songs on everything from foxes to tadpoles to walking in the rainy woods. As Renkl unfolds a year exploring the environment around her Nashville home week by week, season by season, she demonstrates... Read More
The hilarious Philomena Cunk (the alter ego of British comic Diane Morgan) narrates her own encyclopedia of the world. Her voice and delightful British accent are half the fun as Cunk combines real facts with absurd falsehoods in this send-up of TV experts and historians. The best part is that she delivers the information without a hint of sarcasm. Americans and other non-Brits... Read More
Jill Lepore, NEW YORKER staff writer and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, is a captivating essayist and a terrific performer of her own writing. Her pace is upbeat without being too fast; her articulation is clear; and her voice, midrange with the occasional high note, blooms with enthusiasm. That enthusiasm, combined with humor and smarts-- she's a Harvard University history... Read More
Full of humor and heart, Deanna Anthony animates the people in these essays. Many center on Savage's grandmother. Anthony astutely describes the author's comfort with her while growing up, her fear at her grandmother's descent into Alzheimer's, and her ongoing grief at her death. The audio takes listeners into the African-American tradition of funeral services called... Read More
Political historian Heather Cox Richardson, who is unabashedly pro-democracy and anti-authoritarianism, and known to many from her daily "Letters from an American" newsletter, narrates with energy and a clear, well-paced style. Her performance complements the hallmark way she lays out historical facts. In this book she describes how American democracy has been shaped from its... Read More
Michael Lomonaco narrates this high-energy audiobook with the right tempo, cadence, and tone. A famed chef, restaurateur, and TV personality, he understands the intensity and focus of a creative kitchen. He captures the gamut of emotions associated with the pursuit of the perfect dish--the underlying subject of this audiobook. The author is especially adept at profiles--of... Read More
Energetically narrated by Jason Culp, this excoriation of our social media-obsessed world, which is now flirting with AI-infused virtual reality--all foisted on us by Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, and Marc Andreessen--is convincing, if disquieting. The author has a deep grasp of his subjects and subject matter. He identifies the ways that his four technocrats have... Read More
Journalist Maureen Seaberg introduces listeners to a range of synesthetes who experience combinations of senses, such as hearing colors, as well as people with seemingly superhuman abilities like a woman who can smell Parkinson's disease. Seaberg's expertise in human senses is hard-won. She herself has an extraordinary sensory palette that took her years to understand and... Read More
Alan Carlson delivers this intense account of a massive fire with controlled urgency. His slight Canadian accent adds to the narration. He measures his delivery, deliberately paces the stories, and unspools the remarkable trajectory of the wildfire that ultimately engulfed one million and a half acres, burned for 15 months, and caused the evacuation of around 90,000 residents... Read More
Simon Schama's historical authority--demonstrated by his confident vocal performance--foregrounds his account of humanity's ongoing fight to protect itself against deadly disease. Schama takes listeners on a journey from inoculation to vaccination, starting with the battle against smallpox, moving through cholera and tuberculosis research, and ultimately landing on recent... Read More
This follow-up to the 2001 audiobook THE FOURTH TURNING uses historical research to show how 80- to 100-year cycles are playing out in the political, social, and economic upheavals of today. The author narrates with commendable clarity and an audible investment in his material. This and his mature vocal timbre sound perfect for an important audiobook like this. He says today's... Read More
This compilation of stories about music legends in their sunset years is narrated effectively by Matt Godfrey, who blends expressive storytelling skills with the restraint of an impartial journalist. The profiles are gathered from Pulitzer Prize-winning NEW YORKER writer David Remnick's works and reflect a consistent theme among aging musicians--the continued need for audience... Read More
If you've ever found yourself curious about how and why the Supreme Court does what it does--particularly during the past decade or so--this audiobook is for you. Graham Winton offers a measured yet compelling delivery of Sunstein's interpretations of recent major Court decisions and how they impact all Americans. The arguments on the correct way to interpret the Constitution... Read More
With fascinating research and examples of breaches in trust among celebrities, management professor Kim explains how trust is lost more quickly when people perceive sins of integrity than when they are disappointed by incompetence. Trust is also harder to restore with integrity issues; instances of incompetence can be a one-time event. With either type of lapse, restoring trust... Read More
Dry text collides with a flat, bland narration to sink any chance of audibly enjoying this presentation of the author's Nobel Prize-winning research into complex systems ranging from the atomic to the planetary scale. Stephen Graybill narrates in a steady, monotonous tone. Although properly executed, his pronunciation of the audiobook's many Italian names and phrases is slow... Read More
Dutch narrator Mounya Dahma's narration lends an authentic sense of culture and place to Marjolijn van Heemstra's meditations on the universe. Van Heemstra becomes fascinated by NASA astronauts' shift in perspective after they view the Earth from space, and she seeks to develop her own routes to this overview effect. She gets involved in campaigns for dark skies, becomes... Read More
Dennis Boutsikaris performs this selection of essays published between 1982 and 2017 with a driving energy that sounds exactly right for Dave Marsh's smart-alecky writing. Boutsikaris's quick pacing and assertive diction infuse the listening with the same immediacy that makes Marsh's arresting opinions so entertaining and thought provoking. Marsh is a nuanced observer of the... Read More
This is a listen about a tuna, an investigative reporter, a fisherman with an environmental bent, and so much more. Pinchin's passion for her work and her audiobook is evident throughout this real-life drama, which is centered on the fate of a tuna and a species that has meant so much to so many for so long. One can't help being drawn in as she narrates the story of a charter... Read More
Diana Blue's vocal character is wonderful. Her positive tone provides an uplifting counterpoint to the topic of activism in the face of social injustice, environmental disasters, and other societal malfunctions. She helps the positive aspect of this guide to stay visible: the authors' belief that caring for others is a noble pursuit that has its rewards, as well as its... Read More
Ann Richardson sounds natural and relaxed as she delivers myriad Danish place names and words as Dorthe Nors ventures up and down the coast of Denmark. But this isn't a warm travel memoir. It's windy and cold and tinged with menace and risk. Nors visits church frescoes, isolated lighthouses, bonfires with burning witches' effigies, shipwrecks, and chemical plants--there is no... Read More
Tavia Gilbert captures the spirit of this text, especially the author's passionate belief that all members of society should be treated fairly. In 2012 and 2013, Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux kept a journal of her visits to her local Auchan superstore, a chain in France roughly equivalent to a Walmart supercenter. What happened there is not as interesting as what Ernaux... Read More
Tim Fannon narrates this world food tour crisply and deliberately. His delivery style is reminiscent of a news reporter's and captures the author's enthusiasm for discovering the unusual--for example, there's a long early chapter on insects. But listeners should persevere: Enlightening stories on Roman fish sauce, neolithic bread, British farmhouse cheese, and an endangered... Read More
As this audiobook begins, David Stifel depicts a scene in which the author watches an octopus disappear into kelp, still visible though camouflaged. Scheel brings both personal experiences such as this one and his knowledge from 25 years of study to his writing on these creatures, which Alaskan Natives call "many things under a rock." Stifel has a touch of gravel in his voice,... Read More
Narrating this chatty and informative audiobook, Simon Jones delivers a flawless performance full of lively interpretations and emotional resonance. The acclaimed British actor is enormously entertaining to hear, but he never steals the spotlight from the author's conversational writing and fascinating insights. The social scientist says conspiracy believers fall into an... Read More
Macaela MacKenzie's audiobook is on a subject she is passionate about --equity for female athletes. Courtney Patterson brings exuberance to the narration; it's an appropriate tone for MacKenzie's well-researched and reasoned work. Patterson's tone also includes incredulity, annoyance, and a strong sense of pride--which marry the research and writing perfectly. Using statistics... Read More
An editor of a men's self-improvement website offers a list of 13 toxic behavior patterns that he says can be avoided. Much of his message is about becoming a better person--practicing civility, respect, love, and compassion for other human beings, rather than acting out the domination and hostility that are becoming the norm for some men in American society. The sections on... Read More
With its title coming from one of the most iconic film lines ever, this audiobook tells the story of the making of the famed 1992 movie A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. It dives into the life of director Penny Marshall. While the author digs into the creation of the movie and its actors, Mia Hutchinson-Shaw gives an emotional narration that reflects the energy and happenings on and off... Read More
American naturalist Sy Montgomery is obviously fascinated by turtles. Her voice is suffused with warmth and awe and compassion that just sweep the listener right along. Montgomery volunteers with the Turtle Rescue League in Massachusetts and gets to know Alexxia and Natasha, the founders of the TRL, as well as many turtles with excellent and hilarious names like Pizza Man,... Read More
Peter Noble's British accent sounds appropriately scholarly as he gives voice to the author's attempts to simplify some of the biggest ideas in science. Marcus Chown has set himself a difficult task: to explain in laypersons' terms such phenomena as black holes, relativity, quantum computing, and the Higgs boson, each in about 20 minutes. You can strip out the equations, but... Read More
Author Roxane Gay performs a collection of her nonfiction pieces from the last decade. The essays range from cultural criticism to celebrity profiles. For example, she interviews Janelle Monáe about how Afrofuturism influenced their album DIRTY COMPUTER and examines the future of the Black Panther franchise after the death of Chadwick Boseman. She also writes about big cultural... Read More
With precision and clarity, the author delivers seven definitions of the word "note," her voice rich in tone and meaning. Then she immerses listeners in each of the 248 lyrical notes she's written about poignant works she's read, powerful pictures she's seen, and meaningful experiences she's had. These notes, brief in expression, merit relistening, for their strong insights and... Read More
Mankind is facing a global climate crisis of our own making, and if we can learn from our past, we can save ourselves. But it will require worldwide cooperation. These are the key points of climate scientist Michael Mann's audiobook. Tim Campbell offers a straightforward narration. Listeners will be able to follow the author's logic and appreciate his discussion of climate... Read More
Narrator David Stifel brings a rich, expressive voice to the task of narrating this entertaining audiobook about plants, their importance, and their roles in specific events and periods in history. Topics range from the popularity of liberty trees in France to--with a stop at banana peels--a clue to the kidnapping of aviator Charles Lindbergh's baby. Stifel performs with... Read More
Vince Gambuto's storytelling and branding skills are part of what makes this audio so much fun to hear. He knows how to weave together compelling stories from his personal experiences, urbane observations, and broadly informed insights. He's also a good narrator, clear and consistent from start to finish and reasonably earnest in sharing the lessons he's learned from having... Read More
TV host and political commentator Rachel Maddow shines at framing the backstory of current American politics in her latest audiobook, narrated in her signature forthright style. Building on her award-winning podcast, "Ultra," Maddow lays out the historical seditionist plot to, not only keep the U.S. out of WWII, but also to convince Americans that the Nazi attacks against Jews... Read More
Helen Laser narrates with a thoughtful style, a smart cadence, and an empathetic tone. Author/environmentalist Elizabeth Rush weaves three strands together: an ocean adventure; her life with 57 others on the NATHANIEL B. PALMER, a research vessel traveling to Antarctica; and her personal struggle over whether or not to have a child.The title has a dual meaning, implying both... Read More
Jonathan Swift's story of Gulliver, who visits lands of people much smaller and larger than he, pops up in Smil's arguments as the author explains possible scientific realities of size. Stephen Perring narrates in an academic tone laced with humor much like listeners would expect from THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY as Smil takes on topics like the Golden Ratio, a... Read More
Despite its somewhat overly dramatic title, this audiobook offers insights and fascinating tidbits about a variety of birds and their roles in human history. From ravens--first mentioned in the Book of Genesis--to Darwin's finches and their role in theories of evolution to emperor penguins and their future in the face of climate change, birds are a key indicator of our planet's... Read More
In this sprawling audiobook history of how real estate impacted the lower Manhattan music scene in the 1960s and beyond, a critic and tour guide chronicles the life and times of the tiny clubs where many folk singers and other musicians began their careers. The gentrification of New York City has priced those clubs out of existence, but they come alive again in these... Read More
Robert Petkoff delivers a masterful performance of this detailed history of the NEW YORK TIMES from 1976 to 2016. His narration is smooth and nuanced; his tempo and cadence move these fascinating inside stories of the "paper of record" forward. This is a gripping media story of how the Times survived scandals (Jason Blair and Judith Miller), the turnover of top editors, and,... Read More
Kristi Burns narrates in a confident tone as she recounts author Andrea Lankford's strong record of finding missing hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada. Lankford's participation in searches dates back to her days as a national park ranger. Burns re-creates the varying moods of search parties along the PCT, the elation of making progress during... Read More
As Bethan Jones's study of the eerie "X-Files" world begins, Daniela Acitelli quickly rattles off a list of the memorabilia in Jones's office. The audiobook returns to it at the end, focusing on a Scully and Mulder cardboard standup and a wry mention of the attention it receives in Jones's Zoom meetings. Acitelli keeps up a fast pace as she narrates a series history that... Read More
George Newbern provides a clear, thoughtful listening experience. Given the depth of the information provided, listeners benefit from his approach. Tabery's audiobook addresses the ascension of health care that is focused on individuals--or so called "personalized medicine." While the appeal of person-centered care is evident, the lack of focus on larger environmental forces is... Read More
These reflections by a thoughtful observer of contemporary life strive to expand our awareness of the things we appreciate to include their darker aspects--the Asian children who make our clothing, the animal cruelty required for perfumes, the morality of factory farms. Cindy Kay's performance conveys an eagerness to be understood that is at the heart of Katy Kelleher's... Read More
Philip Plait is a veteran popularizer of astronomy in the media. This audio program is his first foray into narration, and he excels at it. The timbre of his voice is youthful rather than professorial, and his infectious enthusiasm makes him an ideal tour guide as he escorts listeners to Mars, the asteroid belt, Saturn, and Pluto before taking them beyond the solar system to... Read More
Our guide to this overview of conspiracy theories that have obsessed Americans for most of our history is narrator Will Damron, who speaks with just the right mix of authority and urgency. Beginning before the Revolution and extending through the twentieth century, the author covers the Illuminati, the Masons, the Lizard People, the John Birch Society, the Ku Klux Klan, and... Read More
Susan Casey's exploration of the deepest oceans is fascinating, frightening, and compelling. As a narrator, she's also quite wonderful; her clear, warm voice has touches of humility and awe, and she has excellent timing. The bottom of the ocean is teeming with life-- bioluminescence, transparent fish, weird worms, volcanoes. It's also home to shipwrecks, rubbish, and valuable... Read More
NPR podcast cohost Aisha Harris passionately dissects pop culture, delivering an honest portrayal of her life. Her musings are funny, tender, and sometimes searing rebuttals of others' critiques. Harris examines the "Black friend" trope by referencing the TV shows "New Girl," "Scrubs," and "Happy Endings." She compares the development of serialization, reboots, remakes,... Read More
Tre'vell Anderson gives a spirited and often hilarious performance of their comprehensive history of transgender representation in film and TV. They walk listeners through some of the most iconic moments of on-screen trans visibility, exploring how trans representation has (and hasn't) changed since the advent of moving pictures. With sharp analysis, plenty of jokes, and moving... Read More
Two economists study the patchwork system of health insurance we have in the U.S. and make sweeping recommendations about how a national insurance mandate would provide better care to more people. Their thinking is down-to-earth and sounds even more accessible as delivered by Susan Bennett, whose performance strikes the right balance between the tone of a policy expert and that... Read More
Hillary Huber performs Evelyn McDonnell's fan notes on the life and times of Joan Didion with the warm excited tones of a girlfriend sharing an enthusiasm with someone she met outside the star's stage door. It's a smart choice, well-paired with McDonnell's text, and Huber's voice is lovely. The problem lies not with the performance of this audiobook but with the text itself.... Read More
Brace yourself--this expertly executed audiobook on the nature of consciousness will shake your brain to its core. Sean Hopkins wisely delivers it at a fast pace that matches the author's groundbreaking intelligence and giddy dedication to understanding how the mind works. Like trying to understand biology without Darwin's theory of evolution, or physics without Einstein's... Read More
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