Every month, AudioFile Magazine reviewers and editors give “Earphones Awards” to the best new audiobooks — the listens that combine blow-you-away narrations with standout writing. BookTrib, thanks to our new partnership with AudioFile, offers this month’s picks of the newest do-not-miss titles – memoirs and bios first, some fiction, and a history book that reads like the best thriller. Don’t forget your earbuds.
David Thorpe’s enthusiastic reading adds technicolor to the rich descriptions of fourteenth-century Cambridge in this mystery about a murderous number of people dying during harsh weather. The ninth in Gregory’s popular series offers Thorpe ample scope for his clever portrayal of the unlikely investigators, physician Matthew Bartholomew and Brother Michael. He also leaps at the opportunity to bring all the other well-drawn characters to life is a story that’s both fun and true to historical fact.
Diane Lane delights in her performance of this thought-provoking and funny entertainment about a savvy Hollywood dealmaker who tries to convince an evangelical author to make some changes to a movie adaptation of his popular marriage guide. You may know Lane’s voice, but here she uses it to let Sittenfeld’s clever work shine. An all-around win.
The narrators in this involving family epic about three Palestinian women in America and the old county meld and build upon each other’s performances beautifully. A mother, daughter, and mother-in-law share the experience of arranged marriage, but feel they share nothing. The truth is in between in this intense and fascinating novel.
Cassandra Campbell’s lyrical, flowing narration underpins this story about a woman’s journey of self-discovery. At once urgent and contemplative, this timely and timeless novel focuses on Elsey, a painter and married mother living in China who has taken to drinking instead of creating art. Urged by her husband to find help, she attends a yoga retreat and discovers many truths, not the least of which about herself.
By Julian Treasure, read by Julian Treasure
Hail one of those rare commodities – an author who reads fantastically well. Julian Treasure is a star of the TED Talk series, which helps explain the Englishman’s fluidity. A communications expert with an understanding of the neurology of sound, Treasure offers a compilation of his most popular TED Talks that will elevate the way listeners connect with others, whether they’re giving a professional talk, persuading a colleague, or deepening a personal relationship.
By Isaac Mizrahi, read by Isaac Mizrahi
Fashion designer and television personality Isaac reads his engrossing and witty memoir in a marvelously fluid and engaging manner. Growing up gay in 1960s Brooklyn in a Syrian-Jewish Orthodox family was a challenge that he portrays with raw emotion and a good leavening of humor. A vivid writer, Mizrahi enlivens the already lively story with telling people portraits and color-filled descriptions of the fashion world then and now.
Presented by Senator Amy Klobuchar, these 48 stories about standing up for what is right represent different forms of persistence, whether for love or against grief, depression, prejudice, societal constrictions, or bullying.
The fine narrators are well matched to the essays in terms of age, making it seem as though the authors are reading their own works. These are powerful stories of resilience that are well worth sharing.
Jim Dale performs his magic in this marvelous reconsideration of Beauty and the Beast from the Beast’s point of view. He channels the lonely, thoughtful, immensely moving Beast as he battles his inner demons. And when the joy comes – wow! This is a totally captivating listen.
Adjoa Andoh lends diverse accents and impressive power to this compelling fantasy from the author of space operas. In it, we follow Eolo of the country Iraden, who must balance the demands of the ravenous Raven God with the mystery of why Iraden’s ruler has disappeared.
Is the ruler the rightful heir? Who should be sacrificed to the Raven God? This is a powerful story of gods, politics, and revenge.
The ensemble cast for this ripped-from-the-headlines suspense novel really delivers the goods. British teenagers are dying in sordid conditions in Thailand. A Thai-based BBC reporter finds herself becoming more than an observer. A mother barely copes with the horror. An English detective chases the threads of the story back home. And, in flashback, we hear from the victims. Prepare to listen well beyond your bedtime.
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