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​Heather's You're Not Going to Believe This ListPhoto of staff member Heather

Meet Heather

Heather is a librarian, mom, constant commuter and avid reader with no time to read.   

p.s. Heather is also the Rare Book Room Librarian.  Learn more about the Rare Book Room.  

Meet her list

I have found a cure for road rage.  After following these simple instructions you will no longer feel the fury when highway traffic creeps sluggishly along and brake lights glow red into the horizon.  You will welcome the sight of signs reading Road Work Ahead / Expect delays.  Ok, I admit that was an exaggeration.  However, if you take my advice and start listening to audiobooks in the car, you may find yourself enjoying the drive.  My love of audiobooks began in graduate school.  My commute wasn't just across town; I drove from Tempe to Tucson.  Over the years, I have switched from cassettes to CDs to MP3s and I'm still listening.

This is a list of incredible, tragic and inspiring stories which kept my attention from beginning to end.  Although the topics are each quite different, they share one common thread.  These true stories detail human struggles and strengths that may seem unimaginable.  If you're not a fan of nonfiction, you'll find these books may make you reconsider.  Each story flows naturally like a fiction bestseller.


Items on this list will link to the book or eBook version of each title. To obtain audiobooks, search the catalog for the title and use the refinements on the left to select desired format type.

Floating alone on the ocean with no land in sight is my worst nightmare.  I was amazed at the strength and determination of this little girl who lived to survive just that.
Five days at Memorial : life and death in a storm-ravaged hospital
The total destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina was unfathomable.  Even more tragic was the utter lack of preparation and rescue services.  I never would have thought a hospital would be one of the worst places to be stranded in a storm.
Pilgrim's wilderness : a true story of faith and madness on the Alaska frontier
Madness says it all.  Family should be synonymous with safety and security but this family's story went terribly wrong.
Sex on the Moon : the amazing story behind the most audacious heist in history
Did you ever notice that incredibly bright people can make very foolish choices?  Here's a fine example.
Crazy : a father's search through America's mental health madness
This book is all at once inspiring, astonishing and exasperating.  This father's dedication to his son's care and the lack of mental health resources available in America will surprise you.
A sliver of light : three Americans imprisoned in Iran
I began listening with preconceived notions about how and why these Americans found themselves in such a tragic circumstance.  The book took me from viewing them as a news story to knowing them as people giving me a different perspective.
Orange is the new black : my year in a woman's prison
The award winning tv series of the same name is based on this memoir.  I haven't watched the show yet because the book was so great that I fear it will pale in comparison.
Son of a gun : a memoir
Reading books set in Arizona can have a strange effect.  When I recognize the towns, landmarks and names it's as if I'm part of the story.  This book drew me in from the start.
The answer to the riddle is me : a memoir of amnesia
I am still stunned that this is a true story.  Amnesia seems like a tragedy that only occurs on tv shows.  Until I read this I had no idea it could happen simply from taking prescribed medication.
The Wild truth
If you read or saw Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, you'll find his sister's book very eye-opening.  If you read this one first, you'll want to go back and read the first.  Either way you win!

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