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Adult Non-Fiction Picks for Growth & Inspiration

Adult Non-Fiction Picks for Growth & Inspiration

These are non-fiction picks that are all about learning something new, self-improvement, challenging narratives, becoming better versions of ourselves.

Playlist Tags: Humpty Dumpty Books genre: Nonfiction topic: self-help feminist mindset growth topic: business anti-racism non-fiction

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The Age of Empathy

Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society

By Frans de Waal
Narrated by: Alan Sklar
Length: 10 hours 1 minutes

Is it really human nature to stab one another in the back in our climb up the corporate ladder? Competitive, selfish behavior is often explained away as instinctive, thanks to evolution and "survival of the fittest," but, in fact, humans are equally hard-wired for empathy.

Using research from the fields of anthropology, psychology, animal... Read more »

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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

By Shoshana Zuboff
Narrated by: Nicol Zanzarella
Length: 24 hours 16 minutes

The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the... Read more »

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How Should a Person Be?

By Sheila Heti
Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
Length: 5 hours 47 minutes

Reeling from a failed marriage, Sheila, a twenty-something playwright, finds herself unsure of how to live and create. When Margaux, a talented painter and free spirit, and Israel, a sexy and depraved artist, enter her life, Sheila hopes that through close—sometimes too close—observation of her new friend, her new lover, and herself, she might... Read more »

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The Bonjour Effect

The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed

By Julie Barlow & Jean-Benoit Nadeau
Narrated by: Teri Schnaubelt
Length: 8 hours 37 minutes

Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow spent a decade traveling back and forth to Paris as well as living there. Yet one important lesson never seemed to sink in: how to communicate comfortably with the French, even when you speak their language. In The Bonjour Effect Jean-Benoît and Julie chronicle the lessons they learned after they returned to... Read more »

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The Varieties of Scientific Experience

A Personal View of the Search for God

By Carl Sagan
Narrated by: Adrienne C. Moore & Ann Druyan
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

Carl Sagan's prophetic vision of the tragic resurgence of fundamentalism and the hope-filled potential of the next great development in human spirituality

The late great astronomer and astrophysicist describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short...

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The Diary of a Bookseller

By Shaun Bythell
Narrated by: Robin Laing
Length: 9 hours 42 minutes

The Diary of a Bookseller

“When you enter The Book Shop in Wigtown, Scotland, you enter Shaun Bythell’s world. You’ll recognize his colorful staff and quirky customers immediately and fall in love with them instantly. The Diary of a Bookseller was written for book buyers, booksellers, and book lovers everywhere (you must be one of them!). While books and The Book Shop occupy much of Bythell’s hilarious story, it is made whole with priceless pieces on gardening, fishing with his dad, cycling, and, of course, music, food, and drink. Cheers!”

The River's End Bookstore image Bill Reilly, The River's End Bookstore
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The Library Book

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by: Susan Orlean
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

The Library Book

“A love letter to books, librarians, and libraries (and the often quirky communities that inhabit them), The Library Book sets out to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the Los Angeles Public Library Fire of 1986. As always, Orleans exhibits her talent for translating historic details into engrossing narratives, while thrilling the reader with all sorts of surprising twists and outlandish characters that you really couldn’t make up if you tried. Witty, poignant, riveting, Orlean’s performance is fabulous! A must-listen for every devotee of bookstores and libraries.”

Oblong Books image Noelle, Oblong Books
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There There

A novel

By Tommy Orange
Narrated by: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo & Kyla Garcia
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

There There

“There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read.”

Changing Hands image Heather Weldon, Changing Hands
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Extreme Ownership

How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

By Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
Narrated by: Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
Length: 8 hours 15 minutes

"These guys are intense. And they bring that same fire to their narration in the audiobook. Listen to these insanely competent SEAL officers tell you exactly how to make a team successful through their firsthand experiences in business and combat." - The Hustle

An updated edition of the blockbuster bestselling leadership audiobook that took...

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The Enchiridion of Epictetus

By Epictetus
Narrated by: Jack Nolan
Length: 1 hours 1 minutes

The Enchiridion or Handbook of Epictetus is a short manual of Stoic ethical advice compiled by Arrian, a 2nd-century disciple of the Greek philosopher Epictetus.


The work consists of fifty-three short chapters typically consisting of a paragraph or two. It was compiled some time in the early 2nd-century. The 6th-century philosopher Simplicius, in...

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Narrative Economics

How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events

By Robert J. Shiller
Narrated by: Susan Osman
Length: 11 hours 7 minutes

An audiobook narrated by esteemed BBC television journalist and anchor Susan Orman, with an introduction read by the author himself—Nobel Prize-winning economist and bestselling writer Robert Shiller

In a world in which internet troll farms attempt to influence foreign elections, can we afford to ignore the power of viral stories to affect...

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The Future of the Mind

The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

By Michio Kaku
Narrated by: Feodor Chin
Length: 15 hours 37 minutes

NOW A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Compelling….Kaku thinks with great breadth, and the vistas he presents us are worth the trip”
—The New York Times Book Review


The New York Times
best-selling author of PHYSICS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, PHYSICS OF THE FUTURE and HYPERSPACE tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human... Read more »

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The Magic of Thinking Big

By David Schwartz
Narrated by: Jason Culp
Length: 9 hours 31 minutes

With more than six million copies sold worldwide, David Schwartz’s timeless guide and bestselling phenomenon, The Magic of Thinking Big, is now available for the first time as an unabridged audio edition.

Millions of people around the world have improved their lives through the timeless advice David Schwartz offers in The Magic of Thinking Big.... Read more »

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The Art of Possibility

Transforming Professional and Personal Life

By Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander
Narrated by: Benjamin Zander & Rosamund Stone Zander
Length: 6 hours 38 minutes

Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander's experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund...

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Paid For

My Journey Through Prostitution

By Rachel Moran
Narrated by: Heather Wilds
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

Born to mentally unstable parents, Rachel Moran left home at the age of fourteen. Being homeless, she became a prostitute to survive. In Paid For, she describes, with intelligence and empathy, the fears that she and others had working on the streets and in the brothels. She also speaks to the psychological damage that accompanies prostitution... Read more »

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The Rape of Nanking

The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II

By Iris Chang
Narrated by: Anna Fields
Length: 8 hours 3 minutes

In December 1937, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred in the capital of China. The Japanese army swept into Nanking and not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured, and murdered half of the city’s remaining population, some 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly,...

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Hitler’s Furies

German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

By Wendy Lower
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Length: 8 hours 26 minutes

Wendy Lower's stunning account of the role of German women on the Eastern Front—not only as plunderers and direct witnesses but as actual killers—powerfully revises history. Many young nurses, teachers, secretaries, and wives saw the emerging Nazi empire as a kind of "Wild East" of opportunity, yet they could not have imagined what they would do...

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A Sorrow in Our Heart

The Life of Tecumseh

By Allan W. Eckert
Narrated by: Paul Heitsch
Length: 32 hours 42 minutes

A biography of the famous Shawnee describes Tecumseh's plan to amalgamate all North American tribes into one people, his role as statesman and military strategist, and his death in the Battle of Thames. Read more »

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The Attention Merchants

The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

By Tim Wu
Narrated by: Marc Cashman
Length: 15 hours 24 minutes

From Tim Wu, author of the award-winning The Master Switch ( a New Yorker and Fortune Book of the Year) and who coined the term "net neutrality”—a revelatory, ambitious and urgent account of how the capture and re-sale of human attention became the defining industry of our time.
 
Feeling attention challenged? Even assaulted? American business... Read more »

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The Culture of Narcissism

American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations

By Christopher Lasch
Narrated by: Barry Press
Length: 10 hours 45 minutes

When The Culture of Narcissism was first published, it was clear that Christopher Lasch had identified something important: what was happening to American society in the wake of the decline of the family over the last century.

The book quickly became a bestseller. This edition includes a new afterword, "The Culture of Narcissism Revisited." Read more »

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