Audiobooks.com Interview with Sophie Kinsella, Author of The Shopaholic Series

Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic debuted in 2003 and since then has snowballed into an extremely popular and successful series that not only boasts 10 books in its line-up, but also has a movie adaptation of the first book starring Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusak, and John Lithgow – to name a few.

Now, Kinsella has released the 10th book in the series, Christmas Shopaholic, where Becky is faced with the daunting task of hosting the big family holiday celebration at her place. With every step she takes to make everything perfect she worries if she can really pull this off.

We were able to catch up with Kinsella recently to ask her a few questions about her latest release and what she sees on the horizon for both Becky and the Shopaholic series.

Audiobooks.com: What do you look for in an ideal audiobook narrator?

Sophie Kinsella: I love to hear characterful voices. When I write, my books are all first person and so the voice is very clearly in my head. I love it when an audiobook narrator taps into the narrative voice I have had in my head when writing.

Audiobooks.com: What do readers gain from listening to the audiobook that they miss out on if they just read the print version?

Sophie Kinsella: When I read books that I like, I often whip through them very quickly, and think afterwards that I’ve missed some of the subtlety and wit of the writing. With audiobooks you have the opportunity to luxuriate in the writing.

Audiobooks.com: In Christmas Shopaholic, Becky’s family has long-standing holiday traditions. Does your family have any similar, fun traditions that you’ve kept up over the years?

Sophie Kinsella: We play a brilliant game where you have to put on hats and gloves and scarves and eat a chocolate bar with a knife and fork. We also read ‘Twas the night before Christmas every Christmas Eve before we put out mince pies and sherry by the fire for Father Christmas to find.

Audiobooks.com: Becky is tasked with hosting the holiday festivities and chaos ensues. Did you draw on your own personal experiences with hosting family over the holidays? And if chaos ensues, how do you deal with it?

Sophie Kinsella: I don’t know what you mean – there is never any chaos when I host Christmas… Seriously, I think it’s easy to panic over Christmas arrangements but I’m lucky that we as a family are all quite forgiving of each other – and a box of candy and a small glass of sherry will always smooth things over!

Audiobooks.com: In this installment of the Shopaholic series, in typical Becky-fashion, she strives to host the perfect holiday get-together and get everyone the perfect gifts. What do you think it is about Becky that causes your readers to have such a soft spot for her?

Sophie Kinsella: It absolutely thrills me that Becky has such an enduring appeal. I think she feels real to a lot of my readers – she certainly feels real to me! She has grown and matured over the years, even though she is the same Becky and still gets into trouble. And although she has flaws, she also has many qualities which are inspiring – her optimism, her good-heartedness, her ingenious solutions to problems, and her relationships with her family and friends. She always tries her best, even if her best usually backfires.

Audiobooks.com: And more personally from your own perspective, what is it about Becky and her story that makes you want to keep returning to it again and again?

Sophie Kinsella: I love Becky like no other character! She’s the only heroine I’ve created that I keep returning to. I just love writing in her voice and seeing the world through her eyes. She’s so optimistic and can-do and has her own special logic.

Audiobooks.com: Where do you see Becky and her family in 10 years?

Sophie Kinsella: I’m sure Becky will have given up shopping and she and Luke will be a sensible ordinary couple… or not!∎


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7 Holly Jolly Audiobooks to Listen to this Holiday Season

Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, John Green, narrated by Full Cast

Let It Snow brings the spirit of the holidays to life in three funny and heartwarming interwoven love stories. During an ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve that buries Gracetown under multiple feet of snow, one brave soul ventures out on a journey that will change quite a few lives. Now available exclusively on Netflix, this magical collection of stories from bestselling authors John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle will steal your breath away!

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Christmas in Homestead by Kara Tate, narrated by Emily Lawrence

Two worlds collide when an A-list actress and an innkeeper begin to fall for each other. Matt, the mayor of Homestead, owns an inn where Jessica and her co-star ex-boyfriend are staying in town while they shoot her movie. Matt is wary that the movie will interfere with the town’s Christmas festivities, but as Jessica grows enamored with Homestead and with Matt, he begins to fall for her too. Can an innkeeper and an A-list actress have a romantic future together?

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Journey Back to Christmas by Leigh Duncan, narrated by Christine Lakin

This Christmas, Hanna is in for an unexpected miracle! The Christmas Comet appears for the first time after seventy years just as Hanna is caught in a snowstorm and knocked unconscious. When she wakes up in modern times, she is stunned by how different her little town is and isn’t quite sure what happened. Will she be able to get back home with the help of this kind town when this year’s comet appears?

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Wrapped Up In Christmas by Janice Lynn, narrated by Arielle Delisle

Sarah has had her heart broken and she pours her energy into working at the church where she makes quilts for wounded soldiers. Meanwhile, after Bodie, an Army Ranger, was injured in an explosion that killed his brothers in arms, he receives a handmade quilt. When he sets out to thank the person who made it for him, he never thought he would find someone like Sarah. Wrapped Up in Christmas is heartwarming, sweet, and full of hope for the season.

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A Gingerbread Romance by Lacey Baker, narrated by Adenrele Ojo

When architect Taylor Scott teams up with baker Adam Dale for a gingerbread house competition, neither of them realizes this simple competition will lead to much more. As Taylor and Adam spend more and more time together enjoying Philadelphia’s holiday traditions, Taylor realizes she may have finally found a place to call her own.

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Christmas In Evergreen: Letters to Santa by Nancy Naigle, narrated by Kathleen Mcinerney

When Lisa finds the historic general store in her hometown Evergreen has closed, she decides to use her skills as a retail designer to bring it back to its former glory. As contractor Kevin is helping her with the project, they find a mysterious 25-year-old letter to Santa that never made it to the North Pole. Together they try to figure out whose wish it was and if their wish ever came true.

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An Unforgettable Christmas by Ginny Baird, narrated by Kyla Garcia

When Angie’s boss, Sam, suffers a head injury that leaves him with amnesia, Angie takes care of him despite her dislike of him and his lifestyle. As Angie begins to see a whole new side of Sam, she begins to fall for him. What will happen, though, if Sam’s memories come back? Will Angie be left with a broken heart?

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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.

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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.

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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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STAFF PICK: Eve of Man by Tom Fletcher and Giovanna Fletcher

Title: Eve of Man
Author: Tom Fletcher, Giovanna Fletcher
Narrator: Josh Dylan, Charlotte Ritchie

When I was growing up I was always a bit slower at reading than a lot of my classmates which lead me to not want to read books. I would rarely pick up a book to read on my own. When I was in my pre-teens/teens, I started feeling left out because I could not join the conversation about books everyone was reading, specifically, Harry Potter. I then decided even though I was slow, I wouldn’t let that hold me back.

As soon as I was introduced to Teen novels, specifically Action & Adventure as well as Fantasy & Sci-Fi, I was absolutely hooked. From that point on, I was always seeking out new titles in those genres — I had found my calling. Eve of Man fits right in and surely did not disappoint.

Listeners are jolted into the future where no girls have been born in 50 years…until Eve. With the exception of security guards, Eve’s interactions with men are kept to a minimum. As soon as Eve turns 16, she is to fulfill her destiny and find a male suitor to have children with. The catch is she does not really get to choose the gentleman herself. The future of humanity is in her hands. Eve seemed to be on board and not question anything the Mothers told her to do until Bram came along and made her question everything. Now Eve wonders what their true intentions are and realizes her life was always planned out for her. She wants the freedom to make her own decisions, to choose her own path.

Josh Dylan and Charlotte Ritchie did such an amazing job narrating this audiobook. Their accents are so wonderful to listen to and you truly get wrapped up in the story with their characters Bram and Eve. They did such a great job and perfectly narrated this story. I truly felt like I could imagine what a film adaptation would look like with these two narrating the audiobook.

Tom Fletcher and Giovanna Fletcher did such a great job with all these characters, especially Eve, Bram and the three Mothers who take care of Eve. I enjoyed how every chapter rotated between Eve and Bram’s point of view. I cannot wait for the next book in this trilogy to be released in 2020 to see just what Giovanna and Tom have in store for these characters.

This audiobook was a true masterpiece. I would highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who enjoys imaginative, pulse-pounding listens those who were fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, Scythe, The Maze Runner series, and The Hunger Games series.

Publisher Summary:

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Scythe in this gripping new dystopian trilogy written by UK-bestselling authors Giovanna and Tom Fletcher.

She survived against all odds. The first girl born in fifty years. They called her EVE.

On the first day, no one really noticed. All those babies wrapped in blue blankets–not a pink one in sight. On the third day, people were scared–a statistic-defying abundance of blue. Not just entire hospitals, not only entire countries, but the entire world. Boys. Only boys.

Until Eve. The only girl born in fifty years. The savior of mankind. Kept protected, towering above a ruined world under a glass dome of safety until she is ready to renew the human race.

But when the time comes to find a suitor, Eve and Bram–a young man whose job is to prepare Eve for this moment–begin to question the plan they’ve known all along. Eve doesn’t only want safety, and she doesn’t only want protection. She wants the truth. She wants freedom.

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Our Top Staff Picks of 2019 So Far

We’re just past the halfway point for 2019 and so far there have been so many fabulous listens both classics and new releases. In honor of National Book Lovers Day, we wanted to share some of our favorite Audiobooks.com Staff Picks from 2019.

From uplifting self-help bestsellers to fantasy oldies, but goodies, the staff at Audiobooks.com have been keeping their ears busy with some great audiobooks and, may I say, some stellar reviews to boot.


Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, narrated by Jennifer BealsJudy GreerBenjamin BrattPablo Schreiber
Staff Pick by: Pam

Now a Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club alumni, Daisy Jones & The Six tells a compelling story of one of the biggest (fictional) bands of the seventies and what lead to their split at the height of their popularity.

In her review, Pam describes how Taylor Jenkins Reid paints such a vivid picture that she had to keep reminding herself that this wasn’t an actual band from the seventies. Read more about what made this such a buzz-worthy listen this year in Pam’s full review.

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On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, narrated by Bahni Turpin
Staff Pick by: Lena

On the Come Up follows Bri, a sixteen year old who, an aspiring rapper. With the odds stacked against her and her family, she no longer just wants to make it, she has to.

In Lena’s review, she dives into how she came to love On the Come Up and how it should be equally revered as Thomas debut, The Hate U Give. Click here to read Lena’s full review.

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The Farm by Joanne Ramos, narrated by Fran De Leon
Staff Pick by: Chrissy

In The Farm, Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is searching for a better future and finds it at Golden Oaks (the Farm). Now, pregnant and vulnerable, she grows desperate to reconnect with her life on the outside.

Chrissy was drawn into this listen from the eye-catching cover and I don’t blame her! Read more about what made Ramos The Farm stick with Chrissy long after she was finished reading it.

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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, narrated by Lenny Henry
Staff Pick by: Graeme

After Fat Charlie Nancy’s dad drops dead on a karaoke stage, Fat Charlie finds out that not only was his dad a god, but he also has a brother he never knew about.

Graeme loved this listen from Gaimanclick here to find out why!

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Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow by E. K. Johnston, narrated by Catherine Taber
Staff Pick by: Jennifer

In E. K. Johnston‘s second Star Wars novel, Queen’s Shadow, we are reunited with Padmé Naberrie, “Queen Amidala” of Naboo. When she resigns from her position she is asked to become Naboo’s representative for the Galactic Senate. Now, Padmé must navigate her new role and all of the politics that come with it.

Jennifer’s review goes deeper into why this story is so important when it comes to Star Wars canon. Click here to read her review.

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Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, narrated by Rachel Hollis
Staff Pick by: Caitlin

In this self-help book, Rachel Hollis aims to inspire women to break the pattern of defining themselves in light of other people, and she challenges them to pursue their dreams.

In Caitlin’s review, she chats about how Girl, Stop Apologizing spoke to her and helped her overcome her own self-doubt. Read Catilin’s full review here.

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Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff, Georgia Hardstark, narrated by Paul Giamatti, Karen Kilgariff, Georgia Hardstark
Staff Pick by: Kylie

This debut novel from the hosts of the #1 hit podcast My Favorite Murder touches on important cultural issues while also overlaying never-before-heard personal stories from Kilgariff and Hardstarks pasts. This listen was so fun and made me laugh, cry, and feel inspired. Click here to read my full review.

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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!

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