9 LGBTQ+ Memoirs For Pride Month

Whether you’re looking for your next favorite listen or looking for more Pride Month celebrations, these nine memoirs capture the spectrum of LGBTQ+ voices and experiences.

 

1. Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride, narrated by Sarah McBride

Tomorrow Will Be Different.

Before she became the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention, Sarah McBride struggled with coming out —not just to her family but to her University, where she was student body president. Four years later, McBride was one of the nation’s most prominent transgender activists and married a trans man and fellow activist, who complemented her in every way… until cancer struck.
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2. Logical Family by Armistead Maupin, narrated by Armistead Maupin

Logical Family.

Born and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, Armistead Maupin realized the South was too small for him and took off in search of adventure. Reflecting on the profound impact of those closest to him, Maupin shares his search for the people he could call his own. What emerges is a portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America’s queer community.
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3. Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock, narrated by Janet Mock

Surpassing Certainty,

Janet Mock is adjusting to her days as a first-generation college student and nights as a dancer at a strip club. Finally content in her body, she vacillates between flaunting and concealing herself while navigating dating and disclosure, sex and intimacy, and letting herself be truly seen, eventually becoming one of the world’s most respected media figures and lauded leaders for equality and justice.
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4. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello, narrated by Michael Ausiello

Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies.

TV fans have counted on Michael Ausiello’s insider knowledge to get the scoop on their favorite shows and stars. What many didn’t know is that outside of his professional life, he endured a major personal tragedy: his husband, Kit Cowan, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. In this heartbreaking and darkly hilarious memoir, he tells the story of his last year with Kit while revisiting the 13 years that preceded it.
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5. Note to Self by Connor Franta, narrated by Connor Franta

Note to Self.

In this diary-like look at his life, YouTube star Connor Franta talks about his battles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and acceptance; his desire to maintain an authentic self; his struggles with love and loss; and his renewed efforts to be in the moment-with others and himself. Note to Self is a raw, in-the-moment look at the fascinating interior life of a young creator turning inward in order to move forward.
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6. Party of One by Dave Holmes, narrated by Dave Holmes

Party Of One.

Growing up, Dave Holmes was the artsy son in a sporty family. At his all-boys high school and Catholic college, he was the closeted gay kid surrounded by crush-worthy straight guys. And in the middle of a disastrous career in advertising, he accidentally became an MTV VJ overnight, opening the door to fame and fortune. In Party of One, Holmes tells the hilariously painful and painfully hilarious tales in the vein of Rob Sheffield, Andy Cohen, and Paul Feig of an outsider desperate to get in, of a misfit constantly changing shape, of a music geek who finally learns to accept himself.
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7. She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan, narrated by Jennifer Finney Boylan

She's Not There.

The provocative bestseller She’s Not There is the winning, utterly surprising story of a person changing genders. By turns hilarious and deeply moving, Jennifer Finney Boylan explores the territory that lies between men and women, examines changing friendships, and rejoices in the redeeming power of family. Told in Boylan’s fresh voice, She’s Not There is about a person bearing and finally revealing a complex secret. Through her clear eyes, She’s Not There provides a new window on the confounding process of accepting our true selves.
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8. Fire Shut Up in my Bones by Charles M. Blow, narrated by Charles M. Blow

Fire Shut Up in My Bones.

Charles M. Blow’s indelible coming-of-age takes place in a segregated town in Louisiana in the near-constant wash of violence. One day, his life was split into Before and After when a cousin took advantage of the young boy. Charles’s eventually attended university where he joined a fraternity despite brutal hazing, and then experienced a social and sexual privilege that seemed, at first, like everything he needed.
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9. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin, narrated by Nancy WuRoxanne HernandezTanya EbyNick PodehlSusan KuklinTodd HaberkornMarisol RamirezJanina Edwards

Beyond Magenta.

In Beyond Magenta, Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults (Jessy, Christina, Mariah, Cameron, Nat, and Luke), who share what it is like for them to be members of the transgender community. Touching on pronouns, body acceptance, transitioning, gender rules, perspective, and family issues, Beyond Magenta is a groundbreaking work of LGBTQ literature.
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LGBTQ+ Authors You Should Be Listening To

Happy Pride Month! Whether you’re marching in a Pride parade or celebrating at home, we’ve got nine great listens by LGBTQ+ authors you’ll love.

 

1. Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? by Heath Fogg Davis, narrated by Paul Boehmer

Beyond Trans.

Beyond Trans pushes the conversation on gender identity to its limits. Whether on birth certificates or college admissions applications or on bathroom doors, why do we need to mark people and places with sex categories? Do they serve a real purpose or are they just mechanisms of exclusion? Davis, himself a transgender man, explores the underlying gender-enforcing policies and customs in American life.
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2. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera, narrated by Bahni TurpinRobbie DaymondMichael Crouch

They Both Die At The End.

A little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo meet up for one last great adventure — to live a lifetime in a single day.
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3. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Makenzi Lee, narrated by Christian Coulson

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as he embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
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4. A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo, narrated by Jennifer Lim

A Line In The Dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, Jess can see it coming a mile away. As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.
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5. Oola by Brittany Newell, narrated by Michael Crouch

Oola.

An insouciant music school dropout and aimless young writer fix on one another, grab hands and fall head-first down love’s rabbit hole. The pair find themselves mansion-sitting all summer, drinking the liquor cabinets dry and emptying wardrobes to play dress-up. But when they play house in a Big Sur cabin, boredom breeds an idea that could extinguish their love and even destroy them both.
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6. Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard, narrated by Emma Galvin

Girl Mans Up.

Pen wants to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? Dressing like a girl and listening to her folks will show respect. Taking orders from her friend Colby will show loyalty. But respect and loyalty are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and feelings for other girls means that in order for Pen to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.
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7. Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, narrated by Maggie Nelson

Argonauts.

At its center is a romance: the story of Nelson‘s relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes her account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making.
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8. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, narrated by Ensemble Cast

A Brief History of Seven Killings

On 3 December 1976, just weeks before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert. Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, whispered and sung about in the streets of West Kingston.
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9. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta, narrated by Robin Miles

Under the Udala Trees.

Under the Udala Trees is a deeply powerful debut about the dangers of living and loving openly. Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; she is 11 when civil war breaks out in Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child, and they fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. When their love is discovered, she learns to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie.
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June is Audiobook Month Staff Picks

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The Audiobooks.com team is sharing our top listening recommendations in celebration of June is Audiobook Month! Check out this post (as well as our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages) every weekday to find out which audiobooks we can’t stop talking about.

 

Steph’s pick: The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, narrated by Greg Sestero

Disaster Artist.

As a struggling actor with a lack of confidence and funds, Greg Sestero’s luck seems to change when he meets Tommy Wiseau at a San Francisco acting school. Wiseau’s mysterious, and seemingly endless, supply of cash allows him to pour $6 million of his own money on a cinematic disaster called The Room. The hilarious, inspiring, and true story of their struggles, triumphs, and unique relationship makes this story a must-see and read.
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Lauren’s pick: Find Your Extraordinary: Dream Bigger, Live Happier, and Achieve Success on Your Own Terms by Jessica Herrin, narrated by Jessica Herrin

Find Your Extraordinary.

It is possible to take your life from ordinary to extraordinary. The secret? Cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit inside you – the spirit that allows you to embrace your individuality, to look not just at what is but at what could be, to believe in yourself beyond reason and to step up to creating your own definition of happiness and success – a version of success in which work and family life happily co-exist – instead of chasing a cookie-cutter version.
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Shamir’s pick: Iron Gold by Pierce Brown, narrated by John CurlessTim Gerard ReynoldsJulian Elfer, and Aedin Moloney

Iron Gold.

Honor and betrayal fuel a caste-shattering revolution. Ten years after the events of Morning Star, Darrow and the Rising are battling the remaining Gold loyalist forces and are closer than ever to abolishing the color-coded caste system of Society for good. But new foes will emerge from the shadows to threaten the imperfect victory Darrow and his friends have earned.
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Nick’s pick: Emergency by Neil Strauss, narrated by Neil Strauss

Emergency.

Emergency traces Neil‘s white-knuckled journey through today’s heart of darkness, as he sets out to move his life offshore, test his skills in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It’s one man’s story of a dangerous world and how to stay alive in it.
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Graeme’s pick: The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey, narrated by Finty Williams

The Girl With All The Gifts.

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.” Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointed at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.
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Daniel’s pick: The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee, narrated by Josie Dunn

The Girl With Seven Names.

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by North Korea’s secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond. As the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to realize she had been brainwashed her entire life. This is her story of struggling to avoid capture/repatriation and guiding her family to freedom.
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Candice’s pick: Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi, narrated by Manoush Zomorodi

Bored and Brilliant.

Has your smartphone become your BFF? Do you feel bored when you’re not checking Facebook or Instagram? Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, and explores how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive selves.
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Pam’s pick: My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach, narrated by Josh Bloomberg

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward.

A heart-wrenching yet hopeful memoir of a young marriage redefined by mental illness. Mark and Giulia fell in love at 18, married at 24, and were living their dream life. When Giulia was 27, she suffered a psychotic break that landed her in the psych ward. Eventually, she recovered, but a second and third breakdown ensued. Pushed to the edge of the abyss, everything they once took for granted was upended.
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Andrew’s pick: Red Rising by Pierce Brown, narrated by Tim Reynolds

Red Rising.

Darrow spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But he and his kind have been betrayed. 
Darrow will be forced to compete for his life and the future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’ s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
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Michelle’s pick: You All Grow Up And Leave Me by Piper Weiss, narrated by Brittany Pressley

You All Grow Up And Leave Me.

A highly unsettling blend of true crime and coming-of-age memoir. Piper Weiss was 14 when her middle-aged tennis coach, one of New York City’s most prestigious instructors, killed himself after a failed attempt to kidnap one of his teenage students. Now, 20 years later, Piper examines the event as both a teenage eyewitness and investigative reporter, hoping to understand the childhood memories that haunt her to this day.
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Colin’s pick: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, narrated by Anthony Bourdain

Kitchen Confidential.

Most diners believe that their sublime food was created by a culinary artist of the highest order. More likely, writes Anthony Bourdain, that elegant concoction is the effort of a team of “wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks,sneak thieves, sluts, and psychopaths.” Bourdain is obscenely eloquent, unapologetically opinionated, and a damn fine storyteller.
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Pete’s pick: City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett, narrated by Alma Cuervo

City of Stairs.

The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, until its divine protectors were killed. Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani, one of her country’s most accomplished spies. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem — and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.
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Kaleisha’s pick: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, narrated by Dominic Hoffman

Homegoing.

Homegoing begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.
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Zac’s pick: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, narrated by Norbert Leo Butz

Shoe Dog.

For the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company grossing $8,000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion.
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7 Books That Prove Wasting Time isn’t a Waste of Time

Ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done?

Living in a frenetic, connected world has pushed us to fill every waking second of our days with work for fear that wasted time will mean wasted potential. But, this isn’t healthy, and we must find a way to cope with the overwhelming stress fueled by our addiction to speed.

These seven books will help you do just that. Take a step back, relax, and discover why wasting time may just be the best way to use your time.

 

1. In Praise of Wasting Time by Alan Lightman, narrated by Alan Lightman

In this timely and essential book that offers a fresh take on the qualms of modern day life, Professor Alan Lightman investigates the creativity born from allowing our minds to freely roam, without attempting to accomplish anything and without any assigned tasks. Break free from the idea that we must not waste a single second, and discover how sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing at all. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

2. The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl, narrated by Patricia Hampl

The Art of the Wasted Day is a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. Patricia Hampl visits the homes of historic exemplars of ease who made repose a goal, even an art form. The real job of being human, Hampl finds, is getting lost in thought, something only leisure can provide. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

 

3. Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, narrated by Adam Sims

Overwork is the new normal. Rest is something to do when the important things are done—but they are never done. Looking at different forms of rest, from sleep to vacation, Silicon Valley futurist and business consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang dispels the myth that the harder we work the better the outcome. “Deliberate rest,” as Pang calls it, is the true key to productivity, and will give us more energy, sharper ideas, and a better life. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

4. Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi, narrated by Manoush Zomorodi

Has your smartphone become your BFF? Do you feel bored when you’re not checking Facebook or Instagram? Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out explains the connection between boredom and original thinking and explores how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive selves. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

 

5. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honre, narrated by Carl Honore

We live in the age of speed. We strain to be more efficient, to cram more into each minute, each hour, each day. Living on the edge of exhaustion, we are constantly reminded that the pace of life is spinning out of control. Realizing the price we pay for unrelenting speed, people all over the world are reclaiming their time—and living happier, healthier, and more productive lives. A Slow revolution is taking place. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

6. An Oasis in Time: How a Day of Rest Can Save Your Life by Marilyn Paul, narrated by Vanessa Daniels

Now, more than ever, people are seeking a reprieve from the constant pressure to achieve, produce, and consume. While many turn to mindfulness and meditation, organizational change expert Marilyn Paul, Ph.D. offers a complementary solution that is as radical as it is ancient.  Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

 

 

7. The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer, narrated by Pico Iyer

In this age of constant movement and connectedness, when so many of us are all over the place, perhaps staying in one place and locating everything we need for peace and happiness there is a more exciting prospect and a greater necessity than ever before. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

 

 

 

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STAFF PICK: Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Title: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
Author: 
Hans RoslingAnna R. Rosling, and Ola Rosling
Narrator: Richard Harries

Recommended by Bill Gates, Factfulness is a resource to help you rationally respond to information. If you only follow the news, you’d think the world is going up in flames. Amidst the commotion, Factfulness is here to shed some level-headed light.

The book’s foundation is a simple quiz: thirteen questions covering a range of global statistics, such as health and income levels. After you take the quiz and tally your results, you are told how chimps perform on that same quiz. Chances are that you’ll feel sad, but don’t despair! Chimps choosing answers at random have 33% accuracy, and that score consistently beats human participants. It didn’t matter if the group was university students, journalists, or experts of health or economics, everyone assumed the world was worse than it really is.

With chapters like The Fear Instinct and The Urgency Instinct, the Rosling trio has brought data together to show how human tendencies lead to an overblown perception of reality. It tells listeners to take a step back from the dramatic figures and look at the trends. Despite headlines to the contrary, this book shows that the world is actually improving. This is not to say that we should be satisfied and stop aiming for improvement, but that we should be optimistic about our progress and about what the future has in store.

The narration was exactly what you’d hope for in a book like this. Richard Harries has a level but enthusiastic voice. His pace allowed me to take in the material while still staying engaged with the content.

No matter how you feel about this topic, I see this as a valuable read for everyone (even if your quiz score is 100%). I suspect the type of person drawn to this book is not the type of person who needs it the most, however, I won’t stop recommending it!

Factfulness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STAFF PICK: The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson

The Language of Kindness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: The Language of Kindness: One Nurse’s Story
Author: Christie Watson
Narrator: Christie Watson

 

When both of my grandmothers were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I was warned that their declining memories would mean that they could confuse the past with the present. In both cases, they talked about their lives as nurses as though in real time, unearthing stories that were once too intimate to share at family parties and Sunday dinners.

During a recent conversation with my maternal grandmother, she rattled on about what she was cooking for dinner that night and, in nearly the same breath, told me she had to go check on her patient. These memories confirmed what I always knew, and what anyone who loves or is a nurse knows — it is more than a career, but a lifelong passion defined by resilience, kindness, and compassion.

Christie Watson was a nurse for 20 years. In The Language of Kindness, she shares the powerful details of beloved patient relationships, including nursing a premature baby who defied its odds of surviving the night, washing the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire to remove the toxic smell of smoke, and comforting a patient suffering from an excruciating heart-lung transplant.

Like all nurses, Christie is there during some of our most vulnerable moments. The Language of Kindness is made even more compelling as Christie narrates it herself. Her steady and assured tone, even when narrating the most emotional parts of the audiobook, demonstrates her ability to remain calm under stormy circumstances, a trait she shares with my grandmothers.

I’m grateful to Christie for both her dedicated career and for giving me the perfect gift to give the nurses in my life. For too long, the only books for people in the medical field have been for doctors. This audiobook is easy to understand even if you haven’t taken Nursing 101, and will give listeners a new appreciation for one of the toughest and most overlooked professions.

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