About Kylie Conner

Kylie’s favorite reads are usually horror/thrillers, which matches her taste in films as well. When she’s not cracking bad jokes she can often be found curled up with a cup of coffee and her cat, Gideon.

8 Wine and Audiobook Pairings You’ll “Pour” Over

Are you a lover of wine? Is wine o’ clock your favorite time of day? Are you a no wine left behind kind of person? That’s what we’re chatting about today, wine!

National Wine Day is on May 25th, so we thought the best way to celebrate would be to ensure that you maximize your wine time with the perfect audiobook. We’ve paired eight of the most popular wines with audiobooks that we think will go perfectly with whatever you’re sipping. And if wine isn’t your thing, I’m sorry, but you can’t sip with us!

Keep reading for some grape recommendations, oh, and don’t forget your vino!


Name Drop by Ross Mathews, narrated by Ross Mathews
Pairs with: Champagne

Lively, light, and bubbly. All words that describe the celebratory glass of champagne. But, they also work when describing Ross Mathews. If you’re in the mood to pop some champagne, sit back, and listen to a friend’s exciting tales — from horrifying to hilarious — then you’ll want to check out Name Drop from Ross Mathews. From judging on Ru Paul’s Drag Race to his Christmas with the Kardashians, Mathews’ stories make the perfect pair with a glass of bubbly.

Read more and sample the audio →


When We Were Vikings by Andrew David Macdonald, narrated by Phoebe Strole
Pairs with: Chardonnay

Nothing like a nice glass of chardonnay after a long day. If this crisp and light libation is your wine of choice, we recommend pairing it with an equally crisp and light listen. Why not check out an inspiring up-lit audiobook like When We Were Vikings. This listen follows Zelda on her quest to become legendary, which tests her heroism, her love for her brother, and her Viking strength. This story will make you laugh, cry, and feel all the feels.

Read more and sample the audio →


In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, narrated by Megan Hilty
Pairs with: Riesling

Does your sweet tooth have you reaching for something sweet to sip on, like a nice glass of riesling wine? Then, you’ll need a sweet and moving story to go along with it, won’t you? We recommend In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. In Five Years follows Dannie, a lawyer who always plays by the rules, but then one night she has a vision of her future that could change her life forever. This will be the perfect love story to accompany your riesling, but it’s not the love story you’d expect.

Read more and sample the audio →


Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, narrated by Marin Ireland
Pairs with: Pinot Grigio

Not to be biased, but pinot grigio is my personal favorite wine and therefore the best choice. So, what kind of audiobook would go well with a light and refreshing glass of the good stuff? Check out Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. This audiobook tells the story of Lillian who agrees to be the caretaker to two children. The catch? Both children spontaneously combust when they get agitated.

Read more and sample the audio →


Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner, narrated by Danielle Macdonald
Pairs with: Rosé

Rosé all day, baby!! This wine is pink, it’s fun, it’s summer in a glass. So, what better audiobook to listen to while sippin’ on some sunshine than Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner. Pop on some sunnies and soak up the sun while you listen to this deliciously funny and totally unpausable audiobook about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.

Read more and sample the audio →


Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Pairs with: Cabernet Sauvingon

Ah, you’re drinking cabernet sauvingon. This automatically means you’re someone with great sophistication, I don’t make the rules. This wine is rich and robust, so you’ll want to listen to something deep and moving, like a literary fiction listen. We recommend, Everything I Never Told You — a family drama that centers on the death of the Lee family’s middle child, Lydia. A family portrait is painted as you uncover the struggles that each family member faces as they deal with this tragedy, while also trying to understand one another.

Read more and sample the audio →


1984 by George Orwell, narrated by Simon Prebble
Pairs with: Pinot Noir

Did you know that pinot noir is made from some of the oldest grapes in the world? If you’re go-to wine is pinot noir, then you’re probably looking for something classic to listen to next. Our recommendation would be 1984 by George Orwell. Maybe you never got around to reading this classic dystopian novel (even though it was assigned in English class, oops) or maybe you’re revisiting it after reading it so long ago. Either way, this will go great with your smooth glass of pinot.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Business of Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey, narrated by Dominic Hoffman, Amir Adbullah
Pairs with: Merlot

Merlot is described as being smooth, spicy, lush, and sensual. So, if that’s the vibe that’s filling your cup today, then the best audiobook to dive into is something sexy to accompany you while it you’re sipping on your red wine. The Business of Lovers, a book about the family you have, the families you create, and all the sexy moments in between, shows us that love—and lust—has a way of twisting the best-laid plans. 

Read more and sample the audio →


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

SHARE

Audiobooks.com Interview with Ainissa Ramirez, Author of ‘The Alchemy of Us’

Have you always been interested in inventions, technology, and engineering, but could never get into any books on the topic because they were too dense or didn’t dig into the topic enough for you? Well, Ainissa Ramirez’ latest release, The Alchemy of Us, is the perfect next listen for you. It features several important inventions and how they shaped our culture. Plus, she touches on some inventors who had a huge impact who you might not know.

We got the chance to pick Ramirez’ brain about her most recent audiobook. Keep reading to find out what was her favorite invention to research, what she thinks of future of inventions, and more.

Audiobooks.com: What can readers gain from listening to the audiobook version of The Alchemy of Us that they might not necessarily get from reading the print version?

Ainissa Ramirez: The Alchemy of Us is a great book, but the audiobook version is a great experience. The audiobook provides an adventure that is richer than just words on a page.

The narrator, Allyson Johnson, doesn’t just speak the words, she performs them and brings them to life. With her artistic phrasing, energy, and personality, her narration will magically transport a reader to a world that existed not long ago. By listening in, readers will be entertained with the audiobook; and with her warm and kind voice, they will feel like they are spending time with an old friend.

Audiobooks.com: How involved are you in the narrator casting process and what do you look for in an audiobook narrator?

Ainissa Ramirez: I was very fortunate to work with such a supportive audiobook publisher like Gildan Media, because they took the lead in selecting a suitable narrator for my book, which was one of MIT Press’s big titles for the year. When they narrowed down their choices to one name, they sent samples of her work to me. As soon as I heard her voice, I was instantly enchanted. After listening to just a few minutes of her work, I asked, “How quickly can we hire her?”

I wanted a voice that mirrored my book. The Alchemy of Us is a warm invitation into the world of science. As such, I wanted a narrator who could be both smart and inviting simultaneously. The mission of my book is to explain science in an engaging way and make a reader feel included. I got all of that and more with the book’s narrator. The narrator possesses a voice that is cozy like a blanket. And with her artistry and narration, she makes a world where not only does a listener feel included, but she also creates a world a listener doesn’t want to leave.

Audiobooks.com: Did you find it hard to present the full story and facts for each invention while also keeping the material accessible to readers of all levels?

Ainissa Ramirez: Actually, this balancing act of keeping the material accessible to all readers while also presenting the full story is a challenge I enjoy. At my core, I am a teacher. As such, I am an advocate for my readers, desiring to make them all feel included in this unfamiliar world of science and invention.

When writing The Alchemy of Us, I made sure that the science was understandable and that a reader got just enough information so that they could move with ease in this new world. I honed this skill not only from teaching undergraduates for many years, but from explaining science to my grandmother when I was young. My grandmother was always interested in what I learned in school. While my science lessons might have been beyond what she might have known, I wanted her to feel included. To do so, I would describe science using things she knew.

In The Alchemy of Us, I make science understandable with a similar approach and zeal, often by using analogies and by telling stories, so that readers can feel included, too.

Audiobooks.com: Which invention was your favorite one to research and write about in The Alchemy of Us?

Ainissa Ramirez: If I had to pick one, it would be the discovery that took the most effort to research, which was the story of the work done by scientist J. J. Thomson. J. J. Thomson was a little man who made a huge impact on the world. He discovered the electron and did so by watching how a cathode ray (like the rays in old televisions) moved in a strange-looking glass bulb.
In order to get materials to write about J. J. Thomson, I had to venture to England and visit old libraries to uncover his story. It was important that I travel to these archives so that I could learn about Thomson’s work as well as learn about his personality. From early on, I knew he was a genius. But, from his old letters, I was able to find that Thomson was very accident prone. His wife would not let him use a hammer in the house! I loved learning how this Nobel Prize winner moved in the world and when I found interesting facts, such as these, I also found a way to make this great man of science relatable. These details were hard to get, but made Thomson seem more human. It is for these reasons that I am fond of J. J. Thomson and his entry in The Alchemy of Us.

Audiobooks.com: After analyzing these inventions through history and their impact on society, what do you think this lends to our future innovations?

Ainissa Ramirez: To be honest, I wrote about past inventions as a way to prepare us all for the future. The gadgets I highlight are simple ones, like the telegraph, the clock, and the light bulb, to name a few. But in The Alchemy of Us, I show readers the surprising outcomes that came from these inventions, particularly how they modified language, our sleeping patterns, and even our health. At this present time, it is hard to predict how future innovations will change us, but what is certain is that they will. That is why it is my hope that readers of The Alchemy of Us will feel empowered to ask questions to make sure that future innovations will fashion us in the most beneficial way. The Alchemy of Us encourages readers to put all inventions under the microscope so that, ultimately, we can all create a better future.∎


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

SHARE

Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for ‘My Dark Vanessa’ by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’!

With social distancing measures still in place, you may find yourself at home more than usual and in search of something new to keep you interested and entertained. So, we think that now is the perfect time to pick up a new listen and start a virtual book club with a few friends.

Even though you may find yourself at home more, you may not actually have any spare time to pick up a book. This is where audiobooks come in. They’re perfect for multi-tasking, so you can listen while you work, do chores, while the kids are napping, or even while you’re out for a walk to get some fresh air.

Our pick for May is My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, narrated by Grace Gummer. This debut has already become an instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller and has sparked news articles about it due to its controversial subject matter.

My Dark Vanessa explores the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher. We see the story jump back-and-forth from Vanessa’s teenage years to her life present day, dealing with her relationship with her teacher, how it affected her, and what she will do when faced with a major decision during the era of #MeToo.

This month’s pick is a heavy listen, but an important read that we think people will be talking about for a long time to come. If you’re ready to start discussing My Dark Vanessa, get started with the questions below. Beware — SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) What is your opinion of Strane? Would you consider his character “sick” or “bad?”

2) Do you think your opinion of Vanessa, Strane, and their relationship would change if Vanessa had been 18 years-old when their relationship first started? 

3) Since he had been a teacher for a long time before crossing paths with Vanessa, do you think Strane pursued other students before her? 

4) Do you think that Strane views his actions as truly “wrong” or do his only worries stem from the potential backlash and repercussions that he may face if it all becomes public?

5) My Dark Vanessa jumps between Vanessa’s experience as a teen and her experience as an adult. What changes do you notice in Vanessa and which, if any, can be attributed to her relationship with Strane? 

6) Why do you think Vanessa and Taylor had such different responses to Strane’s advances? And why was Taylor more willing to come forward than Vanessa was? 

7) We get a glimpse into how Strane’s behavior would be handled in present day with his looming trial, but how different would this story have been if Vanessa had been a teenager in the current age of #MeToo? 

8) How do you interpret the importance of Lolita throughout My Dark Vanessa? And how does it relate to both Vanessa and Strane? 

9) How do you think The Browick School handled the situation when it was brought to their attention the first time around with Vanessa and Strane? Do you think the school should be at least somewhat held responsible for their actions or lack thereof? 

10) Did My Dark Vanessa change your opinions on consent and victimhood? Would you consider Vanessa a victim?


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

SHARE

Staff Pick: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

TitleA Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
AuthorHolly Jackson
NarratorRobert FassCarol MondaKevin R. FreeMarisa CalinMichael CrouchPatricia SantomassoSean Patrick HopkinsBailey CarrGopal DivanShezi SardarAmanda Thickpenny

Like many others, the very first podcast I ever listened to was Serial. It was so addicting and kept me enthralled during my long commute to my job at the time. It’s been a while since something caught my attention like that, until I listened to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder follows Pip, a high school senior who chooses to investigate the infamous case of a murdered girl in her hometown. Pip is convinced that the prime suspect didn’t actually commit this crime, so she starts digging into the details and someone in town isn’t too happy about it.

The story is told through Pip’s project log, which gives us an insight to her inner thoughts and information that she gathers from her investigations. I also loved the fact that this audiobook featured a full cast, so that the interviews Pip did in-person or over the phone seemed that much more real.

While I did notice some similarities in this story to Serial and some investigations did mirror the ones that were featured in the Serial podcast, this story definitely took a different route than I expected and it had me guessing the whole way through. I got so heavily invested in these characters, I even shed a tear while listening on my drive home one night.

Even though I’m a fully grown adult, I’m shamelessly a fan of teen dramas. There, I said it. Riverdale, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Degrassi…you name it, I’ve watched it. Plus, I love all things horror, thriller, and true crime. If that sounds like you too, then you’re not going to want to miss A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

Publisher Summary:

For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn’t add up, and a girl who’s determined to find the real killer–but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

Read more and sample the audio →


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

SHARE

Discover Audiobooks and Their Podcast Counterparts

If you’re an avid audiobook listener and you found an audiobook that you totally loved, but now you’re sad that it’s over, this is for you! And for podcast lovers who want more from their favorite hosts, this is for you too!

Team Audiobooks and Team Podcasts unite for this list of audiobooks and their podcast counterparts. If you loved the audiobook, you’ll definitely enjoy the podcast, and vice versa! Plus, did you know that you can listen to all of these podcasts in our app for free if you’re an Audiobooks.com subscriber? It’s true. Keep reading to see what piques your interest!

Audiobook: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, narrated by Gillian Flynn, Gabra Zackman, Patton Oswalt
Podcast: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: The Podcast

If you tore through I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (as most of us did), then you’ll definitely want to check out I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: The Podcast. The podcast gives you the story behind the publication of the book and features interviews with some of the people involved like McNamara’s husband, Patton Oswalt, and more.

Read more about the audiobook and sample the audio →


Audiobook: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, narrated by Brené Brown
Podcast: Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Named one of the best books of the year by Bloomberg, Dare to Lead shares the tools anyone can use to step up and brave leadership. Now, Brené Brown has launched her own podcast called Unlocking Us, which is a real, unpolished, and honest podcast that reflects the madness and the messiness of what it means to be human.

Read more about the audiobook and sample the audio →


Audiobook: The Hot Young Widows Club by Nora McInerny, narrated by Nora McInerny
Podcast: Terrible, Thanks for Asking

You may have heard of Nora McInerny from her popular podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking where she talks honestly about pain, awkwardness, and being human. If you’re a fan of her podcast, The Hot Young Widows Club is for you. In a span of a week, McInerny had a miscarriage, lost her father to cancer, and lost her husband due to a brain tumor. In her book she provides a caring roadmap for those dealing with the loss of a loved one or even just going through a difficult time in life.

Read more about the audiobook and sample the audio →


Audiobook: The World of Lore by Aaron Mehnke, narrated by Aaron Mehnke
Podcast: Lore

The Lore podcast has been around for a while, and has provided us with dark historical tales, which feature mysterious creatures, tragic events, and unusual places that fill the pages of history. Now, not only has Lore been adapted into a TV show, but its tales are also available in a book series too! There are a lot (and we mean a lot) of Lore episodes to work through, so if you’re just looking for a few great stories, check out The World of Lore audiobook series.

Read more about the audiobook and sample the audio →


Audiobook: Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt, narrated by Michael Hyatt
Podcast: Lead to Win

Free to Focus from New York Times bestselling author, Michael Hyatt, touches on productivity and how to achieve more by doing less. If your productivity was revolutionized by Hyatt’s three-step system, then you’ll want to get your ears on Lead to Win. In this podcast, Hyatt talks about how to succeed in your personal development, self-leadership, team leadership, and just winning at work and life in general.

Read more about the audiobook and sample the audio →


Audiobook: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty, narrated by Caitlin Doughty
Podcast: Death in the Afternoon

If you’re curious about death then you may know Caitlin Doughty from her Ask a Mortician web series where she talks about death practices, death in different cultures, and answers viewer questions. In her book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Doughty offers a new perspective on death while simultaneously relaying an unusual coming-of-age story of her journey into the world of the macabre. If you’re still itching for more, check out her podcast Death in the Afternoon where Doughty, Louise Hung, and Sarah Chavez dispel myths about death and dead bodies and hopefully make you less afraid of the inevitable.

Read more about the audiobook and sample the audio →


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

SHARE