4 audiobooks for nonfiction readers

Storms, surfing, living abroad, and biographies are on the slate this month, with each title narrated by its author. All titles are available to download from www.audible.com.

1. 'Brave Companions: Portraits in History,' by David McCullough

(Read by David McCullough; Simon & Schuster Audio; 9 CDs; 11 hours; $39.99)

Historian McCullough has put together a collection of 17 profiles of individuals and groups of historical figures who changed the course of history, and/or our perception of the world. First published in 1991, it is only now on audio, and is well worth seeking out.  Each section is fast paced and fascinating, with profiles of interesting figures ranging from explorers to pilots to photographers.  A few of the pieces feel a little dated, but for the most part they are captivating and eloquently written. Though interesting to hear an author read his work, McCullough’s diction is not as clear as it once may have been.  Still, this is highly recommended.

Grade A –

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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