Sponsored by ECW Press' Bespeak Audio Imprint
A passionate, contemporary love story between a man and his body, with a re-imagining of Hindu mythology. Both narratives explore the complexities of embodiment and the damaging effects that policing gender and sexuality can have on the human heart. Publishers Weekly describes it as “a lyrical ode to love in all its many forms”. Masterfully narrated by the author, Vivek Shraya.
Hola Audiophiles! Bienvenidos once again to the land of audio love. I hope you all had some time to relax and unwind over the last few weeks and maybe even sneak in some quality audio time! It’s a new year, and that means lot of new books to get after. Let’s talk about some of those new releases and one of my favorite recent listens.
Ready? Let’s audio.
New Releases – January 7, 2020
Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein, narrated by the author – Peggy Orenstein has written extensively about girls in books like Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter, advocating for their right to pleasure and agency in sexual relationships and breaking down gender stereotypes. She realized that she was missing half the equation in only focusing on girls and now examines how we raise boys, addressing issues like consent and toxic masculinity.
Don’t Believe a Word by David Shariatmadari, narrated by Damian Lynch – This book sounds like language-nerd candy! It breaks down nine common myths about language with lots of science and insights into modern linguistics.
Narrator Note: Damian Lynch is the voice behind the Mycroft Holmes series by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. His accent is very posh English and pleasant if you’re into that sort of thing (and I so am).
Lady Hotspur by Tessa Gratton, narrated by Jessica Hayles – Shakespeare made gayer is a thing I am very into and Tessa Gratton is too! This is her take on Henry IV, Part I in which Princes Mora and Hal are both women caught in a battle of succession. Lady Hotspur is “the fiery and bold knight whose support will turn the tides of the coming war.” Gimme.
Narrator Note: This is the first audiobook credit I found for Jessica Hayles, an English actress with experience performing Shakespeare. Some of you may recognize her from a 2005 role on Doctor Who.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore, narrated by Allyson Ryan – In a Philadelphia neighborhood ravaged by the opioid crisis, once inseparable sisters Kacey and Mickey are estranged. Kacey is an addict who lives on the streets while Mickey walks a police beat. When Kacey goes missing just as a strange of mysterious murders pops up in Mickey’s district, Mickey becomes obsessed with solving the murders and finding her missing sister.
Narrator Note: Allyson Ryan’s voice is so awesome because it sounds like she doesn’t give a crap and cares a lot at the same time? That sounds like a diss, but I really enjoy it. She’s narrated works like The Fifth Trimester and Fleishman is in Trouble.
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez, narrated by Ana Osorio – This book sounds so good! The usurper Atoc has driven the Illustrian royal family from La Ciudad using an ancient magical relic; all but one Illustrian, that is. Condesa is the last remaining survivor and Atoc has the nerve to ask for her hand in marriage! She sends her decoy Ximena to him in her place, giving Ximena the chance at the revenge that she craves. It’s inspired by Bolivian politics and history (yessss), with a little bit of magic sprinkled on top.
Narrator note: I’ve only listened to a sample of Ana’s work but I’m very interested so far. If you like her work and have been looking to incorporate more Spanish audiobooks into your listening, she’s the voice behind the Spanish versions of Jojo Moyes and Kristin Hannahs books and more.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, narrated by Nicole Lewis – Oh my gatos, y’all: this was so fantastic. I wasn’t all that excited about this for whatever reason and it blew me away! Nicole Lewis as a narrator gets all the gold stars; anyone who can transition that smoothly from a mid-30s Karen type to a young, semi-apathetic twenty-something and then a quirky toddler and back again is someone I want to know more about.
The book is about Emira, a young black babysitter, and Alix, her well-intentioned employer (and professional Karen, sort of?). Emira cares for Alix’ toddler Briar three days a week while Alix does her internet influencer thing. Their relationship has always been cordial, but changes for good one evening when Emira is falsely accused of kidnapping Briar at a high-end grocery store while on the job. That evening blows over at first, but will come back to reveal a surprising connection between Alix’s past and Emira’s present that threatens to undo them both. It’s a brilliant and witty examination of class, race, and privilege that would be perfect for book club. It forces you to examine your own biases and contains a whole cast of characters whose intentions might just be a little polarizing.
From the Internets
Ok, I sort of hate the title of this article because it’s just begging for the “audiobooks aren’t books” trolls to pile on. That being said, yes: audiobooks are having a moment.
Over at the Riot
You love Robin, we love Robin, or maybe you don’t yet but are about to love Robin: a roundup of some of the best audiobooks narrated by the wonderfully talented Robin Miles.
That’s all I got today! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with audiobook feedback & questions or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the In The Club newsletter, peep the Read Harder podcast, and watch me booktube every Tuesday and Friday too!
Stay bad & bookish, my friends.