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ALL GROWN UP

ALL GROWN UP

by Jami Attenberg | Read by Mia Barron

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

New Yorker Andrea Bern seems intent on absolving herself of responsibility for her own life and turning a blind eye to the misfortunes of others. Narrator Mia Barron gives her a wry and knowing voice that breaks at key moments ever so briefly into a revealing whine or falseness. Emphasizing just the right phrases from other characters and perfectly exploiting the most telling... Read More

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

Earphones Award Winner

by Elizabeth Strout | Read by Kimberly Farr

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Through a series of linked stories, Strout revisits the small-town world she introduced in MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON. The citizens, now older but not necessarily wiser, face life's uncertainties as best they can. In an impressive encore performance of Strout's prose, Kimberly Farr successfully mines the essence of each flawed character, giving hope and pain equal billing without... Read More

AUTUMN

AUTUMN Seasonal Quartet, Book 1

Earphones Award Winner

by Ali Smith | Read by Melody Grove

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Ali Smith's moving, dreamlike novel, the first in a planned quartet, is made even lovelier by narrator Melody Grove's consummate narration. Smith weaves the friendship of a young woman and an old man, the tragic life of a British pop artist, and the Brexit vote into a complex narrative that explores isolation and unexpected connections. Grove never loses the plot's twisting... Read More

BEARTOWN

BEARTOWN

Earphones Award Winner

by Fredrik Backman | Read by Marin Ireland

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

BEARTOWN is, at its heart, a hockey story. However, with author Backman telling that story and Marin Ireland performing it, this audiobook transcends the cliché of "the big game" and becomes a multifaceted study of humanity, integrity, and loyalty. Ireland narrates in a remarkably adaptable way; her chameleon voice is devoted to developing character, and she's so effective... Read More

THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP

THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP

by Graeme Simsion | Read by David Barker

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Here we have a wistful audiobook about a musician who had his chance at the top, gave it up, and is now living a good life in an English town. And then the woman who offered him the chance at stardom comes back into his life. What fun. Narrator David Barker has a deep, English-accented voice that's, well, full of wist. He paces the audiobook superbly and dabbles in some... Read More

BLUE LIGHT YOKOHAMA

BLUE LIGHT YOKOHAMA

by Nicolas Obregon | Read by P.J. Ochlan

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

P.J. Ochlan narrates quietly and steadily as Tokyo homicide Inspector Iwata and his partner, Noriko Sakai, investigate the horrifying slaughter of a family. Soon, the pair find themselves puzzling over the ritualistic aspects of the murder: black smudges, a strange incense smell, a large black sun inscribed in charcoal, and other odd clues. Ochlan delivers the narrative and... Read More

THE BOOK OF POLLY

THE BOOK OF POLLY

Earphones Award Winner

by Kathy Hepinstall | Read by Jenna Lamia

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Conceived "in something close to a bona fide miracle," when Polly was 57, 10-year-old Willow worries that her now 68-year-old chain-smoking mother will succumb to "the Bear," Willow's name for cancer. Narrator Jenna Lamia is just terrific as the outspoken Willow. She completely immerses herself in the child's perception and descriptions of Polly's life. When Polly takes over,... Read More

CELINE

CELINE

by Peter Heller | Read by Kimberly Farr

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Author Peter Heller has written a literary mystery about a peripatetic blue-blood investigator who is creative, compassionate, and a really good shot. Celine, the New York-based heroine portrayed by narrator Kimberly Farr, investigates cases that involve reuniting families. Her search for a nature photographer, presumed killed by a grizzly, takes her to the environs of... Read More

THE CHANGELING

THE CHANGELING

by Victor Lavalle | Read by Victor Lavalle

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This strange story of magic and the macabre set in New York City is one of those audiobooks that ought to have been read by a professional narrator. The author's narration of this sometimes exciting and mysterious fairy tale is mostly just that--a reading. He does inject some texture but not enough and not always appropriately. His pacing also falls short of optimal. In one... Read More

CHEMISTRY

CHEMISTRY

by Weike Wang | Read by Julia Whelan

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Wang's short novel is about growing up and finding your own way. It's funny and warm and well performed by Julia Whelan. The unnamed narrator is a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry who is realizing that maybe she's not all that into chemistry. She has a patient boyfriend, a best friend, and immigrant Chinese parents who war at marriage and push her hard to greater achievements.... Read More

THE CHILBURY LADIES' CHOIR

THE CHILBURY LADIES' CHOIR

by Jennifer Ryan | Read by Gabrielle Glaister, Laura Kirman, Imogen Wilde, Adjoa Andoh, Tom Clegg, Mike Grady

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This charming debut introduces the villagers of Chilbury, England, who defy tradition--and the vicar--as they keep calm and carry on during WWII. Specifically, they resurrect the church's choir in spite of the absence of male voices. The journal and letter format of the story poses a challenge to transform into audio, and this superb cast fully succeeds in keeping listeners... Read More

CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH

CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH

by Colleen Oakley | Read by Candace Thaxton, Kirby Heyborne, Jonathan Todd Ross

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Imagine a world in which you can't be touched. How do you show affection? How do you navigate the day-to-day world around you? This extraordinary audiobook introduces Jubilee Jenkins, a young woman with a rare allergy to other humans. After being reclusive for nearly a decade, Jubilee is forced back into the world to find a job. Following a series of obstacles, she begins work... Read More

COPYCAT

COPYCAT

by Kimberla Lawson Roby | Read by Maria Howell

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Listeners follow Simone Phillips as she befriends famous writer Traci Calloway Cole, whom she idealizes. Narrator Marie Howell immerses listeners in a relationship that quickly becomes Simone's obsession. Howell delivers this suspense-filled story in a smooth inviting voice and portrays each character with individuality. As Simone's behavior becomes more and more extreme,... Read More

DANCE OF THE JAKARANDA

DANCE OF THE JAKARANDA

by Peter Kimani | Read by John Sibi-Okumu

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

The story of the building of a railroad across Kenya will remind many listeners of Joseph Conrad's iconic novel HEART OF DARKNESS. Peter Kimani personalizes this historical moment in Kenyan history through the fictional lives of three men, a railway, and the end of British colonialism. Narrator John Sibi-Okumu tells the story in somber, sonorous tones reminiscent of radio... Read More

DARK AT THE CROSSING

DARK AT THE CROSSING

by Elliot Ackerman | Read by Vikas Adam

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Haris Abadi--an Iraqi-born American citizen--is trying to cross into Syria from Turkey to fight Bashar al-Assad's regime. As Haris begins to question his allegiances, the physical and emotional crossroads torment him. Vikas Adam narrates with soft tones and subtle intonation. Amir and Daphne, a couple with whom Haris is staying, are given lilting British tones. Two Americans... Read More

THE DARK FLOOD RISES

THE DARK FLOOD RISES

Earphones Award Winner

by Margaret Drabble | Read by Anna Bentinck

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

This masterly novel by the great English author Margaret Drabble is beautifully served by Anna Bentinck's low-key and sensitive performance, which permits the book's language and meaning to shine. Ostensibly about Fran, a "woman of a certain age" who assesses sheltered housing for the elderly, and her relationships with friends, relatives, and acquaintances, the novel is a... Read More

DAYS WITHOUT END

DAYS WITHOUT END

Earphones Award Winner

by Sebastian Barry | Read by Aidan Kelly

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

If an audiobook that is gorgeously written, tells a heart-thumping story, and is performed with flawless taste and authority is a cause for celebration, chill the champagne. Aiden Kelly gives us Thomas McNulty, a young refugee from Sligo orphaned by the Great Famine who has found his way to the America of the Indian Wars, the Civil War, and worlds of gore, mayhem, and... Read More

DIFFICULT WOMEN

DIFFICULT WOMEN

by Roxane Gay | Read by Robin Miles

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Fiction

This varied and fearless collection of stories makes for a challenging but fiercely rewarding audiobook. Roxane Gay's attack on a story may drop you into the middle, may slip the bonds of realism, may take you a good stretch to figure out whether the narrator is sympathetic or terrifying. These are all good things. Gay is savvy about characters from all backgrounds, with an... Read More

A DOG'S WAY HOME

A DOG'S WAY HOME

by W. Bruce Cameron | Read by Ann Marie Lee

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Fiction

Ann Marie Lee is the voice of Bella, a puppy of indeterminate breed who was found under the crawl space of a building by "her person," Lucas. Lee's youthful-sounding voice matches the thoughts and actions of the exuberant puppy who's eager to do her job of being a good dog and comforting people at the veteran's hospital where Lucas works. But trouble arises in the form of an... Read More

THE DOOR

THE DOOR

by Magda Szabó, Len Rix [Trans.] | Read by Siân Thomas

Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
Fiction

Siân Thomas narrates this audiobook with a zest and a reverence that suit the content beautifully. The story explores the relationship between two opposites--Magda, an intellectual who seeks human bonds as part of her outgoing personality, and Emerence, an illiterate caretaker who works for Magda and whose distant, aloof nature makes Magda uneasy. Thomas is a precise narrator,... Read More

THE DRESSMAKER'S DOWRY

THE DRESSMAKER'S DOWRY

by Meredith Jaeger | Read by Cassandra Campbell, Barrie Kreinik

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Alternating chapters, narrators Cassandra Campbell and Barrie Kreinik deliver a satisfying story of two women mysteriously linked across time in San Francisco. The audiobook begins in the present day with Sarah, a journalist haunted by her past who stumbles upon a long-forgotten missing person's story. In 1876, Hanna is desperately searching the city for her friend, Margaret,... Read More

EGGSHELLS

EGGSHELLS

by Caitriona Lally | Read by Alana Kerr Collins

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Alana Kerr Collins has the Irish accent that this story, set in Dublin, requires. Vivian, who tells her own story, was told by her parents that she was left behind by fairies, and she's still searching for the portal that will lead her home. In spite of sincere efforts, she's estranged from her sister, also named Vivian; dealing with neighbors and social workers who... Read More

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE

Earphones Award Winner

by Gail Honeyman | Read by Cathleen McCarron

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

The quintessential square peg, Eleanor Oliphant is intelligent and efficient in her daily work at an office in Scotland--but at a loss when it comes to human relationships. Narrator Cathleen McCarron's articulated British accent and studied pacing lend weight to Eleanor's apparent alienation from the world--and her immediate charm to listeners. Whether considered internally or... Read More

ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT

ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT Charley Davidson, Book 11

by Darynda Jones | Read by Lorelei King

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Part-time investigator and full-time grim reaper Charley Davidson is portrayed by narrator Lorelei King in a wonderful clear, focused voice. King's adept and brisk delivery pulls listeners into this slightly strange combination of paranormal and love story. Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she's a goddess with a lot of untapped powers. Her quirky ways make... Read More

FOR A LITTLE WHILE

FOR A LITTLE WHILE New and Selected Stories

by Rick Bass | Read by Rick Bass

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Listeners may feel the cold Montana air in their lungs as they stop to visit with the colorful and remarkable individuals in Bass's latest collection of short stories. As narrator, Bass uses a deliberate pace and perfect pauses to create a world in which climate change and man's exploitation of the earth's resources are altering nature. Bass knows his characters' histories and... Read More

THE GARGOYLE HUNTERS

THE GARGOYLE HUNTERS

by John Freeman Gill | Read by John Freeman Gill

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

John Gill's decision to perform his own novel for audio is just right. His performance isn't polished, but it's lively and effective, and it deepens the conceit of the story, in which the narrator, Griffin, describes his boyhood with his parents, his mother, bohemian and feckless, and his absent father, obsessed with rescuing (liberating) the architectural ornaments of a... Read More

GHACHAR GHOCHAR

GHACHAR GHOCHAR

by Vivek Shanbhag, Srinath Perur [Trans.] | Read by Neil Shah

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

The narrator is a modern young Indian man, disaffected from his wife and extended family members. He finds solace in a neighborhood coffeehouse, comforted by a sage-like waiter named Vincent who dispenses advice in ambiguous phrases. Neil Shah gives voice to the existential crisis at the narrator's core. Six family members live under one roof, tolerating each other. Shah... Read More

THE GOOD LIEUTENANT

THE GOOD LIEUTENANT

by Whitney Terrell | Read by Jeffrey Kafer

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This audiobook about a female lieutenant's trial by fire in Iraq proceeds from the present to the past--not in typical flashback mode but as a completely linear backwards movement through time. This structure makes it difficult to follow the characters' development. One might have expected a female narrator for this book, but, not to worry, narrator Jeffrey Kafer delivers... Read More

THE GREAT PASSAGE

THE GREAT PASSAGE

Earphones Award Winner

by Shion Miura, Juliet Winters Carpenter [Trans.] | Read by Brian Nishii

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Brian Nishii is the perfect narrator for this audiobook about the making of a definitive Japanese dictionary called THE GREAT PASSAGE. The book's translation combined with Nishii's narration makes the story sound and feel Japanese--there's a subtle choppiness, and certain word choices and phrases aren't what native English speakers would say--and it's all entirely fitting and... Read More

THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY

THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY Tradd Street, Book 5

by Karen White | Read by Aimée Bruneau

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

In the latest in the popular Charleston mystery series, Melanie Trenholm, now married and the mother of young twins, finds herself negotiating a love-hate relationship with her beautiful historic home. With her Southern accent, narrator Aimée Bruneau brings Melanie to life with charm and authenticity. While preparing to return to work as a realtor, Melanie isn't thrilled when... Read More

HARMLESS LIKE YOU

HARMLESS LIKE YOU

by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan | Read by Emily Woo Zeller, PJ Ochlan

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This debut audiobook features a unique look at characters who are simply trying to figure out who they are and how they might find some purpose and joy in life. Shifts in time and viewpoint present listening challenges, but easily identifiable characters, and clear and crisply paced performances from both narrators provide skillful guidance. Narrator Emily Woo Zeller captures... Read More

HIMSELF

HIMSELF

by Jess Kidd | Read by Aiden Kelly

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This is a haunting--both literally and metaphorically--tale of a young man named Mahony, who is searching for the truth about his past and what happened to his mother. Narrator Aiden Kelly's lilting Irish accent is at once soothing and engaging. Although the story starts somewhat slowly as Kidd focuses more on lyrical writing than on plot, when the tension and mystery begin to... Read More

HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD

HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD Stories

by Ottessa Moshfegh | Read by Alyssa Bresnahan, Richard Poe

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

The disturbed, and disturbing, characters in these short stories are perfectly confident in their own normalcy. Narrators Alyssa Bresnahan and Richard Poe project that confidence with ease. Every story contains a twist that the narrators must maneuver to make the next bizarre moment sound not just natural but inevitable. For instance, in one story Poe plays a dad who,... Read More

THE HORSE DANCER

THE HORSE DANCER

by Jojo Moyes | Read by Fiona Hardingham

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Fiona Hardingham deftly portrays Sarah Lachapelle, a 14-year-old who is left alone in the world when her grandfather, her only family, has a stroke. Hardingham is also excellent as Natasha, a lawyer who gets involved in Sarah's life, first on a professional level and then personally. Sarah's life revolves around her grandfather's horse, Boo, whom she is training in... Read More

HOT MILK

HOT MILK

by Deborah Levy | Read by Romola Garai

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Romola Garai brings listeners into the inquisitive and observant mind of Sofia Papastergiadis, a timid unemployed anthropologist turned barista. In a story that is at times dreamy and at times chilling, Garai portrays Sofia, her mother, Rose, and their strange tenure on the coast of Spain, where the eccentric Dr. Gomez works to identify the source of Rose's enigmatic... Read More

HOUSE OF NAMES

HOUSE OF NAMES

by Colm Tóibín | Read by Juliet Stevenson, Charlie Anson, Pippa Nixon

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

When it comes to female characters who have something to say, Colm Tóibín, author of the intense NORA WEBSTER and the scorching TESTAMENT OF MARY, is on a roll. This time he's written his version of the Greek myth about King Agamemnon, who kills his daughter Iphigenia to make the winds rise, engendering the enmity of his wife (and Iphigenia's mother), Clytemnestra. Juliet... Read More

HUMAN ACTS

HUMAN ACTS

by Han Kang, Deborah Smith [Trans.] | Read by Sandra Oh, Greta Jung, Jae Jung, Jennifer Kim, Raymond J. Lee, Keong Smith, Deborah Smith

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

A wide cast of narrators personalizes the Gwangju uprising in South Korea in 1980. The many voices include well-known actor Sandra Oh, from "Grey's Anatomy," as well Deborah Smith, Greta Jung, Jae Jung, Jennifer Kim, Raymond J. Lee, and Keong Smith. The mix of male and female narrators helps the listener keep track of the many characters in a swiftly moving plot involving... Read More

I FOUND YOU

I FOUND YOU

by Lisa Jewell | Read by Helen Duff

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

This compelling audiobook grabs listeners from the opening chapter. The suspenseful story looks at the ways our lives collide and the unexpected connections we make when we least expect them. Narrator Helen Duff deftly transitions between the diverse characters, giving each his or her own identity and distinct voice: Alice, a single mom who often acts before she thinks; Lily, a... Read More

THE IDIOT

THE IDIOT

by Elif Batuman | Read by Elif Batuman

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

The author of this book narrates as 18-year-old Turkish-American Selin begins her first year at Harvard. It's 1995, and Selin strives to be an ethical person who thinks independently, unaffected by others' opinions. A likable young woman who is coping with frustrations and confused emotions, Selin meets several original characters, including Serbian Svetlana, Hungarian Ivan,... Read More

IF WE WERE VILLAINS

IF WE WERE VILLAINS

by M.L. Rio | Read by Robert Petkoff

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Robert Petkoff, a consummate actor himself, delivers a compelling performance of Rio's literary thriller, which takes place in the world of theater. A group of college students is studying at a prestigious conservatory that focuses solely on Shakespeare. But this story doesn't just dabble in the Bard. Shakespeare's words are woven throughout the narrative itself, not... Read More

IF YOU ARE THERE

IF YOU ARE THERE

by Susan Sherman | Read by Kate Reading

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Kate Reading is at her best in this audiobook, capturing diverse voices and accents, dramatic exchanges, and lush descriptions with her regal voice and confident delivery. This work of historical fiction involves an unlikely combination: Marie Curie and seances. Science and faith battle each other through the experiences of house- maid Lucia, who finds herself in the... Read More

ILL WILL

ILL WILL

by Dan Chaon | Read by Ari Fliakos, Edoardo Ballerini, Michael Crouch, Alex McKenna, Scott Aiello

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

An accomplished team of narrators allows Chaon's dark tale of violence and depravity to transition successfully from print to the audio format. The plot abounds with time, scene, and point-of-view changes, providing the depth and complexity that mystery and thriller fans prize. But that same intricacy requires sharp character differentiation and precise pacing so listeners can... Read More

THE INNKEEPER OF IVY HILL

THE INNKEEPER OF IVY HILL Tales From Ivy Hill, Book 1

by Julie Klassen | Read by Elizabeth Jasicki

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Set in Regency England, Klassen's audiobook features a richly detailed country village that is dependent on its coaching inn for its continued existence. Young widow Jane Bell is now the owner of The Bell--but a reluctant one as the inn is heavily in debt to the bank. Joined by her grim mother-in-law, a questionable brother-in-law, and others, can she make The Bell thrive?... Read More

THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS

THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS

by Ruth Hogan | Read by Jane Collingwood, Sandra Duncan

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Writer Anthony Peardew carelessly lost a keepsake from his fiancée on the very day that she died. For 40 years, Peardew makes it his life's work to collect the items people lose, catalogue them, and create stories around them. Jane Collingwood offers a strong, believable performance as Laura, who answers Peardew's ad for an assistant. When Peardew dies, he leaves Laura his... Read More

THE LEAVERS

THE LEAVERS

by Lisa Ko | Read by Emily Woo Zeller

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Lisa Ko's debut novel is getting a lot of positive attention, and Emily Woo Zeller's performance of the audiobook does justice to the text. Zeller maintains emotional engagement throughout the story of Deming, a boy whose mother, a Chinese immigrant, mysteriously disappears when he is only 11, leaving him to be adopted by a white couple. Zeller's performance sometimes becomes... Read More

THE LOST BOOK OF THE GRAIL

THE LOST BOOK OF THE GRAIL

by Charlie Lovett | Read by Charles Armstrong

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

The fictional cathedral city of Barchester, England, is the setting for this rich mix of history, romance, and mystery. Narrator Charles Armstrong recounts the story of a quest to uncover a lost ancient manuscript and the secret of the Holy Grail. Armstrong does a sterling job of bringing to life Arthur Prescott, an English professor who lives for his time in the library. The... Read More

LOTUS

LOTUS

by Lijia Zhang | Read by Angela Lin

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This historical novel, inspired by the life of the author's grandmother, is narrated in dramatic fashion by Angela Lin. Any fan of literary fiction will find much to admire here. Lin is an excellent choice as narrator because of the many Mandarin names and words peppered throughout the story. The narrator's proficiency in the language creates a seamless listening experience of... Read More

MAXIMUM BOB

MAXIMUM BOB

by Elmore Leonard | Read by Richard Poe

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Having narrated four Elmore Leonard Westerns, Richard Poe demonstrates in this re-release that he's also comfortable with Leonard's crime novels. Set in Palm Beach, the audiobook weaves dark humor, realistic language, shifting points of view, and multiple storylines: Bob Gibbs, a right-wing cracker judge, stalks a parole officer; Bob's wife believes she's possessed by an... Read More

MEETING LYDIA

MEETING LYDIA

by Linda MacDonald | Read by Harriet Carmichael

Essential Music | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Harriet Carmichael is matchless in presenting the shifting time frames of this novel. Alternating chapters portray Marianne Hayward in 1962 as a girl being bullied at school and in 2001 as she looks back over the years. Hayward begins to examine her life at the onset of menopause as memories come flooding back, making her feel unattractive to her attentive husband.... Read More

THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS

THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS

Earphones Award Winner

by Arundhati Roy | Read by Arundhati Roy

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

If Arundhati Roy's lyrical prose, melodic voice, and lilting accents aren't enough, the stories of Anjum, Tilottama, and a cast of society's misbegotten--interwoven with India's social and political growing pains--will keep listeners captivated. Born with both male and female genitalia and raised male, Anjum is a woman trapped in a man's body. She leaves her family home and... Read More

MISS YOU

MISS YOU

Earphones Award Winner

by Kate Eberlen | Read by Anna Acton, Finlay Robertson

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrators Anna Acton and Finlay Robertson alternate chapters in recounting the lives of Tess and Gus as they periodically intersect over 16 years. Tess, portrayed in a fluid voice by Acton, struggles with her mother's death as she raises her younger sister and seeks meaning in her life. Gus, portrayed by Robertson, feels he's living in the shadow of his late brother, who was... Read More

MOONGLOW

MOONGLOW

by Michael Chabon | Read by George Newbern

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This smoothly flowing novel plays out like a duet between Michael Chabon's characters and plot twists and George Newbern's narration. The story sounds like it's composed of what might be family tales. An old man's memories of youth, war, marriage, and his ongoing pride in the NASA models he has created are juxtaposed with his grandson's observations of dramas that occurred on... Read More

MR ROBBINS

MR ROBBINS

by Neil Jeffery | Read by Michael Troughton

Michael Troughton | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Michael Troughton does an affecting portrayal of Peter Robbins as he hears the devastating news that he has advanced pancreatic cancer. Troughton's portrayal of Robbins is realistic as he contemplates his life atop beautiful Beachy Head in southern England. Soon his life is changed by Fiona Mulgrew, a talkative Irish woman whom Troughton portrays with a gorgeous accent... Read More

MR. PETTIGREW

MR. PETTIGREW Nemesis, Book 2

by L.J. Martin | Read by Tomm Furch

USActionAudio.Com | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Tomm Furch brings gusto to this unique Western. Civil War veteran Beau Boone meets Mr. Pettigrew when he's knocked over by a drunk whom Pettigrew is tossing from the Angel Cloud Saloon. The Shakespeare-quoting, gun-toting Boone, who has an ill-fitting peg leg, has come to Nemesis in a smelly cattle train. Crotchety Pettigrew, whom Furch makes sound like a genuine... Read More

MY ITALIAN BULLDOZER

MY ITALIAN BULLDOZER

by Alexander McCall Smith | Read by Timothy Ackroyd

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Timothy Ackroyd brings a full complement of accents, intonations, and restraint to this comic romp through Tuscany. Ackroyd's delivery of the numerous laugh-out-loud lines enlivens this comic novel based on the wild premise that Paul Stuart, a successful food writer, faced with no other available rental, makes do with a bulldozer. Author Alexander McCall Smith has a... Read More

NEW BOY

NEW BOY Hogarth Shakespeare, Book 5

by Tracy Chevalier | Read by Prentice Onayemi

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

The fifth entry in the Hogarth Shakespeare series reimagines OTHELLO taking place in the 1970s in Washington, DC. Narrator Prentice Onayemi's rhythmic performance carries listeners through Osei's first day as the only black student in a private elementary school. Well-liked Dee is asked to make Ghana-born Osei feel welcome, tipping the first domino in the destruction of the... Read More

NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US

NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US

by Stephanie Powell Watts | Read by Janina Edwards

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Janina Edwards's Southern accent and mature, commanding voice contrast markedly with the passivity of many characters in this novel. The miserable circumstances of one African-American family unfold through Edwards's light drawl and varied tones indicating sarcasm, anxiety, and displaced desires. The "go along to get along" behavior of the older generation, reflected... Read More

ON TURPENTINE LANE

ON TURPENTINE LANE

by Elinor Lipman | Read by Mia Barron

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

So what if Faith Frankel's fiancé has turned out to be a dud, her new house may have once been the scene of multiple murders, and her boss has wrongly accused her of embezzling? Her friends and handsome co-worker are there to see her through. Narrator Mia Barron's spot-on timing brings out the best of the smart dialogue and understated humor in this story of contemporary life... Read More

THE ONE INSIDE

THE ONE INSIDE

Earphones Award Winner

by Sam Shepard, Patti Smith [Foreword] | Read by Bill Pullman, Patti Smith [Foreword]

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

The gravelly voice of narrator Bill Pullman sets the mood for this introspective monologue of an aging actor who dreams of his late father and contemplates the women who remain vivid in his memory. Pullman finds the soul of this short novel, pulling out the rhythm of the prose, transforming it to poetry. The language is striking and sparse, reminiscent of theater directions,... Read More

ONE OF THE BOYS

ONE OF THE BOYS

by Daniel Mageriel | Read by Gibson Frazier

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Gibson Frazier's pensive tone conveys a subtly tragic atmosphere that fits the somber events of Mageriel's story. A father and his two children move from Kansas to New Mexico after a custody fight. While the children attempt to establish their new lives, their father declines, falling into drug use as well as physical and emotional abuse. Throughout the audiobook,... Read More

THE OUTSIDER

THE OUTSIDER

by Anthony Franze | Read by Robert Petkoff

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

What a thriller. From the opening lines of the audiobook, the story of a string of murders in the shadow of the U.S. Supreme Court is, if you excuse the expression, a killer. Narrator Robert Petkoff takes the listener on a thrill ride as a law clerk finds himself in the middle of a series of seemingly senseless murders. Everything is a quagmire, making Grayson Hernandez... Read More

PACHINKO

PACHINKO

by Min Jin Lee | Read by Allison Hirato

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Allison Hirato's slow pacing does not enhance this multigenerational story. Furthermore, she offers little delineation between characters, even those of different genders. Still, the clarity of her diction and her expressiveness compensate some for those deficits. At the heart of this novel is Sunja, who was born during before WWII in Japanese-occupied Korea. Sunja... Read More

PERFECT LITTLE WORLD

PERFECT LITTLE WORLD

Earphones Award Winner

by Kevin Wilson | Read by Thérèse Plummer

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Thérèse Plummer's thoughtful narration ably explores this offbeat novel's meditation on family. The story features Izzy Poole, a pregnant high school graduate who receives an intriguing offer from Dr. Preston Grind to join a research project called The Infinite Family in which parents collectively rear their offspring. Plummer narrates Izzy's thoughts with a musing, restrained... Read More

RABBIT CAKE

RABBIT CAKE

by Annie Hartnett | Read by Katie Shore

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Katie Shore's youthful voice perfectly portrays Elvis Babbitt, a knowledgeable 12-year-old who is dealing with her mother's death, her troublesome sister, and her father's less-than-perfect parenting. In portraying Elvis, Shore creates a tone of innocence and authenticity. She highlights Elvis's humor and honesty by using emphasis and a clear timbre. When expressing... Read More

THE RED HUNTER

THE RED HUNTER

by Lisa Unger | Read by Julia Whelan

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

What's the difference between revenge and justice? That's the central question explored in this gripping audiobook, delivered by Julia Whelan. Narrating from multiple perspectives that span more than a decade, Whelan does a remarkable job of transitioning between the two storytellers, Zoe, who is seeking to avenge the murder of her parents, and Claudia, who is trying to rebuild... Read More

THE RINGMASTER'S WIFE

THE RINGMASTER'S WIFE

by Kristy Cambron | Read by Amy Rubinate

Thomas Nelson | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Amy Rubinate draws listeners in right from the audiobook's prologue. Deftly transitioning between the two primary characters--Mabel and Rosamund--Rubinate brings to life very different women with two important things in common: a desire to be more than is expected and a willingness to take a leap of faith. Mabel, growing up on a farm in Ohio in the late 1800s, dreams... Read More

THE RIVER OF KINGS

THE RIVER OF KINGS

by Taylor Brown | Read by Mark Bramhall

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Georgia's Altamaha River connects the past and present as multiple storylines unfold along the 137-mile coastal waterway. With Taylor Brown's lyrical prose and narrator Mark Bramhall's omniscient voice, it's as if the mighty Altamaha itself is the storyteller. In 1975, Hiram Loggins has a difficult fisherman's life on the river. Years later, in the present day, his two sons... Read More

SAVAGE THEORIES

SAVAGE THEORIES

by Pola Oloixarac, Roy Kesey [Trans.] | Read by Ana Grosse

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Ana Grosse casts a spell as she mirrors the dreamlike prose of Argentinian Oloixarac's dazzling first novel. Delivering three narratives with slight alterations in tone and emphasis, Grosse portrays the young Kamtchowsky and her boyfriend, Pabst, as they move through today's energetic Buenos Aires, searching for the novel's enigmatic narrator, Rosa Ostreech. In a... Read More

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

Earphones Award Winner

by Melodie Winawer | Read by Cassandra Campbell

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Cassandra Campbell's performance transports listeners to medieval Italy as this story straddles modern-day and fourteenth-century Siena. As neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato is transported from the present back to the Middle Ages, Campbell's well-considered diction and vocal timing create suspense, while her Italian accents for various characters and place names, though not always... Read More

SETTING FREE THE KITES

SETTING FREE THE KITES

by Alex George | Read by Ari Fliakos

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

In portraying characters with range of ages and personalities, narrator Ari Fliakos does a masterful job of narrating this moving audiobook. The coming-of-age story involves the friendship between Robert Carter, who is being bullied, and Nathan Tilly, the new kid in eighth grade who intervenes and subsequently gives Robert a new way to look at the world. Fliakos captures the... Read More

THE SHADOW LAND

THE SHADOW LAND

by Elizabeth Kostova | Read by Barrie Kreinik, Fred Berman, Barbara Caruso, George Guidall

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Kostova, author of THE HISTORIAN, delivers a convoluted saga spanning decades that allows the four outstanding narrators to shine. American Alexandra Boyd relocates to Sofia, Bulgaria, to teach English. Upon her arrival, a mishap with luggage leaves her with someone else's bag, which contains an ornately carved wooden box filled with cremated remains. Determined to locate the... Read More

SISTER OF MINE

SISTER OF MINE

by Sabra Waldfogel | Read by Bahni Turpin

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Bahni Turpin dramatizes the emotions of two sisters, one born a slave, the other born free. Through Turpin's spellbinding skill in vocal modulation and accents, these first-person accounts come alive--especially the harrowing experiences of the slave sister, who still manages to find love and forgiveness in the end. Turpin puts listeners front and center--as if they're... Read More

SMALL ADMISSIONS

SMALL ADMISSIONS

by Amy Poeppel | Read by Carly Robins

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Carly Robins creates Poeppel's believable and hilarious world of 20-something relationships, set in New York City. Kate has been rejected by her boyfriend and spends months on the couch, unable to be consoled. Her friends try to help, and her sister offers various opportunities to lift her out of her funk, but Kate is stuck in an emotional desert. A turning point... Read More

SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE

SORRY TO DISRUPT THE PEACE

by Patty Yumi Cottrell | Read by Nancy Wu

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrating Cottrell's perplexing character study is no easy feat. As the protagonist, Helen, searches for clues about the suicide of her adoptive brother, it becomes evident that her perception of herself is not entirely accurate. Nancy Wu's narration largely rises to this challenge. Engaging and humorous, Wu offers a personal and wry reading, although perhaps the disparity... Read More

THE STARS ARE FIRE

THE STARS ARE FIRE

by Anita Shreve | Read by Suzanne Elise Freeman

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

A fire rages in Maine in 1947, destroying a town and the lives that Grace Holland and her family once led. Her husband does not return from fighting the flames. Grace, the mother of two, who is pregnant again, is left with nothing except the chance at a new life after her difficult marriage. Narrator Suzanne Elise Freeman performs quite nicely. If there's a quibble, it's with... Read More

THE STOLEN CHILD

THE STOLEN CHILD

by Lisa Carey | Read by Caroline Lennon

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

In May 1959, the rolling green hills of majestic St. Brigid's Island, a remote Irish settlement, belie the dark magic of changelings and fairies--who are more than mythic lore here. Narrator Caroline Lennon's voice instills a dreamlike quality into her portrayals of sisters Rose and Emer, and their introduction to newcomer Brigid, an American. The three women grow to know each... Read More

STORYTELLER'S BRACELET

by Smoky Zeidel | Read by Johnnie C. Hayes

Thomas-Jacob Publishing, LLC | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Johnnie C. Hayes's warm, old-fashioned storytelling is ideal for this magical yet painful tale. In the 1800s, the U.S. Government wrenched young Native Americans from their homes and compelled them to go to boarding schools in the East so that they would lose their "savage" ways. In this story, Otter and Sun Song, who are betrothed to wed when they're 18, are sent to... Read More

SYCAMORE

SYCAMORE

by Bryn Chancellor | Read by Cassandra Campbell, Xe Sands, Steven Jay Cohen, Sara Morsey, Teri Schnaubelt

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Laura Brennan, newly arrived in the town of Sycamore, Arizona, is out for a run when she discovers what appear to be human bones embedded in an arroyo. Could they be the remains of 17-year-old Jess Winters, herself a new resident when she disappeared 18 years earlier? A talented cast of narrators pulls the listener into this small community as its residents uncover the... Read More

THE TEA GIRL OF HUMMINGBIRD LANE

THE TEA GIRL OF HUMMINGBIRD LANE

by Lisa See | Read by Ruthie Ann Miles, Kimiko Glenn, Alexandra Allwine, Gabra Zackman, Jeremy Bobb, Joy Osmanski, Emily Walton, Erin Wilhelmi

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Through Ruthie Ann Miles's earnest narration, listeners are quickly drawn into a culturally complex and historically rich story spanning two continents, multiple generations, several families, and many hardships. The narrative format is an interesting hybrid. Multiple narrators give scope and varied characterizations to several scenes, but the bulk of the narration is done by... Read More

THE THING AROUND YOUR NECK

THE THING AROUND YOUR NECK

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Read by Adjoa Andoh

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

The main characters in Adichie's short stories are Nigerians of varied ages and lifestyles. Narrator Adjoa Andoh spins the tales in the voices of the main characters, allowing the listener to envision them and travel with them through their life stories. Andoh modulates her voice so that character changes are evident while maintaining the realism of the scenes. The listener is... Read More

TO THE ISLANDS

TO THE ISLANDS

Earphones Award Winner

by Randolph Stow | Read by Humphrey Bower

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Humphrey Bower is a narrator who could read the phone book and keep listeners enthralled. Performing Randolph Stow's 1958 novel, he is absolutely spellbinding. Stow reveals a shameful period in Australian history when its policy toward its Aboriginal population was unabashedly racist. An aging Heriot is chaplain of an Anglican mission in a remote part of Western Australia. Sent... Read More

TRAJECTORY

TRAJECTORY Stories

Earphones Award Winner

by Richard Russo | Read by Amanda Carlin, Arthur Morey, Fred Sanders, Mark Bramhall

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

In this collection of short stories and novellas by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, a team of talented narrators--Amanda Carlin, Arthur Morey, Fred Sanders, and Mark Bramhall--takes to the task of portraying Russo's troubled male protagonists, who believe they're special when, in truth, they're, most times, just slightly above average. Morey shines brightest with dramatic... Read More

THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY

THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY

by Hannah Tinti | Read by Elizabeth Wiley

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

In this rich audiobook of literary suspense, Samuel Hawley's life story is told through the 12 bullet scars on his body. Narrator Elizabeth Wiley demonstrates her dynamic range in her performance. In the present, Hawley is making a life for himself and his teenage daughter, Loo. The nomadic pair return to Loo's late mother's hometown. She has trouble fitting in but not finding... Read More

THE UNDERWORLD

THE UNDERWORLD

Earphones Award Winner

by Kevin Canty | Read by Paul Michael Garcia

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Mining towns are notoriously just a breath and a spark away from disaster, and Silverton, Idaho, was no different. Paul Michael Garcia narrates this fictionalized account of the aftermath of a real-life 1970s underground fire that killed 91 miners. With a sense of detachment, Garcia keeps the emotions close to his chest and the action and observations close to the bone. A new... Read More

UNSUBSCRIBE

UNSUBSCRIBE A Story About One Man's Profound Discovery

by Ross Newkirk | Read by Roberto Scariato

Ross Newkirk | Unabridged
Fiction

In this compact and charming fictional lesson, the term "unsubscribe" is used for all manner of connections, habits, and attitudes that worm their way into our lives and stay there--unless we intentionally replace them. Roberto Scarlato's conversational narration captures the cheery tone the underlies the book's message to simplify and focus anew on what's really important. His... Read More

WAKING LIONS

WAKING LIONS

by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen | Read by Paul Boehmer

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Deep-voiced Paul Boehmer narrates this police procedural set in Be'er Sheva, the brittle Israeli desert. After Dr. Eitan Green hits and kills an Eritrean man with his car in the middle of the night, he is blackmailed into providing medical treatments to Eritrean refugees. At the same time, Green's wife, a detective, is investigating the hit-and-run. Boehmer's reading echoes the... Read More

THE WANDERERS

THE WANDERERS

Earphones Award Winner

by Meg Howrey | Read by Mozhan Marno

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Mozhan Marno narrates a story about training for an expedition to Mars with expert voicing of the many characters. Prime Space, a private company, has selected three astronauts to send to Mars. Before they can go, they must withstand a seventeen-month long simulation of the trip to test their psychological and physical well-being--all, paradoxically, in intense isolation but... Read More

THE WEIGHT OF HIM

THE WEIGHT OF HIM

by Ethel Rohan | Read by Tim Gerard Reynolds

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Tim Gerard-Reynolds's understated and measured narration portrays a grieving Irish family. Gerard-Reynolds counterbalances the novel's tendency to drift into painfully maudlin territory with his natural reading style, which proves all the more rewarding when Rohan depicts genuine grief. Gerard-Reynolds's voicing of each grieving family member as he or she struggles to cope... Read More

WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY

WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY Stories

by Lesley Nneka Arimah | Read by Adjoa Andoh

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Arima's stunning collection of short stories is well rooted in Nigerian culture, both diasporic and native. So it's just as well that narrator Adjoa Andoh has an eclectic palette of accents to draw from as she moves effortlessly across the globe from story to story. Andoh brings a certain coarseness, in particular, to her often ferocious portrayals of motherhood--a coarseness... Read More

WINDY CITY BLUES

WINDY CITY BLUES

Earphones Award Winner

by Renee Rosen | Read by Robin Miles

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

The award-winning voice actor Robin Miles has a wonderful affinity for accents and character voices. This intimate look at the rise of Chicago's electric blues and the Chess Record label in the late 1940s and '50s gives her a perfect stage. Miles produces a myriad of character voices--from legendary bluesman Muddy Waters's Mississippi growl to harmonica player Little Walter's... Read More

THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR

THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR

by Yewande Omotoso | Read by Adjoa Andoh

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

A black woman with a white husband in an upper-middle-class South African neighborhood makes for a lot of drama as well as humor, at least as narrated by Adjoa Andoh. Two elderly retired women, Hortensia James and Marion Agostino, are sworn enemies--as opposite as they can be. Andoh does an impressive South African accent and keeps listeners in stitches at the pettiness of the... Read More

THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE

THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE

by Jessica Shattuck | Read by Cassandra Campbell

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Cassandra Campbell narrates the story of three German women whose lives have seemingly been destroyed by the Third Reich. Campbell depicts the protagonists' teen years in prewar Germany in a soft and lilting tone that evokes the joys of innocence and first romance. But as war seizes the nation, Campbell begins using a cold, didactic tone. At war's end, each woman is emotionally... Read More

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