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Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes

Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes

By Janna
Looking for your next Audiobook listen, but not sure where to start? The Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes podcast covers highlights of my latest non-fiction audiobook recommendations; topics include culture, ideas, history, and communication.
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Review of Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
In his 15-hour audiobook published in April 2021, Keefe captures a family saga that spans the twentieth century and leads up to 2020. Members of the Sackler family founded Purdue Pharma, the infamous maker of OxyContin, a prescription drug that has fuelled an opioid epidemic across North America for the last twenty years. Patrick Radden Keefe’s investigative journalism about the Sackler family has a history, too; he first published his findings in a 2017 New Yorker article, The Family That Built an Empire of Pain.  Connect with Audiobook Reviews in 5: · Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/audiobook_reviews_podcast/ · Twitter: @janna_ca · Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookReviewsInFiveMinutes · Anchor: https://anchor.fm/audiobookreviews · Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website: https://podcast.jannastam.com/ · Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jannastam Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:32
June 8, 2021
Review of The Quick Fix: Why Fad Psychology Can't Cure Our Social Ills by Jesse Singal
In The Quick Fix, author and podcaster Jesse Singal argues that the trendy, TED-Talk-friendly psychological interventions so in vogue right now will never be enough to truly address social injustice and inequality. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53317475-the-quick-fix?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=7XFqZDGRlj&rank=2 Connect with Audiobook Reviews in 5: · Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/audiobook_reviews_podcast/ · Twitter: @janna_ca · Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookReviewsInFiveMinutes · Anchor: https://anchor.fm/audiobookreviews · Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website: https://podcast.jannastam.com/ · Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jannastam Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:34
June 1, 2021
Review of What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing written and read by Oprah Winfrey, Bruce D. Perry
What Happened To You is the latest popular psychology book examining the relationship between trauma and behavioural patterns that many of us struggle to understand in ourselves and others. The title suggests we can better understand ourselves and others if we shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Note: An ACE score is a tally of different types of abuse, neglect, and other hallmarks of a rough childhood. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for later health problems. Take the ACE test: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/02/387007941/take-the-ace-quiz-and-learn-what-it-does-and-doesnt-mean Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57638518-what-happened-to-you Connect with Audiobook Reviews in 5: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/audiobook_reviews_podcast/ Twitter: @janna_ca Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookReviewsInFiveMinutes Anchor: https://anchor.fm/audiobookreviews Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website: https://podcast.jannastam.com/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jannastam Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:01
May 25, 2021
Review of The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell
The Bomber Mafia is a fascinating exploration of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war. The production was initially conceived of, from the beginning, as an audiobook. Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers—The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy's Top Global Thinkers Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56668328-the-bomber-mafia Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:37
May 18, 2021
Review of The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't by Julia Galef
Author Julia Galef is the co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality and host of Rationally Speaking, the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. She defines “scout mindset” as the motivation to see things as they are, not as you wish they were – and to be intellectually honest and curious about what's actually true. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42041926-the-scout-mindset?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=nTcE5FUFRh&rank=1 Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:42
May 11, 2021
Review of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out by Amanda Ripley
“This is one of the most important books that will be published in 2021. The Covid vaccine will soon free humanity from a biological pandemic, and this book, if widely read, could free humanity from an equally deadly scourge—high conflict.” — Jonathan Haidt, Social psychologist, Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University Stern School of Business, and author CThe Coddling of the American Mind Amanda Ripley is an investigative journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. She’s spent her career trying to make sense of complicated human mysteries, from what happens to our brains in a disaster to how some countries manage to educate virtually all their kids to think for themselves. Her first book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and Why, was published in 15 countries and turned into a PBS documentary. Her next book,  The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way, was a New York Times bestseller. Amanda’s most recent book is High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, published by Simon & Schuster in April 2021. In her books and magazine writing, Amanda combines storytelling with data to help illuminate hard problems—and solutions. To do this, she usually follows people who have been through some kind of a transformation—including the survivors of hurricanes and plane crashes, American teenagers who have gone to high school in other countries and people who were bewitched by toxic conflicts and managed to break free. (from https://www.amandaripley.com/about-amanda) Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55713052-high-conflict Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:33
May 4, 2021
Review of Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind by Judson Brewer
Dr Judson Brewer is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at Brown University. As an addiction psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for treating addictions, Dr. Jud has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety (Eat Right Now, Unwinding Anxiety and Craving to Quit). Based on the success of these programs in the lab, he co-founded MindSciences, Inc. to create app-based digital therapeutic versions of these programs for a wider audience, working with individuals, corporations, and hospital systems to put effective, evidence-based behavior change guidance in the hands of people struggling with unwanted behaviors and “everyday addictions.” Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55628986-unwinding-anxiety Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:44
April 27, 2021
Review of Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism by Mariana Mazzucato, read by Lexie McDougal
“This economist has a plan to fix capitalism. It's time we all listened.” – Wired Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). She received her BA from Tufts University and her MA and PhD in Economics from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. Her previous posts include the RM Phillips Professorial Chair at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at Sussex University. She is a selected fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and of the Italian National Science Academy (Lincei). She is winner of international prizes including the 2020 John von Neumann Award, the 2019 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values, and the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She was named as one of the ‘3 most important thinkers about innovation’ by The New Republic, one of the 50 most creative people in business in 2020 by Fast Company, and one of the 25 leaders shaping the future of capitalism by WIRED. She is the author of three highly-acclaimed books: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (2013), The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy (2018) and the newly released, Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism (2021). (bio taken from https://marianamazzucato.com/about) Kara Swisher’s March 15, 2021 podcast conversation with Mariana Mazzucato  on Sway: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/15/opinion/sway-kara-swisher-mariana-mazzucato.html Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52745048-mission-economy Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:07
April 20, 2021
Review of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and a writer with a background in plant sciences, microbiology, ecology, and the history and philosophy of science. He received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Merlin’s research ranges from fungal biology, to the history of Amazonian ethnobotany, to the relationship between sound and form in resonant systems. A keen brewer and fermenter, he is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms. He is a musician and performs on the piano and accordion. Entangled Life is his first book. (from merlinsheldrake.com) Watch Oyster mushrooms consume Merlin Sheldrake’s book: https://www.merlinsheldrake.com/videos ** Sunday Times bestseller ** BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week ** British Book Awards Shortlist ** Rathbones Folio Prize Longlist ** Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist ** Richard Jeffries Society Literary Prize Shortlist ** André Simon Award Longlist ** The Times audiobook of the year in the category of 'authors voicing their own work' **  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53813848-entangled-life Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:30
April 13, 2021
Review of Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere by Tsedal Neeley, read by Marisha Tapera
Tsedal Neeley (@tsedal) is the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Her work focuses on how leaders can scale their organizations by developing and implementing global and digital strategies. She regularly advises top leaders who are embarking on virtual work and large-scale change that involves global expansion, digital transformation, and becoming more agile. Neeley’s award-winning book, The Language of Global Success: How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations, chronicles the behind-the-scenes globalization process of a company over the course of five years. She has also published extensively in leading scholarly and practitioner-oriented outlets such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Management Science, Journal of International Business, Strategic Management Journal and Harvard Business Review, and her work has been widely covered in media outlets such as BBC, CNN, Financial Times, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist. Her HBS case, Managing a Global Team: Greg James at Sun Microsystems, is one of the most used cases worldwide on the subject of virtual work. (from tsedal.com) Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56925006-remote-work-revolution Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:37
April 6, 2021
A conversation with Rachel Décoste, author of a Year of Return: a Black Woman’s African Homecoming
Have you ever explored your ancestry? What did you discover? In her 2021 audiobook, The Year of Return: A Black Woman’s African Homecoming, Rachel Décoste shares her epic odyssey to Africa. Like most descendants of enslaved Africans, Décoste could not pinpoint her origins until technology evolved. Guided by a DNA test, she visited 5 countries in as many months – each country held a piece of her ancestry. In her own voice, Décoste recounts her journey with vivid imagery and humour – her pan-African trek is peppered with unexpected twists and delightful discoveries. Buy The Year of Return: A Black Woman’s African Homecoming audiobook: http://www.yearofreturnbook.com/ Rachel Décoste is a writer, educator and social policy expert from Ottawa, Canada. She has been a community activist since her youth, working with organizations including the Children's Aid Society, S.O.S. Montfort Hospital, the Famous 5 Foundation, and the Black Canadian Scholarship Fund. Her commitment includes international activities: she has traveled abroad to provide aid in South and Central Americas and West Africa. In 2008, Décoste worked on then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign and again in 2012. Décoste lived and worked in Washington, DC, where she honed her socioeconomic policy credentials while managing a national bipartisan tech education initiative on behalf of the United States Congress. She was named to the Top 100 Accomplished Black Canadian women in 2018. Décoste has lectured on diversity and inclusion at several top universities in the USA and Canada. She also offers anti-Black racism workshops for North American corporations and firms. (from racheldecoste.com) Podcast audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
01:02:25
March 30, 2021
A conversation with Paul Gewuerz, founder of Made to Order Audio: give the gift of a custom audiobook and commemorate your story
What are the funny or interesting stories from your life? You know, the ones that get retold at every family or friends get together? In this extended episode, I sit down with Paul Gewuerz, the founder of Made to Order Audio, to chat about the art and possibilities of custom audiobooks.  Commission a one of a kind personalized audiobook to commemorate your story: use promo code JANNA at Made to Order Audio for $30 off your custom audiobook orders until May 15, 2021 Made to Order Audiobooks: How it Works Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
32:15
March 23, 2021
Review of How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, by Bill Gates, read by Wil Wheaton
Gates identifies the Five Grand Challenges of climate change as manufacturing (31%), electricity (27%), agriculture (19%), transportation (16%), and buildings (7%). Since there’s no single solution for any of these sectors, Gates proposes we speed up the cycle of innovation and attract a mix of private and public investment that is more risk tolerant than we’re used to seeing in order to reach net zero emissions by 2050. What you can do to fight climate change: https://www.gatesnotes.com/Energy/What-you-can-do-to-fight-climate-change Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52275335-how-to-avoid-a-climate-disaster?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=09awNLoppj&rank=1 Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:21
March 16, 2021
Review of The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel
In the Tyranny of Merit, political philosopher Michael Sandel attacks what he calls “the rhetoric of rising” and ideas about meritocracy on both the political left and right in the United States. Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His writings—on justice, ethics, democracy, and markets--have been translated into 27 languages. His course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television.  It has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, including in China, where Sandel was named the “most influential foreign figure of the year.” (China Newsweek). Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50364458-the-tyranny-of-merit Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:43
March 9, 2021
Review of The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, read by Dylan Moore
The Glass Hotel is like a literary mosaic of tiny pieces taken from various times, locations, and perspectives. I found this initially disorienting, but when the bigger picture started to emerge, I was hooked.  Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York. She is the author of five novels, including The Glass Hotel (spring 2020) and Station Eleven (2014.) Station Eleven was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, won the Morning News Tournament of Books, and has been translated into 34 languages.  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49119123-the-glass-hotel Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:36
March 2, 2021
Review of Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
Think Again is a 21st Century reboot of Enlightenment ideas, celebrating skepticism and science. Adam Grant’s balance of storytelling and statistics is fascinating, but what makes this listen fun is how Grant challenges us to explore our own tendencies and guides us in how to practice rethinking our beliefs. How often do you think again? Take the quiz: https://www.adamgrant.net/quizzes/think-again-quiz/ ** Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and TED speaker who helps people find meaning and motivation at work. Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for 7 straight years. As an organizational psychologist, he is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40. ​He is the author of 4 New York Times bestselling books that have sold millions of copies and been translated into 35 languages: Give and Take, Originals, Option B, and Power Moves. His books have been named among the year’s best by Amazon, Apple, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal and praised by J.J. Abrams, Richard Branson, Bill and Melinda Gates, Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Kahneman, and Malala Yousafzai. (bio taken from https://www.adamgrant.net/about/biography/) ** Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56789923-think-again Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:44
February 23, 2021
Review of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, written by Jonathan Haidt, read by Ryan Vincent Anderson
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt is a 2006 psychology book written for a non-academic audience, with insights that remain relevant today. Haidt takes 10 classic great ideas from Eastern and Western philosophy and applies these to modern life, while adding context from contemporary psychology. Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and taught for 16 years in the department of psychology at the University of Virginia. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures––including the cultures of American progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. Haidt is the author of three books:  The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom; The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion; and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (co-authored with Greg Lukianoff). The last two books each became New York Times bestsellers. At NYU-Stern, he is applying his research on moral psychology to business ethics, asking how companies can structure and run themselves in ways that will be resistant to ethical failures (see EthicalSystems.org). He is also the co-founder of HeterodoxAcademy.org, a collaboration among nearly 2500 professors who are working to increase viewpoint diversity and freedom of inquiry in universities. From https://jonathanhaidt.com/bio/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24853310-the-happiness-hypothesis Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:50
February 16, 2021
Review of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, read by Carey Mulligan
“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever…” Ultimately, stories have emotional power over us, and great stories stay with us for a lifetime. Haig’s charming style made this listen impossible to put down. And, although it covers some heavy subject matter, The Midnight Library is an easy listen beautifully narrated by British actress Carey Mulligan, who brings Nora’s character to life in so many different contexts. Matt Haig is an author for children and adults. His memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, was a number one bestseller, staying in the British top ten for 46 weeks. His children’s book, A Boy Called Christmas, was a runaway hit and is translated in over 40 languages. It is being made into a film starring Maggie Smith, Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent and The Guardian called it an ‘instant classic’. His novels for adults include the award-winning How To Stop Time, The Radleys, The Humans and the number one bestseller The Midnight Library, which also won the 2021 Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54744876-the-midnight-library Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:39
February 9, 2021
Review of Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times written by Katherine May and read by Rebecca Lee
All of us have experienced unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a breakup, or a job loss. These experiences can be deeply lonely and confusing. I’m reviewing this book because I’m thinking of all the people I know living through what may feel like one of the most difficult winters of our lifetimes. Katherine May is a New York Times bestselling author; she previously published The Electricity of Every Living Thing, her memoir of being autistic. Her fiction includes The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club and Burning Out. She is also the editor of The Best, Most Awful Job, an anthology of essays about motherhood. Her journalism and essays have appeared in a range of publications including The New York Times, The Observer and Aeon. She lives in Whitstable, UK with her husband, son, three cats and a dog. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56171009-wintering Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:04
February 2, 2021
A conversation with author Tom James: Does parenting make people better, less selfish members of society?
In this extended episode, I sit down with author Tom James to chat about his hilarious and thought-provoking book, Your Children Are Boring: How Modern Parents Ruin Everything, which delves into society's obsession with children and parenting and the potential consequences of this. Our conversation touches on how modern parenthood aligns to identity politics, the pitfalls of performing parenthood on social media, changing ideals of childhood development, and more. Your Children Are Boring is a Sauce Materials publication available on Audible and Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Europe. Tom James grew up in Essex, his parents were working class Londoners and after leaving school at 16 he worked in London. In 1990, during the first Gulf War he found himself sat on a beach in Tel Aviv (having been asked to leave the kibbutz he was staying at for 'not working'). He read a tatty copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson and had an epiphany. He decided he would change the course of his life, and attempt to be a writer. He trained as a journalist in the 90s and has spent the last 15 or so years working in a variety of roles in London. However, writing took a back seat. More recently though, he had a series of creative forays including writing, producing and presenting a successful comedy podcast I Am Idiot, involved in a surprisingly successful comedy cookery book called Fifty Shades of Gravy: The Cookbook, and outings of prose on Medium and PublicHouse Magazine. Tom lives in leafy Hertfordshire with two cats, and is somehow a godfather to two of his friends' children. Read more from Tom James Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51962039-your-children-are-boring?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=tGuiVydqIG&rank=1 Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
56:36
January 26, 2021
Review of You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy
One Goodreads reviewer gave this book three stars out of five, criticizing it as a “Love Letter to Listening” (but lacking tips of how to listen better). This same rationale is exactly why I’m giving this title five out of five stars. The fact is, most of us know perfectly well what listening skills are, but we’re not practicing good listening habits because we don’t value listening enough, author Kate Murphy is passionately determined to change that. Picked by the Observer, Stylist, and Waterstones as a best non-fiction book for 2020 and nominated for a 2020 Goodreads Choice Award for nonfiction. Kate Murphy is a Houston, Texas–based journalist who has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Agence France-Presse, and Texas Monthly. Her eclectic and widely shared pieces have explored an extraordinary range of topics including health, technology, science, design, art, aviation, business, finance, fashion, dining, travel, and real estate. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45892276-you-re-not-listening?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Wkz3x9sMZR&rank=1 Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:25
January 19, 2021
Review of Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein, read by Will Damron
Have you ever felt conflicted about the phrase “follow your passion”, or hesitated to try something new because you were already invested in another endeavour? Range offers a fresh take on what success looks like. David Epstein is the author of the #1 New York Times best seller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the bestseller The Sports Gene. He has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He lives in Washington, DC. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44652633 Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:49
January 12, 2021
Make Listening Your Superpower in 2021: Special extended episode
This extended episode is also available as an article on medium.com and shares insights taken from some of the audiobooks about listening I've reviewed on my podcast.  Want to add lasting value at work and in personal relationships? In our attention economy, being a good listener helps you stand out for the right reasons. If we want to build rapport, trust, and collaborative productivity after months of virtual isolation, now seems an ideal time to elevate our listening skills with colleagues, friends, family, and even strangers.  We have everything to gain, including deeper connections, more supportive relationships, better career prospects… and we might even be surprised by what we learn about ourselves. ** If you're interested in learning more about listening skills, check out these articles: What Great Listeners Actually Do by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman (Harvard Business Review) Talk Less. Listen More. Here's How. Lessons in the art of listening, from a C.I.A. agent, a focus group moderator and more By Kate Murphy (New York Times) Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions
11:20
January 5, 2021
Review of A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future, written and read by Sir David Attenborough
Do you feel overwhelmed by data and news about climate change? A Life on Our Planet offers some powerful reasons for optimism.  Sir David Attenborough is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, the nine natural history documentary series forming the Life collection that together constitute a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on Earth. He considers his 2020 documentary film and book, A Life On Our Planet, his personal witness statement of his life and the future. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55535828-a-life-on-our-planet Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions
06:35
December 29, 2020
Review of A Promised Land, written and read by Barack Obama
What does it mean to be American – and is it possible for Americans to unite in a common cause unrelated to war or terrorism?  Barack Obama's unwavering vision of American Exceptionalism is not new; it’s been a feature of his rhetoric since he entered politics, but it’s significant that he doesn’t overtly define what it is NOT. This open-ended approach undoubtedly helped win him votes, but the term American Exceptionalism also has a long and convoluted history: it’s been used by American leaders and thinkers as shorthand for radically divergent ideas, including Christian manifest destiny, rugged individualism, freedom, anti-globalist isolationism, egalitarianism, and undisputed military might. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55364115 YouTube podcast episode: https://youtu.be/S7VuVYjpoks Visit https://podcast.jannastam.com/for more information about this podcast Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions
08:05
December 22, 2020
Review of Fire in Paradise: An American Tragedy by Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano, read by T. Ryder Smith
The November 2018 fire that levelled the towns of Paradise and Concow was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history, and the most expensive natural disaster in the world that year. Named the Camp Fire, after its place of origin on Camp Creek Road, the fire was ignited by a faulty electric transmission line, and claimed 85 lives, and displaced more than 50,000 people, leading to a refugee crisis that continues to unfold today. Alastair Gee is an award-winning editor and reporter at the Guardian who has also written for The New Yorker online, the New York Times, and the Economist. Gee lives in New York City. Dani Anguiano writes for the Guardian and was formerly a reporter for the Chico Enterprise-Record, where she covered Butte County, including Chico and Paradise. Having lived in Butte County for a decade, Anguiano now lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Bonus material: AudioFile’s Behind the Mic podcast An Interview with T. Ryder Smith, Narrator of Fire in Paradise Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54228921-fire-in-paradise YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ka6TnTT2SA8 Visit https://podcast.jannastam.com/ for details about this podcast Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify Audio & video production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions
06:41
December 15, 2020
Review of How to Be Heard: Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening, written and read by Julian Treasure
Which habits are keeping you from being a great communicator? Julian Treasure is the chair of the Sound Agency, a firm that advises worldwide businesses – offices, retailers, airports – on how to design sound in their physical spaces and communication. How to be Heard: Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening, based on his TED Talk, offers practical exercises to improve communication skills and an inspiring vision for a sonorous world of effective speaking, conscious listening and understanding.  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34027310-how-to-be-heard?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=Bx6tQrMksU&rank=1 YouTube: https://youtu.be/P8LvHffGXKM Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:19
December 8, 2020
Review of The Wolf Hall Trilogy (Thomas Cromwell Series) by Hilary Mantel, read by Simon Vance and Joseph Kloska
Modern marriage and politics have nothing over the royal court of King Henry VIII. The Wolf Hall Trilogy includes Wolf Hall, Bring up the Bodies (both read by Simon Vance) and The Mirror & the Light, read by Joseph Kloska. These titles represent more than 15 years of extensive research and superb writing by English writer Dame Hilary Mary Mantel. The trilogy covers the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII, featuring Anne Boleyn, Thomas More, Jane Seymour, and other political and royal players from Tudor England.  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52172741-wolf-hall-trilogy-3-books-collection-set-by-hilary-mantel?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=6cxXtLkLhR&rank=3 YouTube: https://youtu.be/NbL6sqHf3UQ Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions
08:23
December 1, 2020
Review of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, written and read by Oliver Burkeman
“The effort to try to feel happy is often precisely the thing that makes us miserable.” ― Oliver Burkeman, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking is a witty, fascinating, and counterintuitive listen / read that turns decades of self-help advice on its head and forces us to rethink completely our attitudes toward failure, uncertainty, and death. Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/profile/oliverburkeman Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13721709-the-antidote Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:56
November 24, 2020
Review of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine, read by James Patrick Cronin
What if you already have absolutely everything you need to feel satisfied (and even joyful!) about your life? Stoic philosophy is based on the idea that satisfaction in life, also described as tranquility, rests on our ability to accept and ultimately embrace life as it is, no matter who or where we are. As William B Irvine sums it up, "to be satisfied with little is not a failing, it is a blessing". William B Irvine is professor of philosophy at Wright State University. The author of seven books, including A Guide to the Good Life, he has also written for the Huffington Post, Salon, Time, and the BBC. He lives in Dayton, Ohio. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25230222-a-guide-to-the-good-life YouTube: https://youtu.be/h76A-ZZ3BdM Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:29
November 17, 2020
Review of Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse: What You Urgently Need To Know by Nina Schick
While forgery and deception are intrinsically linked to the human condition, the information age in which we live is increasingly moving toward what author and broadcaster Nina Schick describes as the infocalypse, a point in the not-too-distant-future when it will become impossible to tell what is real and what is fake in the media we consume. Over the last decade, Nina has cultivated her expertise in geopolitics and emerging technology. She has worked on the frontline of major global events including Brexit; the EU’s migrant crisis; election interference; and on the evolution of disinformation and information warfare. Nina has advised a group of global leaders including Joe Biden, the former Vice President of the United States, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Secretary General of NATO, on deepfakes. (https://ninaschick.org/) Fact-checking organizations · APF Fact Check – factcheck.afp.com · AP Fact – apnews.com/APFactCheck · BBC Reality Check – bbc.co.uk/news/reality_check • FullFact – fullfact.org · Politfact – politifact.com · Snopes – snopes.com Media provenance · Content Authenticity Initiative (Adobe) – contentauthenticity.org · Digimac – digimap.edina.ac.uk · News Provenance Project – newsprovenanceproject.com · Pressland – pressland.com Disinformation detection and protection · Amped – ampedsoftware.com · AI Foundation – aifoundation.com · Bellingcat – bellingcat.com · DARPA – darpa.mil · EUvsDisinfo – euvsdisinfo.eu · The Citizen Lab at the University ofToronto – citizenlab.ca · DeepTrace – deeptracelabs.com · Jigsaw – jigsaw.google.com · NewsGuard – newsguardtech.com · Truepic – truepic.com ** Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54828853-deep-fakes-and-the-infocalypse?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=dZScFHhT1S&rank=1 YouTube https://youtu.be/msA_OC7VEZk Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:37
November 10, 2020
Review of Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined, written and read by Stephen Fry
Heroes is the second book in Stephen Fry’s Greek Mythology trilogy; the first book, Mythos, which I also reviewed, focuses on gods and other immortals in Greek mythology, while Heroes focuses on mortals with exceptional abilities, although most have direct connection to the gods, including Perseus, Heracles, Bellerophon, Orpheus, Jason, Atalanta, Oedipus, and Theseus. About the author: Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile (Goodreads) Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51170326-heroes YouTube: https://youtu.be/x-c5V8vL2jk Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:58
November 3, 2020
Review of Eat a Peach, written by David Chang & Gabe Ulla, read by David Chang
Have you ever ordered something you enjoyed so much at a restaurant that you tried making it yourself at home? Well, I have, and although I never quite succeeded in replicating David Chang’s Ginger Scallion noodles from Momofuku Noodle Bar, I’m glad I can share highlights from his autobiography in this review. David Chang is an American restaurateur, author, and television personality. He is the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, which includes Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Milk Bar, and Momofuku Ko in New York City; Momofuku Seiōbo in Sydney; Momofuku Noodle Bar and Kojin in Toronto; and Momofuku CCDC in Washington, DC. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48925820-eat-a-peach YouTube: https://youtu.be/ok8YfBe1vak Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
05:45
October 27, 2020
Review of Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story) written and read by Daniel Nayeri
Don’t let the young adult (YA) fiction marketing fool you, this autobiographical story is unforgettable (and much appreciated!) by those with some life experience. Daniel, the author and narrator, flees from Iran as a small child, detours through a refugee camp in Italy, then winds up in middle school in Oklahoma, where he puts on his best impression of legendary storyteller Scheherazade in the tradition of One Thousand and One Nights, attempting to convince his classmates of his true identity, even as he is trying to make sense of his patchwork memories and redefine himself. “When I was a kid in Isfahan, I would tell my mother that someday, I would build her a castle at the top of Mount Sofeh. I could see it from my window. A castle in the sky. I didn’t know that life would make a liar out of me. I’m sorry, Mom. I didn’t forget. I just never managed it. I wrote you a book instead. I know it isn’t even close” – Daniel Nayeri, Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story) Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45916267-everything-sad-is-untrue YouTube: https://youtu.be/lLWOndGwXDc Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
05:25
October 20, 2020
Review of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari, read by Derek Perkins
“Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question” – Yuval Noah Harari What is the right thing to do when confronting a completely unprecedented situation? How should we act when we’re flooded by enormous amounts of information, and there is absolutely no way we can absorb and analyze it all?  21 Lessons is Harari’s attempt to make sense of humanity’s most pressing problems, including crises in national identity, identity politics, global leadership, destabilization from climate change, and the exponential risks and opportunities that technology and innovation present to us as a species. Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher, and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Sapiens: A Graphic History. His books have sold 27.5 Million copies in 60 languages, and he is considered one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals today. Learn more at https://www.ynharari.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41584641-21-lessons-for-the-21st-century YouTube: https://youtu.be/VFBufxw-6ig Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
05:59
October 13, 2020
Review of How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide written by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay, read by Peter Boghossian
Would you like to have more productive conversations with people who think differently than you or strongly disagree with you? Hint: it’s unlikely to happen online. While many fear that conversations about politics, religion, and values are a futile endeavour these days, this audiobook may encourage you to persevere in your attempts to connect with others who hold what might seem to be intractable points of view. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51599430-how-to-have-impossible-conversations Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions YouTube: https://youtu.be/m_Eckd7Nqwo Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:25
October 6, 2020
Review of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky, read by Michael Goldstrom
“You don’t have to choose between being scientific and being compassionate.” -- Robert M. Sapolsky  Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University and Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Stanford's School of Medicine. He is also a research associate at the Institute of Primate Research operated by the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi and a recipient of a MacArthur genius fellowship. His teaching awards include Stanford University's Bing Award for Teaching Excellence and an award for outstanding teaching from the Associated Students of Stanford University.  Overall, I strongly recommend this book for anyone who wants to better understand the neuroscience and biology behind behavioural and social psychology and put it into both contemporary and historic context. If you’re like me, you might want to consider having a hard copy to highlight and stick notes in, because Sapolsky covers so much ground. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35428942-behave YouTube: https://youtu.be/A0HvUGCucic Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
06:27
September 29, 2020
Review of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, read by Robin Miles
Has public conversation about racism stalled because we’re limited by the language we use? In Caste, Isabel Wilkerson sets out to reframe how we think about and discuss systemic and structural racism. “Of all the books I’ve chosen for book club over the decades, there isn’t another that is more essential a read than this one." – Oprah Winfrey, Oprah's Book Club pick Isabel Wilkerson is an American writer and the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer prize. She was also presented with the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama, and she is considered a leading figure in narrative nonfiction. She’s also the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, published in 2010 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54918685-caste Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Anchor, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
07:34
September 15, 2020
What Does it Take to Record & Produce an Audiobook? A Conversation with Narrator Michael Bafuma
Healthcare professional, musician, and actor Michael Bafuma sought new creative outlets during the Covid-19 shutdown, so he decided to try his hand at audiobook recording through ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange platform). In this extended interview episode, Mike reveals how he got started, his favourite performance aspects of narration, audiobook titles he recommends, and how recording an audiobook is akin to a marathon (not a sprint)! Contact Michael Bafuma on Twitter @michaelbafuma  Michael Bafuma ACX profile (Audiobook Creation Exchange platform) Audio sample from Audible.ca: Mad Wanderings of a Lost Mind: COVID-19 Quarantine and Its Effects on Sanity by Patrick Meservier, narrated by Michael Bafuma Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions 
48:39
September 8, 2020
Favourite Fiction Highlights: Tana French, genre-busting master of psychological suspense
This episode goes out to all the listeners who asked me to review fiction on the Audiobook Reviews in 5 Podcast! Tana French is one of my favourite living fiction writers; her mastery of psychological suspense has me hooked (in this episode I reveal the only fiction audiobook title I’ve listened to THREE times, because it’s THAT good). The voice actors who narrate Tana French audiobook titles make the characters come alive – you may find yourself starting to speak in an Irish accent after listening to these (consider yourself warned, "old son").  If you're already a Tana French fan, you're probably counting down the days until her next novel, The Searcher, is published October 6, 2020.  Tana French Goodreads author page. Audio samples from Audible.ca The Likeness by Tana French: Narrated by Grainne Gillis The Witch Elm: A Novel by Tana French: Narrated by Paul Nugent Broken Harbour by Tana French: Narrated by Hugh Lee Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
12:54
September 1, 2020
Review of The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship, written and read by David Whyte
Have the events of 2020 made you redefine or question the concept of work-life balance? According to David Whyte, the concept of striving to find balance between our personal and work lives is a case of misapplying and misunderstanding how we relate to the world and to ourselves. David Whyte is an English poet known for his work and speaking engagements in the business world focused on exploring the conversational nature of reality. Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:18
August 25, 2020
Bonus Episode: Ask Me Anything (AMA) #1
In this bonus podcast episode, I answer listener questions about why I don’t include ratings with my reviews, how I identify great listens for future reviews, and the challenges of reviewing fiction. Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Peacetime by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:43
August 23, 2020
Review of Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings and read by Simon Vance
Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He has published twenty-six books, and rumour has it that he rises at 5 a.m. and writes 2,000 words before breakfast – every day.  Catastrophe 1914 amounts to about 25 hours of listening, and bear in mind that it only covers the lead-up to the war, and the war’s first few months. Knowing that, you might expect this audiobook to plod along, but Hastings is a master storyteller (as is legendary audiobook narrator Simon Vance). Even if you only have a passing interest in military history and trivia, there’s a chance you’ll enjoy this immensely, and if you’re like me and read about the world wars as a hobby, you’re in for a real treat. As a special note, I’d like to thank John, an Audiobook fan from Reddit (DeadParrot78), for recommending this title! Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:07
August 17, 2020
Review of Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang, read by Emily Woo Zeller
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the epicenter of the COVID pandemic? Fang Fang is the pen name of a 64-year-old Wuhan novelist and poet who wrote 60 posts in 60 days between Jan. 23 and April 7 on WeChat, described as China's "app for everything" and Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. Her posts attracted more than 380 million views while she was quarantined in Wuhan, along with the rest of the city. I recommend you listen to the afterward by translator Michael Berry before you listen to or read the rest of Fang’s book.  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54271827-wuhan-diary  Audio production by Graham Stephenson  Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:33
August 10, 2020
Review of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
Dr. Brittney Cooper is an associate professor of women's and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University in the United States. She is a co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective and co-editor of the collection of essays of the same title, which explore intersectionality, African-American culture, and hip-hop feminism. This audiobook highlights the bigotry of American feminist movements that center on whiteness, as well as the anti-racism movements that perpetuate problematic systems of patriarchy and male aggression. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39988558-eloquent-rage Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:12
August 2, 2020
Review of Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Dr. Willie Parker, with Lisa Miller and read by Caz Harleaux
This title intrigued me because Dr. Willie Parker seems like an unlikely champion of reproductive justice, yet in many ways, his lived experience is what makes his perspective uniquely insightful – and his words all the more persuasive. What impressed me the most about this audiobook was how succinctly Parker captures distinct and seemingly unrelated experiences and aligns them for meaningful and poignant impact to listeners and readers. As Parker himself says, “The best advocacy is always storytelling: the truth of people’s lives is what moves hearts.” Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33506542-life-s-work Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:29
July 26, 2020
Review of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch
Are you feeling flummoxed, bamboozled, and stupefied by communication and language online? And how exactly did LOLcats irreversibly change the course of the English language? Gretchen McCulloch is a Canadian linguist who studies the language of the internet, for the people of the internet. She is currently the Resident Linguist at WIRED. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51828723-because-internet Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: "Sneaky Snitch" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
05:42
July 19, 2020
Review of They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up by Eternity Martis
Eternity Martis is an award-winning Toronto-based journalist and editor whose work has been featured in The Huffington Post, VICE, Chatelaine, Maclean’s, Flare, Salon, CBC, Hazlitt, The Walrus, Refinery29, The Fader, Complex and many more. This is a fantastic listen if you’re interested in learning more about racialized experiences in a Canadian University and how racism complicates the existing challenges faced by most students, especially women. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52701581-they-said-this-would-be-fun Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:45
July 12, 2020
Review of Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World by Laura Spinney, read by Paul Hodgson
Laura Spinney is a British science journalist, novelist, and non-fiction writer, and she’s been reporting on the Coronavirus pandemic for the last few months in the Guardian, but this audiobook was published in 2017, which makes her writing seem all the more prescient. Pale Rider covers relevant and fascinating content that includes Alaska, Brazil, India, Persia, Spain, South Africa and the port city of Odessa in Ukraine. “Both a saga of tragedies and a detective story...Pale Rider is not just an excavation but a reimagining of the past." – The Guardian Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36341712 Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:33
July 5, 2020
Review of Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq, read by the author
When was the last time you listened to an audiobook that shattered all of your expectations – from the format and narrative performance, to the genre-defying content? Split Tooth is part memoir, part manifesto, and it’s infused with myth, poetry, and song. Tanya Tagaq is a multi-talented Inuk artist, author, and an internationally acclaimed Juno and Polaris prize-winning throat singer, and she segments her reading of Split Tooth with throat singing. Scotiabank Giller Prize Nominee (2018) Indigenous Voices Award for Published Prose in English (2019) Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40044460-split-tooth Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:44
June 29, 2020
Review of The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole, read by the author
Do you believe that racism isn’t a problem in Canada, or that it’s a relatively benign issue compared to racism in the United States, or other countries? If so, Desmond Cole may change your mind. Cole’s stories about his personal experience of anti-Black racism made me uncomfortable at times, but that's a good thing. I felt compelled to reflect much more critically on my previous assumptions about where I live, Toronto, and its supposed multi-cultural, post-racial ideals. I highly recommend you buy Cole’s book or audiobook, and support Cole’s ongoing activism, and his influence on the public conversation about racism in Canada. Report: An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada: https://www.isdglobal.org/isd-publications/canada-online/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50640342-the-skin-we-re-in Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:59
June 21, 2020
Review of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, read by the author
“For Kendi, the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, there are no non-racists; there are only racists — people who allow racist ideas to proliferate without opposition — and antiracists, those who expose and eradicate such ideas wherever they encounter them… What emerges from these insights is the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind, a confessional of self-examination that may, in fact, be our best chance to free ourselves from our national nightmare.” –  Jeffrey C. Stewart, The New York Times Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45435835-how-to-be-an-antiracist Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
07:27
June 14, 2020
Review of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Dr. Robin DiAngelo is an antiracist educator and University of Washington professor. She defines white fragility as the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially. White fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviours including argumentation and silence. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. The key insight DiAngelo illustrates magnificently throughout this book is that racism is a systemic problem, rather than individual acts of cruelty. Audiobook narrated by Amy Landon. Watch DiAngelo’s powerful, illuminating and engaging presentation about her book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45ey4jgoxeU Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40894695-white-fragility Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
07:28
June 7, 2020
Review of Permanent Record by Edward Snowden, read by Holter Graham
This might be the most fascinating memoir ever published by someone under 40; you can’t beat the combination of storytelling, historic context, and current relevance. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51801760-permanent-record Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Flashing Runner by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:47
June 1, 2020
What makes an audiobook reader stand out? Extended review and highlights
If you’re a fan of audiobooks like I am, you’ve likely found yourself drawn to readers with a talent for capturing and keeping your attention! The very best readers have a talent for drawing you in and keeping you up well past your bedtime. The truly great ones are SO good, that you’ll listen to books you might never have read. This extended episode highlights a few of my favourites. Audiobook samples include: · The Bluest Eye: written and read by Toni Morrison · Mythos: written and read by Stephen Fry · How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, written by Jenny Odell and read by Rebecca Gibel · Frank Muller: A Montage (available from Audible) Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
10:32
May 24, 2020
Review of Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined, by Stephen Fry
Every now and then, I come across an audiobook that’s so entertaining and so deliciously enjoyable, that I limit myself to listening to just an hour or less each day – allowing me to savour it longer. Mythos is that kind of audiobook. Fry’s drollery and British brand of humour endlessly amuse me. The narration and witty commentary sprinkled throughout this audiobook will not disappoint fans, so even if you’re not particularly interested in mythology, you’ll probably still enjoy this listen! Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36368065-mythos Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:35
May 18, 2020
Review of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 10th Anniversary Edition, by Michelle Alexander
Even 10 years after publication, the systemic issues that Alexander expertly navigates throughout her book remain among the most problematic and unresolved challenges in unjust political and economic systems in the USA. This book has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; in the United States, it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times best seller list. Audiobook narrated by Karen Chilton.  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7036065-the-new-jim-crow Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:49
May 10, 2020
Review of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
Have you ever wondered who YOU might become if you could just change or develop different habits? In Atomic Habits, James Clear defines success as a system or a process to improve and refine, and he advocates avoiding a daily focus on goals. Instead, he recommends focusing on deliberately initiating, refining, and optimizing habits. “Small habits don’t simply add up – they compound. It’s remarkable what we can build if we just don’t stop” Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42603095-atomic-habits Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:15
May 3, 2020
Review of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, written by Chris Voss and narrated by Michael Kramer
This book is for anyone who wants to improve their communication, relationships, and professional lives. Whether you’re job hunting, parenting, selling products and services, working with difficult people, or you simply want to better understand what motivates human decision-making, you will find some useful insights here. Chances are if you listen to or read this one, you’ll find advice you can use in nearly every single conversation, so don’t miss it! Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26156469-never-split-the-difference?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=PqrLkap6t2&rank=1 Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:34
April 26, 2020
A conversation with author Codi Shewan: What if your legacy isn't what you leave behind, but something you create?
In this extended episode, Codi and I discuss his book, Everyday Legacy: Lessons for Living With Purpose, Right Now. Everyday Legacy shares vital lessons for living, informed by Codi’s experiences as a funeral director who developed a deep understanding of the reality of death. From tales of unexpected friendship as a young volunteer in palliative care, to what he learned through his estranged father's funeral, Everyday Legacy shows us what it means to be deeply human, undeniably mortal - and how to choose a life that matters. For more information, visit everydaylegacy.com, or connect with Shewan on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Codi’s audiobook recording and release is planned for later this year. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49510355-everyday-legacy Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
34:55
April 18, 2020
Review of Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright, read by Gabra Zackman
Do you enjoy dark sarcasm, witty anecdotes, folk history, pop culture references, and historic epidemiological surveys of disease? If so, this audiobook is for you! Voted Audible.com’s ‘History Book Of The Year’ for 2017. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30199426-get-well-soon?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=VTLGjxY2zV&rank=1 Audio production by Graham Stephenson Music credit: "Sneaky Snitch" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
05:33
April 16, 2020
Review of Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari
Hari discusses some especially timely concerns: disconnection from meaningful work, from other people, from meaningful values, from childhood trauma, from status and respect, from the natural world, and finally, disconnection from a hopeful or secure future.. I enjoyed the personal stories throughout the book.  Goodreads details:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38214632-lost-connections  Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:27
April 11, 2020
Review of Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael T. Osterholm, Mark Olshaker
This book was praised as “a wake-up call’ when it was published in 2017, yet cuts to pandemic preparedness budgets nevertheless continued, as is painfully clear today. The authors pose a hypothetical pandemic crisis description that is scarily prescient of our own situation. A compelling listen / read on understanding the impact and implications of infectious disease on a global scale. Osterholm was recently interviewed on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast (March 10 episode). Goodreads details: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30842808-deadliest-enemy Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:28
April 5, 2020
Review of How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
Originally trained as a visual artist, Jenny Odell has established herself over the last year as a writer and podcaster with her excellent podcast series, Hurry slowly. Published in April 2019, her book has been described by the New York Times reviewer Jonah Engel Bromwich as a A Manifesto for Opting Out of an Internet-Dominated World, which seems like an especially challenging proposal during a pandemic. If you’re struggling with a sense of futility or anxiety over your productiveness right now, this is a great book to read and reflect on. In Odell’s own words, “every action doesn’t need to have a deliverable. Activities that can’t be optimized — listening to another person, taking care of ourselves, contemplating a new idea — and why truly taking time to pay attention to the little things is an act of resistance.” Correction: this episode credits Odell as the host of of the podcast Hurry Slowly, but in fact the host of that podcast is Jocelyn K. Glei. Odell appears on the podcast as a guest. Goodreads details: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45729738 Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:42
March 29, 2020
Review of The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John M. Barry, narrated by Scott Brick
The scale and numbers associated with the 1918 pandemic always stop me in my tracks. From January 1918 – December 1920, with the worst month in October of 1918, the virus infected abut 27% of the world’s population (500 million people) and killed approximately 50 to 100 million people. It killed more people in a year than the Black Death in the Middle Ages killed in 100 years; it killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS killed in 24 years. Although this book was published in 2006, it seems to be one of the most comprehensive overviews of this topic, and I wanted to listen to this in the context of all the COVID-19 and Coronavirus news. I would have preferred more of a global survey approach to the pandemic, as Barry tends to focus almost exclusively on the American experience, but this was one of the most highly rated audiobooks on the topic, and it’s well researched. Goodreads details: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1714876.The_Great_Influenza Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
12:06
March 15, 2020
Review of The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
In my latest podcast, I review The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity, written and read by Douglas Murray. Murray’s main point is that, “Minimizing difference is not the same as pretending difference does not exist. To assume that sex, sexuality and skin colour mean nothing would be ridiculous. But to assume that they mean everything will be fatal.” This listen is a fascinating perspective on oppression hierarchy, hysteria, and a reminder that all things “natural” are not automatically good or healthy (here’s looking at you, COVID19) Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50907567-the-madness-of-crowds Audio production by Graham Stephenson Bonus episode music credit: "Sneaky Snitch" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
05:31
March 13, 2020
Review of Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence by Dr. Amy Blackstone
Have you ever been asked by a stranger or acquaintance whether or not you have kids? If you’re childfree, and especially a #childfree woman, chances are, you don’t easily forget the looks of surprise, judgement, or pity you’ve received when you answer this question. If you’re a childfree person or someone who wants to support those in your life who’ve made the decision to be childfree, this audiobook is a great source of material and reflection. Goodreads details: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46015616-childfree-by-choice Audio production by Graham Stephenson  Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:22
March 8, 2020
Bonus episode: Why I love audiobooks, and tips for getting started
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been captivated by hearing stories and books spoken aloud. This bonus episode highlights how I came to love audiobooks, and a few tips for those who are just getting started with the audiobook format.   If you have any feedback, comments, or questions, consider dropping me a line with a voice message via the Anchor App, or send me a comment on Instagram @bobanna28 or Twitter @janna_ca  Audio production by Graham Stephenson Bonus episode music credit: "Sneaky Snitch" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
03:58
March 2, 2020
Review of Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari, narrated by Derek Perkins
I broke my five-minute rule for this one! When was the last time you changed your mind about one of your deepest held core beliefs? If you’ve heard about or read Yuval Noah Harari’s ideas, there’s a chance you’ve reframed at least one way you see the world. In my case, this book completely reframed my beliefs and assumptions about humanism.  Note that Harari’s follow-up, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, poses a more structured framework on how to think about contemporary human challenges.  See more details about Homo Deus at  Goodreads details: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30363104-homo-deus  Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
06:48
March 1, 2020
Review of If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? Written and read by Alan Alda.
As our culture increasingly aligns to technical adoption and proficiency, many of us have slipped into various forms of technical and jargon-filled language. There’s a reason that storytelling is a trending topic in communications and marketing, and Alan Alda knows the secret. If you’re a medical, technical, or highly qualified professional, chances are you have a lot of expertise to deliver to folks who aren’t experts in your field. Alda’s stories give you real examples of how to connect with people and share important information in a way that resonates with them.  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36579026-if-i-understood-you-would-i-have-this-look-on-my-face Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
04:33
February 24, 2020
Review of Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know, written and read by Malcolm Gladwell
Do you feel you’re a pretty solid judge of character? How about spotting liars? Malcolm Gladwell’s exploration of communication misalignment and misinterpretation is a fascinating take on what it means to understand others – and ourselves.  Audiobook details: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48124250-talking-to-strangers Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:37
February 23, 2020
Feb 16 Pilot episode recorded on iPhone: Review of Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, written and read by Ronan Farrow
Facing incredible odds and setbacks, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ronan Farrow diligently investigated and eventually exposed some of the most repugnant activities in showbiz. In his mesmerizing audiobook, Farrow reveals the sequence of events leading up to his breakthrough news story in 2017. Audiobook details: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51191056-catch-and-kill *My first attempt at a full podcast episode, recorded in one take* Audio remastered on May 18, 2020. Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).
05:03
February 16, 2020