[Free Audiobooks] New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson & Fake by Eric Simonson [Award-Nominated Science Fiction Novel & Science History Hoax Drama]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2020 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or modern, 1 non-fiction or speculative—available worldwide for a limited time courtesy of participating major publishers, and you can see the planned release schedule here.

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of questioning past and future scientific assumptions and the associated status quo, will be available to claim until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on July 22nd.

  • New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, read by a full cast, from Hachette Audio. A standalone science fiction novel set in a future New York City partially submerged due to climate change, focusing on the various persons and factions living there as they try to survive and interact with each other despite the class divide between the wealthy in their secure skyscrapers above sea level, and the less privileged who live in the vulnerable low-lying tidal areas. This was a Best Novel finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award, and also placed 3rd on the annual Locus Award list for Best SF Novel.

  • Fake by Eric Simonson, performed by a full cast in front of a live audience, from L.A. Theatre Works. A science history drama alternating between the 1910s and the 1950s, exploring the discovery and impact and eventual debunking of the famous Piltdown Man fossil, a “missing link” debated over by many luminaries of the time, including Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who participates as a character in the play. This audiobook version also includes an interview with University of Chicago professor Russell H. Tuttle, a distinguished palaeoanthropologist, discussing the hoax in retrospect.

This year, they’ve switched over to requiring the Overdrive Sora app available for iOS and Android (previously, these were available as DRM-free MP3s with a time-limited download period to your computer/device), but once added to your in-app library, these will remain permanent titles that you can re-download at any time at your leisure.

You’ll need to signup with a valid email address on AudioFile’s front page for the promotion, and then enter the setup code audiobooksync in the Sora app when asked, and then claim each week’s featured title using the Borrow function on its page in the app, more details available on their FAQ page for the promotion.

Offered until just before midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 22nd, available worldwide.

[Free eBook] Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet by Rob Hengeveld [Ecology Science Issues & Sociopolitical History]

Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet by Rob Hengeveld, a biologist and former honorary professor in the Department of Animal Ecology at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, is environmental and social science current affairs and history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for September.

This accessibly-written book explains the natural and industrial processes of resource usage and recycling, also tracing the human connection and effects of overconsumption, overpopulation, and pollution and their consequences throughout worldwide history as well as in current and potential future times.

Offered worldwide through September, available directly from the university’s website.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet by Rob Hengeveld [Ecology Science Issues & Sociopolitical History]”

[Free Audiobooks] Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach & The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky [Science Travelogue & Young Adult Historical Suspense]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2019 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—as free MP3 downloads, usually available worldwide (some titles are subject to geo-restrictions, and you can see the planned release schedule here).

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of uncovering secret stories behind processes and events, available until 7am Eastern Time on June 20th, are as follows:

  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach, a science travelogue and history, taking a tour of the alimentary canal, going worldwide and back over the ages to explore both beliefs and modern researchers uncovering how each part of it works; read by Emily Woo Zeller, from Tantor Audio, available worldwide
  • The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky, a YA historical coming of age suspense thriller set during the Vietnam War era, centred around a group of schoolchildren on a secret field trip, whose teacher suddenly disappears, who try to figure out wat actually happened that day and to whom they can talk about it; read by Kate Rudd, from Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, available worldwide

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on June 20th, available in selected countries worldwide (requires installing Overdrive Media console software on your PC, Mac, Android, or iDevice, and you need to finish downloading before the time limit).

[Free eBook REPEAT] Mothers: Their Power and Influence by Ann Dally [Vintage Psychology & Self-Help]

Mothers: Their Power and Influence by the late English author Ann Dally, a psychiatrist turned medical historian, is her vintage behavioural psychology book, free again for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.

This was originally published in 1976 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson. This was intended at the time (during the 1970s) to be an accessibly-written in-depth guide to parent and child behaviours and environmental influences intended to aid mothers to better understand the psychological underpinnings of their relationships with their children.

The text draws upon the author’s extensive observations from her psychiatric practice, with true accounts of the mothers and children she encountered, as well as selected excerpts from literary authors who wrote expressively about the effects of their own relationships with their mothers.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook REPEAT] Mothers: Their Power and Influence by Ann Dally [Vintage Psychology & Self-Help]”

[Free Audiobooks] Spill by Leigh Fondakowski & Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle [Oil Spill Disaster Documentary Play & New Adult Romance]

AudioFile’s SYNC Summer of Listening 2019 promotion for young adults offers 2 free audiobooks per week—1 classic or non-fiction, 1 modern—as free MP3 downloads, usually available worldwide (some titles are subject to geo-restrictions, and you can see the planned release schedule here).

This week’s two selected titles, which have a theme of coping with the effects of disasters both natural and otherwise, available until 7am Eastern Time on May 23rd, are as follows:

  • Spill by Leigh Fondakowski, a live perfomance recording of a documentary-styled theatre play based on the events of British Petroleum’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, told via dramatized interviews, court proceedings, and emotional experiences of the rig workers and their families in the aftermath; read by a full cast, from L. A. Theatre Works, available worldwide
  • Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle, a New Adult f/m contemporary romance novel starring an emotionally-withdrawn young woman traumatized by recent accidents and misfortunes, who gets separated from her family during a hurricane evacuation off the coast of North Carolina, and finds herself trapped on her home island and struggling to survive and learn to live fully again with the help of a former high school crush who broke her heart and has suffered heartbreaks of his own; read by actress Morgan Fairbanks, from Blink, available worldwide

Offered as DRM-free MP3s through 7am Eastern Time on May 23rd, available in selected countries worldwide (requires installing Overdrive Media console software on your PC, Mac, Android, or iDevice, and you need to finish downloading before the time limit).

[Free eBook] The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Barbara Taylor [Award-Nominated 20th C Mental Health Treatment History & Memoir]

The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Canadian expat UK-resident author Barbara Taylor, an historian and professor of humanities at Queen Mary University of London, is a retrospective memoir cum history of mental health asylum treatment, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for April, and was a finalist for the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize for best Canadian work of literary non-fiction.

The memoir recounts the author’s decades-long struggle with anxiety, which eventually became severe enough to lead to a stay at the historic Friern Mental Hospital in North London in the 1980s, and the perception and treatment of mental illness in England during a turning point era which led to the closing of many asylums and the changes as their former patients were funneled into underfunded community care to mostly fend for themselves, with limited support available from knowledgeable professionals and loyal friends coping with their own mental health issues.

Offered worldwide through April, available directly from the university’s website.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Barbara Taylor [Award-Nominated 20th C Mental Health Treatment History & Memoir]”

[Free eBook] How We See the Sky: A Naked-Eye Tour of Night and Day by Thomas Hockey [DIY Astronomy Cultural History & Travelogue]

How We See the Sky: A Naked-Eye Tour of Night and Day by Thomas Hockey, a professor of astronomy at University of Northern Iowa and recipient of the Donald E. Osterbrock Book Prize for his science writing, is a DIY astronomy guide cum globe-trotting science and culture history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for March.

The book is an accessibly-written and lavishly-illustrated introductory guide to the core concepts of astronomy as seen from a ground-eye view in many locations worldwide, explaining various phenomena such as eclipses and seasons and lunar cycles which are visible without specialized equipment, and exploring their scientific causes and cultural impact in modern times as well as throughout history via anecdotes, literary references, as well as the author’s personal experiences traveling to observe some of them.

Offered worldwide through March, available directly from the university’s website.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] How We See the Sky: A Naked-Eye Tour of Night and Day by Thomas Hockey [DIY Astronomy Cultural History & Travelogue]”

[Free eBook] The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe by Michael D. Gordin [Science History]

The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe by Michael D. Gordin, a professor of history at Princeton University, is a biographical history of the roots of pseudoscience and various fringe beliefs, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for January.

The book explores the career of the late Immanuel Velikovsky, a controversial Russian scholar who drew upon world mythological writings to argue in favour a shared history of ancient astronomical catastrophes and found brief popularity for his views among the general public during the mid-20th century, even as they were being debated and debunked by scientists, drawing upon previously unpublished material from Velikovsky’s personal archives to give a behind-the-scenes look at the man and also exploring the histories and effects of other pseudoscientific fringe beliefs along the way.

Offered worldwide through January (usually also available until early morning on Feb 1st), available directly from the university’s website.

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Free for a limited time through January directly @ the university’s special promo page (ADE-DRM ePub available worldwide in return for newsletter signup with your valid email address), and you can also read more about the book on its regular catalogue page.

Description
Properly analyzed, the collective mythological and religious writings of humanity reveal that around 1500 BC, a comet swept perilously close to Earth, triggering widespread natural disasters and threatening the destruction of all life before settling into solar orbit as Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor.

Sound implausible? Well, from 1950 until the late 1970s, a huge number of people begged to differ, as they devoured Immanuel Velikovsky’s major best-seller, Worlds in Collision, insisting that perhaps this polymathic thinker held the key to a new science and a new history. Scientists, on the other hand, assaulted Velikovsky’s book, his followers, and his press mercilessly from the get-go. In The Pseudoscience Wars, Michael D. Gordin resurrects the largely forgotten figure of Velikovsky and uses his strange career and surprisingly influential writings to explore the changing definitions of the line that separates legitimate scientific inquiry from what is deemed bunk, and to show how vital this question remains to us today. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material from Velikovsky’s personal archives, Gordin presents a behind-the-scenes history of the writer’s career, from his initial burst of success through his growing influence on the counterculture, heated public battles with such luminaries as Carl Sagan, and eventual eclipse. Along the way, he offers fascinating glimpses into the histories and effects of other fringe doctrines, including creationism, Lysenkoism, parapsychology, and more—all of which have surprising connections to Velikovsky’s theories.

Science today is hardly universally secure, and scientists seem themselves beset by critics, denialists, and those they label “pseudoscientists”—as seen all too clearly in battles over evolution and climate change. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously reveals the surprising Cold War roots of our contemporary dilemma and points readers to a different approach to drawing the line between knowledge and nonsense.

[Free eBook] Death from the Sea by Herbert Molloy Mason [1900s Natural Disaster History]

Death from the Sea by the late Texas-resident American author Herbert Molloy Mason, Jr., a military history writer, is a natural disaster event case history, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1972 by The Dial Press (since acquired by Penguin Random House).

The book is done in a narrative history style, giving an account of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane in Texas, considered the deadliest natural disaster in US history, covering the background and rise to prominence of the town and its colourful inhabitants, in parallel to the building up of the weather conditions which would devastate them amidst ignored warnings, as well as the aftermath of the hurricane’s damaging effects which reached as far as Canada and the town’s gradual recovery.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] Death from the Sea by Herbert Molloy Mason [1900s Natural Disaster History]”

[Free eBook] One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery by Karyn L. Freedman [Award-Winning Philosophical Memoir]

One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery by Canadian author Karyn L. Freedman, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph, is an exploratory trauma recovery and treatment memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for November and was a recipient of the 2015 British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, shortlisted for the 2015 Alberta Book of the Year, and was also featured in the Globe and Mail‘s Top 100 Books of 2014 as well as the CBC Reads 2017 Longlist.

The memoir is a globe-trotting philosophical meditation about the immediate and long-term effects of the author’s own experience with the trauma and recovery from being raped in 1990 and her travels in search of justice and treatment over the decades since then, as well as the broader effects of sexual violence and gender inequality in society throughout history, drawing upon insights from recent neuroscientific and psychological research to examine how recovery becomes possible for survivors.

Offered worldwide through November, available directly from the university’s website.

Continue reading “[Free eBook] One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery by Karyn L. Freedman [Award-Winning Philosophical Memoir]”