Have you Heard? Microhistory Books
9 mins read

Have you Heard? Microhistory Books

Check out these audiobooks covering niche subjects and little-known stories of history.

This is just a sample of the audiobooks in our collection, and you can visit a library location for assistance in finding personalized recommendations.


Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach, read by Shelly Frasier. For two thousand years, cadavers-some willingly, some unwittingly-have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them. Print / eAudiobook / eBook.

Semicolon: the past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark by Cecelia Watson, read by Pam Ward. A page-turning, existential romp through the life and times of the world’s most polarizing punctuation mark. Print / eAudiobook / eBook.

Brave the Wild River: the Untold Story of two women who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon by Melissa L. Sevigny, read by Elizabeth Wiley. The spellbinding adventure of two women who risked their lives to make an unprecedented botanical survey of a defining landscape in the American West. Print / eAudiobook / Large print.

Oscar Wars: a History of Hollywood in gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Schulman, read by Charlie Thurston. A lively history of the Academy Awards, focusing on the brutal battles, the starry rivalries, and the colorful behind-the-scenes drama. Print / eAudiobook.

Red Sauce: How Italian food Became American by Ian MacAllen, read by Paul Bellantoni. Traces the evolution of traditional Italian-American cuisine, often referred to as “red sauce Italian”, from its origins in Italy to its transformation in America into a new, distinct cuisine. eAudiobook.

The Come Up: an oral History of the rise of Hip-Hop by Jonathan Abrams, read by a full cast. The essential oral history of hip-hop, from its origins on the playgrounds of the Bronx to its reign as the most powerful force in pop culture. Print / eAudiobook.

Girly Drinks: a World History of Women and Alcohol written and read by Mallory O’Meara. Provides a tour through the feminist history of women drinking, revealing the untold female distillers, drinkers, and brewers that played vital roles in potent potable history, from ancient Sumerian beer goddess Ninkasi to 1920s bartender Ada Coleman. Print / eAudiobook.

On Every Tide: the Making and Remaking of the Irish World by Sean Connolly, read by Patrick Moy. A sweeping history of Irish emigration, arguing that the Irish exodus helped make the modern world. Print / eAudiobook.

By Hands now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners by Margaret A. Burnham, read by Diana Blue. A paradigm-shifting investigation of Jim Crow-era violence, the legal apparatus that sustained it, and its enduring legacy, from a renowned legal scholar. Print / eAudiobook.

The Facemaker: a Visionary Surgeon’s Battle to mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I by Lindsey Fitzharris, read by Daniel Gillies. Places the ingenious surgical innovations of Harold Gillies, a Cambridge-educated New Zealander, alongside the dramatic stories of soldiers whose lives were wrecked and repaired. Print / eAudiobook / eBook.


Unlawful Orders: a Portrait of Dr. James B. Williams, Tuskegee Airman, Surgeon, and Activist by Barbara Binns, read by Preston Butler III. Presents the inspiring story of one man in his struggle for racial equality in the field of battle and the field of medicine. Print / eAudiobook.

Very, very, very Dreadful: the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Albert Marrin, read by Jim Frangione. Examines the history, science, and impact of this great scourge – and the possibility for another worldwide pandemic. Print / eAudiobook.

In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Blacks Lives by Kenneth C. Davis, read by the author and various narrators. Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. Print / CD Book / eAudiobook.

Sachiko: a Nagasaki bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren B. Stelson, read by John Chancer and Katherine Fenton. Tells the story of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki through the eyes of Sachiko Yasui, who was six when the devastation was wrought, describing her experiences in the aftermath of the attack as well as her long journey to find peace. Print / eAudiobook.

The Dark Game: True Spy Stories from Invisible ink to CIA Moles by Paul Janeczko, read by Ron Butler. From clothesline codes to surveillance satellites and cyber espionage, Janeczko uncovers two centuries’ worth of true spy stories in U.S. history. Print / Playaway / eBook.

Disaster Strikes! The Most Dangerous Space Missions of all Time by Jeffrey Kluger, read by L.J. Ganser. A collection of stories about space missions gone wrong. Print / Playaway.

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr., read by Dion Graham. This is a story about America during and after Reconstruction, one of history’s most pivotal and misunderstood chapters. Print / Playaway.

March Forward, Girl: from Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Beals, read by Janina Edwards. An ardent and profound childhood memoir of growing up while facing adversity in the Jim Crow South. Print / Playaway / eBook.

Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, read by Kathleen Van Cleve. The eye-opening narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave, who risked everything for freedom. Print / eAudiobook / eBook.

Bomb: the Race to Build and Steal the World’s most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin, read by Roy Samuelson. The fascinating and frightening true story of the creation behind the most destructive force that birthed the arms race and the Cold War. Print / CD Book / Playaway / eAudiobook / eBook / Graphic novel.


All in a Drop: how Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World by Lori Alexander, read by Kevin T. Collins. Shows how a self-taught scientist was the first to observe the microbial life in and around us. Print / Playaway.

The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage by Walter Dean Myers, read by Corey Allen. A regiment of African American soldiers from Harlem travels across the Atlantic to fight alongside the French in World War I, and inspires an entire continent with their unique brand of jazz music. Playaway / eBook.

Higher, Steeper, Faster: the Daredevils who Conquered the Skies by Lawrence Goldstone, read by Robertson Dean. The pioneers of early flight performed death-defying feats and broke new technological ground as they took to the skies to thrill crowds and advance the boundaries of human innovation. Print / Playaway / eAudiobook.

Jazz by Walter Dean Myers, read by James “D Train” Williams and Vaneese Thomas. Celebrates the roots of jazz music. Print / Wonderbook / CDC Set / eAudiobook.

Extra Life: the Astonishing Story of how we Doubled our Lifespan written and read by Steven Johnson. A young readers adaptation of the story of how humans have doubled our lifespan in less than a century – and what to do with the extra life we now have. Print / eAudiobook.

Locomotive by Brian Floca, read by Eric G. Dove. Presents a visual exploration of America’s early railroads, examining the sounds, speed, and strength of the fledgling transcontinental locomotives and the experiences of pioneering travelers. Print / Playaway / CD Book / DVD.

Famous Heroes of the American West: Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Sitting Bull, Calamity Jane, and Others by William Roberts, read by Adam Sims. A lively account of the ‘Wild West’ and its renowned figures. Playaway.  

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner, read by Brian Nishii. Documents the true story of the legendary samurai who was raised in the household of the enemies who killed his father before being sent to live in a monastery where, against the odds, he learned and perfected his fighting skills. Print / Playaway.

The Buffalo are Back by Jean Craighead George, read by Wendel Minor. The buffalo, an American icon once nearly extinct, has made a comeback. This stirring picture book tells the dramatic story, following bison from the Plains Indians to the cowboys, Teddy Roosevelt to the Dust Bowl, and from the brink of extinction to the majestic herds that now roam our national parks. Print / CDC Set.

28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr., read by various narrators. A picture book look at many of the men and women who revolutionized life for African Americans throughout history. Print / Wonderbook / CDC Book / CDC Set / eAudio.

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