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 partnership with AudioFile, offers this month’s picks of the newest do-not-miss titles.
From a new book by the author of Room, to a collection read by the nation’s first Native American Poet Laureate, to a hilarious tale of two elderly spies, September is the perfect month to start up a new audiobook.
So hit play and enjoy!
A 79-year-old and 11 year-old take the trip of a lifetime together to the French Riviera in Akin (Hachette Audio) by Emma Donoghue. This tale is performed with just the right mix of attitudes by Jason Culp. Do they want to kill each other occasionally? Yes. Will you be hooked? Yes.
America’s Poet Laureate Joy Harjo – the first Native American to hold that post – is a teacher, musician, and playwright, as well as poet. Her musicality lifts the poetry collection, An American Sunrise (Blackstone), about Native American trails of tears, past and present, into a special realm.
In a refreshingly fun, you-can-do-this reading, Elizabeth Cline tells us how to get rid of the stuff we don’t wear or love, and do it in a sustainable way that won’t fill the local dump or ruin the economy of an African village. Yes, junk clothes can do that. In The Conscious Closet (Penguin Audio), she guides us toward restocking without ‘fast fashion’ and looking better for it. It’s way easier than you think.
In The Dearly Beloved (Simon & Schuster Audio) by Cara Wall, two guys and two gals meet in college – two are seminarians, one’s an atheist, the fourth is just trying to get along. The lives they go on to lead are filled with interest, passion, heartbreak, and joy; and best of all, Kathy Keane’s narration loops you into the group until you won’t want your shared story to end.
Kathleen Early masterfully voices the central characters in this gripping continuation of Karin Slaughter’s series, The Last Widow (Blackstone). Fan favorites Georgia Bureau of Investigations agent Will Trent and his colleague and lover Dr. Sara Linton return in full force. First, an infectious disease specialist is abducted from the CDC; then Sara is kidnapped by a group of domestic terrorists. This is a tense one.
Gerard Doyle aces this short and uncommonly satisfying audiobook by Mick Herron. In The Marylebone Drop (Recorded Books), two old spies just want to do their jobs the way they know how. The problem is that their bosses are too 21st century to understand. A tribute and a send-up, this’ll have you smiling from the first word.
A coming of age ceremony for 16-year-old Melody in a Brooklyn brownstone sets the stage for Red at the Bone (Penguin Audio) by Jacqueline Woodson. This involving story weaves together three generations of women and the families they create. Read by four outstanding narrators–Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small, and Bahni Turpin–plus the double-talented author.
In The Snakes (Harper Audio) by Sadie Jones, we see just how far families will go to preserve their privilege and wealth, even beyond the grave. In a single-handed full-cast performance, Imogen Church introduces us to Bea and Dan, who dip into their meager savings to visit Bea’s brother in France. Then her brother disappears. That’s when it gets truly weird and fascinating.
January LaVoy captivates in this fantasy by Alix E. Harrow about an impossible, marvelous journey. In The Ten Thousand Doors of January (Hachette), it’s the 19th century, and young January Scaller finds a book about magical doors between worlds. When her adventuring father goes missing, January decides to find him by opening such a door.
Eileen Stevens and Jesse Vilinsky channel the tension in the stunning debut thriller-romance Wilder Girls (Blackstone) by Rory Power. Students at a remote girls’ boarding school have been abandoned to cope with an insidious illness inside ‘the fence’ and other horrors beyond the fence. When one of the girls vanishes, her closest friend decides to brave every danger to find her.