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.
by Isha Sesay, read by Isha Sesay
Former CNN reporter Isha Sesay offers a passionate, articulate report on the return of Nigeria’s Chibok schoolgirls, who were kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram. Sesay’s blending of personal anecdote with reportage is riveting and helps make this an unforgettable listen.
This is the third of Leonard Goldberg’s popular mysteries featuring the detective offspring of those famous Victorian sleuths, Holmes and Watson. Luckily for listeners, Steve West narrates every title. So, once you’ve binge-listened to the pair track down a missing government cryptographer and tangle with German spies (it’s 1915), you can hear the earlier books.
Two wonderful narrators spin magic in Isabel Allende’s newest novel about an orphaned servant in Latin America who weaves fabulous tales – and collects equally fantastical stories – about the eccentric households where she works. Building on her famous books, The House of the Spirits and Of Love & Shadows, this is a remarkable portrait of a woman and a country.
by Lorene Cary, read by Lorene Cary
Lorene Cary reads her painful, funny, honest, and loving memoir about the year her 100-year-old grandmother moved in, with just the right blend of clarity and wry humor. Her grandmother’s mind wasn’t always perfect, as she herself said – “The fix I’m in, I can’t trust the Lord Jesus Christ right now.” But with a mix of no-nonsense and kindness, they all triumphed, as will listeners.
Allan Robertson transforms Bill Geist’s delightful remembrances of his 1960s summers at his uncle’s Ozark hotel into one of the funniest performances ever. His timing is perfect whether describing cesspool cleaning in mud boots or cooking evening meals for lodge customers when the hungover chef was indisposed. Expect laughter-induced tears.
Luis Moreno reads Jones’s thrilling second mystery with warmth and great rhythm that captures both its heart and pulse-pounding action. Set in Detroit, the story stars ex-cop August Snow, whose community, Mexicantown, falls prey to an insidious human trafficking system with roots in immigration enforcement.
You may think you know what happened during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, but whoa, you really don’t. And as told by Jacques Roy in a finely nuanced performance, the tale of one of the worst disasters in human history is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat ride.
Brief, moving, and lucid, the late E. B. White’s essays on what makes a democracy work are eloquently voiced by Arthur Morey, whose pleasant voice, with a hint of a rasp, is endlessly listenable. The beloved author of Charlotte’s Web was a sharp observer of life, and his skewering and witty comments on the bigoted and the boorish of his fellow citizens are as relevant today as they were in the 1940s.
In the latest installment in Chris Pavone’s Kate Moore series, Mozhan Marnò continues the terrific performance that has made these such stand-out suspense novels. The propulsive plot involves a bomb at the Gard du Nord and a suicide bomber at the Louvre. Marnò ratchets the tension tight in a narration filled with expression, personality, and background colors.
A beautiful actress, 37 weeks pregnant, is killed in a plane crash. Miraculously, her baby survives. So begin Mark Haddon’s mesmerizing retelling of Shakespeare’s Pericles. Masterfully performed by Tim McInnerny in a performance you’ll find hard to switch off, the fantastical story focuses on that baby and her difficult growing up. In Shakespeare’s play, she’s almost forgotten. In Haddon and McInnerny’s version, she tells the tale and oh my, what a tale.