At this end of summer, I’m of two minds—thinking I should have done more, and wishing I had done less. Two audiobooks seem to capture the yin yang of this idea. For a look at the travels that might have happened, Richard Ratay’s DON’T MAKE ME PULL OVER: Informal History of the Family Road Trip is a fun place to start. Jonathan Todd Ross gives me a good companion for the next road trip. For the flip side, author/narrator Patricia Hampl’s THE ART OF THE WASTED DAY reminds me that daydreaming and solitude probably did make my summer better. Leave a comment about the yin yang of your summer.
And looking ahead, my must-listen list seems to be getting longer. I like to have a few audiobooks lined up for my personal listening from the titles we recommend each week. There are two thrillers in my queue—the first is Karin Slaughter’s newest, PIECES OF HER. Kathleen Early has narrated most of Karin’s audiobooks and seems to know just the right tone to deliver this recommended “high-voltage performance.” Also, I’ve got Nicci French’s DAY OF THE DEAD waiting for me. I always agree with reviewer Beth Gutcheon’s take on thrillers, and I can look forward to hearing narrator Beth Chalmers, who has narrated all of the Frieda Klein series.
I noticed in the last couple weeks that we reviewed two new “fractured” fairy tales, or imaginative retellings of a traditional story—think Gregory Maguire’s WICKED or AFTER ALICE. In ALL THE EVER AFTERS, we get to know Cinderella’s Stepmother—not exactly a character on my list to get to know better, but it sounds like a clever twist. Another innovative take on classic takes —also for adults—is THE MERRY SPINSTER: Tales of Everyday Horror. The publisher notes that Daniel Mallory Ortberg (author of TEXTS FROM JANE EYRE) brings “feminist mischief” to SPINSTER, and that sounds like fun!
If you’re following my Roundups each week, you’ll find next month that I’ll be talking a lot about AudioFile’s big new adventure: the launch of a new podcast, Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine. For anyone who is interested in some of the backstory of how we got to this new project, recall the blog post I did here last August, The Download: 6 Picks for the End-of-Summer Road Trip, with a recorded discussion of the recommended titles. More on Behind The Mic next week!