Why You Should Listen to Al Franken’s New Audiobook

Hello again, listeners,

Here’s a riddle: How do you make a drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas (7-8 hours) fly by? You listen to Al Franken’s new audiobook, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. Granted, there are a lot of ways in which this book is tailor-made for me (thanks, Al! How’d you know?). I grew up following politics and that fascination has only increased in my adulthood. I also really love comedy. So a book about how a comedian got into the Senate is kind of a no-brainer.

Sponsored by The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy, a HMH Book for Young Readers.

Every seven years something disappears in the town of Sterling: reflections…dreams…colors. When Aila arrives, she learns the town is cursed to lose experiences that weave life together…and the theory is that Aila’s deceased mother, Juliet, is to blame.

Aila sets out to clear her mother’s name with the help of George, whose goofy charm makes him a fast friend; Beas, the enigmatic violinist who writes poetry on her knees; and William, whose pull on Aila’s heart terrifies her.

The Disappearances is a bewitching tale full of intrigue and dread that will leave you entranced.

That said, there are tons of elements that make this book above and beyond the average book by a comedian or a senator. And make it so good on audio. First, Franken’s first Senate campaign and election were bananas. I won’t spoil it and some folks may remember it but either way, it’s a helluva story. More than that, however, is the amount of behind-the-scenes detail Franken includes about the inner workings of the Senate. For example, Franken talks about how much work a senator’s staff does that the senators gleefully take credit for. Sure, maybe that’s something you already assumed, but the way Franken injects a sly (or sometimes not-so-sly) quip about the egos of all senators (including himself) is refreshing.

Some of the most hilarious moments of the book come when Franken describes trying to stop himself from making jokes on the otherwise humorless Senate floor. There’s a particularly excellent scene in which he recalls the arguments of the devil and angel perched on his shoulder. I can’t even remember what joke he debated saying, but both my road trip partner and I were SCREAMING with laughter.

For wonky political nerds like myself, there are many really juicy tidbits of political gossip (The Obama Campaign kind of gave the Franken campaign the cold shoulder?), as well as a healthy dose of self-awareness about the privilege of being a senator and how Sherrod Brown of Ohio told Franken “there’s no whining on the yacht” and Al Gore told Franken to “suck it up,” when he was getting raked over the coals in the press about something.

If you are, like me, the kind of person who watches Rachel Maddow every. single. night. This is the book for you. But even if you don’t, it’s probably the book for you. If you’re unsure, just read the chapter called Sophistry. If that doesn’t sell you on the book, probably nothing will. I actually listened to that chapter twice–-the second time immediately after the first–-just because it was so devilishly funny.

Franken gets serious about Trump and policy, and the policy chapters might be a bit long for those who aren’t super into this stuff. But the rest of the book will make up for it, I promise. Plus, Franken really knows what he’s talking about regarding these issues and we would all do well to listen up. So, that’s why I dedicated this week’s newsletter to Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. Give it a listen and let me know what you think at @msmacb on Twitter.

New Books:

Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem written and narrated by Bill Nye

“Everything All at Once is an exciting, inspiring call to unleash the power of the nerd mindset that exists within us all. Nye believes we’ll never be able to tackle our society’s biggest, most complex problems if we don’t even know how to solve the small ones. Step by step, he shows his listeners the key tools behind his everything-all-at-once approach: radical curiosity, a deep desire for a better future, and a willingness to take the actions needed to make it a reality. Problem-solving is a skill that anyone can harness to create change, and Bill Nye is here to teach us how.

Each chapter describes a principle of problem solving that Nye himself uses – methodical, fact-based approaches to life that aspires to leave no stone unturned. He explains how the nerd mindset leads to a richer and more meaningful life; far more than that, it can help address hunger, crime, poverty, pollution, and even assist the democratic process. Throughout the book, Nye draws on his own experiences – leavened with his trademark humor and self-deprecation – to show how he came to think like a Science Guy, and how you can, too. By the end, you will be ready to sort out problems, recognize solutions, and join him in changing the world.”

The X-Files: Cold Cases by Joe Harris, Chris Carter, narrated by David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson.

“Set after the events of The X-Files: I Want to Believe and providing additional backstory to the incidents that pulled Mulder and Scully out of reclusion prior to 2016’s miniseries revival, a database breach at FBI headquarters allows an unknown group to access and capitalize on those investigations left unsolved – dubbed cold cases – by the secret department once known as The X-Files. As friends and foes of the agency long thought gone begin to inexplicably reappear, former agents Mulder and Scully come out of anonymity to face a growing conspiracy that involves not only their former department but the US government and forces not of this world.

Here, fans are treated once again to Mulder and Scully’s irreplicable chemistry as only the series’ leads could deliver, Duchovny’s deadpan and cynical aloofness finding its natural counterpoint in Anderson’s unwavering intelligence and rigidity. Appearances from series regulars and the actors who made them fan favorites round out this must-listen arc: the gruff, no-BS righteousness of Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi); the distinctive click-puff of the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis); and the stooge-like hijinks of three beloved conspiracy theorists called the Lone Gunmen.”

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
“Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor – someone, or something, to love.

In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi’s life unfold, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live after loss.

An elegiac distillation, at once intellectual and visceral, of a young woman’s understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades, What We Lose heralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction.”

Book Riot Linking:


Rioter Emma discusses how—and which—audiobooks have helped her during a time of emotional and literal upheaval.


We make mistakes so you don’t have to.


Narrators can make or break an audiobook, and male narrators who make female characters shrill definitely break them.

More links for your ears:

The Washington Post has a glowing review of David Sedaris’ new book–-Audiobooks: David Sedaris reads his diary with relish for the absurdity of life

A list of the audio books narrated by some of your favorite

How can I check if my eBooks have matching audiobook companions?– – Help Center

Ok, this one is only kind of audiobook related, but whatever, I think it’s cool: 4 text-to-speech apps that will read online articles to you

Former Vice President Al Gore, Shailene Woodley, Sterling K. Brown And More To Narrate The Audiobook Edition Of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To PowerThat’s all for this week! I’ll be back in touch next week from somewhere on the road!



New Audiobook Releases and Comfort Listens

Happy July, y’all!

Remember last week when I was talking about how great Do Not Be Alarmed is? BAM: here’s an interview with Meloy in which she talks about the book as well as her experience narrating the audiobook. Did anyone maybe go listen to her narration of that Laurie Colwin story, Mr. Parker? If you did will you hit me up on twitter and tell me if you liked it? I know I’m being a little obsessive; I just love that story so much.

Sponsored by Overdrive.

Meet Libby, a new app built with love for readers to discover and enjoy eBooks and audiobooks from your library. Created by OverDrive and inspired by library users, Libby was designed to get people reading as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Libby is a one-tap reading app for your library who is a good friend always ready to go to the library with you. One-tap to borrow, one-tap to read, and one-tap to return to your library or bookshelf to begin your next great book.

I’m really excited about the release of Alissa Nutting’s new book, Made for Love. Tampa was a disturbing, excellent read and Nutting’s collection of short stories, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, is among my favorite collections. Publisher’s Weekly included Made for Love on their Best Summer Books of  2017 list, saying “Nutting deftly exploits the comic potential of perverse attachments… The novel charms in its witty portrait of a woman desperate to reconnect with her humanity.”

Usually, I go for realistic fiction or nonfiction but, man, reality has been sucking recently. So I’ve been really into listening to older, favorite classics. Here are two of my standard audiobook escapes. Would love to hear yours…

The Harry Potter Series: Aside from the way Jim Dale does Hermione’s voice (it’s so breathy!), these audiobooks are perfection. Like the print books, I can start any one of the seven books and open it randomly, start reading, and be happily engaged. I have also fallen asleep to these and had the occasional Hogwarts dream which…#blessed.

Ready Player One: I could (and have!) listened to this book a million times. I’ve probably talked about it in this newsletter before. It’s just a totally engaging adventure story with corporate bad dudes, ’80s nostalgia, and a treasure hunt. The movie is coming out next year (and for Silicon Valley fans: T.J. Miller is playing iRock in the film. iRock doesn’t have a huge role in the book so…they might make him a more central character in the film? We’ll see…) and if you haven’t listened to this one yet, you’re going to want to hop on that before the movie release. 

New releases:

(publisher description in quotes)

Out in the Open by Jesús Carrasco

“A young boy has fled his home. He’s pursued by dangerous forces. What lies before him is an infinite, arid plain, one he must cross in order to escape those from whom he’s fleeing. One night on the road, he meets an old goatherd, a man who lives simply but righteously, and from that moment on their paths intertwine.

Out in the Open tells the story of this journey through a drought-stricken country ruled by violence. A world where names and dates don’t matter, where morals have drained away with the water. In this landscape the boy – not yet a lost cause – has the chance to choose hope and bravery or to live forever mired in the cycle of violence in which he was raised. Carrasco has masterfully created a high-stakes world, a dystopian tale of life and death, right and wrong, terror and salvation.”

This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson 

“Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who’s ever dared to wonder. This book is for you. There’s a long-running joke that after “coming out”, a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. This is that instruction manual. You’re welcome. In it you’ll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics and hooking up to stereotypes, coming out, and more. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it’s like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums. You will be entertained. You will be informed. But most importantly, you will know that however you identify (or don’t) and whomever you love, you are exceptional. You matter. And so does this book.”

Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner

“Detective Manon Bradshaw handles only cold cases. But when a man dies just yards from the police station where she works, Manon can’t help taking an interest. And as she sidles in on the briefing she learns that the victim, a banker from London worth millions, is more closely linked to her than she could have imagined. When the case begins to circle in on Manon’s home and her family, she finds herself pitted against the colleagues she once held dear.”

New Book Riot Podcast!

Also, if you are reading this newsletter, you probably love audiobooks. And learning more about books, reading, and language. Well, Book Riot is delighted to announce the launch of our newest podcast, Annotated! Presented by Hachette Book Group, Annotated is an audio documentary series about books, reading, and language. We’re kicking things off with a deep dive into George Orwell’s 1984: how it became stock high school reading, its CIA-supported appearance on the silver screen, its current resurgence, and more. Check it out at or search for Annotated in Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or your podcatcher of choice.


Links for Your Ears:

Audiobooks: Three biographies run the gamut from great to pretty bad–Winston-Salem Journal

June 2017 Audiobook 

The Harry Potter audiobooks have a magic of their ownNew Statesman


Star Spangled Audiobooks

Hello again, audiobook lovers, how was your week?

In the newsletter last week, I fangirled pretty hard over Titus Welliver and his narration of the later Harry Bosch audiobooks. Bear with me, cuz I have more (but different!) fangirling to do now: this weekend, I listened to all of Maile Meloy’s new book, Do Not Become Alarmed, in a single day.

Sponsored by Overdrive

Meet Libby, a new app built with love for readers to discover and enjoy eBooks and audiobooks from your library. Created by OverDrive and inspired by library users, Libby was designed to get people reading as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Libby is a one-tap reading app for your library who is a good friend always ready to go to the library with you. One-tap to borrow, one-tap to read, and one-tap to return to your library or bookshelf to begin your next great book.

The first time I heard Meloy read something was in the New Yorker Fiction podcast when she read the story “Mr. Parker” by Laurie Colwin. “Mr. Parker” is one of my all-time favorite short stories; it’s about a girl on the brink of teenagehood, in that last moment of innocence before she is launched into womanhood and all the perils that come with it. Meloy’s voice is perfect for the story–-soft, but strong and clear with the self-awareness that begins to creep into the young girl’s consciousness. I highly recommend listening to it, which you can do here.  

So, I was thrilled to learn that Meloy reads the audio of Do Not Become Alarmed and, once again, her voice is perfect for the subject. It’s the story of two families who take a cruise together and on a land excursion, the children go missing. So much of the novel is about the tension between ignorance and awareness, between attitudes of those with privilege and those without. I listened to the whole book in a day; I lost of doing work but couldn’t stop without knowing how things turned out.

Star Spangled Audiobooks

One of the *few* silver linings I can see in the Trump presidency and the chaos around it is an increased conversation around how government works. Our president often seems unclear about how the three branches of government work or what the Constitution says and as a result, those issues have been discussed more widely than they have in the past. Remember that moment at the Democratic National Committee convention when gold-star father Khizr Khan offered to lend Trump a copy of his pocket Constitution? Something tells me the Trump never took him up on the offer.

Fortunately for all of us, Penguin Random House has teamed up with PEN America and the National Coalition Against Censorship to bring us free streaming audio recordings of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Narrated by Frank Langella and Boyd Gaines, these recordings will be available through the end of July. If you wanna let others know you’re brushing up on your founding documents and see what others have to say, folks will be using the #wethepeoplelisten hashtag to share their thoughts. Listen at

If you are a politics nerd like I am, you may also enjoy one of the most nerdtastic items I have ever purchased. May it Please the Court is a print book but it comes with an audio CD. The book contains the transcripts from the most seminal supreme court cases between 1955 and 2007; the audio CD has the actual recordings of those arguments. From the publisher, “May It Please the Court includes both live recordings and transcripts of oral arguments in twenty-three of the most significant cases argued before the Supreme Court in the second half of the twentieth century…through the voices of some of the nation’s most important lawyers and justices, including Thurgood Marshall, Archibald Cox, and Earl Warren, it offers a chance to hear firsthand our justice system at work, in the highest court of the land.”

Take a look at some of the cases included: Gideon v. Wainwright (right to counsel) Abington School District v. Schempp (school prayer) Miranda v. Arizona (“the right to remain silent”) Roe v. Wade (abortion rights) Edwards v. Aguillard (teaching “creationism”) Regents v. Bakke (reverse discrimination) Wisconsin v. Yoder (compulsory schooling for the Amish) Tinker v. Des Moines (Vietnam protest in schools) Texas v. Johnson (flag burning) New York Times v. United States (Pentagon Papers) Cox v. Louisiana (civil rights demonstrations) Communist Party v. Subversive Activities Control Board (freedom of association) Terry v. Ohio (“stop and frisk” by police) Gregg v. Georgia (capital punishment) Cooper v. Aaron (Little Rock school desegregation) Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (public accommodations) Palmer v. Thompson (swimming pool integration) Loving v. Virginia (interracial marriage) San Antonio v. Rodriguez (equal funding for public schools) Bowers v. Hardwick (homosexual rights) Baker v. Carr (“one person, one vote”) United States v. Nixon (Watergate tapes) DeShaney v. Winnebago County (child abuse).

New Releases

(publisher description in quotes)

Hope and a Future: The Story of Syrian Refugees by John M. B. Balouziyeh

This is the first I have heard of the Refugee Rights series but count me in.

“This book tracks the author’s travels to Syrian refugee camps and informal tented settlements in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Relying on his legal background, he offers an unfiltered account of the plight of Syrian refugees from a legal, political, and humanitarian perspective.

Yet this book is more than just an account of the lives of Syrian refugees; it answers that burning question on so many people’s minds: how can I help? In discussing corporate partnerships with aid organizations, civil society initiatives, humanitarian missions, volunteering and fundraising, the author shows that there is a role anyone can play in making a lasting, positive impact on Syrian refugees and restoring dignity to their lives.”

The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater

“Lizzie, the only daughter of celebrated war photographer Kurtiz Ross, went missing four years ago. Kurtiz and her ex-husband, Oliver, arrive in Paris following an unconfirmed sighting of their daughter.

Oliver rushes to find her while Kurtiz waits, praying for a reunion. As sirens wail, Kurtiz finds comfort in Marguerite Courtenay – a glamorous former actress. As Marguerite distracts Kurtiz with stories of her life in postwar Provence, Kurtiz must confront her own ghosts and face up to home truths.”

Use of Force by Brad Thor

“As a storm rages across the Mediterranean Sea, a terrifying distress call is made to the Italian Coast Guard. Days later, a body washes ashore.

Identified as a high-value terrorism suspect (who had disappeared three years prior), his name sends panic through the Central Intelligence Agency. Where was he headed? What was he planning? And could he be connected to the “spectacular attack” they have been fearing all summer?

In a race against time, the CIA taps an unorthodox source to get answers: Navy SEAL turned covert counterterrorism operative, Scot Harvath. Hired on a black contract, Harvath will provide the deniability the United States needs while he breaks every rule along the way.”

Links for Your Ears

5 Audiobook Narrators Who Are Sure To Have You Falling in Love With the Format –Book Riot

How One Man Overcame Blindness and Started an Audiobook Show for New Scifi and Fantasy –Gizmodo

Samuel West to narrate new Inspector Morse audio series –The Bookseller

City seeking first poet laureate –Winnipeg Free Press

These Are The Most Popular eBooks And Audiobooks Of Summer 2017, According To Scribd –Bustle

Dear Match Book: What Audiobooks Will Liven Up My Summer Road Trips? –New York Times

Now Is a Good Time to Listen to Prodigy Tell His Life Story –SPIN

Disability Advocates Celebrate the End of Australia’s ‘Book Famine’ –Pro Bono Australia

Until next time,



Audiobooking with Pride: LGBTQIA+ Books

Happy Day Before Friday, audiobook lovers!

Before I get into awesome lists and new releases, I have to tell you about my exciting audiobook discovery. A few weeks ago, I found myself bingeing all of the Amazon show, Bosch. I knew Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books were popular from my time as a public librarian but never read any myself. A few weeks ago I watched *all* of Bosch and figured listening to all of the Bosch books might be a good salve in the many months before Season 4 is released. So, I went to my local library’s website and put whatever I could on hold.

Sponsored by, your source for Audiobook Month giveaways and deals!

Want free audiobooks? Celebrate Audiobook Month this June with a premium giveaway every Thursday, brought to you by! Plus, members can access 2-for-1 offers, exclusive sales and bundled deals all month long. Listeners can stream books live or download for offline listening, and enjoy great features like sped-up narration, sleep timer and custom bookmarking. Plus, integrates with CarPlay, Android Auto, Sonos and tvOS for easy listening in your car and home. Create your account for free and get started today!

Apparently, a few other folks had the same idea. The only Bosch audiobooks I could find were the later ones and…the actor who plays Bosch in the series narrates some of the later books (like the one I am currently listening to, The Wrong Side of Goodbye)! This may only be exciting to those of us who have come to know Harry Bosch through Titus Welliver’s voice but it was fun to hear that same voice as I transitioned from show to audiobook. Also, (and let’s just pretend like this is audiobook related), LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE PICTURE OF BOSCH/WELLIVER WITH KITTENS!

Reading the Rainbow!

Pride month is coming to an end and I wanna highlight a couple of LGBTQIA+ before the month ends (though shouldn’t we just celebrate Pride year-round?). Descriptions from the publisher and/or Goodreads in quotes.

Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This book is just an all-around winner. High school junior Simon isn’t openly gay, though privately he’s perfectly comfortable with his sexuality. “But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be compromised..”

Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock

The journey begins a few months before her twentieth birthday. Janet Mock is adjusting to her days as a first-generation college student at the University of Hawaii and her nights as a dancer at a strip club. Finally content in her body, she vacillates between flaunting and concealing herself as she navigates dating and disclosure, sex and intimacy, and most important, letting herself be truly seen. Under the neon lights of Club Nu, Janet meets Troy, a yeoman stationed at Pearl Harbor naval base, who becomes her first. The pleasures and perils of their union serve as a backdrop for Janet’s progression through her early twenties with all the universal growing pains-falling in and out of love, living away from home, and figuring out what she wants to do with her life.”

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz 

I loved this book long before I heard the audio. Then, I fell in love with Hamilton (and Lin-Manuel Miranda). Then, I found out that LIN MANUEL MIRANDA narrates the Aristotle and Dante audiobook and my life exploded into one big ball of awesome (well, at least for the 7 hours and 32 minutes duration of the audiobook). “When Aristotle and Dante meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship-the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.”

Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout by Laura Jane Grace and Dan Ozzi

The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me! provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self.”

Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

This audiobook is one of those that makes you laugh while it’s punching you in the gut. Now doesn’t that sound like fun? (It actually really is). “With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father’s Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.”

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart

“By combing through the journals that Hannah has kept for much of her life, this collection of narrative essays deliver a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she’s figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame.

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

“Teen advocate and trailblazer Jazz Jennings shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.”

The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy

“Fifth-generation New Yorker, third-generation bartender, and first-generation author Tara Clancy spend her childhood scheming and gambling with her force-of-nature grandmother, brawling with eleven-year-old girls on the concrete recess battle yard of MS 172, lounging on Adirondack chairs beside an immaculate croquet lawn, holding court beside Joey O’Dirt, Goiter Eddy, and Roger the Dodger at her Dad’s local bar, Tara leapfrogs across these varied spheres, delivering stories from each world with originality, grit, and outrageous humor.”

Shadowshaper Daniel José Older

“Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on…”

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love.”

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

I have loved Samantha Irby’s work for a long time. If you listen to this audiobook (and you happen to believe, as Irby and I do, that “Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire.”) I think Irby will become one of your new favorites.

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

“When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it’s another baby boy. But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn aren’t panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes…”

New Releases

The Gold-Son by Carrie Anne Noble

“All sixteen-year-old Tommin wants is to make beautiful shoes and care for his beloved grandmother, but his insatiable need to steal threatens to destroy everything. Driven by a curse that demands more and more gold, he’s sure to get caught eventually.

When mysterious Lorcan Reilly arrives in town with his “niece,” Eve, Tommin believes the fellow wants to help him. Instead, Lorcan whisks him off to the underground realm of the Leprechauns, where, alongside Eve, he’s forced to prepare to become one of them.

As Lorcan’s plans for his “gold-children” are slowly revealed, Tommin and Eve plan their escape. But with Tommin’s humanity slipping away, the fate-crossed pair has everything to lose unless they can find a way to outsmart a magical curse centuries in the making.”

Into The Grey Zone by Adrian Owen

Into the Gray Zone takes listeners to the edge of a dazzling, humbling frontier in our understanding of the brain: the so-called “gray zone” between full consciousness and brain death. People in this middle place have sustained traumatic brain injuries or are the victims of stroke or degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Many are oblivious to the outside world, and their doctors believe they are incapable of thought. But a sizeable number are experiencing something different: intact minds adrift deep within damaged brains and bodies. An expert in the field, Adrian Owen led a team that, in 2006, discovered this lost population and made medical history. Scientists, physicians, and philosophers have only just begun to grapple with the implications.”

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit.

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be.”

Audiobooking with Book Riot

Audiobooks for the Whole Family: 5 For the Sweet Spot

What audiobooks can entertain an adult while not terrorizing the children who might be listening in the back seat? M. Lynx Qualey has five must-listens.

Best Audiobooks of 2017…so far

Jaime Canaves picks some of the best listens of the year.

Until next week, audiobookers! As always, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @msmacb.




Sci-Fi Audiobooks for Road Tripping

Howdy audiobook fans,

First off, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who offered recommendations for the sci-fi road trip audiobook extravaganza. I’m going to put these together for a Book Riot post for future reference but since you all were generous to send me your suggestions, Imma give you the list in this newsletter first. MANY MANY thanks again!

Sponsored by the new summer must-haves: freshly picked audiobooks from bestselling author Warren Adler. Discover them all here.

Audiobooks for a road trip with a sci-fi lover and a sci-fi lukewarmer

The MaddAddam Trilogy: Oryx and Crake; The Year of the Flood; MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

Nightwise by R.S. Belcher

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

Dark Matter Blake Crouch

Little Brother or Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book  (go for the full cast production) by Neil Gaiman

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

11/22/63–-Stephen King

Dragonflight (and all Dragonrider of Pern series) by Ann McCaffrey

Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson

Grace of Kings Ken Liu

Books by John Scalzi, narrated by Wil Wheaton like Lock In, Fuzzy Nation, and Agent to the Stars.  

The Domesday Book by Connie Willis


Selected New Books 

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? Written and read by Alan Alda

“The beloved actor shares fascinating and powerful lessons from the science of communication and teaches listeners to improve the way they relate to others using improv games, storytelling, and their own innate mind-reading abilities. With his trademark humor and frankness, Alan Alda explains what makes the out-of-the-box techniques he developed after his years as the host of Scientific American Frontiers so effective. This book reveals what it means to be a true communicator and how we can communicate better in every aspect of our lives – with our friends, lovers, and families; with our doctors; in business settings; and beyond.”

The Chalk Artist: by Allegra Goodman, narrated by: Orlagh Cassidy

“Collin James is young, creative, and unhappy. A college dropout, he waits tables and spends his free time beautifying the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his medium of choice: chalk. Collin’s art captivates passersby with its vibrant colors and intricate lines – until the moment he wipes it all away. Nothing in Collin’s life is meant to last. Then he meets Nina….

The daughter of a tech mogul who is revolutionizing virtual reality, Nina Lazare is trying to give back as a high school teacher – but her students won’t listen to her. When Collin enters her world, he inspires her to think bigger. Nina wants to return the favor – even if it means losing him.”

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons written and read by: Kevin Hart

Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.”

The Switch by Joseph Finder, narrated by Steven Kearney

“Michael Tanner is on his way home from a business trip when he accidentally picks up the wrong MacBook in an airport security line. He doesn’t notice the mix-up until he arrives home in Boston, but by then it’s too late. Tanner’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers that the owner is a US senator and that the laptop contains top secret files.

When Senator Susan Robbins realizes she’s come back with the wrong laptop, she calls her young chief of staff, Will Abbott, in a panic. Both know that the senator broke the law by uploading classified documents onto her personal computer. If those documents wind up in the wrong hands, it could be Snowden 2.0 – and her career in politics will be over. She needs to recover the MacBook before it’s too late”.

Small Hours by: Jennifer Kitses, narrated by: Tanya Eby, Dan John Miller

“In the vein of Richard Russo and Tom Perrotta, a gripping, suspenseful, and gorgeous debut novel–told hour-by-hour over the course of a single day–in which a husband and wife try to outrun long-buried secrets, sending their lives spiraling into chaos.”


That’s it for this week! Audiobook news, LGBTQIA/Pride audiobooks recs, and more next week. And as always, feel free to be in touch on twitter (I’m at msmacb) or at

Happy listening!




New Releases, Audie Award Winners, and More

Happy almost-officially summer, audiobook lovers!

First, huge thanks to everyone who sent me suggestions for my road trip with a sci-fi lover! I’m compiling all your fabulous recommendations now and I’ll put them in the next newsletter (to recap: I’m taking a road trip with a dude who pretty much exclusively reads sci-fi and am looking for audiobooks that will be palatable to both of us).

Sponsored by, your source for Audiobook Month giveaways and deals!

Want free audiobooks? Celebrate Audiobook Month this June with a premium giveaway every Thursday, brought to you by! Plus, members can access 2-for-1 offers, exclusive sales and bundled deals all month long. Listeners can stream books live or download for offline listening, and enjoy great features like sped-up narration, sleep timer and custom bookmarking. Plus, integrates with CarPlay, Android Auto, Sonos and tvOS for easy listening in your car and home. Create your account for free and get started today!

Audiobooks have been on the minds of Book Riot contributors recently–-in the past week we’ve had several helpful audiobook posts: everything from audiobooks for new listeners to instructions for lending Audible books with an old smartphone.

Book Riot Round-up of Audiobooks Posts

Lending Audible Books With an Old SmartphoneHow one audiobook listener gets around the impossibility of lending out audiobooks.

5 Best Audiobooks for New ListenersQueen of audiobooking Rachel Smalter Hall Audiobooks are more popular than ever, but “reading” with your ears is a learned skill. Where do you start? Rachel suggest 5 of the best audiobooks for new listeners.

Awesome Audiobooks Read By ActorsY’all know I love a good narrator and rioter Susie agrees. The actors-as-narrators do these excellent books justice in the audiobook format. Give them a listen!

Hilarious non-fiction Audiobooks to Power Your Summer Road TripThese ten hilarious nonfiction audiobooks will entertain your brain while you drive.

As for me, I’ve never been in the middle of several audiobooks at once, but that’s where I find myself. See, I got the audio copy of Roxane Gay’s new book, Hunger, and so I had to stop listening to all the audiobooks I was in the middle of and immediately settle into Gay’s brilliant collection of very personal essays.

New Releases (descriptions in quotes via publisher)

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon; narrated by Sneha Mathan

This charming YA novel was released on May 30th but somehow I missed it. I read the print book, however, and absolutely loved it. From the publisher’s description:

“Now that Dimple Shah has graduated, she’s ready for a break from her family – especially from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the Ideal Indian Husband. Ugh. But Dimple knows that her mother must respect that she isn’t interested in doing that right now – otherwise she wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers, right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic, so when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him – during which he’ll have to woo her – he’s totally onboard. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. Although their parents hadn’t planned suggesting the arrangement so soon, when their kids signed up for the same summer program, they figured why not?”

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter; narrated by Kate Orsini

“Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.

Digging into the past – and her mother’s cult classic – draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother.

Soon Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.”

Magpie Murders by: Anthony Horowitz; narrated by Samantha Bond, Allan Corduner

“When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the best-selling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.”

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness written and narrated by Arundhati Roy

“In a graveyard outside the walls of Old Delhi, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby suddenly appears just after midnight. In a snowy valley, a bereaved father writes a letter to his five-year-old daughter about the people who came to her funeral. In a second-floor apartment, a lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. At the Jannat Guest House, two people who have known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around each other, as though they have just met.

A braided narrative of astonishing force and originality, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once a love story and a provocation – a novel as inventive as it is emotionally engaging. It is told with a whisper, in a shout, through joyous tears, and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Its heroes, both present and departed, have been broken by the world we live in – and then mended by love. For this reason they will never surrender.

How to tell a shattered story?

By slowly becoming everybody.


By slowly becoming everything.”

Audiobook News/Links for Your Ears

The 2017 Audie Awards  – which honor the best in spoken word entertainment – were announced last week. Check out the winners by category below, explore the full list of nominees, or let them know what you think on Twitter @audible_com.

The One Novel You Need To Listen To on AudioOK, can someone listen to this and tell me if it’s too scary for me?

Finding Your Audiobook VoiceThe author of The Mighty Franks on the peculiar pleasures of writing his memoir—and then recording himself reading the whole thing aloud.

Ben Aaronovitch interview: Cityread, Doctor Who, audiobooks, Peter Grant

Talking Book Center Awarded GrantTalking Book Center awarded grant from United Way of Greater Augusta

Best Audiobooks for a Silent Road TripI don’t have kids, but if I did, you can be damn sure I would be all about whatever it takes to distract them during car trips…and everything else.

How to Get Alexa to Read You a Kindle BookSomeone mentioned this in the last Insider’s Audiobook Chat (every second Thursday of the month at 1 PM EST. #shamelessplug) and I have never heard such a compelling reason to get an Alexa-doodybob.

Thank you again for all your lovely recommendations and I promise I’ll get that list going ASAP. Feel free to say hey whenever (Twitter: @msmacb, email Hope you have a great week!



Science, Dogs, and David Sedaris!

If you are a book nerd like me (and if you are reading this, you probably are) the summer months can be especially delightful for audiobooking. It’s beautiful out, so you want to leave your house (or people are forcing you to leave the house). Like a true “indoor kid,” I want to be reading pretty much all the time. Audiobooks are great for hikes, lounging by the pool, road trips, and whatever else you have planned for these summer months.

Sponsored by the new summer must-haves: freshly picked audiobooks from bestselling author Warren Adler. Discover them all here.

Want a free Warren Adler audiobook of your choice? Just email with the subject line “Audiobook Month” and the title you’d like to receive and we’ll send it to you! Limit to 20 entries.

In July, I’ll be braving a two-week road trip from California to Oklahoma (don’t ask). Audiobooks are going to play a VITAL role. I’ll be journeying with a sci-fi lover, which is not my typical genre. I’m trying to think of books we’ll both enjoy for the trip. If you have any suggestions, tweet them to me at @msmacb or email me at and I’ll compile a list of whatever suggestions I get and post it on Book Riot. Then, I’ll listen to as many as I can on the trip and report back.

If sci-fi audiobooks that are palatable to non-sci-fi listeners is also an interest of yours, I strongly recommend the Ready Player One audiobook, written by Ernest Cline and narrated by Wil Wheaton. Set in the not-too-distant future (2044), Wade Watts is a high school student living in “the stacks,” trailers stacked atop each other. There’s never enough money, food, or space, and the only escape Wade has is “the Oasis” a virtual reality world with infinite possibilities. Buried inside the Oasis is a buried treasure that could solve all of Wade’s problems. Filled with ’80s nostalgia, corporate bad-guys, and magical treasure hunting adventures, this is an incredible book that’s even better an audio.

Another one from the backlist:

I watched *all* of Big Little Lies this weekend and while I think it was so well done (and talk about a killer cast–-pun very much intended), I’m happy I listened to the audiobook first. For the uninitiated: “Big Little Lies focuses on three women, all of whom have children at the same preschool. One is a great beauty married to a fabulously rich businessman; they have a “perfect” set of twins. One is the can-do mom who can put together a mean pre-school art project but can’t prevent her teenage daughter from preferring her divorced dad. The third is a withdrawn, single mother who doesn’t quite fit in. Right from the start–thanks to a modern “Greek chorus” that narrates the action–we know that someone is going to end up dead. The questions are who and how. Miraculously, Moriarty keeps this high concept plot aloft, largely because she infuses it with such wit and heart. She also knows not to overplay the message she’s sending: that we all tell lies–to each other and, more importantly, to ourselves.”

Over at Book Riot:

One Rioter discusses how audiobooks reignited her love of poetry.

New Releases:

The great Carl Sagan was the voice of the original Cosmos and a hero to many. Three of his books have just-released audio versions: Cosmos, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, and Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. 

The current voice of Cosmos also has a newly-released book on audio: Neil de Grasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is narrated by the author (yay!) and explores questions like, “What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us?”

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris, read by David Sedaris.

David Sedaris audiobooks are pretty much a sure thing…especially his memoir/non-fiction. This has all the makings of an excellent book–what more could you want than David Sedaris literally reading the highlights of 25 years of diary entries?


File Under: Things Everybody but Me Has Probably Known About Forever

Did y’all Know that Spotify has a Spoken Word Option? Under which you can find audiobooks? [insert seventy-five million heart eyes emojis]. Right now I have the free version of Spotify because I don’t use it enough to warrant the $10/month premium version but depending on how much I start using the audiobook collection, I’ll likely be shelling that $10/month in the not-too-distant future.

Links for Your Ears (this is such a gross image; I keep picturing sausage links hanging from someone’s earlobes but I’m also kind of attached to the phrase, so…)

7 Best Audiobooks for Dog Lovers

I’m so happy that Inside of a Dog’s Mind is on this list. I love this book so much; I gave it to my grandmother for Christmas and she loved it, too. What’s that, you say? You’d like me to take this opportunity to unnecessarily insert a picture of my dog here? Ok, well if you insist. Here’s one from World Book Night in 2013, when she “helped” me pass out copies of The Handmaid’s Tale. 

People doing cool things to support audiobooks and accessibility

Last week it was Bangkok, this week it’s Glasgow and Odisha, India. Awesome, right?

Partially sighted Glasgow man skydives for charity

Samaritans for Sightless


For Writers:

Audiobook Narration, Production, Distribution, And Marketing Tip

Audiobook Review:

Between the World and Me Audiobook Review

Until next week, Audiobookers, and say hello anytime!



Jon Hamm Does Audiobooks

Happy Thursday, Audiobooks fans!

We’ve got lots of new releases and audiobooks new, so let’s dive right in!

Sponsored by

100,000 titles, 1 app, endless listening! Your first book is free when you sign up for, the premier membership service for audiobook lovers. You can stream books live or download for offline listening, and enjoy great features like sped-up narration, sleep timer and custom bookmarking. Browse by genre or curated lists, check out promotions and giveaways, and switch seamlessly between devices with cloud-syncing technology. Plus, integrates with CarPlay, Android Auto, Sonos and tvOS for easy listening in your car and home. Try today!

New Releases:

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby:

I am a huuuge fan of Samantha Irby (keep your eyes peeled for an interview with her on Book Riot in the not-too-distant-future) and her new book, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, is out on May 30th. Irby is funny and sarcastic without shying away from painful topics. I’ve been reading her writing for years but We Are Never Meeting in Real Life is the first time I’ve gotten to hear her voice and her narration is perfection.


May 30th really is shaping up to be an excellent day for audiobook releases. Random House is releasing the audiobook version of Walt Whitman’s Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, just in time for the author’s 198th birthday on May 31st. The book will be narrated by none other the Don Drap–-I mean Jon Hamm. Hamm said of the opportunity, “I had been a fan of Whitman’s work, so it was an easy choice for me. And this is a lost work. It’s exciting to read something new by someone who’s been dead over 100 years.”

The story follows orphan Jack Engle through 1850s New York as he tries to make his way as a young lawyer, apprenticing with the cheating Covert, uncovering the truth about his own father’s murder, and revealing Covert’s deceit about his inheritance.

You can hear an excerpt of Hamm’s narration of the book here.


It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

The last thriller I listened to was a bit of a disappointment, so I’m really looking forward to listening to this book, described by Kirkus as “an intriguing whodunit that examines the explosive potential of secrets to destroy friendships, marriages, and lives… a page-turner.”


So what do I want when I say I’m looking for a thriller? One of my favorite thrillers is The Passenger by Lisa Lutz. I’m scared of…well, most things, but I was able to listen to Lutz’s book while alone in a cabin in Tahoe *at night* and I didn’t have to sleep with the lights on. I highly recommend it. And if you do listen to it and love/hate/whatever it, let me know! You can find me on Twitter at @msmacb.

10 Listens to Inspire Better Cooking and EatingThe Audible blog has neat little playlists–-the most recent one I found particularly helpful seeing as I know how to cook exactly one thing (omelets) but I love learning about how other people cook and listen to stories about people who are more motivated than I am to make delicious food.

People Doing Good Through AudiobooksLook, I don’t know if there are any Book Riot Audiobook Newsletter readers in Bangkok, but I love to see this kind of stuff happening. Pond Sinlaparatsamee, a third-year student from the Albert Laurence School of Communication Arts at Assumption University of Thailand is heading a project named “Voice Out”, and hopes to raise awareness about the lack of educational audiobooks available for the visually impaired.


Last week, I talked about W. Kamau Bell’s audiobook, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell. If you’re still unsure about if his book sounds good, check out the interview with him here.

Audiostate, a subdivision of a new Dallas-based entertainment company, is creating audiobooks that are like movies for your ears. In other words, they’ve got a full cast, an original score, sound effects, and so on. They released the first title, The Narrow Caves, last week.  

More Links for Your Ears:

The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer: Twin Peaks’ Problematic Tie-in

Gemma Whelan Q&A: on Game of Thrones, The Crown, The Moorside and new audiobook ‘Just One Damned Thing After Another’

The Sound of Sherlock: Stephen Fry Voices the Master Sleuth

Newsday editors share their favorite audiobooks (I very much approve of this list, not that anyone asked).

A Publisher Tries Podcasts as a path to Audiobooks

Until next time,



Where to Find Free Public Domain Audiobooks

I have long been a fan of Open Culture and I don’t know why people don’t talk about or use it more. Do people not love free things as much as I do? I love free things so much. And Open Culture is chock full of free things–-ebooks, audiobooks, lectures, and videos–-all in the public domain. Sure you can root around on different sites for different things, but wouldn’t you rather have a whole bunch of it in one place? Me, too. Some of these are short stories; pieces by Jamaica Kincaid are read by Edwidge Danticat and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; and others, like C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, are full novels. There are a variety of formats, including MP3s, which leads me to my next item…

Sponsored by

100,000 titles, 1 app, endless listening! Your first book is free when you sign up for, the premier membership service for audiobook lovers. You can stream books live or download for offline listening, and enjoy great features like sped-up narration, sleep timer and custom bookmarking. Browse by genre or curated lists, check out promotions and giveaways, and switch seamlessly between devices with cloud-syncing technology. Plus, integrates with CarPlay, Android Auto, Sonos and tvOS for easy listening in your car and home. Try today!

Is the MP3 dead?

It’s hard to feel like something is dead when you have 6 billion of them living on your computer and you use them all the time, but okay, I guess.

What’s that? You want *more* free audiobooks? OK, I’ve got you covered (BOOK PUNZ!). Kim Komando talks LibriVox Audio Books.

New Releases

Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology

From Lydia Yuknavich’s review in the New York Times:

There is a difference between reading a book and listening to stories, a difference amplified to epic proportions in the case of Norse Mythology. I knew it immediately when all of the hairs on my arm shot up during the retelling of how Odin lost his eye when he traded it for a sip from the well of wisdom. My theory was confirmed when my 16-year-old son passed by my bedroom door one night and could not stop himself from coming in to listen — for an entire hour. Hearing a story aloud, you are seduced by the wonder of an ancient oral tradition.”

Nevertheless by Alec Baldwin

The Washington Post says of Baldwin’s narration, “Baldwin’s trained delivery, his air of candor and, above all, his engagement with what he is reading elevates this book above its printed form.” Want to hear for yourself? Listen to an excerpt of it here.

WaPo also reviews In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant, saying, “Nicholas Boulton delivers the general narration in a courteous, gentlemanly manner, a temperate foil to his virtuoso performance in capturing the extravagant, Renaissance personalities of the story’s many characters.”

An upcoming release for the young feminist in your life:

She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton (on sale 5/30)

This book is marketed as being for ages 4-8, but I think people of all ages could use a reminder about the awesome-ness of the women covered in this book. Among the lives recounted by Clinton: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor. 

Links for Your Ears

Audible Highlights 10 Books Where Small Towns are Gigantic Characters

Cory Doctorow talks “Cage-Free Audiobooks and”

Students Learning to Read by Listening: I am incredibly stoked to see this happening. I have long been a believer that our educational system is too rigid in how we teach literacy skills. If you get kids hooked on the story, they’re going to want to learn how to consume that story. Or so says me.

Turn books into audiobooks (if you have Windows, that is).

Are you a writer? Concerned about your novel getting proper audiobook treatment?

My bad:

Last week, I mentioned an awesome Audible article about audiobook narrators first taking the mic. And then I linked to the wrong article. I’m very sorry and you should definitely check out the *right* article here.


Exciting Audiobook New Releases, and More!

Happy almost-Friday, Audiobookers, I hope you had a great week!

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by You Don’t Look Your Age.

In You Don’t Look Your Age, a frank, funny, poignant audiobook, famed documentary producer Sheila Nevins tells it like it is. She is your discreet confidante, your sage mentor at work, your wise sister who has “been there, done that,” and the best friend you never knew you had.

The audiobook is read an all-star cast including:  Alan Alda, Christine Baranski, Kathy Bates, Glenn Close, Blythe Danner, Lena Dunham, Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Lane, Audra McDonald, Rosie O’Donnell, RuPaul, Liz Smith, Gloria Steinem, Meryl Streep, and many, many more.

Start listening here!

I sort of abandoned Only Daughter, though I might return to it because I really am interested to know if all those seemingly unbelievable threads are somehow believably resolved. For the time being, though, I have moved on to Edan Lapucki’s Woman No. 17 (which I just saw was a sponsor of another Book Riot newsletter, but I swear this is unrelated). Woman No. 17 tells the story of two women; Lady, newly separated and trying to start a new career and S, the young woman Lady has hired to live in her guest house and help with the kids. So far, it gets two thumbs up. 


New Audiobook Releases that I am Super Excited About!

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamau Bell, read by W. Kamau Bell

Friends of mine have raved about W. Kamau Bell’s comedy for years, but I was only exposed to him over the course of the primary/election season when I got hooked on his Politically Re-Active podcast with Hari Kondabolu. The best narrators are often performers reading their own work, and I have high hopes for this audiobook.  

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey, read by Finty Williams

TBH, I probably am going to be too scared to read this. Because I was too scared to read the Carey’s first acclaimed novel The Girl With All the Gifts. But The Girl with all the Gifts got rave reviews and, based on the publisher’s description,  it sounds like this one might follow suit.

“From the author of bestseller The Girl With All the Gifts, a terrifying new novel set in the same post-apocalyptic world. Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world. To where the monsters lived.” –-Publisher’s Description

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

There’s lots of buzz about this new title from Patricia Lockwood about having a married Catholic priest as a father. This is another title where the author narrates, which makes it especially appealing to me, and a blurb from the great Mary Karr makes it all the more appealing:

“Patricia Lockwood’s side-splitting Priestdaddy puts the poetry back in memoir. Her verbal verve creates a reading experience of effervescent joy, even as Lockwood takes you through some of her life’s darker passages. Destined to be a classic, Priestdaddy is this year’s must-read memoir.” (Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club)

Book Riot talks Audiobooks:

Audiobooks for Loud (but Short) TransitRioter Yash discusses what makes a good audiobook for public transit and other loud, short journeys.

3 More Fiction Podcasts to Satisfy Your Love of StoriesFiction podcasts aren’t exactly the same as audiobooks, but they’re pretty close. Patricia put together a new list of three fiction podcasts to follow her previous fiction podcast post.

Audiobook News

Robert Caro narrates On PowerWell, that seems timely…

Something very cool is happening in South KoreaOld phone booths are being converted into recording stations to record audiobooks for folks who are visually impaired.

Audible asked popular narrators about their first experience at the mic.

Audio Publishing’s Digital BoomThink you’re alone in your love of audiobooks? Not so, according to these publishing insiders.

How to import audiobooks to iTunes without making everything horribleI know y’all are probably iTunes, but depending on where you’re getting your audiobooks, importing them into iTunes can be kind of awful.  

That’s all for this week! Feel free to ping me on twitter to talk about anything/everything related to books or anything else @msmacb. My instagram is mostly pictures of my dog (who happens to be the most perfect, beautiful dog in all the world) but if that’s your thing, you can follow me at msmacb_sally.

Until next time,