Categories
Audiobooks

Springtime Audiobooks!

Hello Audiophiles! Here in the American South, we are experiencing a full-on pollenagedan, where everyone’s car is covered in a fine layer of yellow dust—it’s even in the Corgis’ floof! So I’ve been spending a bit of time inside hiding from the golden onslaught. 

I finished Vol 5 of He Who Fights with Monsters. After I finished it, I felt INCREDIBLY tempted to restart the whole series! Ugh! And how am I supposed to wait until June for Vol 6? #AudiobookNerdProblems

In the spring, I always get the urge to relisten to my favorite fantasy-related novels. I recently bought the entire Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones, which is perfect on audiobook. It has that wonderful, fantastical, small-town English vibe. Jones possesses the unique ability to make incredibly complex stories seem very straightforward. But once you scratch the surface, you realize how complicated her stories truly are!

Spring is Dylan’s favorite season!

Bookish Goods

Headphone Stand by BatelierHandicraft

A modern and minimalist way to stylishly hold your headphones when not in use, our stand features an angled black steel arm set into a natural oak/walnut wood base. It will take up little space while looking good on a bedside table, desk, or next to your TV.

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

Visit from the Goon Squad received much acclaim when it came out several years ago. Now Jennifer Egan is back with a companion novel, which you can read on its own or as a follow up to Goon Squad. BUT The Candy House received the royal treatment, audiobook wise, and is narrated by a full cast. Ah! Can’t wait!

Narrated by a Full Cast

A graphic of the cover of Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

I just finished listening to Ocean Vuong narrate his latest poetry collection on audio. Ugh, it’s so incredibly beautiful, and there’s nothing like listening to a poet narrate his work. Time Is a Mother was written after Vuong’s mother passed away, and it’s full of longing for the person he loved most.

Narrated by Ocean Vuong (On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong)

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Springtime Audiobooks!

Hello Audiophiles! Here in the American South, we are experiencing a full-on pollenagedan, where everyone’s car is covered in a fine layer of yellow dust—it’s even in the Corgis’ floof! So I’ve been spending a bit of time inside hiding from the golden onslaught. 

I finished Vol 5 of He Who Fights with Monsters. After I finished it, I felt INCREDIBLY tempted to restart the whole series! Ugh! And how am I supposed to wait until June for Vol 6? #AudiobookNerdProblems

In the spring, I always get the urge to relisten to my favorite fantasy-related novels. I recently bought the entire Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones, which is perfect on audiobook. It has that wonderful, fantastical, small-town English vibe. Jones possesses the unique ability to make incredibly complex stories seem very straightforward. But once you scratch the surface, you realize how complicated her stories truly are!

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting on a porch chair and smiling at the camera.
Spring is Dylan’s favorite season!

Recent Listens

A graphic of the cover of Aru Shah and Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah and Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

For the last several years, I’ve looked forward to spring when the latest Aru Shah book will come out and I can savor each new adventure. Aru is a reincarnation of one of the Pandava brothers from Hindu mythology. As she goes on her different adventures, she meets the reincarnations of the other four Pandava brothers, but this time around, they are all girls. Aru and her soul sisters are tasked with defeating The Sleeper, a malicious enemy determined to find the Nectar of Immortality, and end/rule the world.

I don’t want to spoil the fifth book for you, but let’s just say the book’s ending is incredibly satisfying. There’s something special about listening to this series with the same narrator all the way through, which is how I prefer to listen to my series. Keeping the same narrator with the same series (particularly a series from the same character’s perspective) helps the books sound cohesive and the characters’ voices remain the same, like you are returning to visit old friends. In this case, Soneela Nankani is with you every step of the way. The first Aru book, Aru Shah and the End of Time, was the first time that I remember truly falling in love with Nankani’s narration. She has this way of capturing the protagonist’s narrative voice that really grabs my attention.

For the longest time, I wasn’t sure I’d be ready to say goodbye to Aru and her sisters. I loved everything about Aru, her nerdy references and truly clumsy moments. With every book, I watched her learn and grow older. It was almost like I was a silent 6th sister in her adventures. From what I’ve seen online, middle graders felt the same. To me, that is the most important: kids in the target audience should be able to connect and relate to the story.

Narrated by Soneela Nankani

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

New Releases!

A graphic of the cover of The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

Visit from the Goon Squad received much acclaim when it came out several years ago. Now Jennifer Egan is back with a companion novel, which you can read on its own or as a follow up to Goon Squad. BUT The Candy House received the royal treatment, audiobook wise, and is narrated by a full cast. Ah! Can’t wait!

Narrated by a Full Cast

A graphic of the cover of Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

I just finished listening to Ocean Vuong narrate his latest poetry collection on audio. Ugh, it’s so incredibly beautiful, and there’s nothing like listening to a poet narrate his work. Time Is a Mother was written after Vuong’s mother passed away, and it’s full of longing for the person he loved most.

Narrated by Ocean Vuong (On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong)

A graphic of the cover of An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan

I ADORED The Astonishing Color of After, so I’ve been waiting SO LONG to listen to this one. An Arrow to the Moon is Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology, which is 100% in my wheelhouse.

Narrated by Natalie Naudus, Shawn K. Jain, and David Shih (Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum, Golden Boys by Phil Stamper, and No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai)

A graphic of the cover of Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir by Delia Ephron

Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir by Delia Ephron

This heartrending memoir follows Delia Ephron after the death of both her sister and her husband. She meets a new romantic interest, but is shortly thereafter diagnosed with cancer. Full of heart from someone facing the complex reality of life, Left on Tenth is a beautiful memoir.

Narrated by Delia Ephron

A graphic of the cover of Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett

Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett

I loved Annie Hartnett’s debut novel, Rabbit Cake, so I’ve been waiting on Unlikely Animals for years. But it’s well worth it! Emma Starling is a med student who’s faced with caring for her father while he’s experiencing a deteriorating brain disease.

Narrated by Mark Bramhall and Kirby Heyborne (Nine Lives by Peter Swanson and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn)

A graphic of the cover of Things They Lost by Okwiri Oduor

Things They Lost by Okwiri Oduor

This novel follows Ayosa, a wandering spirit who feels incredibly alone. But when she meets someone new, she finds herself caught between the world of the living and her own. Full of the complex contradictions that is life, Things They Lost is sure to tug on your heartstrings.

Narrated by Christel Mutombo

Around the Web

Celebrate National Poetry Month (and the Oral Tradition) with These 6 Audiobooks” (Paste) – I love poetry on audiobook! Here are some great recommendations.

Barnes & Noble is finally offering an audiobook service” (Engadget) – This news has been EVERYWHERE! Barnes and Noble has finally decided to enter the audiobook market. But who would leave their already established libraries to move to B&N’s service? Definitely tell me your thoughts on this!


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Middle Grade Marathon!

Hello Audiophiles! 

Ah, air travel, the chaos-ridden, anxiety-inducing practice of flinging normally grounded members of the human species into the air. At least, that’s what it feels like to me. I never really flew a lot until I started dating a guy from the opposite side of the country. And I quickly realized that flying was not my favorite, to say the least. Now that my spouse and I have been together for over a decade, I think it’s safe to say that I at least know what I’m doing now.

As a disabled person, flying is especially draining. Huge airports, tiny amounts of leg room, and the inability to lift heavy objects into the carry-on storage bins in the plane tend to make my trip quite an adventure. And oh, right, and we’re in a pandemic. 

To help counterbalance my anxiety, I spend a ridiculous amount of time choosing the audiobooks for my trip. This time, I decided to start listening to some middle grade novels that have been on my TBR for far too long.

Recent Listens

A graphic of the cover of Omar Rising, The Shape of Thunder, and How To Find What You're Not Looking For

As someone with a disabling chronic illness, I always have to take some time off to recover from traveling. So I’ve spent this past weekend resting up after my trip up to Kentucky to visit my parents. I ended up listening to SEVEN middle grade novels that have been sitting around just waiting for me to finally choose them to read.

Like I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, I started with Jasmine Warga’s The Shape of Thunder (narrated by Reena Dutt and Jennifer Jill Araya), which follows a biracial Lebanese American girl after her sister is killed in a school shooting. What’s worse, her best friend’s brother was the shooter. This audiobook is incredible and is a great way to start difficult conversations with the kids in your life.

I then moved on to Amina’s Song, the sequel to Amina’s Voice (both narrated by Soneela Nankani). Amina returns from visiting her dad’s family in Pakistan and starts school. But middle school is so complicated. I loved this novel, and it was one of my top listens of the weekend.

Rajani LaRocca published two books last year, including Red, White, and Whole (narrated by Priya Ayyar) and Much Ado About Baseball (narrated by Ariana Delawari and Eddie Lopez). She’s so busy! I also read the new novel How to Find What You’re Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani (narrated by Priya Ayyar). The novel follows Ariel, a Jewish girl in the 1960s. Her older sister has just eloped and married an Indian man, and now Ariel’s parents refuse to acknowledge that Ariel even has an older sister.

But my favorite of the group was Omar Rising, a companion novel to Amal Unbound. Aisha Saeed outdid herself with this novel. Vikas Adam performs the audiobook. The man can really do no wrong. Omar gets a scholarship to go to a prestigious school for boys, but when he arrives, he realizes that the whole system is set up for boys like him to fail.

A photo of Gwen the Corgi with her tongue out, smiling
All smiles!

In case you were wondering what the Corgis were doing while I was away, they spent some quality time with their dad. When I got back, Gwenllian snuggled with me, asking me to make up for all the pets I missed while I was gone.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

June lives with her family in a homeless shelter called Huey House. But she’s not allowed to bring her beloved viola. Determined to change things for other kids like her, June pushes back, trying to make a better place for her and the other residents of Huey House.

Narrated by Sura Siu and Preston Butler III

A graphic of the cover of Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

In one of my favorite middle grade series, Roshani Chokshi has told us the story of Aru Shah and her sisters as they try to save the world from the Sleeper. Now the final book is here, and my heart is not ready.

Narrated by Soneela Nankani

A graphic of the cover of Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

The author of the smash hit sensation Station Eleven is back with another novel. Like many of her other novels, Sea of Tranquility is told over the course of several different sections that take place over the course of a long period of time. I love this episodic type of novel and can’t wait to listen to it!

Narrated by John Lee, Dylan Moore, Arthur Morey, and Kirsten Potter

A graphic of the cover of He Who Fights with Monsters Vol 5 by Shirtaloon

He Who Fights with Monsters, Vol 5 by Shirtaloon (Travis Deverell)

I’ve had this audiobook pre-ordered for months. I love listening to Jason as he moves through this world of monsters in a video game-like environment. This is Vol 5 of the bind up of the serial story, so not exactly a novel. But definitely still lots of fun.

Narrated by Heath Miller

A graphic of the cover of Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

Memphis follows three generations of Southern Black women. Joan is an artist, and finds comfort in painting portraits of people from her community in the city. As we meet more of her family members, we begin to understand the past Joan is trying to forget and the future that she’s trying to make.

Narrated by Karen Murray, Adenrele Ojo, and Tara Stringfellow


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

I Finally Got My Hands on One of My Most Anticipated Listens!

Hello Audiophiles! This past week, I’ve been at my parents’ house in Kentucky. Appalachia isn’t generally an easy place to fly into, so it was quite the experience going from one puddle jumper (tiny plane) to another, flying from my island home to my former mountain home. Plus, this was the first time I’ve flown since the start of the pandemic. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous and arrived WAY too early for my flight out. But once I got through security, I had a chance to sit, relax, and breathe.

To help pass the time, I played Animal Crossing while listening to the end of Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. I’ve had a wide range of discussions with my Irish family members from both the Republic and the North of Ireland, but this was the first time I got a broad overview of some of the key events of the Troubles.

Between games of Phase 10 and Mario Kart, I’ve been listening to The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga and The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde. Both of these books have been waiting around on my iPhone for a bit, so I was happy to finally start them.

While I’ve been gone, the Corgis have enjoyed going to the office with their dad and exploring the outdoors in the warm South Carolina sunshine. I saw this photo and couldn’t believe how big Gwenllian is now!

A photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting on a bridge looking to the right. The Lowcountry wetlands can be seen behind them.

New Favorite Listen

A graphic of the cover of Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby

Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby

The moment this audiobook landed in my audiobook app, I dropped everything I was doing to listen. Like many Americans, I discovered Hannah Gadsby via her comedy special Nanette. The moment I finished watching Nanette, I started frantically googling, hoping to find out more about this incredible comic. When her memoir was announced, I immediately wrote it down with all of the underlines, arrows, and bolded print. I needed this book.

As an audiobook lover, I knew this was a must-listen memoir. Gadsby narrates her memoir, describing her childhood in Tasmania. Growing up as a queer, neurodivergent child made navigating the world incredibly complicated for her. At the time, she and her family didn’t know that she has Autism Spectrum Disorder, they just knew she was different.

In her late 20s, Gadsby discovered that she had a knack for stand up comedy, and slowly the world unfurled before her, giving her opportunities that she never imagined. After a decade in comedy, Gadsby began crafting the show Nanette.

There’s nothing like listening to an author narrate their memoir. Of course, her comedic timing is perfect. And as a neurodivergent person, I appreciated hearing about Gadsby’s story of trying to find a diagnosis later in life. When your brain views the world differently, you can often feel adrift, too different to matter. Gadsby captures those feelings so beautifully in Ten Steps to Nanette.

Performed by the Author

New Releases!

A graphic of the cover of A House Between Earth and the Moon by Rebecca Scherm

A House Between Earth and the Moon by Rebecca Scherm

Alex Welch-Peters has put everything on the line for his scientific research. He believes that his super-algae can reverse the effects of climate change. When a tech company offers to fund his research he agrees, but there’s a catch: his new lab is going to be in space.

Narrated by Xe Sands

A graphic of the cover of Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The Aunties from Dial A for Aunties are back. Meddy Chan’s day has finally arrived! After attending countless weddings, it’s finally time for her to have her own. But when the mafia plan to use her wedding as a cover for some sketchy deals, Meddy’s aunties swoop in to help keep Meddy’s special day drama free.

Narrated by Risa Mei

A graphic of the cover of Conversations with People Who Hate Me: 12 Things I Learned from Talking to Internet Strangers by Dylan Marron

Conversations with People Who Hate Me: 12 Things I Learned from Talking to Internet Strangers by Dylan Marron

From the creator of the podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me comes a book about having difficult conversations. It’s part guide and part personal story, giving listeners a range of ideas for having more hard conversations with the people in their lives.

Narrated by Dylan Marron

A graphic of the cover of Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Annie Mason has no desire for any sort of magic in her life. After magic ruined her life, she never wants it in her life again. But on the island she now calls home, magic lies in wait, biding its time until it can make its appearance—again.

Narrated by Marisa Calin, Gemma Dawson, and Ralph Lister

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Over on Book Riot

Audiobooks and ADHD” by Nikki DeMarco – I really appreciated Nikki’s discussion of how her ADHD influences her listening. 

On the Road Again: 26 of the Best Audiobooks for Road Trips” by Mikkaka Overstreet – Have a road trip coming up? Mikkaka is here for you!

9 of the Best Audiobook Subscription Services” by Kate Krug – Kate gives listeners a birds eye view of different subscription services to help you choose the best for you.

I Love Audiobooks, But Will My Nephew Love Them Too?” by Kendra Winchester – I share about how I played samples of a dozen audiobooks for my nephew to see what ones he liked best. Here are the results!

Around the Web

Saudis Embrace Audiobooks as a New Form of Entertainment” (Arab News) – I love seeing how audiobooks are taking off all around the world.

Audiobooks, Translations, and Other Letters to the Editor” (The New York Times) – One of the letters to the editor includes someone who wonders why NYT has only been reviewing nonfiction audiobooks (when they review audiobooks at all). I am glad they said something, because I had been wondering the same thing!

New Report Shows Link Between Adult Audiobook Habits and Mental Wellbeing” (National Literacy Trust)

Your Guide to Independent Alternatives for Books, Audiobooks, eBooks, and Beyond” (Libro.fm)


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Flying on a Jet Plane —Travel Listening!

Hello Audiophiles! This week, I’m preparing to visit my parents in Northeastern Kentucky. I’ll be flying, so no road trip audiobooks this time. But I still plan on downloading plenty of options for my flight. When I travel, I always look for books that capture my attention quickly, sucking me into the world of the book within the first few minutes. Since I have two short flights, I won’t need anything especially long.

So I’ll give you my two favorite options, and y’all can tell me which one you like best. First up, The School of Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan. After hearing a great interview with Jessamine Chan on Debutiful, I knew I had to check out her debut novel. Catherine Ho performs the audiobook, so it’s sure to be a great listen.

My second choice is All My Rage by Sabba Tahir. I’ve seen Tahir talk about this book on her Instagram. It’s the first book of hers that has a contemporary setting, so I am 100% here for it. Deepti Gupta, Kamran R. Khan, Kausar Mohammed narrate the audiobook, which is such a great lineup. Let me know which one you think would work!

While I’m gone, my spouse, Sam, will be on full-time Corgi parenting duty. I’m sure Gwen will enjoy going into work with him, and Dylan can’t wait for uninterrupted alone time without a yappy puppy around.

A photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting in front of a shelf of books.
Dylan & Gwen in the library

Recent Listen

A graphic of the cover of The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

When I read Peng Shepherd’s first novel, The Book of M, I found myself swept into a world where people’s shadows disappear and then they lose their memories. The novel felt gloriously messy and all engrossing. So when I heard Shepherd’s second book was coming out in 2022, I immediately marked it as one of my most anticipated novels of the year.

The Cartographers begins when Nell’s father, a prestigious cartographer at the New York Public Library, dies, leaving behind a disheveled office, which makes Nell believe there was foul play. As she looks around at his papers, she finds a secret compartment in his desk holding what seems to be a worthless map with a mysterious symbol on it. From there, Nell is thrown into a part of her father’s life that she never knew existed. There are secret societies, missing towns, and a mysterious figure haunting Nell’s every step.

All-star narrator Emily Woo Zeller performs the audiobook when we’re in Nell’s perspective. She captures the emotions of the protagonist with precision. Whenever we enter the perspective of a new character, a different narrator performs that chapter, giving each perspective a unique feel. Each narrator fits their character perfectly.

As I listened to this adventure story, I loved following clues to discover the truth that’s always lingering at the edges of Nell’s life. While the book’s vibe is incredibly different from The Book of M, The Cartographers reminds me of a story that’s made for television, fast paced and intriguing with all of its twists and turns.

Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, Nancy Wu, Karen Chilton, Ron Butler, Neil Hellegers, Jason Culp, and Brittany Pressley

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow

A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow, Narrated by Salem Corwin and Kaden Catalina

In a town with few trans people, Aaron and Oliver, two young trans men, have always had each other. But when Aaron moves away, they both feel so much more alone. They find solace in looking into American history, trying to find more people like them in America’s past.

A graphic of the cover of Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou

Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou, Narrated by Jennifer Kim

Ingrid Yang is an exhausted PhD student trying to finish her dissertation on poet Xiao-Wen. And after it’s done, she never wants to think about Xiao-Wen again. But as her time as a grad student comes to an end, Ingrid begins to wonder if it’s been worth it.

A graphic of the cover of Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library by Amanda Oliver

Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library by Amanda Oliver, Narrated by Eva Wilhelm

With library budgets shrinking, libraries are in danger of becoming an endangered institution. Amanda Oliver discusses the history of libraries in America, and the many services they provide. Using her own experience as a librarian, Oliver gives listeners an incredible portrait of one of America’s most beloved institutions.

A graphic of the cover of Portrait of an Unknown Lady by Maria Gainza

Portrait of an Unknown Lady by Maria Gainza, Narrated by Kyla García

A master forger, said to be a woman, becomes notorious in Buenos Aires for her forgeries of the work by painter Mariette Lydis. Lydis is known for her portraits  of well to do Argentinians. When an art critic becomes determined to find the forger and to learn more about what drives her to imitate the art of others, the chase is on.

A graphic of the cover of Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy, Narrated by Adenrele Ojo

Savvy Sheldon is obsessed with house renovation shows, so when she finally realizes that her life is a hot mess, she decides to renovate her life. Savvy starts by renovating her kitchen and her body, determined to become a healthier version of herself. But then she keeps running into a handsome stranger. Will he fit into her new plans for her life?

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Over on Book Riot

10 of Libro.fm’s Most Preordered Books of Spring 2022

Around the Web

Talking Up Synthetic Narration for Audiobooks” – On Velocity of Content, host Chris Kenneally talks to Bill Wolfsthal about synthetic audiobook voices, explaining how Audible doesn’t allow audiobooks with synthetic voices on its platform. While Wolfsthal acknowledges that audiobook narrators are concerned for their jobs, he believes that synthetic narration will primarily be for books that don’t have audiobooks at all.


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Some of My Favorite Spring Listens!

Hello Audiophiles! With every spring here in South Carolina comes The Pollening, a chaotic event where pollen covers EVERYTHING, turning every car yellow as far as the eye can see. How fortunate is it that I also have two wonderful Corgis that shed more glittering fur than Tinkerbell does pixie dust. (Why yes, I did invest in a Dyson. Did you even have to ask?) To try to battle my way out of the piles of pollen and piles of Corgi floof, I clean constantly, vacuuming and swiffering the floors until they sparkle.

With so much time cleaning, I have long afternoons of audiobook listening. Recently, I listened to Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan and Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. These fantastical adventure stories keep up a fast pace, making them perfect for any tedious task. I didn’t know what to expect of Daughter of the Deep, Rick Riordan’s first book not inspired by mythology, but he pulled out all the stops, beckoning us into a Jules Verne-inspired world under the ocean.

Next week, I’ll be chatting about the best audiobooks for traveling (I’m headed home to Kentucky for a week), so I’d love to hear any recommendations that you have for trip listening. In the meantime, let’s jump right into one of my most recent listens!

Recent Listen!

A graphic of the cover of The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O'Rourke

The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O’Rourke

As someone with a disabling chronic illness, I spend my days managing my health. So I wasn’t sure I wanted to listen to a book about it. But while books about chronic illness can bring back some of my least favorite memories, I still desperately want to feel that I’m not alone. And Meghan O’Rourke books feel like she’s taking my hand and saying, “I see you.”

Meghan O’Rourke begins her book with her story of living with chronic illness, describing her deterioration over the years. From there, she shares her experience visiting different doctors searching for a diagnosis. Interspersed with the memoir portions of the book, O’Rourke includes research on different aspects of chronic illness. She weaves these two parts together, showing both the medical and the personal parts of living with a chronic illness.

As we share similar stories, I expected to be overwhelmed by The Invisible Kingdom. But while I could deeply relate to her story, I felt encouraged. I wasn’t the only person experiencing the never-ending parade before doctors, hoping that this will finally be THE ONE who will be able to help. Millions of people are going through this just like me.

That’s why books like this are incredibly important. They don’t just educate people about the lives of the chronically ill. They also help sick people, like me, to be seen.

Narrated by the author

A graphic of the cover of Fencing with the King by Diana Abu-Jaber

Fencing with the King by Diana Abu-Jaber

Amani, a divorced poet, is looking forward to returning to Jordan with her father for the King’s birthday. To celebrate his special day, the king has ordered a fencing tournament and wants Amani’s father to participate. Amani begins to learn more about her father’s mysterious past as new secrets come to light.

Narrated by Rasha Zamamiri

A graphic of the cover of Black Roses: Odes Celebrating Powerful Black Women by Harold Green III

Black Roses: Odes Celebrating Powerful Black Women by Harold Green III

With this poetry collection, Harold Green III celebrates Black women, highlighting the creators and innovators of our time. Green reflects on Black women’s achievements and how they’ve influenced contemporary society. He also reads the collection, and there’s nothing like a poet reading his own collection.

Narrated by the author

A graphic of the cover of The Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch

The Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch

Naomi is struggling to write her novel. In the meantime, she works as a bookseller to pay the bills. But when her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, Rosemary, enters her life, she wonders what they might have in common. What begins as some casual stalking on social media quickly turns into something more nefarious as Naomi begins a friendship with Rosemary based on false pretenses.

Narrated by Kristen Sieh

A graphic of the cover of Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

In this multigenerational family saga, we follow a family across the decades. Beginning in 1938, Meilein flees across China with her son to escape the Japanese invasion. Her son, Henry, settles in America and avoids talking about his past with his family. But his daughter, Lily, is desperate to learn about her family’s past.

Narrated by Eugenia Low

A graphic of the covers of The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Peng Shepherd, the author of the much-beloved The Book of M is back with her second novel, The Cartographers. Nell Young inherited her love of maps from her father. When he’s found dead in his office, she finds an old map in his desk that at first she thinks is worthless–just another one of her dad’s papers. But with a little digging, she discovers that it’s actually a very rare map. In fact, it’s so rare, people would kill to have it.

Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, Nancy Wu, Karen Chilton, Ron Butler, Neil Hellegers, Jason Culp, Brittany Pressley

A graphic of the cover of Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde

Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde

With its unique blend of fantasy and myth, Vagabonds! follow characters living at the edges of Nigerian society. Their lives intersect and intertwine, weaving together a complex story until their fates all converge into a single event that changes them all forever.

Narrated by Arit Okpo, Atta Otigba, Eloghosa Osunde, Ifeyinwa Unachukwu, Obongjayar, Sheila Chukwulozie

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Over on Book Riot

7 of the Best Middle Grade Audiobooks” – I share some of my favorite middle grade audiobooks of late.

Around the Web

Malcolm Gladwell on the Future of Audiobooks” (AudioFile Magazine)

Your Audiobook Horoscope for Pisces Season” (Libro.fm)

Narrator Origins with Julia Whelan and Vikas Adam” (Audible)


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

A New Favorite Listen!

Hello Audiophiles! We’ve reached the time of year where every time I take the Corgis to the dog park, they return covered in dirt and pollen. But while the Corgis are having the time of their lives, I’m trying to figure out how long their baths will take. 

Recently, I’ve been listening to a friend of mine read The Evening Hour by Carter Sickels to me. A lot of books still don’t have audiobook editions, and as a disabled person who can’t read print, it makes me incredibly sad when I can’t read a book because it’s not accessible to me. So I am incredibly grateful for friends who volunteer to pitch in and read things to me.

Sometimes if I wait, an audiobook edition will be released later, like with Even as We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Disoriental by Négar Djavadi. In other cases, the publisher will go and record a backlist book for the first time, like with many of Toni Morrison’s novels that received unabridged audio editions years after they were published.

But whatever the case, I never take for granted that audiobooks exist. They are a vital tool to my bookish life, and I will always appreciate them.

Last spring, Dylan loved visiting Charleston, South Carolina!

New Favorite Listen!

A graphic of the cover of The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

From the first hour of the audiobook, I knew I was listening to a new favorite book. The Sentence begins when Tookie is sent to prison. When she gets out, she marries the love of her life and starts working at a bookstore in the twin cities. One of Tookie’s most annoying customers has to be Flora, a white woman who claims Indigenous ancestry. In her role as a Native American wannabe, Flora constantly inserts herself into the lives of the Native folks around her. So when Flora dies, Tookie isn’t surprised that Flora’s spirit refuses to leave the bookstore.

The majority of The Sentence covers an entire year of Tookie’s life. From late 2019 to late 2020, Tookie and her friends at the bookstore come face to face with the challenges of the pandemic as Flora’s ghost continues to cause havoc in the store.

Louise Erdrich creates an intimate setting that draws you into her story from the first few pages. As a book lover, I’m a sucker for any novel set in a bookstore or library. Add in a sinister spirit looming in the background and you have an excellent atmosphere for Erdrich’s story.

But Erdrich doesn’t stop at a simple ghost story. She examines what it was like for an Indigenous-owned business to survive the pandemic, discusses contemporary issues around colonialism, and examines who gets to tell their own stories.

I adored this novel so much—I finished the entire audiobook in one day! Erdrich performs the audiobook, voicing her characters as she heard them in her head. Erdrich is an incredible narrator, and I love that she reads most of her audiobooks.

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Booth by Karen Joy Fowler

Booth by Karen Joy Fowler

The author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, the Man Booker Finalist, is back with her latest novel, Booth, which follows the life of John Wilkes Booth. From his parent’s early days living outside of Baltimore to that fateful night at the theater, listeners follow the life of the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

Narrated by January LaVoy

A graphic of the cover of In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom

Bestselling fiction author Amy Bloom has a different story to tell this time: her own. When her husband is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Bloom’s world is upside down. Examining her experience as a caregiver, Bloom asks difficult questions about caring for a disabled spouse. As her husband’s disease deteriorates, Bloom and her husband begin to discuss his options and what dying with dignity means to him.

Narrated by the Author

A graphic of the cover of The Last Suspicious Holdout: Stories by Ladee Hubbard

The Last Suspicious Holdout: Stories by Ladee Hubbard

From the much acclaimed author of The Rib King, The Last Suspicious Holdout features twelve short stories. These interweaving tales tell the stories of a Black community in Southern suburbia. Ladee Hubbard is a gem, ensuring that this collection will be one of the best of the year—you won’t want to miss this audiobook!

Narrated by Adenrele Ojo and JD Jackson

A graphic of the cover of The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet by Leah Thomas

The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet by Leah Thomas

In this much-needed look at the environmentalist movement, Leah Thomas discusses the need for more activists to approach their work in environmentalism through an intersectional lens. She illustrates that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color bear the brunt of environmental injustice.

Narrated by Leah Thomas, Hayden Bishop, and Erin Walker

A graphic of the cover of The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators edited by Yu Chen

The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories: A Collection of Chinese Science Fiction and Fantasy in Translation from a Visionary Team of Female and Nonbinary Creators edited by Yu Chen, Translated by Regina Kanyu Wang

In this incredible anthology of Chinese science fiction and fantasy, nonbinary and female authors tell stories across the spectrum of some of my favorite genres. Translated from Chinese by Regina Kanyu Wang, The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a rich exploration of the fantastical and wondrous.

Narrated by Katharine Chin

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Over on Book Riot

9 Winners of This Year’s Audie Awards” – I share some of my favorite winners from this year’s Audie Awards!

Around the Web

Audie Award Finalists and Winners” (Audiofile Magazine) – You can find the entire list of winners and finalists for the Audie Awards here!

Audiobooks Explain Things to Me” (The New York Times)

Duvall Hecht, who popularized audiobooks as founder of Books on Tape, dies at 91” (The Washington Post)


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Spring Meditating with Audiobooks

Hello Audiophiles! I hope your March is off to a great start! Here in the South, this is my favorite time of year. It’s warmed up just enough so that you can now wear shorts with your hoodie—a classic Southern move—but the pollen apocalypse hasn’t quite started yet. I find myself spending my days on the porch, trying to teach Gwen not to bark at strangers. While my training hasn’t quite been successful, spending so much outside has lowered my stress level.

For the last few weeks, I shared that I’ve been reading some meditative, thought-provoking books on slowing down and recovering from overwork and burnout. I’ve set a goal to read one book a month that delves into ideas around quietness, meditation, or something along those lines. Friends have recommended Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy, Birds Art Life by Kyo Maclear, and How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell. I would LOVE to hear your recommendations! Please feel free to email them to me at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com!

With the entrance of spring, the ground has turned into many puddles that are the perfect size for a Corgi puppy to play in as much as she possibly can. Gwen takes this activity very seriously, and I find myself keeping an eye out for any opportunity that she might find to wallow through the mud. Yes, she has a great time, but she’s not a huge fan of the consequences.

A photo of Gwen, the black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, standing on the edge of the tub.
Gwen, a Corgi with zero regrets

A graphic of the cover of The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus

The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus

To close out my February listening, I picked up The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus, a Deaf, Jamaican British poet. This poetry collection examines Antrobus’s memoires as he looks back into his childhood. As a biracial, Deaf kid, he always had to fight to fit in as he learned to speak differently and later than his peers.

As a Deaf poet, Antrobus takes care with each and every sound that he ties together with each line of his poetry. He describes how Deaf people sign differently than hearing people speak. For example, BSL (British Sign Language) doesn’t use tenses, and the rhythm of signing is very different from speaking. Antrobus asks himself, how can he write poems in the sounds of one language when his instinct is to use the signs of another?

Antrobus’s poetry beautifully engages with all of these factors. On the audiobook edition, he performs his poetry. And as something extra, Antrobus will often explain the background of each poem, describing what inspired him to write it. I felt these asides added a little extra something to the audiobook.

As a disabled person who usually can’t read text, I listened to this collection very conscious that Antrobus and I have conflicting accessibility needs. But I loved how he performed these poems for a hearing audience with such care and attention.

Narrated by Raymond Antrobus

Recent Releases

A graphic of the cover of On a Night of a Thousand Stars by Andrea Yaryura Clark

On a Night of a Thousand Stars by Andrea Yaryura Clark 

It’s 1998, and Paloma lives a life of wealth and privilege as the daughter of an Argentine diplomat. But when she begins to hear whispers of her father’s secret past, she’s determined to find some answers. 

Narrated by Paula Christensen

A graphic of the cover of Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada

Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada

Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

In a near-future planet earth, Japan has disappeared, and is now known as the land of sushi. Hiruko is a climate refugee living in Denmark, wishing she could find more Japanese refugees to talk with about their shared experience. Hiruko’s journey sends her across the world.

Narrated by Cindy Kay

A graphic of the cover of The Believer: Encounters with the Beginning, the End, and Our Place in the Middle by Sarah Krasnostein

The Believer: Encounters with the Beginning, the End, and Our Place in the Middle by Sarah Krasnostein

The Believer examines what it means to hold a belief in the face of no evidence. UFOs, hauntings, and religions—Krasnostein looks at all of these things that are part of the human condition, about humanity’s faith in the unknown.

Narrated by Jennifer Vuletic

A graphic of the cover of The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America by Deepa Purushothaman

The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America by Deepa Purushothaman 

Purushothaman looks at women of color in the workplace. As more and more women of color enter offices and boardrooms, they are changing the way companies do business, and their impact is being felt around the world.

Narrated by Deepa Purushothaman

A graphic of the cover of Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix by Aminah Mae Safi

Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix by Aminah Mae Safi

Set during the Third Crusade in 1192, Rahma and Zeena rob the rich to feed the poor, scouring Jerusalem for ways to help the people who need it most. But with the false queen, Queen Isabella, looming, Rahma, Zeena, and their friends are up against some incredible odds.

Narrated by Shiromi Arserio

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Over on Book Riot

How Audiobooks Helped Me Get Over My Fear of Long Books” by Laura Sackton – A lovely piece describing how one reluctant listener discovered a whole new way to consume longer books.

8 Nonfiction Audiobooks to Listen to During Women’s History Month” – I share some of my top listens for Women’s History Month!

Around the Web

In Praise of Running to Audiobooks” by Rebecca Worby (Outside Magazine)

Women’s History Month (Audible)

If You Like HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ You’ll Love These Audiobooks” by Cristina Rodriguez (Libro.fm)


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

The Last Audiobook App I Can’t Live Without

Hello Audiophiles! After a winter of cold, rainy weather, the corgis were clamoring for adventure, so my spouse and I ventured out into the beautiful early spring weather here in South Carolina. We wandered around the historic parts of our little town, stopped to get coffee, and visited the waterfront. Gwen’s still learning how to greet new people without jumping on them, but, thankfully, we found many volunteers to help her practice.

Corgis are herding dogs and need a ridiculous amount of exercise, so I listen to a lot of audiobooks while walking them. But it was nice to unplug and take them on adventures into the wider world. 

I’ve also been cleaning out several closets in my house. While marathoning through A House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, I reorganized my entire pantry. That’s one of my favorite parts of being an audiobook listener; I’ve developed an intense ability to multitask.

I’ve also been listening to A LOT of articles, which bring me to today’s main feature—the next audiobook app that I can’t live without!

A photo of Dylan, a red and white pembroke welsh corgi, and Gwen, a black and white cardigan Welsh corgi, sitting with their Mahm, a white woman with brunette hair. They are all smiling at the camera.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

An Audiobooks App I Can’t Live Without

Audm

For this series, I’ve shared my top five favorite audiobooks apps—Overdrive, hoopla, Libro.fm, Audible, and Scribd—all of which I’ve used and loved for several years. But I have to tell you about my latest audio app, Audm ($4.99/month).

For many audiobook lovers, they listen to audiobooks because they love them, but can always pick up the print copy of a book if they can’t get their hands on the audiobook edition. But for disabled people like me, print isn’t an option. Audiobook apps make reading full-length books possible for me. But what about literary journals, short stories, or news articles?

While my screenreader CAN read these shorter pieces, I don’t enjoy the listening experience. At this point, my screenreader still very much sounds like a robot. So when I learned about Audm, I knew I had to try it out.

Audm is a subscription service that allows people to listen to a selection of articles from over two dozen publications, including The Atlantic, The Bitter Southerner, The New York Times, the Republic, The Millions, and Rolling Stone, just to name a few. Today I listened to “Profiles: Late Harvest” by Dorothy Wickenden in The New Yorker, a beautifully written profile on Wendall Berry, the Appalachian writer and environmentalist. Holly Palance narrated the article, which comes in at over an hour.

Since I subscribed a few months ago, I’ve listened to dozens of incredible pieces by today’s top writers, reveling in this whole new world that’s been opened up to me. The app is incredibly easy to navigate, allowing users to filter what publications they want to see articles from. Then, simply add the article to your playlist and use their wide range of listening speeds to choose how quickly you want the article to playback for you.

Authors often narrate their articles, and when professionals perform them, the talent is top notch, including Emily Woo Zeller, Janina Edwards, Julia Whelan, and Prentice Onayemi.

Do you subscribe to Audm? What do you think of it? Let me know at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com.

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Delilah Green Doesn't Care

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

When Delilah Green returns to her hometown to photograph her stepsister’s wedding, she runs into Claire Sutherland, who becomes a welcome distraction. But what starts out as a fling during all of the wedding hoopla might turn into something more.

Narrated by Kristen DiMercurio

A graphic of the photo of I'm So (Not) Over You

I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson

Kian Andrews gets a call from his ex-boyfriend, Hudson Rivers, so he agrees to meet up and chat. But instead of wanting to get back together, Hudson wants to pretend to be together for his parents. Kian agrees, though reluctantly. Of course, this being a romance novel, what starts as pretend might rekindle the love they thought they had lost.

Narrated by Timothy Bell Reese

A graphic of the cover of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

Each year, Mina’s community throws a maiden into the ocean to appease the Sea God. With so many storms and floods, the ritual has never been more important to the community. To save the girl her brother loves, Mina throws herself into the water to become the bride of the Sea God herself.

Narrated by Rosa Escoda

A graphic of the cover of The Verifiers by Jane Pek

The Verifiers by Jane Pek

Claudia Lin’s parents think she has a traditional career. But in reality, Claudia works as an investigator for clients wanting to check their love interests’ identities on an exclusive dating app. But when a client goes missing, Claudia must solve the mystery to save her career, all while keeping her real life secret from her parents.

Narrated by Eunice Wong

A graphic of the cover of When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East

When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East by Quan Barry

The author of We Ride Upon Sticks is back with latest novel When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East, which follows Chuluun, a young monk tasked with finding the reincarnation of a great lama. Along with his twin Mun, Chuluun must traverse the vast Mongolian landscape while working out his strained relationship with his brother.

Narrated by David Lee Huynh

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

New Merch!

Don’t forget to check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more. The campaign is temporary, so order yours now!

Over on Book Riot

Wintering with Audiobooks: Learning How to Slow Down” – In this essay, I share how I’ve been using audiobooks to help me recover from burnout.

Around the Web

Audiobooks Account for a Third of Books ‘Read’ in Iceland” (Iceland Review)


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Some of My Favorite Backlist Romance Listens

Hello Audiophiles!

As someone with a VERY high energy little gremlin of a Corgi, I spend a lot of time at the dog park. Gwen plays with her friends, running around, digging up tree roots, and chasing sticks. But Dylan possesses more of an independent nature, ignoring the yapping scrum of dogs to chase his favorite pink ball.

When the Corgis’ friends aren’t at the dog park, I usually listen to one of my audiobooks as I throw Dylan’s ball and try to keep Gwen from eating anything she shouldn’t. In the new year, I’ve tried to slow down and practice mindfulness throughout the day. I often feel like I am always running from thing to thing, but our daily walks around the neighborhood help remind me to slow down and enjoy the everyday.

In the last several months, I discovered Audm (I’ll share more about that soon), and I recently listened to an article from The Atlantic about pursuing satisfaction and enjoyment. The author discussed his own pull back from his career to pursue the things that make him happiest, even if that new life doesn’t give him as much notoriety.

Today I walked to the dog park and since no one was there, I began my usual routine of unleashing the Corgi and throwing Dylan’s ball. But I paused, took my earbuds out of my ears. The quiet sounds of nature enveloped me, only broken by the conversations of squirrels and birds overhead. Okay, I thought. I’m listening.

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, being read the book "Chu's Day" by Neil Gaiman. Kendra, a white woman with brunette hair, holds Dylan reading the book to him.

Recent Listens

A graphic of the cover of A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert

In the last several years, I’ve realized I really like romance novels. Imagine, all of that misogynistic nonsense that was I told actually isn’t true and these books are truly incredible?! I know, I know, I was very behind the curve for so long, and my romance loving friends very patiently just kept handing me books, knowing exactly what was happening. (Thank you, my wonderful friends!)

Talia Hibbert, one of my favorite romance writers, hurtled into my life with Get a Life, Chloe Brown, which is about a chronically ill Black woman who finds love. Each successive book in the series features another Brown sister finding her HEA (happily ever after).

I love each and every one of those books, so, naturally, I went to investigate Hibbert’s backlist and—behold!—there were so many more, AND they’re available on audio. The Ravenswood series begins with A Girl Like Her where we meet Ruth Kabbah, an autistic Black British woman living in her small town. For the most part, Ruth stays in her apartment working on her webcomic. But when a VERY attractive man moves in next door, her plans for a pleasant life in her hobbit hole are turned upside down.

As a book nerd, I love seeing authors’ beginnings: those debuts that didn’t get immediate buzz, but are still pretty great. For me, the Ravenswood series shows all of my favorite parts of Hibbert’s romances—witty banter, delightful characters, steamy scenes—but written by a less experienced Hibbert just coming into her full powers.

Rupert Channing performs the three audiobooks in the trilogy. While I wasn’t sure how I felt about a guy narrating a romance novel, after the first hour, I became completely convinced that this man could do no wrong. He captures the quaint, English charm of these novels so perfectly.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

Recent Releases

A graphic of the cover of Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala

Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala

Mystery fans will be all over Mia P. Manansala’s sequel to Arsenic and Adobo. Lila Macapagal thought her brushes with death were over. But once again she finds herself thrown into yet another sticky situation. And of course, there’s another dead body, and she’s the one that needs to figure out how it got that way.

Narrated by Danice Cabanela

A graphic of the cover of When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O'Neill

When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O’Neill

As a huge O’Neill fan, I will read whatever she writes, and I’ve been counting down the days until her next novel hits my earbuds. When We Lost Our Heads features Marie Antoine, the daughter of the richest man in Montreal. She’s incredibly lonely, but when a new girl moves into the neighborhood, she might finally have found the best friend she’s always wanted.

Narrated by Jeanna Phillips

A graphic of the cover of Red Thread of Fate by Lyn Liao Butler

Red Thread of Fate by Lyn Liao Butler

Right before she and her husband Tony are going to adopt a boy from China, Tam receives the news that her husband and his cousin Mia are killed in an accident. Tam finds herself now the guardian of Mia’s young daughter. Will she go through with the adoption? How is she supposed to parent two children on her own?

Narrated by Natalie Naudus

A graphic of the cover of House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is back with the sequel to The House of Earth and Blood, the first book in the The Crescent City series. In the first book we follow a half-fae, half human protagonist as she seeks revenge. I don’t want to give away spoilers, so let’s just say, if you love fantasy novels, this is for you!

Narrated by Elizabeth Evans

A graphic of the cover of Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James

The much anticipated sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf has finally arrived! Marlon James is back with Sogolon the Moon Witch telling her version of events when she tries to beat the Tracker to find a missing boy.

Narrated by Bahni Turpin

A graphic of the cover of The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Jess, a woman looking for a fresh start, convinces her brother to let her stay with him in his Paris apartment. But when she arrives, her brother is nowhere to be found. As she looks into his disappearance, she begins to suspect things aren’t quite as they appear.

Narrated by Clare Corbett, Daphne Kouma, Julia Winwood, Sope Dirisu, Sofia Zervudachi, and Charlie Anson

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

New Merch!

Don’t forget to check out our new line of bookish, Wordle-inspired merch! There are mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, and more. The campaign is temporary, so order yours now!

Over on Book Riot

Get to Know Six Amazing YA Audiobook Performers

8 Audiobooks Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White

Around the Web

Five Benefits Of Making Your Self-Published Book An Audiobook” (Forbes)

Our 12 Most Anticipated Audiobooks of Spring 2022” (Libro.fm)


That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra