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AFTER THE HURRICANE

AFTER THE HURRICANE

by Leah Franqui | Read by Frankie Corzo

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Frankie Corzo delivers a nuanced performance that complements this audiobook splendidly. Elena Vega has a complicated relationship with her father, Santiago, a successful lawyer who never recovered from his traumatic childhood. Trying to cope, he became an alcoholic, alienating Elena who knew nothing of his past. Now, Santiago is living in Puerto Rico. When a hurricane ravages... Read More

BEFORE ALL THE WORLD

BEFORE ALL THE WORLD

by Moriel Rothman-Zecher | Read by Moriel Rothman-Zecher

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Israeli American author Moriel Rothman-Zecher delivers a dazzling narration of his novel of trauma, identity, and sexuality in 1930s Philadelphia. The story centers on three characters: recent arrivals to America Leyb and Gittl, who are the only Jewish survivors of a pogrom in their Ukrainian village, and Charles, a Black intellectual whom Leyb meets in a gay bar. Charles, who... Read More

THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2022

THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2022

by Heidi Pitlor [Ed.], Andrew Sean Greer [Ed. & Intro.} | Read by Reynaldo Piniella, Shawn K. Jain, Carolina Hoyos, Cherise Boothe, Cindy Kay

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

These yearly anthologies are an unpredictable lot, subject to the tastes of their rotating guest editors, and, as audiobooks, to the skill and sensitivity of their ensemble of narrators. This year's collection falls short on several counts. The stories and their themes tilt toward the offbeat and the anticlimactic. Few have a conventional storyline, or a decisive conclusion.... Read More

BEST OF FRIENDS

BEST OF FRIENDS

by Kamila Shamsie | Read by Tania Rodrigues

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Tania Rodrigues narrates this audiobook at a crisp clip, with a lovely accent that adds a sense of music. As the title suggests, this novel traces the friendship between two young women from youth to adulthood. Zahra and Maryam begin their story in Pakistan, and later each moves to London and a more expansive life. Rodrigues's performance is perfectly fine--she is a competent... Read More

BIG CHICAS DON'T CRY

BIG CHICAS DON'T CRY

Earphones Award Winner

by Annette Chavez Macias | Read by Vanessa Vasquez, Alessandra Manon, Aida Reluzco, Christa Gonzalez

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

A supremely talented quartet of narrators will delight listeners with their vibrant and expressive voices. This addictive story follows four cousins who are navigating life as individuals and as part of a large Mexican American family. As children, they were very close, but family dynamics pushed them apart. Now, as adults, they wonder if they can be close again. All four women... Read More

THE BIRDCATCHER

THE BIRDCATCHER

by Gayl Jones | Read by Adenrele Ojo

Beacon Press | Unabridged
Fiction

Adenrele Ojo narrates this oddly tantalizing novel by the acclaimed Black author Gayl Jones. In a series of vignettes, it follows the intertwined lives of three members of the Black elite: Catherine Shugar, an abstract artist and sculptor; Ernest, her husband, a respected science writer; and Amanda Wordlaw, a travel writer and onetime author of erotic fiction. It is the clear,... Read More

BROTHER ALIVE

BROTHER ALIVE

by Zain Khalid | Read by Fajer Al-Kaisi

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Fiction

Fajer Al-Kaisi gives a riveting performance of this fever dream of a debut, using his voice to ground listeners in character and setting, even as the story shifts between the past and present, New York and Saudi Arabia. In the turbulent 1990s, Youssef and his two brothers grow up with their adoptive father, Imam Salim, above Salim's Staten Island mosque. Al-Kaisi captures... Read More

A CIGARETTE LIT BACKWARDS

A CIGARETTE LIT BACKWARDS

by Tea Hacic-Vlahovic | Read by Tea Hacic-Vlahovic

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

With refreshing honesty and an empathetic tone, author Tea Hacic-Vlahovic narrates this first-person story of a music-obsessed teen named Kat who aspires to be part of the North Carolina punk-rock scene in the early 2000s. While attending a show, Kat achieves a measure of glory when a journalist snaps a photo of her sitting on the lap of a famous musician. With her youthful... Read More

THE CLOISTERS

THE CLOISTERS

by Katy Hays | Read by Emily Tremaine

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Emily Tremaine guides listeners into this sinister exploration of scholarship, the occult, and those driven by a desire for power. Ann's summer job at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art takes a sudden shift when she's assigned to The Cloisters, a museum of medieval art and architecture. There, she encounters a group of driven academics, well-versed in arcane... Read More

DAUGHTERS OF THE NEW YEAR

DAUGHTERS OF THE NEW YEAR

by E.M. Tran | Read by Lulu Lam

Harlequin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Lulu Lam is a versatile narrator, and it shows in this multigenerational novel centered on the women of the Trung family. Lam demonstrates her wide range when depicting Xuan Trung, the mother, who fled Vietnam, and her more Western daughters, Trac, Nhi, and Trieu. Lam nails the cadence for Xuan's dialogue by using a Vietnamese-inflected English that will ring true to anyone... Read More

DEMON COPPERHEAD

DEMON COPPERHEAD

Earphones Award Winner

by Barbara Kingsolver | Read by Charlie Thurston

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

DAVID COPPERFIELD is the starting point for this audiobook, but it's not a template. Narrator Charlie Thurston's fine regional accent takes listeners to southwest Virginia, a place that dives deep into the truths of rural poverty. Damon Fields tells his own story, as in the Dickens novel, but he faces difficulties beyond what the English author imagined. One such challenge is... Read More

DIDN'T NOBODY GIVE A SHIT WHAT HAPPENED TO CARLOTTA

DIDN'T NOBODY GIVE A SHIT WHAT HAPPENED TO CARLOTTA

by James Hannaham | Read by James Hannaham, Flame Monroe

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

When Carlotta Mercedes is paroled after 20 years and four parole board rejections, she finally gets to live her life as the woman she is instead of the man who went to prison. Author James Hannaham narrates the third-person elements of his novel in a straightforward manner. His performance gets a boost from trans comedian Flame Monroe as Carlotta, whose ruminations,... Read More

DINOSAURS

DINOSAURS

by Lydia Millet | Read by Paul Heitsch

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

It's an appealing premise: a story from the point of view of a man who walked from New York to Arizona. And this audiobook is indeed appealing, but not for that obvious reason. In the wake of a breakup, Gil's journey west has already taken place, and now he is settling into his new life alone. Paul Heitsch is an excellent narrator: clear with enunciation and sensitive to mood.... Read More

ELIZABETH FINCH

ELIZABETH FINCH

by Julian Barnes | Read by Justin Avoth

Recorded Books | Unabridged
Fiction

British actor Justin Avoth does a first-rate job narrating this confounding novel, a combination of love story and foray into ancient history. Avoth does his level best to keep the listener engaged with its characters. His narration gives the self-interested, angst-ridden Neil his very British due. The man sounds grounded in his culture, and Avoth's deliberate pace and Oxbridge... Read More

ENDLESS SUMMER

ENDLESS SUMMER Stories

by Elin Hilderbrand | Read by Erin Bennett

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Erin Bennett narrates nine short stories, chapters, and novellas, each based on beloved characters from the author's published novels, most of which take place on Nantucket. Bennett gives background on the new material and which published work it builds on. Some of these stories are prequels, some sequels, and some additional chapters that add to the original story. All are... Read More

THE FAMILY IZQUIERDO

THE FAMILY IZQUIERDO Stories

Earphones Award Winner

by Rubén Degollado | Read by Rogelio T. Ramos, Thom Rivera, Kyla Garcia, Frankie Corzo, Roxanne Hernandez, Carolina Hoyos

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

A luminous ensemble brings this delectable audiobook to life. Listeners follow three generations of the Izquierdo family. In 1958, Papa Tavo and Guadalupe moved from Reynosa to McAllen. The Izquierdos are sure a neighbor has placed a curse on them. They attribute all their sadness or bad luck to the curse. But not all the Izquierdos believe in this curse; listeners get a chance... Read More

FAMILY REMAINS

FAMILY REMAINS

by Lisa Jewell | Read by Dominic Thorburn, Bea Holland, Hugh Quarshie. Josh Dylan, Thomas Judd, Eleanor Tomlinson

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Bea Holland, Dominic Thorburn, Hugh Quarshie, Eleanor Tomlinson, Josh Dylan, and Thomas Judd create timeless characters as they narrate this intricate story about childhood trauma and its repercussions. The discovery of a decades-old body forces the characters to unearth secrets while desperately protecting family members from them. Portraying siblings, Holland and Thorburn... Read More

FLIGHT

FLIGHT

by Lynn Steger Strong | Read by Andi Arndt

Mariner Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Arriving just in time for the holiday season is this relatable family story of three adult siblings, Martin, Kate and Henry, and their respective spouses and children, who spend the three days before Christmas at Henry's upstate New York home. Narrator Andi Arndt beautifully expresses the complicated inner life of each character, as well as the bonds and tensions that exist... Read More

THE FORTUNES OF JADED WOMEN

THE FORTUNES OF JADED WOMEN

by Carolyn Huynh | Read by Vyvy Nguyen

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Vyvy Nguyen offers up a lively rendition of this multigenerational saga of contemporary Vietnamese American women. Depicting a cast of more than 14 characters, Nguyen delivers a variety of personalities and voices. She engages listeners in the characters' humorously messy lives and complicated family dynamics as they try to find a way to lift a curse placed on their... Read More

THE FURROWS

THE FURROWS

Earphones Award Winner

by Namwali Serpell | Read by Kristen Ariza, Ryan Vincent Anderson, Dion Graham

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Kristen Ariza, Ryan Vincent Anderson, and Dion Graham perform a powerful story about the lingering complexities of grief without closure. When Cassandra was a girl, her brother, Wayne, went missing, and his body was never found. Ariza narrates from the point of view of Cassandra, now an adult, and captures the intense longing that she experiences as she sees her brother's face... Read More

GET 'EM YOUNG, TREAT 'EM TOUGH, TELL 'EM NOTHING

GET 'EM YOUNG, TREAT 'EM TOUGH, TELL 'EM NOTHING

by Robin McLean | Read by Dion Graham, Sophie Amoss

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Dion Graham and Sophie Amoss narrate a short story collection overflowing with examples of how savage nature, fate, and life can be. The thread uniting the 10 morally unsettling stories is the inevitable crumbling of any plan, the phenomenon that anything that can go wrong most likely will. From a guard at a military base who is unable to leave before the invasion of an unknown... Read More

HAPPYISH

HAPPYISH

by Jeanette Escudero | Read by Vivia Font

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Vivia Font provides a vibrant characterization of Alex, who is having a challenging year made worse by learning she has a brain tumor. Alex is petrified; her sister died of cancer, and her family was devastated. Font successfully conveys Alex's stress by increasing her tempo and pitch. Reflecting on her sister's short life, Alex decides to travel. She hikes the Grand... Read More

THE HAUNTING OF HAJJI HOTAK AND OTHER STORIES

THE HAUNTING OF HAJJI HOTAK AND OTHER STORIES

by Jamil Jan Kochai | Read by Peter Ganim, Suehyla El-Attar Young, Fajer Al-Kaisi

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Peter Ganim, Suehyla El-Attar Young, and Fajer Al-Kaisi perform this critically acclaimed National Book Award finalist. Using fantastical elements and touches of the absurd, the short story collection features Afghan and Afghan American characters who are all dealing with the long-lasting devastation of America's war on terror. Young narrates stories centered around women who... Read More

THE HERO OF THIS BOOK

THE HERO OF THIS BOOK

by Elizabeth McCracken | Read by Elizabeth McCracken

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

When is a memoir not a memoir? In this audiobook, clearly labeled a novel, that question lurks around every corner. McCracken narrates her work with such plainspoken simplicity that the story seems real--as if the author were confiding to listeners. McCracken's protagonist reflects on the life of her beloved late mother while traveling alone to London. The flashbacks and... Read More

HOW NOT TO DROWN IN A GLASS OF WATER

HOW NOT TO DROWN IN A GLASS OF WATER

Earphones Award Winner

by Angie Cruz | Read by Rossmery Almonte, Kimberly M. Wetherell

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Rossmery Almonte's pitch-perfect narration of Angie Cruz's inventive new novel transports listeners into the tumultuous, funny, heartrending world of Cara Romero, a Dominican immigrant who loses her factory job in the 2008 Great Recession. Fifty-six-year-old Cara's meetings with an unemployment counselor quickly devolve into a narration of her life. Narrator Kimberly Wetherell... Read More

A HUNDRED OTHER GIRLS

A HUNDRED OTHER GIRLS

by Iman Hariri-Kia | Read by Lameece Issaq

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Lameece Issaq is the pithy, sarcastic, millennial Noora, who is passing time as a blogger while pursuing her dream of being a writer in New York City. This audiobook is a hilarious romp through the Upper East Side and the offices of "Vinyl," a hipster magazine that doesn't turn out to be the job Noora has always wanted. Issaq plays up the ingénue versus the bad boss... Read More

I AM THE LIGHT OF THIS WORLD

I AM THE LIGHT OF THIS WORLD

Earphones Award Winner

by Michael Parker | Read by Michael Crouch

Algonquin Books | Unabridged
Fiction

Michael Crouch gives such an intimate narration of Earl Boudreaux's story that listeners will be transported. They will believe they are sitting across from Earl himself, listening to how choices made on one fateful out-of-town trip changed his life forever. And Earl can tell a tale. He loves words and music, and incorporates each into his story, whether he is a lonely... Read More

IF I SURVIVE YOU

IF I SURVIVE YOU

Earphones Award Winner

by Jonathan Escoffery | Read by Torian Brackett

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Torian Brackett's skillful narration fully embodies the family at the center of this moving audiobook. Escoffery's short stories include issues of identity and survival, as well as difficult family relationships. Trelawny is the child of Jamaican parents who fled the violence there and went to Miami in the 1970s. Upon moving to the Midwest for college, he experiences culture... Read More

ILLUMINATIONS

ILLUMINATIONS Stories

by Alan Moore | Read by Laura Haddock, Rory Kinnear, Emilia Fox, Nina Sosanya, Samuel Barnett, Sian Clifford, Toby Jones, Matt Reeves, Clarke Peters, Alan Moore

Bloomsbury Publishing | Unabridged
Fiction

The author, known primarily for his iconic graphic novels, is English, so it's not surprising that several narrators of this stunning short story collection have British accents. The speculative stories vary in length and feature, among others, a woman whose brain hemispheres are severed, aliens who are trying to stay hidden despite a peculiar experience with time, and Jesus... Read More

IN MEMORY OF MEMORY

IN MEMORY OF MEMORY

by Maria Stepanova, Sasha Dugdale [Trans.] | Read by Inger Tudor

New Directions | Unabridged
Fiction

More a treatise on the nature of memory than a novel, Stepanova's work recounts a woman's life as it is lived parallel to the tumultuous history of the Soviet Union. Inger Tudor's beautiful and compelling narration soon draws the listener in. Tudor's capable performance makes accessible even the most metaphysical descriptions of memory and human cognition. The story opens with... Read More

IN THE FIELD

IN THE FIELD

by Rachel Pastan | Read by Xe Sands

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Fiction

Xe Sands's low, gravelly voice shines in this historical novel inspired by the life of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Barbara McClintock. Kate Croft arrives at Cornell in 1920 with a fierce love for science, but soon learns how hard it is for a queer woman to succeed as a biologist. Though she's constantly ignored and ridiculed by the men in her field, Kate persists. Xe Sands's... Read More

LARK ASCENDING

LARK ASCENDING

by Silas House | Read by Charlie Thurston

Workman Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Charlie Thurston narrates the troubling story of struggle and survival in this apocalyptic novel. The U.S. has been mostly destroyed by political extremism and fires. Hearing rumors that Ireland will accept American refugees, Lark and his family take an overloaded boat across the sea. Upon arrival, Lark, the only survivor on the ship, is not welcomed, as he expected, and soon... Read More

THE LAST CHAIRLIFT

THE LAST CHAIRLIFT

by John Irving | Read by Jacques Roy, Raquel Beattie, Cassandra Campbell, Chris Henry Coffey, Piper Goodeve, Em Grosland, et al.

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Jacques Roy does the heavy lifting in this update from the chronicler of American sexual politics and champion of nontraditional families. Harkening back to his first hit, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, this novel plays the same chorus with new verses. The ensemble voices in this behemoth of an audiobook take part in the imagined screenplays that are part of the novel.... Read More

LIBERATION DAY

LIBERATION DAY Stories

Earphones Award Winner

by George Saunders | Read by George Saunders, Tina Fey, Michael McKean, Edi Patterson, Jenny Slate, Jack McBrayer, Melora Hardin, Stephen Root

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

George Saunders has won many awards for his writing. His skill as an author and as a narrator is on display here. He delivers the first and last stories in this audio collection, bookending an excellent cast. All nine of the stories focus on people with problematic identities, and each narrator embodies his or her protagonist's particular problem in an appropriate and evocative... Read More

THE LIGHT PIRATE

THE LIGHT PIRATE

Earphones Award Winner

by Lily Brooks-Dalton | Read by Rosemary Benson

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

A captivating performance by Rosemary Benson highlights this arresting dystopian story of a woman's struggle to survive in a dying world. Rising water levels; monster storms; and blistering, deadly heat have left Florida and its population devastated. Born during a massive storm, Wanda grew up watching her surroundings deteriorate and learning how to survive. In this post... Read More

LUNGFISH

LUNGFISH

by Meghan Gilliss | Read by Devon Sorvari

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Devon Sorvari gives a stunning performance of this timely and powerfully affecting audiobook about a young family in dire circumstances. Tuck; her husband, Paul; and their young daughter, Agnes, squat in her late grandmother's home on a remote Maine island, which has been willed to Tuck's long absent father. The family's meager funds are being depleted by Paul, who is addicted... Read More

MAD HONEY

MAD HONEY

by Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan | Read by Carrie Coon, Key Taw, Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Raw and timely, this audiobook is a must listen. Olivia McAfee rebuilt her life in New Hampshire, returning to her family farm to work as a beekeeper and raise her teenage son, Asher. He falls in love with Lily Campanello, who has moved there with her mother for a fresh start. When Lily is found dead and Asher is arrested for murder, their lives are dissected to uncover the... Read More

MADWOMAN

MADWOMAN

by Louisa Treger | Read by Laurel Lefkow

Bloomsbury Publishing | Unabridged
Fiction

The author opens with a note acknowledging the liberties she took with the facts of Nellie Bly's early life in this historical fiction audiobook. Treger takes us from Nellie's childhood in Pittsburgh to her groundbreaking investigative reporting at Blackwell's Asylum in New York City in the late nineteenth century. Laurel Lefkow's narration is uneven and detached. She uses... Read More

A MAP FOR THE MISSING

A MAP FOR THE MISSING

by Belinda Huijuan Tang | Read by Austin Ku

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Austin Ku captures the rhythms and tone of Chinese folktales within the contemporary pace and observations of Tang's debut novel. A professor at a California university receives an urgent phone call from his mother in China. He must return home to his family's rural village to help search for his aging father, who is missing. Taking place in the fascinating time... Read More

MAPS OF OUR SPECTACULAR BODIES

MAPS OF OUR SPECTACULAR BODIES

by Maddie Mortimer | Read by Tamsin Greig, Lydia Wilson

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Lydia Wilson and Tamsin Greig deliver complementary performances to tell the story of Lia, a British woman whose cancer has just come out of remission. Wilson narrates the sections of the novel from Lia's perspective, jumping back and forth from Lia's adolescence when she was growing up the daughter of a minister to the present when she is battling her cancer once again.... Read More

MARIGOLD AND ROSE

MARIGOLD AND ROSE

by Louise Glück | Read by Louise Glück

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrating her own work, the Nobel Prize-winning poet Louise Glück offers her first work of fiction, a meditation on language, identity, motherhood, and death as experienced by not-yet-one-year-old twins Marigold and Rose. The pair are opposites: Rose is the "good" baby--pretty, happy, and social--whereas, Marigold is "difficult" and introspective. But Marigold is also a writer... Read More

THE MARSH QUEEN

THE MARSH QUEEN

by Virginia Hartman | Read by Cassandra Campbell

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This audiobook is bound to appeal to fans of mysteries and family dramas alike. Loni Murrow returns home to Florida to help with her aging mother. Inevitably, events transpire that force Loni to contend with unsettled aspects of her childhood, and this is where the mystery begins. Cassandra Campbell, always a strong narrator, does a fine job with this somewhat loosely told... Read More

THE MATCHMAKER'S GIFT

THE MATCHMAKER'S GIFT

by Lynda Cohen Loigman | Read by Eva Kaminsky, Gabra Zackman

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Eva Kaminsky and Gabra Zackman gloriously perform this charming dual-timeline audiobook. Zackman portrays Sara, a young, Jewish woman who lives on the Lower East Side in the 1910s. She has an extraordinary gift for matchmaking that is being challenged by the established Jewish male marriage brokers. Kaminsky depicts Sara's granddaughter, Abby, a 20-something divorce attorney in... Read More

MY PEN IS THE WING OF A BIRD

MY PEN IS THE WING OF A BIRD New Fiction by Afghan Women

by | Read by Sitara Attaie

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Sitara Attaie is a strong choice to narrate these compelling short stories written by modern Afghani women. She delivers the variety of fictional experiences found in this unique volume, maximizing the power inherent in the wide-ranging, timely, and compelling storylines. Listeners are treated to stories of individuals who are struggling for personal autonomy against history,... Read More

NIGHTS OF PLAGUE

NIGHTS OF PLAGUE

by Orhan Pamuk, Ekin Oklap [Trans.] | Read by Amira Ghazalla

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Amira Ghazalla delivers a quietly powerful performance of Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk's investigation into the ways people react when faced with a health epidemic. In 1901, the dreaded bubonic plague appears on the fictional island of Mingheria, part of the weakening Ottoman Empire. A doctor's wife writes letters to her sister, describing the events as they unfold. A... Read More

NOBODY GETS OUT ALIVE

NOBODY GETS OUT ALIVE Stories

by Leigh Newman | Read by Carlotta Brentan, Erin deWard, Sean Patrick Hopkins, Jackie Sanders, Aven Shore, Erin Ruth Walker

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

This ensemble performance of Newman's loosely interconnected short stories is sure to captivate listeners. Six voice artists present tales related to Alaska as a place of memories, destination, last resort, and reinvention. Carlotta Brentan, Erin deWard, Jackie Sanders, Aven Shore, and Erin Ruth Walker tell stories of women battling both the wild landscape and the... Read More

NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO PANIC

NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO PANIC

Earphones Award Winner

by Kevin Wilson | Read by Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Wilson [Note]

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Ginnifer Goodwin expertly matches the author's intensity in this singular novel, which delves into the depths of friendship and art. When Frankie receives a phone call threatening to unravel a decades-old secret, she flashes back to the summer when she was a smart, introverted, somewhat sad girl of 16. That was the summer she met Zeke, a new boy with a similar nature.... Read More

THE PASSENGER

THE PASSENGER The Passenger, Book 1

Earphones Award Winner

by Cormac McCarthy | Read by MacLeod Andrews, Julia Whelan

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Candidly, some works of fiction--those in which tone, literary style, and sound matter--work very well (maybe better) as audiobooks. The protagonists of this audiobook are superbly portrayed by MacLeod Andrews and Julia Whelan. They are gifted mimics and switch off in this braided tale of loss, hopeless love, and social collapse. Both plumb the depths of the wounded brother and... Read More

THE PEOPLE OF OSTRICH MOUNTAIN

THE PEOPLE OF OSTRICH MOUNTAIN

Earphones Award Winner

by Ndirangu Githaiga | Read by Lee Goettl

Ndirangu Githaiga | Unabridged
Fiction

Lee Goettl exquisitely re-creates life in a Kenyan village from the 1950s to the present. Listeners meet 14-year-old Wambui, her family, and villagers who work hard and try to protect each other from neighboring tribes that raid homes and kill. When Wambui attends a girls' school in Nairobi, she sees an alluring world. Goettl's emotive style shapes indelible... Read More

PEOPLE PERSON

PEOPLE PERSON

Earphones Award Winner

by Candice Carty-Williams | Read by Danielle Vitalis

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Danielle Vitalis delivers a stunning performance of this family drama set in London, which will have listeners hanging on every word. Cyril Pennington's five children barely know each other, but when one of them, aspiring social influencer Dimple, seems to have accidentally killed her on-again, off-again boyfriend in self-defense, all four of her half-siblings show up to help.... Read More

THE RABBIT HUTCH

THE RABBIT HUTCH

by Tess Gunty | Read by Tess Gunty, Scott Brick, Suzanne Toren, Kirby Heyborne, Kyla Garcia

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Author Tess Gunty and four acclaimed narrators present this unique debut novel set in the La Lapiniere Affordable Housing complex, which is generally called "The Rabbit Hutch." Narrator Suzanne Toren captures the personality of the young resident Blondine, who is obsessed with the writings of female Christian mystics. Scott Brick sounds gentle yet sinister as he portrays the... Read More

THE REAL MRS. TOBIAS

THE REAL MRS. TOBIAS

by Sally Koslow | Read by Kendra Hoffman, Callie Beaulieu

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Callie Beaulieu and Kendra Hoffman narrate this contemporary multigenerational audiobook set in New York City and Iowa. Their contrasting vocal styles create an uneven listening experience. The story is mainly told from the perspectives of three women--controlling Jewish matriarch Veronika, a psychiatrist; her down-to-earth daughter-in-law, Mel, a social worker; and Mel's... Read More

SCATTERED ALL OVER THE EARTH

SCATTERED ALL OVER THE EARTH

by Yoko Tawada, Margaret Mitsutani [Trans.] | Read by Cindy Kay

Tantor Media | Unabridged
Fiction

The first installment in a trilogy, this audiobook is about language first and foremost. It begins with the story of Hiruko--a climate refugee from the "land of sushi." Japan no longer exists, but Hiruko is searching for someone who can speak her language. Along her journey, she collects new friends and fellow travelers. Cindy Kay narrates the backstories of Hiruko's six new... Read More

SEASONS OF PURGATORY

SEASONS OF PURGATORY

by Shahriar Mandanipour, Sara Khalili [Trans.] | Read by Fajer Al-Kaisi

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Iranian author Mandanipour has written a beautiful and tragic book of short stories, and Fajer Al-Kaisi's narration makes them even more urgent and visceral. Modern Iranian life--including graphic descriptions of warfare and urban sectarian violence--is often juxtaposed with the beauty of the ancient Persian way of life, or at least the imagined versions of many of the tortured... Read More

SEVEN EMPTY HOUSES

SEVEN EMPTY HOUSES

by Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell [Trans.] | Read by Yareli Arizmendi, Gisela Chípe, Ines del Castillo, Daisy Guevara, Lee Osorio, Elena Rey, Victoria Villarreal

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Seven talented narrators capture the unsettling and weird nature of this collection of seven stories. The longest story is deftly narrated by Mexican actor Yareli Arizmendi. Lola, an elderly woman who is losing her mind and wants to die, can't manage to make it happen. The talented Daisy Guevara narrates the most nerve-wracking story in which she convincingly voices an... Read More

SHRINES OF GAIETY

SHRINES OF GAIETY

by Kate Atkinson | Read by Jason Watkins

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Jason Watkins dazzles listeners with his performance of this historical fiction set in London during the Roaring Twenties. The queen of Soho nightlife, Nellie Coker, is released from prison at the same time that a series of girls goes missing. Now she must defend her empire from enemies who would like nothing more than to see her ruined. As we meet the many players in this... Read More

SIGNAL MOON

SIGNAL MOON A Short Story

Earphones Award Winner

by Kate Quinn | Read by Saskia Maarleveld, Andrew Gibson

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

The touch of fantasy interjected into this compelling audiobook is a unique departure from author Kate Quinn's usual historical fiction. Gifted narrator Saskia Maarleveld portrays a member of the British Women's Royal Naval Service (WREN) who is monitoring radio transmissions from Nazi ships in 1943. Andrew Gibson portrays an American radio operator who is sending out a... Read More

THE SKI JUMPERS

THE SKI JUMPERS

Earphones Award Winner

by Peter Geye | Read by Robert Fass

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

As Robert Fass narrates this wintry audiobook, he invigorates the characters through intelligent pacing and a fine storyteller's tone and empathy. The novel reveals a family's memories and long-held secrets through accounts of their participation in soaring ski-jumping competitions. One family member, a writer who is given a diagnosis of early-onset dementia, unearths dark... Read More

SMALL ANGELS

SMALL ANGELS

by Lauren Owen | Read by Daphne Kouma, Tamsin Kennard, Rebecca Lee, Eleanor Yates

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Rebecca Lee is joined by several others as Chloe prepares for her dream wedding to Sam at a small church beside Mockbeggar Woods, outside the village where Sam grew up. Little does Chloe know that the church is available only because the villagers, including Sam's family, know Mockbeggar's history. The distinguished voices of the other narrators make the most of the... Read More

SPELLS FOR FORGETTING

SPELLS FOR FORGETTING

by Adrienne Young | Read by Emily Rankin, Dan Bittner, Mark Deakins, Kimberly Farr, Ari Fliakos, Dawn Harvey, Carrington MacDuffie, Kirsten Potter, Oliver Wyman

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

An ensemble of nine move through the past and present with each giving their point of view in a single chapter. When August returns after 14 years to bury his mother's ashes in the small island town of Saiorse, he sets in motion the unearthing of all the town's secrets, including the truth behind his friend's murder. The abundance of one-chapter narrations makes the numerous... Read More

STORIES FROM THE TENANTS DOWNSTAIRS

STORIES FROM THE TENANTS DOWNSTAIRS

Earphones Award Winner

by Sidik Fofana | Read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Nile Bullock, Sidik Fofana, Dominic Hoffman, DePre Owens, André Santana, Bahni Turpin, Jade Wheeler

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

After a moody jazz riff, Sidik Fofana and a stand-out cast of performers transport listeners to the Banneker Terrace apartments in Harlem. Written in vibrant Black American vernacular, these witty, sad, uplifting stories are ideal for audio. Joniece Abbott-Pratt's Mimi is a beautician behind on the rent. Fofana's Swan might mess up because of a visitor. André Santana's Darius... Read More

SWEET, SOFT, PLENTY RHYTHM

SWEET, SOFT, PLENTY RHYTHM

by Laura Warrell | Read by Nicole Lewis

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Nicole Lewis performs a chorus of voices in this multi-perspective story, which centers on Circus, a middle-aged jazz musician who has just left his pregnant girlfriend. From there, we jump between the perspectives of the other women in Circus's life, including his ex-wife, his daughter, and a seemingly endless string of hookups. With so many points of view, this audiobook... Read More

TAINNA

TAINNA

by Norma Dunning | Read by Tanis Parenteau, Eric Schweig

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

In TAINNA, which means "the unseen ones," Inuk-Canadian author Norma Dunning brings together six short stories centered on Inuit characters living in southern Canada. Appropriately, the narrators themselves are Indigenous Canadian actors, with the feminine narration provided by emotive Tanis Parenteau and the masculine narration by baritone-voiced Eric Schweig. The stories... Read More

THEY CAN'T TAKE YOUR NAME

THEY CAN'T TAKE YOUR NAME

by Robert Justice | Read by JD Jackson

Dreamscape | Unabridged
Fiction

Rich-voiced narrator JD Jackson is an essential strength of this fictional account of wrongful conviction, corruption, and racism. Langston Brown is on death row after being convicted of a deadly bank robbery dubbed the "Mother's Day Massacre." His daughter, Liza, is desperately trying to clear his name. She meets Eli Stone, owner of a jazz club in Denver's Five Points... Read More

THE TOWN OF BABYLON

THE TOWN OF BABYLON

by Alejandro Varela | Read by Timothy Andrés Pabon

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
Fiction

Timothy Pabon gives a masterful performance of this masterful debut. Andrés, a gay Latinx professor, returns to his hometown to take care of his aging parents. While there, he attends his 20th high school reunion and reckons with his past. Pabon expertly brings Andrés to life, portraying him in warm tones that sometimes spiral into self-righteous indignation. Andrés's... Read More

UNNATURAL CREATURES

UNNATURAL CREATURES A Novel of the Frankenstein Women

Earphones Award Winner

by Kris Waldherr | Read by Barrie Kreinik

Muse Publications | Unabridged
Fiction

Barrie Kreinik narrates this reimagining of Mary Shelly's classic novel FRANKENSTEIN. Set in the late eighteenth century, when revolutions are rife in Europe, the story is told through three women in Victor's Frankenstein's life. Kreinik develops a strong persona for his mother, Caroline, who is devoted to her son, the rest of her family, and the less fortunate. One such... Read More

WE ARE THE LIGHT

WE ARE THE LIGHT

Earphones Award Winner

by Matthew Quick | Read by Luke Kirby

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Matthew Quick's latest novel, told through letters written by Lucas Goodgame, is brought to life by Luke Kirby's heartrending narration. Kirby is the voice of Lucas, who is reading letters written to Karl, his Jungian analyst, as Lucas tries to cope with the tragedy that shattered his life and the lives of all the citizens of Majestic, Pennsylvania. Kirby lets listeners feel... Read More

WE SPREAD

WE SPREAD

Earphones Award Winner

by Iain Reid | Read by Robin Miles

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Robin Miles provides such a commanding performance that she maintains a grip on the listener even as events of this story become less clear. Penny is an artist recently widowed by her prolific partner. After a fall at home, thoughtful and reserved Penny finds herself spirited to an assisted living home, where she finds just a few other residents living under increasingly... Read More

WHEN WE WERE SISTERS

WHEN WE WERE SISTERS

by Fatimah Asghar | Read by Farah Kidwai, Kamran Khan, Deepti Gupta

Random House Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

When poets become novelists, their prose can have a lyrical, mesmerizing quality. This is definitely the case with this heartfelt family drama about three orphaned sisters, beautifully performed by Farah Kidwai, Kamran Khan, and Deepti Gupta. The trio of narrators shine as Noreen, Aisha, and Kausar, who are left with a mercenary uncle after their father's untimely death. This... Read More

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON

by Ryan Lee Wong | Read by Scott Takeda

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Scott Takeda dazzles in his narration of this thought-provoking novel. After a Black man is killed at the hands of an Asian American police officer, Reed decides he's going to drop out of college and devote himself to activist work full time. But both his parents used to do activist work, and in a series of conversations with them and their former comrades, Reed begins to... Read More

THE WILD HUNT

THE WILD HUNT

by Emma Seckel | Read by Ruth Urquhart

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Ruth Urquhart takes on this long-winded tale of a mysterious disappearance and the hunt for a missing lad on a sparsely populated Scottish island. Leigh Welles, depressed and disappointed with life, believes in the mysterious sluagh--legendary, bloodthirsty, soul-stealing Celtic creatures who haunt the island in October. When a local boy goes missing, Welles searches... Read More

THE WINNERS

THE WINNERS Beartown, Book 3

Earphones Award Winner

by Fredrik Backman | Read by Marin Ireland

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

By now, the Beartown series without Marin Ireland's confident narration would be unimaginable. She maintains her consistently high standard, often with moving and ultimately heartbreaking results. Backman's latest installment finds the residents of the beleaguered hockey town grappling with a severe approaching storm, while a mounting series of backdoor deals threaten the... Read More

THE WITCHES OF MOONSHYNE MANOR

THE WITCHES OF MOONSHYNE MANOR

by Bianca Marais | Read by Amy Landon

Harlequin Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Narrator Amy Landon delivers an enchanting mystery, in which five octogenarian witches must find a magical artifact to save their manor. Landon adopts a variety of vocal skills to embody unique characters. Surly Queenie uses magic to invent, seductive Jezebel is gifted with charm, brilliant Ivy manipulates plants, gentle Ursula is clairvoyant, and resentful Tabby connects with... Read More

THE WOMEN COULD FLY

THE WOMEN COULD FLY

by Megan Giddings | Read by Angel Pean

Harper Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

Angel Pean delivers a thrilling performance of a story set in an alternative future in which unmarried women aged 28 and older must register with the government. As Jo's 28th birthday looms, she learns that her mother, who disappeared years earlier, left her something in her will. But Jo must take a trip to a remote island to claim it. Pean skillfully captures the suspenseful... Read More

THE WONDERS

THE WONDERS

by Elena Medel, Thomas Bunstead, Lizzie Davis [Translators] | Read by Rebecca Gibel

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
Fiction

There are moments in this audiobook when narrator Rebecca Gibel captures scenes so vividly that the listener is transported. But the time shifts in the story keep the listener distanced from the characters--despite Gibel's best efforts. Maria is living in 1960s Madrid with all the limitations a woman in that place and time must endure. Alicia, Maria's granddaughter, lives in... Read More

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