Nonfiction Audio Books - Download Nonfiction Best Sellers
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Cynthia

Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States Member Since 2012

Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!

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  • "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"

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    Sheri Fink, MD, PhD, published "The Deadly Choices at Memorial" in the New York Times on August 30, 2009. I read it on line, and, when I found an abandoned copy at a Starbucks, I read it again. It was a great article, and I wished for more details - why did the hospitals generators fail? - why didn't the hospital's emergency plan have procedures in place for a catastrophic failure? - why didn't the doctors who administered fatal injections wait for rescue that, in hindsight, was just hours away? That article won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting; and this lengthy book (576 pages on paper) answers those questions, and more.

    Fink has the rare gift of understanding how complex systems work and fail, and the ability to explain them in a lively, intriguing narrative that weaves history, culture, engineering, medicine, medical ethics and people and companies together into a compelling story. She doesn't draw conclusions: she gives the conclusions reached by the government; the American Medical Association; the people that survived Memorial and the family members of those who didn't; law enforcement; expert witnesses; criminal attorneys and civil attorneys; and ethicists.

    As a reader/listener, I reached my own conclusions about why Memorial failed as a physical building, and how and why Dr. Anna Pou, did what she did - she apparently euthanized patients, and was arrested for second degree murder. A grand jury declined to indict Dr. Pou or the two nurses that helped her, years after Katrina.

    Would I have made the same kind of decision in an analogous situation? It's easy to pass moral judgment sitting in my comfortable backyard, well rested, enjoying a Sunday croissant and strong, black coffee. I don't think I would have, especially as to patient Emmett Everett, Sr., but I really don't know.

    Fink's epilogue makes a strong recommendation: guidelines need to be in place for medical priorities when medical resources are short, and those decisions need to be made well before natural or man made mass casualty events happen, not in the middle of a catastrophe.

    The book was so well narrated, I realized I was up at 1 a.m., after repeatedly setting the Audible sleep timer, listening. I had to switch to a book I'd already heard so I could sleep.

    [If this helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

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    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Sharon says: "A Must Read"
  • "Rationally liked this book"

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    Fans of Malcolm Gladwell (especially “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference,” 2000 and “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” 2005) will appreciate Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman’s “Sway: The Irresistible Power of Irrational Behavior” I have all of Gladwell’s books. In hardback. And I really liked “Sway”. Actually, “Sway” was an easier read/listen. “Sway” has a lot more anecdotal stories to illustrate the points the Brothers Brafman are making.

    My favorite chapter was Eight, “Dissenting Justice.” The Brafmans have the most thorough and easy to understand discussion of how the US Supreme Court reviews cases it decides to hear. The purpose of Supreme Courts conferences is to determine how the Court will rule, and the process – honed over hundreds of years – is to make rational decisions, and to respect the voices of dissent. Very few organizations, business or government, would have the time or discipline to engage in the same process – but a modified procedure, encouraging similar careful consideration of the facts, would be well applied used in corporate decision making processes.

    Chapter Seven, “Cocaine and Compassion” was a close second to Chapter Eight. In “Cocaine and Compassion”, the Brafmans discuss the difference between pleasure center motivation (money, cocaine) and altruistic motivation. The bottom line is that people are more likely to cooperate and perform well for altruistic reasons – and, for biological reasons, the motivation is going to be either pleasure or altruism, but not both at the same time.

    Altruism is discussed extensively in Adam Grant’s 2013 “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.” “Sway” was easier to understand, and I think I would have had an easier time with “Give and Take” if I’d read/listened to “Sway” first.

    I liked parts of “Sway” so much, I listened to parts of it more than once.

    The narration was good, but I could have done without the random music – I wasn’t sure what sections it was setting apart.

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    Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Rom Brafman, Ori Brafman
    • Narrated By John Apicella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    A Harvard Business School student pays over $200 for a $20 bill. Washington, D.C., commuters ignore a free subway concert by a violin prodigy. A veteran airline pilot attempts to take off without control-tower clearance and collides with another plane on the runway. Why do we do the wildly irrational things we sometimes do?

    Martin says: "Disappointing book"
  • "How Not to Be the Blind Leading the..."

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    Margaret Heffernan's "Willful Blindness: Why we Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril" (2011) is in Audible's Nonfiction:Science & Technology:Social Science, along with Malcolm Gladwell's books, including "Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking" (2005) and "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference" (2007). Jefferson's "Willful Blindness" is definitely on par with Gladwell's work, but without the publicity Gladwell has, I'm worried that not enough people will find out just how great this book is for people who want to understand what individual and organizational psychological problems can cause monumental failures.

    Heffernan begins with a dramatic description of a tragic British Petroleum disaster - but not the 2010 Deep Water Horizon blow out that killed 11 workers and badly harmed a great deal of the coast of the United Stated. She describes the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion that killed 15 workers and wreaked havoc on a vital part of the economy. Some of the factors that made the workers blind to the problem that caused the explosion were lack of sleep caused by long shifts with not enough time off; not enough workers; and poor design of equipment. Management at the local level didn't have the power to change the situation, and executives determined to cut costs refused to hear them. What's surprising to Heffernan is that when BP's Deep Water Horizon blew, people were astounded. The management and the corporate culture hadn't changed. Why wouldn't it happen again?

    Heffernan's book is full of similar case studies, some well known - like the federal government's disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina. Some are not well known - like the installation of pumps that will not work in New Orleans after Katrina.

    Once again, I do wish Audible had a true table of contents. Since it doesn't, here it is (with thanks to Google Books): Introduction; 1. Affinity and Beyond; 2. Love is Blind; 3. Dangerous Convictions; 4 The Limits of Your Mind; 5. The Ostrich Instruction; 6. Just Following Orders; 7. The Cult of Cultures; 8. Bystander; 9. Out of Sight Out of Mind; 10. De-Moralizing Work; 11. Cassandra; 12. See Better. Chapter 11, which starts with the myth of Cassandra, who was gifted with knowing the truth and the future but cursed not to be believed, is a powerful discussion about encouraging those in an organization who know the truth to speak up.

    Heffernan narrates the book herself, and it was hard to get used to her unusual accent. I checked her bio, and she was born in Texas, raised in the Netherlands, and attended college in England. No wonder I couldn't place it.

    I definitely recommend this book for managers and executives who want to strengthen their teams.

    [If you found this review helpful, please let me know by clicking the helpful button. And Audible, how about adding this one to the Business section also???]

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    Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Margaret Heffernan
    • Narrated By Margaret Heffernan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Margaret Heffernan argues that the biggest threats and dangers we face are the ones we don't see - not because they're secret or invisible, but because we're willfully blind. A distinguished businesswoman and writer, she examines the phenomenon and traces its imprint in our private and working lives, and within governments and organizations, and asks: What makes us prefer ignorance? What are we so afraid of? Why do some people see more than others? And how can we change?

    Lynn says: "Why We Ignore What Is About Us"
  1. Five Days at Memorial: Li...
  2. Sway: The Irresistible Pu...
  3. Willful Blindness: Why We...
  4. .

A Major New Account

Stranger Than Fiction

What's Trending in Nonfiction:

  • Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
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    Michael Lewis returns to the financial world to give listeners a ringside seat as the biggest news story in years prepares to hit Wall Street....

    Darwin8u says: "Making the system deliver on its promise."
  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
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    In this stunning new 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 question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
  • The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Matt Taibbi
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
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    Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends - growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration - come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty.

    Michael says: "Capitalism and Democracy Collide"
  • Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
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    The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. The topics range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain.

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  • The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Katty Kay, Claire Shipman
    • Narrated By Sandy Rustin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Working women today are better educated and more well-qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

    Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition - with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business - Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to "lean in".

  • This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Brockman
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee, Michelle Ford, Peter Berkrot, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    In This Explains Everything, John Brockman, founder and publisher of Edge.org, asked experts in numerous fields and disciplines to come up with their favorite explanations for everyday occurrences. Why do we recognize patterns? Is there such a thing as positive stress? Are we genetically programmed to be in conflict with each other? Those are just some of the 150 questions that the world's best scientific minds answer with elegant simplicity.

    Gary says: "An ode to science by making you feel the science"
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

    Marian Hanganu says: "Exceptional!"
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

    Teddy says: "Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
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  • The 48 Laws of Power

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
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    Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. This bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers.

    Richard Leon says: "Not a how to guide .."
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Liz says: "encore!"
  • Dollar Default: How the Federal Reserve and the Government Betrayed Your Trust

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bill Cross
    • Narrated By Bill Cross
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    After reading Dollar Default you will have a solid grasp of the basics of American financial history, and why gold and silver were important in the founding of America. Dollar Default will change forever the way you view the paper money in your wallet, and connect you again with your heritage.

  • Missing: A Boy and the Evidence Against His Accused Killer

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 6 mins)
    • By Joaquin Sapien, Hanna Trudo, Joe Sexton
    • Narrated By Stephen Bel Davies
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    Early on a May morning in 1979, six-year-old Etan Patz set off for school on his own for the first time. He vanished, and for three decades his case both frustrated and exhausted police, the FBI, and a public heartbroken by the tragedy. Then, suddenly, the police in 2012 announced that a former bodega clerk from the Manhattan neighborhood where Etan lived had confessed to killing the boy. Detectives were convinced they had the boy’s murderer, and prosecutors soon indicted the man, Pedro Hernandez.

  • Born to Receive: Seven Powerful Steps Women Can Take Today to Reclaim Their Half of the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Amanda Owen
    • Narrated By Karen Saltus
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    Discover the seven secrets women can use to get ahead in the world! This audiobook from consultant-coach Amanda Owen (author of The Power of Receiving) presents self-improvement strategies for women and a radically different approach to helping them achieve their goals, reduce stress, and create better health and happiness by using the power that already exists within them.

  • Common Core and the Truth: A Parent's Journey into the Heart of the Core

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Amy Skalicky
    • Narrated By Claton Butcher
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    Common Core is not your typical education reform idea. It is a giant step towards the goal of federalized, corporate-run education, the underlying ambition of elitists in this country for more than 100 years. Parents and educators cannot rely on what they read or hear from the creators of the Common Core for the truth. One must dig deeper, past the lies, to understand the implications of the Common Core agenda.

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  • Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Dan Savage
    • Narrated By Dan Savage
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    Dan Savage eviscerates the right-wing conservatives as he commits each of the Seven Deadly Sins himself (or tries to) and finds those everyday Americans who take particular delight in their sinful pursuits. Combine a unique history of the Seven Deadly Sins, a new interpretation of the biblical stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, and enough Bill Bennett, Robert Bork, Pat Buchanan, Dr. Laura, and Bill O'Reilly bashing to more than make up for their incessant carping, and you've got the most provocative book of the fall.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Thought provoking, but a bit dated"
  • Congratulations, by the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness

    • UNABRIDGED (12 mins)
    • By George Saunders
    • Narrated By George Saunders
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    Three months after George Saunders gave a convocation address at Syracuse University, a transcript of that speech was posted on the website of The New York Times, where its simple, uplifting message struck a deep chord. Within days, it had been shared more than one million times. Why? Because Saunders’s words tap into a desire in all of us to lead kinder, more fulfilling lives. Powerful, funny, and wise, Congratulations, by the Way is an inspiring message from one of today’s most influential and original writers.

  • Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jo Becker
    • Narrated By Jamie Leonhart
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    A tour de force of groundbreaking reportage by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jo Becker, Forcing the Spring follows the historic legal challenge mounted against California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a remarkable lawsuit that forced the issue of marriage equality before the highest court in the land. For nearly five years Becker embedded with the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, was given free rein within the legal and political war rooms where strategy was plotted, and attended every day of the trial and every appellate argument.

  • God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Matthew Vines
    • Narrated By Matthew Vines
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    As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships. Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality.

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  • Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nikil Saval
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
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    You mean this place we go to five days a week has a history? Cubed reveals the unexplored yet surprising story of the places where most of the world's work - our work - gets done. From "Bartleby the Scrivener" to The Office, from the steno pool to the open-plan cubicle farm, Cubed is a fascinating, often funny, and sometimes disturbing anatomy of the white-collar world and how it came to be the way it is - and what it might become.

  • You Are Not Special: ...And Other Encouragements

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By David McCullough
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    A profound expansion of David McCullough, Jr.’s popular commencement speech - a call to arms against a prevailing, narrow, conception of success viewed by millions on YouTube - You Are Not Special is a love letter to students and parents as well as a guide to a truly fulfilling, happy life. By acknowledging that the world is indifferent to them, McCullough takes pressure off of students to be extraordinary achievers and instead exhorts them to roll up their sleeves and do something useful with their advantages.

  • Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Paul Stevens
    • Narrated By Daniel Hagen
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    By the time of his retirement in June 2010, John Paul Stevens had become the second-longest-serving Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Now he draws upon his more than three decades on the Court, during which he was involved with many of the defining decisions of the modern era, to offer a book like none other. Six Amendments is an absolutely unprecedented call to arms, detailing six specific ways in which the Constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and wellbeing of American citizens.