audiobooks for documentary lovers
Documentary Lovers Rejoice! We’ve Got the Perfect Audiobooks for You

Love a good documentary? These audiobooks are sure to quench your thirst for learning little-known stories. From scandalous expeditions during European colonialism, to life on a modern-day farm, to the utter hysteria and horror lived on the cruise ship Zaandam during the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.

River of the Gods is a story of courage and adventure, set against the backdrop of the race to exploit Africa by the colonial powers. Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were sent by the Royal Geographical Society to claim the Nile River’s headwaters for England to extend their colonial empire. Yet there was a third man on their expedition: Sidi Mubarak Bombay, who was enslaved and shipped from his home village in East Africa to India. When the man who purchased him died, Bombay traveled back to Africa, where he used his resourcefulness, linguistic prowess, and raw courage to forge a living as a guide. Without Bombay, neither Englishman would have come close to the headwaters of the Nile, or perhaps even survived.

Author: Ellyn Gaydos
Read By: Ellyn Gaydos

As a farmer in Upstate New York and Vermont, Ellyn Gaydos lives on the knife edge between loss and gain. Her debut memoir draws us into the lifeblood of the farm: fields go barren and animals meet their end too soon, but then their bodies become food in a time-old human ritual. Seasonal hands are ground down by the hard work, but new relationships are formed, love blossoms and Gaydos yearns to become a mother.  Pig Years is a rapturous reckoning of love, labor, and loss within a landscape given to flux.

Cabin Fever is harrowing true story of the Holland America cruise ship Zaandam, which set sail with a deadly and little-understood stowaway called COVID-19 days before the world shut down in March 2020. This riveting narrative thriller takes readers behind the scenes with passengers and crew who were caught unprepared for the deadly ordeal that lay ahead.

Under the Skin

Today’s medical texts and instruments still carry fallacious slavery-era assumptions that Black bodies are fundamentally different from white bodies. Study after study of medical settings show worse treatment and outcomes for Black patients. Black people live in dirtier, more polluted communities due to environmental racism and neglect from all levels of government. And, most powerfully, Villarosa describes the new understanding that coping with the daily scourge of racism ages Black people prematurely. Anchored by unforgettable human stories and offering incontrovertible proof, Under the Skin is dramatic, tragic, and necessary listening.

Author: CJ Hauser
Read By: CJ Hauser

Told with the late-night barstool directness of your wisest, most bighearted friend, The Crane Wife is a frankly written memoir for everyone whose life doesn’t look the way they thought it would, for everyone learning to find joy in the not-knowing, for everyone trying, if sometimes failing, to build a new sort of life story, a new sort of family, and a new sort of home to live in.

Author: Caleb Gayle
Read By: Caleb Gayle

In We Refuse to Forget, award-winning journalist Caleb Gayle tells the extraordinary story of the Creek Nation, a Native tribe that both owned slaves and accepted Black people as full citizens. Thanks to the efforts of Creek leaders like Cow Tom, a Black Creek citizen who rose to become chief, the U.S. government recognized Creek citizenship in 1866 for its Black members. Yet this equality was shredded in the 1970s when tribal leaders revoked the citizenship of Black Creeks, even those who could trace their history back generations—even to Cow Tom himself.

Rogues brings together a dozen of Patrick Radden Keefe’s most celebrated articles from The New Yorker. Keefe brilliantly explores the intricacies of forging $150,000 vintage wines, examines whether a whistleblower who dared to expose money laundering at a Swiss bank is a hero or a fabulist, spends time in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain, chronicles the quest to bring down a cheerful international black market arms merchant, and profiles a passionate death penalty attorney who represents the “worst of the worst,” among other bravura works of literary journalism.