Don’t miss Hers to Tame, the highly anticipated follow up to His to Defend in the sexy and suspenseful Men of Haven spin-off series, NOLA Knights! It’s one thing to report on the Russian mafia; it’s quite another to sleep with one of them, especially one as dangerous, and as sinfully sexy, as Kir. Cassie knows too much about his world to go down that path again. But when Kir reaches out for help, Cassie doesn’t want to say no, either to investigating a gruesome murder or to the heat that pulls her back into his arms. Read it today!
Hola Audiophiles, and greetings from my Lair of Social Distance. How are we holding up? I know for me it’s been a challenge to spend so much time alone and indoors; I hope you’re finding ways to stay engaged, connected, and calm.
Let’s talk new audiobook releases, a little news you can use, and some resources to get us all through this rough patch. I’m sending you all a virtual hug right now! Thanks for rocking with me, you’re all pretty cool.
Ready? Let’s audio.
Before we begin, Book Riot has rounded up COVID-19 updates from the bookish world in one convenient place. You’ll find everything from free resources for children (story times! drawing lessons!) to news updates and a list of reliable online sources for staying informed.
New Releases – March 17, 2020 (publisher descriptions in quotes)
After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry, narrated by Leighton Pugh – This is Sarah Perry’s debut novel, written before The Essex Serpent and Melmoth made her a big bookish deal. A man’s car breaks down on an isolated road on his way to visit his brother. He goes looking for help and finds a dilapidated house where a woman comes out to greet him. She and a big ol’ clan of people inside say they’ve been awaiting his arrival. Funny story: he’s never seen any of these people before in his life.
Narrator Note: I sampled this expecting a woman’s voice because the only Leighton I know of is Leighton Meester. Whoops! Turns out Leighton is a gentleman; should have recognized the name from New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan.
Conjure Women bye Afia Atakora, narrated by Adenrele Ojo – Set in the South before and after the Civil War, this story introduces us to three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her observant daughter Rue who’s reluctant to follow in her footsteps as a midwife; and Varina, their master’s daughter. “The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom.”
Narrator Note: True story: I read this plot description and immediately thought of Deb Spera’s Call Your Daughter Home (read that, so good). It turns out Adenrele Ojo (along with the amazing Robin Miles and Brittany Pressley) also narrates that very book!
Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit by Lilliam Rivera and Elle Power, narrated by Frankie Corzo – Goldie Vance is the brown Nancy Drew I craved in my childhood! The mystery at the heart of this whodunit involves a missing diamond-encrusted swim cap. Amazing! Based on Hope Larson and Brittney Williams’s critically acclaimed Goldie Vance comic, this middle grade caper sounds like so much fun.
Narrator Note: I loved Frankie Corzo’s performance of Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year in Havana. Other notable credits include Natalie Sylvester’s Everyone Knows You Go Home and Meg Medina’s Merci Suarez Changes Gears.
Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel, narrated by Megan Dodds, Jill Winternitz – If you love books about complicated of mother-daughter relationships, buckle up. For the first 18 years of her life, Rose Gold Watts was in a wheelchair, practically lived in a hospital, and was convinced she was seriously ill. It turns out her mom Patty Watts was just a really good liar. Fresh out of prison, Patty asks Rose Gold for a place to stay. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in, but Rose Gold knows her better than that. But this time, she’s also prepared.
Narrator Note: Megan Dodds has narrated several titles for Jodi Picoult and Meg Cabot, while Jill Winternitz is a newcomer to the audio game.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, narrated by Daniel Henning – A case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth has been tasked with determining whether six magical children are about to bring about the end of the world. The master of the orphanage is like, “Nah, fam” and will do anything to keep those kiddos safe, even if it means the world will go up in fuego. Gail Carriger describes this as “1984 meets The Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in.” I didn’t know that was a combo I wanted, but I do.
Narrator note: There is something so clear, crisp, and rather calming about Daniel Henning’s voice. I was thinking that to myself while sampling this audiobook when I realized he narrates a book of meditations called Practicing Mindfulness; if you’re an Audible member and are looking for some guided meditations (because again, world = garbage fire), try it out!
Make Those Listens Count
Rather than talk about my latest listen (it’s Sherry Thomas all day over here, comfort listens for the win), I want to share two important audiobooks resources.
- This post from a few years back on free places to get audiobooks is one I’ve shared with all kinds of folks this week. Between economic uncertainty and just general worries over COVID-19, I think a lot of us could use a reminder of how to get some listens in for free.
- My peeps over at Libro.fm put together this list on ways to support indie bookstores through the chaos of COVID-19. If you can afford to spend some money, and it doesn’t have to be much, to help booksellers, here are several ways you can do so.
From the Internets
I don’t necessarily care that a book is narrated by a celebrity just because they’re a celebrity, but this list does indeed include some of my favorite performances by talented celebrity narrators: Claire Danes performing The Handmaid’s Tale, Leah Remini narrating Troublemaker, and Michelle Obama reading Becoming.
About those free books: here’s reminder that Libby is an excellent resource for free ebooks and audiobooks and look, yet another reminder! Spread the good word to folks not in the know, especially during these quarantine days.
Over at the Riot
My middle thirties self finds these feel-good middle grade audiobooks most delightful.
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.