AudioFile Magazine
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Browse the categories of interest or scroll to see all titles. Title links take you directly to the reviews on, where you'll also find complete bibliographic information.


Earphones Award Winner AKIN
Emma Donoghue, Read by Jason Culp • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Hachette Audio • Trade Ed.

Jason Culp's near-perfect narration of the new literary drama from the author of ROOM matches its emotional intensity. Two lost souls from distant branches of the same family tree are thrown together. Culp uses an edgy tone to express the frustration of set-in-his-ways 79-year-old retired professor Noah Selvaggio as his planned trip to the French Riviera is upended when he reluctantly takes Michael, an abandoned 11-year-old great-nephew, on the journey. Culp shines as he expresses Michael's frustration with Noah's lack of tech savvy and Noah's wish that Michael were less profane. Donoghue plucks heartstrings with just the right song, and Culp orchestrates the character studies like a maestro with a baton. R.O. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Biography & Memoir To Category List

A GOOD AMERICAN FAMILY The Red Scare and My Father
David Maraniss, Read by David Maraniss • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Simon & Schuster Audio • Trade Ed.

David Maraniss's homage to his father is a fascinating combination of moving parts: an insider's window on the Commie scare of the mid-twentieth century, an engaging character study of his elusive father, and a picture of family life as it struggles through earth-shattering upheaval. But as gifted as Maraniss may be when it comes to writing, narrating is not his forte. At times, his voice sounds strangely unenthusiastic. In fact, so sharp is the contrast between the rabid curiosity of the writer's voice on the page (so to speak) and the writer's voice through one's headphones that it's a challenge to understand that they are, if fact, the same person. Maraniss's story is proof of two things. If you have a good story, definitely tell it. And if you have a good story, maybe don't narrate it yourself? Z.S. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

MORE THAN ENOUGH Claiming Space for Who You Are [No Matter What They Say]
Elaine Welteroth, Read by Elaine Welteroth, Adenrele Ojo • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Penguin Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

The intensely likable Elaine Welteroth, former editor of TEEN VOGUE, narrates her touching memoir with humor and emotional depth. Confiding in listeners in a tone that sounds like she's their best friend, Welteroth vividly recounts painful experiences growing up biracial in a predominantly white suburb. With emotional honesty, she describes her meteoric rise as a magazine writer and editor in New York. The foreword by filmmaker Ava Duvernay, voiced by Adenrele Ojo, isn't very memorable. During important conversations, Welteroth's mother steps in to voice herself. Her deep, resonant voice is a force of nature that makes the mother-daughter relationship especially vivid on audio. Welteroth overwhelmingly succeeds as a tour guide for listeners who feel the need to figure out what they want and how to get it. J.T. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

James Ellroy, Read by Michael Prichard • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Random House Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

Narrator Michael Prichard's clipped, flat reading of police reports and court testimony in this audiobook is similar to the style of 1960s TV cops like Jack Webb's Joe Friday and Robert Stack's Eliot Ness. (Not coincidentally, both actors make important appearances in this memoir.) When the audiobook veers into personal recollections, Prichard takes the flatline off his delivery and swings with Ellroy's prose. The author juggles three balls in his powerful, sprawling true-crime memoir, written in 1996. There is the story of Ellroy's mother's murder and his attempts to solve it, his evolution from hooligan to crime writer, and his reflections on Los Angeles-based crimes against women from the Black Dahlia to Nicole Brown Simpson. Some listeners may be distracted by audible edits in this otherwise fine production. R.W.S. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Phil Proctor, Brad Schreiber, Read by Phil Proctor • Audio Program • AUGUST 2019
SueMedia Productions • Digital Download

Phil Proctor, co-founder of the comedy troupe Firesign Theatre, talks about the world, society, comedy, and, most of all, his place in them. He performs his own work, perhaps spending too much time on his childhood. But he gives Firesign fans everything they want to know and more. He wisely includes comedy clips from performances to demonstrate what he is talking about, something more audiobooks about performance artists should do. This work is not perfect—Proctor sometimes switches topics without a pause. Besides the Firesign sound bites, he punctuates the work with sound effects, like police sirens, which can be disconcerting to someone listening in the car. Then again, fans expect such antics from him. M.S. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Business & Finance To Category List

BAD WITH MONEY The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Sh*t Together
Gaby Dunn, Read by Gaby Dunn • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Simon & Schuster Audio • Trade Ed.

The comic and financial podcaster delivers her excellent guide with the tone and pacing of someone with an oversupply of energy. Along with authenticity and humility, she provides the perfect combination of vocal characteristics for the easily bored Millennials and Gen Z listeners she hopes to reach with her self-disclosures and advice. A Millennial herself, she runs through the common challenges she's faced establishing credit, overspending, affording housing, putting out financial fires, and finding markets for her comedy and journalism skills. Ashe also conveys the message that being honest about your strengths and weaknesses is an essential starting point for financial responsibility. Propelled by her entertaining vocal personality and chatty writing, this is essential listening for young people who are beginning their quest for self-sufficiency. T.W. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Earphones Award Winner YOUR NEW MONEY STORY The Beliefs, Behaviors, and Brain Science to Rewire for Wealth
David Krueger, Read by Edward Bauer • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Vibrance Press • Digital Download

Narrator Edward Bauer sounds like a friendly college instructor who wants to spare you the anguish you've had trying to get your financial life in order. He has a wonderful phrasing palette, smooth and natural sounding, and what stands out is how he finesses the author's desire to help: He's assertive enough with the direct advice and many lists offered by the psychiatrist/business-coach, but he keeps enough distance from his listeners to convey respect for their autonomy. They can take this advice or leave it. This vocal attitude is important with a lesson like this, which is psychologically invasive with its pointed assumption that all financial mismanagement begins with limiting psychological beliefs. This is effective audio advice on how to overcome those beliefs with brighter expectations, concrete strategies, and discipline. T.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

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Children To Category List

Earphones Award Winner EACH TINY SPARK
Pablo Cartaya, Read by Pablo Cartaya • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Listening Library • Trade Ed.
Listening Library • Library Ed.

Author/narrator Pablo Cartaya easily transitions between English and Spanish, authentically representing the bilingual world of Cuban-American Emilia Rosa Torres, who has ADHD. Cartaya's emotional presentation allows listeners to feel Emilia's struggles when her stable homelife changes. Her mother travels for business, her father returns home from deployment, her abuela becomes even more controlling, and Emilia must adjust. Cartaya's nuanced narration shows how Emilia gradually reveals her true self, her voice gaining power in the face of her father's PTSD, shifts in friendships, and encounters with prejudice. As life grows more complex, Cartaya reveals the depth of a girl whose intelligence and love are strengthened by an awareness of her heritage, and the economic and social injustices around her. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

JUANA & LUCAS: BIG PROBLEMAS Juana and Lucas, Book 2
Juana Medina, Read by Almarie Guerra • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick • Trade Ed.
Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick • Library Ed.

With seamless transitions from English to Spanish, narrator Almarie Guerra shares the tribulations of young Juana and her "most perfect" dog, Lucas. In fact, Juana finds much in her life perfect until she starts to realize that she is spending more time with her cousins and less time with her mami. What could be going on? Guerra voices Juana's confidence and pleasure as she chats about the beauty of Bogatá and cooking with her grandmother's sister. Distress comes through when Juana notices changes in her mother and meets Luis, her mother's new friend. Juana expresses both reticence and rationalization as her life takes enticing new turns involving a country house, a camera, and wedding preparations. Best of all, Juana is joyous when Mami affirms that she is still her "favorite person ever." A.R. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Lamar Giles, Read by Ruffin Prentiss • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Recorded Books • Library Ed.

Narrator Ruffin Prentiss introduces spirited cousins Sheed and Otto Alston. When they bemoan the arrival of the last day of summer, something happens they never expected. They're given a Polaroid camera that freezes time for everyone except them. Prentiss engagingly introduces the boys, whose opposite personalities enhance their time-travel decisions, which are aimed at saving their hometown. Clever wordplay using time-related terms like "Father Time," "clock-watcher," and "bedtime" add to the pleasure and enhance vocabulary. Listeners will meet the Alstons' biggest competitors, the Ellis twins (girls), and other memorable townsfolk. Most endearing is Grandma, who ensures that the champions are always respectful and mannerly. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Ibi Zoboi, Read by Ibi Zoboi • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Listening Library • Trade Ed.
Listening Library • Library Ed.

Narrator Ibi Zoboi gives emotive power to the first-person viewpoint of quirky 12-year-old Ebony-Grace. Two 1980s settings are established: Ebony-Grace's hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, where NASA is a big part of the culture, and Harlem, where she discovers the blossoming hip-hop culture when she's sent to live with her father. Once she's there, big changes take place in Ebony-Grace herself. She retreats into a richly imagined Star Trek-inspired reality, remaking her experiences into intergalactic adventures that enable her to avoid homesickness, worry about her beloved grandfather, and mockery by her peers. The science-fiction threads of this story can distract from the characters, but Zoboi's strong delivery reminds listeners of what lurks below the surface—Ebony-Grace's feelings of isolation, longing for her simpatico grandfather, and resilient vitality. S.W. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Carolyn Mackler, Read by Taylor Meskimen • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Scholastic Audiobooks • Trade Ed.
Scholastic Audiobooks • Library Ed.

In a believable and engaging tone, narrator Taylor Meskimen conveys the frustration of a fifth grader living with sensory processing disorder. Eleven-year-old Willa likes to maintain a sense of control over her environment without letting anyone outside her family know about her sensory issues. So when she finds out that her divorced father is engaged to her best friend Ruby's mother, Willa is not happy. Meskimen convincingly portrays Willa's relatable anguish at the upheaval in her life. Meskimen also gives calm, patient voices to Willa's large support network, which includes both her parents, her occupational therapist, Ruby, and Ruby's sensitive mother. Listeners will sympathize with Willa and share her relief as she begins to accept her changing but always loving family. S.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Frank Cottrell Boyce, Read by Peter Capaldi • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harper Audio • Trade Ed.

Narrator Peter Capaldi's Scottish accent is so strong that American listeners may have trouble understanding him at first, but those who stick with it are in for a supersonic treat. Prez Mellows has been removed from the care of his senile grandad and is living in a temporary foster home when a space-traveling alien—in the form of a dog named Sputnik—shows up at his door. Capaldi's exuberant performance gives Boyce's delightful writing even more cheerful buoyancy, humor, and heart as he captures jaunty Sputnik and his outlandish antics. Especially sympathetic as Prez, Capaldi modulates his voice from quiet wonder to panicked alarm amid the madcap physics-defying adventures. Heartwarming fun will entertain the whole family. S.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Gail Shepherd, Read by Sandy Rustin • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Recorded Books • Library Ed.

Narrator Sandy Rustin portrays the innocence of 11-year-old Lyndie B. Hawkins and her puzzlement over the adults in her life. Rustin vividly depicts Lyndie's memories of the idyllic life she once had with her father, a Vietnam vet, and her mother, a pacifist. Then the family moves in with her domineering grandmother, who is strongly portrayed by Rustin. Rustin emphasizes the contrast between Lyndie's two lives. Her mother is now in a near-catatonic depression, her father unsuccessfully hides his alcoholism and PTSD, and her grandmother's sense of pride is overwhelming. School portraits are just as vivid as Rustin depicts Lyndie's shifting relationship with her lifelong friend, Dawn, and with the reform-school boy whom Dawn's family is fostering. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Classics To Category List

Earphones Award Winner THE SCARLET LETTER
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Read by Adam Sims • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Naxos AudioBooks • Trade Ed.

With a sympathetic, straightforward approach, narrator Adam Sims allows listeners to discover for themselves the many layers of keen observation, humor, history, and social commentary that Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 classic has to offer. The story is familiar. Single, dignified Hester Prynne is punished for having become pregnant by having an "A," for adultery, sewn on her dress in 1640s Puritan New England. Finding the sly wit in Hawthorne's words, Sims excels at capturing the voices and emotions of the loutish governor, the dithering minister, and the precocious child. All that holds us back is the wordy nineteenth-century prose, and here is the beauty of audiobooks: You can sit back, listen, and allow Sims to do the heavy reading, bringing you all the hidden treasures of this American original. B.P. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Contemporary Culture To Category List

ALL ABOUT THE BURGER A History of Americas Favorite Sandwich
Sef "Burger Beast" Gonzalez, George Motz [Fore.], Read by Matthew Boston • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Tantor Media • Trade Ed.
Tantor Media • Library Ed.

Actor Matthew Boston's trained voice expertly serves this audiobook salute to all things hamburger. He captures the author's ebullient style, and his pace honors the obvious enthusiasm that Gonzalez, a blogger and burger museum curator, brings to America's favorite sandwich. Boston's reading sometimes has to rise above the author's blogger-like proclivity for long lists and quirky prose. No matter. The multiple claims to being the original nineteenth-century hamburger joint are explored; so too are the "burger wars" of the late twentieth century. Here are the origins of the biggest chains and those that came and went. This audiobook is good at telling the backstories of McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Hardee's, and In-N-Out Burger—plus the listener learns about the Cuban Fritas and the Mississippi slugburger. A.D.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Earphones Award Winner THE DEATH AND LIFE OF AIDA HERNANDEZ A Border Story
Aaron Bobrow-Strain, Read by Frankie Corzo • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Macmillan Audio • Trade Ed.

This audiobook demonstrates that the national debate over immigration is nothing new. Listeners will be gripped by Frankie Corzo's narration of this biography of Aida Hernandez, who came to the U.S. in 1987 at the age of 8. Corzo captures the raw emotions that percolate throughout the audiobook and excels in moments of drama, such as when Aida is deported to Mexico. At its core, the author's work reveals the battles immigrants face through an up-close depiction of the obstacles that confront Aida and others. Corzo's presentation is straightforward yet nuanced in ways that focus on crucial moments, making this an audiobook that enriches the current political discourse with rarely heard personal stories. D.J.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

FOOD ROUTES Growing Bananas in Iceland and Other Tales from the Logistics of Eating
Robyn S. Metcalfe, Read by Donna Postel • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Tantor Media • Trade Ed.
Tantor Media • Library Ed.

Narrator Donna Postel ensures that Robyn Metcalfe's plea for food efficiency comes through with passion. She rattles off the qualities of various types of packaging as if she's giving a high-powered sales pitch and quietly appeals to our senses as she talks about the food experience. Metcalf brings philosophical issues, such as the question of what is local, into a roundup of food developments, including a few listeners may have heard of such as the Impossible Burger and lab culture meat. Listeners may detect a bit of incredulity as the author mentions the facial recognition ability of poultry. Metcalfe ends with a dual discussion of the future of food—one evolutionary, one revolutionary. They differ only in degree, making it clear that change is coming to listeners' pantries. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

GLOBALISTS The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism
Quinn Slobodian, Read by Joe Barrett • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Tantor Media • Trade Ed.

Narrator Joe Barrett has no trouble interpreting the political abstractions and complex sentences that fill this esoteric audiobook. Delivered with his educated enunciation and measured pacing, his narration conveys intellectual confidence, which gives this material authority commensurate with its far-reaching message. The audio is a graduate-level course in economic and political history that explains how capitalism developed as a paradigm of human exchange and how its champions have tried to create international institutions that are more powerful than the shifting interests of individual nations. The narratives of behind-the-scenes struggles between social, democratic, and economic interests are riveting. With Barrett's grasp of these dynamics and his connection with his listeners, he makes the theoretical debates and political intrigue come to life while helping the author shed light on current-day controversies. T.W. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

HOW HISTORY GETS THINGS WRONG The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories
Alex Rosenberg, Read by Mikael Naramore • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Brilliance Audio • Trade Ed.

As an audiobook narrator, Mikael Naramore has experience presenting speculative and fantasy fiction and nonfiction. His pace is even, his presentation keen and focused, his voice that of a trustworthy reporter bringing credibility and verisimilitude to the most extravagant of scenes. So he is an especially good vocal representation for Alex Rosenberg's sweeping argument that historians have it all wrong and that neuroscience has a better explanation for how we perceive and record events. After nearly 11 hours, the listener may feel that his claims are proven—and entirely clear—or not. Credit Naramore for bringing balance and continuity to a narrative that for many listeners will seem elusive and fragmentary, or simply obtuse. D.A.W. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

WATER IN PLAIN SIGHT Hope for a Thirsty World
Judith D. Schwartz, Read by Tia Rider • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Chelsea Green Publishing • Digital Download

Narrator Tia Rider's distinctly youthful voice and positive tone resonate throughout this optimistic audiobook. Rider delivers Schwartz's thoughtful text with just the right pace and emphasis. Seeking solutions to the planet's water issues, Schwartz takes the listener on a remarkable journey beginning in a remote corner of Zimbabwe and traversing the globe, with stops in Australia, Brazil, California, and Texas. The author seeks methods for improving water storage for the purpose of holistic land management, as identified through her own research, which includes discussions with scientists and activists. She even learns lessons from beavers. Her reporting on water harvesting, dew collecting, and plant and soil management strategies leaves the listener believing that there might be "hope for a thirsty world," as the subtitle promises. A.D.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

THE WAY THROUGH THE WOODS On Mushrooms and Mourning
Long Litt Woon, Barbara J. Haveland [Trans.], Read by Bernadette Dunne • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Random House Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

Narrator Bernadette Dunne leads listeners through this memoir, which winds through the author's inner landscape of grief into her growing absorption with the world of mushrooms. Woon's fascination with foraging for mushrooms began the day her life as she knew it ended—when her husband and soulmate died suddenly. In freefall, she found answers on how to go on living where she least expected—through the study of fungi, which became her lifeline in her dark hour of need. (She and her husband had been signed up to take a beginner's class on identification before his death.) Dunne captures the author's growing joy and reawakening appetite for a meaningful life. As the author explores both mushrooms and mourning, Dunne entertains and educates listeners on both subjects, moving back and forth between the two. J.C.G. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Fantasy To Category List

THE RAGE OF DRAGONS The Burning, Book 1
Evan Winter, Read by Prentice Onayemi • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Hachette Audio • Trade Ed.

With his signature deep baritone, narrator Prentice Onayemi delivers a spectacular performance of this epic fantasy focused on revenge. Tau was born without any gifts, but he doesn't let his common lineage stop him from becoming the greatest swordsman the Omehi have ever seen. Onayemi's depiction of Tau accurately reflects his development; his soft voice hardens and deepens over time as he builds his confidence and sets his goals. Onayemi employs a full range of pitches, pacing, and African accents to paint vivid pictures of multiple characters. While his neutral tone for the fight scenes breaks immersion in the story, the more emotional moments are sincere and compelling A.K.R. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Fiction To Category List

Mary Beth Keane, Read by Molly Pope • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Simon & Schuster Audio • Trade Ed.

Narrator Molly Pope delivers this character-driven exploration of two families whose stories intertwine over decades. With sensitivity and insight, she creates believable, multilayered characters, leading listeners through shifting narratives across time. Keane's exploration of love, family, mistakes, and regret is rooted in the long haul of everyday life and considers how perspectives and consequences shift and shade over time. Rookie New York cops Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope become neighbors and begin families next door to each other; eventually, they experience a rift that shocks their neighborhood, complicating—but never destroying—the bond between their children. Pope's steady pace and excellent voicing of dialogue work well. Like the event at its center, this story unfolds with long-lasting reverberations for listeners. J.C.G. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Earphones Award Winner CARNEGIE HILL
Jonathan Vatner, Read by Cassandra Campbell • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Macmillan Audio • Trade Ed.

Cassandra Campbell's extraordinary narration makes this audiobook a gripping listen. It's the story of the residents of a prestigious co-op building in the Carnegie Hill section of Manhattan. Thirty-something Penelope "Pepper" Bradford, an heiress, is engaged to Rick, a self-made wealth manager. When she joins the co-op board, Pepper becomes friendly with several neighbors, especially the exacting Francis and the food-obsessed Birdie. While creating unique and believable voices, Campbell transforms these mostly privileged characters into people we deeply care about. She mines the sympathetic qualities underneath their city-hardened shells and helps listeners sense their vulnerabilities. Indeed, Campbell takes characters who could seem one-dimensional on the page and expresses their hearts and spirits. M.J. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Earphones Award Winner THE GIFTED SCHOOL
Bruce Holsinger, Read by January LaVoy • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Penguin Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

A story featuring parents who are willing to do anything to have their children seen as gifted is hardly unique. But one that also makes the children heard and that is delivered by a narrator who is herself gifted in conveying those young voices—those attributes put THE GIFTED SCHOOL at the head of its class. Narrator January LaVoy clearly has a facility for voicing girls and boys, and she demonstrates equal proficiency with adults, particularly the four women at the novel's center. Each comes across as distinctly as her child. The only question listeners will need to ask is which character is most like themselves or someone they know. Holsinger's novel offers plenty to identify with, for good or for ill. K.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

J. Ryan Stradal, Read by Judith Ivey • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Penguin Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

Narrator Judith Ivey's Minnesota accent gives authenticity to this delightful audiobook about two estranged sisters. Strong-willed Helen was so determined to own a brewery that she convinced her father to make her his sole heir. As Helen's beer becomes a regional favorite, Edith struggles to raise her children, take care of her ailing husband, and raise her orphaned granddaughter, never once spending her hard-earned money on her sister's lager. Ivey's performance beautifully underscores the women's unique personalities as each finds her way through grief and betrayals, ambition and hope. Ivey wisely puts the charm of this story in the spotlight, delivering a tone of Midwestern pragmatism as the women bake pies, brew beer, nurture unlikely friendships, and find redemption. C.B.L. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

THE LEMON SISTERS Wildstone, Book 3
Jill Shalvis, Read by Erin Mallon • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harper Audio • Trade Ed.

Both of the Lemon sisters are going through personal crises, and narrator Erin Mallon captures their distress. When Mindy takes off from Wildstone, California, and arrives at her sister Brooke's house with her three young children, Brooke agrees to let Mindy stay at her place for a much needed break. Meanwhile, Brooke will bring Mindy's kids back home to Wildstone. Mallon gives each of Mindy's children voices that fit their personalities—from the sassy daughter to the toddler who communicates only by barking. After returning home to Wildstone for the first time in years, Brooke encounters her former boyfriend, Garrett, living next door to her sister. Listeners will find themselves rooting for both women to rediscover their happiness. S.B. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder [Trans.], Read by Traci Kato-Kiriyama • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Random House Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

Traci Kato-Kiriyama's narration of this Japanese novel is subtle. She successfully keeps the listener in a state of confusion and curiosity in the face of pervasive dread. Ogawa's audiobook unfolds from the point of view of an unnamed woman who notices items in her world going missing, along with people's memories of them and the meanings attached to those memories. The existential implications build as whole concepts disappear, as well. In one affecting scene, the loss of calendars has implications for a birthday party. The "police" of the title enforce the "rules," which are explained as the story progresses, but listeners are left to interpret their true purpose. Appropriately, Kato-Kiriyama's voice doesn't step beyond the boundaries of the nameless narrator, who is experiencing a diminishing world while approaching an ominous ending. S.P.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Earphones Award Winner MIDDLE ENGLAND Rotters' Club, Book 3
Jonathan Coe, Read by Rory Kinnear • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Random House Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

This novel explores racism, political correctness, the changing British economy, and the Brexit vote in Middle England. Thanks to the author's humor and empathy, combined with the charming narration of Rory Kinnear, the audio experience is absorbing and even joyful. Kinnear creates multiple distinctive characters, including Benjamin, semiretired, diffident, and still working on his million-word novel (with music!); Benjamin's niece, Sophie, an academic who runs afoul of a self-righteous activist student; and Doug, a bullish and leftist columnist who is unexpectedly dating a Tory after divorcing. Kinnear expertly conveys Coe's absurdist wit as evidenced by the feud between two clowns who entertain at children's parties, a Booker Prize nominee and guest lecturer on a cruise ship who presents a long list of demands, and Doug's sparring with a political communications director who willfully misunderstands every question he asks. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Claire Lombardo, Read by Emily Rankin • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Random House Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

Narrator Emily Rankin's worldly voice complements Lombardo's heartfelt novel, which chronicles a forty-year marriage and the lives of the four daughters who are affected by it. David Sorenson and Marilyn Connolly met during college in 1975 and fell in love. By the spring of 2016, their daughters are facing difficult matters. Meanwhile, the Sorensons' marriage hasn't been easy, despite how it looks, and a secret could jeopardize the entire family. Rankin offers a dignified approach to her narration and provides precise depictions of each of the daughters, especially during turbulent moments. Her ability to intriguingly reveal family secrets and tenderly describe the closeness among the daughters makes this a compelling story of complicated family dynamics. D.Z. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

QUEEN BEE Lowcountry Tales, Book 12
Dorothea Benton Frank, Read by Shannon McManus • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harper Audio • Trade Ed.

Narrator Shannon McManus performs this Lowcountry story about three women, each on the brink of change. Holly raises bees while waiting for a teaching position to open up at the local elementary school, Leslie has moved back home because her marriage is in trouble, and their mother—referred to as the Queen Bee—is starting to have health issues. Although generally engaging, the performance would have benefited from more sharply distinguished voices to make the dialogue easier to follow. But McManus's hint of a Southern accent helps ground the audiobook to the Sullivan Island setting, and her lively delivery amplifies the humor and drama that ensue after the women, reunited under one roof, attempt to sort out their love lives, their family dynamics, and their futures. C.B.L. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Historical Fiction To Category List

AN AFFAIR WITH BEAUTY The Mystique of Howard Chandler Christy
James Philip Head, Everett Raymond Kinstler [Fore.], Read by Pamela Almand • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Blackstone Audio • Trade Ed.
Blackstone Audio • Library Ed.

Narrator Pamela Almand performs this fascinating fictionalized biography of Howard Chandler Christy, one of the most popular illustrators of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Christy drew images of the Spanish-American War for newspapers and magazines, his "Christy Girl" fashion models, and, most especially, the upper classes of New York. Almand modulates her soft voice to distinguish between the sweeping narrative and biographical background, and between Christy's words and memories as recounted by his second wife, Nancy Palmer. Almand's placid performance is interrupted by dramatic accounts of Spanish-American War battles and the 1913 flood in Ohio.The biography includes an extensive author's note and the recitation of photograph and illustration captions (without an image file) at the end of the audiobook. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

History To Category List

Roger Price, Read by Mark Meadows • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Naxos AudioBooks • Trade Ed.

Narrator Mark Meadows has a fine, strong voice; a pleasing British accent; evident skill and intelligence; and remarkably good pronunciation of French, a requirement for this history of France from the late Middle Ages to the present. But while those who listen to complex nonfiction must have time to absorb information, Meadows often pauses a bit too long between sentences. This distracting tendency is exaggerated because the book—an abstract socioeconomic history mired in disputes among historians, lists of statistics, and bewildering political detail—is often tedious, a poor choice for audio listening. When it switches to narrative dealing with people and events and actually flows, the between-sentence pauses are less troubling. Meadows, and listeners, would be better served with a history not drained of almost all drama. W.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Earphones Award Winner CONVICTION The Murder Trial That Powered Thurgood Marshall's Fight for Civil Rights
Denver Nicks, John Nicks, Read by Ron Butler • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Blackstone Audio • Trade Ed.
Blackstone Audio • Library Ed.

This audiobook combines a superb performance with content so compelling that it becomes a must-listen. Narrator Ron Butler's perfect delivery allows listeners to stay focused on Thurgood Marshall's defense of Willie D. Lyons, an African-American wrongly convicted of a gruesome triple murder in Oklahoma in 1939. The authors chronicle the murder, the trial, and Marshall's unsuccessful effort to have the Supreme Court reverse an obviously unjust conviction. Butler perfectly captures Lyons's and Marshall's personas, and the impact this trial had on each man and the nation, pacing the delivery and using inflection to highlight a series of crucial events. This extraordinary audiobook has lessons that resonate as strongly now as they did 80 years ago. D.J.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

LA PASSIONE How Italy Seduced the World
Dianne Hales, Read by Cassandra Campbell • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Random House Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

Cassandra Campbell narrates this love story to all things Italian with emotion, precision, and skill. Her clear voice and crisp delivery combine with her fine musical ear to capture the romance of the language and the people. A dedicated Italophile, author Hales guides the listener through the country's history using the theme of passion to identify what makes Italian contributions to the world so extraordinary. She does so with dozens of profiles. Armani, Caravaggio, Dante, da Vinci, Fellini, Ferragamo, Ferrari, Loren, Michelangelo, Puccini, Valentino, and others are deftly portrayed. This enjoyable audiobook celebrates cuisine, design, film, and wine. It marches from the Caesars through Christianity and the Renaissance, covers the rise of the "Made in Italy" label, and ends with an appreciation of the humble but ubiquitous pizza. A.D.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

LAST WITNESSES An Oral History of the Children of World War II
Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Peavear [Trans.], Larissa Volokhonsky [Trans.], Read by Julia Emelin, Yelena Shmulenson, Allen Lewis Rickman • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Random House Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

A trio of narrators tag teams their delivery of these WWII oral histories, written by survivors in 1985 and translated from Russian in 2013. They are first-person descriptions of growing up in the Soviet Union during the war. The narrators use a variety of subtle accents to portray the authors, who ranged in age from 4 to 13 at the time. Some of the descriptions are graphic, reflecting the violence of Nazi soldiers, including pilots, as they conquered western cities, towns, and hamlets. The authors' memories include the lack of food, water, clothing, and shelter, coupled with the loss of parents and siblings, homes, and traditions. These sad histories will stay with listeners. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

"OUR CROWD" The Great Jewish Families of New York
Stephen Birmingham, Read by Mel Foster • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Brilliance Audio • Trade Ed.

Narrator Mel Foster enthusiastically delivers this history of New York German-Jewish merchant/banking families, including the Seligmans, the Lehmans, and the Goldmans, which was originally published in 1967. A rich atmospheric picture of this close-knit, family-centered society, later known as "The 100" or "Our Crowd," is evoked by Foster's warm tone and conversational pacing. Listeners are transported to the early nineteenth century as Foster portrays the humble origins of several ambitious young Jewish men who emigrated from Germany and, along with their male relations, peddled goods all over America. Touches of humor come through in Foster's rendering of the practices and routines of these businessmen and their socially conscious wives. An evocative portrait of a segment of American society, well told and narrated. M.J. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

SCHOLARS OF MAYHEM My Father's Secret War in Nazi-Occupied France
Daniel C. Guiet, Timothy K. Smith, Read by Robert Fass • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Penguin Audio • Trade Ed.
Books on Tape • Library Ed.

Robert Fass's crisp performance puts listeners right in the middle of this fascinating story of Jean Claude Guiet, an unassuming professor with a secret past. During WWII, the U.S. military sought special operatives who could infiltrate the enemy and coordinate with the Resistance. Jean Claude, an American who was fluent in French, fit the bill and served in the British predecessor to the CIA. The tension in the audiobook is like that of a great spy novel, especially when Jean Claude parachutes into enemy territory and must keep in contact through archaic means, avoiding ever-present enemy troops. The titular "mayhem" is real; the missions sought to create havoc. Listeners who are looking for insight into the inner workings of the Allies during WWII should prioritize this audiobook. S.P.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Mystery & Suspense To Category List

Earphones Award Winner THE MARYLEBONE DROP
Mick Herron, Read by Gerard Doyle • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Recorded Books • Library Ed.

The brevity of this elegant audiobook belies the size of its pleasures. It simultaneously manages to deliver just what we loved about le Carré and company—an insider's view of characters and events from the secret world of The Service—while doing a deadpan takeoff on Cold War spy novels. Here some old-timers are doing what they always did, but in a world that has moved on. The "drop" is a real but outmoded bit of tradecraft by chance observed by a similarly superannuated former "asset" who duly reports it to his barely functioning handler who doesn't really believe a drop happened—why would it? But it did. Gerard Doyle gives a performance of impeccable finesse, and the resulting listen is a gem. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

MELTWATER Magnus Iceland, Book 3
Michael Ridpath, Read by Seán Barrett • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
ISIS Audio Books • Trade Ed.

Sean Barrett's cool narration is ideal for Ridpath's chilling addition to his Magnus Iceland Mystery series. This time, along with the usual political cover-ups and intrigues he must deal with, Magnus is called in to investigate the murder of a member of Freeflow, an organization similiar to WikiLeaks. The group received a video ostensibly showing U.N. observers being massacred by Israeli troops. Calling their mission "Operation Meltwater," they plan to have the video authenticated, then upload it to the Internet. Barrett's performance is so smooth that the listener almost forgets he's there. His portrait of Magnus reveals a complex, decent man. His delivery of Icelandic place and character names is masterful. Ridpath has given us another well-written, deviously plotted noir—and Barrett turns noir into gold. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Joshilyn Jackson, Read by Joshilyn Jackson • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harper Audio • Trade Ed.

In a contemporary thriller expertly narrated by the author, suburban mom Amy is in a battle to keep her deepest, darkest secret. When a newcomer to the neighborhood blackmails her about a tragedy she caused as a teenager, Amy will do anything to keep her secret from destroying the life she has built. Joshilyn Jackson's skills as an author are rivaled by her talents as a narrator. Jackson sets the story in a Florida Panhandle community, and she delivers the appropriate accents. From beginning to end, she breathes life into her characters, vocally representing the wide range of emotions found in this rollercoaster of a story. Intense scenes cause one to listen with breathless anticipation. Jackson provides yet another performance sure to thrill listeners. A.L.S.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Kylie Logan, Read by Emily Pike Stewart • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Blackstone Audio • Trade Ed.
Blackstone Audio • Library Ed.

When one of Jazz Ramsey's cadaver dogs finds the body of a young woman in a Cleveland condo development, investigators must find out who killed the victim and why. Narrator Emily Pike Stewart handles the variety of voices, relying on a range of tones for male and female characters who include suspects, Jazz's brothers, unsavory business types, and the victim's parents. Stewart's comfortable narration demonstrates her understanding of the characters, especially Jazz. While she stumbles upon a place name or two, it certainly doesn't mar the narration of this well-paced mystery. M.B. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

TIGHTROPE Burning Cove, Book 3
Amanda Quick, Read by Nina Alvamar • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Recorded Books • Library Ed.

This audiobook features a 1930s setting. Listeners immediately feel the tension as a crazed murderer chases trapeze artist Amalie Vaughn, forcing her to climb to her near death. After escaping, Amalie ends up in the small town of Burning Cove, where she owns a bed-and-breakfast with her aunt. Narrator Nina Alvamar gives Amalie a steely voice that reflects her determination to make a success of her new venture, especially after one of her guests is killed in front of the audience during a robot demonstration. Matthias Jones is tasked with the investigation of the murder and the disappearance of a prototype cipher machine. Alvamar brings out the passion that erupts between Matthias and Amalie as the two are thrust into danger. S.B. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Anna Romer, Read by Eloise Oxer • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Bolinda Audio • Trade Ed.

Eloise Oxer provides an exceptional narration of this mystery. Trauma has long-lasting effects, including flashbacks, physical symptoms, and nightmares. In this tragic story of kidnapping and murder, Australian author Anna Romer chillingly examines the effect of those events over time. Twenty years ago, 12-year old Abby was kidnapped but managed to escape. Three other girls were not so lucky. Now, Abby, a journalist, longs to investigate the ongoing mystery of what happened to them, but first she must interview a reclusive crime writer living at Ravensong. Together, they discover a diary hidden in a secret room that reveals the heartrending story of two sisters held prisoner for years. Oxer makes the captive sisters' story positively riveting, turning Abby's determination to discover the truth into compelling listening. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Personal Growth To Category List

NO IS A BEAUTIFUL WORD Hope and Help for the Overcommitted and (Occasionally) Exhausted
Kevin G. Harney, Read by Kevin G. Harney • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Zondervan • Trade Ed.

Author Kevin Harney narrates his audiobook with the same sincerity, candor, and kindness that he advocates using when one is saying no. Although the word "no" is often associated with selfishness and guilt, Harney enthusiastically explains that saying no actually allows us to say yes to our passions and God-given talents. Harney's firm but gracious tone defines his diverse menu of no's, as well as when and how to use them. While Harney, a pastor, references biblical passages, his personal stories and arguments for why, when, and how to say no are practical and compelling for the secular and nonsecular alike. This work is a cogent and concise reminder to determine what is important in your life and say yes to it. M.F. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

OUTSPOKEN Why Women's Voices Get Silenced and How to Set Them Free
Veronica Rueckert, Read by Veronica Rueckert • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harper Audio • Trade Ed.

Author/narrator Veronica Rueckert is an outspoken woman who wants to help listeners find value in their own voices and start speaking out. As a public radio host and trained opera singer, Reuckert's own voice is the perfect choice for narration. Her tone is friendly, conversational, and exceedingly encouraging throughout. Her performance of vocal fry and uptalk help to cement her examples, a valuable asset that a print book cannot convey. Her continuous positive regard keeps listeners actively engaged and ready to fight a culture of silence. This audiobook is an especially great choice for women who are tired of constant interruptions in a male-dominated world that would rather keep them speechless. A.K.R. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Romantic Fiction To Category List

Jennifer Probst, Read by Amy Landon, Stephen Graybill • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Brilliance Audio • Trade Ed.

Amy Landon and Stephen Graybill combine forces to narrate the romance of Harper Bishop and Aidan O'Connor, which takes place in New York's Hudson Valley. The owner of a horse rescue farm, Harper has saved Phoenix, a horse with the potential to win the Triple Crown. Aidan is a trainer from Ireland, who, after a bitter betrayal, is looking for his next horse to work with. Landon and Graybill work so seamlessly in alternating the narration that the listener almost loses track of which one is speaking. Both provide Aidan with a subtle Irish accent. They also bring out Harper's passion for Aidan and her rescues. Listeners will especially get a chuckle out of Captain Hoof, a rescue goat with a desire to wear a chicken costume. S.B. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

BRAZEN AND THE BEAST The Bareknuckle Bastards Book II
Sarah MacLean, Read by Justine Eyre • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harper Audio • Trade Ed.

Narrator Justine Eyre amplifies the drama in a steamy historical romance featuring two strong-willed characters. Lady Henrietta (Hattie) Sedley is exceedingly frustrated when she sets off on a year-long journey to claim herself only to find an unconscious—albeit handsome—man tied up in her carriage. He is Saviour "Beast" Whittington, one of the "Bareknuckle Bastards" who protect and rule over Covent Garden. As Hattie grows ever more bold, Eyre highlights her spirited nature in bright tones. Portraying Whittington in a gruff voice, Eyre memorably captures his brooding personality. Throughout, Hattie proves herself to be a formidable woman who won't let society's expectations get in the way of her nautical business ventures, or her romance. Listeners who loved WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER will adore this sequel. E.E.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Sheri Cobb South, Read by Noah Michael Levine • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Sheri Cobb South • Digital Download

Noah Michael Levine's expert narration of the final installment in Smith's Weaver series firmly places listeners in the English town where the story is set. With his talent for accents and voices, Levine skillfully switches between lower-class residents and the new Duke of Reddington, Theo. When Theo cannot access his inheritance to pay his mounting debts, his brother-in-law lends him the money in exchange for labor in his textile mill. Theo unexpectedly befriends his co-workers and fellow boardinghouse residents, including Daphne, the owner's daughter. Levine's dry delivery of the story's witty parts will delight listeners. Overall, his performance of this wholesome Regency romance will surely entertain those who enjoy the genre. A.L.S.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

EVER FAITHFUL Vintage National Parks, Book 3
Karen Barnett, Read by Ann Richardson • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Dreamscape • Trade Ed.

Ann Richardson uses her joyful voice to narrate a story of romance in Yellowstone National Park in the 1930s. Elise Brooks, the ranger's daughter, has spent her whole life working as a chambermaid in the park to earn money for college. Nate Webber is a young man from Brooklyn with no future. When Nate is brought to Yellowstone as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Elise discovers his secret—he can't read. As suspicious fires wreak havoc at the park, the two must find the firebug before their dreams go up in flames. Richardson deftly narrates this bright and occasionally suspenseful Christian romance. Her talent with voicework allows individual characters to shine, while her cheerful voice makes listening to this audiobook a pleasure. V.B. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Kristin Rockaway, Read by Amy McFadden • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Blackstone Audio • Trade Ed.
Blackstone Audio • Library Ed.

Narrator Amy McFadden lends her vocal abilities to a contemporary romance featuring computer help desk technician Mel Stickland and her circle of friends. After another disappointing dating-app experience, Mel designs JerkAlert, an app that allows women to help others avoid similar bad dates. Despite the toxicity of a workplace filled with app designers who harass and browbeat her on a regular basis, Mel, surprisingly, finds the romance she is looking for at her job. McFadden's Midwestern vowels, though often distracting, are fitting for Mel, a New York City transplant. While some odd vocal choices remove the listener from the story, McFadden's unique voices help the listener differentiate characters in conversation. Overall, McFadden delivers a serviceable performance. A.L.S.M. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Cat Sebastian, Read by Morag Sims • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harper Audio • Trade Ed.

Narrator Morag Sims perfectly captures the outspoken lady's maid and meek vicar's daughter at the center of this delightful romance with just the right amount of mischief. Sweet-voiced Alice has been saved from ruin by the kindly Mrs. Wraxhall and is now adjusting to her new home. She is drawn to Molly, a charmingly forward maid with a subtle Cockney accent and a deep voice. At first, nothing comes of their mutual attraction, but when they depart for a house party and find that they are to share a room, their wariness melts away. And when Alice is horrified to discover that the snootily voiced brute who caused her near ruin is expected at the house party, she and Molly concoct a scheme to reclaim what was lost. E.E.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Earphones Award Winner THE PRINCESS TRAP Dirty British, Book 1
Talia Hibbert, Read by Cornell Collins • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Tantor Media • Trade Ed.

Cornell Collins narrates a surprisingly sweet romance with charm and panache. When Cherry Neita is caught by a paparazzo in a compromising position with Ruben Helgmøre, an actual prince, the only way to save his reputation is to pretend to be his fiancée for a year. Collins does an excellent job portraying the subtle vocal variations Cherry uses to present herself to the world as situations demand, and she does so without sacrificing any of the authenticity of Cherry's character. As Ruben, Collins leans in hard to capture his sexy Scandinavian smolder, making it easy to understand why Cherry desires him. The secondary characters are also well developed, particularly Ruben's staff, Demi, Hans, and Agathe. Most important, Collins's engaging delivery highlights the true heart of the story—Cherry and Ruben's developing relationship. K.M.P. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

SAINT Knights of Fury, Book 1
Chantal Fernando, Read by Vanessa Edwin • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harlequin Audio • Trade Ed.

Narrator Vanessa Edwin floods listeners with teenage Skylar's pain as her insensitive mother rips her away from her motorcycle club family without a backward look. Six years later, Skylar's dead-end life feels permanent until she receives a letter from Saint, a club member who is currently serving time for assault. Shocked into action, Skylar reconnects with the club and Saint. Edwin's sweet, clear tone is both believable and appealing. Her male voices for Saint, Skylar's stepdad, Hammer, and the other club members sound realistically rough and masculine. Edwin balances Skylar's independence with her deep love and respect for club life, giving listeners a protagonist who is both naïve and strong-willed. For romance lovers fascinated by motorcycle culture, this series opener is well presented by Edwin. C.A. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

UNLEASHED Long, Tall Texans, Book 47
Diana Palmer, Read by Todd McLaren • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Harlequin Audio • Trade Ed.

Clancy Lang has had a hard life, and Todd McLaren reflects that in his narration. Clancy is left to care for her young stepbrother, Tad, after his abusive brother is sent to prison. Clancy's boss is Colter Banks, a Texas Ranger who works cold cases including, unbeknownst to him, the disappearance of Clancy's grandfather. McLaren gives Colter a deliberate voice sounds appropriate for a Texas lawman. Tad's light and youthful voice reflects his hopeful outlook. The one detraction is the occasionally slow pacing of McLaren's delivery. But listeners will be pulling for Clancy, especially in view of her difficult past. S.B. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Young Adult To Category List

Cassandra Clare, Wesley Chu, Read by B.D. Wong • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Simon & Schuster Audio • Trade Ed.

In the first audiobook in The Eldest Curses trilogy (part of The Shadowhunter Chronicles), B.D. Wong, known for his work in Disney films, television, and theater, gives voice to warlock Magnus Bane and his boyfriend, Alec Lightwood. While touring Europe after the Mortal War, they discover a cult that is determined to cause chaos. Wong engages with the gripping tale's accelerating intrigue as Magnus and Alec race across the continent to stop the cult. Wong puts listeners directly in the center of events as the heroes cut it close all the way to the end. E.K. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Stacey Lee, Read by Nancy Wu • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Tantor Media • Trade Ed.

In this quirky novel, Nancy Wu's mellow tones ably convey the angst of growing up as one of the world's last aromateurs, a person who uses a heightened sense of smell to create love potions. Having finally convinced her mother to let her go to high school, 15-year-old Mimosa works hard to keep up with her classes, the bewildering new world of teen relationships, and the extreme care she and her mother give the plants they use in their work as love witches. Descriptions of the huge array of flora are made clear and vivid through Wu's careful articulation. Although Mim is the focus of this unusual coming-of-age story, especially her blossoming romance, there are many secondary characters. Wu keeps them straight for listeners through her varied delivery. S.G. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Earphones Award Winner THESE WITCHES DON'T BURN
Isabel Sterling, Read by Kristen DiMercurio • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Listening Library • Trade Ed.
Listening Library • Library Ed.

Kristen DiMercurio will keep listeners spellbound with her narration of this contemporary young adult fantasy. Hannah is a typical teenage witch living in Salem with her coven. While attending an end-of-the-year party, someone commits a forbidden blood ritual, and Hannah is left to uncover the mystery with her ex-girlfriend, Veronica, while trying to date someone new. DiMercurio creates a relatable atmosphere for young adults and skillfully portrays each character uniquely. She shines in her performance of angsty Hannah as she anxiously investigates deadly magic and the web of emotions in her romantic life. G.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

WARHEAD The True Story of One Teen Who Almost Saved the World
Jeff Henigson, Read by Jeff Henigson • Unabridged • AUGUST 2019
Listening Library • Trade Ed.
Listening Library • Library Ed.

Author Jeff Henigson takes full advantage of the opportunity to narrate the funny, frequently bittersweet story of his teenage battle with brain cancer and the life-changing journey that arose from it. Henigson manages to project the wistfulness, angst, and fear of a 15-year-old whose biggest hope morphs from wanting to launch a rocket with his dad to hoping to survive cancer. Listeners will relate not only to Jeff's dream but also to the relationships he has with his soft-spoken and supportive mother and his stern and gruff father, who remains unable to relate to a wish granted by the Starlight Children's Foundation for Jeff to travel to the U.S.S.R in the name of world peace. E.J.F. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine



Earphones Award Winner = Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

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