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1000 YEARS OF JOYS AND SORROWS

1000 YEARS OF JOYS AND SORROWS A Memoir

by Ai Weiwei, Allan H. Barr [Trans.] | Read by David Shih

Random House Audio
Biography & Memoir

Narrator David Shih impeccably introduces renowned artist Ai Weiwei, whose outspoken stand on the freedoms denied in China has made him a government target. Here he looks at 100 years of Chinese history through his life and that of his father, Ai Qing, a well-known poet. Shih faultlessly captures Ai Weiwei's first-person story and gracefully recites Ai Qing's magnificent... Read More

THE 1619 PROJECT

THE 1619 PROJECT A New Origin Story

Earphones Award Winner

by Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Magazine, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman, Jake Silverstein [Eds.] | Read by Nikole Hannah-Jones and a Full Cast

Random House Audio
History

Nikole Hannah-Jones, herself a persuasive narrator, has brought together a remarkable mosaic of voices, stories, and poems that tell the story of America through the lens of slavery. So much inspired writing and outstanding narrating in this audiobook make it difficult to select only a few to single out. The chapters by Bryan Stevenson, Ibram X. Kendi, Jamelle Bouie, and... Read More

ALL THAT SHE CARRIED

ALL THAT SHE CARRIED The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake

by Tiya Miles | Read by Janina Edwards

Random House Audio
History

Narrator Janina Edwards helps listeners trace the history of a small cotton bag and its journey through the difficult lives of the Black women who carried it. Starting with an enslaved woman, the bag was stitched and filled with items of love, before being passed on through future generations. Now housed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the simple... Read More

APPARENTLY THERE WERE COMPLAINTS

APPARENTLY THERE WERE COMPLAINTS A Memoir

Earphones Award Winner

by Sharon Gless | Read by Sharon Gless

Simon & Schuster Audio
Biography & Memoir

Actor Sharon Gless's animated yet intimate tone, gentle pacing, and husky timbre will keep listeners glued to her fascinating memoir. Gless holds little back as she exposes her flaws and vulnerabilities. Listeners learn of her privileged but unsettled childhood in California, her struggles with weight and alcohol, and her unconventional romantic life, including her lengthy... Read More

CHRONICLES FROM THE LAND OF THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH

CHRONICLES FROM THE LAND OF THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH

by Wole Soyinka | Read by Michael Obiora

Random House Audio
Fiction

This Nobel laureate's first novel since 1973 is a political satire that takes place in a reimagined Nigeria. It is filled with mystery, drama, and humor. Michael Obiora meticulously paces himself in his narration. If he's not portraying the rebranded Papa Davina, a religious leader, then he is focused on other over-the-top characters like Sir Goddie. His delivery of female... Read More

THE DARK HOURS

THE DARK HOURS Harry Bosch, Book 23

Earphones Award Winner

by Michael Connelly | Read by Christine Lakin, Titus Welliver

Hachette Audio
Mystery & Suspense

Listeners once again enjoy the talented partnership of author Michael Connelly and narrators Christine Lakin and Titus Welliver. In this fourth audiobook in the Renée Ballard series, we follow the prickly LAPD detective as she relentlessly pursues justice. Ballard faces obstacles presented by the pandemic and the blowback on law enforcement from police brutality protests. Lakin... Read More

THE EVERY

THE EVERY

by Dave Eggers | Read by Dion Graham

Random House Audio
Fiction

Narrator Dion Graham's heartbreaking delivery makes this follow-up to Eggers's novel about pervasive technology, THE CIRCLE, a must-listen. In an even yet expressive voice, Graham presents this satirical look at pervasive surveillance, social media, and e-commerce with just the right amount of menace and whimsy. Eggers even references the previous novel and the movie it... Read More

HELL OF A BOOK

HELL OF A BOOK

Earphones Award Winner

by Jason Mott | Read by JD Jackson, Ronald Peet

Penguin Audio
Fiction

If ever there was a piece of fiction suited to becoming an audiobook, this is it. The novel's two protagonists tell distinct but interlocking stories of what it is like to be Black in America. Narrator JD Jackson's inspired portrayal of an unnamed author on a boozy book tour has the sandy sadness of a man coming to terms with fame, race, and death. Ronald Peet, whose voice has... Read More

LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

by Malinda Lo | Read by Emily Woo Zeller

Listening Library
Young Adult

Emily Woo Zeller's melodic narration transports listeners to 1950s San Francisco in this coming-of-age novel about family, first love, and a Chinese-American teenager discovering herself. When Lily sees an ad for a show featuring a male impersonator, she feels a prick of recognition she doesn't fully understand. Soon she's sneaking out for heady nights at the Telegraph Club and... Read More

THE MEMOIRS OF STOCKHOLM SVEN

THE MEMOIRS OF STOCKHOLM SVEN

Earphones Award Winner

by Nathaniel Ian Miller | Read by Olafur Darri Olafsson

Hachette Audio
Fiction

With a voice of warm intelligence and wry Nordic wit, Icelandic actor Olafur Olafsson brings the arctic adventures of Sven Ormson to life. In 1916 Ormson leaves his native Sweden for the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, one of the northernmost, bleakest, coldest inhabited lands in the world. Soon he is injured and horribly disfigured in a mining accident and sets off to live... Read More

THE NOBLEMAN'S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS

THE NOBLEMAN'S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS Montague Siblings, Book 3

by Mackenzi Lee | Read by Christian Coulson

Harper Audio
Young Adult

Listeners will be gratified that Christian Coulson has returned to narrate this satisfying conclusion to the Montague Siblings trilogy. Obsessed with his mother's death and with the mystery of the broken spyglass she left for him, Adrian discovers the older brother and sister he never knew he had. The close first-person point of view puts listeners in Adrian's head as he copes... Read More

OH WILLIAM!

OH WILLIAM! Amgash, Book 3

Earphones Award Winner

by Elizabeth Strout | Read by Kimberly Farr

Random House Audio
Fiction

Kimberly Farr lends her talents to the narration of Strout's third novel in her Amgash series, providing new insights on the life of writer Lucy Barton. While still mourning her second husband, Lucy agrees to accompany her first husband, William, on a trip to Maine, to investigate his shadowy family history. In straightforward and unadorned tones, Farr describes Lucy's... Read More

THE PROMISE

THE PROMISE

Earphones Award Winner

by Damon Galgut | Read by Peter Noble

Europa Editions
Fiction

Born in South Africa, narrator Peter Noble eloquently delivers an inspired performance of this compelling audiobook. He's adept at voicing young and old, black and white, Afrikaans inflected with a distinctly South African lilt and twang. He captures the nasal tones and tight sounds and masterfully paces this novel, which won the 2021 Booker Prize. The plot excavates South... Read More

THE SENTENCE

THE SENTENCE

Earphones Award Winner

by Louise Erdrich | Read by Louise Erdrich

Harper Audio
Fiction

Louise Erdrich never disappoints in this engrossing, beautifully written novel. Her narration is breathy, poignant, often funny, and always engrossing. Tookie works at Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore in Minneapolis owned by Erdrich--who sometimes enters the novel as herself. Tookie is being haunted by the ghost of her most annoying customer, Flora, who won't leave the... Read More

A SNAKE FALLS TO EARTH

A SNAKE FALLS TO EARTH

by Darcie Little Badger | Read by Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Kinsale Hueston

Recorded Books
Young Adult

Shaun Taylor-Corbett and Kinsale Hueston give lively, animated performances in this fantasy celebrating friendship and the power of storytelling. Hueston voices Nina, a Lipan Apache teenager who is fascinated by her great-great-grandmother's stories about the time when the human world was joined with the spirit world. Taylor-Corbett voices Oli, an animal-person from the spirit... Read More

STATE OF TERROR

STATE OF TERROR

by Louise Penny, Hillary Rodham Clinton | Read by Joan Allen

Simon & Schuster Audio
Mystery & Suspense

Narrator Joan Allen's portrayal of newly appointed Secretary of State Ellen Adams has echoes of Hillary Clinton herself. Allen's well-paced reading handily unfurls this roller-coaster thriller as Ellen contends with terrorist acts AND the backbiting and political maneuverings of White House leaders. Layers of intrigue and deception have the Secretary of State not knowing whom... Read More

THESE PRECIOUS DAYS

THESE PRECIOUS DAYS Essays

Earphones Award Winner

by Ann Patchett | Read by Ann Patchett

Harper Audio
Contemporary Culture

Ann Patchett's warmth, intelligence and generosity of spirit come through in her inviting narration of her latest collection of essays. She sounds completely natural, almost as if she is puzzling out her concerns for the first time as she conveys each accomplished piece. A wide expanse of subject matter is thoughtfully presented. These include considerations in her decision to... Read More

THE VANISHED DAYS

THE VANISHED DAYS Slains, Book 3

Earphones Award Winner

by Susanna Kearsley | Read by Robert Ian Mackenzie

Recorded Books
Historical Fiction

Robert Ian Mackenzie narrates a sweeping romance set against the early years of the Jacobite cause in the mid-1700s. Adam Williamson is drawn into an inquiry regarding a claim made by a young widow to collect her husband's share of monies owed--but he doesn't expect all that follows. While the story is dense with religion, history, and politics, Mackenzie keeps everything... Read More

WILL

WILL

Earphones Award Winner

by Will Smith, Mark Manson | Read by Will Smith

Penguin Audio
Biography & Memoir

Will Smith tells all in this memoir of his spectacular journey from his childhood in Philadelphia to his career as a rap star and then a Hollywood movie mogul. His charisma comes through as he narrates the various lessons he has learned from these myriad experiences. Fans will enjoy the lighthearted moments and appreciate the intimacy of the deeper revelations. He sets a quick... Read More

YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS

YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS

by Kal Penn | Read by Kal Penn

Simon & Schuster Audio
Biography & Memoir

Fans will be grateful that Kal Penn, known for the Harold & Kumar movies, narrates his own memoir because he brings his signature comedy to every moment. We are treated to an easy, comfortable style that switches smoothly between stories of growing up a child of immigrants and behind-the-scenes moments on Hollywood sets. What might surprise many is Penn's intellectual side,... Read More

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