Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes

Janna Stam

The Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes podcast has already explored some of the best popular nonfiction in over 100 episodes. Hosted by Janna, we review writing style, narration, production, and the overall listening experience. We're passionate about audiobooks because they offer a unique and immersive way to experience stories and ideas. From the subtle nuances of a narrator's voice to the production values that bring ideas and concepts to life, there's so much to appreciate about a well-crafted audiobook. If you're an audiobook lover, then you're in the right place. Whether you're into psychology or history, or you're just looking for a great topic to dive into on your daily commute, we've got you covered. read less
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Episodes

The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz
07-02-2023
The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz
This episode is also available on the Access Ideas podcast.What makes for a happy life, a fulfilling life? A good life? The authors of The Good Life promise the answer may be closer than you realize! Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz are the director and associate director of The Grant Study, also known as the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies ever done, beginning in 1938 and continuing up to the present. The study initially followed the lives of two groups of men: one group of socially disadvantaged men (inner-city Boston boys from working-class families), and another group of privileged men (graduates of Harvard College). The study aimed to understand the factors that contribute to a successful and fulfilling life, and eventually expanded to include the spouses and children of these men.My hope is that by amplifying the findings of this extraordinary study, we can reframe popular ideas about happiness, health, and success! And if you’re not quite ready to commit to listening to this 11 hour audiobook, consider listening to these two recent interviews:Ten Percent Happier #549. Lessons From the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness | Dr. Robert WaldingerMaking Sense with Sam Harris episode #308 The Long Game (with Robert Waldinger)Goodreads review of The Good LifeConnect with Audiobook Reviews in 5Twitter: @janna_caFacebookAudiobook Reviews in Five Minutes websiteGoodreadsCheck us out on Feedspot's Best Canada Non-Fiction Podcasts list!Audio production by The Podcast Distillery Co. Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions
Top 2021 Reviews: High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out by Amanda Ripley
14-12-2021
Top 2021 Reviews: High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out by Amanda Ripley
“This is one of the most important books that will be published in 2021. The Covid vaccine will soon free humanity from a biological pandemic, and this book, if widely read, could free humanity from an equally deadly scourge—high conflict.” — Jonathan Haidt, Social psychologist, Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University Stern School of Business, and author CThe Coddling of the American MindAmanda Ripley is an investigative journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. She’s spent her career trying to make sense of complicated human mysteries, from what happens to our brains in a disaster to how some countries manage to educate virtually all their kids to think for themselves. Her first book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and Why, was published in 15 countries and turned into a PBS documentary. Her next book,  The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way, was a New York Times bestseller. Amanda’s most recent book is High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, published by Simon & Schuster in April 2021.In her books and magazine writing, Amanda combines storytelling with data to help illuminate hard problems—and solutions. To do this, she usually follows people who have been through some kind of a transformation—including the survivors of hurricanes and plane crashes, American teenagers who have gone to high school in other countries and people who were bewitched by toxic conflicts and managed to break free. (from https://www.amandaripley.com/about-amanda)Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55713052-high-conflictConnect with Audiobook Reviews in 5:· Twitter: @janna_ca· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookReviewsInFiveMinutes· Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website: https://podcast.jannastam.com/· Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jannastamAudio production by Graham StephensonEpisode music: Caprese by Blue Dot SessionsThis episode was first released in May 2021
Top 2021 Reviews: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, read by Carey Mulligan
23-11-2021
Top 2021 Reviews: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, read by Carey Mulligan
“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever…”Ultimately, stories have emotional power over us, and great stories stay with us for a lifetime. Haig’s charming style made this listen impossible to put down. And, although it covers some heavy subject matter, The Midnight Library is an easy listen beautifully narrated by British actress Carey Mulligan, who brings Nora’s character to life in so many different contexts.Matt Haig is an author for children and adults. His memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, was a number one bestseller, staying in the British top ten for 46 weeks. His children’s book, A Boy Called Christmas, was a runaway hit and is translated in over 40 languages. It is being made into a film starring Maggie Smith, Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent and The Guardian called it an ‘instant classic’. His novels for adults include the award-winning How To Stop Time, The Radleys, The Humans and the number one bestseller The Midnight Library, which also won the 2021 Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction.Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54744876-the-midnight-libraryConnect with Audiobook Reviews in 5Twitter: @janna_caFacebook Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website Goodreads Check us out on Feedspot's Best Canada Non-Fiction Podcasts list!Audio production by The Podcast Distillery Co. Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot SessionsThis episode was first released in February 2021
Top 2021 Reviews: You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy
16-11-2021
Top 2021 Reviews: You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy
One of my top audiobook listens for 2021! One Goodreads reviewer gave this book three stars out of five, criticizing it as a “Love Letter to Listening” (but lacking tips of how to listen better). This same rationale is exactly why I’m giving this title five out of five stars. The fact is, most of us know perfectly well what listening skills are, but we’re not practicing good listening habits because we don’t value listening enough, author Kate Murphy is passionately determined to change that.Picked by the Observer, Stylist, and Waterstones as a best non-fiction book for 2020 and nominated for a 2020 Goodreads Choice Award for nonfiction.Kate Murphy is a Houston, Texas–based journalist who has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Agence France-Presse, and Texas Monthly. Her eclectic and widely shared pieces have explored an extraordinary range of topics including health, technology, science, design, art, aviation, business, finance, fashion, dining, travel, and real estate.Connect with Audiobook Reviews in 5:· Twitter: @janna_ca· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookReviewsInFiveMinutes· Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website: https://podcast.jannastam.com/· Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jannastamAudio production by Graham StephensonEpisode music: Caprese by Blue Dot SessionsThis episode was first released in January 2021
There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century by Fiona Hill
09-11-2021
There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century by Fiona Hill
Fiona Hill is director of the Center on the United States and Europe, and senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. Growing up in England’s coal-mining country, Fiona Hill knew that she was in a forgotten place. The last of the local mines had closed, businesses were shuttering, and despair was etched in the faces around her. Her father told her to get out—to go to London, or Europe, or America. “There is nothing for you here, pet,” he said.Hill managed to go further than her father ever could have dreamed. She studied in Moscow and at Harvard, became an American citizen, and served on the National Security Council. But in the heartlands of both Russia and the US, she saw grim reflections of her hometown and similar populist impulses. By the time she offered her brave testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, Hill knew that the desperation of forgotten people was driving American politics over the brink—and that we were running out of time to save ourselves from systemic collapse. In this powerful, deeply personal account, she shares what she has learned, and explains that only by expanding opportunity can we save our democracy.Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59246374-there-is-nothing-for-you-hereConnect with Audiobook Reviews in 5:· Twitter: @janna_ca· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookReviewsInFiveMinutes· Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website: https://podcast.jannastam.com/· Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jannastamAudio production by Graham StephensonEpisode music: Caprese by Blue Dot SessionsRate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times by Jane Goodall & Douglas Abrams
02-11-2021
The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times by Jane Goodall & Douglas Abrams
Dr. Jane Goodall DBE is an ethologist and environmentalist. From infancy she was fascinated by animal behavior, and in 1957 at 23 years old, she met the famous paleoanthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey while she was visiting a friend in Kenya. Impressed by her passion for animals, heoffered her the chance to be the first person to study chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, in the wild. And so three years later Jane traveled from England to what is now Tanzania and, equipped with only a notebook, binoculars, and determination to succeed, ventured into the then unknown world of wild chimpanzees.Jane Goodall’s research at Gombe National Park has given us an in-depth understanding of chimpanzee behavior. The research continues, but in 1986, realizing the threat to chimpanzees throughout Africa, Jane traveled to six study sites. She learned first-hand not only about the problems facing chimpanzees, but also about those facing so many Africans living in poverty. She realized that only by helping local communities find ways of making a living without destroying the environment could chimpanzees be saved. Since then Jane has traveled the world raising awareness and learning about the threats we all face today, especially climate change and loss of biodiversity. The author of many books for adults and children and featured in countless documentaries and articles, Jane has reached millions around the world with her lectures, podcasts and writings. She was appointed as a UN Messenger of Peace, is a Dame of the British Empire, and has received countless honors from around the world.Douglas Abrams is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the first book in the Global Icons Series. Douglas is also the founder and president of Idea Architects, a literary agency and media development company helping visionaries to create a wiser, healthier, and more just world. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.Bios copied from The Book of Hope PDF supplement (Audible)The Jane Goodall Hopecast: https://janegoodall.ca/the-hopecast-jane-goodalls-podcast/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58603636-the-book-of-hopeConnect with Audiobook Reviews in 5:· Twitter: @janna_ca· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookReviewsInFiveMinutes· Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website: https://podcast.jannastam.com/· Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jannastamAudio production by Graham StephensonEpisode music: Caprese by Blue Dot SessionsRate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify
Repeat listen: Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
26-10-2021
Repeat listen: Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
One of my top audiobook listens for 2021! Think Again is a 21st Century reboot of Enlightenment ideas, celebrating skepticism and science. Adam Grant’s balance of storytelling and statistics is fascinating, but what makes this listen fun is how Grant challenges us to explore our own tendencies and guides us in how to practice rethinking our beliefs. How often do you think again? Take the quiz: https://www.adamgrant.net/quizzes/think-again-quiz/ ** Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and TED speaker who helps people find meaning and motivation at work. Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for 7 straight years. As an organizational psychologist, he is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40. ​He is the author of 4 New York Times bestselling books that have sold millions of copies and been translated into 35 languages: Give and Take, Originals, Option B, and Power Moves. His books have been named among the year’s best by Amazon, Apple, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal and praised by J.J. Abrams, Richard Branson, Bill and Melinda Gates, Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Kahneman, and Malala Yousafzai. (bio taken from https://www.adamgrant.net/about/biography/) ** Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56789923-think-again Audio production by Graham Stephenson Episode music: Caprese by Blue Dot Sessions Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify This episode was first released in February 2021
Drink? The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health, written and read by Professor David Nutt
05-10-2021
Drink? The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health, written and read by Professor David Nutt
Professor David Nutt is a neuropsychopharmacologist and researcher at Imperial College London. In 2009, he was infamously dismissed from his role as Chair of the United Kingdom’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. The reason was his public stance that illicit drugs should be classified according to the actual evidence of the harm they cause. Most controversial of all was his claim that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than LSD, ecstasy or cannabis. So you might expect him to be a prohibitionist, but that’s not so. In fact, he owns a wine bar. But for the last 30 years, he’s also campaigned for better public health policy when it comes to alcohol.Nutt is on a mission to explain the most significant alcohol-related research findings from the last 50 years. What I enjoyed most about his pragmatic approach is that he explains the impact of ANY amount of alcohol consumption. This is about making informed decisions, not moral judgements. He clarifies the differences that various levels of alcohol consumption have on our mental health, sleep, hormones, fertility, and propensity toward addiction.Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53023321-drinkConnect with Audiobook Reviews in 5:· Twitter: @janna_ca· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookReviewsInFiveMinutes· Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes website: https://podcast.jannastam.com/· Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jannastamAudio production by Graham StephensonEpisode music: Caprese by Blue Dot SessionsRate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify