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How Long 'Til Black Future Month

5 Stellar Listens for Speculative Fiction Fans

How Long 'Til Black Future MonthDo you ever just want to step back and take a quick break from reality? When work is crazy or the weather keeps me cooped up inside, I’m ready for a different world. Since I’m not a NASA astronaut and I can’t seem to time travel or walk through a mirror into an alternate universe, I escape with the help of speculative fiction, one of my favorite audiobook genres.

If the term speculative fiction is new to you, it’s just a fancy term for novels that feature a departure from life as we know it. The genre includes science fiction, time travel, fantasy, and alternate history as well as all things paranormal (vampires, werewolves, and demons).

Although I find it hard to resist a good dystopian listen (I’m gathering survival tips, just in case), today’s audiobook recommendations highlight the scope of speculative fiction and introduce you to excellent performances. In fact, all five titles featured here were Earphones Award winners. Read more…

A Few Red Drops

Coretta Scott King Award-Winning Audiobooks

Coretta Scott King 50th AnniversaryIn her speech accepting the 2018 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, author Eloise Greenfield said, “Children need to know, and to see in books, the truth — the beauty, intelligence, courage, and ingenuity of African and African American people.” 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, given annually to African American authors and illustrators who demonstrate an appreciation of or affirm African American culture and universal human values. Many of this year’s Coretta Scott King Award winners and honorees are also excellent audiobooks. Read more…

Stacey Abrams

To my Valentine: Instead of chocolates, how about a romantic suspense audio?

Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams, who writes as Selena Montgomery

True confession: Romantic suspense is not my usual go-to genre. But Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, so I figure it’s time to get in the mood. While the “suspense” parts of romantic suspense titles can run the gamut from spy thrillers to amateur detective work and everything in between, the focus remains on the relationships and the interior emotional landscapes of the characters. There has to be the right balance of potential love and lust with danger, tension, and threats to the main players.

Reckless

My favorite so far in this venture into the genre comes from an unusual source—Stacey Abrams. Yes, the same Stacey Abrams who ran for Governor of Georgia and who provided the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address. In so doing, she became the first black woman and the first non-sitting public official to deliver the rebuttal. She’s a busy woman, because in addition to all that, she’s written eight novels under the nom de plume of Selena Montgomery. RECKLESS features a smart, strong black female lawyer. Narrated by Simone Daye, the characters and their stories come alive, and the balance between romance and suspense seems just right. Read more…

Get healthy

4 Audiobooks to Get Healthy

Get healthyFebruary rings in the Lunar New Year and is also American Heart Health Month—just two of the seasonal reminders that getting healthy can mean better enjoying the year to come. We’re sharing audiobook suggestions all month over on Twitter to support you in those efforts. Healthy listening goes beyond collecting the same advice you might be reading in your doctor’s office or in the news. Here are some of the more unusual directions those audiobook choices can take you on the road to wellness:

Katja Panzar’s THE FINNISH WAY, narrated by Karen Cass, takes us on a tour of Nordic healthy living values that include decluttering, experiencing nature, and eating and exercising appropriately. Cass makes all this sound achievable as well as interesting. It’s most certainly a holistic approach to staying well! Read more…

Corey Allen

Corey Allen on Friday Black

Corey Allen narrates Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s moving collection of short stories, FRIDAY BLACK. The themes of these stories include the power divide, minimum-wage work, racism, education, and the consequences of ethical decisions, and Corey shares why it’s a collection well worth your listening time.

“What Nana manages to capture in this series of tales of young black people navigating a constantly moving, constantly shifting American landscape is incredible.”—Narrator Corey Allen

Read more…