5 Fall Activities to Pair with Audiobooks

As the last of the summer heat burns up, it’s once again time for snuggling up in cozy sweaters with mugs of hot cider—but don’t bury yourself in blankets just yet! We’ve got five fall activities with the perfect audiobook pairings to get you moving, thinking, and listening.

Read on for our recommendations so you can get the most out of this gorgeous, glorious season.


Go on a bike ride

Is there a more perfect time to go biking than in the fall? It’s the perfect way to take in the changing foliage, plus the crisp, chilly air will keep you from breaking a sweat! This year, take it up a notch as you begin your ride by popping on Ruth Ware’s latest thriller, One By One, and let narrator Imogen Church transport you to a luxury ski chalet where a company retreat goes horribly wrong. Just make sure you have a long enough route planned because you won’t want to press pause on this listen!


Learn to knit

If you’re itching to pick up a new hobby, knitting is perfect for the fall season! From scarves to socks to decorative goodies, there’s no limit to what you can create with some yarn and a pair of knitting needles. Plus, if you’re ambitious, you can knock out some Christmas presents extra early. For the perfect listen to keep you entertained and motivated, pop on The Vampire Knitting Club by Nancy Warren for some lighthearted mystery filled with knitting references!


Take a scenic fall drive

As the trees change colors, going on a scenic drive is the perfect way to take in the autumn landscape. No matter if you’re driving solo or making the trip with loved ones, there’s always room for the fabulous and radiant Jonathan Van Ness! Listening to his memoir Over the Top will be like having an extra friend in the car cheering you on and giving you honest advice, which—let’s face it—we could all use from time to time. Alternatively, if you have little ones riding with you, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer is a perfect action-packed listen that the whole family will enjoy. Get lost in the world of magic and mystery in the car, then put on the movie when you get home for some bonus bonding time!


Go fruit picking

There’s nothing more relaxing than going apple picking on a crisp, fall morning. It’s the perfect way to spend some time in nature, plus you get to bring home fresh fruit for all of your baking needs. When you head to the orchard this season, put on Jay Shetty’s Think Like a Monk for lil extra mindful detox. Learn how to find your purpose and overcome negativity while you’re filling your basket with fresh goodies!


Make Halloween crafts

Fall just isn’t complete without spooky activities. Whether or not trick or treating will happen as usual this year, you can always spook-ify your home to set the mood. Pull out those carving tools and faux cobwebs and get crafting! What better audiobook to listen to than something terrifying like Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark? Transport yourself to the haunted Baneberry Hall as you transform your own home into a haunted house!


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Interview with Gary Jansen, Author of ‘MicroShifts’

With every year that rolls around, many of us set personal goals with the hopes of bettering ourselves. Although, inevitably—as this year has shown us—curve balls both big and small will come along and nudge us off of our paths. That’s why author Gary Jansen created the simple but powerful method of “microshifting” to help people create significant, sustainable changes in their lives by making small, incremental adjustments. In his latest audiobook, MicroShifts, Jansen blends masterful storytelling and dozens of practical tips to help you change your life.

We got the chance to pick Jansen’s brain about his latest audiobook, the recording process, and how he stays motivated in tough times. Keep reading to find out what he had to say.


Audiobooks.com: “MicroShifts” is the idea that implementing small, daily changes can impact our lives in profound ways in the long run. What led you to develop this technique?

Gary Jansen: I wrote a book some years ago called The 15-Minute Prayer Solution (available as Exercising Your Soul from Recorded Books), which was in some ways a book about time management. There are 1440 minutes in a day. One percent of that time is 14 minutes and 24 seconds, roughly 15 minutes. I asked readers, what would happen if you dedicated your life to growing spiritually every day by setting aside 15 minutes a day for spiritual practice? Just 1% of your life. Before writing the book, I had experimented with that principle for a year. The results were transformative. MicroShifts grew out of that initial idea that you can make significant changes in your life by setting aside small blocks of time to do something you really want to do. All of us feel like we don’t have enough time, but we do have time. All of us can find 15 minutes a day to meditate, pray, call a friend, learn about the stock market, research healthy foods, go for a walk, paint, learn to cut an onion, clean out a closet, or take a power nap. Whether you’re a busy mom or an executive or a plumber working around the clock—everyone can find 15 minutes to do something to better their lives. I think there is something innate inside us that always wants us to strive to improve. MicroShifts aims to help others do that.


Audiobooks.com: What can readers gain from listening to the audiobook version of MicroShifts that they might not necessarily get from reading the print version?

Gary Jansen: I hope the humor comes through. I like to make people laugh, and I have a dry sense of humor, so sometimes people don’t know if I’m joking or being serious. As the author of the book, I know where the jokes are and how they should be delivered. Plus, I’ve been a musician for over 25 years, so intonation, tempo, and rhythm are essential. I’m hoping the writing’s musicality comes through, too, especially in the chapter about writing and Stephen King. That chapter felt like a song to me.


Audiobooks.com: You’ve been narrating your own audiobooks since 2010. What are some of the most interesting changes you have seen in the audiobook industry over the last decade?

Gary Jansen: I love the process of recording. I love being in the studio. I love getting to have fun with my voice. I’ve been a huge fan of audiobooks since the ’90s. Having worked in the publishing business, I know audiobooks struggled to find their audience for a long time. In retrospect, I guess I can see why. Audios weren’t that financially lucrative, as compared to a hardcover book or paperback sales. There wasn’t a lot of money to invest in the recordings, and sometimes that meant lackluster productions. Nowadays, audio is riding high. I know many people who no longer read print books. They only listen to audio. Plus, as an editor, I know that one way to get a bestseller is for an author to write a book for people who don’t usually read books. There are plenty of people who just don’t like to read, but they like to listen; they like to learn. Audio gives a whole new part of the population access to great books and great minds. And with this level of popularity, there’s more money to invest in the best engineers and voice talent. In the last ten years, audios have become an art form.


Audiobooks.com: How has your approach to narration changed over time?

Gary Jansen: I think I’m more conscious now than ever to the energy of lines. By this, I mean that sometimes a line should be read slowly, sometimes quickly, and sometimes naturally like a steady pulse of heartbeats. Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to read in front of large audiences and be interviewed on TV. I’ve learned that if you switch up your rhythms and your tempo, you’ll keep someone’s attention better than if you stay at a steady pace. But I don’t try to force a line. The spoken line needs to be an outgrowth of the written line. I just have to try to find the energy of a word, a line, or a paragraph. That can take extra time for me when I’m practicing and preparing, but I think it makes for a better listening experience. 


Audiobooks.com: During these uncertain times, many people have had to make drastic lifestyle changes. How have you used your technique of MicroShifting to stay healthy and focused during this time?

Gary Jansen: MicroShifts is a book of practical spirituality, meaning it’s a book that helps you develop your mind, body, and soul and gives you things to do. I’ve worked with author and doctor Deepak Chopra for many years, and he’s been a big influence in my life as a friend, a writer, and a mentor. Everything is connected. Case in point: All the gyms are shut down, and I miss working out with all the folks I’ve gotten to know at our local gym. I’ve been using the idea of microshifting to help me exercise at home to keep me sane. Since I only have a few dumbbells, I make small changes to the way I perform an exercise, which keeps me on my toes, and I exercise in small chunks of time throughout the day to keep me active. I’ve also taken up running during the lockdown, and I’ve used microshifts to push myself to run just a few more feet every day. Those extra steps you take add up over time. I have more energy and feel better than I have in years. When you feel better—when you aren’t distracted by pain or fear or anxiety—something changes inside you spiritually. You feel happier and focused, and when you’re happier, you treat the people around you better too. Your relationships improve, and when that happens, the world around you transforms in surprising ways.


Audiobooks.com: Do you have any advice for people who are looking to implement these daily shifts into their lives? How do you stay motivated and committed to taking 1% out of your day to making positive changes?

Gary Jansen: Staying motivated is hard, and being consistent may even be harder. Sometimes we can be overcome by feelings that drag us down. “What’s the point?” or “Why should I even try?”. Often, we feel this way because of this nasty little pest in our heads—that inner voice—that is saying things like, you’re not good enough, you’re never going to succeed, just give up. Most meditation practices will tell you to let the voice speak, allow your thoughts to move through you like they were clouds, let them pass. I’m not that patient. I want them to shut up because a lot of times, this voice in your head is just a liar. So one microshift you can do is thought replacement. If you start to doubt yourself, repeat the word love or wealth or prosperity or happiness repeatedly to drown out the voice of self-doubt. It might sound stupid or overly simple, but the reason why negative thoughts often spring up inside us is that we’ve repeated them over and over again to ourselves. We’ve allowed the voice to speak lies. So speak truth when the voice speaks lies. It’s a small thing, but in time the practice can rock your world in remarkable ways.


Audiobooks.com: Is there anything new that you’re working on that you can share with us?

Gary Jansen: I am working on a script for my memoir Holy Ghosts, which is about growing up and living in a haunted house (and is an audiobook at Recorded Books). I’ve talked with some producers over the years in Hollywood about turning Holy Ghosts into a movie. So there’s been interest. Writing a script is difficult and requires a unique skill set, but I’m using microshifts to inch my way to completion. I want Ethan Hawke to play me in the movie. I’m not only a fan of his films, but he’s a fantastic audiobook narrator. I just finished listening to him read Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums. Loved it! ∎


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

9 Educational Audiobooks for Kids Who Love Learning

As everyone gears up for another school year, it’s never too early to reignite your kids’ love for learning! Even if they want to hold onto summer a little bit longer (who doesn’t?), you can make learning time fun with audiobooks that the whole family can enjoy together! Pop one on during the car ride to the beach, while they’re cleaning their room, or before bedtime for some snuggly shared listening time.

From history to science to biography, we have something for every kid to dive into! For even more educational non-fiction recommendations for kids, browse our full booklist here.


Science

Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson, narrated by Levar Burton

Publisher Summary:

From the basics of physics to big questions about the nature of space and time, celebrated astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the mysteries of the cosmos into bite-sized pieces. Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry describes the fundamental rules and unknowns of our universe clearly-and with Tyson’s characteristic wit, there’s a lot of fun thrown in, too.

This adaptation by Gregory Mone includes extra explanations to make even the trickiest concepts accessible. Building on the wonder inspired by outer space, Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry introduces an exciting field and the principles of scientific inquiry to young listeners.

Read more and sample the audio →


How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson, narrated by Steven Johnson

Publisher Summary:

Did you drink a glass of water today? Did you turn on a light? Did you think about how miraculous either one of those things is when you did it? Of course not—but you should, and New York Times bestselling author Steven Johnson has. This adaptation of his adult book and popular PBS series explores the fascinating and interconnected stories of innovations–like clean drinking water and electricity—that changed the way people live.

Innovation starts with a problem whose solution sets in motion all kinds of unexpected discoveries. That’s why you can draw a line from pendulums to punching the clock at a factory, from ice blocks to summer movie blockbusters, from clean water to computer chips.

In the lively storytelling style that has made him a popular, bestselling author, Steven Johnson looks at how accidental genius, brilliant mistakes, and unintended consequences shape the way we live in the modern world. Johnson’s ‘long zoom’ approach connects history, geography, politics, and scientific advances with the deep curiousity of inventors or quirky interests of tinkerers to show how innovation truly comes about.

His fascinating account is organized into six topics: glass, cold, sound, clean, time, light. Johnson’s fresh exploration of these simple, single-syllable word concepts creates an endlessly absorbing story that moves from lightning strikes in the prehistoric desert to the herculean effort to literally raise up the city of Chicago to laser labs straight out of a sci-fi movie.

In other words, it’s the story of how we got to now!

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Moon! Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty, narrated by Taylor Meskimen

Publisher Summary:

From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Stevie Lewis, Moon! Earth’s Best Friend is a light-hearted nonfiction audiobook about the formation and history of the moon—told from the perspective of the moon itself.

Meet Moon! She’s more than just a rock—she’s Earth’s rock, her best friend she can always count on. Moon never turns her back on her friend (literally: she’s always facing Earth with the same side!). These two will stick together forever. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Moon in this next celestial ‘autobiography’ in the Our Universe series.

Read more and sample the audio →


Biography

Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly, narrated by Bahni Turpin

Publisher Summary:

This edition of Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book is perfect for young readers. It’s the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. 

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who lived through the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.

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Rainbow Revolutionaries: Fifty LGBTQ+ People Who Made History by Sarah Prager, narrated by Inés Del Castillo

Publisher Summary:

One of Time Out’s “LGBTQ+ books for kids to read during Pride Month,” this groundbreaking, pop-culture-infused LGBTQ+ biography collection takes readers on an eye-opening journey through the lives of fifty influential queer figures who have made a mark on every century of human existence.

Rainbow Revolutionaries brings to life the vibrant histories of fifty pioneering LGBTQ+ people from around the world. Through Sarah Prager’s (Queer, There, and Everywhere) short, engaging bios, readers can delve into the lives of Wen of Han, a Chinese emperor who loved his boyfriend as much as his people, Martine Rothblatt, a trans woman who’s helping engineer the robots of tomorrow, and so many more!

This book is a celebration of the many ways these heroes have made a difference and will inspire young readers to make a difference, too. Featuring an introduction, timeline, and glossary, this must-have biography collection is the perfect read during Pride month and all year round.

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Betty Before X by Renée WatsonIlyasah Shabazz, narrated by Ilyasah Shabazz

Publisher Summary:

Activist, motivational speaker, and daughter of Malcolm X Ilyasah Shabazz celebrates her mother’s idealism and strength of character in a touching new YA audiobook. Betty Before X is the story of Dr. Betty Shabazz before she became a figurehead for the Civil Rights Movement.

In Detroit, 1945, eleven-year-old Betty’s house doesn’t quite feel like home. She believes her mother loves her, but she can’t shake the feeling that her mother doesn’t want her. Church helps those worries fade, if only for a little while. The singing, the preaching, the speeches from guest activists like Paul Robeson and Thurgood Marshall stir African Americans in her community to stand up for their rights. Betty quickly finds confidence and purpose in volunteering for the Housewives League, an organization that supports black-owned businesses. Soon, the American civil rights icon we now know as Dr. Betty Shabazz is born.

Inspired by Betty’s real life—but expanded upon and fictionalized through collaboration with novelist Renée WatsonIlyasah Shabazz illuminates four poignant years in her mother’s childhood with this audiobook, painting an inspiring portrait of a girl overcoming the challenges of self-acceptance and belonging that will resonate with young listeners today.

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History

On the Horizon by Lois Lowry, narrated by Lois Lowry

Publisher Summary:

Lois Lowry looks back at history through a personal lens as she draws from her own memories as a child in Hawaii and Japan, as well as from historical research, in this stunning work in verse for young listeners.

On the Horizon tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.  Based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima, On the Horizon contemplates humanity and war through verse that sings with pain, truth, and the importance of bridging cultural divides. This masterful work emphasizes empathy and understanding in search of commonality and friendship, vital lessons for students as well as citizens of today’s world.

In turns haunting, heartbreaking, and uplifting, On the Horizon will remind listeners of the horrors and heroism in our past, as well as offer hope for our future.

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Absolutely Everything! by Christopher Lloyd, narrated by Christopher Lloyd

Publisher Summary:

Buckle up for an extraordinary ride through the 14-billion year history of absolutely everything! Written and narrated by best-selling world history author Christopher Lloyd, this remarkable story (which is far more amazing than anything you can make up) sweeps through natural history with the creation of planet Earth, the beginning of life, the age of dinosaurs, mass extinctions, and the rise of prehistoric humans. The story then leaps through the ancient civilizations and into medieval times, where wars, revolutions, and scientific inventions reshape the world. Finally we arrive in the modern age which brings with it new challenges of pollution, climate change, viral pandemics, and much more. How will a world of 8 billion humans survive in the future? Ideal for all ages 7–107, this entertaining, fast-paced narrative history connects all the essential dots of the past with personality, humor, and flair.

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How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, narrated by Sandy Rustin

Publisher Summary:

From Newbery Honor medalist Susan Campbell Bartoletti and in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in America comes the tirelessly researched story of the little-known DC Women’s March of 1913.

Bartoletti spins a story like few others—deftly taking readers by the hand and introducing them to suffragettes Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Paul and Burns met in a London jail and fought their way through hunger strikes, jail time, and much more to win a long, difficult victory for America and its women.

Read more and sample the audio →


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

July’s Top 10 Audiobooks.com Member Downloads

Listen to last month’s most popular fiction and non-fiction titles downloaded by Audiobooks.com members.


Fiction

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, narrated by Erin Bennett

Publisher Summary:

When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.

There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere—through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise—until Mallory learns she’s dying.

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.

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The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, narrated by Shayna Small

Publisher Summary:

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

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The Order by Daniel Silva, narrated by George Guidall

Publisher Summary:

It was nearly one a.m. by the time he crawled into bed. Chiara was reading a novel, oblivious to the television, which was muted. On the screen was a live shot of St. Peter’s Basilica. Gabriel raised the volume and learned that an old friend had died …

Gabriel Allon has slipped quietly into Venice for a much-needed holiday with his wife and two young children. But when Pope Paul VII dies suddenly, Gabriel is summoned to Rome by the Holy Father’s loyal private secretary, Archbishop Luigi Donati. A billion Catholic faithful have been told that the pope died of a heart attack. Donati, however, has two good reasons to suspect his master was murdered. The Swiss Guard who was standing watch outside the papal apartments the night of the pope’s death is missing. So, too, is the letter the Holy Father was writing during the final hours of his life. A letter that was addressed to Gabriel.

While researching in the Vatican Secret Archives, I came upon a most remarkable book …

The book is a long-suppressed gospel that calls into question the accuracy of the New Testament’s depiction of one of the most portentous events in human history. For that reason alone, the Order of St. Helena will stop at nothing to keep it out of Gabriel’s hands. A shadowy Catholic society with ties to the European far right, the Order is plotting to seize control of the papacy. And it is only the beginning.

As the cardinals gather in Rome for the start of the conclave, Gabriel sets out on a desperate search for proof of the Order’s conspiracy, and for a long-lost gospel with the power to put an end to two thousand years of murderous hatred. His quest will take him from the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, to a monastery in Assisi, to the hidden depths of the Secret Archives, and finally to the Sistine Chapel, where he will witness an event no outsider has ever before seen—the sacred passing of the Keys of St. Peter to a newly elected pope.

Swiftly paced and elegantly rendered, The Order will hold readers spellbound, from its opening passages to its breathtaking final twist of plot. It is a novel of friendship and faith in a perilous and uncertain world. And it is still more proof that Daniel Silva is his generation’s finest writer of suspense and international intrigue.

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Near Dark by Brad Thor, narrated by Armand Schultz

Publisher Summary:

The world’s largest bounty has just been placed upon America’s top spy. His only hope for survival is to outwit, outrun, and outlast his enemies long enough to get to the truth.

But for Scot Harvath to accomplish his most dangerous mission ever—one that has already claimed the lives of the people closest to him, including his new wife—he’s going to need help—a lot of it.

Not knowing whom he can trust, Harvath finds an unlikely ally in Norwegian intelligence operative Sølvi Kolstad. Just as smart, just as deadly, and just as determined, she not only has the skills, but also the broken, troubled past to match Harvath’s own.

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Peace Talks by Jim Butcher, narrated by James Marsters

Pubisher Summary:

When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, joins the White Council’s security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago—and all he holds dear?

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Non-Fiction

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump, narrated by Mary L. Trump

In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.

Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, New York, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.

A firsthand witness to countless holiday meals and interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.

Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.

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White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, narrated by Amy Landon

Publisher Summary:

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

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How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, narrated by Ibram X. Kendi

Publisher Summary:

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an AntiracistKendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

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The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir by John Bolton, narrated by Robert Petkoff

Publisher Summary:

As President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton spent many of his 453 days in the room where it happened, and the facts speak for themselves.

The result is a White House memoir that is the most comprehensive and substantial account of the Trump Administration, and one of the few to date by a top-level official. With almost daily access to the President, John Bolton has produced a precise rendering of his days in and around the Oval Office. What Bolton saw astonished him: a President for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” he writes. In fact, he argues that the House committed impeachment malpractice by keeping their prosecution focused narrowly on Ukraine when Trump’s Ukraine-like transgressions existed across the full range of his foreign policy—and Bolton documents exactly what those were, and attempts by him and others in the Administration to raise alarms about them.

He shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government. In Bolton’s telling, all this helped put Trump on the bizarre road to impeachment. “The differences between this presidency and previous ones I had served were stunning,” writes Bolton, who worked for Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He discovered a President who thought foreign policy is like closing a real estate deal—about personal relationships, made-for-TV showmanship, and advancing his own interests. As a result, the US lost an opportunity to confront its deepening threats, and in cases like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea ended up in a more vulnerable place.

Bolton’s account starts with his long march to the West Wing as Trump and others woo him for the National Security job. The minute he lands, he has to deal with Syria’s chemical attack on the city of Douma, and the crises after that never stop. As he writes in the opening pages, “If you don’t like turmoil, uncertainty, and risk—all the while being constantly overwhelmed with information, decisions to be made, and sheer amount of work—and enlivened by international and domestic personality and ego conflicts beyond description, try something else.”

The turmoil, conflicts, and egos are all there—from the upheaval in Venezuela, to the erratic and manipulative moves of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, to the showdowns at the G7 summits, the calculated warmongering by Iran, the crazy plan to bring the Taliban to Camp David, and the placating of an authoritarian China that ultimately exposed the world to its lethal lies. But this seasoned public servant also has a great eye for the Washington inside game, and his story is full of wit and wry humor about how he saw it played.

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Idiot: Life Stories from the Creator of Helen Smash by Laura Clery, narrated by Laura Clery

Publisher Summary:

Laura Clery makes a living by sharing inappropriate comedy sketches with millions of strangers on the Internet. She writes songs about her anatomy, talks trash about her one-eyed rescue pug, and sexually harasses her husband, Stephen. And it pays the bills!

Now, in her first-ever book, Laura recounts how she went from being a dangerously impulsive, broke, unemployable, suicidal, cocaine-addicted narcissist, crippled by fear and hopping from one toxic romance to the next…to a more-happy-than-not, somewhat rational, meditating, vegan yogi with good credit, a great marriage, a fantastic career, and four unfortunate-looking rescue animals. Still, above all, Laura remains an amazingly talented, adorable, and vulnerable, self-described…Idiot.

With her signature brand of offbeat, no-holds-barred humor, Idiot introduces you to a wildly original—and undeniably relatable—new voice.

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The Best Armchair Travel Audiobooks

Summertime is, for me, synonymous with travel. The heat, which always feels oppressive and inspires lethargy at home, is transformed by hopping on a plane and jetting off to someplace new and exciting. The sun, it seems, just shines more delicately when you’re on a different continent.

This year—however—like most, the only travelling I’ll be doing is taking trips down memory lane with old vacation photos. But even that can only tide me over for so long. After a couple months holed up in the same place, even the most devout homebodies are probably itching for a change of scenery. With audiobooks, you don’t need plane tickets or a passport to take a whirl around the world!

Keep reading for our favorite armchair travel audiobooks that will whisk you far, far away, and check out our full booklist for even more recommendations.


Australia

The Dry by Jane Harper, narrated by Stephen Shanahan

Award-winning author Jane Harper whisks you away to a small Australian farming community that is hiding big secrets. Amid the worst drought in a century, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them.

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Botswana

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, narrated by Lisette Lecat

Mma ‘Precious’ Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands and seemingly schizophrenic doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues. Her methods may not be conventional but she’s got warmth, wit, and canny intuition on her side, and Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on the trail of a missing child, a case that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger.

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Canada

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese, narrated by Tom Stechschulte

From the celebrated author of Indian Horse comes a stunning story of a father/son struggle set in the dramatic landscape of British Columbia. Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father, Eldon. He’s sixteen years old and has had the most fleeting of relationships with the man. The rare moments they’ve shared haunt and trouble Frank, but he answers the call, a son’s duty to a father. He finds Eldon decimated after years of drinking, dying of liver failure in a small town flophouse. Eldon asks his son to take him into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner. What ensues is a journey through the rugged and beautiful backcountry, and a journey into the past, as the two men push forward to Eldon’s end.

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China

My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong, narrated by Nancy Wu

Embark on the trip of a lifetime with a romp through the decadent world of Beijing high society! In an attempt to snap Iris Wang out of her funk, her parents decide to send her away to visit family in Beijing with the hopes that she would “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. Instead, she gets swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself.

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Colombia

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras, narrated by Marisol RamirezAlmarie GuerraIngrid Rojas Contreras

Inspired by the author’s own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricably linked coming-of-age stories set in Colombia at the height Pablo Escobar’s violent reign. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras has written a powerful testament to the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.

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England

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd, narrated by Jacqueline Milne

In the dark underbelly of Victorian London, Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery. Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried.

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France

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, narrated by Cassandra CampbellEmma BeringSteve West

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls by prescribing the exact book he intuits a reader needs. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened. After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he departs on a mission to the south of France travelling along the country’s rivers, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story.

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India

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, narrated by Sneha Mathan

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni vividly reimagines the world-famous Indian epic Mahabharata, taking us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. The Palace of Illusions traces the princess Panchaali’s life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father’s kingdom. Panchaali is swept into their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war.

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Ireland

Love by Roddy Doyle, narrated by Morgan C. Jones

One summer’s evening, two old friends reconnect in a Dublin restaurant. Both are now married with grown-up children, and their lives have taken seemingly similar paths. But Joe has a secret he has to tell Davy, and Davy, a sorrow he wants to keep from Joe. Both are not the men they used to be. Neither Davy nor Joe knows what the night has in store, but as two pints turn to three, then five, the men set out to revisit the haunts of their youth, the ghosts of Dublin entwining around them.

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Italy

Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman, narrated by Armie Hammer

André Aciman brings listeners the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

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Japan

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, narrated by George Blagden

The Travelling Cat Chronicles gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru’s longtime friends. With his crooked tail—a sign of good fortune—and adventurous spirit, Nana is the perfect companion for the man who took him in as a stray. And as they travel in a silver van across Japan, with its ever-changing scenery and seasons, they will learn the true meaning of courage and gratitude, of loyalty and love.

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Liberia

She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore, narrated by Wayétu Moore

Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s formation through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond: Gbessa, an exile under suspicion of being a witch; June Dey, a man raised on a plantation in Virginia who possesses unusual strength; Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, who has learned to fade from sight at will. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

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Mexico

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, narrated by Frankie Corzo

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

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South Korea

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha, narrated by Sue Jean KimRuthie Ann MilesFrances ChaJeena Yi

If I Had Your Face plunges listeners into the mesmerizing world of contemporary Seoul—a place where extreme plastic surgery is as routine as getting a haircut, where women compete for spots in secret “room salons” to entertain wealthy businessmen after hours, where K-Pop stars are the object of all-consuming obsession, and ruthless social hierarchies dictate your every move. Four young women making their way through this world defined by impossibly high standards find their tentative friendships may turn out to be the thing that ultimately saves them.

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United States of America

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life—until the unthinkable happens.

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New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!