Don’t you love a hero who knows her own mind? Strong-willed characters romp through these stellar audiobooks.
SINFUL SCOTTISH LAIRD: Highland Grooms, Book 2
by Julia London, read by Derek Perkins
Harlequin Audio/Blackstone Audio
Daisy stands up to the imposing Laird of Arrandale despite her desperate need to wed.
WAKE A SLEEPING TIGER: Breeds, Book 31
by Lora Leigh | Read by Brianna Bronte
Bengal-human cross Cullen Maverick left his humanity behind long ago. But his protective instincts are on high alert when Chelsea Martinez risks her life to save a child from the Coyote soldiers.
BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DUKE: Season for Scandal, Book 3
by Kelly Bowen, read by Ashford McNab
Angelique plays the odds at Lavoie’s gambling house, but has she won or lost when the dashing owner catches her counting cards?
It’s been about 15 years since I started listening to audiobooks regularly for my own enjoyment. Prior to that, I would use them in my high school English classes on occasion so my students could hear the pacing and stresses and dialects. Having Sissy Spacek perform TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD for struggling readers opened many eyes and made a foreign time and place come alive for these students, many of whom had never left their city of birth, let alone the state of Ohio.
I also taught a reading class. We started every class by my reading to them from a current YA title. No fancy technology or bells and whistles, just me and a book in front of my students. A couple of times I was going to forego that part of the class because we were behind, and I thought we’d use the 20 minutes to catch up. I decided otherwise when the threat of mutiny was upon me. I still marvel at how much those teenagers loved someone reading to them, and I wonder when some of us lose that love and begin thinking it’s a lesser way to enjoy a story.
Even having just shared that teaching story, I was among those people. Then after I left teaching and started a job requiring me to drive almost an hour each way to the office every day, I borrowed some audiobooks from the library. That forever changed my world of books and stories.
It’s hard to stay up with the 40 new audiobook reviews we publish each week, so here are a handful of titles that caught my eye, and ear!
Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir THE SECRETS OF MY LIFE gives listeners a glimpse into a life that has been fully in the spotlight, but offers listeners aspects we can find relatable.
Two young adult titles have appeal beyond the so-called target audience. THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, Mackenzi Lee’s romp of a grand tour, is perfect for audio, “an absolute delight of a listen.” A detail of Cath Crowley’s WORDS IN DEEP BLUE won my heart—a used bookstore where notes are passed inside the pages of favorite books. Two new narrators give an Earphones Award-worthy performance.
My nod to the most intriguing title this week goes to ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY. Neil deGrasse Tyson, StarTalk Radio host and director of the Hayden Planetarium, really does have a knack of making even the densest of topics interesting—and audio is the perfect medium to make them accessible.
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Over the years as a Contributing Editor for AudioFile Magazine, I have heard and reviewed about a gazillion audiobooks and interviewed fewer, but still many, authors and narrators. I’ve enjoyed it all, including the constant agony of writing a brief, thorough, informative, and fair review about each listening experience, and such challenges as questioning author/narrator Scott Simon as he collected his kids from school and interviewing two narrator couples simultaneously on Skype video (Kate Reading/Michael Kramer and Marguerite Gavin/Lloyd James – it worked fabulously).
So, now I’m ready to blog. The topic will, of course, be audiobooks and listening recommendations. Other than that, I’ve set myself no subject limitations except that I will have heard the book, the author, or the narrator before. And that I have something to say. Which I will. Actually, my husband hopes that by blogging about audiobooks I might actually spend less time talking about them.
When I’m not writing for AudioFile, I write essays, articles, and books (one published, two in progress); knit inexpertly; and volunteer as a gardener and a trail-builder. You can find my writing at my website. And you can find me at this spot twice a month, beginning next week. Upcoming topics include armchair travel, time-travel (I must really want to get away), and listening to a funny audiobook to get you through the tough times.
It’s the time of year when Americans celebrate their independence. The focus is on country, patriotism, and unity despite any other differences that may be plaguing the Union. Patriotism is a strong theme in crime fiction as well.
Some authors have made a career with thrillers featuring patriotic characters, like Steve Barry’s Cotton Malone or Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. While Brad Meltzer tends to favor the standalone thriller, his themes still ring the bells of patriotism.
War and its byproducts also lend themselves to patriotic themes. An older but still solid example of this is Thomas Holland’s Dr. “Kel” McKelvey stories about the director of the Central Identification Lab, identifying the remains of American soldiers from foreign wars.