Fun in the Sun: 8 Breezy Beach Listens

Summer is finally here! I really didn’t think this time would ever come, but now here we are. And now that certain areas are starting to enter different phases of quarantine, some beaches and splash pads are opening up (with social distancing in place still, of course). This means it’s time for some breezy beachy listens to go along with your fun in the sun.

So, whether you’re thanking all the stars in the sky that you can go sunbathe on a beach again, or thinking you’ll enjoy the sun from the comfort of your home instead, you’re sure to find your perfect next listen to entertain you while you do so. Be sure to check out our full Breezy Summer Listens booklist here and hey, don’t forget your sunscreen!


The Guest List by Lucy Foley, narrated by Jot DaviesChloe MasseySarah OvensRich KeebleAoife McmahonOlivia Dowd

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather for a wedding fit for celebrities. Even though the cell phone reception is spotty, the happy couple has planned every single detail of their big day, but as the celebrations begin secrets old and new, jealousy, and betrayal are uncovered and then someone turns up dead.

Pick up the latest from Lucy Foley for a whirlwind mystery that will keep you guessing right until the end! Perfect for the long drive up to the cottage or while sitting around the roaring fire.

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The House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman, narrated by Susan Bennett

Fripp Island, South Carolina, is the perfect destination for the wealthy Daly family: Lisa, Scott, and their two girls. For Lisa’s childhood friend Poppy Ford, however, the resort island is a world away from what she and her family are used to. Everyone brings secrets to the island, distorting what should be a convivial, relaxing summer on the beach.

The ones who return from this vacation will spend the rest of their lives trying to process what they witnessed, the tipping points, moments of violence and tenderness, and the memory of whom they left behind.

Let The House on Fripp Island accompany you for happy hour while you chill poolside with a drink in hand.

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The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis, narrated by Erin Mallon

Brynn Turner, in need of a fresh start, heads back home to Wildstone. And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who is at her wits end after dealing with health issues for the past 29 years, plus she’s keeping more than one secret from Brynn, her long-time frenemy.

Once Brynn runs into Kiney’s best friend Eli, she starts thinking she could really find love and a future if she could just let go of the past.

If you’re planning a lazy beach day this summer, then you’ll definitely want to have this audiobook ready to go. It’ll give you all the best kind of summer vibes.

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The Girl From Widow Hill by Megan Miranda, narrated by Rebekkah Ross

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last House Guest comes a new psychology suspense listen about a young woman who is plagued by night terrors after a childhood trauma who wakes one evening to find a corpse at her feet.

This listen is one of those unputdownable, can’t-stop-listening types of suspenseful audiobooks that you’ll zoom right through. There’s something about the summer heat that just makes thrillers that much better, don’t you think?

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The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel, narrated by Soneela Nankani

Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer who is happily single. When she realizes that her parents latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she’s out of there! To her surprise and both their dismay, the same man shows up a week later to her workplace. Turns out he’s the lawyer that has been hired to rescue her struggling company.

As they get to know one another, can Liya give real love a chance or will she keep running? Find out in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that will just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

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Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan, narrated by Brittany Pressley

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, but when he passes away unexpectedly one night the daughters return to their childhood home.

As they navigate their grief and throw their father an Irish wake, a surprise guest arrives and it turns out that she’s a Sweeney sister too. What does this mean for their father’s legacy? And how will this new sister fit in?

This perfect summery listen is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.

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The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine, narrated by Julia Whelan, Meghan Wolf

The bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish is back with a new psychological thriller, filled with serpentine twists, about a woman fighting to hold onto the only family she’s ever loved—and how far she’ll go to preserve it.

Joanna is waiting for her husband to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him, so when he begins to return to his charming energetic self, she couldn’t be more thankful. Unfortunately, this his renewed happiness is from falling head over heels for someone else.

After her husband leaves her behind she starts to dig into this new girl’s past and finds some disturbing secrets, but her therapist brushes off her concerns. Can she find proof in time to save her family?

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Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson, narrated by Keylor Leigh

When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop.

Jesse Strong is passionate about keeping the shop open, but his brothers aren’t exactly on board. Part-time shop employee, Kerry Fuller, who has been crushing on Jesse, offers to help him with the daunting task.

As they spend more time together and work toward reinventing the shop for a new generation their chemistry builds, but Jesse has to prove that his past doesn’t dictate his future and that he can be the man for her forever and always.

Pick up this charming and light-hearted listen if you’re looking for something cute and breezy.

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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!

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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

November’s Top 10 Audiobooks.com Member Downloads

Listen to last month’s most popular fiction and non-fiction titles downloaded by Audiobooks.com members.

Fiction:

The Guardians by John Grisham, narrated by Michael Beck

Publisher Summary:

In the small Florida town of Seabrook, a young lawyer named Keith Russo was shot dead at his desk as he worked late one night. The killer left no clues. There were no witnesses, no one with a motive. But the police soon came to suspect Quincy Miller, a young black man who was once a client of Russo’s.

Quincy was tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life. For twenty-two years he languished in prison, maintaining his innocence. But no one was listening. He had no lawyer, no advocate on the outside. In desperation, he writes a letter to Guardian Ministries, a small nonprofit run by Cullen Post, a lawyer who is also an Episcopal minister.

Guardian accepts only a few innocence cases at a time. Cullen Post travels the country fighting wrongful convictions and taking on clients forgotten by the system. With Quincy Miller, though, he gets far more than he bargained for. Powerful, ruthless people murdered Keith Russo, and they do not want Quincy Miller exonerated.

They killed one lawyer twenty-two years ago, and they will kill another without a second thought.

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The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, narrated by Julia Whelan

Publisher Summary:

From the author of Me Before You, the perfect holiday gift for booklovers, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

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Blue Moon by Lee Child, narrated by Scott Brick

Publisher Summary:

Reacher is on a Greyhound bus, minding his own business, with no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. Then he steps off the bus to help an old man who is obviously just a victim waiting to happen. But you know what they say about good deeds. Now Reacher wants to make it right.

An elderly couple have made a few well-meaning mistakes, and now they owe big money to some very bad people. One brazen move leads to another, and suddenly Reacher finds himself a wanted man in the middle of a brutal turf war between rival Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.

Reacher has to stay one step ahead of the loan sharks, the thugs, and the assassins. He teams up with a fed-up waitress who knows a little more than she’s letting on, and sets out to take down the powerful and make the greedy pay. It’s a long shot. The odds are against him. But Reacher believes in a certain kind of justice . . . the kind that comes along once in a blue moon.

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The Night Fire by Michael Connelly, narrated by Titus Welliver and Christine Lakin

Publisher Summary:

Harry Bosch and LAPD Detective Renée Ballard come together again on the murder case that obsessed Bosch’s mentor, the man who trained him.

Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective, he had an inspiring mentor who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now that mentor, John Jack Thompson, is dead, but after his funeral his widow gives Bosch a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before — the unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals.

Bosch brings the murder book to Renée Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson’s fire all those years ago. That will be their starting point.

The bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens as they become a formidable investigative team. And they soon arrive at a worrying question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved?

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A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci, narrated by Kyf Brewer and Brittany Pressley

Publisher Summary:

FBI Agent Atlee Pine returns to her Georgia hometown to investigate her twin sister’s abduction, only to encounter a serial killer in this page-turning thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s life was never the same after her twin sister Mercy was kidnapped–and likely killed–thirty years ago. After a lifetime of torturous uncertainty, Atlee’s unresolved anger finally gets the better of her on the job, and she finds she has to deal with the demons of her past if she wants to remain with the FBI.

Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum head back to Atlee’s rural hometown in Georgia to see what they can uncover about the traumatic night Mercy was taken and Pine was almost killed. But soon after Atlee begins her investigation, a local woman is found ritualistically murdered, her face covered with a wedding veil–and the first killing is quickly followed by a second bizarre murder.

Atlee is determined to continue her search for answers, but now she must also set her sights on finding a potential serial killer before another victim is claimed. But in a small town full of secrets–some of which could answer the questions that have plagued Atlee her entire life–digging deeper into the past could be more dangerous than she realizes.

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NON-FICTION:

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

Publisher Summary:

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.

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Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell, narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

Publisher Summary:

Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers—and why they often go wrong.

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn’t true?

Talking to Strangers is a classically Gladwellian intellectual adventure, a challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken straight from the news. He revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, and the death of Sandra Bland throwing our understanding of these and other stories into doubt. Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.

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Blowout by Rachel Maddow, narrated by Rachel Maddow

Publisher Summary:

In 2010, the words “earthquake swarm” entered the lexicon in Oklahoma. That same year, a trove of Michael Jackson memorabilia—including his iconic crystal-encrusted white glove—was sold at auction for over $1 million to a guy who was, officially, just the lowly forestry minister of the tiny nation of Equatorial Guinea. And in 2014, Ukrainian revolutionaries raided the palace of their ousted president and found a zoo of peacocks, gilded toilets, and a floating restaurant modeled after a Spanish galleon. Unlikely as it might seem, there is a thread connecting these events, and Rachel Maddow follows it to its crooked source: the unimaginably lucrative and equally corrupting oil and gas industry.

With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election. She deftly shows how Russia’s rich reserves of crude have, paradoxically, stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia’s rot into its rivals, its neighbors, the West’s most important alliances, and the United States. Chevron, BP, and a host of other industry players get their star turn, most notably ExxonMobil and the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson. The oil and gas industry has weakened democracies in developed and developing countries, fouled oceans and rivers, and propped up authoritarian thieves and killers. But being outraged at it is, according to Maddow, “like being indignant when a lion takes down and eats a gazelle. You can’t really blame the lion. It’s in her nature.”

Blowout is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, “Democracy either wins this one or disappears.”

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A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston by Robyn Crawford, narrated by Robyn Crawford

Publisher Summary:

After decades of silence, Robyn Crawford, close friend, collaborator, and confidante of Whitney Houston, shares her story.

Whitney Houston is as big a superstar as the music business has ever known. She exploded on the scene in 1985 with her debut album and spent the next two decades dominating the charts and capturing the hearts of fans around the world. One person was there by her side through it all—her best friend, Robyn Crawford.

Since Whitney’s death in 2012, Robyn has stayed out of the limelight and held the great joys, wild adventures, and hard truths of her life with Whitney close to her heart. Now, for the first time ever, Crawford opens up in her new memoir, A Song for You.

With warmth, candor, and an impressive recall of detail, Robyn describes the two meeting as teenagers in the 1980s, and how their lives and friendship evolved as Whitney recorded her first album and Robyn pursued her promising Division I basketball career. Together during countless sold-out world tours, behind the scenes as hit after hit was recorded, through Whitney’s marriage and the birth of her daughter, the two navigated often challenging families, great loves, and painful losses, always supporting each other with laughter and friendship.

Deeply personal and heartfelt, A Song for You is the vital, honest, and previously untold story that provides an understanding of the complex life of Whitney Houston. Finally, the person who knew her best sets the record straight.

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Dear Girls by Ali Wong, narrated by Ali Wong and Justin Hakuta

Publisher Summary:

Ali Wong’s heartfelt and hilarious letters to her daughters (the two she put to work while they were still in utero) cover everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession, and how she trapped their dad.

In her hit Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, an eight-month pregnant Ali Wong resonated so strongly that she even became a popular Halloween costume. Wong told the world her remarkably unfiltered thoughts on marriage, sex, Asian culture, working women, and why you never see new mom comics on stage but you sure see plenty of new dads.

The sharp insights and humor are even more personal in this completely original collection. She shares the wisdom she’s learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life off stage, including the brutal single life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories. Though addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong’s letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening (and gross) for all.

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!

8 Stephen King Audiobooks That’ll Scare Your Pants Off

Tomorrow is Stephen King’s birthday, so why not celebrate the King of Horror by highlighting some of his most terrifying audiobooks. These are just eight of his freakiest tales, but you can find over 100 audiobooks on Audiobooks.com by King or featuring King.

From the staple King classics to some of his newer releases, pick up one of these if you’re in the mood for a good scare.


Pet Sematary by Stephen King, narrated by Michael C. Hall

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

When Stephen King himself considers a novel he has written as taking things too far, then you know it’s going to be real freaky. Pet Sematary is a classic from King, and the audiobook is a gripping listen with Michael C. Hall putting on a very convincing Maine accent if you ask me, ayuh!

In Pet Sematary, Dr. Louis Creed gets a new job and moves his family to Ludlow, Maine – a seemingly normal little town. It’s only when he feels a pull to venture to a burial ground that lay just beyond a children’s pet cemetery that he sees why sometimes dead is better.

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It by Stephen King, narrated by Steven Weber

It by Stephen King

This beast of an audiobook is not for the faint of heart. Emphasis on beast… The reason that It has held up all these years and now has three motion pictures and even a mini series to its name is because the monster in this listen isn’t just Pennywise the Clown, it’s fear itself. This one has a major creep-factor, so buckle in and prepare to immerse yourself in the world of Derry, Maine and become a member of The Losers’ Club.

Seven kids get caught up in an evil that resides in their hometown of Derry, Maine. Now, they’ve grown up, moved away, and found success, but they feel that pull back to their hometown to finish what they started.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Shining by Stephen King, narrated by Campbell Scott

The Shining by Stephen King

I’m sure you’re all familiar with The Shining. Whether you’ve listened to the audiobook, you’ve caught the 1980 film adaptation starring Jack Nicholson, or maybe you’ve just heard people quoting, “Here’s Johnny!” for the past 40 years (give or take) – The Shining is one of King’s most popular and most frightening releases.

If, for some reason, you don’t know what The Shining is about, it follows Jack Torrance and his family as they move to the remote and idyllic Overlook Hotel. It seems like just the getaway that the family needs until winter creeps in and weird things start happening that only Danny Torrance seems to notice.

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Misery by Stephen King, narrated by Lindsay Crouse

Misery by Stephen King

We’ve all been there…when our favorite character or series plays out in a way that we don’t agree with. It can certainly be frustrating, but my first thought isn’t to go out, kidnap the creators, and force them to right their wrongs like Annie Wilkes does in Misery. This listen will give you a glimpse into how fandom can take a seriously dark turn.

In Misery, Paul Sheldon takes a risk in his writing career and kills off the main character of his romance series, so that he can move on to something new. He later ends up injured in a car crash and who should rescue him, but his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. She is not happy with what Paul has done to her favorite series, so she demands that he resurrect both the character and the series. He has no excuse…as Annie’s prisoner, he has all the time in the world.

Read more and sample the audio →


Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, narrated by Ron McLarty

Salem's Lot by Stephen King

King blessed us with ‘Salem’s Lot back when vampires were actually vicious and terrifying monsters as opposed to sparkling in the sun, and using their super speed to play baseball. Being the second release from King after Carrie, it’s been quite a while, but this suspenseful audiobook will still keep you on the edge of your seat after all this time.

In this spooky tale from King, we follow fiction writer Ben Mears as he moves into this big mansion in Jerusalem’s Lot to gather inspiration for his new novel. After two boys enter the woods near his house and only one returns he gets the feeling that something dark and sinister is lurking in his small town.

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The Mist by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton

The Mist by Stephen King

If you’ve seen the film adaptation of King’s The Mist, then you know what it’s like to be filled with hopelessness and to ugly cry at the TV screen. Don’t let that deter you from giving the audiobook a listen. The story definitely plays out a little differently, but still gives you the same claustrophobic feeling.

In The Mist, David Drayton, his son Billy, and their neighbor head over to the local grocery store following a storm. While there, a mysterious mist overtakes the whole town. Holed up in the grocery store with an array of characters, they have to decide whether it’s better to deal with people they may not trust or face the unknown.

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The Outsider by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton

The Outsider by Stephen King

Take a look at that cover. Need I say more? The Outsider is part mystery, part horror, and it definitely has that “give-you-the-chills” factor. Plus, if you frequent Stephen King’s audiobooks, then you’ll recognize the narrator, Will Patton, who has lent his voice to many of King’s novels.

The Outsider opens with the corpse of a little boy being found in town. It seems all evidence points to the local Little League coach as the main suspect. The detectives believe that they have this case in the bag, but as the coach reveals his alibi and they unearth more about the crime the story gets kicked into high gear. Did they get the right guy?

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The Institute by Stephen King, narrated by Santino Fontana

The Institute by Stephen King

The Institute is Stephen King’s latest release and even though there are supernatural elements to the story, the monsters in this listen are real people, which make it that much scarier. After listening to this audiobook you’ll surely wonder what terrible things people are truly capable of.

In The Institute Luke’s parents are killed and he is kidnapped and taken to The Institute. He and other gifted children are being used for their extranormal talents and if they cooperate all is fine, but if they refuse the punishment is severe. The really bad kids get sent to the “Back Half,” which the other children want to avoid at all costs. Their only hope is to escape and get help, but no one has ever escaped The Institute.

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STAFF PICK: Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

Title: Theme Music
Author: T. Marie Vandelly
Narrator: Sarah Mollo-Christensen

Dixie, when I let you go
Thought you’d realize that I would know
I would show
The special love I have for you
My baby blue

Upon first reading the synopsis for Theme Music I immediately thought of The Amityville Horror and it definitely had a similar feeling to it with a mysterious family murder and a ghostly presence in the place where it all began. What set Theme Music apart for me was the unique twists and turns that the story took. From horror to psychological thriller to family drama – this fast-paced listen kept me hooked all the way through.

When Dixie Wheeler was just a baby her father murdered her entire family on Thanksgiving day. A neighbor found her, the only survivor, in her high chair while Baby Blue by Badfinger echoed through the empty house. Thus, Dixie’s nickname Baby Blue was born and the Wheeler murders became something of a local legend.

After being raised by her aunt and uncle, 25 years later Dixie wants answers about what happened that day. Dixie moves into her family home where her life was forever changed and now, she must come face to face with the ghosts of her past…which seem a little too real. Once people start to turn up dead around her, she wonders how real those ghosts actually are.

I must warn you, if you do plan to embark on this twisty tale, there is a fair bit of gore – especially right off the bat. But the way that T. Marie Vandelly describes the macabre really sets the scene and allows you to immerse yourself in the story. Since Dixie was only a baby when the murders took place, she can only recount that day from what she’s read in newspapers and heard from rumors and gossip from people around town. In a way, the reader is in the same position as Dixie – we see everything through Dixie’s eyes and we learn everything she learns about what happened that day. This makes every twist that much more suspenseful! I’m telling you, I couldn’t listen to this audiobook fast enough – I had to know what would happen next!

Theme Music was narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen, an Audie-nominated narrator who has lent her voice to over 70 audiobooks on Audiobooks.com. Sarah’s portrayal of Dixie expertly mixed Dixie’s dark humor and uneasiness, which allowed me to connect with her character that much more.

Ghost story? Check. Psychological thriller? Check. Crime fiction? Check. If you’re looking for a new listen that’s packed with all of the goodness listed above, then you’ll definitely want to give T. Marie Vandelly‘s debut novel, Theme Music a listen.

Publisher Summary:

She didn’t run from her dark past. She moved in. 

For the lucky among us, life is what you make of it; but for Dixie Wheeler, the theme music for her story was chosen by another long ago, on the day her father butchered her mother and brothers and then slashed a knife across his own throat. Only one-year-old Dixie was spared, becoming infamously known as Baby Blue for the song left playing in the aftermath of the slaughter.
 

Twenty-five years later, Dixie is still desperate for a connection to the family she can’t remember. So when her childhood home goes up for sale, Dixie sets aside all reason and moves in. But as the ghosts of her family seemingly begin to take up residence in the house that was once theirs, Dixie starts to question her own sanity and wonders if the evil force menacing her is that of her father or a demon of her own making. 

In order to make sense of her present, Dixie becomes determined to unravel the truth of her past and seeks out the detective who originally investigated the murders. But the more she learns, the more she opens up the uncomfortable possibility that the sins of her father may belong to another. As bodies begin to pile up around her, Dixie must find a way to expose the lunacy behind her family’s massacre to save her few loved ones that are still alive—and whatever scrap of sanity she has left...

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