NPR's Ari Shapiro has real verbal skills. Not surprisingly, he narrates his memoir with practiced professionalism. His confident tone, lyrical cadence, and timbre all hint at his background as an a cappella singer while he was at Yale. He still sings with the Pink Martini and has performed cabaret with Alan Cummings. Happily, he occasionally croons a bar or two here. His... Read More
Narrator Karen Ziemba brings a matter-of-fact tone to this Ali Reynolds mystery. Ziemba lets listeners into the minds of its many characters on both sides of the law, starting with an ex-cop who's planning revenge on the people who helped send him to prison. Ziemba's delivery also illuminates the contributions of the law enforcement figures who prevent the contract killings the... Read More
Marin Ireland navigates an ever-expanding world of characters and details. In a mysterious city recently devastated by conflict, museums and universities have been turned to rubble. Dora finds work as a curator at the last remaining museum, where she seeks her long-lost brother. In the city, cats are highly revered. King's audiobook unfolds in a dreamlike fashion, with much... Read More
This audiobook takes listeners to Strasbourg in 1518, when a form of group mania breaks out and members of the city council believe they must bring in musicians to dance the devil out of the mob. The story is based on a historical event involving the phenomenon of St. Vitus dance. Narrator Ruta Gedmintas portrays Lisbet, a pregnant woman who is determined to deal with family... Read More
A talented cast of narrators performs a horror story involving the survivor of a small-town massacre. Four years after Proofrock, Idaho, was devastated by the horrific murders, Jade attempts to put her traumatic past behind her. When a serial killer escapes during a prison transfer in a blinding storm, another massacre may be on the horizon--unless Jade and her friends can stop... Read More
With her pleasant British accent, Rebecca Lee narrates this meditation on wonder in our everyday lives. Lee's voice is an apt stand-in for the author's as May grapples with pleasures she has lost and attempts to recapture the joy in them. Much of ENCHANTMENT is a snapshot of a particular place in a particular moment in time--England during strict Covid lockdowns--but many... Read More
Jessa Maxwell's engaging debut novel, narrated in individual sections by a talented ensemble, will especially appeal to those who love reality cooking shows. "Bake Week" is an American spin-off of "The Great British Baking Show," tent and all. The show's star, Betsy Grafton, "America's grandmother," has run the show for nine successful seasons, but the producers have hired a... Read More
Harlan Coben could not ask for a better person than narrator Steven Weber to portray a man wrongly accused of killing his own son. Weber, known for his movies, television shows (like the long-running "Wings"), and top-notch audiobook performances, including several other works by Coben, has a natural ease and an ability to transport the listener into a world of panic,... Read More
Clifford Samuel's low, melodious voice sounds like it was made for this atmospheric queer retelling of the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde story. Gabriel is a 17-year old clerk living in Victorian London who is trying desperately to figure out what happened to his best friend and former lover, Henry Jekyll, who suddenly disappeared after his father discovered their relationship. When an... Read More
Magic flows as Joniece Abbott-Pratt brings to life Nic Blake's 12th birthday. It's the day her father promised to instruct her in using her Manifestor gift. Abbott-Pratt's rich narration shows Nic's frustration at having to hide her magical ability in a world of Unremarkables. Abbott-Pratt expresses Nic's sassy brilliance, the closeness and humor she shares with her father, and... Read More
Narrator Marin Ireland excels at depicting the insular, privileged world of the Stockton family in contemporary Brooklyn Heights in this debut audiobook. Ireland gracefully takes listeners into an exclusive milieu of private schools, galas, and grand townhouses while beautifully conveying the frailties and emotional confusion that render this family relatable. In alternating... Read More
Dion Graham is a master of nonfiction narration. He knows exactly when to pause, sets off quotations flawlessly, and brings exquisite emotion to the text. Here, Graham varies his pacing to complement the flow of Matthew Desmond's writing, whether he's describing the depth of American poverty, the history of why poverty exists in such a wealthy country, or the heartrending... Read More
Julia Whelan is the perfect narrator for this emotional story. Her moving performance enhances the engaging journey of Maggie, a nearly 30-year-old Toronto graduate student whose life isn't going as planned. At first, Maggie thinks of the amicable ending of her short marriage as a modern uncoupling, but eventually she realizes she's fallen into unhealthy habits--far after her... Read More
A California artist, teacher, and author of books about disconnecting from commercial culture offers a dazzling meditation on the possibilities and abuses of time. With its sprawling range of perspectives, historical references, and moving personal vignettes, this audiobook needs a performance from someone like Kristen Sieh. She narrates with emotional breadth and cultural... Read More
Marisa Calin gives a breathy and breathless performance of this rollicking YA fantasy set in 1983 England. Art student Susan Arkshaw longs to live a normal life, but she keeps getting drawn into a world of magic and danger. Calin ramps up the action as Susan and her dashing boyfriend, Merlin St. Jacques, face a murderous enemy who can animate marble sculptures. Merlin is part... Read More
Mark Sanderlin narrates this charming romance set on the Pacific Crest Trail with the perfect mix of emotion and humor. Alexi and Ben set out on the PCT for very different reasons. Alexi's parents have rejected him for being gay, and he is trying to work through his grief. Ben has just finished nursing school and is craving one last adventure before settling into a new career.... Read More
Natalie Haynes energizes the melodrama of ancient Greek gods with a divine level of storyteller's flair. Amid a roiling sea of eternal backbiting and scheming are the devoted Gorgon sisters--Sthenno, Euryale, and Medusa--who become drawn into the gods' petty squabbles and the petulant "hero" Perseus's quest for Medusa's head. Haynes's vibrant portrayals of the pantheon of gods,... Read More
Will Patton uses a gentle Southern accent to embody Val Welch, and he maintains that soft approach even through some fairly graphic violence. The story involves many questions about what is actually going on with the rest of the characters. Val is in Wyoming to paint a WPA mural in a post office. He falls into a maelstrom created by a wealthy rancher; his wife, a former hobo;... Read More
Eunice Wong's brisk performance perfectly suits this humorous yet poignant cozy mystery as she distinctively voices a variety of characters. The lonely existence of 60-year-old Chinese immigrant Vera Wong takes a wild turn when she discovers a dead body in her rundown San Francisco tea shop. Vera is a woman of strong opinions and decisive actions, and Wong's crisp, accented... Read More
Rushdie's latest novel defies easy description. It is magical realism and myth, historical fiction and fable, all centered around the life story of Pampa Kampana, queen of Vijayanagar--Victory City--in southern India. Narrator Sid Sagar embraces the tone of this audiobook; within moments of its opening, his performance invites listeners to suspend disbelief and step into an... Read More
This enthralling audiobook is performed by a master narrator. Dion Graham commands the listener's attention with this true story of HMS WAGER, an English warship that sailed in the 1740s. Graham delivers the nautical adventures at a strong pace with a mesmerizing cadence and impeccable timing. The excitement and peril of the high seas are captured through author Grann's... Read More
With her keen talent for British accents, narrator Orlagh Cassidy masterfully delivers this stand-alone from Jacqueline Winspear, which introduces powerful, brave heroine Elinor White. The story moves around in time from White's current life in Britain in 1947 to her recruitment in the Belgian Resistance as an adolescent during WWI and her work as an SOE agent during WWII.... Read More
Gail Shalan narrates this psychological suspense featuring five aspiring authors who are participating in a writing retreat held at an isolated mansion in the Adirondacks. The five attendees are all women under 30, though they seem younger. The leader of the retreat is Roza Vallo, a renowned feminist horror writer much admired by the young writers. Shalan gives Roza, who is... Read More
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