Your ratings are in—but which books earned your highest marks in 2012? Click on each category below to reveal you and your fellow listeners' five-star favorites in each genre (and overall!) this year.


And to see which books earned the your top ratings at the end of each month, check out our Monthly Customer Favorites.

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  • Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (839)
    Performance
    (722)
    Story
    (720)

    We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.

    Ryan says: "A catalog of positive innovations on the horizon"
  • 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
    Overall
    (4560)
    Performance
    (3929)
    Story
    (3906)

    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++++++++!!!!!"
  • Dark Pools: High-Speed Traders, A.I. Bandits, and the Threat to the Global Financial System

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Scott Patterson
    • Narrated By Byron Wagner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (210)

    In the beginning was Josh Levine, an idealistic programming genius who dreamed of wresting control of the market from the big exchanges that, again and again, gave the giant institutions an advantage over the little guy. Levine created a computerized trading hub named "Island" where small traders swapped stocks, and over time his invention morphed into a global electronic stock market that sent trillions in capital through a vast jungle of fiber-optic cables.

    Gary says: "Definitive history on Electronic Trading"
  • Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Chris Anderson
    • Narrated By Rene Ruiz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (371)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (324)

    Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop. In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing. A generation of "Makers" using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent.

    John says: "A Glimpse Into the Future"
  • Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Ben Goldacre
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cowley
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (108)

    Author Ben Goldacre exposes the epidemic of pseudoscience and gives listeners the tools they need to distinguish good science from nonsense.

    aaron says: "The Brits Pull No Punches On Fake Medicine!!"
  • Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Christopher Steiner
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (946)
    Performance
    (822)
    Story
    (818)

    It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills - and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. These "bots" started with human programming and logic, but now their reach extends beyond what their creators ever expected.

    PHIL says: "Wide-ranging, non-technical"
  • Mastery

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1177)
    Performance
    (1042)
    Story
    (1035)

    What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.

    Gare&Sophia says: "Mastery is both a goal and a destination..."
  • The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Robert M. Hazen
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (458)
    Performance
    (402)
    Story
    (397)

    Earth evolves. From first atom to molecule, mineral to magma, granite crust to single cell to verdant living landscape, ours is a planet constantly in flux. In this radical new approach to Earth’s biography, senior Carnegie Institution researcher and national best-selling author Robert M. Hazen reveals how the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere - of rocks and living matter - has shaped our planet into the only one of its kind in the Solar System, if not the entire cosmos.

    Gary says: "Makes minerals interesting"
  • The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By John E. Sarno, M.D.
    • Narrated By Brian Holsopple
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (78)

    Dr. John E. Sarno's Healing Back Pain is a New York Times best seller that has helped over 500,000 readers. Continuing the research since his ground-breaking book, the renowned physician now presents his most complete work yet on the vital connection between mental and bodily health.... Musculoskeletal pain disorders have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with most doctors failing to recognize their underlying cause.

    Evelyn says: "THE ULTIMATE INSTANT HEALING BOOK"
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Susannah Cahalan
    • Narrated By Heather Henderson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1430)
    Performance
    (1282)
    Story
    (1288)

    In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter

    Eric Schurr says: "Very scary, real story, superbly written and rea"
  • On Being a Therapist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jeffrey A. Kottler
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (70)

    An updated revision of Jeffrey Kottler's classic book On Being a Therapist reveals the new realities and inner experiences of therapeutic practice today.

    Amanda says: "Excellent Read for Those in the Helping Profession"
  • Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Travis Langley, Michael Uslan, Dennis O’Neil
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (73)

    Batman is one of the most compelling and enduring characters to come from the Golden Age of Comics, and interest in his story has only increased through countless incarnations since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Why does this superhero without superpowers fascinate us? What does that fascination say about us? Batman and Psychology explores these and other intriguing questions about the masked vigilante, including: Does Batman have PTSD? Why does he fight crime? Why as a vigilante? Why the mask, the bat, and the underage partner?

    bruce says: "really makes ya think"
  • Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Rebecca Stott
    • Narrated By Jean Gilpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Christmas, 1859. Just one month after the publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin received an unsettling letter. He had expected criticism; in fact, letters were arriving daily, most expressing outrage and accusations of heresy. But this letter was different. It accused him of failing to acknowledge his predecessors, of taking credit for a theory that had already been discovered by others. Darwin realized that he had made an error in omitting any mention of his intellectual forebears.

    Kenny T says: "Well written and read"
  • When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Gabor Maté
    • Narrated By Daniel Maté
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (58)

    In When the Body Says No, physician and writer Gabor Maté explores the mind-body link and the connection between stress and disease. Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a relationship between the ability to express emotions and Alzheimer’s disease? Is there such a thing as a “cancer personality”? Drawing on scientific research and years of experience as a practicing physician, Maté provides answers to these and other important questions.

    Donald Lopes says: "For Those with a Ph. D. in science only"
  • The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Ross W. Greene
    • Narrated By Ross W. Greene
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (75)

    Dr. Ross Greene, a distinguished clinician and pioneer in the treatment of kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges, has worked with thousands of explosive children, and he has good news: these kids aren't attentionseeking, manipulative, or unmotivated, and their parents aren't passive, permissive disciplinarians. Rather, explosive kids are lacking some crucial skills in the domains of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance, and problem solving, and they require a different approach.

    Matthew says: "Wonderful and Useful"
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