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ABANDONED

ABANDONED America's Lost Youth and the Crisis of Disconnection

by Anne Kim | Read by Janet Song

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Janet Song's deliberate yet expressive voice resonates as she narrates Kim's eye-opening and heartbreaking examination of young adults who slip through the cracks of society. Kim explores how people emerging into adulthood today have fewer options, more demands, and less guidance to achieve successful adulthood. Whether they're situated in rural or urban environments, their... Read More

AMERICAN SHERLOCK

AMERICAN SHERLOCK Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI

by Kate Winkler Dawson | Read by Kate Winkler Dawson

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In this true-crime audiobook, author and narrator Kate Winkler Dawson expertly combines historical fact with compelling storytelling. It's no wonder Edward Oscar Heinrich became known as the "American Sherlock." He was a self-made chemist who became a forensic sleuth and tackled the most baffling crimes in early-twentieth-century America--from mysterious murders to a Hollywood... Read More

ARGUING WITH ZOMBIES

ARGUING WITH ZOMBIES Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future

Earphones Award Winner

by Paul Krugman | Read by Rob Shapiro, Paul Krugman [Fore.]

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Rob Shapiro delivers long, fluid strokes, perfectly paced to draw the listener into Paul Krugman's latest compilation of columns, blog posts, and essays on macroeconomics. Shapiro captures Krugman's passion for explaining the economic implications of political actions. His warm tones breathe life into "zombie" economics, the ins and outs of the housing bubble,... Read More

AUDIENCE OF ONE

AUDIENCE OF ONE Television, Donald Trump, and the Politics of Illusion

Earphones Award Winner

by James Poniewozik | Read by Matthew Josdal

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Matthew Josdal's delivery style--low-key, neutral, and occasionally skeptical--makes him the right voice for this fresh perspective on Donald Trump. The premise: Trump is a brand mascot, not much different than Mr. Clean or Colonel Sanders, who has "jumped off the cereal box" and into the White House. This triumph of brand over man has its roots in TV's populist... Read More

BALLPARK

BALLPARK Baseball in the American City

by Paul Goldberger | Read by Mike Chamberlain

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Mike Chamberlain narrates this great look at American baseball stadiums--from their beginnings in the nineteenth century, when the nascent game was taking root, to the multipurpose designs popular in the 1970s and the contemporary approaches of the last 30 years. Chamberlain presents in an interested tone that never wavers. He doesn't try to imitate people; he just changes his... Read More

BEYOND EDUCATION

BEYOND EDUCATION Radical Studying for Another World

by Eli Meyerhoff | Read by Timothy Andrés Pabon

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Timothy Pabon narrates in a measured tone, being careful to help the listener understand this work. Often his strategic restraint helps clarify this sometimes pedantic audiobook. His patient delivery of complex arguments helps clarify the author's core contention that contemporary "modes of education" have historically been put in place by elites to protract the status quo and... Read More

BIG WONDERFUL THING

BIG WONDERFUL THING

Earphones Award Winner

by Stephen Harrigan | Read by George Guidall

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator George Guidall bestows his abundant gifts on this sprawling audiobook on the history of Texas. His melodious tone well serves the often outsized events and unusual folklore of The Lone Star State. Details include accounts of Sam Houston's wardrobe and the history of the horned toad. Always an impeccable storyteller, Guidall artfully relates the dozens of profiles,... Read More

BOYS & SEX

BOYS & SEX Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity

by Peggy Orenstein | Read by Peggy Orenstein

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author and narrator Peggy Orenstein is no stranger to conversations about sex. Here she casts a comprehensive look at how young men navigate intimacy. Her conversational pace and tonal shifts lend themselves well to an audiobook that features several interviews as it engages listeners with a deeper understanding of how boys think and behave. Orenstein includes perspectives from... Read More

CAFFEINE

CAFFEINE How Caffeine Created the Modern World

by Michael Pollan | Read by Michael Pollan

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Pollan is a persuasive narrator and an even better writer. Speaking in a storyteller's style, he introduces listeners to the history, culture, and science of the world's favorite addictive drug. This is a compelling performance and an intriguing subject. Pollan mixes personal experience and research. He even visits a coffee plantation and picks beans. His delivery of scientific... Read More

CANYON DREAMS

CANYON DREAMS A Basketball Season on the Navajo Nation

by Michael Powell | Read by Darrell Dennis

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Darrell Dennis narrates this dive into "rez ball," basketball set in the Arizona desert. His tone is comforting as he describes the challenges facing many of the young Navajo players on the Chinle High School team. He alters his voice a bit when a player or character is speaking--providing differentiation, rather than imitation. If a coach is giving a pep talk, he ramps up his... Read More

CAT TALE

CAT TALE The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther

Earphones Award Winner

by Craig Pittman | Read by Mike Chamberlain

Harlequin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The author of this audiobook describes the near extinction of the Florida panther, a subspecies of the mountain cougar, caused by both individuals and groups who put the economic development of southern Florida before the well-being of Florida's state animal. Narrator Mike Chamberlain adds authenticity and focus to the story of this debacle with his excellent pacing and rhythm.... Read More

CONSCIOUS

CONSCIOUS A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind

by Annaka Harris | Read by Annaka Harris

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

While it may be hard to conceptualize consciousness and free will, author and narrator Annaka Harris provides listeners with a concise guide to begin understanding the inner workings of the mind. Narrating with a steady pace and a clear tone, Harris uses examples of consciousness found in the natural world and questions the existence of the felt experience relating to current... Read More

AN ELEPHANT IN MY KITCHEN

AN ELEPHANT IN MY KITCHEN What the Herd Taught Me About Love, Courage and Survival

by Françoise Malby-Anthony, Katja Willemsen | Read by Roshina Ratnam

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Roshina Ratnam drops listeners straight into the African bush, conveying the urgency and passion of running Zululand's Thula Thula Game Reserve and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. As the memoir opens, Ratnam is perfectly understated when voicing Malby-Anthony's shell-shocked bewilderment at her husband's sudden death. She must continue running their reserve on her own,... Read More

THE FALCON THIEF

THE FALCON THIEF A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird

by Joshua Hammer | Read by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies infuses this story of rare-egg theft with all the tension and excitement it deserves. In 2010, a man carrying 14 peregrine falcon eggs was detained at a British airport. This audiobook brings to light Jeffrey Lendrum's career as a smuggler of wild bird eggs destined for rich clients in the Middle East, where falcon racing is popular, especially... Read More

FIBERSHED

FIBERSHED Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy

by Rebecca Burgess, Courtney White | Read by Tia Rider

Chelsea Green Publishing Company | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Tia Rider adopts an interested journalistic tone to deliver Burgess's audiobook exploring locally grown and processed fibers. Burgess defines a fibershed as a place-based textile system where fibers such as cotton, flax, wool, and alpaca are grown, dyed, and transformed into clothing in a specific geography--in Burgess's case, California--and she embarked on her own... Read More

THE FIRST CELL

THE FIRST CELL And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last

by Azra Raza | Read by Sheherzad Raza Preisler

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

World-renowned professor of oncology and related specialties, Azra Raza has written a devastating critique of current treatments for cancer. Narrator Sheherzad Preisler, the author's daughter, takes a deliberate, almost clinical, approach that drives the author's message home. Through painful anecdotes and historical analyses Preisler states that modern cancer treatments are... Read More

A FOOL'S ERRAND

A FOOL'S ERRAND Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump

Earphones Award Winner

by Lonnie G. Bunch III | Read by JD Jackson

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

JD Jackson's exemplary narration draws listeners into this account of the creation of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is part of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. With his warm and inviting tone, Jackson fully inhabits the thoughtful and perceptive persona of the author, who was the museum's founding director, to such a degree that... Read More

FROM SCRATCH

FROM SCRATCH 10 Meals, 175 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques You Will Use Over and Over

by Michael Ruhlman | Read by Michael Ruhlman

Abrams Audio | Abridged
Contemporary Culture

Author and narrator Michael Ruhlman gives both new and seasoned cooks an in-depth look at 10 classic dishes and how to achieve them "from scratch." This audiobook is filled with stories from Ruhlman's life as it relates to these meals, all of which he recounts with appropriate emotions. He delivers the instructions to his dishes and how to alter them clearly, and the included... Read More

FUNGIPEDIA

FUNGIPEDIA A Brief Compendium of Mushroom Lore

by Lawrence Millman | Read by Al Kessel

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Most listeners will likely enjoy this bright and whimsical survey of fungi and their associated lore--so entertainingly narrated by the skilled Al Kessel. With references that include ALICE IN WONDERLAND and George Washington Carver, the alphabetically sequenced work does not regiment the plethora of stories and myth-filled fun. Lawrence Millman, a mycologist, explains elegant... Read More

GENDER AND OUR BRAINS

GENDER AND OUR BRAINS How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds

by Gina Rippon | Read by Hannah Curtis

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Hannah Curtis's light and airy British accent adds even more legitimacy to Rippon's dispatching of misinformation, shoddy research, and sexist assumptions relating to the myth of male and female minds. Her voice proves welcoming in its warmth and energy but is equally assertive and filled with conviction as she narrates Rippon's prose. She proves adept at communicating... Read More

GOLIATH

GOLIATH

by Matt Stoller | Read by Jonathan Davis

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Jonathan Davis delivers an admirable narration of this historical look at monopolies and political power. He faced no easy task--this audiobook is long and serious, with little levity or dialogue to create an easier performance path. Stoller's text gives Davis narrow lanes in which to maneuver, but he packs in enough tonal variation and emphasis to keep the listener engaged.... Read More

THE GREAT DERANGEMENT

THE GREAT DERANGEMENT Climate Change and the Unthinkable

by Amitav Ghosh | Read by Shridhar Solanki

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ghosh, an Indian novelist, examines climate change through the lenses of stories, histories, and politics in this nonfiction audiobook. Shridhar Solanki's deliberate English-accented narration takes the listener through Ghosh's theories on why climate change has not been more prominent in fiction and the arts, what is behind the worsening crisis, and what must be done to deal... Read More

THE GREAT PRETENDER

THE GREAT PRETENDER The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

by Susannah Cahalan | Read by Christie Moreau, Susannah Cahalan

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Christie Moreau strikes just the right balance of seriousness, empathy, and a detective's curiosity in this fascinating investigation of the world of psychiatry. In 1973, Dr. David Rosenhan published an article in SCIENCE titled "On Being Sane in Insane Places" after eight healthy people, including Rosenhan himself, faked their way into psychiatric hospitals. Susannah... Read More

THE GREEN NEW DEAL

THE GREEN NEW DEAL Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028 and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth

by Jeremy Rifkin | Read by David Cochran Heath

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Rifkin lays out the economic and technological features present and forthcoming that will direct companies and governments across the globe to shift away from fossil fuels and into renewable energies. Narrator David Cochran Heath's deep, resonant voice commands listeners' attention but doesn't maintain it. His delivery is clear, consistent, and emphatic but not enthusiastic.... Read More

HAD I KNOWN

HAD I KNOWN Collected Essays

Earphones Award Winner

by Barbara Ehrenreich | Read by Suzanne Toren

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Suzanne Toren does a masterful job of capturing a distinctive authorial voice in this wide-ranging essay collection. Journalist Barbara Ehrenreich has been commenting on social, political, and economic life in the U.S. for more than four decades. Her work is represented here through a thematic compilation across that timespan. Toren's narration is laced with acerbic... Read More

HIGHWAY OF TEARS

HIGHWAY OF TEARS

Earphones Award Winner

by Jessica McDiarmid | Read by Emily Nixon

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This thorough account of dozens of missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women on Highway 16 in northwestern Canada will leave listeners overcome with anger and sadness. Narrator Emily Nixon wears her heart on her sleeve, breaking away from a conversational tone to suffuse her voice with fury at systemic child abuse and loving warmth at the sweet personality quirks of the... Read More

HOME NOW

HOME NOW How 6000 Refugees Transformed an American Town

by Cynthia Anderson | Read by Jeanette Illidge

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This is a listen about a small city in Maine and new residents who are trying to make their way into what is--to them--a very strange place. Narrating with empathy, Jeanette Illidge affects an accent when speaking for the Somali refugees who find themselves living in Lewiston, Maine. This story offers an inside look at the challenges of moving halfway around the world in hopes... Read More

THE HOMING INSTINCT

THE HOMING INSTINCT Meaning and Mystery in Animal Migration

Earphones Award Winner

by Bernd Heinrich | Read by Rick Adamson

HMH Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

To the joy of audiobook listeners and naturalists, Rick Adamson returns to narrate Bernd Heinrich's latest work. The program is filled with descriptions of how various species find, use, and return to their homes. The content moves from story to story and is well suited to a wide audience. Adamson's pacing keeps listeners engaged as he delivers scientific details, along with... Read More

HOOD FEMINISM

HOOD FEMINISM Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot

by Mikki Kendall | Read by Mikki Kendall

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Mikki Kendall is a sober-voiced author turned narrator who brings us a discussion of the dilemmas facing contemporary feminism. She convincingly presents the limitations of the Women's Movement, which has historically focused on the needs of upper-middle-class white women. Kendall is passionate about her topic, both from her lived experience as well as her research. Her... Read More

HOT, COLD, HEAVY, LIGHT, 100 ART WRITINGS 1988-2018

HOT, COLD, HEAVY, LIGHT, 100 ART WRITINGS 1988-2018

by Peter Schjeldahl, Jarrett Earnest [Intro.] | Read by Peter Schjeldahl

Abrams | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

It is fitting that the art critic Peter Schjeldahl delivers his own essays. He speaks directly to the listener in a deadpan and slightly slurred voice, placing occasional exaggerated expression in exactly the right places. While primarily critical reviews of specific exhibits, the essays also offer insights into each artist's technique, life, and place in cultural history. Each... Read More

HOW THE OTHER HALF LEARNS

HOW THE OTHER HALF LEARNS Equality, Excellence, and the Battle Over School Choice

by Robert Pondiscio | Read by Robert Pondiscio

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author/narrator Pondiscio delves into the charter school debates with a complex and largely positive account of the Success Academy in New York City. Pondiscio's raspy voice captures listeners' attention, and his lively delivery makes it clear why this author is the narrator. He brings energy to his prose, and his projection is balanced to fit the many different scenes he... Read More

HOW TO EAT

HOW TO EAT All Your Food and Diet Questions Answered

by Mark Bittman, David L. Katz | Read by Robert Fass

HMH Books | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Robert Fass gives a no-nonsense performance of this comprehensive, eye-opening guide to eating a balanced diet that reduces our risk for disease. Authors Mark Bittman and David L. Katz put the often confusing and contradictory information about nutrition and food fads into perspective, encouraging common-sense decision-making by continually returning to the basic guideline that... Read More

HOW WE FIGHT WHITE SUPREMACY

HOW WE FIGHT WHITE SUPREMACY A Field Guide to Black Resistance

by Akiba Solomon, Kenrya Rankin | Read by Jeanette Illidge, Vallea Woodbury, Je Nie Fleming, Janina Edwards, Danielle Deadwyler, Brad Raymond, Saundi Harrison, Neal Ghant, Brad Sanders, Jonathan Myles, Devante Johnson, Marque Denmon

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Jeanette Illidge and Vallea Woodbury lead a talented cast in narrating this collection of essays and interviews about the varied and creative ways that black people in America are fighting white supremacy. The diverse voices of the narrators reflect the many perspectives captured in the audiobook. Artists, writers, entrepreneurs, parents, faith leaders, students, and activists... Read More

IN A DAY'S WORK

IN A DAY'S WORK The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against Americas Most Vulnerable Workers

by Bernice Yeung | Read by Jean Ann Douglass

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

If writing about systematic sexual harassment and abuse can be emotionally exhausting, then having to narrate those accounts cannot be any easier. Therefore, Jean Ann Douglass's somber tone makes perfect sense. Yeung explores how women in vulnerable employment situations routinely encounter sexual harassment and violence. Yeung interviews women in industries such as office... Read More

KOCHLAND

KOCHLAND The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America

by Christopher Leonard | Read by Jacques Roy

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Business reporter Christopher Leonard's emphatic, decade-long investigative research has yielded an in-depth examination of the secretive privately held Wichita-based Koch Industries. Jacques Roy provides a masterful narration. Koch manufactures highly varied products and provides diverse services while focusing on its political interests. Some criticize the company for its... Read More

LONG LIVE LATIN

LONG LIVE LATIN The Pleasures of a Useless Language

by Nicola Gardini, Todd Portnowitz [Trans.] | Read by Todd Portnowitz

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Written originally in Italian by a professor of medieval Italian at Oxford, translated and narrated by a Brooklyn poet and songwriter, this audiobook marks a first for both author and narrator. It's a genuine pleasure to hear spoken Latin--lots of it, and by many of the great classical authors, including Cicero, Ovid, and Virgil--and to follow the story of Gardini's lifelong... Read More

THE MATH OF LIFE AND DEATH

THE MATH OF LIFE AND DEATH

by Kit Yates | Read by Kit Yates

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Yates, a mathematical biologist from the University of Bath, England, can spin a funny yarn. Listeners will smile as he tells how he turned up early at an airport once because he mixed up A.M. and P.M. His stories tend to have a serious side, though. His airport mix-up leads into explaining how time zone confusion thwarted the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Yates looks at the... Read More

ME AND WHITE SUPREMACY

ME AND WHITE SUPREMACY Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

by Layla F. Saad | Read by Layla F. Saad

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Have a journal and pen at the ready before listening to Layla F. Saad's powerful call to action. In her clear voice and British accent, Saad demands that listeners with white privilege recognize and dismantle it in themselves and their communities. She outlines specific goals for listeners and pushes back against every possible protest. Smoothly narrating 28 days of journaling... Read More

MEAT PLANET

MEAT PLANET Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food

by Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft | Read by Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author and narrator Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft has researched many of the questions and philosophies surrounding meat and its future. The audiobook flows in a stream-of-consciousness style, though Wurgaft's no-nonsense tone may make listeners feel like they are in a college lecture hall. Thoroughly investigating the topic of "cultured meat," Wurgaft objectively reviews the facts,... Read More

THE MERITOCRACY TRAP

THE MERITOCRACY TRAP How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite

by Daniel Markovits | Read by Fred Sanders

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Markovits challenges the U.S.'s self-proclaimed meritocratic system and argues that it is a false system that only reinforces inequality through resource- and opportunity-hoarding among the elite. Fred Sanders narrates the audiobook in a deliberate style that can be helpful, particularly when Markovits explains the mechanisms that prevent an equal system of opportunity based... Read More

MIGRATING TO PRISON

MIGRATING TO PRISON America's Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants

by César Cuauhtémoc Garcia Hernandez | Read by Timothy Andrés Pabon

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook is a mixture of history, polemic, and personal remembrances that serves as a primer on American policy and cruelty. Timothy Pabon's performance smooths the edges--he is in no rush, and any feeling of authorial outrage is expressed through emphasized syllables and words. There are no astounding revelations here. Anyone following the news probably knows most of the... Read More

MUD AND STARS

MUD AND STARS Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age

by Sara Wheeler | Read by Sara Wheeler

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Sara Wheeler narrates her travelogue of the places trod upon by the greats of Russian literature from 1800-1910. She gives insights into various authors' lives--Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, among others--the places where they lived, and what those places are like now. Those who have read, or listened to, THE ANNA KARENINA FIX may find these works to be... Read More

THE OUTDOOR CITIZEN

THE OUTDOOR CITIZEN Get Out, Give Back, Get Active

by John Judge | Read by Adam Lofbomm

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Adam Lofbomm delivers a narration that sounds like the pleasant voice-over of instructional videos, which is exactly what this audiobook needs. The author provides down-to-earth suggestions on improving the environment at the local level. Some are easy to implement; others are much longer term. But all are doable, and Lofbomm's even voice makes them sound possible. He varies... Read More

A PLACE OUTSIDE THE LAW

A PLACE OUTSIDE THE LAW Forgotten Voices from Guantanamo

by Peter Jan Honigsberg | Read by Tom Taylorson

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This audiobook is based on filmed interviews of people who were imprisoned or who worked at the Guantanamo Bay prison, where suspected terrorists were held after the 9/11 attacks. Some prisoners remain. Tom Taylorson is a solid narrator, but not hearing the actual voices of those interviewed is a lost opportunity. Including at least some of those real voices would have taken... Read More

THE PROBLEM WITH EVERYTHING

THE PROBLEM WITH EVERYTHING My Journey Through the New Culture Wars

by Meghan Daum | Read by Meghan Daum

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author/narrator Meghan Daum grapples with big questions in this brief exploration of contemporary American feminism and the increasing trend of public shaming amid social media culture. She is direct and firm in her contemplation of the competing forces that come together in the culture wars. In doing so, Daum establishes an intimate tone somewhere between university lecture... Read More

PROVING EINSTEIN RIGHT

PROVING EINSTEIN RIGHT The Daring Expeditions that Changed How We Look at the Universe

by S. James Gates Jr., Cathie Pelletier | Read by Beresford Bennett, S. James Gates Jr.

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The excitement of early-twentieth-century astronomers echoes through Beresford Bennett's narration. His deep voice paints pictures of five expeditions that set out to capture solar eclipses around the world for the purpose of proving Einstein's theory of relativity, which he introduced in 1911. To do so, scientists needed to show how stars behave against the sun, phenomena that... Read More

RUNNING WITH SHERMAN

RUNNING WITH SHERMAN The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero

by Christopher McDougall | Read by Christopher McDougall

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

McDougall had to narrate his own audiobook. How else could we believe that one of our own, a freelance writer working in Philadelphia, backed gleefully into the nineteenth century, there to butcher his own meat and clear the penis of a rescue donkey? Can Sherman, the eponymous donkey in question, be rehabilitated for the World Championship Donkey Race? Inspired by the Gold... Read More

SAM

SAM One Robot, a Dozen Engineers, and the Race to Revolutionize the Way We Build

by Jonathan Waldman | Read by Corey Brill

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

This is a fascinating listen about an engineer, a robot, and hope to change the world. Corey Brill narrates this story of the quest to build a bricklaying machine with just the right amount of enthusiasm, wonder, and appreciation. One might think the story of disrupting how bricks are put in place would make for dry listening. But Brill delivers the account at a good pace. The... Read More

SCREENING REALITY

SCREENING REALITY How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America

by Jon Wilkman | Read by Bob Souer

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In these days of "alternate facts" and "fake news," this fascinating audiobook offers a history of American documentary filmmaking. It defines the differences between news entertainment and filming what is real--cinema verité. Narrator Bob Souer delivers documentary filmmaker Jon Wilkman's comprehensive research with authority, sounding knowledgeable and involved. Wilkman... Read More

SECONDHAND

SECONDHAND Travels in the New Global Garage Sale

by Adam Minter | Read by Daniel Henning

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Daniel Henning capably narrates journalist Adam Minter's fascinating account of the industry of reuse, which examines businesses that run the gamut from local thrift stores to Japanese vintage shops to used-goods enterprises in Ghana. What happens to our unwanted, discarded, or donated stuff? What's the next stop for that drop-off at Goodwill? As Minter pulls aside the curtain... Read More

SOMETHING DEEPLY HIDDEN

SOMETHING DEEPLY HIDDEN Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime

by Sean Carroll | Read by Sean Carroll

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author Sean Carroll is an excellent narrator of his own work. He reads lucidly and with contagious enthusiasm. There are no missteps. Of course, he knows his subject, and he never stumbles over technical words or ideas, foreign or domestic. His cogent summaries of the development of quantum versus classical physics almost makes the quantum ideas understandable, which is saying... Read More

SOMETHING THAT MAY SHOCK AND DISCREDIT YOU

SOMETHING THAT MAY SHOCK AND DISCREDIT YOU

Earphones Award Winner

by Daniel Mallory Ortberg | Read by Daniel Mallory Ortberg

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Fans of Ortberg will welcome his signature wit in this impossible-to-classify audiobook. Though newcomers may feel slightly adrift, Ortberg's narration is undeniably powerful. He combines memoir, Biblical exegesis, and trans retellings of fiction and myth into a book about gender and transition unlike any other. His narration is multilayered and alive. One moment his voice... Read More

THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL

THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia

by Emma Copley Eisenberg | Read by Emma Copley Eisenberg

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Emma Copley Eisenberg narrates her debut work, which blurs the lines between true crime and memoir. Her straightforward tone lends order to the convoluted mystery surrounding two women who were murdered on their way to a 1980 Rainbow Gathering in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The official investigation has gone hot and cold through the years, turning up a disconcerting... Read More

TIGHTROPE

TIGHTROPE Americans Reaching for Hope

by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn | Read by Jennifer Garner, Nicholas D. Kristof [Afterword], Sheryl WuDunn [Afterword]

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Actress Jennifer Garner narrates with finesse and restraint as she delivers harrowing scenes of poor Americans acting rashly and sometimes violently in the face of their daily struggles. Her tempo and cadence are also just right for the parts of this work that are a more sociological approach in detailing the harsh economic realities of America's rural poor. This audiobook... Read More

TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD

TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth

by Philip Zelikow, Condoleezza Rice | Read by Arthur Morey

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Arthur Morey sounds like a news commentator as he narrates this sweeping historical study subtitled "Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth." Author Zelikow, former counselor to the U.S. State Department, teams up with Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state, to explain the politics and economics of Europe and the United States from 1988 through the... Read More

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

UNFINISHED BUSINESS Notes of a Chronic Re-reader

by Vivian Gornick | Read by Vivian Gornick

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Acclaimed 84-year-old memoirist and journalist Vivian Gornick enthusiastically narrates her most recent compilation in which she reflects on her rereading of novels that she enjoyed as a younger woman. She also incorporates episodes from her life, including a lively piece on her two cats, much of which will be familiar to listeners of her earlier memoirs, including FIERCE... Read More

UNTIL THE END OF TIME

UNTIL THE END OF TIME Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe

by Brian Greene | Read by Brian Greene

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Renowned theoretical physicist Brian Greene has an engaging voice; he uses it well as he takes listeners on a tour of the cosmos from its first moments to its last. He comes across as gentle, persuasive, and caring as he describes the deepest layers of particle physics and temporal reality, covering an astounding realm of human and cosmic endeavor, macro and micro. His point of... Read More

VANISHING FLEECE

VANISHING FLEECE Adventures in American Wool

by Clara Parkes | Read by Clara Parkes

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

In what may be one of the most specific audiobooks ever, this recording does indeed detail the journey of wool--from lamb's coat to cozy sweater. Parkes is passionate about her subject matter, which makes for a strong performance. Her depth of knowledge, eagerness to learn more, and willingness to go any distance to satisfy her curiosity emerge in her authentic voice and clear... Read More

WHAT'S YOUR PRONOUN?

WHAT'S YOUR PRONOUN? Beyond He and She

by Dennis Baron | Read by Paul Boehmer

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Narrator Paul Boehmer steadily narrates Dennis Baron's primer on the history of pronoun use in the English language. The absence of a gender-neutral singular pronoun has irked some language purists for ages, and has been the focus of many a political debate. This audiobook reviews the history of the use of the universal masculine "he," "he or she," the universal feminine "she,"... Read More

WHEN MY TIME COMES

WHEN MY TIME COMES Conversations About Whether Those Who Are Dying Should Have the Right to Determine When Life Should End

by Diane Rehm | Read by Diane Rehm, Susan Bennett, Dan Bittner, Jim Frangione, Kevin R. Free, Neil Hellegers, Sarah Mollo-Christensen, Maggi-Meg Reed, Suzanne Toren, Benjamin Zide

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

The famously hoarse, hesitant, and always interested voice of renowned public radio host Diane Rehm is a trustworthy guide for listeners to her excellent new audiobook about medical aid in dying--allowing terminally ill patients control over the time and manner of their deaths. Rehm is an impassioned and analytical narrator who knows whereof she speaks, having watched her... Read More

WHITE NEGROES

WHITE NEGROES When Cornrows Were in Vogue . . . and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation

by Lauren Michele Jackson | Read by Adenrele Ojo

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Given the current divisiveness in our country, WHITE NEGROES is a powerful audiobook with a message that will keep listeners thinking. Narrator Adenrele Ojo is extremely effective in delivering content that pushes back against white privilege and raises important questions about cultural appropriation, social inequality, political power and influence, and the ways that... Read More

WHY WE'RE POLARIZED

WHY WE'RE POLARIZED

by Ezra Klein | Read by Ezra Klein

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Ezra Klein, a political junkie who cofounded the website Vox, narrates his audiobook precisely, purposefully, and passionately. Often a guest on TV news programs, he has a delivery style that is direct and approachable. He conveys the urgency of his arguments with a kind of polite candor and frequently notes how ironic our politics have become, with many voters choosing... Read More

THE YEARS THAT MATTER MOST

THE YEARS THAT MATTER MOST How College Makes or Breaks Us

by Paul Tough | Read by Paul Tough

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Unabridged
Contemporary Culture

Author/narrator Paul Tough explores the many barriers and processes in place that hinder success in getting into and completing college. Tough's narration comes across like that of a gritty gumshoe detective, in part because of his deep, gravelly voice. Yet his tone also conveys suspicion, especially as his research illuminates the ways that the affluent game the system, such... Read More

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