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ABOVE THE FIRE

ABOVE THE FIRE

Earphones Award Winner

by Michael O'Donnell | Read by Robert Fass

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Robert Fass captures the natural interplay between a father and son during an emotional struggle for survival. On a mountain excursion in New Hampshire, eight-year-old Tim and his father, Doug, are reeling from the recent death of Tim's mother. News of an unidentified national catastrophe forces the two hikers to seek refuge, rather than risk traveling home. Fass adds a subtle... Read More

AEDNAN

AEDNAN An Epic

by Linnea Axelsson, Saskia Vogel [Trans.] | Read by Angela Dawe

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This epic novel in verse is set in the Northern Sami lands of Scandinavia above the Arctic Circle. Angela Dawe employs deliberate pacing and pauses, along with a dreamy tone. Her delivery style results in a faithful translation of the poetic blank spaces throughout the original text, which suggest the quietness of the landscape and the erasing of the Sami reindeer herders'... Read More

AFTER ANNIE

AFTER ANNIE

by Anna Quindlen | Read by Gilli Messer

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Gilli Messer delivers a tender, emotional performance of a family in grief in this contemporary novel. When vibrant and funny Annie Brown suddenly dies, her young family struggles to adapt to life without her. Messer's pleasant, expressive voice lends itself well to the Brown family, as well as their friends, and neighbors; she portrays children, adults, and the elderly with... Read More

AGAIN AND AGAIN

AGAIN AND AGAIN

by Jonathan Evison | Read by Robert Fass

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Robert Fass narrates this intriguing novel about one man's journey through his many lives. Eugene Miles is an elderly curmudgeon living in a retirement community in California. He is befriended by a housekeeper named Angel, to whom he recounts the tales of his past incarnations as a street urchin in medieval Spain, an explorer with the Lewis and Clark expedition, and Oscar... Read More

ALICE SADIE CELINE

ALICE SADIE CELINE

Earphones Award Winner

by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright | Read by Chloë Sevigny

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

It takes an incredibly skilled narrator to make character vignettes entrancing, and performer Chloë Sevigny more than achieves this. Alice is struggling through her young career as an actress working at a dwindling local theater. After her best friend Sadie's mother, Celine, attends the play, Celine and Alice enter into a controversial sexual relationship. Meanwhile, Sadie is... Read More

ALL THAT'S LEFT UNSAID

ALL THAT'S LEFT UNSAID

by Tracey Lien | Read by Aileen Huynh, Yen Nguyen, Amelia Nguyen

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Aileen Huynh delivers a compelling performance as Ky Tran, a relentless journalist in pursuit of answers surrounding her brother's brutal murder. Huynh's nuanced portrayal adds depth to the narrative. As Ky unravels layers of intrigue, Huynh expertly conveys the emotional toll of her investigation. Listeners are drawn into an unfiltered view of the period after the War in... Read More

ALL THE LITTLE BIRD-HEARTS

ALL THE LITTLE BIRD-HEARTS

by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow | Read by Rose Akroyd

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Rose Akroyd narrates this Booker Prize-longlisted novel about an autistic woman who is navigating a neurotypical world as a single parent. Sunday Forrester lives a quiet life in rural England with her daughter. She has "quiet days" and most of the time eats only white foods. When a middle-aged couple moves into the neighborhood, Sunday and her teenage daughter become smitten... Read More

ALL THE WAYS WE LIED

ALL THE WAYS WE LIED

by Aida Zilelian | Read by Vaneh Assadourian

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

Vaneh Assadourian delivers this novel about a dysfunctional Armenian American family in a knowing style and understanding tone. She adroitly captures the clipped angry tone of the indomitable harridan Takouhi, matriarch and mother of three daughters. Author Zilelian presents the three daughters' struggles. Kohar, the eldest, had trouble with fertility; Lucine's husband takes... Read More

AMERICA FANTASTICA

AMERICA FANTASTICA

by Tim O'Brien | Read by Oliver Wyman

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Oliver Wyman affects a sly, off-kilter tone to deliver O'Brien's funny/sad take on Trumpland as COVID-19 infects America. Wyman's portrayal of Boyd Halverson, a former journalist and retail worker, is characterized by a sense of forlornness as the standard crime-caper plot unfolds. Boyd walks into a bank and demands $300,000. He gets $81,000 and the teller, Angie Bing, in the... Read More

THE BEE STING

THE BEE STING

by Paul Murray | Read by Heather O'Sullivan, Barry Fitzgerald, Beau Holland, Ciaran O'Brien, Lisa Caruccio Came

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Fiction

A talented ensemble of narrators perform Paul Murray's Booker-shortlisted novel about an Irish family that is falling apart at its seams. Ciaran O'Brien performs the perspective of Dickie, a seemingly oblivious car salesman whose business is going under after the financial crash. Beau Holland narrates the perspective of Dickie's shopaholic wife, who is scheming to have her... Read More

THE BULLET SWALLOWER

THE BULLET SWALLOWER

Earphones Award Winner

by Elizabeth Gonzalez James | Read by Lee Osorio

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Lee Osorio's deep voice with a hint of gravel is well suited to this historical novel, a blend of gritty Old West adventure and Latin magical realism. Mexican bandito Antonio Sonoro is nicknamed "the Bullet Swallower" after a disfiguring encounter with Texas Rangers. Antonio wreaks havoc on everyone, unlike his good-natured grandson, a 1960s singing-cowboy movie star. Their... Read More

CAHOKIA JAZZ

CAHOKIA JAZZ

Earphones Award Winner

by Francis Spufford | Read by Andy Ingalls

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Andy Ingalls delivers all the nuances of a full cast in Spufford's latest, a literary detective novel that takes place in an alternate universe. In an authoritative tone, Ingalls brings to life Cahokia, located on the banks of the Mississippi. In the novel, this ancient Indigenous society lives on in the 1920s, seeming to flourish in its diversity. But when Barrow... Read More

CANDELARIA

CANDELARIA

Earphones Award Winner

by Melissa Lozada-Oliva | Read by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Fiction

Listeners will enjoy this deliciously twisted tale dynamically narrated by the author. Lozada-Oliva explores intergenerational trauma as three generations of women find themselves caught up in a zombie apocalypse. Elderly Guatemalan immigrant Candelaria kills her octogenarian boyfriend. Surrounded by chaos in Boston, she desperately and inexplicably tries to get to the Old... Read More

COLEMAN HILL

COLEMAN HILL

by Kim Coleman Foote | Read by Bahni Turpin, Dion Graham

SJP Lit | Unabridged
Fiction

A family story blends with history and myth in this excellent audiobook delivered by two talented narrators. Bahni Turpin, the primary narrator, tells the interwoven stories of Celia Coleman and Lucy Grimes, two women who flee the cruelties of the post-Civil War South in 1916, only to discover the brutalities of the North, where they quickly become widowed and fight poverty. A... Read More

COME AND GET IT

COME AND GET IT

Earphones Award Winner

by Kiley Reid | Read by Nicole Lewis

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Nicole Lewis performs this sophomore novel from Booker longlisted author Kiley Reid. Millie Cousins is a senior resident assistant at the University of Arkansas, and her goal is to graduate, buy a house, and begin living her life. When Agatha Paul, a visiting professor and journalist, offers Millie money in exchange for the opportunity to eavesdrop on the dorm's residents,... Read More

DAUGHTER

DAUGHTER

by Claudia Dey | Read by Ellie Moon, Kristen Thomson, Jonathon Young, Tom McCamus, Maggie Huculak, Rebecca Liddiard, Hailey Gillis, Gwenlyn Cumyn, Karen Knox

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

As the voice of Mona, Ellie Moon performs appropriately. A young playwright, Mona should be an engaging character, but we don't hear much about her creative process. Rather, she struggles with family, friends, and herself throughout the novel. The simple structure of the story and the journalistic style of the prose are distracting in the audiobook format. Multiple narrators... Read More

DAY

DAY

Earphones Award Winner

by Michael Cunningham | Read by Julianne Moore

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Julianne Moore performs this pandemic novel told in three sections. Each section is set on April 5th of a different year. In 2019, we meet Isabel; her husband, Dan; and her brother, Robbie--who are all living together in New York City with Isabel and Dan's two children. Each section reveals more about the family members, weaving together the threads of their lives. Cunningham... Read More

THE DAY TRIPPER

THE DAY TRIPPER

by James Goodhand | Read by James Meunier

Harlequin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

James Meunier convincingly portrays the confusion and terror of Alex Dean, a Londoner who wakes up one morning in a place and time he doesn't recognize. Alex's most recent memory is spending a delightful evening with his girlfriend. They were celebrating his acceptance to Cambridge--until they were interrupted by a violent confrontation with Alex's childhood nemesis. Meunier... Read More

DAZZLING

DAZZLING

by Chikodili Emelumadu | Read by Precious Mustapha, Tara Tijani

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Precious Mustapha and Tara Tijani invite listeners into an extraordinary story based on West African mythology. On the day her uncle dies, Ozoemena becomes the unwitting heir to a supernatural family legacy. After her father's death leaves Treasure and her mother destitute, she strikes up a bargain with a strange man in the market. Mustapha voices Ozoemena as a girl who is... Read More

DECEIT

DECEIT

by Yuri Felsen, Bryan Karetnyk [Trans.] | Read by Derek Perkins

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Fiction

This first-person recollection of a love affair, first published in 1930, is given a splendid narration by Derek Perkins. The title refers to the main character's responses to his love interest's seeming lack of transparency. The author, born Nikolai Freudenstein in Saint Petersburg, was a well-known writer of the Russian diaspora in Paris after the Russian Revolution. He died... Read More

DEVIL MAKES THREE

DEVIL MAKES THREE

Earphones Award Winner

by Ben Fountain | Read by Ron Butler

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Ron Butler's deft performance fully encompasses this expansive story of political and economic crisis in Haiti, based on true events in 1991. Matt is an American college dropout working at a scuba-diving business when President Aristide is overthrown, pushing the country close to turmoil. After business dries up, Matt partners with a crew to seek deep-sea treasure. As the... Read More

THE DJINN WAITS A HUNDRED YEARS

THE DJINN WAITS A HUNDRED YEARS

Earphones Award Winner

by Shubnum Khan | Read by Soneela Nankani

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Soneela Nankani dynamically narrates this unique mystery. Sana and her father move to an old South African estate that has been repurposed as housing for those seeking shelter. Still grieving the passing of her mother, Sana tries to make connections with the other tenants and stumbles into the bedroom of the estate's former resident and her djinn. Nankani charmingly delivers... Read More

EXPIRATION DATES

EXPIRATION DATES

by Rebecca Serle | Read by Julia Whelan

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Golden Voice Narrator Julia Whelan creates an intimate and immediate listening experience in this contemporary audiobook featuring the California landscape. Thirty-three-year-old Daphne, an assistant to a movie producer, is searching for love. Whelan takes listeners through Daphne's romantic history with one unusual twist: At the start of each relationship, Daphne mysteriously... Read More

THE FAIRYTALE LIFE OF DOROTHY GALE

THE FAIRYTALE LIFE OF DOROTHY GALE

by Virginia Kantra | Read by Rachel L. Jacobs, Damian Gildea, Christian Coulson

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Kansas student Dee Gale transfers to Trinity College, Dublin, in this contemporary retelling of THE WIZARD OF OZ, narrated by Rachel L. Jacobs. Dee's friends, Irishman Sam Clery and Brit Tim Woodman, are portrayed by Damian Gildea and Christian Coulson. Jacobs expresses Dee's anguish as she recovers from an inappropriate relationship with a member of her former university's... Read More

FAMILY FAMILY

FAMILY FAMILY

by Laurie Frankel | Read by Patti Murin, Laurie Frankel

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Those who listen to this audiobook will learn that Tolstoy was wrong when he said happy families are all alike. There are many kinds of happy families, and they appear in all sorts of configurations here. The novel's focus is on adoption and how it is a positive, uplifting choice for those concerned. The liquid, uplifting voice of Patti Murin tells the story of actress India... Read More

THE FAMILY MAN

THE FAMILY MAN

by Elinor Lipman | Read by George Newbern

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

George Newbern narrates Elinor Lipman's entertaining comedy with zest and an appreciation of its mix of improbability and realism. The blend of screwball and social humor focuses on Henry, a sympathetic retired lawyer who came out as gay late in life. His comfortable life on New York's Upper West Side is upended by a needy ex-wife, a handsome home design expert who lives with a... Read More

THE FETISHIST

THE FETISHIST

by Katherine Min | Read by Eunice Wong, Kayla Min Andrews

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This posthumously published novel, a meditation on death, has a dark side, but Eunice Wong's performance balances its undercurrent of grief with buoyant energy that will have listeners rooting for its antiheroes. A comatose Korean cello aficionado named Alma has ambivalent memories of her relationship with Daniel, a white violinist. Daniel, meanwhile, finds himself locked in a... Read More

THE FICTION WRITER

THE FICTION WRITER

by Jillian Cantor | Read by Allyson Ryan

Harlequin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

In this suspenseful listen inspired by Daphne du Maurier's REBECCA, narrator Allyson Ryan imparts a creeping sense of disquiet that will pull listeners in. Olivia, whose writing career is stalled, agrees to work as a "writer for hire" for billionaire Ash, who wants to publish a book asserting that du Maurier stole his grandmother Amelia's story for REBECCA. Olivia flies to Los... Read More

THE FIFTH MOUNTAIN

THE FIFTH MOUNTAIN

by Paulo Coelho | Read by Derek Perkins

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Derek Perkins combines the simplicity of narrating a fable with the complexity of delivering a modern novel's detail and character. The result is this reimagining of the Old Testament's Prophet Elijah. It's 900 BCE, and Phoenicia's Queen Jezebel vows to put all Israelite prophets to death and force the Hebrew people to worship the pagan deity Baal. Young Elijah is warned by his... Read More

FLORES AND MISS PAULA

FLORES AND MISS PAULA

by Melissa Rivera | Read by Gisela Chípe, Liliana Montenegro

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Gisela Chípe and Liliana Montenegro provide nuanced alternating narrations in this contemporary audiobook about a strained mother-daughter relationship. Chípe portrays 30-something Monica Yolanda Flores, who shares a Brooklyn apartment with her recently widowed Peruvian-born mother, Paula. Chípe adeptly conveys Flores's sorrow and longing for deeper connections beyond her... Read More

THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN

THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN

by Kate Morton | Read by Anna Skellern

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Anna Skellern narrates a multigenerational saga of secrets and betrayals. After her grandmother dies, Cassandra slowly unravels the mystery surrounding her past, traveling from Australia to the Cornish coast to discover the real identity of Nell Andrews. Skellern switches smoothly between the many accents needed to recount the complex stories of both Nell's and Cassandra's... Read More

FOURTEEN DAYS

FOURTEEN DAYS An Unauthorized Gathering

Earphones Award Winner

by The Authors Guild | Read by Shayna Small

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Shayna Small delivers a variety of accents as a group of New Yorkers gather on the rooftop of their dilapidated building during the COVID-19 pandemic, telling stories to pass the time. The audiobook features a "pots-and-pans symphony" that applauds the healthcare workers who risk their lives to treat the sick. Small shines in this reboot of another plague novel, Boccaccio's... Read More

THE FOX WIFE

THE FOX WIFE

by Yangsze Choo | Read by Yangsze Choo

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Author and narrator Yangsze Choo gently narrates this fantasy audiobook about foxes that can transform into dazzlingly beautiful humans. Bao has the ability to tell truths from lies and has been tasked with solving a murder mystery that might involve foxes. Meanwhile, Snow has taken human form and gets a job as a servant, all to aid her in avenging the death of her child. Choo... Read More

THE FRIENDSHIP CLUB

THE FRIENDSHIP CLUB

by Robyn Carr | Read by Thérèse Plummer

Harlequin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Thérèse Plummer narrates the stories of four women in various stages of their lives who have built a strong friendship together. Marnie is a single celebrity cook whose daughter Bella is pregnant. Working for Marnie is her friend Ellen and an intern, Sophia. Plummer depicts the emotional ups and downs of Bella's pregnancy. As Marnie becomes involved in a romance with Sophia's... Read More

THE GARDEN PLOT DIARIES

THE GARDEN PLOT DIARIES Stories One Through Four

by Endy Wright | Read by Richard Salem

Endy Wright | Unabridged
Fiction

It would be easy to characterize this short audiobook as simply the rantings of a crabby old man, but voice actor Richard Salem makes the four stories a listening treat. Here are tales representative of their location, small-town New Hampshire. The unnamed octogenarian narrator discusses the cycle of nature, the spiritual side of gardening, infighting among women's groups,... Read More

GLORY BE

GLORY BE Glory Broussard, Book 1

by Danielle Arceneaux | Read by Bahni Turpin

OrangeSky Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Listeners meet Glory, voiced by Bahni Turpin with all the sass, spark, and cantankerousness written into this story. Glory is a hoarder (or maybe not?) and a bookie (definitely). Now her daughter has arrived to help her sort through her house and her life. Together they seek to solve the untimely and mysterious death of Glory's friend, a local nun. Turpin's narration is... Read More

THE GLUTTON

THE GLUTTON

Earphones Award Winner

by A.K. Blakemore | Read by Graham Halstead

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Graham Halstead meets the complex narration challenge posed by this audiobook. His performance provides the perfect mix of empathy and horror. Blakemore's work is a deeply literary journey based on a real historical figure. In the time of the French Revolution, Tarare is forced out of his home; eventually he joins a circus, where he becomes a freak attraction for his ability to... Read More

THE GOLEM OF BROOKLYN

THE GOLEM OF BROOKLYN

by Adam Mansbach | Read by Danny Hoch

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Danny Hoch takes on this contemporary satire of the Hebrew folk figure called a golem--but this one lives in Brooklyn, rather than Eastern Europe. When Brooklyn-born-and-bred Len Bronstein, a secularly Jewish art teacher, molds a nine-foot golem from clay, he finds he's got his hands full. Former Hasid Miri Apfelbaum joins them to translate the golem's heavily accented Yiddish... Read More

A GRANDMOTHER BEGINS THE STORY

A GRANDMOTHER BEGINS THE STORY

Earphones Award Winner

by Michelle Porter | Read by Michelle Porter, Jani Lauzon, Tara Sky, Tantoo Cardinal, Dakota Ray Hebert, Bernard Starlight, Elle-Màijà Tailfeathers, Wesley French, Jenny Pudavick, Lisa Cromarty, Monique Mojica, Alison Deon, Jacob MacInnis, Yolanda Bonnell, Brefny Caribou

Algonquin Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Sixteen narrators, many Indigenous, join their voices to deliver memoirist/poet Michelle Porter's haunting debut novel. Matriarch Mamé, voiced by actor Tantoo Cardinal, has passed on but can't settle in the afterlife as connections to her daughter, Geneviève; granddaughter, Lucie; and great-great-granddaughter, Carter, keep her tethered to this world. Geneviève, grittily voiced... Read More

THE GREAT DIVIDE

THE GREAT DIVIDE

Earphones Award Winner

by Cristina Henríquez | Read by Robin Miles

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Golden Voice narrator Robin Miles's evocative performance of Cristina Henríquez's novel about the building of the Panama Canal takes its time, which feels right for a book with many threads. Set midway through the canal's multi year construction, the plot follows several central characters as they navigate personal dramas and canal-related crises. Miles's lovely, warm voice... Read More

THE HAPPY COUPLE

THE HAPPY COUPLE

by Naoise Dolan | Read by Ayoola Smart, Bert Seymour

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

A duo of narrators present a series of events that threaten to upend an English-Irish couple's wedding. Listeners learn about the happy couple, Celine and Luke, in part through the perspectives of their close friends, former lovers, and family. Ayoola Smart's understated performance of the droll humor and nimble shifts in tone presents listeners with multiple angles of the... Read More

THE HEIRESS

THE HEIRESS

by Rachel Hawkins | Read by Dan Bittner, Eliza Foss, John Pirhalla, Patti Murin

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

An ensemble of narrators enhances this thriller's absorbing quality. Ruby has been shrouded in mystery since she was abducted at the age of four and returned to her family eight months later. In a series of letters, Ruby discusses the abduction, her wealth, and four deceased husbands. In alternating points of view, listeners learn why Ruby's son, Cam, is reluctant to claim his... Read More

HOLIDAY COUNTRY

HOLIDAY COUNTRY

by Inci Atrek | Read by Ayse Babahan

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Ayse Babahan thoughtfully narrates this coming-of-age story. Ada feels forever suspended between two states of being. She is one person during the school year in California and another during summers spent with her mother and grandmother in a holiday villa along the Turkish coast. In her nineteenth year, when a chance encounter occurs and an old romance rekindles, all the... Read More

HUM

HUM

by Helen Phillips | Read by Ariel Blake

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Ariel Blake captures the climate-devastated, AI-driven world of this novel. From the opening scene, Phillips raises the stakes continually as May, a desperate mother, sells her face to be used in an experiment. The city is run by intelligent robots called "hums," and without her face, May is unrecognizable by them. Blake's steady voices for the hums add a sense of cool... Read More

I AM NOT SIDNEY POITIER

I AM NOT SIDNEY POITIER

by Percival Everett | Read by Amir Abdullah

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Amir Abdullah is completely and blithely "Not Sidney Poitier" in this paradoxical pretzel of an audio. Not Sidney's mother died when he was 11, leaving him with his nonsensical name and a fortune in Turner Broadcasting System stock. Abdullah illuminates his struggles as he grows to manhood with a flexible and highly stylized performance. As Not Sidney faces episodes of... Read More

I'D REALLY PREFER NOT TO BE HERE WITH YOU, AND OTHER STORIES

I'D REALLY PREFER NOT TO BE HERE WITH YOU, AND OTHER STORIES

by Julianna Baggott | Read by January LaVoy, Kelli Tager, Natasha Soudek, Emily Woo Zeller, Em Grosland, Rachel Jacobs, Kimberly M. Wetherell, Cassandra Campbell, Lisa Flanagan, Erin Bennett, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, Xe Sands, Emily Lawrence, Tavia Gilbert, Andi Arndt

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Julianna Baggott has written a timely and compelling collection of short stories covering a variety of speculative fiction themes, many of which are reminiscent of episodes of the dystopian science-fiction show "Black Mirror." A bevy of talented narrators deliver the stories, which have intriguing themes, such as a romantic credit score that renders some individuals banned from... Read More

THE INN AT LAKE DEVINE

THE INN AT LAKE DEVINE

by Elinor Lipman | Read by Piper Goodeve

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

Piper Goodeve is excellent as Natalie Marx, the young Jewish girl who narrates this upbeat, humorous audiobook. Hoping to book a stay at the Inn at Lake Devine, the Marxes are rebuffed by proprietor Ingrid Berry, who tells them that all their guests are Gentiles. Natalie snags an invitation from a non-Jewish friend, Robin Fife, and spends the summer of 1960 at the inn with the... Read More

THE LAST LOVE NOTE

THE LAST LOVE NOTE

Earphones Award Winner

by Emma Grey | Read by Leeanna Walsman

Zibby Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Leeanna Walsman immerses listeners in an emotional story that is sure to bring both laughter and tears. Two years after becoming a widow, 40-year-old Kate struggles to raise her son while juggling friendships and her career. Hugh, her boss, who was a close friend of her late husband, has been patiently supportive as she adjusts to her new life, always there when she needs him.... Read More

THE LIBERATORS

THE LIBERATORS

by E.J. Koh | Read by Janet Song, Intae Kim, Greta Jung, Raymond J. Lee

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Four narrators work together in this multigenerational story of migration, love, and loss. Janet Song, Intae Kim, Greta Jung, and Raymond J. Lee create balance to this lyrical story set amid the making of the two Koreas. They bring to life the struggles of Insuk and her turbulent romance and then marriage to Sungho. The female and male narrators trade a wide variety of... Read More

THE LOST VAN GOGH

THE LOST VAN GOGH

by Jonathan Santlofer | Read by Edoardo Ballerini

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Edoardo Ballerini returns to narrate another art-heist adventure involving New York artist Luke Perrone and his girlfriend, Alexis Verde, daughter of a famous art thief. Luke and Alexis discover what may be the missing final self-portrait of Van Gogh hidden under another painting. But when it's stolen from them, they embark upon a harrowing trip to the Netherlands, followed by... Read More

LOVE AND HOT CHICKEN

LOVE AND HOT CHICKEN

by Mary Liza Hartong | Read by Dorothy Dillingham Blue

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

It's no exaggeration to call narrator Dorothy Dillingham Blue's performance of this audiobook a Southern charmer. Putting her Vanderbilt PhD on hold, PJ Spoon becomes Pennywhistle, Tennessee's, Chickie Shak chef. She competes with her co-workers--the button-cute Boof and the frighteningly efficient Linda--in a no-holds-barred chicken pageant. Blue's voice weaves and dips... Read More

THE MANOR HOUSE GOVERNESS

THE MANOR HOUSE GOVERNESS

by C.A. Castle | Read by Cloud Quinn

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

Cloud Quinn gives a beguiling performance of this queer and atmospheric ode to Jane Austen. Bron is queer, gender fluid, lonely, and obsessed with Austen, Brontë, and other nineteenth-century British authors. After he's rejected from Oxford, he takes a job as a governess for Ada, a spirited girl who lives in a massive manor house. Soon he's knee deep in the family's secrets and... Read More

MARTYR!

MARTYR!

Earphones Award Winner

by Kaveh Akbar | Read by Arian Moayed

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Iranian American actor Arian Moayed gives the performance of a lifetime in poet Kaveh Akbar's extraordinary debut novel. Cyrus Shams is a queer Iranian American poet in recovery who is grieving the long-ago death of his mother (killed when the U.S. Navy shot down a civilian Iranian plane) and struggling to find meaning in life. He becomes obsessed with the idea of martyrdom and... Read More

MERCURY

MERCURY

Earphones Award Winner

by Amy Jo Burns | Read by Maria Liatis

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Maria Liatis is superb at portraying both the characters in this novel and the rural environment they inhabit. It's 1990, not far from Interstate 80. Marly and her mother arrive in the Pennsylvania town and soon encounter two brothers, one of which Marly will marry at a young age. But she remains close to both. The discovery of a skeleton in the church attic threatens... Read More

MISTER, MISTER

MISTER, MISTER

by Guy Gunaratne | Read by Guy Gunaratne

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Guy Gunaratne narrates his audiobook, which is centered on the fractured life of its Syrian protagonist, Yayha Bas. We listeners are flies on the wall as Yayha's interrogator asks him to recount the actions that brought him to the present moment. Gunaratne delivers this wending tale about a poet turned revolutionary and then prisoner in a tender voice that makes us draw near.... Read More

THE MORNINGSIDE

THE MORNINGSIDE

Earphones Award Winner

by Téa Obreht | Read by Carlotta Brentan

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This near-future dystopian novel is set in a time of ecological disaster in the mostly underwater community of Island City. Carlotta Brentan portrays the cast of characters smartly by subtly shifting tone, cadence, and timbre. She smoothly portrays the protagonist, who begins as a gangly 11-year-old named Sylvia. Brentan contrasts Sylvia's size and temperament with those of her... Read More

MY FRIENDS

MY FRIENDS

by Hisham Matar | Read by Hisham Matar

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrating his novel, Hisham Matar gives the story of love, loss, and exile during political turmoil a melancholy undertone and a delicate cadence. Khaled is a young Libyan man whose love of the written word takes him to the UK for further studies. But even far from home, he cannot remain unaffected by the rumblings of the Arab Spring. This is a lyrical journey into the ties... Read More

THE NEW NATURALS

THE NEW NATURALS

by Gabriel Bump | Read by Robin Miles

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Robin Miles brings to life this compelling and thought-provoking novel about grief, connection, and hope. After the loss of their infant, a college professor named Rio and her husband, Gibraltar, decide to create a safe haven in Massachusetts. They build an underground sanctuary for those who are finding it impossible to deal with today's frightening and ever-changing world.... Read More

NIGHTBLOOM

NIGHTBLOOM

by Peace Adzo Medie | Read by Jessica Sarkodie, Ekua Ekumah, Sarah Dorgbadzi

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This complicated story of friendship, migration, and loss is told by Jessica Sarkodie, Ekua Ekumah, and Sarah Dorgbadzi. They create a delightful listening experience with lilting rhythms of slightly accented English. The trio display the variety of personalities in Ghanaian women as depicted in this tale of Selasi and Akorfa. As children, the two girls are best friends,... Read More

NOTHING MAN

NOTHING MAN A Tender and Humorous Quest for a Fresh Start

Earphones Award Winner

by RJ Gould | Read by Karl Jenkinson

R J Gould | Unabridged
Fiction

Karl Jenkinson introduces Neville Watkins, who is shocked when his wife leaves him, he is fired from his job, and he plows into a car while sneezing. It is through that last event that listeners meet 50-something Neville and Laura, the other driver. Jenkinson outdoes himself performing characters of all ages and classes who are experiencing life's joys and sorrows. Things start... Read More

OLD CRIMES

OLD CRIMES and Other Stories

Earphones Award Winner

by Jill McCorkle | Read by Jill McCorkle, Hayden Bishop, Teralyn Davis, Marcella Cox, Kathy Bell Denton, Cary Hite

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Author Jill McCorkle joins a talented group of narrators in a memorable performance of her terrific new short story collection. Sly, funny, perceptive, and searing, the stories explore what gets us through our days and years. Hayden Bishop, Teralyn Davis, Marcella Cox, Kathy Bell Denton, and Cary Hite bring a euphonious mix of Southern accents and helpful interpretations of the... Read More

ORDINARY HUMAN FAILINGS

ORDINARY HUMAN FAILINGS

by Megan Nolan | Read by Jessica Regan

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

While Nolan's novel begins as a police procedural, it soon evolves, with the help of narrator Jessica Regan, into a study of hereditary hopelessness. In England, as police investigate the murder of a small child, the novel pulls back the curtain on life in the 1990s with a focus on political and social forces of the period. Regan's prodigious range guides the portrayal of the... Read More

THE OTHER PROFILE

THE OTHER PROFILE

by Irene Graziosi, Lucy Rand [Trans.] | Read by Barrie Kealoha

Europa Editions | Unabridged
Fiction

Barrie Kealoha narrates this intriguing look at friendship and social media. Twenty-six-year-old Maia lives in Milan with an older, accomplished boyfriend. While working as a part-time waitress at a local bar, she's given the opportunity to work for an 18-year-old influencer. Gloria becomes enamored with Maia and her truthful take on life. As Maia and Gloria grow closer, Maia... Read More

OWNING UP

OWNING UP New Fiction

by George Pelecanos | Read by Dion Graham

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Dion Graham skillfully breathes life into the diverse characters in Pelecanos's four novellas, vividly portraying the communities that constitute Washington, DC, beyond its political facade. Across different timeframes, these stories unveil ordinary individuals who are grappling with personal challenges and having to own up to them and take responsibility. Golden Voice Graham... Read More

PROPHET SONG

PROPHET SONG

by Paul Lynch | Read by Gerry O'Brien

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Harrowing, evocative, and timely, this 2023 Booker Prize winner takes listeners on a deep dive into what happens when a democracy devolves into totalitarianism. Set in Dublin, the story begins when Eilish Stack finds officers from the secret police at her door, looking for her husband. An undefined-- yet clearly political--emergency is happening, and all the rules pertaining to... Read More

RABBIT HOLE

RABBIT HOLE

by Kate Brody | Read by Rebecca Quinn Robertson

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Rebecca Quinn Robertson offers a gritty portrait of 26-year-old Teddy Angstrom, whose life goes off the rails after her father's suicide. Soon, Teddy discovers that her father never stopped investigating the disappearance of her older sister, Angie, ten years earlier. Teddy decides to pick up the investigation herself and falls headlong into a world of... Read More

REBECCA, NOT BECKY

REBECCA, NOT BECKY

by Christine Platt, Catherine Wigginton Greene | Read by Christine Lakin, Nicole Lewis

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrators Christine Lakin and Nicole Lewis offer a humbling story on racism in small-town America. De'Andrea, a Black entrepreneur, is heartbroken to leave Atlanta behind when she moves to Rolling Hills, Virginia. Once there, she reluctantly joins the Parent Diversity Committee, run by her enthusiastic white neighbor, Rebecca, at their daughters' school. While the women have... Read More

RIVER EAST, RIVER WEST

RIVER EAST, RIVER WEST

by Aube Rey Lescure | Read by David Shih, Jennifer Lim

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

As a half-Chinese teenager in Shanghai, Alva shared a close bond with her American expat mother but longed for the idealized California life depicted in movies. Jennifer Lim's portrayal of Alva's youthful resentment is colored with both confusion and defiance. Who is her father, and why must they live this half-in/half-out life in China? When Alva's mom marries a much older... Read More

THE ROAD TO DALTON

THE ROAD TO DALTON

by Shannon Bowring | Read by Patricia Shade

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Fiction

Patricia Shade gives an engaging performance of this debut novel set in a small town in northern Maine. Shade moves easily through a variety of points of view--the book feels more like a collection of interconnected stories than a novel--but she keeps her tone even throughout, giving the story some cohesion. Her lively narration is welcome as the book itself sometimes drags,... Read More

RUN BABY RUN

RUN BABY RUN

by Melissa Lenhardt | Read by Natalie Duke, Courtney Patterson, Alex Picard

Harlequin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Listeners will appreciate the three distinct voices provided by Natalie Duke, as Darcy; Courtney Patterson, as Marja; and Alex Picard, as Chloe in this novel about an atypical mother-daughter road trip. Two weekends before her wedding, Darcy and her estranged mother, Marja, reconcile for a 2-3 day trip from Austin, Texas, to Chicago. But nothing goes as planned: Marja refuses... Read More

SAME BED DIFFERENT DREAMS

SAME BED DIFFERENT DREAMS

by Ed Park | Read by Daniel K. Isaac, Dominic Hoffman, Shannon Tyo

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Daniel K. Isaac, Dominic Hoffman, and Shannon Tyo present a layered performance of Park's much anticipated latest. Isaac narrates the audiobook's framing story involving burned-out writer-turned-tech-employee Soon Sheen, who finds a manuscript detailing the "true" history of the Korean Provisional Government. This history, narrated with a mix of passion and poignance by Tyo,... Read More

STOCKHOLM

STOCKHOLM

by Noa Yedlin, Jessica Cohen [Trans.] | Read by Neil Hellegers, Rebecca Stern

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Neil Hellegers and Rebecca Stern bring this comic send-up of a caper story cleverly to life. The humor works. They deliver their lines with restraint, keep the protagonists' wildest ideas plausible through tone and tempo, and propel the comic proceedings, set in Tel Aviv, with the right cadence. They straightforwardly deliver the hijinks, crisp dialogue, and wild thinking. Both... Read More

THE SUN SETS IN SINGAPORE

THE SUN SETS IN SINGAPORE

by Kehinde Fadipe | Read by Dami Olukoya

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Dami Olukoya juggles the three central female characters in this audiobook. The lives of these expatriates play out amid the luxury of Singapore. Olukoya moves between Dara, an ambitious lawyer on her way to making partner; Amaka, a banker obsessed with designer brands; and Lillian, the newbie expat wife. Olukoya sets a quick pace, playing up the humor laced throughout the... Read More

TEMPLE FOLK

TEMPLE FOLK

by Aaliyah Bilal | Read by Amir Abdullah, Chanté McCormick, Soneela Nankani, Leon Nixon, Jade Wheeler

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This unique collection of 10 short stories gathers together various insights on the Black Muslim experience in America. Amir Abdullah, Chanté McCormick, Soneela Nankani, Leon Nixon, and Jade Wheeler come together to dramatize these widely differing voices. Together, they tackle family issues and sexuality, discrimination and grief. From a daughter who is grieving to another... Read More

THE THREAT

THE THREAT

by Nathaniel Stein | Read by Pete Cross

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

Pete Cross uses an arch tone and deliberate pacing to deliver this dark satire of contemporary life. Office drone Melvin Levin's existence is flat as a pancake until he receives an anonymous and seemingly unmotivated death threat in the mail. The threat breaks the spell of his drone life and pushes him into a frenzy of paranoia and frustration, but for the first time in a long... Read More

THREE FIRES

THREE FIRES

by Denise Mina | Read by Rachael Beresford

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Fiction

In stately British tones, Rachael Beresford presents this novella fictionalizing the life of Fra Girolamo Savonarola, a fanatical and virulently anti-Semitic Dominican friar who lived in Florence at the end of the fifteenth century. Beresford's crisp recitation seeps through the life, actions, sermons, and ultimately forced confession of Savonarola at the Inquisition trial that... Read More

TREACLE WALKER

TREACLE WALKER

by Alan Garner | Read by Robert Powell

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This compact yet intense fantasy may confuse many listeners, as well as beguile them. British actor Robert Powell narrates the magical story of an English boy, Joe Coppook, who encounters strange folkloric characters who confound him as he wrestles with the nature of time and of good and evil. Powell shows his theatrical skills in his portrayals. Whimsical characters--such as... Read More

TRUE NORTH

TRUE NORTH

Earphones Award Winner

by Andrew J. Graff | Read by Lincoln Hoppe

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Lincoln Hoppe demonstrates his skills with a stellar narration of this audiobook. His ability to subtly shift his tone and tempo from character to character, giving each a specific voice, makes this immersive novel stand out. Chip, an elderly river guide, has a gruffer, deeper voice than those of the other main characters, Sam and Swami Brecht. In a work with some... Read More

THE UNMAKING OF JUNE FARROW

THE UNMAKING OF JUNE FARROW

by Adrienne Young | Read by Brittany Pressley

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Brittany Pressley brings the right ethereal feeling to this complex novel. A curse on the Farrow women causing them to go mad has haunted the family for generations. When June begins seeing things, she is tormented by the thought that it's happening to her. Pressley is especially convincing while delivering June's hallucinatory experiences. June has a decision to make: Should... Read More

WANDERING STARS

WANDERING STARS

Earphones Award Winner

by Tommy Orange | Read by Shaun Taylor-Corbett, MacLeod Andrews, Alma Cuervo, Curtis Michael Holland, Calvin Joyal, Phil Ava, Emmanuel Chumaceiro, Christian Young, Charley Flyte

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This audiobook reveals that Orange is among the most insightful novelists writing today and a poet of pain. Among this segmented novel's stellar performances, Charley Flyte's reading of Victoria Bear Shield's dramatic monologue to her unborn daughter is a tour de force--a haunting performance with an expressive tone and intimate voice. Alma Cuervo portrays Jacquie Red Feather... Read More

WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WHO WE ARE

WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WHO WE ARE

by Sofia T. Romero | Read by Inés del Castillo, Frankie Corzo, Carolina Hoyos

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

A collection of linked short stories set in New England explores what happens when reality and fantasy intermingle. A trio of experienced narrators, Ines del Castillo, Frankie Corzo, and Carolina Hoyos, bring these creepy and unsettling works to life with vivid and evocative narrations. One story has the ashes of a deceased mother telling her son's fianceé how to keep him... Read More

WELCOME HOME, STRANGER

WELCOME HOME, STRANGER

by Kate Christensen | Read by Xe Sands

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Xe Sands pulls listeners into this thought-provoking story about family, grief, aging, and connection. Rachel Calloway, a divorced, childless, 50-something environmental journalist from Washington, DC, returns home to Maine following her mother's death. With vivid descriptions and well-developed characters, listeners find themselves witnesses to Rachel's journey as she revisits... Read More

WHAT WILD WOMEN DO

WHAT WILD WOMEN DO

Earphones Award Winner

by Karma Brown | Read by Karissa Vacker, Hillary Huber

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Karissa Vacker and Hillary Huber deliver excellent performances in this gripping audiobook. The story, set in the Adirondacks, evokes themes of empowerment, personal growth, and discovery as it depicts emotional insights and decades-spanning intrigue. Vacker voices failed screenwriter Rowan, who discovers a mysterious handbook that may have something to do with a woman who went... Read More

THE WILDEST SUN

THE WILDEST SUN

by Asha Lemmie | Read by Imani Jade Powers

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Multitalented Imani Jade Powers narrates this panoramic coming-of-age novel about a Parisian teen named Delphine. The story, told in the first person, transports listeners from war-torn Paris to Harlem, to Havana just prior to Castro, and then back to France. Delphine is not a particularly likable heroine, but her drive captures one's imagination. She is obsessed with meeting... Read More

THE WOMEN WHO WOULDN'T LEAVE

THE WOMEN WHO WOULDN'T LEAVE

Earphones Award Winner

by Victoria Scott | Read by Alison Campbell

W.F. Howes Ltd. | Unabridged
Fiction

Alison Campbell poignantly presents a rural English community whose disparate residents are fighting attempts by developers to close their social housing. Listeners join curmudgeonly Matilda, 90 years old, and Connie, age 29, who is fleeing a violent boyfriend. When hoarder Matilda collapses while feeding her menagerie of goats, cats, and chickens, Connie, who has been... Read More

YOU ONLY CALL WHEN YOU'RE IN TROUBLE

YOU ONLY CALL WHEN YOU'RE IN TROUBLE

by Stephen McCauley | Read by André Santana

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

André Santana's impressive narration deals with one family's contemporary problems. Cecily, a college instructor, is currently under investigation for sexual misconduct with a student. Her manic mother, Dorothy, is trying to get her life on track with the assistance of a self-help guru by opening a spiritual retreat in Woodstock, New York. And her Uncle Tom is so obsessed with... Read More

YOUR UTOPIA

YOUR UTOPIA Stories

by Bora Chung, Anton Hur [Trans.] | Read by Greta Jung

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Greta Jung performs these science-fiction stories from National Book Award finalists Bora Chung and translator Anton Hur. In one story, an elevator falls in love with one of the residents in its building. In another story, a robot tries to survive in a postapocalyptic world in which humans are nearly extinct. Jung narrates the audiobook with deep understanding of the characters... Read More

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