Audiobook Reviews & Recommendations
Fresh Listening for the New Year

Ring in the new year with some fresh audiobooks — we recommend new fiction, a collection from an Inaugural poet, a swoon-worthy YA romance, and essays from Zora Neale Hurston, narrated by a Golden Voice. Happy new year, and happy listening.
Robin Miles narrates this audiobook with empathy and a sure sense of Hurston’s literary voice. She arranges her pace and adapts her tone in ways that give listeners access to the author’s idiosyncratic brilliance. Capturing Hurston’s intonations and invigorating her varied essays with an understanding of the author’s intentions help reveal her meanings and bring Hurston’s world vividly to life.
AudioFile Earphones Award

Krystal Roche’s youthful voice melds childhood memories with adult reflection, propelling this novel into the realm of poetic memoir. It is October 2001, and the unnamed protagonist of the story is traveling back to Haiti for a visit after living in the U.S. Roche’s Haitian cadence adds a dreaminess to all the details. Bright airport windows, cups of roasted coffee, a bell-sleeved blouse — all lyrically counterbalance the worry of travel post-9/11.
Narrator Susan Bennett interweaves time periods as she portrays dual protagonists: Ellie, a young Civil Rights worker in the 1960s, and Kayla, a recently widowed mother who is moving into Ellie’s old neighborhood in the 2010s. As Kayla faces threats and other danger in her new house, listeners learn of Ellie's harrowing experiences and the town’s hateful history.
Raquel Beattie masterfully engages listeners with her calm, clear voice as she performs this 2021 National Book Award finalist. For the first-person protagonist, living in Chile during the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet is like living in another dimension — not unlike the one depicted in the 1960s television series “The Twilight Zone.” Nothing is what it seems; people change their names, have fake families, and disappear, never to be heard from again.