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PREMIUM

The Listen List: More Great Audiobooks | The Reader’s Shelf

Broken (in the Best Possible Way)

This is a must-have for all public libraries.

Detransition, Baby

The buzz surrounding Peters’s novel is well-deserved. The further listeners get into the story, the more they’ll appreciate the complex characters struggling to define the concept of parenthood.

Troubled: The Failed Promise of America’s Behavioral Treatment Programs

Should be required listening for parents, educators, therapists, school consultants, and staff of adolescent mental health and drug treatment programs.

The Soul of a Woman

Beautiful and fulfilling; a must-listen for women everywhere.

The Paris Library

This expertly interwoven story will be a sure hit with librarians and bibliophiles, but is also a great choice for history buffs and anyone who enjoys interconnected stories about love and friendship.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

This final installment in the “Brown Sisters” trilogy is a treat and is sure to be popular.

Lightseekers

This riveting tale about mob psychology and the political, religious, and social complexities of urban and rural Nigeria will captivate listeners. Highly recommended.

Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual

Great advice delivered with style.

Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher: A Monkey’s Head, the Pope’s Neuroscientist, and the Quest To Transplant the Soul

This thought-provoking, entertaining, and more than a little disturbing work is recommended for lovers of medical history.
PREMIUM

The Upstairs House

Perfect for fans of women’s fiction who want a book that’ll keep them on the edge of their seats. It’s also a great recommendation for readers who like unreliable narrator thrillers and are looking for a shrewd, fresh take.

PREMIUM

Second First Impressions

Fans of Thorne’s and readers who enjoy romantic comedies will find this book appealing.

PREMIUM

Good Company

Sweeney’s smooth prose and Ireland’s suburb narration enliven this exploration of the precarity of love and friendship.

PREMIUM

To Love and To Loathe

Despite the premise, this is a decidedly slow-burn romance, with much of the story spent on Diana plotting to throw party guest Lady Helen at Jeremy in an attempt at misdirection and to win a bet. The lovely moments between Diana and Jeremy as they explore their growing attraction do not stand up to the book’s troubling treatment of the character of Lady Helen.
PREMIUM

Anne of Manhattan

Fans of Anne of Green Gables will enjoy this retelling, though listeners don’t have to be familiar with the original novel to love this charmingly funny, slightly sizzling contemporary romance.

Klara and the Sun

This powerful look at the varied and often negative consequences of modern technology underscores the fragility and preciousness of human beings, an all-too-acute awareness in a world coping with a global pandemic and widespread social upheaval.

PREMIUM

Effortless: Make It Easier To Do What Matters Most

Though McKeown’s impassioned effort to help listeners lighten their burdens is commendable, his ideas will offer little new to many listeners, especially those already familiar with the solid, “true north” principles and time management quadrants of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Still, McKeown’s lively, controlled narration and jargon-free, anecdote-filled material will benefit stressed, overworked listeners who might mistakenly believe that 80-hour work weeks build character. Recommended for public libraries.

Rhody Radio Connects Rhode Island Libraries with Listeners

Listening In Lockdown | Audio Spotlight

PREMIUM

The Beautiful Things Shoppe

With realistic, though relatively low-key conflicts; quirky, warm-hearted secondary characters; and a believable love story, this will appeal to fans of contemporary enemies-to-lovers romances.

Hungry Hearts

This is a powerful volume that will be in demand, whether for specific contributors or the inspiration provided by the essays.
PREMIUM

The Lost Apothecary

This engrossing multi-timeline story should appeal to fans of Lauren Willig or Susanna Kearsley.

Nine Days: The Race To Save Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Win the 1960 Election

Strongly recommended for all public libraries.

Flirting with Forever

This third book in the “Forever Yours” series (after Can’t Help Falling) proves Bastone is a must-read author, especially for the way she deftly weaves topics like grief, aging, and class difference into her contemporary romances. Here, she turns a disastrous first impression into a beautiful happily ever after.

The Bad Muslim Discount

Insightful, entertaining, and warmly recommended.
PREMIUM

Wild Rain

This sensual, captivating romance is highly recommended for all fiction collections.

The Echo Wife

Highly recommended for all collections.

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019

Essential for library collections.
PREMIUM

Prodigal Son

Recommended for fans of the thriller genre; certainly a must-read for fans of Hurwitz.

PREMIUM

We Begin at the End

This unforgettable coming-of-age story of love, loss, loyalty, and friendship, along with its unexpected plot twists, will appeal to readers of crime fiction, thrillers, suspense, and fiction.

PREMIUM

A Promised Land

Although it’s lengthy, this memoir is a must-have for any collection. Obama successfully carries out the task he set himself for this volume: to “offer readers a sense of what it’s like to be the president of the United States.”
PREMIUM

Honey Girl

Listeners will relish this Own Voices debut love story, which focuses on Grace as a young Black woman trying to find a place in her family and in the world.
PREMIUM

A Discerning Eye

Boston-area libraries will want this local audiobook; the premise is clever, and it wraps up the crime. Other libraries may want to purchase on demand.

Dolly Parton, Songteller

This is an excellent audiobook sure to thrill fans of Dolly Parton and country music, and readers who love unusual audiobook experiences.

Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection

Essential for all university libraries supporting psychology and human resources development curricula.

The Four Winds

With poignant prose documenting historical scenarios but also invoking currently resonant issues--environmental responsibility, immigration and displacement, workers’ and women’s rights, social ills laid bare by calamity--Hannah’s (The Great Alone) absorbing tale will enthrall a wide swath of readers.

Best Audiobooks of 2020

Audiobooks: A Sensory Treat for All Readers

Ruth Ware's Homage to an Agatha Christie Classic, Rebecca Roanhorse's Pre-Columbian-Inspired Fantasy, & 54 Other Superb New Books

Amazing Audiobooks Announced by ALA's Listen List Council | The Reader's Shelf, June 2020

June Audio Reviews: A Wildly Exciting Police Procedural, a Life Out of Order, & a Trip to the End of the Known Universe

A Comic Biography of Jack Kirby, a Heart-Pounding Slasher from Stephen Graham Jones, & 53 Other Standout New Books | Starred Reviews, Jun. 2020

May Audio Reviews: The Latest from Isabel Allende, a Silent-Era Thriller, & the Newly Updated 'Lies My Teacher Told Me'

Audio Reviews: A Collection of Crime Fiction by Women Writers, a Business Book by a Futurist and SF Author, & a Memoir of Love and Death

PREMIUM

The Post

Fans of dystopian fiction or The Walking Dead will enjoy this title.
PREMIUM

Domina: The Women Who Made Imperial Rome

Though written for general consumption, this work will be of value to academics as well.
PREMIUM

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

This challenging book rewards listeners willing to commit time and mental energy to contemplating the meaning of truth, the consequences of decisions, and the depths of pain. Unfortunately, the many maps and lists of characters that appear in the print and ebooks are not available here. ["An unglorified if gloriously delivered story that feels eminently real despite the hobgoblins": LJ 2/19 starred review of the Riverhead hc.]
PREMIUM

The Silent Patient

The book is receiving much-deserved buzz, but the audio production and exceptional narration make the characters feel real. ["Dark, edgy, and compulsively readable": LJ 11/1/18 review of the Celadon hc.]
PREMIUM

The Bird King

An emotional and often melancholy historical fantasy that will appeal to fans of Guy Gavriel Kay and Helene Wecker.
PREMIUM

The Dreamers

This dreamlike novel with sf overtones blends philosophical musings on dreams and the nature of reality with human interest stories that keep listeners riveted. Recommended for readers seeking an unusual and fanciful story told in elegant prose. ["A satisfying, suspenseful page-turner that leaves readers curious about the possibility of dreams": LJ 9/15/18 review of the Random hc.]

The Last Thing You Surrender

Impeccably researched, this compelling historical novel, with its important message about social justice, is essential for fiction collections.

Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter

Highly recommended for anyone looking for adventure stories or tales of Wild West history. ["Fans of Dodge City and general readers will find this detail-laden volume appealing": Xpress Reviews 12/21/18 review of the St. Martin's hc.]
PREMIUM

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will To Survive

Recommended to listeners with an interest in contemporary working conditions and those who enjoyed Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. ["An illuminating read that should inspire outrage, hope, and change": LJ 12/18 review of the Hachette hc.]

Daisy Jones & the Six

Music fans will be captivated, as will readers of character-driven fiction, not to mention the audience acknowledged in Daisy's Grammy speech—"all of you out there hung up on somebody or something"—that is, most listeners. Enthusiastically recommended. ["For music lovers, romance fans, and anyone who wants to feel invincible with youth, intoxicated by music, and a powerful longing for days gone by": LJ 3/19 review of the Random hc.]

Good Riddance

A treat for Lipman followers, this romantic comedy/caper will divert anyone seeking clever but warmhearted fiction (e.g., Cathleen Schine), as well as fans of classic screwball comedies. Ideal for public libraries. ["Funny, warm, sharp, smart, and full of love for family, no matter how flawed": LJ 12/18 review of the Houghton Harcourt hc.]

The Perfect Predator: A Scientist's Race To Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug

This story of a life and death fight against an antibiotic-resistant superbug is pertinent to every person on the planet and written to be accessible to a general audience. Both fiction and nonfiction fans will relish this story.

Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious

Fans of Kugel's work in the Times or his YouTube channel "Amigo Gringo" or Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown, as well as anyone looking for unique travel experiences, will truly enjoy this fun audiobook.

Death Is Hard Work

Powerful and poignant, this audiobook is very highly recommended for adult fiction collections. ["Flawlessly translated and exquisitely written, this novel from the winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Prize is a genuine tour de force as well as a thoughtful and provocative examination of what it means to be alive": Xpress Reviews 4/19/19 starred review of the Farrar hc.]
PREMIUM

American Dialogue: The Founders and Us

All libraries, both public and academic, should consider. ["Ellis's compelling historical examples and astute analysis will raise questions and ignite debate. This work should be read by academics and general readers alike": LJ 10/1/18 starred review of the Knopf hc.]
PREMIUM

The Far Field

That breathtaking story—even enhanced by Mathan's empathic reading—turns sucker-punch when Shalini's naïve entitlement and blinding privilege lead the story into devastating predictability. ["Narrating Shalini's journey in chapters that alternate between past and present and utilizing strong characterizations throughout, Vijay has crafted an engaging, suspenseful, and impressive debut": LJ Winter 2018 review of the Grove hc.]
PREMIUM

The Hunting Party

Recommend to listeners who loved Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood or other character-driven suspense. ["Agatha Christie fans will shiver as they imagine themselves in snow-covered woods, silence amplifying their fear of not knowing…who might be next to die": LJ Xpress Reviews 1/25/19 review of the Harper hc.]

Capitalism in America: A History

Highly recommended for all public libraries. ["Although this collaborative project is fairly lengthy, the engaging writing style will appeal to many readers, especially those with a desire to understand better past events as well as readers seeking knowledge about how economists develop forecasts": LJ 10/1/18 starred review of the Penguin hc.]
PREMIUM

Rescuing Ladybugs: Inspirational Encounters with Animals That Changed the World

This book will appeal to animal lovers and is a first-rate addition to library environmental and science collections. In addition, teachers can use this book to stimulate zoological, conservation, and geographical discussions.
PREMIUM

Fire & Blood

Recommended for the most die-hard of "Ice and Fire" fans craving more depth and backstory for the long-running series.
PREMIUM

Watching You

Recommended for the thriller/suspense collection of public libraries. ["Jewell weaves a taut multiperspective, domestic/community suspense story that is sure to please fans of Ruth Ware and A.J. Finn": LJ 11/15/18 starred review of the Atria hc.]
PREMIUM

Breakfast with Einstein: The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects

Orzel opens the door to a better understanding of the fascinating world of the strange spookiness, the weirdnesses, and the inexplicable paradoxes that make up the quantum world.
PREMIUM

Ancient Civilizations of North America

This book will appeal to listeners with or without an archaeological background who want to know more about ancient civilizations in North America. Recommended.

Hear Them Now | Audio Preview

PREMIUM

The Club: How the English Premier League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports

Fans of the English Premier League teams and players, along with those interested in how major sports leagues can alter history, will find this a fascinating audiobook.
PREMIUM

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

Established fans of Lamott's will likely enjoy this work, but the scattershot organization and less than stellar narration may leave others cold.
PREMIUM

Kitchen Yarns: Notes of Life, Love, and Food

Recommended where food-based memoirs by authors such as Ruth Reichl, Calvin Trillin, and Laurie Colwin are popular, though the print version will be a better fit for those who want to cook from it rather than just enjoying the essays. ["This warm, humorous, touching, and wonderfully readable book will appeal to food lovers and fans of culinary biographies": LJ Winter 2018 starred review of the Norton hc.]
PREMIUM

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding

Fans of British royalty and that particular kind of historic fiction that is interwoven with a strand of modernity—think Beatriz Williams and others' The Glass Ocean—should consider this novel. ["Historical details about fabric, embroidery, and the royal family are well incorporated into their stories, with light romance rounding out this charming work of historical fiction": LJ 9/15/18 review of the Morrow hc.]
PREMIUM

River Bodies

A solid first in a series. Recommended to fans of CJ Tudor's The Chalk Man. ["An engaging, solid mystery that will captivate lovers of the genre, especially those drawn to regional settings": LJ 11/1/18 review of the Thomas & Mercer hc.]
PREMIUM

The Punch

Of interest to fans of the author as well as those of well-written, clever, and offbeat familial stories.
PREMIUM

99 Ways To Die

Recommended for mystery/thriller fans, especially those already following the series.
PREMIUM

Cleopatra: I Am Fire and Air

Cleopatra is the classical world's beguiling superstar and is well worth getting to know through a Shakespearian lens. ["Recommended for Shakespeare enthusiasts and readers seeking a deeper understanding of one of his greatest creations": LJ 8/17 review of the Scribner hc.]
PREMIUM

Pandemic

The audio is highly recommended, though some longtime fans of the series may be disappointed that the characters are not as likable as they once were. But the autopsy descriptions and forensics are still interesting, the potential of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing is fascinating, and Guidall's narration keeps listener's interest and the plot moving along.
PREMIUM

Someone Like Me

Recommended to all listeners with an interest in speculative fiction. ["A dark, supernatural thriller that blurs the edges of the world we know": LJ 10/15/18 review of the Orbit: Hachette hc.]
PREMIUM

Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life

A valuable resource for students as well as an entertaining addition to Caine's previous autobiographies What's It All About?? and The Elephant to Hollywood.
PREMIUM

What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape

Rape may be difficult to talk about, but we need to, Abdulali says. Especially when "we raise our children with such unclear standards that they don't have the tools to recognize rape when they see it." ["Guaranteed to become an important part of the canon on gender studies and sexual assault": LJ 12/18 starred review of the New Pr. hc.]

Once upon a River

This title is an essential purchase for libraries whose patrons appreciate literary fiction with a touch of the unreal. ["Recommended to readers who enjoy popular or historical fiction with gothic twists as well as fans of the author's other novels": LJ 9/15/18 starred review of the Atria hc.]
PREMIUM

Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates

A colorful and diverting history of piracy in its heyday; will be of general interest and to pirate buffs. ["A colorful and well-researched study of piracy's glory days, rooted in historical context. Sure to appeal to pirate enthusiasts as well as serious researchers": LJ 8/18 review of the Norton hc.]
PREMIUM

Josephine Baker's Last Dance

Recommended for historical fiction fans and those with an interest in Baker.
PREMIUM

Where the Crawdads Sing

A selection of Reese Witherspoon's book club, this should be a popular addition for most fiction collections despite its flaws.

How To Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals

This title will fascinate both animal lovers and those interested in animal science.
PREMIUM

Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things To Create Extraordinary Happiness

This thought-provoking work is recommended to fans of Marie Kondo (Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up), those who enjoy self-help books, and anyone who is seeking to renew the spaces in which they live.
PREMIUM

Glam Squad & Groomsmen

This is a short, sweet story about two people who fell in love at the wrong time but get a second chance to see if it can work out. The story is a bit predictable but well written and satisfying.
PREMIUM

Dare To Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts

This work will appeal to the fans of the servant leadership works of Robert K. Greenleaf, Ken Blanchard, and James C. Hunter.
PREMIUM

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

With immigration policy constantly in the news, Vargas's journey provides an illuminating antidote to inaccurate sociopolitical rhetoric. ["A thought-provoking, moving, and highly personal memoir of Vargas's struggle to belong. Recommended for all readers interested in immigration issues and American identity": LJ 10/15/18 starred review of the Dey Street: HarperCollins hc.]
PREMIUM

Brief Answers to Big Questions

This work is for those interested in cosmology and physics, but because of the popularity of the author it would likely be of interest to a broader audience. Still, the level of attention required means it is not ideal for casual listening.

The Incurable Romantic: And Other Tales of Madness and Desire

Recommended for the armchair psychoanalyst in all of us, anyone who believes people are living stories, and those who appreciate works that delve into the psychological experience of love.
PREMIUM

The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War

Highly recommended to listeners with an interest in the Great War. ["This detailed account will appeal to readers of military and adventure history": LJ 9/15/18 review of the Houghton Harcourt hc.]
PREMIUM

The Reckoning

Highly recommended for fiction collections and especially for Grisham and William Faulkner fans, as well as those who enjoy historical fiction and stories set in the South.
PREMIUM

The Dragonglass Bowl

An unexceptional addition to an already bulging collection of fantasy series.
PREMIUM

The Piranhas

May be of interest to fans of Mario Puzo's The Godfather. ["Those who enjoy Mediterranean or Neapolitan noir (Sandrone Dazieri, Massimo Carlotto, Giancarlo de Cataldo) will feel right at home in a world where chaos and vulgarity reign": LJ 8/18 review of the Farrar hc.]

Nine Perfect Strangers

Loaded with suspenseful psychological thrills, comedy, and dark humor, this genre-crossing work will appeal to a wide range of listeners as it is a little bit Maeve Binchy, Dean Koontz, and Lisa Scottoline. ["The story drags a bit in the middle, but the last third is on fire, with intense issues and a roller-coaster plot that will leave readers breathless": LJ 11/15/18 review of the Flatiron: Macmillan hc.]

Waiting for Eden

A superb novel further enhanced by an exemplary reader; a timely acquisition for all libraries. ["With sparse prose and a deft pen, Ackerman writes a profound meditation on the liminal space between our past, present, and future": LJ 9/1/18 starred review of the Knopf hc; 2018 LJ Best Literary Fiction.]

Friday Black

Brilliant and tragic, this is essential for all fiction collections. ["Powerful work for a wide range of readers": LJ 8/18 review of the Houghton Harcourt hc.]
PREMIUM

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us

Essential for all libraries supporting business and management curricula. This work will appeal to fans of John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge's The Witch Doctors, David Craig's Rip-off!, and Matthew Stewart's The Management Myth. ["A must-read for tech entrepreneurs and anyone interested in the shifting dynamics of workplace culture": LJ 10/15/18 review of the Hachette hc.]
PREMIUM

This Will Only Hurt a Little

Fans will find much to delight them here. ["Philipps paints a picture of what it's like to be a woman in the world of acting...juggling parenthood and career in a celebrity memoir that stands apart in a crowded field": LJ Xpress Reviews 9/28/18 review of the Touchstone hc.]
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