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Non-Fiction Picks: Social Science Bestsellers

A collection of bestselling non-fiction audiobooks that dive into the world of social science and beyond.

Playlist Tags: topic: non-fiction mood: curious topic: science topic: bestsellers topic: social science

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Talking to Strangers

What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know
By Malcolm Gladwell
Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell /  8 hours 42 minutes

Talking to Strangers

“This is an audio experience. Malcolm Gladwell talks about it a bit in the beginning. He chose to use audio recordings of interviews, etc., wherever available instead of just reading the quotes himself. There’s music spattered throughout. It’s kind of a book/podcast. It is not just a direct reading of the text. Also, Malcolm Gladwell has a soothing voice but covers some unsettling topics, so you can definitely listen to this one and not fall asleep. I won’t say I enjoyed this book, because how can you enjoy something that talks about all the unpleasant side effects of misinterpreting interactions with strangers? But it was incredibly interesting. We hear about what went wrong with Amanda Knox, the Brock Turner trial, and Sandra Bland, amidst many other examples. I love books like this that examine psychology through real life things. I definitely feel like I learned something from Talking to Strangers, and for me, that’s really the best way to judge a nonfiction title.”

Katy Budget Books image Anna, Katy Budget Books
Price:

$31.03 USD

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Why Fish Don't Exist

A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life
By Lulu Miller
Narrated by Lulu Miller /  4 hours 55 minutes

A “remarkable” (Los Angeles Times), “seductive” (The Wall Street Journal) debut from an extraordinary new voice in nonfiction, Why Fish Don’t Exist is a dark and astonishing tale of love, chaos, scientific obsession, and—possibly—even murder.

“At one point, Miller dives into the ocean into a school of fish…comes up for air, and realizes she’s in... Read more »

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$20.69 USD

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Hidden Valley Road

Inside the Mind of an American Family
By Robert Kolker
Narrated by Sean Pratt /  13 hours 8 minutes

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.


Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air... Read more »

Price:

$31.50 USD

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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

By Carlo Rovelli
Narrated by Carlo Rovelli /  1 hour 45 minutes

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

“With a deft sensibility associated more often with poetry than theoretical physics, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics not only makes understandable the transcendent physical discoveries of the past century, but also reveals their powerful relevance to the human spirit. A revelatory and concise account of quantum mechanics, relativity, and the delight in both finding answers and seeking new questions, this jewel of a book lyrically demystifies the extraordinary realities of the cosmos.”

Robin J. Dunn image Robin J. Dunn, St. John's College Bookstore
Price:

$17.50 USD

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Braiding Sweetgrass

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
By Robin Wall Kimmerer
Narrated by Robin Wall Kimmerer /  16 hours 44 minutes

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our... Read more »

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$25.86 USD

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning
By Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by Jason Reynolds /  4 hours 11 minutes

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

“This “not history, history book” is a remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s adult book, Stamped From the Beginning. In Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, Jason Reynolds tells the narrative of racism throughout time with a young adult audience in mind. From the first racist, to slavery, to modern politics, Reynolds revelations surrounding the history of racism and our current struggles with racism are eye-opening and important. Ultimately, he asks each of us if we’re choosing to be a segregationist, an assimilationist, or an anti-racist. A must-read for both young adults and adults.”

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Price:

$28.73 USD

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The Undocumented Americans

A Homecoming
By Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Narrated by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio /  4 hours 53 minutes

One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.

“Karla’s book sheds light on people’s personal experiences and allows their stories to be told and their voices to be heard.”—Selena Gomez
 
Writer Karla... Read more »

Price:

$21.00 USD

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Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind
By Yuval Noah Harari
Narrated by Derek Perkins /  15 hours 17 minutes

Sapiens

“I don't own many books. I read books and give them away. However, I will NOT be giving away my copy of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. It's a keeper! Sapiens was an intense read for me. I found myself taking breaks every dozen pages or so. Not because I was bored - just the opposite. I needed time to let the author's perspective on the history of our species (you, me, us!) sink in. Yuval Noah Harari is irreverent at times and makes mind-blowing assertions in his book. You may not agree with all of his theories, but what he claims will make you see yourself as the animal you are in a refreshing new light. It's even possible that after you read Sapiens your view of the human condition will have shifted dramatically. Superbly translated from the original Hebrew into English by the author himself, Sapiens is accessible to readers of all types of non-fiction and fiction alike.”

The Bookloft image Catherine, The Bookloft
Price:

$34.49 USD

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How to Change Your Mind

What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
By Michael Pollan
Narrated by Michael Pollan /  13 hours 34 minutes

If you enjoyed A Really Good Day, then you’ll love How to Change Your Mind.

“Take an over-medicated, moody, middle-aged mother of four, add a month of experimental microdosing with LSD and it makes for A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman. This mesmerizing memoir of mental exploration tackles the taboo topic of drug use in our society, the frightening rise of prescription pills and the devastating addictions developing during the War on Drugs. A rollicking ride through the realm of self-realization, Waldman’s creative quest for sanity is painfully honest, hysterically funny and deeply human. I loved it!”

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Price:

$31.50 USD

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Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
By David Grann
Narrated by Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee & Danny Campbell /  9 hours 4 minutes

Killers of the Flower Moon

“One of the most horrific chapters in American history is brought back to the national consciousness with alarming detail in Killers of the Flower Moon. After the Osage Indian Nation strikes oil, its members become rich beyond their wildest dreams, only to encounter a vast and murderous conspiracy that will leave more than 60 members of the nation dead. David Grann reconstructs those murders and the subsequent investigations with astonishing care and reveals the depths of a conspiracy that stretched from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C. This story will certainly be one of the most important books of 2017.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Steven Shonder, Anderson's Bookshop
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Outliers

The Story of Success
By Malcolm Gladwell
Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell /  7 hours 16 minutes

Learn what sets high achievers apart -- from Bill Gates to the Beatles -- in this #1 bestseller from "a singular talent" (New York Times Book Review).

In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the... Read more »

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$31.03 USD

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Together

The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World
By Vivek H. Murthy
Narrated by Vivek H. Murthy /  10 hours 52 minutes

Together

“Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek Murthy is a well-articulated case for supporting human connection from a public health point of view. Murthy provides stories, medical reasoning, and strategies to apply in this playbook for connection. It's a timely read, especially in an environment that has required social distancing and isolation.”

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Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Only Plane in the Sky

An Oral History of September 11, 2001
By Holter Graham & Garrett M. Graff
Narrated by A Full 45-Person Cast /  15 hours 54 minutes

The Only Plane in the Sky

“I absolutely believe this book should be listened to, instead of read. Each of the interviews and testimonies has a different voice, making this experience extremely intimate. I thought I knew. I had no idea. My memory is made up of all the big moments shared by the news. Planes, towers, explosions, the Pentagon, flight 93. All Images, experienced vicariously. Graff has collected first-hand accounts of 9/11 and woven them into a chronological masterpiece. I am awestruck by the tiniest of details, observations, moments. The following muffled silence, like that after a heavy snowfall. Streets filled with women’s shoes. (Think about it.) These testimonies fill in the spaces between the big images burned into our national psyche. These voices make it real. Make it human. Make it us.”

Watermark Books image Robin, Watermark Books
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$34.49 USD

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Catch and Kill

Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
By Ronan Farrow
Narrated by Ronan Farrow /  10 hours 43 minutes

Catch and Kill

“A timely, incredibly important account of the difficulties Farrow faced at NBC while working on the Weinstein expose, which he took to the New Yorker and subsequently won a Pulitzer for. The audiobook is grippingly read by Farrow (though the accents he attempts are... let's go with 'confusing'). It's upsetting, sure, but heartening to see the exhaustive research and the very clearly laid-out account of how Farrow had to work against the very powerful high-profile members of the media establishment--including his own bosses--not only because of Weinstein's well-oiled intimidation machine but also as part of those figures attempting to cover up their own histories of being harassers. Highly recommend this important piece of current events journalism, which reads like a thriller novel.”

A Room Of One's Own Bookstore image Gretchen, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
Price:

$29.88 USD

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White Fragility

Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
By Robin DiAngelo & Michael Eric Dyson
Narrated by Amy Landon /  6 hours 20 minutes

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white... Read more »

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$20.00 USD

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The Library Book

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by Susan Orlean /  12 hours 8 minutes

The Library Book

“The Library Book by Susan Orleans is ostensibly about the Central Los Angeles library fire in 1986 but it is SO much more! Orleans' incredibly well researched and yet personal history and commentary on the public library system in the United States is fascinating on many levels. The mystery surrounding the fire is a story unto itself with an interesting cast of characters including the man who was accused but never convicted of arson. In addition, the personalities of the librarians and administrators of the LA library system are varied and incredibly colorful. Finally, Orleans examines the ever-changing roles of public libraries and how information dissemination and services for the homeless are some of the greatest challenges facing libraries today. I listened to this book on LIBRO and hearing Susan Orleans read was a joy! Really a terrific read for anyone interested in books, libraries, social justice, architecture and even crime drama!”

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Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Great Influenza

The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
By John M. Barry
Narrated by Scott Brick /  19 hours 24 minutes

In the winter of 1918, at the height of World War I, history's most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death... Read more »

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$28.00 USD

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How to Be an Antiracist

By Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by Ibram X. Kendi /  10 hours 43 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a “groundbreaking” (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves.

“The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.”—The New York Times

NAMED ONE OF THE... Read more »

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$28.00 USD

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The Enneagram of Belonging

A Compassionate Journey of Self-Acceptance
By Christopher L. Heuertz & Brené Brown
Narrated by Christopher L. Heuertz & Brene Brown /  6 hours 33 minutes

For the Enneagram enthusiast looking to deepen their transformation, The Enneagram of Belonging offers an enlightening, enriching path forward.

Many have discovered the Enneagram to be a powerful tool for self-understanding, yet knowing ourselves doesn't necessarily mean we accept ourselves. Most of us tend to curate the personality of our type:... Read more »

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$24.14 USD

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Hood Feminism

Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot
By Mikki Kendall
Narrated by Mikki Kendall /  6 hours 57 minutes

Hood Feminism

“Powerful. Important. Compulsively readable. Kendall’s narrative style is top notch - riveting and un-put-down-able. Not only is this a must read, it's a must pay attention. It's a must revisit and keep learning kind of book. Kendall dives deep and doesn't pull punches, but she doesn't seek to shame either. This is necessary reading for anyone who considers themselves a feminist. Because solidarity needs to be for ALL.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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$24.50 USD

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