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The Year in Audiobooks 2013

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BEST VOICES Nonfiction & Culture MIKE CHAMBERLAIN Before Happinesss by Shawn Achor (Random House Audio/ Books on Tape) DON HAGEN Whole by T. Colin Campbell, Howard Jacobson (Blackstone Audiobooks) SEAN RUNNETTE Fields of Fire by James Webb (Tantor Media) The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard P. Feynman (Blackstone Audiobooks) ROBIN SACHS C.S. Lewis—A Life by Alister McGrath (Oasis Audio) The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane (Blackstone Audiobooks) SIMON VANCE English Society in the Eighteenth Century by Roy Porter (Blackstone Audiobooks) The Fun Stuff by James Wood (Blackstone Audiobooks) EMILY WOO ZELLER Gulp by Mary Roach (Tantor Media) Simon Vance is such an expe- rienced and skilled narrator that he could easily have been named one of our "Best Voices of 2013" in any number of genres. When he brings that skill to nonfiction, the result is always good listening. What for a lesser reader might be only a plodding list of population figures or descriptions of land holdings in Roy Porter's 20 20 The Year in Audiobooks 2013 English Society in the Eighteenth Century becomes instead a window into a past time, each sentence to the point, illuminating, engaging the intellectual and the sensual imagination. Vance's immaculate articulation conveys the sharpness and precision Porter achieves through a steady accumulation of detail. And in The Fun Stuff, Vance finds in James Wood's eclectic and associative style a natural flow of ideas, references, and fresh insights. Thanks to Vance's measured and seamless delivery, it becomes a highly satisfying and thought-provoking demonstration of the critical mind at work.

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