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!

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 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 (

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 For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


Our Next Audiobook App—hoopla!

This year is Gwen’s first Christmas, and she has yet to destroy a single ornament (yes, I was shocked too). But she seems very into the festive spirit, enjoying festive snacks and trying to unwrap everyone’s presents a bit early.

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting underneath a Christmas tree. He's sitting on a red tree skirt with blue-striped presents. A corgi ornament hangs from the tree.
Dylan enjoying some Gwen-free time under the tree

Ever since I can remember, stories have played a huge role during the holiday season. I performed in a children’s choir that put on a Christmas play every year, Santa movies like The Santa Clause and Miracle on 34th Street flooded the TV, and adults constantly reminisced about Christmases past.

My audiobook listening was no exception. My mom would get me Christmas themed kids’ stories on cassette, and I’d spend hours listening to the radio dramas unfold. Now as an adult, my spouse and I usually have a tradition of listening to an audiobook on our way to visit my parents in Kentucky. But this year, we’re staying home for Christmas again, so I’ve been at a loss for what I should listen to around the holiday.

Originally, I had intended to add some final thoughts for Cloud Cuckoo Land, but another audiobook swept in and completely captured my attention, so I have to chat with you about this one first.

Recent Listen

A graphic of the cover of He Who Fights with Monsters

He Who Fights With Monsters: A LitRPG Adventure by Shirtaloon (Travis Deverell)

A month ago, I had never heard of this book, and when I finally read the synopsis, I wasn’t very interested. A fantasy story originally published as a serial, collected into “novels”, and now made into an audiobook? I 100% did not think that this was my speed.

But for whatever reason, I decided to give it a shot. Immediately, Jason, our protagonist, finds himself thrown into a World of Warcraft-like universe where he has to battle it out with creatures to gain experience. He accidentally interrupts a ceremony of some cultist cannibals, rescuing some high level adventurers along the way. They take Jason under their wing, and we learn more about this strange world as Jason does.

I’ve never even heard of the LitRPG (Literary Role Playing Game) genre before, but I feel like it was made for me. The genre features characters who interact with their world like they are in a video game. It’s like my love of video games and books just collided in the best possible way.

Since He Who Fights with Monsters is a serial, the pacing is very different from something like a novel, which is a singular, contained story. Listening to the first volume in the series (there are four bound volumes of the story to date), I could see the different story arcs, like trade paperbacks of comics or seasons of a television series.

Heath Miller, the audiobook’s narrator, performs the story incredibly well, truly capturing Jason’s loudmouth sort of personality. Jason’s characterization acts as the primary thread that ties the incredibly long and complex story together, and Miller keeps up with the task. The first volume is almost 30 hours long, but I listened to it in about three days.

I’d love to know if any of you have any other LitRPG audiobook recommendations!

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

Audiobook Book Apps I Can’t Live Without


I thought since we talked about Overdrive last time that we could talk about another Public Library favorite, hoopla. On their website, hoopla states, “Our purpose has always been to partner with libraries in delivering the best content to patrons in the most streamlined manner possible.” And they do just that. Through their app, which is set up through your local library, you can borrow movies, music, comics, digital books, audiobooks, and so much more!

Typically, your library allows you to have a certain number of “borrows” a month, allowing you to check out whatever you like instantly. This is one of my favorite features of hoopla—no wait times! The only time I ever find myself waiting for a title is when I run out borrows for the month.

I’ve been using hoopla since around 2013, and I’ve found it to be one of the easier apps to navigate. My technology unenthusiastic spouse finds hoopla easier to use than Overdrive or Libby, and he often stumbles across random titles he enjoys.

Personally, I love that when I find a title I want to listen to, I can save it to my favorites so I can more easily find it later. Another benefit is that hoopla also carries classes from educational sources like The Great Courses, so I can take a refresher course on Shakespeare, American Literature, or really whatever my heart desires.

Last time, so many of you had wonderful things to add about Overdrive & Libby. Now I would love to hear your hoopla stories. And librarians, please feel free to add anything that you think folks might find helpful, and I’ll include them in the next newsletter. You can reach me at the email in my sign off!

On Book Riot

8 Audiobooks Longlisted for the PEN America Awards” – I share some of highlights from the PEN America longlist!

Around the Web

Dolly Parton to Headline Audiobook Cast of Her Debut Novel with Patterson” (The Bookseller) – Does this surprise anyone? Dolly can do it all.

Canadians have embraced audiobooks and ebooks in 2021” (Good E-reader) – I’ve been looking around for stats about audiobook usage in other countries. Definitely let me know if you have more you’d like to share!

That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


‘Tis the Season for More Audiobooks

Hello Audiophiles! Things down here in the South Carolina Lowcountry are finally getting cold, just in time for the Corgis to break out their festive sweaters. This year, my spouse, the Corgis, and I will be spending the holidays at home, which gives me a lot of time to plan our Christmas day festivities.

As a kid, the Christmas season rolled around with bursts of red and green everywhere. Key events marked a countdown to the holiday, like caroling and a candlelit Christmas Eve service. But during the pandemic, we’ve had to make new traditions. We watch holiday movies and decorate the house within an inch of its life. This year, I have even been filming the Corgis opening their advent calendar on TikTok.

For me, one of the best parts of any holiday is the food. I LOVE planning out what I’m going to make while listening to food-related podcasts and audiobooks—and Samin Nosrat has both! In addition to her podcast Home Cooking, Nosrat has written my favorite cookbook of all time, Salt Fat Acid Heat. This cookbook delves into the science of why we use certain techniques in cooking and teaches everyday people how to cook their food the best they can. (I also gift at least three copies of this cookbook every year!) I’ll keep y’all updated on what I decide to make.

A corgi Christmas ornament hanging in a tree
Gwen’s First Tree Ornament

Currently Listening

A graphic of the cover of Cloud Cuckoo Land

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Like much of the literary world, I read All the Light We Cannot See and felt mesmerized by its spiral structure. I usually am not a huge fan of WWII historical fiction, but I couldn’t stop listening to the story.

This year, I surprised myself with how much I was looking forward to Doerr’s new book Cloud Cuckoo Land. The book contains many perspectives, time periods, and genres—I felt overwhelmed at the start! I actually bought a print copy to follow along and keep track of the different characters. I’m about halfway through, and still find myself flipping back and forth, trying to keep track of who was who (and when).

But other than that, I’m enjoying the different perspectives. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’m listening to a David Mitchell novel—I have no idea how all of the different elements will come together, but I’m enjoying the ride!

I will include part two next week, but in the meantime, let me know your thoughts!

Narrated by Marin Ireland and Simon Jones

Audiobook Apps I Can’t Live Without

I’ll be back next week to discuss another one of my favorite audiobook apps, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your wonderful response to the new segment! I appreciated all of your feedback about Overdrive and Libby. So much love for Libby, but are we surprised?

One of you reached out and told me some news about the original app. I reached out to Overdrive directly, and they confirmed: in early 2022, Overdrive is retiring the original app. BUT, they wanted to highlight some points:

  • Current OverDrive app users can continue to use the app.
  • New users looking for the OverDrive app will be directed to Libby.
  • All users can continue to use, borrow, and open titles from their library’s OverDrive website via a browser.

Let me know your thoughts OR tell me about any apps that you would like to see me feature by reaching out via the email in my sign off!

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

Recent Releases

A graphic of the cover of Bright Burning Things

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding

This novel follows a woman devastated after a failed career. She self medicates with alcohol, lost in a haze. But her love for her son Tommy breaks through the fog. She must somehow conquer her addiction or possibly lose her son.

Narrated by Lisa Harding

A graphic of the cover of The Cat Who Saved Books

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa, translated from the Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai

Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the bookstore he inherited from his grandfather. But then a talking cat comes to save the day. Before he realizes (it or what is happening), Rintaro Natsuki finds himself solving a series of mazes to set captured books free. Cat, books, and puzzles—what could be cozier than this?

Narrated by Kevin Shen (Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and Jade Fire Gold by June C. Tan)

A graphic of the cover of Tell Me How to Be

Tell Me How to Be by Neel Patel

One year after her husband’s death, Renu Amin decides that now is the time to sell the family home. As she begins to pack up her life, she begins to wonder if she chose the wrong life. Her son Akash, has it all. When he shows up to help his mother pack the house, family secrets begin to come to the surface, changing both of their perspectives on their family.

Narrated by Vikas Adam (A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski and City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda)

A graphic of the cover of Call Us What We Carry

Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman

It’s finally here, the poetry collection we’ve been waiting for all year long! Ever since Amanda Gorman’s incredible performance at President Biden’s inauguration, thousands of people pre-ordered her poetry collection. But like most performance poet’s work, these poems really shine as Gorman narrates them aloud.

Narrated by Amanda Gorman

Over on Book Riot

10 Audiobook for Families

Around the Web’s Best Audiobooks of 2021” (

AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2021” (AudioFile Magazine)

A Gift Guide for Every Reader” (

The 21 Best Blog Moments of 2021” (Audible)

That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


Let’s Talk Audiobook Apps!

Hello Audiophiles!

The holiday season is in full swing in the Winchester household, and, shockingly, we haven’t lost any ornaments to tiny Corgi teeth yet. Every year, my parents would give my brother and I each an ornament to put on the tree. They’ve carried over this tradition to their grandcorgs, so at this point, Dylan has at least a dozen ornaments to his name.

A lot of people love to listen to holiday music around this time of year, but I go all in on audiobooks. I love all things wintery and magical, following every whim as I decide what to listen to next. Baking cookies, decorating the house, or wrapping a gazillion presents all provide perfect opportunities for more audiobook listening.

I needed something to sustain the first initial decorating and planning for the holidays. As I was browsing my audiobook apps, I came across a title that just might work.

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, being held up to the tree as a white hand reaches out and hangs a Corgi ornament on the tree.
Dylan loves his Christmas tree!

Recent Favorite

A graphic of the cover of The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

For as long as I can remember, my dad has talked about how much he loves The Wheel of Time series. As a fellow fantasy lover, I wanted to enjoy the story as much as he did. I even carried a mass market paperback of the book around with me an entire summer, but I just couldn’t get into it.

Now, over ten years later, I still planned on watching the miniseries. But then I saw that Rosamund performed a new edition of the audiobook of The Eye of the World, and I knew now was the time!

At almost 33 hours, this audiobook is not for the faint of heart, and I didn’t know if I would like it. But if anyone could make me like an epic story with dozens of characters and an intense back story, it’s Rosamund Pike. From the first few minutes, I fell in love with her narration. She performs all the voices, making each character sound unique. As I got lost in the story, I’d sometimes even forget she was the one narrating.

And let’s talk about the story itself for a moment. You have a set of five young people heading out from their rural village to go…break the world? The whole story is shrouded in mystery, and half the time, I only know what’s going on because I have read a ridiculous number of fantasy titles. On occasion, I’d get lost in their travels and pull up the world map on my computer.

But overall, I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat, doing extra chores and taking the Corgis out on long walks just to know what is going to happen next. I have no idea if Rosamund Pike plans on narrating the rest of the books in the series, but a girl can hope.

Narrated by Rosamund Pike

Audiobook Apps I Can’t Live Without

When I first started listening to audiobooks, I’d have to check the cassettes out from the library and pray they weren’t abridged. Sometimes, I’d carry away a giant plastic case of over a dozen cassettes just for one book. But now, my entire audiobook library sits on my phone, waiting for me to finally quit scrolling and just decide.

If you love audiobooks as much as I do (which I feel is safe to assume since you are reading this), then I imagine you have several audiobook apps on your phone. I have about ten apps that I use on a regular basis, and each possesses its own strengths and weaknesses. So I thought we could chat about them! For the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite audiobook apps that I use the most.


Back in high school, I remember downloading the OverDrive program on my computer and finally being able to download audiobooks. But because the files were so big, it took FOREVER to download over dialup (remember that!?), and I had to sit at the computer the entire time to listen to them. That didn’t stop me from playing hours of The Sims while I listened.

This new program gave me access to hundreds of titles I wouldn’t have been able to listen to otherwise. Now, OverDrive and its younger sister Libby sit right at my fingertips. I still use it to find audiobooks through my library.

A few years ago, OverDrive released Libby, a new more user friendly version of their app. Many audiobook users love this app and several of my friends started listening to audiobooks because Libby is easier to use. Call me nostalgic, but I still use OverDrive. Perhaps I love it because I am always looking for specific books instead of browsing to discover new-to-me titles.

But when I recommend one of the two apps to new users, I always recommend Libby. Libby takes care of a lot of the issues that many audiobook lovers have had with the original OverDrive app. Libby is fast, less clunky, and more streamlined in its design. Audiobooks are fewer actions away from being ready for you to start listening. Overall, it makes listening to audiobooks through your library incredibly simple.

I’ve shared some of my memories with OverDrive—I’d love to hear yours! Do you prefer OverDrive or the new Libby app? I want to hear all of the things. You can reach me at the email in my sign off!

Over on Book Riot

7 Audiobooks Narrated by Celebrities

Around the Web

Quiz: Your 2021 Audiobook Gift Guide” ( – does it again! I love their quizzes. Plus, audiobooks are an easy last-minute gift that I have given countless times.

Best Audiobooks of the Year” (The Washington Post) – Per usual, I am a sucker for a good list!

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

That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


A Must-listen Young Adult Novel and New Releases!

Hello, Audiophiles! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with friends and family!

I’ve long accepted that I’m the kind of person that shamelessly enjoys the holidays, decorating everything from my front door to my bookshelves. When friends walk into my house, my Corgi, Dylan, greets them at the door decked out in his red and green collar complete with a bowtie. But for whatever reason, this year the holidays have snuck up on me, and today while staring at a display of Christmas cookies, I realized that the year had slipped by and I was NOT prepared.

Of course, I can’t wait for Gwen to experience her first perfect Christmas, complete with her own brand new stocking and “My First Christmas” ornament. My Christmas tree is not as enthusiastic about our new addition. I foresee fencing the tree into a corner so curious floofs can’t decide to embrace their inner wild Corgi and shred my long-suffering tree.

Gwen keeps finding ways to sneak into the library where I keep all of the things she’s not allowed to destroy. I noticed she had snuck off and ran to the library only to find her lounging like a queen in front of her stacks of books. Well played, Gwen.

Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sits on a giant dog bed in front of stacks and stacks of books.
Princess Gwenllian on her Throne

Favorite Listen

A graphic of the cover of A Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks

A Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks by Mackenzi Lee

There are few series that I highly anticipated where I will literally drop everything and immediately start reading. But Lee’s last book in the Montague Siblings series definitely qualifies. I really enjoyed A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, but I didn’t think I’d become that attached to the characters. Then the pandemic hit and the third book was delayed a couple of times. I found myself revisiting the first two books, finding peace in their comforting familiarity.

By the time A Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks hit the shelves, I knew I needed a copy ASAP. I downloaded the audiobook and started on one last adventure with the Mantague’s. So back I fell into 1700s England, complete with fantastical plot twists and the siblings’ neverending shenanigans. 

I don’t want to go into too many details as to avoid *spoilers*, but I will say I’ve really appreciated the disability representation in the series. Adrian, the focus of the last book in the series, experiences what we would now call generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. We listen to Adrian describe his spiraling thoughts, which always seem on the edge of being out of control. His mind repeats the same thoughts over and over again. While this might seem too repetitive to some listeners, I found that it effectively communicated what it’s like to live with those conditions.

Of course, narrator Christian Coulson brilliantly performs the audio edition. Coulson narrated the first book as well, and I loved hearing his familiar voice telling the Montagues’ story again. He manages to capture the perfect amount of refined mischief that embodies the siblings’ collective brand of adventures.

Narrated by Christian Coulson (Dark Rise by C. S. Pacat and To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix)

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

Recent Releases

A graphic of the cover of Jade Legacy

Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee

It all started with Jade City, the Nebula nominated novel about a crime family desperate to control Jade, which gives certain people incredible power. The story continued with Jade War, and now, the third book in the series, Jade Legacy. This much-anticipated conclusion to the Green Bone Saga ties together the complex storylines of characters readers have spent thousands of pages with over the course of the series.

Narrated by Andrew Kishino (We Are Not Free by Traci Chee and Wildwood Whispers by Willa Reece)

A graphic of the cover of These Precious Days

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

There’s nothing like a master at work, and Ann Patchett’s writing is a gift. This collection of essays cover a wide range of topics, including Patchett’s friendship with a woman named Sooki who ended up social distancing with Patchett and her husband due to the pandemic. Patchett reads her essays, making this audio edition quite the treat.

Narrated by Ann Patchett (This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett)

A graphic of the cover of Go Tell the Bees That I'm Gone

Go Tell the Bees That I’m Gone by Diana Gabaldon

Daina Gabaldon fans rejoiced as the next installment of her Outlander series hit bookshelves just in time for the holiday season. This novel continues the time-traveling saga of a woman from the 1940s stumbling upon a gate into the past, sending her back to Scotland in the 1700s. In the first novel, love, political machinations, and war loom constantly on the horizon for Claire, but her new love interest, Jamie, immediately catches her eye. Complications abound, though, because in her own modern time, she’s already married.

Narrated by Davina Porter (The Miniaturist by Jess Burton and The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry)

A graphic of the cover of a snake falls to earth

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

Award-winning author Darcie Little Badger returns with her latest novel, A Snake Falls to Earth. Nina, a Lipan Apache girl, has always believed there was more out there than she’s always been told. As the world around her is wracked by a catastrophe, she must figure out how to help her family and her community to survive.

Narrated by Shaun Taylor-Corbett and Kinsale Hueston (The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones and Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse)

Over on Book Riot

6 Memoirs on Audio Read by Their Authors

8 Audiobooks Read by Natalie Naudus

Around the Web

Quiz: Your 2021 Audiobook Gift Guide” (

Indigenous Audiobook Narrators You Should Be Listening To” (

Nonfiction Audiobooks to Download This Winter” (The New York Times)

That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


Fall Frolics with Corgis, Great Food, and Audiobooks

Hello, audiophiles! Kendra here. Down here in the South Carolina Lowcountry, we’re enjoying some cooler weather—time to break out the jackets! I love the South, but it definitely limits the length of time I can wear my fall wardrobe. 

But even before I broke out the chilly weather gear, I’ve been head-over-heels in love with fall cooking. This year, I’ve been perfecting my spicy carrot soup recipe. Blended cooked carrots and almond milk with cayenne, pumpkin spice, and salt—presto! Then you have the perfect fall soup. I love listening to Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat while I cook.

Gwen is FINALLY fully vaccinated with her puppy vaccines, so we have been taking her all over creation. On our first big fall excursion, my spouse and I took Dylan and Gwen out to a nature preserve. They frapped through fall leaves as Sam and I kept an eye out for alligators and snakes in the wetlands. They snuffled every inch of the trail, joyfully dragging us to get a good whiff of every smelly, dead thing. We had a great time.

A photo of Gwenllian, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy, standing on a wooden bridge.
Gwenllian, the great adventurer!
A graphic of the cover of Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu

Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu

On my fall walks around my neighborhood while Dylan and Gwen fight over who gets to choose where we go next, I like to listen to something on the more peaceful side of things. Perhaps subconsciously I’m trying to restore balance to the universe. One of my recent listens was Win Me Something by debut author Kyle Lucia Wu. The print edition of the novel is out now from Tin House, one of my favorite indie presses.

Wu’s debut follows WIlla, a 20-something biracial Chinese American woman trying to find a direction for her life. When she was small, her parents split, remarried, and started new families with their new partners. Since then, Willa has never felt as if she belonged anywhere.

At the start of the story, Willa finds a new job as a nanny to a white, well-off couple living in Manhattan. Their daughter, Bijou, loves to cook. But since she’s only around nine years old, she needs a lot of help. As Willa cooks with her charge, she begins to feel like she belongs.

The narrative frequently flashes back to Willa’s childhood with meals seated around one table or another. A backroom bar with her dad, a plate of sweet breakfast food with her mom, her grandmother teaching her how to make a family recipe—each of these moments represent a moment where Willa felt incredibly close to her parents, yet still never completely part of their lives.

Natalie Naudus, a new favorite audiobook narrator of mine, performs Win Me Something, perfectly capturing Willa’s insecurities and inner angst about where she belongs in the world. I will definitely be picking up more audiobooks Naudus performs, so stay tuned!

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

New Releases!

A graphic of the cover of A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago

A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago

Frances Howard meets the astute, diminished Anne Turner in the Jacobean Court. They strike up a friendship and their fates become intertwined. Political intrigue, marriage proposals, and backroom deals—this work of historical fiction has it all.

Narrated by Sarah Durham (The Lies You Told by Harriet Tyce and Whispers of Scandal by Julie Corbin)

A graphic of the cover of Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

I adore Africanfuturist author Nnedi Okorafor and her fantastical stories. In Noor, we meet Anwuli Okwudili, though she prefers to be called AO. Through a series of issues with her birth and an accident shortly after her birth, AO feels artificial, like her disabled body makes her less human. To her, AO stands for artificial organism. But then, AO comes to accept all that she is: a disabled woman who uses necessary accommodations to live her life.

Narrated by Délé Ogundiran (Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham)

A graphic of the cover of All the Feels by Olivia Dade

All the Feels by Olivia Dade

Alexander Woodroe knows his star is falling. After a bar fight, his job and his very career, is on the line. Lauren Clegg has been hired to keep him in line so he has no more drunken fights. This is a romance novel. We know where this is heading. But it’s sure to be one heck of a ride.

Narrated by Kelsey Navarro (Loud Mouth by Avery Flynn and Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan)

A graphic of the cover of Even Greater Mistakes: Stories by Charlie Jane Anders

Even Greater Mistakes: Stories by Charlie Jane Anders

Nebula award-winning author Charlie Jane Anders is back with her third book this year (my goodness!), Even Greater Mistakes. In this short story collection, we meet a range of characters, all with their own fantastical adventures to experience.

Narrated by Luis Moreno, Maria Liatis, and Jen Richards (One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus and Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova)

A graphic of the cover of The Teller of Secrets by Bisi Adjapon

The Teller of Secrets by Bisi Adjapon

Esi Agyekum somehow finds herself the one everyone in her family goes to with their secrets. But as she grows up from girlhood into a young woman, she begins to wonder why men and women’s secrets have different consequences.

Narrated by Anniwaa Buachie (Accra Noir edited by Nana-Ama Danquah)

Over on Book Riot

Quiz: Design Your Perfect Concert and Get a Graphic Novel on Audio” by Laura Sackton

More Audiobook Adventures with Animal Crossing: New Horizons” by Kendra Winchester – I share about how I LOVE to listen to audiobooks while playing Animal Crossing. This latest installment is all about the new update!

Don’t forget to check out our new podcast Adaptation Nation, all about TV and film adaptations of your favorite books!

Around the Web

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Novels Are Getting New, Star-Studded Audiobooks” (Gizmodo) – “Penguin Random House has announced that it has commissioned new audiobook recordings of all 40 Discworld novels, using a variety of British stars to bring them to life.”

Sweden’s Storytel Buys” (Publisher’s Weekly)

Spotify’s next chapter will bring audiobooks to the streaming service” (TechRadar) –  Spotify keeps adding to the audio content they offer. Find out more in their press release.

That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


Behind the Scenes Photos from Sally Rooney’s New Audiobook!

Hello Audiophiles! I’ve been on a listening streak, finishing five audiobooks in one week. I’m not entirely sure how this happened, but I’ll take it! I don’t know about you, but around this time of year, I’m always trying to sneak in more listening to help my reading numbers.

Gwen seems to approve, as she’s been fairly well behaved (for her, anyway). Can you believe she’s almost four months old already?! Ugh, she’s growing up too fast. Here’s a photo from when I let her run around the library for a few minutes while I was packing up some books to send to a friend. (You can imagine how helpful she was with that.)

A photo of Gwen, the black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting in front of several piles of books. Behind her and the stacks of books are more bookshelves full of books.
Gwen and her Book Mail

Recent Listen

A graphic of the cover of Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

As a mood reader, I expect for my reading to wander from book to book for no apparent reason at all. One day I might want to read a mystery novel and the next I can’t get enough of a nonfiction book about what happens to our bodies after we die. But for the last few years, I’ve noticed an entirely new-to-me mood: the Sally Rooney mood.

I may be in the minority in that I enjoyed both Conversations with Friends AND Normal People. There’s just something about reading about Irish millennials making poor decisions that’s established itself in my mind as its own particular feeling.

So when I picked up Beautiful World, Where Are You, I expected confused 20-somethings walking around with an intense amount of angst from not actually sitting down and working out their own feelings. And, my stars, does this novel deliver.

Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon all circle around each other as they try to recover from past bad relationships, mental health struggles, and anxiety about the ever looming present. Sometimes you want to sit them down like misbehaving preschoolers and make them talk it out.

Now, I say all this, but I want to be clear; I adore Rooney’s storytelling in Beautiful World, Where Are You. Her stark descriptions and direct style keep her prose straightforward, so that the email, text, and dialogue pop off the page.

Such a heavy emphasis on dialogue could have proved difficult for even the most seasoned audiobook narrator, but Aoife McMahon rose to the occasion. Her ability to capture the voices of each of the four main characters is nothing but brilliant. She packs so much life and vibrancy into her delivery, I found myself completely swept away, just sitting down and staring into space.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos of Aoife McMahon reading Beautiful World, Where Are You, provided by Macmillan Audio. I love McMahon’s expressions while she’s reading!

4 photos of Aoife McMahon a white woman with red curly hair sitting in front of a microphone with headphones wrapped around her neck. She is making expressions like she is serious, imploring, intrigued, and horrified in turn.
Photo 1: when you listened to Alice and Felix’s first date; Photo 2: when Alice invited Felix to Rome with her; Photo 3: when you listen to that first ~intimate~ scene!; Photo 4: when you found out what Simon did to Eileen

Recent Releases!

A graphic of the cover of The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

Star-crossed lovers, Kostas and Defne, share stolen moments in a beautiful garden. Once war breaks out, they’re separated. After the war, Kostos returns to the place of his forbidden love. While he says he’s there for work, in reality he’s searching for Defne. Years later, Ada Kazantzakis searches for the answers of what happened to her family.

Narrated by Daphne Kouma and Amira Ghazalla (The Moon-spinners by Mary Stewart and To Save My Child by Emma Robinson)

A graphic of the cover of Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu

Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu

As a biracial Chinese American girl, Willa Chen has never felt like she fit in anywhere. But after her parents divorce, she doesn’t feel like she fits in at home either. After years of feeling adrift, Willa decides to nanny for a wealthy white couple and sees everything she never had dangled in front of her on a daily basis.

Narrated by Natalie Naudus (One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston and The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang)

A graphic of the cover of Speaking of Race: Why Everybody Needs to Talk About Racism—and How to Do It by Celeste Headlee

Speaking of Race: Why Everybody Needs to Talk About Racism—and How to Do It by Celeste Headlee

Celeste Headlee, the author of We Need to Talk, is back with Speaking of Race, where she discusses how society speaks about race. While many people say they want to speak more about race, research shows we’re more likely to stay in our own bubbles than to engage with those who disagree with us. Headlee examines this data and discusses what that means for us here in America.

Narrated by Celeste Headlee (Do Nothing by Celeste Headlee and We Need to Talk by Celeste Headlee)

A graphic of the cover of You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith

You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith

Adam Stillwater and Whitney Mitchell are two lonely teenagers who work across the street from each other. They view each other as rivals, but when they are trapped inside by a snow storm, things begin to change. *sigh* I love a good, “oh no, we’re trapped in by snow storm. Whatever shall we do?” story. 

Narrated by Sunil Malhotra and Natalie Naudus (Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo and A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza)

A graphic of the cover of Burntcoat by Sarah Hall

Burntcoat by Sarah Hall

From the author of The Wolf Border comes Hall’s latest novel, Burntcoat, which is set during the spread of a deadly virus. Artist Edith Harkness locks herself in her studio with a man barely more than a stranger to her. As time passes, their relationship changes, but is it changing for the better or for worse?

Narrated by Louise Brealey (The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins)

A graphic of the cover of Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Based in West African mythology, Skin of the Sea features Simi, a young woman who serves the gods as a Mami Wata, a mermaid. Being a Mami Wata is all Simi ever wanted, but when she rescues a man from drowning, her place as a Mami Wata to the gods is put into jeopardy.

Narrated by Yetide Badaki (Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor and The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi)

Over on Book Riot

6 Buzzy Audiobooks for Awards Season

Don’t forget to check out our new podcast Adaptation Nation, all about TV and film adaptations of your favorite books!

Around the Web

AI Comes to Audiobooks” (Publisher’s Weekly)

Let’s talk about audiobooks: best narrators, best listening speeds and why we like them to begin with” (The Washington Post)

A Brief History of the Audiobooks That Got Me This Far Through the Pandemic” (Paste Magazine)

When Listening to a Book Is Better Than Reading It” (The New York Times)

That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


‘Tis the (Spooky) Season for Witchy Books!

Hello, Audiophiles! This is not a drill—fall has reached the South Carolina Lowcountry! I repeat, fall is here! For the first time I exited the house and thought about putting on a jacket. Did I? No, of course not. It’s still in the 70s. But the leaves are changing, and I feel the need to add pumpkin spice to everything.

Having been born in a stifling hot Arkansas summer, Gwen has never experienced the cold before. So far, she’s not exactly a fan. This may be why she tolerated her new vest so well. She’s also graduated from chewing my books to chewing my book cart.

A photo of Gwen, the black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, wearing a bright green vest
Fall fashion styled by Gwen

Recent Listens!

After reading Nusrah Javed’s list “8 New Witchy Audiobooks”, I got bit by the witch book bug. I needed them all RIGHT NOW. So this past week, I read a couple witchy books that both tackle the witch books in different ways. ‘Tis the (spooky) season, am I right?

A graphic of the cover of Witch Please by Ann Aguirre

Witch Please by Ann Aguirre

Witch Please by Ann Aguirre is a delightfully implausible romance between Danica, a half-blood witch with the ability to fix any machine out there, and Titus, a grieving man who has just started a bakery called Sugar Daddy’s. When we learn that Titus is a virgin, I have to admit, I definitely got Hocus Pocus vibes. The book is a delightful romance, but I missed some of the humor and wit in the dialogue from writers like Talia Hibbert or Lyssa Kay Adams. But audiobook narrator Ava Lucas does a fantastic job bringing as much pazzazz as she can to her performance.

A graphic of the cover of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Now I must confess, I had never read Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. Since I may be the last witch-loving audiobook listener to have picked up this book, I’ll just say that I found it delightful and quirky in all of the best ways. Perhaps it’s the trend to love all things 90s right now, but I loved the mood of the small-town vibes, plus the weird magical happening from a man buried underneath some greenery. I even made some Sims after Sally and Gillian, the two sisters in the novel. I adored Christina Moore’s narration and can’t wait to pick up the next book next year.

Do you have any witchy book recommendations for me?

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults)

Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults) edited by Alice Wong

One of my favorite anthologies about disability has now been adapted for young adults! Disability rights activist Alice Wong has created a version of Disability Visibility for young people, giving the adults in their lives a chance to have an importance of discussion of disability allyship. But for me, I’m excited the most about how disabled, chronically ill, Deaf, and neurodivergent teenagers will be able to see themselves in these pages.

Narrated by Sarah Ann Masse, Anthony Michael Lopez, and Alice Wong (A Matter of Time by W.J. May and Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories From the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong)

A graphic of the cover of Miosotis Flores Never Forgets by Hilda Eunice Burgos

Miosotis Flores Never Forgets by Hilda Eunice Burgos

Miosotis Flores wants a dog more than anything else. But her grandfather wants her to care about school, so they strike a deal. If she does better in school, she can adopt a dog. I am already so deeply invested in this story and I haven’t even started listening yet. 

Narrated by Ana Osorio (Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez and The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante)

A graphic of the cover of Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life by Alan Cumming

Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life by Alan Cumming

I mean, you see the title and that Alan Cumming is narrating his own memoir. Do you really need to know what it’s about? Okay, so if it isn’t a slam dunk for you already, this book follows Cumming’s time in Hollywood and how he recovered from a mental breakdown in his late 20s. Full of humor and heart, this book is sure to deliver everything we expect from Cumming’s writing.

Narrated by Alan Cumming (Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld and Macbeth: A Novel by A. J. Hartley and David Hewson)

A graphic of the cover of The Unheard by Nikki French

The Unheard by Nicci French

All-star husband and wife duo are back under their pseudonym Nicci French with another fascinating mystery centered around a woman and her young daughter. When Tess’s young daughter comes back from her time with Tess’s ex and his new wife, Tess tries not to suspect the worst. But when her little girl shows Tess a drawing and says, “He did kill her,” Tess’s world begins to turn upside down.

Narrated by Olivia Vinall (The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver and Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy)

A graphic of the cover of We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera

We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera

Pedro, Luna, and Rafa think their lives are complicated enough already, but when an alien enters the picture, things begin to get even more wild. The three teenagers struggle to survive while also trying to figure out how to warn others about the inevitable future.

Narrated by Almarie Guerra (Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera and Whisper Network by Chandler Baker)

Over on Book Riot

We Need to Stop Asking the Question, ‘Do Audiobooks Count As Reading?’” – I’ve been thinking about this question, and how people continue to ask it, for almost as long as I’ve been listening to audiobooks. But, honestly, I’m so tired of answering it, particularly from my place as a disabled person who uses audiobooks as an accessibility tool. So here are some thoughts.

Don’t forget to check out our new podcast Adaptation Nation, all about TV and film adaptations of your favorite books!

We’re also celebrating Book Riot’s 10th birthday with limited edition merch!

Around the Web

The Best Creepy Audiobooks to Listen to at Night” (Audible)

Audiobook Service Market is Booming Worldwide with Audible, Blinkist, BookBeat” (OpenPR)

David Tennant and Michael Sheen Join Good Omens Audiobook” (Nerdist) – I literally screamed when I saw this news! I’ve always loved how Neil Gaiman has championed creating better audiobooks for his work.

That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


Cookbooks as Audiobooks…? Yes, of course.

Hello, Audiophiles! Here in the American South, we had our first day below 80 degrees—it’s finally fall! I pulled out my hoodies, my collection of fuzzy socks, and the apple cider. BUT, most importantly, I can sense that it’s almost time to bring out all of the spooky audiobooks I’ve been setting aside all year. You know the ones—witchy, dark and sinister houses, anything by Stephen Graham Jones. 

This September has also introduced me to a slew of fabulous new audiobooks, each with their own unique story to tell. All of my audiobook apps keep drawing me into new stories and worlds to visit. I honestly don’t know where to start. Let me know what you’re most excited for!

Meanwhile, I’m still listening through The Eight Life with my friend Laura. It’s still incredibly fascinating meeting each new member of the family. As we move through the book, I’ll keep you updated.

Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, standing on the beach and smiling at the camera.
Dylan soaking up the last of the summer sun.

A Favorite Listen

A graphic of the cover of Salt Fat Acid Heat

Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat

When I’m not creating bookish content, I’m usually cooking, reading about cooking, or watching food TV. I’ve collected cookbooks and books about food for over a decade now, filling shelves and shelves of my library. I used to pour over them, rereading my favorite sections and revisiting my favorite recipes.

But when I lost my ability to read print a couple years ago due to migraines, one of the losses that hit hardest was when I realized that most cookbooks didn’t have audiobook editions. I’ve still faithfully collected cookbooks, handing them over to visiting friends, my spouse—anyone who was around, really—to read the recipes to me.

A couple years ago, I picked up Salt Fat Acid Heat at my local indie, wandered onto my favorite audiobook app, and realized that Samin Nosrat had made an audiobook for it. I remember being in tears that this incredible, one-of-a-kind cookbook was accessible to me in the author’s own words. It felt like a miracle.

Salt Fat Acid Heat is as amazing as I’d hoped. Her prose is clear and precise, and her performance feels so warm and inviting as she reads the audiobook. Nosrat doesn’t ask you to cook like her. She comes alongside you and encourages you to make your food the best it can be. She doesn’t just show you great recipes. She teaches you HOW to cook the food that you want to eat. That’s what makes this book special. 

And I got to experience it just like everyone else, all because of audiobooks. I hope more cookbooks come out on audio in the future, because finally being able to read one again is a wonderful feeling.

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Powers is back with a new novel, Bewilderment, that has already been longlisted for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The novel follows a young widower, Theo Byrne, who’s struggling to handle being a single parent to his nine-year-old son and working at his job as an astrobiologist. His son is on the verge of being expelled after pummeling a fellow student with a metal thermos. All told, it’s sure to be an interesting take on single parenthood. 

Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini (Exhalation by Ted Chiang & Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter)

A graphic of the cover of All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns author Kendare Blake introduces us to a new, fantastical version of the United States where it’s just been reported that a serial killer has been making their way across the Midwest, draining their victims of blood. Marie Catherine Hale is arrested in connection with the murders, and Michael Johnson is an aspiring journalist who is the only person to whom she says she’ll share her confession.

Narrated by Matt Godfrey (The Best Mystery Stories of the Year: 2021 edited by Lee Child)

A graphic of the cover of Room to Dream by Kelly Yang

Room to Dream by Kelly Yang

I’m obsessed with middle grade novels, and Front Desk by Kelly Yang stole the hearts of so many of us. Yang is back with Room to Dream, her latest installment of the series. This time, Mia Tang and her family are going on vacation to China! She can’t wait to see her extended family again!

Narrated by Sunny Lu (Front Desk by Kelly Yang & Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao)

A graphic of the cover of When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash

When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash

Winston Barnes, a Sheriff in a small North Carolina town, discovers a crashed plane and a murdered man near the crash site. Almost as soon as he begins the investigation, the townspeople start pointing fingers. Barnes is back up for election, and his long lost daughter returns home after a devastating loss. When Ghosts Come Home is sure to be full of all of the small town-drama perfect for a Saturday afternoon listen.

Narrated by JD Jackson (The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead & A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib)

A graphic of the cover of Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Set in a world where women can become concubine-pilots of giant robots, Iron Widow tells the story of Zetian, a 18-year-old woman who’s determined to go undercover as one of these women so she can assassinate the man who killed her sister. This wild story is sure to be a fast-paced, action story with a side of the fantastical.

Narrated by Rong Fu

Over on Book Riot

Epic Listens: 9 Works of Epic Poetry on Audio” by Laura Sackton – Want to listen to some epic poetry—in every sense of the word? Look no further!

Around the Web

Audiobooks Take Off With Students During Pandemic” (Government Technology) – I found this sort of insider baseball interesting to read about. It’s always fascinating to see new people discover the wonders of audiobooks.

Voices of Audible: Hispanic Heritage Month” (Audible)

Quiz: Latinx Audiobook Picks by Kalima DeSuze, Owner of Cafe con Libros” ( – I always love’s quizzes!

I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra


Witchy Season Approaches!

Hello Audiophiles! As much of the country prepares for a fall filled with Pumpkin Spice lattes, I continue to sit on my porch down here in the South, sipping my pineapple juice and greeting the neighborhood lizards. In the Low Country, we rarely feel even a whisper of chill in the air until October, at the earliest. But, while I dream of mountainsides covered in splashes of autumn foliage, Dylan continues to live his best life toasting his hammies in the sun.

This past weekend, I spent hours installing new shelves in my dining room. There’s nothing like a good home improvement project to give you some quality audiobook time. In fact, I seem to have my groove back, finishing more audiobooks in August than any other month so far this year! So why don’t we jump in and start chatting about a few of them?

A photo of Dylan the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi sitting on a gray wooden porch.
A graphic of the cover of White Magic by Elissa Washuta

White Magic by Elissa Washuta

As witchy season approaches, I thought it would be a perfect time to feature one of my favorite books from this year, White Magic by Elissa Washuta. In the first essay in this collection, Washuta examines the settler ideas around white magic and how many elements from those practices have been culturally appropriated from Indigenous communities. As someone who practices spells and bindings, Washuta provides a unique perspective on the topic.

With each essay, Washuta seems to choose seemingly very different ideas, but as she writes about them, she slowly pulls them together until you finally understand how the two ideas are intimately intertwined. It’s almost its own unique kind of magic.

But one of the key points of why I love this audiobook stems from how Washuta tackles topics around disability. As someone who experiences chronic and mental illness, Washuta gives listeners a unique perspective on the way disability can affect one’s art. Too many people throughout history have romanticized chronic illness, mental illness, and alcoholism, often implying that the artist never would have been as good if they hadn’t experienced these conditions. Washuta shoves aside these romantic notions and takes a realistic look at the lives of other artists and her own.

Kyla Garcia performs the audiobook well, giving us glimpses into Washuta’s narrative voice as well as keeping the audio clear of too many distractions. I can only imagine how the jumping back and forth of ideas, which are clearly notes on the printed page, could be tricky to narrate on audio. But Garcia definitely seemed up for the challenge!

Narrated by Kyla García (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez and There There by Tommy Orange)

Recent Releases

A graphic of the cover of Fast Pitch by Nic Stone

Fast Pitch by Nic Stone

I love a great middle grade novel! In Fast Pitch, Shenice is the captain of a softball team called the Firebirds. I don’t want to share too much since I don’t want to spoil the plot, but there’s family secrets, team drama, and a young Black girl coming into her own as a confident athlete. Nic Stone is also a fabulous audiobook narrator. 

Read by the Author

A graphic of the cover of A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

From the bestselling author of Girl on the Train comes A Slow Fire Burning, a new mystery novel featuring a cast of characters hopelessly entangled in each other’s lives. When a young man and his mother are found dead, one right after the other, the police begin to question their family members, lovers, in-laws and neighbors, searching for the culprit. Rosamund Pike is a brilliant narrator, as always.

Narrated by Rosamund Pike (Restless by William Boyd and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

A graphic of the cover of My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

As a huge fan of Stephen Graham Jones, I’ve had this book pre-ordered for months now. As we follow Jade Daniels and learn more about her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films and books, listeners will quickly realize that My Heart Is a Chainsaw is a love letter to all things horror. Cara Gee performs the audiobook in a way that perfectly captures Jade Daniels’ narrative voice.

Narrated by Cara Gee (Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse and In Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White)

A graphic of of the cover of Three Rooms by Jo Hamya

Three Rooms by Jo Hamya

I first heard about Three Rooms on Debutfiul, a podcast dedicated to promoting and celebrating authors’ debut books. Once I heard Jo Hamya talk about how her book came to be, I immediately went and looked up the audiobook. Three Rooms captures the Millennial struggle to “make it” in a world bogged down by recession after recession. This also appears to be Jin Lusi’s debut audiobook, and she does a fabulous job! I will definitely be waiting to see what she narrates next.

Narrated by Jin Lusi

A graphic of the cover of Revelator by Daryl Gregory

Revelator by Daryl Gregory

Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee sits a cave where a deity called Ghostdaddy lives. At least, that’s what Stella’s family says. It’s 1933, and nine-year-old Stella is left in the car of her grandmother, and she’s about to find out that her Appalachian family’s history is much more sinister than she imagined. Narrated by Reagan Boggs with just the right amount of Southern Appalachian dialect, this audiobook will make you want to look around corners just to see if something is there.

Narrated by Reagan Boggs (No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily)

Over on Book Riot

8 Native Memoirs on Audio from Erin and Dani’s Book Club” – I gush about how much I love Erin and Dani’s Book Club and their fabulous selection of Native memoirs.

Around the Web

European Mysteries on Audio: Celebrating Women in Translation Month” (Audiofile Magazine) – Perfect for wrapping up women in translation month!

How to Become an Audiobook Narrator” (Audible) – A fabulous article from Audible for folks wanting to become an audiobook narrator—it even includes resources!

I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra