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The First Kentucky Derby: Thirteen Black Jockeys, One Shady Owner, and the Little Red Horse That Wasn’t Supposed To Win

Eye-opening reading for horse racing fans. Will also likely appeal to readers interested in sports history in post–Civil War America.

Defectors: How the Illicit Flight of Soviet Citizens Built the Borders of the Cold War World

This diplomatic history is dense and detailed. Best suited for academic libraries with collections in modern European history.

Feel My Big Guitar: Prince and the Sound He Helped Create

Prince fans and others interested in popular music will find much to love and ponder in this engaging collection.

Wonder Boy: Tony Hsieh, Zappos, and the Myth of Happiness in Silicon Valley

Recommended for business collections and to those considering entrepreneurship or applying Hsieh’s business philosophy.

Tiny Joys: A Guide to Embracing Your Inner Coastal Grandmother

This beautifully illustrated book is a fun read, but it may not be suitable for library purchase.

1000 Vampires on Screen, Vol 1: A–J

Libraries with strong film and horror sections will find this irresistible two-volume reference an essential purchase.

The Reference Shelf: Representative American Speeches, 2021–2022

A solid and unbiased source of primary documents on the most contentious political challenges facing the nation. For readers at all levels, especially high schoolers and undergrads.

The One Thing You Need To Know: 21 Key Scientific Concepts of the 21st Century

To aid readers, there are a 23-page glossary of terms and a nine-page alphabetical index. Recommended for general or school libraries.

In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonders of Complex Systems

While the scientific lingo can feel a little overwhelming at times, readers who persist through to the end will likely find themselves enlightened and eager to listen and learn.

The Ghost Forest: Racists, Radicals, and Real Estate in the California Redwoods

King’s engaging narrative exposes the maneuvering of lumber companies that plundered redwood forests for decades, with the collusion of powerful individuals in politics, academia, and civil service.

The Einstein Effect: How the World’s Favorite Genius Got into Our Cars, Our Bathrooms, and Our Minds

Readers won’t find a livelier celebration of Einstein’s work and life. A great recommendation for teens and adults alike.

Chasing Shadows: My Life Tracking the Great White Shark

Fans of Jaws and “Shark Week” will love this book, but it’s also a compelling read for anyone interested in oceans, wildlife, conservation, or scientific adventures. An excellent title for readers who’ve ever been at the ocean’s edge and wondered what was out there.

The Three Ages of Water: Prehistoric Past, Imperiled Present, and a Hope for the Future

This book urges readers to consider that there are already solutions to the world’s water crisis, though humankind may not have the political, social, and cultural will to implement those solutions. Highly recommended for all libraries.

The Elissas: Three Girls, One Fate, and the Deadly Secrets of Suburbia

An intimate, moving narrative peppered with harsh statistics, love, angst, and the author’s own admirable vulnerability.

The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar

The book explores nearly every aspect and example of Black horror cinema, from recurring one-dimensional archetypes to surgical dissections of relevant films, but its overall message resonates. Black voices and creatives in cinema have made strides in representation, but there is clearly more work to do.

Promises of Gold

Seemingly tailor-made for audio, this powerful book is a must-purchase. Olivarez’s invitation to share moments of his history, culture, love, and joy is wholly affecting.

They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us

Abdurraqib is one of the preeminent cultural critics of our time, and his insightful essays give listeners much to consider, so long as the narration style works for them.

A Guest at the Feast: Essays

This absorbing collection, so intimately told, is an excellent choice for any library seeking to expand on its religious and social commentary. Tóibín’s fans will want to dig in.

What You Are Now

A play that questions and affirms the power of trauma, with mixed results in audio.

The Tribe: Portraits of Cuba

Although some of the promises of the revolution did not materialize, these stories of human resilience and ingenuity provide hope for the future. Share with listeners seeking authentic stories of Cuban life; a great fit for fans of Anthony DePalma’s The Cubans or Leila Guerriero’s Cuba on the Verge.

The Come Up: An Oral History of the Rise of Hip-Hop

This well-produced, essential account of hip-hop music and culture will appeal to the genre’s many fans, as well as listeners who enjoy popular culture and oral history.

Great Short Books: A Year of Reading—Briefly

Anyone looking to revisit classics or broaden their reading interests will treasure Ojo’s and Nixon’s brilliant performances and Davis’s curated list of outstanding short fiction.

Romaine Wasn’t Built in a Day: The Delightful History of Food Language

This deliciously fast-paced nonfiction audio will appeal to foodies, history buffs, and lingua-phile listeners alike.


A climate-charged spoof of filmmaking superficiality that solidly entertains but doesn’t quite soar. Directed in its excellent audio format by Anna Lyse Erikson and part of L.A. Theatre Works’ “Relativity Series” of science-themed plays.

All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me

Bringley brings emotional depth to his experiences, struggling to heal from his brother’s death and immersing himself in the museum’s beauty. Despite minor quibbles, this audio should find a welcome home in most audio collections.

Welcome to the Circus of Baseball: A Story of the Perfect Summer at the Perfect Ballpark at the Perfect Time

This audiobook is an easy score worth the ticket price and a special treat for those yearning for bygone-era baseball or 1990s nostalgia.

A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe

A worthy update to any Poe or biography collection, sure to attract listeners who might bypass something headier.

Bang Bang Crash: A Memoir

Recommended for fans of Dave Grohl’s The Storyteller or Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.

OCME: Life in America’s Top Forensic Medical Center

This audiobook is a winner for patrons who enjoy medical nonfiction and true crime or are interested in medical forensics. Narrator Barr makes listeners want to hear more.

Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America

This impressively researched work with engaging narration is perfect for libraries with patrons interested in science, history, climate change, and ecology.

Code Gray: Death, Life, and Uncertainty in the ER

Told with candor and compassion, this well-narrated book should not be missed by anyone who is interested in the ethics and the real-life experiences of medical personnel.

The People’s Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medicine

Through these stories, listeners will learn not only about the monetary cost of medical care but the human cost as well. With facts and heart, this is a timely book that showcases the realities of a system in crisis.

Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals and People in America

An important, if dryly narrated, account of humans as accidental and purposeful animals of environmental extinction. Recommended for fans of environmental histories and scholars of the same.

The Other Family Doctor: A Veterinarian Explores What Animals Can Teach Us About Love, Life, and Mortality

A heartfelt and moving book for listeners who enjoy animal stories and insights into connections between humans and animals.

Ode to Hip-Hop: 50 Albums That Define 50 Years of Trailblazing Music

A useful reference for hip-hop fans and music streaming enthusiasts.

Freaks, Gleeks, and Dawson’s Creek: How Seven Teen Shows Transformed Television

An enjoyable look at a key era in youth representation on television.

Creating the Canon: Composition, Controversy, and the Authority of the New Testament

Readers of the New Testament will find this book to be both intriguing and informative.

The Beat, the Scene, the Sound: A DJ’s Journey Through the Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of House Music in New York City

Hardcore house music fanatics will enjoy this book’s discussions on various clubs, drum machines, and acetates. Give it to readers who fondly remember the genre.

The Modern Maverick: Why Writing Your Own Rules Is Better for You, Your Business and the World

Recommended for readers who are looking to make quality-of-life adjustments in their professional and personal lives.

Perfectly Good Food: A Totally Achievable Zero Waste Approach to Home Cooking

This refreshing guide to zero-waste cooking invites readers to bring what they have to the pot to create unique and flavorful recipes.

Pomegranates and Artichokes: A Food Journey from Iran to Italy

Rich in images and stories, at once accessible to cooks, and crafted for readers, this is a work to cook from and reflect on. Don’t miss it.

The Little Book of Exoplanets

Recommended for readers who appreciate astronomy or are intrigued by the possibility of life on other planets.

Wake Up to Wonder: 22 Invitations to Amazement in the Everyday

Although all of the subjects March commends to the reader are Christians, the suggested practices are not bound by any religious faith and open to anyone who strives to live deliberately.

The Golden Girls: A Cultural History

An essential read for The Golden Girls fans and media studies scholars alike.

A Middle Eastern Pantry: Essential Ingredients for Classic and Contemporary Recipes

With plenty for cooks and cookbook readers, Sercarz has delivered a vibrant collection of recipes that lets the reader peek behind the curtain of Middle Eastern cuisine.

The Forgotten Girls: A Memoir of Friendship and Lost Promise in Rural America

Potts’s compassionate and sensitively read memoir is a challenging but timely listen, illuminating a little-known side of rural America.

Windfall: The Prairie Woman Who Lost Her Way and the Great-Granddaughter Who Found Her

Share with listeners interested in history, climate change, feminism, and narrative nonfiction. The intriguing plot, homesteading history, and insights into climate change make this a winner.

Crooked: The Roaring ’20s Tale of a Corrupt Attorney General, a Crusading Senator, and the Birth of the American Political Scandal

For fans of G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century by Beverly Gage. Recommended for general purchase.

Tremors in the Blood: Murder, Obsession, and the Birth of the Lie Detector

While the technology has changed, modern policing still relies heavily on scientific evidence. Katwala’s fascinating history of this unreliable device is a cautionary tale that will likely appeal to those interested in criminal justice and true crime.

Saying It Loud: 1966—The Year Black Power Challenged the Civil Rights Movement

Listeners interested in social justice and the history of the 1960s will likely enjoy this well-narrated deep dive into the early days of the Black Power movement.

Boston Tabloid: The Killing of Robin Benedict

A compelling recounting of one man’s obsession and a shocking case judged in the court of public opinion.

Children of the State: Stories of Survival and Hope in the Juvenile Justice System

An affecting listen, recommended for readers of Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy.

Thirty-Thousand Steps: A Memoir of Sprinting Toward Life After Loss

This heartfelt and honest book about life after loss is a must-listen for anyone looking to feel seen in their grief. Those who enjoy memoirs, stories of persistence through hard times, and those looking to learn more about America’s opioid crisis will want to listen.

Fragile Cargo: The World War II Race To Save the Treasures of China’s Forbidden City

Listeners will be on the edge of their seats as they learn about the heroic efforts of Chinese scholars and curators throughout this 16-year mission.

Poverty, by America

Although the message may not be welcomed by all, this thought-provoking book delivers. Recommended for all audio collections.

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder

All the trimmings of an admirable shipwreck story are present, including scurvy, mutiny, controversy, and foul weather. Combined with Graham’s hardy narration, Grann’s latest is a riveting must-listen. Expect broad listener appeal and high demand for this enthralling seafaring tale.

Egypt’s Golden Couple: When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth

Despite some flaws, this audiobook is a fantastic addition to any collection. Share with listeners looking for a different take on ancient Egyptian royalty; fans of Guy de la Bédoyère’s Pharaohs of the Sun or Arielle P. Kozloff’s Amenhotep III will also likely enjoy this title.

Code Name Blue Wren: The True Story of America’s Most Dangerous Female Spy—and the Sister She Betrayed

This deep dive into the case of Ana Montes is meticulously presented and will captivate true-crime lovers.

The Critic’s Daughter: A Memoir

Even if listeners aren’t familiar with Gilman or her parents, listeners will likely enjoy this rich, well-written memoir about flawed relationships and the lasting trauma of divorce.

The Devil’s Cinema: The Untold Story Behind Mark Twitchell’s Kill Room

Lovers of true crime will be unable to stop listening. A horrendous tale from its beginning straight through to its convoluted finish.

Homo Sapiens Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution Rewriting Our Origins

An approachable exploration of humanity’s roots that will likely interest those who loved Sang-Hee Lee’s Close Encounters With Humankind or Annalee Newitz’s explorations of more recent ancient humans in Four Lost Cities.

A Heart That Works

Delaney’s visceral memoir and love letter to his child will leave listeners’ hearts aching. A powerful audio that communicates the wholly personal yet terribly unifying experience of grief.

STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World

Lyons covers causes and solutions for everyday interactions and provides a persuasive argument for silence. Recommended for all audio collections.

We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America

This audio will appeal to listeners seeking a harrowing, issue-oriented nonfiction work about family, foster care, and the faults and failings of both. Recommended for fans of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc and similar steadfast investigative journalism.

Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir

This memoir detailing Regan’s relationship with her body, her family, and the world around her resonates with sincerity and passion.

The Collaborators: Three Stories of Deception and Survival in World War II

Fascinating information that loses each subject’s life thread in this choppy treatment.

Empress of the Nile: The Daredevil Archaeologist Who Saved Egypt’s Ancient Temples from Destruction

Fans of history and Egyptology will be inspired by Olson’s account, which narrator Flanagan delivers with clarity and nuance. A gripping and highly recommended audio.

Starter Dog: My Path to Joy, Belonging and Loving This World

This audio will appeal to listeners seeking an upbeat and honest animal lover autobiography, as much about people as it is about pets.

The Jan 6th Report

This fact-based accounting of the events of January 6, 2021, is one of the essential historical documents of this era. The thoughtful presentation of this audio edition makes it accessible to a wider audience.

Sink: A Memoir

Stunningly written and eloquent in its despair, this book is unforgettable; Thomas’s expressive narration elevates his story into a work of art.

Still Life with Bones: Genocide, Forensics, and What Remains

Hagerty’s illuminating account provides a fascinating and deeply moving glimpse into how anthropologists’ use of forensic methods has changed the ways in which research is conducted in the field.

Same Ground: Chasing Family Down the California Gold Rush Trail

Armchair travelers and history buffs interested in political and social issues, including immigration, civil rights, and environmental justice will appreciate this unique, solidly narrated title.

From Scratch: Adventures in Harvesting, Hunting, Fishing, and Foraging on a Fragile Planet

Recommended for fans of Anthony Bourdain’s books and international travel shows.

White Torture: Interviews with Iranian Women Prisoners

Mohammadi’s haunting interviews make for an unsettling but deeply powerful listen. An excellent audio that provides insight into the Iranian legal system and the way the Iranian government treats its activist prisoners.

Forager: Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult

This audio will appeal to listeners seeking a lyrical life story about faith and foraging. Recommended for fans of honest, inspiring memoirs.

The Teachers: A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession

Through Robbins’s firsthand knowledge of teaching and her investigation into the lives of other teachers, she reveals the harsh realities behind this honorable and challenging profession. A timely, essential listen for teachers and nonteachers alike.

Africatown: America’s Last Slave Ship and the Community It Created

A fascinating history of this unique community to pair with Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon or Ben Raines’s The Last Slave Ship, narrated by Kevin R. Free.

The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman, and Marilyn Monroe

The lives of Schulback and Donenfeld connect old Hollywood, the Golden Age of Comics, and the Holocaust. Fans of celebrity tell-all stories and comic book histories will enjoy.

The Best Strangers in the World: Stories from a Life Spent Listening

A must-listen for fans of Shapiro’s work on NPR and journalism memoirs. Purchase multiple copies (perhaps even forgoing the print), and put in the hands of sure-to-be-delighted patrons.

Token Black Girl: A Memoir

A unique exposé of fashion media that is recommended for fans of Kenya Hunt’s Girl Gurl Grrrl or Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick.

Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission To Bring Healing to Homeless People

This excellent audio shines a light on the unsung heroes providing frontline health care to unhoused people and demonstrates the power of a small group dedicated to a cause. A recommended purchase for all libraries.

A Union Like Ours: The Love Story of F.O. Matthiessen and Russell Cheney

Despite flaws in the audio, this is an arresting account of how a same-sex relationship endured amid societal conflicts and a solid examination of the men’s respective works.

My Road from Damascus: A Memoir

This riveting memoir of a Syrian dissident, featuring an outstanding, often musical performance, deserves comparisons to Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning in its ability to find the beauty of human connection in utterly inhumane conditions.

Madame Restell: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless, and Infamous Abortionist

Given the changing legislation on abortion, Wright’s extraordinary feminist history, featuring an impassioned performance by Wilson and a lively discussion between author and narrator, is essential for all library collections.

Blood Money: The Story of Life, Death, and Profit Inside America’s Blood Industry

Although the content is occasionally repetitive, the central message about an industry taking advantage of people living in or close to poverty bears repeating. Recommended for libraries where this message will resonate.

B.F.F.: A Memoir of Friendship Lost and Found

Listeners will relate to the disasters and triumphs of Tate’s friendships and will likely respond to her transparent, often humorous delivery.

Hillbilly Queer: A Memoir

A timely and compassionate memoir that will appeal to anyone looking for connections and trying to bridge their own chasms.

Happily: A Personal History—with Fairy Tales

The audiobook’s hybrid of truth and tale may give some listeners pause. Give to those who enjoy eccentric, lyrical nonfiction.

The Once and Future Sex: Going Medieval on Women’s Roles in Society

Anyone interested in women’s studies or medieval history will be delighted with Janega’s witty and insightful look at the long trail of medieval attitudes toward women, especially given Naeymi’s sparkling performance.

The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science

An inspiring story. Essential listening for researchers, students, administrators, and anyone interested in the influence of women in science and academia.

Hijab Butch Blues

While this memoir addresses weighty and sometimes painful topics, the essays shine with hope for a better future and deeper understanding. Listeners will end up hoping for more from this trailblazing writer.

Feral: Losing Myself and Finding My Way in America’s National Parks

Listeners who enjoy memoirs about self-discovery will enjoy Pennington’s candid debut. Suggest to fans of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.

Mary Climbs In: The Journeys of Bruce Springsteen’s Women Fans

An intelligent and vital look at women in rock audiences. All Springsteen fans will likely enjoy this, but it also deserves serious consideration from general readers interested in studies of popular music, gender, and fandom.

Haight-Ashbury, Psychedelics, and the Birth of Acid Rock

A diverting and informative tour and an excellent companion to William Schnabel’s Summer of Love and Haight.

Listen to My Heart: Life, Love & Roxette

Fredriksson’s honesty about her often abrasive past behavior, her frustration at being discounted in the men-dominated music industry, and her attempts to find alternative lifesaving treatments makes for an engaging read. Most poignant is her vulnerability as she opens her closets and photo albums that showcase a life well lived.

From Princess to Porn Star: A Real-Life Cinderella Story

Neither an excoriation of the sex industry nor a reclamation of it as a source of empowerment, this memoir adds a needed complexity to the conversation about both.

The Astrology Guide: Understanding Your Signs, Your Gifts, and Yourself

Students of astrology and zodiac-curious readers will find a readable, easy-to-navigate, yet comprehensive reference tool for interpreting natal charts.

The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book: The History and Issues Explained

The U.S. Supreme Court is increasingly in the news, but its workings and history are opaque. This recommended book can help clear things up.

All the Leaves Are Brown: How the Mamas & the Papas Came Together and Broke Apart

Shea’s matter-of-fact journalistic style prevents sensationalism from overtaking this study of the Mamas & the Papas’ powerful influence and importance.

The Last Ride of the Pony Express: My 2,000-Mile Horseback Journey into the Old West

Will appeal to lovers of U.S. history and horses.

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