Past and Future Earthquakes | Nonfiction Coming Out on Audio in August

Baldwin, James. The Devil Finds Work. Blackstone. ISBN 9781538425442. Read by Dion Graham.
Baldwin’s personal reflections on movies gathered here in a book-length essay are also a probing appraisal of American racial politics. Offering an incisive look at racism in American movies and a vision of America’s self-delusions and deceptions, Baldwin challenges the underlying assumptions in such films as In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and The Exorcist. Here are our loves and hates, biases and cruelties, fears and ignorance reflected by the films that have entertained us and shaped our consciousness. And here too is the stunning prose of a writer whose passion never diminished his struggle for equality, justice, and social change.

Chapman, Bob & Raj Sisodia. Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. Dreamscape. ISBN 9781520078182. Read by Steven Menasche.
In 1997, Bob Chapman pioneered a dramatically different approach to leadership that creates off-the-charts morale, loyalty, creativity, and business performance. They utterly rejected the idea that employees are simply functions, to be moved around, “managed” with carrots and sticks, or discarded at will. Instead, the company, Barry-Wehmiller, manifested the reality that every single person matters, just like in a family-and that understanding of how employees should be thought of and treated has remained the bedrock of their company’s success. Chapman and Sisodia show how any organization can enact this type of leadership, providing clear steps to transform your own workplace, whether you lead two people or two hundred thousand.

Fagone, Jason. The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies. HarperAudio. ISBN 9781538420249. Reader TBA.
In 1912, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the “Adam and Eve” of the NSA, Elizebeth’s story, incredibly, has never been told. Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation’s history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizabeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler’s Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an Army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma—and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.

Fountain, Henry. The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524774189. Read by Robert Fass.
At 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964, a magnitude 9.2. earthquake—the second most powerful in world history—struck the young state of Alaska. The violent shaking, followed by massive tsunamis, devastated the southern half of the state and killed more than 130 people. A day later, George Plafker, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, arrived to investigate. His fascinating scientific detective work in the months that followed helped confirm the then-controversial theory of plate tectonics.

Harford, Tim. Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524776916. Reader TBA.
Harford paints an epic picture of change in an intimate way by telling the stories of the tools, people, and ideas that had far-reaching consequences for all of us. From the plow to artificial intelligence, from Gillette’s disposable razor to IKEA’s Billy bookcase, Harford recounts each invention’s own curious, surprising, and memorable story. Invention by invention, Harford reflects on how we got here and where we might go next. He lays bare often unexpected connections: how the bar code undermined family corner stores and why the gramophone widened inequality. In the process, he introduces characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, and were ruined by them, as he traces the principles that helped explain their transformative effects.

Hatmaker, Jen. Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life. Thomas Nelson Audio. ISBN 9781536693539. Read by the author.
Hatmaker believes backbone is the birthright of every woman. Women have been demonstrating resiliency and resolve since forever. They have incredibly strong shoulders to bear loss, hope, grief, and vision. But somehow women have gotten the message that pain and failure mean they must be doing things wrong, that they messed up the rules or tricks for a seamless life. As it turns out, every last woman faces confusion and loss, missteps and catastrophic malfunctions, no matter how much she is doing “right.” Struggle doesn’t mean the’re weak; it means they’re alive. Hatmaker offers another round of hilarious tales, frank honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie, parlaying her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere.

Horn, Miriam. Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland. Dreamscape. ISBN 9781520076898. Read by Chris Ciulla.
Many of the men and women doing today’s most consequential environmental work—restoring America’s grasslands, wildlife, soil, rivers, wetlands, and oceans—would not call themselves environmentalists: they would be too uneasy with the connotations of that word. What drives them is their deep love of the land—the iconic terrain where explorers and cowboys, pioneers and riverboat captains forged the American identity. They feel a moral responsibility to preserve this heritage and natural wealth. Horn tells the stories of five representatives of this stewardship movement: a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman.

Losos, Jonathan B. Improbably Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524778569. Read by Marc Cashman.
Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology can tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. He takes us around the globe to meet the researchers who are solving the deepest mysteries of life on Earth through their work in experimental evolutionary science. Losos himself is one of the leaders in this exciting new field, and he illustrates how experiments with guppies, fruit flies, bacteria, foxes, and field mice, along with his own work with anole lizards on Caribbean islands, are rewinding the tape of life to reveal just how rapid and predictable evolution can be.

Merchant, Nilofer. The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough To Dent the World. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524777739. Read by the author.
Merchant reveals that we have now reached an unprecedented moment of opportunity for your ideas to “make a dent” on the world. Now that the Internet has liberated ideas to spread through networks instead of hierarchies, power is no longer determined by your status, but by “onlyness”—that spot in the world only you stand in, a function of your distinct history and experiences, visions and hopes. If you build upon your signature ingredient of purpose and connect with those who are equally passionate, you have a lever by which to move the world. This new ability is already within your grasp, but to command it, you need to know how to meaningfully mobilize others around your ideas. Through inspirational and instructive stories, Merchant reveals proven strategies to unleash the centrifugal force of a new idea, no matter how weird or wild it may seem.

Miles, Kathryn. Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524776794. Reader TBA.
Earthquakes. You need to worry about them only if you’re in San Francisco, right? Wrong. We have been making enormous changes to subterranean America, and Mother Earth, as always, has been making some of her own.The consequences for our real estate, our civil engineering, and our communities will be huge because they will include earthquakes most of us do not expect and cannot imagine. Miles descends into mines in the Northwest, visits the South to see what the Army Corps of Engineers in Memphis is learning about the next major U.S. quake, uncovers the horrific risks of an earthquake in the Northeast, and interviews the people around the country who are addressing this ground-shaking threat.

Nozick, Robert. Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Dreamscape. ISBN 9781520078168. Read by Don Hagen.
Nozick challenges the most commonly held political and social positions of our age—liberal, socialist, and conservative. “Individuals have rights,” Nozick writes in his opening sentence, “and there are things no person or group may do to them without violating their rights.” The work that follows that sentence is a sophisticated and passionate defense of those rights. Arguing that the state is justified only when it is severely limited to the narrow function of protection against force, theft, and fraud and of the enforcement of contracts, Nozick demonstrates that any more extensive activities undertaken by the state will inevitably violate individual rights. In addition to that passionate defense, Nozick also presents a theory of distributive justice, a model of utopia, and an integration of ethics, legal philosophy, and economic theory that will be discussed for years to come.

O’Reilly, Finbarr & Thomas J. Brennan. Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524777654. Read by Mike Chamberlain & David H. Lawrence XVII
Through the unpredictability of war and its aftermath, a decorated Marine sergeant and a world-trotting war photographer became friends, their bond forged as they patrolled together through the dusty alleyways of Helmand province and camped side by side in the desert. It deepened after Sergeant Brennan was injured during a Taliban ambush, and both returned home. Brennan began to suffer from the effects of his injury and from the fallout of his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But war correspondents experience similar rates of posttraumatic stress as combat veterans. The causes can be different, but guilt plays a prominent role in both. As we enter the fifteenth year of continuous war, it is increasingly urgent not just to document the experiences of the battlefield but also to probe the reverberations that last long after combatants and civilians have returned home, and to understand the many faces trauma takes.

Patterson, Daniel & Mandy Aftel. The Art of Flavor: Practices and Principles for Creating Delicious Food. Blackstone. ISBN 9781538433669. Read by John Lescault.
In a world awash in cooking shows, food blogs, and recipes, the art of flavor has been surprisingly neglected. The multibillion-dollar flavor industry practices its dark arts by manipulating synthetic ingredients, and home cooks are taught to wield the same blunt instruments: salt, acid, sugar, heat. But foods in their natural state are infinitely more nuanced than the laboratory can replicate—and offer far greater possibilities for deliciousness. Chef Patterson and natural perfumer Aftel are experts at orchestrating ingredients, and here they teach listeners how to make the most of nature’s palette via mind-opening and palate-expanding tools and principles: the four basic rules for creating flavor; a flavor “compass” that points the way to transformative combinations of aromatic ingredients; learning to deploy cooking methods for maximum effect; and mastering the seven “dials” that let you fine-tune a dish.

Roscher, Ellie. Play Like a Girl: How a Soccer School in Kenya’s Slums Started a Revolution. Dreamscape. ISBN 9781520076515. Read by Katherine Fenton.
Growing up and living in Kibera, Kenya, Abdul Kassim was well aware of the disproportionate number of challenges faced by women due to the extreme gender inequalities that persist in the slums. After being raised by his aunts, his mother, and his grandmother and having a daughter himself, he felt that he needed to make a difference. In 2002, Kassim started a soccer team for girls called Girls Soccer in Kibera (GSK), with the hope of fostering a supportive community and providing emotional and mental support for the young women in the town. The soccer program was a success, but the looming dangers of slum life persisted, and the young women continued to fall victim to the worst kinds of human atrocities. Indeed, it was the unyielding injustice of these conditions that led Kassim to the conclusion that soccer alone was not enough to create the systemic changes needed. In 2006, the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA) was established to begin to help create those changes, and it continues its work today.

Sancton, Tom. The Bettencourt Affair: The World’s Richest Woman and the Scandal That Rocked Paris. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524776831. Read by Amanda Carlin.
Liliane Bettencourt is the world’s richest woman and the eleventh wealthiest person on the planet, as of 2016. But at 94, she’s embroiled in an incredible controversy that has dominated the headlines and ensnared a former president of France in the controversy. Why? Thanks to an artist and photographer named François-Marie Banier, who was given hundreds of millions of dollars by Liliane. Liliane’s daughter, Françoise, considers Banier a con man and filed a lawsuit against him, but Banier has a far different story to tell. It’s all become Europe’s biggest scandal in years, uncovering a shadowy corporate history, buried World War II secrets, illicit political payoffs, and much more.

Watson, James D., Andrew Berry, & Kevin Davies. DNA: The Story of the Genetic Revolution. Books on Tape. ISBN 9781524757120. Reader TBA.
Having shown that the secret of life is chemical, modern genetics has set mankind off on a journey unimaginable just a few decades ago. Watson provides the general reader with clear explanations of molecular processes and emerging technologies. He shows us how DNA continues to alter our understanding of human origins, and of our identities as groups and as individuals. And with the insight of one who has remained close to every advance in research since the double helix, he reveals how genetics has unleashed a wealth of possibilities to alter the human condition—from genetically modified foods to genetically modified babies—and transformed itself from a domain of pure research into one of big business as well. It is a sometimes topsy-turvy world full of great minds and great egos, driven by ambitions to improve the human condition as well as to improve investment portfolios.

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Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (sklose@mediasourceinc.com, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.

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