Every month, AudioFile Magazine reviewers and editors select the best new audiobooks — from memoirs to satire, historical fiction to mystery and cultural commentary. These listening recommendations offer plenty of variety, inspiration and escape. Queue up these audiobooks.

Remote Control
by Nnedi Okorafor | Read by Adjoa Andoh (Macmillan Audio)

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Adjoa Andoh captivates listeners with a stunning new sci-fi novella set in a near-future Ghana. Andoh is perfectly in tune with Okorafor’s compelling story, smoothly switching between her British accent as the narrator and the intonations of the vibrant characters she brings to life. As a young girl, Sankofa gains incredible power and then kills everyone she loves in a tragic accident, setting her on a solo quest around Ghana.

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
by Deesha Philyaw | Read by Janina Edwards (Tantor Media)

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Janina Edwards masterfully performs this short story collection — a National Book Award finalist for fiction — featuring Black women. Though they differ in age and context, they struggle with loneliness, sexual connection, and the ever-present and contradictory lessons of the church. Edwards’s soft, gentle voice gives power to the prose, which explores love, sexuality, self-acceptance and family in contemporary Black America.

Concrete Rose
by Angie Thomas | Read by Dion Graham (Harper Audio)

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Dion Graham shines bright in this YA prequel, set 17 years before the events in the bestseller The Hate U Give. Narrating in the first person as Maverick, Graham is tasked with delivering internal and external dialogue. We hear the fast-paced, sometimes frantic, thoughts of a Black teenage boy in way over his head. When Graham slips between Maverick’s internal and external voices, listeners feel as though they are living inside this emotionally fraught, well-paced audiobook. Once you start listening, you won’t want to stop.

Written in the Stars
by Alexandria Bellefleur | Read by Lauren Sweet (Harper Audio)

Lauren Sweet’s narration enhances the comedic, charming and sensual elements of this audiobook to make it a star of a rom-com. Actuary Darcy is as regimented as her statistical analyses. Astrologist Elle is her opposite — spacey and colorful. Both are pressured by family to find love, inspiring the two to fake a relationship during the holidays despite their disastrous first date. Naturally, all the time they spend faking their ruse leads to real feelings.

Zikora
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Read by Adepero Oduye (Brilliance Audio)

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

When the titular Zikora, a high-powered Nigerian lawyer in DC, finds she is pregnant at age 39, her equally high-powered lawyer boyfriend, Kwame, promptly leaves her, and Zikora’s mother comes to help out. The multitalented actress, director, singer and writer Adepero Oduye provides an outstanding Nigerian-accented narration of this short story, charting Zikora’s thoughts and feelings surrounding her failed relationship, her attempts to navigate new motherhood as a professional woman, and her developing understanding of her own mother’s challenging relationship with Zikora’s father in Nigeria.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
by Charlie Mackesy | Read by Charlie Mackesy (Harper Audio)

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Author and narrator Charlie Mackesy presents a heartwarming performance of an unlikely group of animal friends as they converse about life, hope, fear and kindness while exploring the world around them. Delicate music and real wildlife sounds transform this audiobook into a meditative and therapeutic experience, and Mackesy uses a leisurely pace to allow listeners to savor each segment, adopting a gentle and lighthearted tone as each character reveals their own wisdom.

The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Read by Sean Astin (Dreamscape)

This interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 masterpiece by narrator Sean Astin adds new layers of pathos and empathy to the classic story. As portrayed by Astin, young Nick Carraway reveals his entanglement with the mysterious and eclectic millionaire Jay Gatsby in a youthful timbre and naïve tone. Astin shines while describing the Roaring 20s’ decadent parties and Gatsby’s unrequited love and inevitable end. Astin’s interpretation gives Gatsby’s loss new emotions. Nailing the iconic ending, Astin channels Nick’s longing to comprehend what has happened to him.

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
by Jennifer L. Armentrout| Read by Stina Nielsen (Brilliance Audio)

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Picking up after an explosive cliff-hanger, Stina Nielsen narrates a captivating fantasy romance in which a young woman struggles to overcome betrayal. The man Poppy fell in love with is the Prince of Atlantia. Now she finds herself surrounded by Atlantians and wolvens, all eager for her blood. Nielsen imbues every character with a distinct voice and captures an impressive array of genders, ages and accents. The banter between Poppy and Cas brims with simmering romantic tension.

Last Dance
by Jeffrey Fleishman | Read by Richard Ferrone (Blackstone Audio)

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

The gruff and gravelly voice of Richard Ferrone matches the hard-boiled and unflinching homicide detective Sam Carver perfectly. Fleishman’s second in what one hopes is a long series continues with a dead Russian ballerina and enough smog, blood, lust and contemporary political intrigue to harken back to Chandler and Hammett. Ferrone’s performance of Carver growls with the ferocity of a lion on the prowl, adding an additional layer of menace and nuance.

Let Love Rule
by Lenny Kravitz, David Ritz | Read by Lenny Kravitz (Macmillan Audio)

This captivating audiobook purports to be about the musical development of the multitalented Lenny Kravitz. As Kravitz draws listeners into his world, however, listeners begin to see that he’s talking about something broader than music: This deeply thoughtful man is talking about how his passion for learning and expressing himself was shaped. With its portraits of his Black mother, a TV star; his Jewish father, a media executive; and the fascinating group of A-list performers that crossed his path, it’s a memoir that musicians will inhale in one sitting.

This story appears through BookTrib’s partnership with AudioFile and contains material originating from the AudioFile website.