AudioFile Magazine Editors' Picks
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Editors' Picks: Newest Releases
Cast of Characters
The protagonists of this month's picks include a gambler, some stage actors, and a very famous French chef. Of course, it's the narrators who give voice to all of these characters and lift them off the page. Below, narrators Adenrele Ojo, Grover Gardner, and more share what about these audiobooks spoke to them. Happy listening!
-- Robin & Jennifer

The Mothers
Do the decisions we made in our youth shape the rest of our lives? Brit Bennett's absorbing debut novel, set in Southern California's black community, gets a sensitive narration by Adenrele Ojo. The lives of three damaged teens intertwine as teens and reconnect when they meet again as adults. Nadia, Aubrey, and Luke have a secret. Ojo's voice is smooth as honey and prickly as thistles when portraying the gossipy mothers who relentlessly poke at the secret until nothing remains hidden.

Winner of AudioFile  Earphones Award.
Narrator Adenrele Ojo
"THE MOTHERS just kept me on my toes with one twist after another. I was always rooting for my lead characters at all cost, and just when I thought I could relax with them, Bennett would take me someplace else and put me back on the ride. But 'The Mothers' and their sass, maturity, and eclectic personalities, I absolutely loved. One of my favorite parts to record was the 'ain't-shit man' monologue. Imagine an ol' hat-wearing church lady saying that. We just laughed after that. This was just a great story to tell."

News of the World
Narrator Grover Gardner's charming voice lends the perfect touch to Captain Jefferson Kidd, a lonely widower in 1870 Texas. Braver than he should be in his sunset years, Kidd agrees to single-handedly escort an orphan girl across 400 miles of dangerous Indian territory. Gardner's unpretentious narration does justice to Jiles's often exquisite turns of phrase and graceful depictions of the ethnically diverse American West.

Narrator Grover Gardner
Narrator Grover Gardner
"It's a jewel of a book, one of the best I've narrated in years. The characters are thoroughly endearing, and it's full of little surprises that will both delight you and break your heart."

Mister Monkey
Veteran voice talents Nan McNamara and Kirby Heyborne seamlessly find the sweet spot between satirical and sympathetic in this richly observed tale of a cast of wannabe and second chance actors trying to keep their beleaguered Off-Off-Broadway production afloat. An achingly gentle, smart, and satisfying listening experience.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.
Narrator Kirby Heyborne
Narrator Kirby Heyborne
"MISTER MONKEY is simultaneously hilarious and awkwardly heart-wrenching. Sometimes in the same scene!"

A Gambler's Anatomy
In a rich, soft voice, narrator Mark Deakins portrays the handsome and "possibly psychic" professional backgammon player Bruno Alexander. Deakins uses his bass voice with authority to guide the listener through European palaces, where beautiful people inhabit opulent rooms filled with cut glass and cigar smoke.

Narrator Mark Deakins
Narrator Mark Deakins
"Lethem's writing is intelligent, quirky, and packed with cultural references and crossovers. This sometimes makes for challenging --  but never boring --  reading. For instance, there are whole passages of German in this novel. I speak decent English and fair French. A word or two of German? No problem. But paragraphs of conversational and medical German? That's a steep learning curve, and I'm sure native speakers will cringe, but hopefully it's passable for the unpracticed ear! Lethem creates some of the most eccentric characters and situations I've ever encountered, and that's just flat-out fun."

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More NEW Releases to Explore
Today Will Be Different
French Chef in America
Here I Am
Listeners are dropped into Eleanor Flood's complicated life just as she's about to have a meltdown. Her son is faking illness, her husband is lying to her, and she's upset by news of her estranged sister. Narrator Kathleen Wilhoite gives Eleanor a voice that's as quirky and unpredictable as her personality while offering clues as to why things have gone so wrong in her life. It's the kind of narration that draws listeners into the story, wanting to know what happens next.
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.
➢ Listen to a sound clip and read the full review.
Find more new Fiction reviews.

Author-narrator Alex Prud'homme, Julia Childs's great-nephew, shares the fascinating story of her rise to lasting fame and ascendance to cultural icon. It's an in-depth portrait of an ambitious and driven woman who found abundant joy in living her life on her terms, and a must-listen for foodies.

Audie winner Ari Fliakos's task in narrating Foer's sprawling novel is to capture the distinct intonations of four generations of Jacob Bloch's family. His approach is to quietly interpret their interior monologues and to dramatize their rapid-fire dialogues. Fliakos masterfully weaves the multiple perspectives (and many accents, including Israeli and Iranian) of this fragmented work into a cohesive and powerful audiobook.

The Obsidian Chamber
When the Sea Turned..
Narrator Rene Auberjonois offers his usual cool, unruffled approach to Preston and Child's sixteenth A.X.L. Pendergast adventure. Auberjonois gets it all just right as one hair-raising escapade follows another and, with a few red herrings and more melodramatic revelations than usual, he keeps the improbable suspenseful and the listening entertaining.

Kim Mai Guest's precise, soft reading sets a mood in which magic and reality meet. Shy Pinmei lives far up a mountain with Amah, her wise, storytelling grandmother. When the ruthless emperor and his soldiers burst in and capture Amah, Pinmei's brave mission to save her begins. A wonderful fable for family listening.

Narrator R.H. Thomson would have made a fine Prospero in Shakespeare's TEMPEST: His voice has the ideal blend of toughness and tenderness to portray the vengeful but ultimately forgiving Duke of Milan. In Atwood's contemporary retelling of the Bard's final play, the veteran Canadian actor (but relative newcomer to audiobooks) is marvelous as all of the characters
Browse all of our newest reviews in your favorite genres to find your next great listen.

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