Biography & Memoir Audiobooks

Choose some amazing biography and memoir audiobooks that inspire, fascinate and change lives. Our diverse selection of biography and memoir audiobooks narrate the captivating stories of both famous figures and everyday people who triumph over life’s adversities. Put in your earbuds for intimate access to real-life stories of some of the world’s most impressive subjects.

Choose some amazing biography and memoir audiobooks that inspire, fascinate and change lives. Our diverse selection of biography and memoir audiobooks narrate the captivating stories of both famous figures and everyday people who triumph over life’s adversities. Put in your earbuds for intimate access to real-life stories of some of the world’s most impressive subjects.

Bestselling in Biography & Memoir

New & Noteworthy: Biography & Memoir

  • This Is Life: 10 Writers on Love, Fear, and Hope in the Age of Disasters
    This Is Life: 10 Writers on Love, Fear, and Hope in the Age of Disasters
    This Is Life: 10 Writers on Love, Fear, and Hope in the Age of Disasters

    Audiobook

    This Is Life: 10 Writers on Love, Fear, and Hope in the Age of Disasters

    byGarrett M. Graff

    It’s been a long, long couple of years. A global pandemic, an economic crisis, racial and political strife brought to the boiling point, the climate not far behind. As we nervously embark on yet another uncertain trip around the sun, we wonder: How’s everyone doing? Ten of America’s finest writers tell us in This Is Life. Drawing on their wisdom and lived experience, they share bold, occasionally comic, occasionally biting insights on the past two years and offer possible ways forward, both for the country and for us as individuals. They articulate the anxiety of these inarguably lousy times yet also remind us that there remain plenty of reasons to be hopeful despite it all. In this collection: NPR’s Weekend Edition host Scott Simon on the hard-won lessons that will inform our lives going forward National Book Award winner and MacArthur Fellow Jacqueline Woodson on savoring today to better cope with tomorrow’s perils Climate activist Bill McKibben on a reimagined infrastructure that could finally save the planet New York Times bestselling author and national security expert Garrett M. Graff on the precarious fate of American democracy National Book Award finalist Carmen Maria Machado on the impulse to love harder in the face of calamity Bethany McLean, bestselling author of The Smartest Guys in the Room, on where to go now that the free-market economy has failed us Kiese Laymon, author of the bestselling memoir Heavy, on the poisonous influence of nonstop news Former Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on the bridge-building power of sports R. Eric Thomas, playwright and bestselling author of Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America, on the thrill and anxiety of reconnecting with people in person Bonnie Tsui, author of the 2020 bestseller Why We Swim, on how to find joy in the smallest of life’s moments Candid and empathetic, timely and timeless, This Is Life is a much-needed literary compass for navigating 2022 and beyond.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home
    I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home
    I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home

    Audiobook

    I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home

    byJami Attenberg

    A Most Anticipated Title from: USA Today * The Guardian * Alma * Fodor’s * AV Club * Vogue * KatieCouric.com * BookRiot * Lithub From New York Times bestselling author Jami Attenberg comes a dazzling memoir about unlocking and embracing her creativity—and how it saved her life. In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Jami Attenberg—described as a “master of modern fiction” (Entertainment Weekly) and the “poet laureate of difficult families” (Kirkus Reviews)—reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one’s ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it? As the daughter of a traveling salesman in the Midwest, Attenberg was drawn to a life on the road. Frustrated by quotidian jobs and hungry for inspiration and fresh experiences, her wanderlust led her across the country and eventually on travels around the globe. Through it all she grapples with questions of mortality, otherworldliness, and what we leave behind. It is during these adventures that she begins to reflect on the experiences of her youth—the trauma, the challenges, the risks she has taken. Driving across America on self-funded book tours, sometimes crashing on couches when she was broke, she keeps writing: in researching articles for magazines, jotting down ideas for novels, and refining her craft, she grows as an artist and increasingly learns to trust her gut and, ultimately, herself. Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one’s way home—emotionally, artistically, and physically—and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling.  

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Rise: My Story
    Rise: My Story
    Rise: My Story

    Audiobook

    Rise: My Story

    byLindsey Vonn

    The first ever memoir from the most decorated female skier of all time, revealing never-before-told stories of her life in the fast lane, her struggle with depression, and the bold decisions that helped her break down barriers on and off the slopes. 82 World Cup wins. 20 World Cup titles. 3 Olympic medals. 7 World Championship Medals. A fixture in the American sports landscape for almost twenty years, Lindsey Vonn is a legend. With a career that spanned a transformation in how America recognizes and celebrates female athletes, Vonn—who retired in 2019 as the most decorated American skier of all time—was in the vanguard of that change, helping blaze a trail for other world-class female athletes and reimagining what it meant to pursue speed at all costs. In Rise, Vonn shares her incredible journey for the first time, going behind the scenes of a badass life built around resilience and risk-taking. One of the most aggressive skiers ever, Vonn offers a fascinating glimpse into the relentless pursuit of her limits, a pursuit so focused on one-upping herself that she pushed her body past its breaking point as she achieved greatness. While this iconic grit and perseverance helped her battle a catalog of injuries, these injuries came with a cost—physical, of course, but also mental. Vonn opens up about her decades-long depression and struggles with self-confidence, discussing candidly how her mental health challenges influenced her career without defining her.  Through it all, she dissects the moments that sidelined her and how, each time, she clawed her way back using an iconoclastic approach rooted in hard work—pushing boundaries, challenging expectations, and speaking her mind, even when it got her into trouble. At once empowering and raw, Rise is an inspirational look at her hard-fought success as well as an honest appraisal of the sacrifices she made along the way—an emotional journey of winning that understands all too well that every victory comes with a price.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Reef Life: An Underwater Memoir
    Reef Life: An Underwater Memoir
    Reef Life: An Underwater Memoir

    Audiobook

    Reef Life: An Underwater Memoir

    byCallum Roberts

    How did one of the world’s preeminent marine conservation scientists fall in love with coral reefs? We first meet Callum as a young student who had never been abroad, spending a summer helping to map the unknown reefs of Saudi Arabia. From that moment, when Callum first cleared his goggles, he never looked back. He went on to survey Sharm al-Sheikh, and from there he would dive into the deep in the name of research all over the world, from Australia’s imperiled Great Barrier Reef to the hardier reefs of the Caribbean. Reef Life is filled with astonishing stories of adventure and the natural world, which are by turns lyrical and laced with a wonderful wry humor. Callum illuminates the science of our oceans and reefs and his book, combined with the stunning photographs from Alex Mustard, will also commit readers to support Callum’s goal to preserve 10 percent of the world’s oceans.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Unprotected: A Memoir
    Unprotected: A Memoir
    Unprotected: A Memoir

    Audiobook

    Unprotected: A Memoir

    byBilly Porter

    “This is not a coming-out story. It’s not a down-low story either. I never could have passed for straight, even if I’d wanted to, and so I never had the dubious luxury of living a lie.” From the incomparable Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winner, a powerful and revealing autobiography about race, sexuality, art, and healing It’s easy to be yourself when who and what you are is in vogue. But growing up Black and gay in America has never been easy. Before Billy Porter was slaying red carpets and giving an iconic Emmy-winning performance in the celebrated TV show Pose; before he was the groundbreaking Tony and Grammy Award–winning star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots; and before he was an acclaimed recording artist, actor, playwright, director, and all-around legend, Porter was a young boy in Pittsburgh who was seen as different, who didn’t fit in. At five years old, Porter was sent to therapy to “fix” his effeminacy. He was endlessly bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather, and criticized at his church. Porter came of age in a world where simply being himself was a constant struggle. Billy Porter’s Unprotected is the life story of a singular artist and survivor in his own words. It is the story of a boy whose talent and courage opened doors for him, but only a crack. It is the story of a teenager discovering himself, learning his voice and his craft amid deep trauma. And it is the story of a young man whose unbreakable determination led him through countless hard times to where he is now; a proud icon who refuses to back down or hide. Porter is a multitalented, multifaceted treasure at the top of his game, and Unprotected is a resonant, inspirational story of trauma and healing, shot through with his singular voice.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Sea State: A Memoir
    Sea State: A Memoir
    Sea State: A Memoir

    Audiobook

    Sea State: A Memoir

    byTabitha Lasley

    A Recommended Read from: Vogue * USA Today * The Los Angeles Times * Publishers Weekly * The Week * Alma * Lit Hub A stunning and brutally honest memoir that shines a light on what happens when female desire conflicts with a culture of masculinity in crisis In her midthirties and newly free from a terrible relationship, Tabitha Lasley quit her job at a London magazine, packed her bags, and poured her savings into a six-month lease on an apartment in Aberdeen, Scotland. She decided to make good on a long-deferred idea for a book about oil rigs and the men who work on them. Why oil rigs? She wanted to see what men were like with no women around. In Aberdeen, Tabitha became deeply entrenched in the world of roughnecks, a teeming subculture rich with brawls, hard labor, and competition. The longer she stayed, the more she found her presence had a destabilizing effect on the men—and her. Sea State is on the one hand a portrait of an overlooked industry: “offshore” is a way of life for generations of primarily working-class men and also a potent metaphor for those parts of life we keep at bay—class, masculinity, the transactions of desire, and the awful slipperiness of a ladder that could, if we tried hard enough, lead us to security. Sea State is on the other hand the story of a journalist whose professional distance from her subject becomes perilously thin. In Aberdeen, Tabitha gets high and dances with abandon, reliving her youth, when the music was good and the boys were bad. Twenty years on, there is Caden: a married rig worker who spends three weeks on and three weeks off. Alone and in an increasingly precarious state, Tabitha dives into their growing attraction. The relationship, reckless and explosive, will lay them both bare.

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • Sovietistan: Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan
    Sovietistan: Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan
    Sovietistan: Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan

    Audiobook

    Sovietistan: Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan

    byErika Fatland

    Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan became free of the Soviet Union in 1991. But though they are new to modern statehood, this is a region rich in ancient history, culture, and landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world. Traveling alone, Erika Fatland is a true adventurer in every sense. In Sovietistan, she takes the reader on a compassionate and insightful journey to explore how their Soviet heritage has influenced these countries, with governments experimenting with both democracy and dictatorships. In Kyrgyzstani villages, she meets victims of the tradition of bride snatching; she visits the huge and desolate Polygon in Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union tested explosions of nuclear bombs; she meets shrimp gatherers on the banks of the dried out Aral Sea; she witnesses the fall of a dictator. She travels incognito through Turkmenistan, a country that is closed to journalists. She meets exhausted human rights activists in Kazakhstan, survivors from the massacre in Osh in 2010, and German Mennonites that found paradise on the Kyrgyzstani plains 200 years ago. We learn how ancient customs clash with gas production and witness the underlying conflicts between ethnic Russians and the majority in a country that is slowly building its future in nationalist colors. Once the frontier of the Soviet Union, life follows another pace of time. Amidst the treasures of Samarkand and the brutalist Soviet architecture, Sovietistan is a rare and unforgettable adventure.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Apparently There Were Complaints: A Memoir
    Apparently There Were Complaints: A Memoir
    Apparently There Were Complaints: A Memoir

    Audiobook

    Apparently There Were Complaints: A Memoir

    bySharon Gless

    Emmy Award­–winning actress Sharon Gless tells all in this laugh-out-loud, juicy, and touching memoir about her five decades in Hollywood, where she took on some of the most groundbreaking roles of her time. Anyone who has seen Sharon Gless act in Cagney & Lacey, Queer as Folk, Burn Notice, and countless other shows and movies, knows that she’s someone who gives every role her all. She holds nothing back in Apparently There Were Complaints, a hilarious, deeply personal memoir that spills all about Gless’s five decades in Hollywood. A fifth-generation Californian, Sharon Gless knew from a young age that she wanted to be an actress. After some rocky teenage years that included Sharon’s parents’ divorce and some minor (and not-so-minor) rebellion, Gless landed a coveted spot as an exclusive contract player for Universal Studios. In 1982, she stepped into the role of New York Police Detective Christine Cagney for the series Cagney & Lacey, which eventually reached an audience of 30 million weekly viewers and garnered Gless with two Emmy Awards. The show made history as the first hour-long drama to feature two women in the leading roles. Gless continued to make history long after Cagney & Lacey was over. In 2000, she took on the role of outrageous Debbie Novotny in Queer as Folk. Her portrayal of a devoted mother to a gay son and confidant to his gay friends touched countless hearts and changed the definition of family for millions of viewers. Apparently There Were Complaints delves into Gless’s remarkable career and explores Gless’s complicated family, her struggles with alcoholism, and her fear of romantic commitment as well as her encounters with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Brutally honest and incredibly relatable, Gless puts it all out on the page in the same way she has lived—never with moderation.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • 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: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • 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.   "The elegance of Patchett’s prose is seductive and inviting: with Patchett as a guide, readers will really get to grips with the power of struggles, failures, and triumphs alike." —Publisher's Weekly “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 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: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • 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

    A New York Times bestseller. “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: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • 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 "Ratajkowski shares thoughts on sexuality, feminism, and power dynamics in a nuanced way that will have listeners looking for more from her." -- AudioFile

    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: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • You Can't Be Serious
    You Can't Be Serious
    You Can't Be Serious

    Audiobook

    You Can't Be Serious

    byKal Penn

    NATIONAL BESTSELLER 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: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • 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: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • 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 Named a Notable Book of 2021 by NPR and The Washington Post 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 A Best Book of 2021 by Chicago Tribune, People, Real Simple, The Washington Post, and Time 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
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