Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries - panic, exhaustion, heat, noise - and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper.
"Mary Roach's particular brand of scientific curiosity is pure genius, in my humble opinion. In Grunt, she manages to tweeze out fascinating tidbits about the experience of being a soldier that leave a very specific picture in your head—making life at war more accessible to the layperson despite the shockingly unbelievable facts she brings to light. It's not the famous battles or high-tech weapons that impress Roach—it's the small stuff that defines what a soldier's life is really like. Much is revealed in her chapter subtitles, like: "How to make and test shark repellent" and, "Diarrhea as a threat to national security" and, "The conundrum of military noise". These give you a good idea of the topics Roach takes-on, pulls apart, and presents with humor, intelligence, and—despite the inherent grittiness—respect." -- Tricia, Audible Editor
Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the castle's women's dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery.
"Homegoing, simply put, is incredible. The plot, the prose, the characters, the writing … there’s not one aspect of this book that "carries" the rest. Each is, well, incredible. Author Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel is none other than a feat—an engrossing family epic spanning multiple centuries and multiple continents. The stories of two half-sisters born in 18th-century Ghana, in different villages, begin this memorable novel of triumph, heartbreak and resilience. One is married off to a well-educated and wealthy Englishman. The other is shipped off to America and sold into slavery. These sisters’ stories, their children’s stories, and their children’s children’s children’s stories will stay with you long after the book ends." -- Laura, Audible Editor
Kit has been projecting into other species for seven years. Longer than anyone else at ShenCorp. Longer than any of the scientists thought possible. But lately she has the feeling that when she jumps, she isn't alone.... Since she was 12, Kit has been a phenomenaut, her consciousness projected into the bodies of lab-grown animals for the purpose of research.
"As soon as I heard the premise of Emma Geen's wonderfully creative debut, I was hooked: in the near-future, Katherine "Kit" North is a teenaged phenomenaut; a kind of researcher capable of projecting her consciousness into the bodies of animals in hopes of better understanding them. And, indeed, Geen's prose really shines as she brings Kit into the bodies of various animals—tigers, eagles, spiders—and you experience your own strange, out-of-body experience. This is a true delight, especially in audio, as you get to hear their senses and instincts translated firsthand. But it's also what makes the story so gripping, as Kit begins to suspect that those she works for have more menacing objectives and you're left panicked, paranoid, and wondering if Kit is acting out of animal instincts herself." -- Doug, Audible Editor
Valerie Torrey took her son, Alex, and fled Los Angeles six years ago - leaving both her role on a cult sci-fi TV show and her costar husband after a tragedy blew their small family apart. Now Val must reunite nine-year-old Alex with his estranged father, so they set out on a road trip from New York, Val making appearances at comic book conventions along the way. As they travel west, encountering superheroes, monsters, time travelers, and robots, Val and Alex are drawn into the orbit of the comic-con regulars.
"I’ve been to a few Comic-Cons in my life, so the premise of this debut novel intrigued me: Val Torrey, former star of the sci-fi series Anomaly, drives cross-country to reunite her son Alex with her ex-husband (also her former co-star). Along the way, Val makes appearances at various cons throughout the U.S. But there’s a dark secret in Val’s past that she will soon have to confront. The characters are really the light of this novel, which is a joyous and emotional reflection on parenthood, love, and art. It’s especially impossible not to fall for superhero-obsessed 9-year-old Alex as he navigates this pivotal adventure in his life. And as a fan of sci-fi & fantasy, the "backstage" glimpses into the lives of the artists who attend these cons were both delightful and revealing. Whether or not you’re into geek culture—don’t hesitate to try this beautiful debut" -- Sam, Audible Editor
It's been 20 years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global microdemocracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line.
"Infomocracy is a political techno-thriller that tells the story of a world engaged in a semi-experimental form of global government called micro-democracy. Aided by a Google-esque corporation called Information—which provides real time virtual analytics on almost everything—the book's protagonists work diligently to thwart plots of political terrorism that threaten to take down the whole system. One part House of Cards, one part Newsroom, and one part Blade Runner, Infomocracy is always engaging and will definitely keep you on your toes." -- Michael, Audible Editor