This week’s Audiobooks! Newsletter is sponsored by The Call by Peadar O’Guilin.
You wake up alone in a horrible land. A horn sounds. The Call has begun, and you have three minutes and four seconds to save your life from the Sidhe, the most beautiful and terrible fairies you’ve ever seen. 14-year old Nessa knows she’ll be Called soon, and no one thinks she has any chance to survive. But she’s going to prove them wrong. Peadar O’Guilin’s The Call is a heart-stopping, blood-pounding, can’t-put-down-until-you’ve-read-the-last-word fantasy thriller you won’t be able to forget. Could you survive the Call? (Narrator Amy Shiels will appear in next year’s Twin Peaks revival!)
The Most Exciting Audiobook of the Year?
Have you guys read Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey yet? It’s been making headlines for selling almost half a million copies — pretty badass for a book of poems that was originally self published. Rupi Kaur moves people with her words, and excitement about Milk and Honey has spread through word-of-mouth, booksellers, and social media. And if you haven’t read it yet, you’re kind of in luck that you waited, because the audiobook just came out!
Andrews McMeel Publishing has only published a few collections of poetry, so we’re really lucky that they stumbled onto Milk and Honey. After a little experimenting, they noticed that spoken-word poets were really popular on college campuses. As they put it in a piece by Publishers Weekly, “We saw that there was this generation of young women, mostly in that early-20s age group, who were responding to this form of expression.”
Milk and Honey is a mix of prose and poetry that explores survival, violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity, taking a journey through life’s most bitter moments to find sweetness. It’s divided into four chapters that each deal with a different kind of pain and heartache, and you can check out an excerpt of the audio here, performed by Rupi Kaur (yes!).
How Audiobooks Can Help With ADHD
I love Kate Scott’s recent piece for Book Riot about what she calls her “Tigger brain.” Even though she wants to read pretty much everything ever written (yep, same here), her neurobiology doesn’t always cooperate (again, same!). I like to think that while my wandering attention doesn’t always make it easy to be a reader, at least I wind up listening to some COMPLETELY CAPTIVATING books — sometimes they’re the only ones that can hold my attention! For Kate, listening to audiobooks is her version of meditation, and it’s her #1 reading tip for people with ADD / ADHD.
My Latest Audiobook Obsession
Remember 2 seconds ago when I was talking about audiobooks that are COMPLETELY CAPTIVATING? This is fully true of Crazy Rich Asians, a gossipy novel about Singapore’s most rich and famous. Rachel and Nick, both young academics in New York, take a romantic trip to Singapore where Nick will be the best man in his friend’s wedding. Oh, and P.S.: Nick will also introduce Rachel to his family, no pressure. What’s more, Rachel has no idea that her humble, mild-mannered boyfriend is actually from one of Singapore’s richest families and is the most eligible bachelor in the country. Shenanigans, schemes, and gossip ensue.
I don’t know why I didn’t read this book instantly. Maybe I worried that it would be formulaic with half-hearted chuckles? Think again, self: it’s more like Edith Wharton meets Gossip Girl set in Singapore with a dash of Emily Gilmore. It’s completely funny and original, and it has what I’ve come to think of as a strong narrative voice — a quality that I love about audiobooks like Where’d You Go, Bernadette, City of Thieves, and anything by Nora Ephron. It’s almost like these stories were meant to be read out loud.
As narrator, Lynn Chen hits it out of the park with breezy humor, backstabbing relatives, and effortless accents from New York, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Australia, England, and more. I loved everything about this audiobook and am psyched that the saga continues with two more books. <3