Audiobooks!: November 17, 2016

This week’s Audiobooks! Newsletter is sponsored by

ds9mr_9nnvka33d9utosu2rdt87yw1bqk4qmnpmj2wiwsjt85tdwjv9xj7j87ncyv_lftebo4mpc6ve1cr1dljly5iulnylk_9bxkclpmqn6mmneyzwmgc3stptk3ckigda8lfqvListen while you cook! While spending hours in the kitchen prepping meals for the holidays, put on a good audiobook and let the story help you along. Cooking for Picasso and The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living are great cooking memoirs or you can listen to Where Am I Now? read by Mara Wilson herself! Let audiobooks be your secret ingredient this holiday season. Visit for a free download and get started!

Audiobook people! Last weekend I was at Book Riot Live in New York, and I got to see so many of your faces IRL. If you were there: hello, and I miss you! I loved swapping audiobook recommendations with you and just generally reveling in the awesomeness of audiobooks. I think we agreed that, while Moby-Dick is stellar on audio (not biased, I swear), The Sound and the Fury should be avoided at all costs.

I may or may not have a giant Moby-Dick tattoo. I may or may not have a giant Moby-Dick tattoo.

Like many of you, I had a beyond crappy week last week. I woke up on Tuesday morning glowing with excitement about participating in a historic feminist milestone, and went to bed with a heart heavy knowing that racism, homophobia, misogyny, and xenophobia are still alive and well in my neighborhood. I want you all to know that I am more committed than ever to seeking out and amplifying awesome stories by people on the margins, and to sharing those stories with you.

BookOfUnknownAmericansReading is scientifically shown to increase empathy, and I believe that hearing these stories out loud, spoken in a human voice, makes this effect even more powerful. Please, listen to The Book of Unknown Americans, Behold the Dreamers, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Another Brooklyn, Homegoing, The Wangs vs the World, In The Country We LoveYou Can’t Touch My Hair, or any of the other audiobooks we’ve talked about here. Then — and this is the especially important part — recommend them to other people. So many folks are listening to audiobooks these days, even people who don’t read much in print. Let’s get out there, share human stories, and build some fucking empathy.

An All-American Road Trip Book, Now With More Wangs

wangsvstheworldYou know it’s serious when you re-up your lapsed audiobook subscription for just one book. It was so worth it for The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang, the story of a wealthy immigrant family that loses their fortune in the financial crisis and regroups on a (hilarious) road trip across America.

What I love most about this book is its delicate balance between comedy and compassion. I LOVE the entire Wang family — there’s the embarrassing dad, the cold stepmother, the art world ingenue, the college bro, the millennial fashion blogger, and the crunchy hipster farmer. Jade Chang playfully teases each character about their personality quirks while ultimately digging into the humanity beneath, making you grow to love each one. My personal favorite is Grace, the high school student with a weird suicide obsession who steals blogging equipment from her boarding school.

Nancy Wu is another new narrator to me, and her performance is phenomenal. She interprets the story with a fabulous dry humor, and she differentiates between characters by effortlessly switching registers and accents — everything from a sixteen-year-old fashion blogger to a sixty-year-old cosmetics tycoon. Snippets of Chinese are sprinkled throughout, and it was cool to hear both the Chinese and the English spoken together. This is definitely one of those effortless listens that translates beautifully to audio <3

8 Addictive Audiobooks Worth Missing Your Exit For

everything-everything-by-nicola-yoon-audioYou know the type — you’re listening to a kickass audiobook when, oops! You blow right past your exit on the highway. That, or you listen in the parking lot for 15 extra minutes while you laugh / cry / freak out. These are the moments Book Riot contributor Kristy Pasquariello lives for; here are eight of the juiciest, funniest, scariest, and most suspenseful audiobooks she’s ever had the pleasure of listening to.

These Books? The Audio’s Better Than The Print

troublemakerWe’ve all been there, staring at the audiobook and the book for an eternity, debating which to get. Or maybe you just got the print when someone says, “I listened to that on audio and the narrator was AMAZING!,” instilling you with deep regret and a desire to switch to the audio immediately.

Jamie Canaves, contributing editor at Book Riot, rounded up our top picks where we say “Go with the audiobook!” If you’re playing the which-version-to-get game, read on to see if its one of our go-to audio picks.

Audiobook or Podcast? How to Decide What to Listen To

My mind was kind of completely blown (I know, it happens a lot) when I realized that, for lots of readers, audiobooks and podcasts vie for the same space in their lives. Personally, it’s totally contextual for me — my brain can’t process audiobooks while I work, so that’s when I listen to podcasts. But if you’re a lucky duck who can listen to whatever, wherever, how do you solve the should-I-listen-to-a-book-or-a-podcast dilemma?

Book Riot contributor Rebecca Hussey loves audiobooks and podcasts equally and has to make that choice almost every day. These are the factors that help her decide — here’s hoping they help you, too!

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