Biography & Memoir Audiobooks

Biography and memoir audiobooks grant access to the intimate details of a famous or infamous individual's life. These nonfiction accounts document lives, moments in history, and more, as told either by the subject themselves or by their biographer. Step into another’s mind with this selection of biography and memoir audiobooks.

Biography and memoir audiobooks grant access to the intimate details of a famous or infamous individual's life. These nonfiction accounts document lives, moments in history, and more, as told either by the subject themselves or by their biographer. Step into another’s mind with this selection of biography and memoir audiobooks.

Bestselling in Biography & Memoir

New & Noteworthy: Biography & Memoir

  • Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult
    Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult
    Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult

    Audiobook

    Sex Cult Nun: Breaking Away from the Children of God, a Wild, Radical Religious Cult

    byFaith Jones

    Educated meets The Vow in this story of liberation and self-empowerment—an inspiring and stranger-than-fiction memoir of growing up in and breaking free from the Children of God, an oppressive, extremist religious cult. Faith Jones was raised to be part a religious army preparing for the End Times. Growing up on an isolated farm in Macau, she prayed for hours every day and read letters of prophecy written by her grandfather, the founder of the Children of God. Tens of thousands of members strong, the cult followers looked to Faith’s grandfather as their guiding light. As such, Faith was celebrated as special and then punished doubly to remind her that she was not. Over decades, the Children of God grew into an international organization that became notorious for its alarming sex practices and allegations of abuse and exploitation. But with indomitable grit, Faith survived, creating a world of her own—pilfering books and teaching herself high school curriculum. Finally, at age twenty-three, thirsting for knowledge and freedom, she broke away, leaving behind everything she knew to forge her own path in America. A complicated family story mixed with a hauntingly intimate coming-of-age narrative, Faith Jones’ extraordinary memoir reflects our societal norms of oppression and abuse while providing a unique lens to explore spiritual manipulation and our rights in our bodies. Honest, eye-opening, uplifting, and intensely affecting, Sex Cult Nun brings to life a hidden world that’s hypnotically alien yet unexpectedly relatable. 

    Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
  • These Precious Days: Essays
    These Precious Days: Essays
    These Precious Days: Essays

    Audiobook

    These Precious Days: Essays

    byAnn Patchett

    The beloved New York Times bestselling author reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in this deeply personal collection of essays.   “Any story that starts will also end.” As a writer, Ann Patchett knows what the outcome of her fiction will be. Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming. Patchett ponders this truth in these wise essays that afford a fresh and intimate look into her mind and heart.  At the center of These Precious Days is the title essay, a surprising and moving meditation on an unexpected friendship that explores “what it means to be seen, to find someone with whom you can be your best and most complete self.” When Patchett chose an early galley of actor and producer Tom Hanks’ short story collection to read one night before bed, she had no idea that this single choice would be life changing. It would introduce her to a remarkable woman—Tom’s brilliant assistant Sooki—with whom she would form a profound bond that held monumental consequences for them both.  A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer’s eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be.  From the enchantments of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s books (author of the upcoming The Beatryce Prophecy) to youthful memories of Paris; the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schultz’s Snoopy; the expansive vision of Eudora Welty to the importance of knitting, Patchett connects life and art as she illuminates what matters most. Infused with the author’s grace, wit, and warmth, the pieces in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark—and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Way of Imagination
    The Way of Imagination
    The Way of Imagination

    Audiobook

    The Way of Imagination

    byScott Russell Sanders

    Prize–winning essayist turns to the imagination as a spiritual guide and material method of living through climate disruption, as climate change and broad extinction forever alter our place on the planet and our lives together. Scott Russell Sanders shows how imagination, linked to compassion, can help us solve the urgent ecological and social challenges we face. While reflecting on the conditions needed for human flourishing, he tells the story of his own intellectual and moral journey from childhood religion to an adult philosophy of life. That philosophy is tested when his first wife and then their son fall ill. Compelled to leave their beloved old house, they design a new one, and then transform their vision into a home and their raw city lot into a garden

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life's Best (and Worst) Moments
    God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life's Best (and Worst) Moments
    God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life's Best (and Worst) Moments

    Audiobook

    God Bless This Mess: Learning to Live and Love Through Life's Best (and Worst) Moments

    byHannah Brown

    “My life was a complete mess, and God bless all of it. Because it’s in the messes where we learn the most—as long as we slow down enough to realize what God is trying to show us.” Suddenly in the spotlight, twenty-four-year-old Hannah Brown realized that she wasn’t sure what she wanted. After years of competing in beauty pageants, and then starring on The Bachelorette and Dancing with the Stars, she had become incredibly visible. There she was, in her early twenties, with millions around the world examining and weighing in on her every decision. She found herself wondering what it would mean to live on her terms. What it would mean to stop seeking approval from others and decide—for the first time—what it was she wanted from her own life. An honest and earnest examination of her own mid-twenties, God Bless This Mess is a memoir that doesn’t claim to have all the answers. Hannah knows she doesn’t have all the answers. What she does have is the insight of someone who has spent critical years of her youth under public scrutiny. Thus what emerges is a quarter-life memoir that speaks to the set of difficulties young women face, and how to move through them with grace. By pushing against her engrained need to seek approval, and learning how to think critically about her own goals and desires, Hannah inspires others to do the same—and to embrace the messiness that comes hand-in-hand with self-discovery (even if that sometimes means falling flat on your face). Using her time on The Bachelorette as a launching pad, Hannah doesn’t shy away from the most painful experiences of her life: moments when her faith was tested, when she feared it was lost, and the moments when she reclaimed it on national television. “And Jesus still loves me.” Fans will be inspired by the never-before-told stories: the ones about facing depression and anxiety during her pageant years, the ways in which therapy and journaling have proven to be a saving grace, and the previously private moments—both at home and on television—that have shaped the star’s outlook. Honest and emotionally urgent, God Bless This Mess is a reminder that true growth doesn’t come without strife—and it’s through those dark, messy moments that self-acceptance and love can bloom.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941 - 1995
    Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941 - 1995
    Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941 - 1995

    Audiobook

    Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941 - 1995

    byPatricia Highsmith

    Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks finally explores the riveting interior world of one of the most prolific and now canonical novelists of the twentieth century. Relegated to the genre of mystery during her lifetime, Patricia Highsmith is now recognized as one of “our greatest modernist writers” (Gore Vidal). Beloved by fans who were unaware of the real psychological turmoil behind her prose, the famously secretive Highsmith refused to authorize a biography, instead sequestering herself in her Switzerland home in her final years. After Highsmith’s death, her devoted editor Anna von Planta discovered her diaries and notebooks in 1995, tucked in a closet—with tantalizing instructions on how they should be read. For years thereafter, von Planta meticulously culled passages from over eight thousand pages to reveal the inscrutable figure behind the legendary pen. Beginning with her junior year at Barnard in 1941, Highsmith ritualistically kept a diary and notebook—the former to catalog her day, the latter to brainstorm stories and hone her craft. This volume weaves diary and notebook simultaneously, exhibiting precisely how Highsmith’s personal affairs seeped into her fiction—and how the sheer darkness of her imagination played out in her stories. Charming yet teetering on the egotistical, young “Pat” laid bare her dizzying social life in 1940s Greenwich Village, barhopping with Judy Holliday and Jane Bowles, among others. Alongside Flannery O’Conner and Chester Himes, she attended—at the recommendation of Truman Capote—the Yaddo artist colony in 1948, where she drafted Strangers on a Train. Published in 1950 and soon adapted by Alfred Hitchcock, this debut novel brought recognition and brief financial security, but left a heartsick Highsmith agonizing: “What is the life I choose?” Providing extraordinary insights into gender and sexuality issues in mid-twentieth-century America, Highsmith’s diaries convey her euphoria writing the lesbian romance The Price of Salt. Yet her sophomore novel would have to be published under a pseudonym, so as not to tarnish her reputation. Indeed, no one could anticipate that a novel depicting love between two women in the McCarthy era would have succeeded commercially. Seeking relief from America, Highsmith chronicled her peripatetic years in Europe, subsisting virtually on cigarettes and growing more bigoted and satirical with age. After a stay in Positano with a new lover, she reflected in her notebooks on being an expat, and gleefully conjured the unforgettable The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955); it would be this sociopathic antihero who would finally solidify her lasting reputation. At once lovable, detestable, and mesmerizing, Highsmith put her turbulent life to paper for five decades, acutely aware there must be “a few usable things in literature.” A memoir as significant in our own century as Simone de Beauvoir’s writings were to another time, Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks is an historic work that illuminates a woman’s rise against the conventional tide to unparalleled cinematic and literary prominence.

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • My Body
    My Body
    My Body

    Audiobook

    My Body

    byEmily Ratajkowski

    A deeply honest investigation of what it means to be a woman and a commodity from Emily Ratajkowski, the archetypal, multi-hyphenate celebrity of our time. Emily Ratajkowski is an acclaimed model and actress, an engaged political progressive, a formidable entrepreneur, a global social media phenomenon, and now, a writer. Rocketing to world fame at age twenty-one, Ratajkowski sparked both praise and furor with the provocative display of her body as an unapologetic statement of feminist empowerment. The subsequent evolution in her thinking about our culture’s commodification of women is the subject of this book. My Body is a profoundly personal exploration of feminism, sexuality, and power, of men's treatment of women and women's rationalizations for accepting that treatment. These essays chronicle moments from Ratajkowski’s life while investigating the culture’s fetishization of girls and female beauty, its obsession with and contempt for women’s sexuality, the perverse dynamics of the fashion and film industries, and the grey area between consent and abuse. Nuanced, unflinching, and incisive, My Body marks the debut of a fierce writer brimming with courage and intelligence. A Macmillan Audio production from Metropolitan Books

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax
    Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax
    Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax

    Audiobook

    Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax

    byMichael N. McGregor

    Pure Act tells the story of poet Robert Lax, whose quest to live a true life as both an artist and a spiritual seeker inspired Thomas Merton, Jack Kerouac, William Maxwell and a host of other writers, artists and ordinary people. Known in the U.S. primarily as Merton’s best friend and in Europe as a daringly original avant-garde poet, Lax left behind a promising New York writing career to travel with a circus, live among immigrants in post-war Marseilles and settle on a series of remote Greek islands where he learned and recorded the simple wisdom of the local people. Born a Jew, he became a Catholic and found the authentic community he sought in Greek Orthodox fishermen and sponge divers. In his early life, as he alternated working at The New Yorker, writing screenplays in Hollywood and editing a Paris literary journal with studying philosophy, serving the poor in Harlem and living in a sanctuary high in the French Alps, Lax pursued an approach to life he called pure act―a way of living in the moment that was both spontaneous and practiced, God-inspired and self-chosen. By devoting himself to simplicity, poverty and prayer, he expanded his capacity for peace, joy and love while producing distinctive poetry of such stark beauty critics called him “one of America’s greatest experimental poets” and “one of the new ‘saints’ of the avant-garde.” Written by a writer who met Lax in Greece when he was a young seeker himself and visited him regularly over fifteen years, Pure Act is an intimate look at an extraordinary but little-known life. Much more than just a biography, it’s a tale of adventure, an exploration of friendship, an anthology of wisdom, and a testament to the liberating power of living an uncommon life.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Low Country
    Low Country
    Low Country

    Audiobook

    Low Country

    byJ. Nicole Jones

    J. Nicole Jones is the only daughter of a prominent South Carolina family, a family that grew rich building the hotels and seafood restaurants that draw tourists to Myrtle Beach. But at home, she is surrounded by violence and capriciousness: a grandfather who beats his wife, a barman father who dreams of being a country music star. At one time, Jones's parents can barely afford groceries; at another, her volatile grandfather presents her with a fur coat. After a girlhood of extreme wealth and deep debt, of ghosts and folklore, of cruel men and unwanted spectacle, Jones finds herself face to face with an explosive possibility concerning her long-abused grandmother that she can neither speak nor shake. And through the lens of her own family's catastrophes and triumphs, Jones pays homage to the landscapes and legends of her childhood home, a region haunted by its history: Eliza Pinckney cultivates indigo, Blackbeard ransacks the coast, and the Gray Man paces the beach, warning of Hurricane Hazel.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • You Can't Be Serious
    You Can't Be Serious
    You Can't Be Serious

    Audiobook

    You Can't Be Serious

    byKal Penn

    The star of the Harold and Kumar franchise, House, and Designated Survivor recounts why he rejected the advice of his aunties and guidance counselors and, instead of becoming a doctor or “something practical,” embarked on a surprising journey that has included confronting racism in Hollywood, meeting his future husband, and working in the Obama administration, in this entertaining and refreshingly candid memoir. You Can’t Be Serious is a series of funny, consequential, awkward, and ridiculous stories from Kal Penn’s idiosyncratic life. It’s about being the grandson of Gandhian freedom fighters, and the son of immigrant parents: people who came to this country with very little and went very far—and whose vision of the American dream probably never included their son sliding off an oiled-up naked woman in the raunchy Ryan Reynolds movie Van Wilder…or getting a phone call from Air Force One as Kal flew with the country’s first Black president. With intelligence, humor, and charm on every page, Kal reflects on the most exasperating and rewarding moments from his journey so far. He pulls back the curtain on the nuances of opportunity and racism in the entertainment industry and recounts how he built allies, found encouragement, and dealt with early reminders that he might never fit in. He describes his initially unpromising first date with his now-fiancé Josh, involving an 18-pack of Coors Light and an afternoon of watching NASCAR. And of course, he reveals how, after a decade and a half of fighting for and enjoying successes in Hollywood, he made the terrifying but rewarding decision to take a sabbatical from a fulfilling acting career for an opportunity to serve his country as an Obama White House aide. Above all, You Can’t Be Serious shows that everyone can have more than one life story. Kal demonstrates by example that no matter who you are and where you come from, you have many more choices than those presented to you. It’s a story about struggle, triumph, and learning how to keep your head up. And okay, yes, it’s also about how he accidentally (and very stupidly) accepted an invitation to take the entire White House Office of Public Engagement to a strip club—because, let’s be honest, that’s the kind of stuff you really want to hear about.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds
    Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds
    Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds

    Audiobook

    Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds

    byHuma Abedin

    In this beautifully written and propulsive memoir, Huma Abedin—Hillary Clinton’s famously private top aide and longtime advisor—emerges from the wings of American political history to take command of her own story. The daughter of Indian and Pakistani intellectuals and advocates, Abedin grew up in the United States and Saudi Arabia and traveled widely. Both/And grapples with family, legacy, identity, faith, marriage, motherhood—and work—with wisdom, sophistication, and clarity. Abedin launched full steam into a college internship in the office of the First Lady in 1996, never imagining that her work at the White House would blossom into a career in public service, nor that her career would become an all-consuming way of life. She thrived in rooms with diplomats and sovereigns, entrepreneurs and artists, philanthropists and activists, and witnessed many crucial moments in 21st-century American history—Camp David for urgent efforts at Middle East peace in the waning months of the Clinton administration, Ground Zero in the days after the 9/11 attacks, the inauguration of the first African American president of the United States, the convention floor when America nominated its first female presidential candidate. Abedin’s relationship with Hillary Clinton has seen both women through extraordinary personal and professional highs, as well as unimaginable lows. Here, for the first time, is a deeply personal account of Clinton as mentor, confidante, and role model. Abedin cuts through caricature, rumor, and misinformation to reveal a crystal clear portrait of Clinton as a brilliant and caring leader, a steadfast friend, generous, funny, hardworking, and dedicated. Both/And is a candid and heartbreaking chronicle of Abedin’s marriage to Anthony Weiner, what drew her to him, how much she wanted to believe in him, the devastation wrought by his betrayals—and their shared love for their son. It is also a timeless story of a young woman with aspirations and ideals coming into her own in high-pressure jobs and a testament to the potential for women in leadership to blaze a path forward while supporting those who follow in their footsteps. Abedin’s journey through the opportunities and obstacles, the trials and triumphs, of a full and complex life is a testament to her profound belief that in an increasingly either/or world, she can be both/and. Abedin’s compassion and courage, her resilience and grace, her work ethic and mission are an inspiration to people of all ages.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • People, Places, Things: My Human Landmarks
    People, Places, Things: My Human Landmarks
    People, Places, Things: My Human Landmarks

    Audiobook

    People, Places, Things: My Human Landmarks

    byChuck Palahniuk

    Nobody excavates the landscape of American darkness in cultural and personal terms the way Chuck Palahniuk does. Nobody captures the tiny moments that change our hearts forever with such stark, clear-eyed beauty. He takes us here, somehow gently, into that very darkness, which ripples beneath us, between us, and silently within us. — Clark Gregg, director and actor The first rule of writing for the world-renowned author of Fight Club, Choke, and Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk, is to expect the unexpected. As Vanity Fair declared about him, “He makes nihilism fun.” In his bold new Scribd Original, Palahniuk takes a rare look at his own life, the source material for his bestselling, zeitgeist-changing, and searingly memorable dark fantasies. He not only shares the challenges he’s overcome and the nightmares he still lives with but also names the people, places, and things that have inspired him and made him the uncommon artist he is today. A devoted student and longtime teacher of writing, Palahniuk structures this very personal reflection as a lesson in how to tell a story and characteristically opts for a thrillingly atypical approach. He writes, “This landscape will unfold more like collage than any highway printed on a map. My point is: It’s not what’s inside your clothes, it’s how you take your clothes off.” Via direct and indirect routes, the reader is toured from the smallest of small towns in which Palahniuk grew up—Burbank, Washington—to cities made famous by serial killers; from a weight room in a dank cinder-block bunker under the bleachers of the local high school, where young Palahniuk strengthened his body and mind, to a recurring dream that may not be a dream at all but a childhood memory that to this day makes crossing bridges sheer terror for him. He also revisits some of his influences—Vonnegut, Heller, Salinger—men who coped with the traumas they endured in war by using them to fuel their creative work. And for the very first time, he divulges another crucial influence: Noburo Fukuda, an unsung hero who was often derided as “nuts” and “queer” by the mostly white community in and around Burbank. On a family day trip to a series of overheated sheds for locomotive and stock-car repair, Palahniuk, just a boy, opened a door to an adjoining shed and discovered an unlikely paradise: a Japanese garden alive with hummingbirds, columbine, and phlox, with waterfalls coursing down a mountain at its center. Fukuda, an immigrant from Japan, freely gave locals this sanctuary, a place to which Palahniuk still returns in his imagination to fend off his own traumas. Fukuda also gave the author a model of what one man can do alone, through imagination and hard work, showed him that being different, an outsider, has unexpected gifts that can make for unexpected beauty. Poetic and explosive, profoundly human and intimate, People, Places, and Things is a tribute to every person compelled to defy convention in pursuit of their own vision. And, more, it’s an invitation, with every line, every digression and confession, and every leap taken, to convert the messy and startling, the ugly and beautiful stuff of life, into art—not just by breaking the rules, as Palahniuk does here, but by risking your very skin to find your own.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
    The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
    The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

    Audiobook

    The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

    byDave Grohl

    Read by Dave Grohl. Features excerpts from five never before heard demos performed by Dave Grohl and an original story exclusive to The Storyteller audiobook. So, I've written a book. Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ("It's a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!") I have decided to tell these stories just as I have always done, in my own voice. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I've recorded and can't wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child.  This certainly doesn't mean that I'm quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it's like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters...the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement. 

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Chancellor
    The Chancellor
    The Chancellor

    Audiobook

    The Chancellor

    byKati Marton

    A New York Times Notable Book The definitive biography of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, detailing the remarkable rise and political brilliance of the most powerful—and elusive—woman in the world. The Chancellor is at once a riveting political biography and an intimate human story of a complete outsider—a research chemist and pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East Germany—who rose to become the unofficial leader of the West. Acclaimed biographer Kati Marton set out to pierce the mystery of how Angela Merkel achieved all this. And she found the answer in Merkel’s political genius: in her willingness to talk with adversaries rather than over them, her skill at negotiating without ever compromising on what’s most important to her, her canniness in appointing political rivals to her cabinet and exacting their policies so they have no platform to run against her, the humility to allow others to take credit for things done in tandem, the wisdom to stay out of the papers and off Twitter, and the vision to take advantage of crises to enact bold change. Famously private, the Angela Merkel who emerges in The Chancellor is a role model for anyone interested in gaining and keeping power while holding onto one’s moral convictions—and for anyone looking to understand how to successfully bridge huge divisions within society. No modern leader has so ably confronted Russian aggression, provided homes to over a million refugees, and calmly unified Europe at a time when other countries are becoming more divided. But Marton also describes Merkel’s many challenges, such as her complicated relationship with President Obama, who she at one point refused to speak to. This captivating portrait shows a woman who has survived extraordinary challenges to transform her own country and return it to the global stage. Timely and revelatory, this great morality tale shows the difference an exceptional leader can make for the greater good of a country and the world.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Teaching While Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City
    Teaching While Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City
    Teaching While Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City

    Audiobook

    Teaching While Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City

    byPamela Lewis

    Teaching should never be color-blind. In her compelling and unapologetic memoir, Teaching While Black: A New Voice on Race and Education in New York City, teacher and writer Pamela Lewis urges her fellow educators not only to acknowledge race but to consider both the traumatic and healing impact that curriculum, pedagogical practice, and social interaction can have on students and colleagues of color. Chronicling the vast spectrum of emotions felt by Black and Brown students and teachers within school walls, Lewis explains, as her title suggests, that teaching—and learning—while Black can be an equally harrowing and awe-inspiring experience. Hard-hitting and eloquently written, Teaching While Black offers an insightful, honest portrayal of Lewis’s fight to survive in a profession that has undervalued her worth and her understanding of the kind of education and connection urban children of color need to succeed. The reader gains full access to a perspective that has been virtually ignored since the integration of schools, through which questions surrounding increased resignation rates by teachers of color and failing test scores can be answered. Teaching While Black is both a deeply personal narrative about a Black woman’s struggle to be heard and a clarion call for cultural responsiveness and teacher accountability. In this must-read account, Lewis summons every teacher of all races to re-examine their teaching methods and agendas and to remember who it is that they serve.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • David Copperfield's History of Magic
    David Copperfield's History of Magic
    David Copperfield's History of Magic

    Audiobook

    David Copperfield's History of Magic

    byDavid Copperfield

    An illustrated, illuminating insight into the world of illusion from the world’s greatest and most successful magician, capturing its audacious and inventive practitioners, and showcasing the art form’s most famous artifacts housed at David Copperfield’s secret museum. In this personal journey through a unique performing art, David Copperfield profiles some of the world’s most groundbreaking magicians. From the sixteenth-century magistrate who wrote an early book on conjuring, to the roaring twenties and the man who fooled Houdini, to the woman who levitated, vanished, and caught bullets in her bare hands, David Copperfield’s History of Magic takes you on a wild journey through the remarkable feats of some of the greatest magicians in history. The result is a sweeping tale that reveals how these astonishing performers were outsiders who used magic to escape class, challenge convention, transform popular culture, explore the innermost workings of the human mind, and inspire scientific discovery. By the end of the book, you’ll be sure to share Copperfield’s passion for the power of magic.

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times
    The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times
    The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

    Audiobook

    The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

    byJane Goodall

    In a world that seems so troubled, how do we hold on to hope? This program is read by the authors and includes a bonus PDF. Looking at the headlines—the worsening climate crisis, a global pandemic, loss of biodiversity, political upheaval—it can be hard to feel optimistic. And yet hope has never been more desperately needed. In this urgent audiobook, Jane Goodall, the world's most famous living naturalist, and Douglas Abrams, the internationally bestselling co-author of The Book of Joy, explore through intimate and thought-provoking dialogue one of the most sought after and least understood elements of human nature: hope. In The Book of Hope, Jane focuses on her "Four Reasons for Hope": The Amazing Human Intellect, The Resilience of Nature, The Power of Young People, and The Indomitable Human Spirit. Drawing on decades of work that has helped expand our understanding of what it means to be human and what we all need to do to help build a better world, The Book of Hope touches on vital questions, including: How do we stay hopeful when everything seems hopeless? How do we cultivate hope in our children? What is the relationship between hope and action? Filled with moving and inspirational stories and photographs from Jane’s remarkable career, The Book of Hope is a deeply personal conversation with one of the most beloved figures in the world today. While discussing the experiences that shaped her discoveries and beliefs, Jane tells the story of how she became a messenger of hope, from living through World War II to her years in Gombe to realizing she had to leave the forest to travel the world in her role as an advocate for environmental justice. And for the first time, she shares her profound revelations about her next, and perhaps final, adventure. The second audiobook in the Global Icons Series—which launched with the instant classic The Book of Joy with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu—The Book of Hope is a rare and intimate look not only at the nature of hope but also into the heart and mind of a woman who revolutionized how we view the world around us and has spent a lifetime fighting for our future. There is still hope, and this book will help guide us to it. A Macmillan Audio production from Celadon Books

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • On Animals
    On Animals
    On Animals

    Audiobook

    On Animals

    bySusan Orlean

    NATIONAL BESTSELLER “Magnificent.” —The New York Times * “Beguiling, observant, and howlingly funny.” —San Francisco Chronicle * “Spectacular.” —Star Tribune (Minneapolis) * “Full of astonishments.” —The Boston Globe Susan Orlean—the beloved New Yorker staff writer hailed as “a national treasure” by The Washington Post and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Library Book—gathers a lifetime of musings, meditations, and in-depth profiles about animals. “How we interact with animals has preoccupied philosophers, poets, and naturalists for ages,” writes Susan Orlean. Since the age of six, when Orlean wrote and illustrated a book called Herbert the Near-Sighted Pigeon, she’s been drawn to stories about how we live with animals, and how they abide by us. Now, in On Animals, she examines animal-human relationships through the compelling tales she has written over the course of her celebrated career. These stories consider a range of creatures—the household pets we dote on, the animals we raise to end up as meat on our plates, the creatures who could eat us for dinner, the various tamed and untamed animals we share our planet with who are central to human life. In her own backyard, Orlean discovers the delights of keeping chickens. In a different backyard, in New Jersey, she meets a woman who has twenty-three pet tigers—something none of her neighbors knew about until one of the tigers escapes. In Iceland, the world’s most famous whale resists the efforts to set him free; in Morocco, the world’s hardest-working donkeys find respite at a special clinic. We meet a show dog and a lost dog and a pigeon who knows exactly how to get home. Equal parts delightful and profound, enriched by Orlean’s stylish prose and precise research, these stories celebrate the meaningful cross-species connections that grace our collective existence.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Taste: My Life Through Food
    Taste: My Life Through Food
    Taste: My Life Through Food

    Audiobook

    Taste: My Life Through Food

    byStanley Tucci

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the savory recipes and into the compelling stories behind them.​ Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last. Written with Stanley’s signature wry humor, Taste is for fans of Bill Buford, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Ruth Reichl—and anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Smile: The Story of a Face
    Smile: The Story of a Face
    Smile: The Story of a Face

    Audiobook

    Smile: The Story of a Face

    bySarah Ruhl

    2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlist Selection The extraordinary story of one woman’s ten-year medical and metaphysical odyssey that brought her physical, creative, emotional, and spiritual healing, by a MacArthur genius and two-time Pulitzer finalist. With a play opening on Broadway, and every reason to smile, Sarah Ruhl has just survived a high-risk pregnancy when she discovers the left side of her face is completely paralyzed. She is assured that 90 percent of Bell’s palsy patients see spontaneous improvement and experience a full recovery. Like Ruhl’s own mother. But Sarah is in the unlucky ten percent. And for a woman, wife, mother, and artist working in theater, the paralysis and the disconnect between the interior and exterior brings significant and specific challenges. So Ruhl begins an intense decade-long search for a cure while simultaneously grappling with the reality of her new face—one that, while recognizably her own—is incapable of accurately communicating feelings or intentions. In a series of piercing, witty, and lucid meditations, Ruhl chronicles her journey as a patient, wife, mother, and artist. She explores the struggle of a body yearning to match its inner landscape, the pain of postpartum depression, the story of a marriage, being a playwright and working mom to three small children, and the desire for a resilient spiritual life in the face of illness. Brimming with insight, humility, and levity, Smile is a triumph by one of America’s leading playwrights. It is an intimate examination of loss and reconciliation, and above all else, the importance of perseverance and hope in the face of adversity.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Spiritual Mandela: Faith and Religion in the Life of Nelson Mandela
    The Spiritual Mandela: Faith and Religion in the Life of Nelson Mandela
    The Spiritual Mandela: Faith and Religion in the Life of Nelson Mandela

    Audiobook

    The Spiritual Mandela: Faith and Religion in the Life of Nelson Mandela

    byDennis Cruywagen

    In the first book of its kind, an acclaimed South African journalist and former parliamentary spokesperson for the ANC shares how Nelson Mandela balanced his Christian faith with his political views, exploring how the beloved leader reconciled his own beliefs with the hard truth that religion had often been used as a tool to oppress his people. "Insightful. . . a nuanced understanding of how faith influenced the renowned civil rights activist." — Publishers Weekly, starred review ". . .illuminating and an essential addition to studies of Mandela's life and work." —Booklist Nelson Mandela revealed nothing about his personal religious beliefs in his writings or in his public pronouncements. But those who were close to him know that he held Christian views. At his request, the final components of his funeral followed the Methodist service. Acclaimed journalist Dennis Cruywagen traces the spiritual component of Mandela's life, from his youth in a traditional Thembu village to his education at Wesleyan and Methodist mission schools to his time as an activist to his period on Robben Island and the years thereafter. Based on interviews with some of Mandela's close colleagues, such as Ahmed Kathrada, as well as priests and other religious figures with whom he interacted, this book unearths an unknown dimension of one of recent history's most respected men.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Peril
    Peril
    Peril

    Audiobook

    Peril

    byBob Woodward

    The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink. This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened. Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history. It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime: the continuing deadly pandemic and millions of Americans facing soul-crushing economic pain, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, a world rife with threats, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president. “We have much to do in this winter of peril,” Biden declared at his inauguration, an event marked by a nerve-wracking security alert and the threat of domestic terrorism. Peril is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another, and represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with Fear and Rage. And it is the beginning of a collaboration with fellow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that will remind readers of Woodward’s coverage, with Carl Bernstein, of President Richard M. Nixon’s final days.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty
    Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty
    Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty

    Audiobook

    Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty

    byAnderson Cooper

    New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty—his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts. When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires—one in shipping and another in railroads—that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by “the Commodore,” subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers—the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius’s grandson and namesake had built—the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all. Now, the Commodore’s great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family’s empire, basked in the Commodore’s wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other. Written with a unique insider’s viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures. Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Exotic
    The Exotic
    The Exotic

    Audiobook

    The Exotic

    byHampton Sides

    In The Exotic, Hampton Sides leads us on a grand adventure that is so strange and epic, it rivals the greatest tales of myth. Moving between a London high society newly infatuated with the Romantics and the perfumed archipelago of the Society Islands, Sides turns a riveting narrative into a cautionary tale about the heedless cruelty of colonialism and the collateral damage that can result from even the best-intentioned first contact. —Peter Heller, bestselling author of The Dog Stars, The River, and The Guide So much is made of “civilized" explorers heading out on grand adventures, but little is said of indigenes on their own journeys of exploration into the heart of whiteness. Sides gives us just that, in a meticulously researched story that is gripping, important, and inexplicably sad. A must-read. —David Treuer, New York Times bestselling author of Rez Life and The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee With The Exotic, Hampton Sides paints a superb portrait of a Polynesian Candide, whose picaresque travels to Europe and back in the Age of Enlightenment serve as a heartbreaking parable about human nature and colonialism. — Julian Sancton, author of Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Arctic Night From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers, In the Kingdom of Ice, and On Desperate Ground, the story of the Polynesian man who became the toast of eighteenth-century English society and whose complicated fate foreshadowed the cultural and racial reckoning of today. The story begins with a painting: A handsome young man with copper skin and regal posture gestures with a delicately tattooed hand. He is dressed in a turban and flowing robes and has the indisputable look of a prince from a foreign land. Painted in 1776 by Joshua Reynolds, the portrait is widely considered to be the artist’s masterpiece. But the man it depicts is a deception. Since the 2001 release of his New York Times bestseller Ghost Soldiers, Hampton Sides has been celebrated for his ability to discover little-known stories that bring fresh perspective to momentous historical events. In the new Scribd Original The Exotic, Sides tells the story of a South Seas native who, in the 1770s, became the first Polynesian to set foot on British soil. Having lost his home in an attack by invaders from Bora Bora, twenty-year-old Mai swore revenge. When Captain James Cook’s ships landed in Tahiti in 1774, during the renowned explorer’s second voyage, Mai saw his chance: He begged to be taken to England, where he hoped to amass the guns and ammunition with which he would return to Polynesia to destroy his enemies. In England, Mai was feted as a “human pet”—an exotic creature from a wild place who provided high society with a source of entertainment and cultural study. But throughout his two years in England, he never lost sight of his goal: to return to his homeland and avenge his family. To that end, he agreeably played his part, living in pampered comfort and charming the British nobility, most notably King George III, who eventually agreed to fund Mai’s return voyage with a shipful of weaponry. The Exotic follows Mai’s journey from Tahiti to England and back again, during which time he transformed into someone not quite Polynesian, not quite British. Mai represents the countless number of Indigenous people who lost their identities, if not their lives, as the result of their encounters with the Western world. His story raises questions with no easy answers: What is Mai’s legacy? How do we reinterpret the complicated role of an explorer-like Cook? How do people retain their heritage while also assimilating? Both a cultural study and an entertaining historical yarn, The Exotic explores the ramifications of European exploration and colonialism that changed the world forever.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
    Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
    Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

    Audiobook

    Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

    byTarana Burke

    "Tarana Burke, I just finished Unbound. Searing. Powerful. Needed!! Thank you." —Oprah This program is read by the author. From the founder and activist behind one of the largest movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the "me too" movement, Tarana Burke debuts a powerful memoir about her own journey to saying those two simple yet infinitely powerful words—me too—and how she brought empathy back to an entire generation in one of the largest cultural events in American history. Tarana didn’t always have the courage to say "me too." As a child, she reeled from her sexual assault, believing she was responsible. Unable to confess what she thought of as her own sins for fear of shattering her family, her soul split in two. One side was the bright, intellectually curious third generation Bronxite steeped in Black literature and power, and the other was the bad, shame ridden girl who thought of herself as a vile rule breaker, not of a victim. She tucked one away, hidden behind a wall of pain and anger, which seemed to work...until it didn’t. Tarana fought to reunite her fractured soul, through organizing, pursuing justice, and finding community. In her debut memoir she shares her extensive work supporting and empowering Black and brown girls, and the devastating realization that to truly help these girls she needed to help that scared, ashamed child still in her soul. She needed to stop running and confront what had happened to her, for Heaven and Diamond and the countless other young Black women for whom she cared. They gave her the courage to embrace her power. A power which in turn she shared with the entire world. Through these young Black and brown women, Tarana found that we can only offer empathy to others if we first offer it to ourselves. Unbound is the story of an inimitable woman’s inner strength and perseverance, all in pursuit of bringing healing to her community and the world around her, but it is also a story of possibility, of empathy, of power, and of the leader we all have inside ourselves. In sharing her path toward healing and saying "me too," Tarana reaches out a hand to help us all on our own journeys. A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books “Sometimes a single story can change the world. Unbound is one of those stories. Tarana’s words are a testimony to liberation and love.” —Brené Brown "Burke's Unbound is worthy of being considered next to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as one of those rare books that will unfold and welcome parts of us we thought we'd completely hid until the earth is gone. Unbound is the one we readers and writers have been waiting for." —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy "Tarana Burke is the most important voice of our generation and Unbound is an offering that will set free hearts, families, and communities. I will never stop being grateful for Tarana Burke’s wisdom and courage—and I will never stop thinking about this book." —Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China
    Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China
    Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China

    Audiobook

    Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China

    byDesmond Shum

    “THE BOOK CHINA DOESN'T WANT YOU TO READ.”—CNN​ A riveting insider's story of how the Party and big money work in China today, by a man who, with his wife, Whitney Duan, rose to the zenith of power and wealth—and then fell out of favor. She was disappeared four years ago. News of this book led to a phone call from Whitney, proof that she's alive. As Desmond Shum was growing up impoverished in China, he vowed his life would be different. Through hard work and sheer tenacity he earned an American college degree and returned to his native country to establish himself in business. There, he met his future wife, the highly intelligent and equally ambitious Whitney Duan who was determined to make her mark within China’s male-dominated society. Whitney and Desmond formed an effective team and, aided by relationships they formed with top members of China’s Communist Party, the so-called red aristocracy, he vaulted into China’s billionaire class. Soon they were developing the massive air cargo facility at Beijing International Airport, and they followed that feat with the creation of one of Beijing’s premier hotels. They were dazzlingly successful, traveling in private jets, funding multi-million-dollar buildings and endowments, and purchasing expensive homes, vehicles, and art. But in 2017, their fates diverged irrevocably when Desmond, while residing overseas with his son, learned that his now ex-wife Whitney had vanished along with three coworkers. This is both Desmond’s story and Whitney’s, because she has not been able to tell it herself.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised
    Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised
    Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised

    Audiobook

    Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised

    byCarmelo Anthony

    From iconic NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony comes a New York Times bestselling memoir about growing up in the housing projects of Red Hook and Baltimore—a brutal world Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised. For a long time, Carmelo Anthony’s world wasn’t any larger than the view of the hoopers and hustlers he watched from the side window of his family’s first-floor project apartment in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He couldn’t dream any bigger than emulating his older brothers and cousin, much less going on to become a basketball champion on the world stage. He faced palpable dangers growing up in the housing projects of Red Hook and West Baltimore’s Murphy Homes (a.k.a. Murder Homes, subject of HBO’s The Wire). He navigated an education system that ignored, exploited, or ostracized him. He suffered the untimely deaths of his closely held loved ones. He struggled to survive physically and emotionally. But with the strength of family and the guidance of key mentors on the streets and on the court, he pushed past lethal odds to endure and thrive. By the time Carmelo found himself at the NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden in 2003 preparing to embark on his legendary career, he wondered: How did a kid who’d had so many hopes, dreams, and expectations beaten out of him by a world of violence, poverty, and racism make it here at all? Carmelo’s story is one of strength and determination; of dribbling past players bigger and tougher than him, while also weaving around vial caps and needles strewn across the court; where dealers and junkies lined one side of the asphalt and kids playing jacks and Double Dutch lined the other; where rims had no nets, and you better not call a foul—a place Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood
    Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood
    Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood

    Audiobook

    Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood

    byDawn Turner

    A New York Times Notable Book A “beautiful, tragic, and inspiring” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) memoir about three Black girls from the storied Bronzeville section of Chicago that offers a penetrating exploration of race, opportunity, friendship, sisterhood, and the powerful forces at work that allow some to flourish…and others to falter. They were three Black girls. Dawn, tall and studious; her sister, Kim, younger by three years and headstrong as they come; and her best friend, Debra, already prom-queen pretty by third grade. They bonded—fervently and intensely in that unique way of little girls—as they roamed the concrete landscape of Bronzeville, a historic neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, the destination of hundreds of thousands of Black folks who fled the ravages of the Jim Crow South. These third-generation daughters of the Great Migration come of age in the 1970s, in the warm glow of the recent civil rights movement. It has offered them a promise, albeit nascent and fragile, that they will have more opportunities, rights, and freedoms than any generation of Black Americans in history. Their working-class, striving parents are eager for them to realize this hard-fought potential. But the girls have much more immediate concerns: hiding under the dining room table and eavesdropping on grown folks’ business; collecting secret treasures; and daydreaming about their futures—Dawn and Debra, doctors, Kim a teacher. For a brief, wondrous moment the girls are all giggles and dreams and promises of “friends forever.” And then fate intervenes, first slowly and then dramatically, sending them careening in wildly different directions. There’s heartbreak, loss, displacement, and even murder. Dawn struggles to make sense of the shocking turns that consume her sister and her best friend, all the while asking herself a simple but profound question: Why? In the vein of The Other Wes Moore and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Three Girls from Bronzeville is a piercing memoir that chronicles Dawn’s attempt to find answers. It’s at once a celebration of sisterhood and friendship, a testimony to the unique struggles of Black women, and a tour-de-force about the complex interplay of race, class, and opportunity, and how those forces shape our lives and our capacity for resilience and redemption.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Sisters of Auschwitz: The True Story of Two Jewish Sisters’ Resistance in the Heart of Nazi Territory
    The Sisters of Auschwitz: The True Story of Two Jewish Sisters’ Resistance in the Heart of Nazi Territory
    The Sisters of Auschwitz: The True Story of Two Jewish Sisters’ Resistance in the Heart of Nazi Territory

    Audiobook

    The Sisters of Auschwitz: The True Story of Two Jewish Sisters’ Resistance in the Heart of Nazi Territory

    byRoxane van Iperen

    The unforgettable story of two unsung heroes of World War II: sisters Janny and Lien Brilleslijper who joined the Dutch Resistance, helped save dozen of lives, were captured by the Nazis, and ultimately survived the Holocaust. Eight months after Germany’s invasion of Poland, the Nazis roll into The Netherlands, expanding their reign of brutality to the Dutch. But by the Winter of 1943, resistance is growing. Among those fighting their brutal Nazi occupiers are two Jewish sisters, Janny and Lien Brilleslijper from Amsterdam. Risking arrest and death, the sisters help save others, sheltering them in a clandestine safehouse in the woods, they called “The High Nest.” This secret refuge would become one of the most important Jewish safehouses in the country, serving as a hiding place and underground center for resistance partisans as well as artists condemned by Hitler. From The High Nest, an underground web of artists arises, giving hope and light to those  living in terror in Holland as they begin to restore the dazzling pre-war life of Amsterdam and The Hague.  When the house and its occupants are eventually betrayed, the most terrifying time of the sisters' lives begins. As Allied troops close in, the Brilleslijper family are rushed onto the last train to Auschwitz, along with Anne Frank and her family. The journey will bring Janny and Lien close to Anne and her older sister Margot. The days ahead will test the sisters beyond human imagination as they are stripped of everything but their courage, their resilience, and their love for each other. Based on meticulous research and unprecedented access to the Brilleslijpers’ personal archives of memoirs, Sisters of Auschwitz is a long-overdue homage to two young women’s heroism and moral bravery—and a reminder of the power each of us has to change the world.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Berezina: From Moscow to Paris Following Napoleon’s Epic Fail
    Berezina: From Moscow to Paris Following Napoleon’s Epic Fail
    Berezina: From Moscow to Paris Following Napoleon’s Epic Fail

    Audiobook

    Berezina: From Moscow to Paris Following Napoleon’s Epic Fail

    bySylvain Tesson

    Lire Magazine Best Travel Book Take four friends, put them on two Ural motorcycles (complete with sidecars), send them off on a 2,500-mile odyssey retracing history’s most famous retreat, add what some might consider an excessive amount of Vodka, and you’ve got Sylvain Tesson’s Berezina, a riotous and erudite book that combines travel, history, comradery, and adventure. The retreat of Napoleon’s Grande Armée from Russia culminated, after a humiliating loss, with the crossing of the River Berezina, a word that henceforth became synonymous with unmitigated disaster for the French and national pride for the Russians. Two hundred years after this battle, Sylvain Tesson and his friends retrace Napoleon’s retreat, along the way reflecting on the lessons of history, the meaning of defeat, and the realities of contemporary Europe. A great read for history buffs and for anyone who has ever dreamed of an adventure that is out of the ordinary.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • I Left My Homework in the Hamptons: What I Learned Teaching the Children of the One Percent
    I Left My Homework in the Hamptons: What I Learned Teaching the Children of the One Percent
    I Left My Homework in the Hamptons: What I Learned Teaching the Children of the One Percent

    Audiobook

    I Left My Homework in the Hamptons: What I Learned Teaching the Children of the One Percent

    byBlythe Grossberg

    A captivating memoir about tutoring for Manhattan’s elite, revealing how a life of extreme wealth both helps and harms the children of the one percent. Ben orders daily room service while living in a five-star hotel. Olivia collects luxury brand sneakers worn by celebrities. Dakota jets off to Rome when she needs to avoid drama at school. Welcome to the inner circle of New York’s richest families, where academia is an obsession, wealth does nothing to soothe status anxiety and parents will try just about anything to gain a competitive edge in the college admissions rat race. When Blythe Grossberg first started as a tutor and learning specialist, she had no idea what awaited her inside the high-end apartments of Fifth Avenue. Children are expected to be as efficient and driven as CEOs, starting their days with 5:00 a.m. squash practice and ending them with late-night tutoring sessions. Meanwhile, their powerful parents will do anything to secure one of the precious few spots at the Ivy Leagues, whatever the cost to them or their kids. Through stories of the children she tutors that are both funny and shocking, Grossberg shows us the privileged world of America’s wealthiest families and the systems in place that help them stay on top.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
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