April’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

If It Bleeds by Stephen King, narrated by Will PattonSteven WeberDanny Burstein

Publisher Summary:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author, legendary storyteller, and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas—”Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” “The Life of Chuck, Rat,” and the title story “If It Bleeds”—each pulling you into intriguing and frightening places.

The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, including “The Body” (Stand By Me) and “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption). Like Four Past Midnight, Different Seasons, and most recently Full Dark, No Stars, If It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer.

Read more and sample the audio →


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, narrated by Jennifer Lim

Publisher Summary:

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren—an enigmatic artist and single mother—who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Read more and sample the audio →


Walk the Wire by David Baldacci, narrated by Kyf BrewerOrlagh Cassidy

Publisher Summary:

When Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are called to London, North Dakota, they instantly sense that the thriving fracking town is ripe for trouble. The promise of a second gold rush has attracted an onslaught of newcomers all hoping for a windfall, and the community is growing faster than houses can be built. The sudden boom has also brought a slew of problems with it, including drugs, property crimes, prostitution—and now murder.

Decker and Jamison are ordered to investigate the death of a young woman named Irene Cramer, whose body was expertly autopsied and then dumped in the open—which is only the beginning of the oddities surrounding the case. As Decker and Jamison dig into Irene’s life, they are shocked to discover that the woman who walked the streets by night as a prostitute was a teacher for a local religious sect by day—a sect operating on land once owned by a mysterious government facility that looms over the entire community.

London is a town replete with ruthless business owners, shady government officials, and religious outsiders, all determined to keep their secrets from coming out. When other murders occur, Decker will need all of his extraordinary memory and detective skills, and the assistance of a surprising ally, to root out a killer and the forces behind Cramer’s death . . . before the boom town explodes.

Read more and sample the audio →


Camino Winds by John Grisham, narrated by Michael Beck 

Publisher Summary:

Just as Bruce Cable’s Bay Books is preparing for the return of bestselling author Mercer Mann, Hurricane Leo veers from its predicted course and heads straight for the island. Florida’s governor orders a mandatory evacuation, and most residents board up their houses and flee to the mainland, but Bruce decides to stay and ride out the storm.

The hurricane is devastating: homes and condos are leveled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people lose their lives. One of the apparent victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s and an author of thrillers. But the nature of Nelson’s injuries suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of his death: He has suffered several suspicious blows to the head.

Who would want Nelson dead? The local police are overwhelmed in the aftermath of the storm and ill-equipped to handle the case. Bruce begins to wonder if the shady characters in Nelson’s novels might be more real than fictional. And somewhere on Nelson’s computer is the manuscript of his new novel. Could the key to the case be right there—in black and white? As Bruce starts to investigate, what he discovers between the lines is more shocking than any of Nelson’s plot twists—and far more dangerous. 

Read more and sample the audio →


The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks

Publisher Summary:

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

Read more and sample the audio →



Non-Fiction

More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys, narrated by Alicia Keys featuring Oprah WinfreyMichelle Obama, Jay-Z, and more

Publisher Summary:

As one of the most celebrated musicians in the world, Alicia Keys has enraptured the globe with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache—over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection.

Since Alicia rose to fame, her public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is at last exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it?

More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia’s journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting, but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia’s path, from her girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem to the process of growth and self-discovery that we all must navigate.

In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth—about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to listeners: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.

Read more and sample the audio →


Untamed by Glennon Doyle, narrated by Glennon Doyle

Publisher Summary:

This is how you find yourself.

There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves.

For many years, Glennon Doyle denied her own discontent. Then, while speaking at a conference, she looked at a woman across the room and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. But she soon realized they had come to her from within. This was her own voice—the one she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl she had been before the world told her who to be. Glennon decided to quit abandoning herself and to instead abandon the world’s expectations of her. She quit being good so she could be free. She quit pleasing and started living.

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.

Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get.

Read more and sample the audio →


Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker, narrated by Sean Pratt

Publisher Summary:

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don’s work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins–aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony–and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?

What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.

With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family’s unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.

Read more and sample the audio →


The House of Kennedy by James Patterson, narrated by David Pittu

Publisher Summary:

The Kennedys have always been a family of charismatic adventurers, raised to take risks and excel, living by the dual family mottos: ‘To whom much is given, much is expected’ and ‘Win at all costs.’ And they do—but at a price. Across decades and generations, the Kennedys have occupied a unique place in the American imagination: charmed, cursed, at once familiar and unknowable. The House of Kennedy is a revealing, fascinating account of America’s most storied family, as told by America’s most trusted storyteller.

Read more and sample the audio →


Open Book by Jessica Simpson, narrated by Jessica Simpson

Publisher Summary:

Jessica reveals for the first time her inner monologue and most intimate struggles. Guided by the journals she’s kept since age fifteen, and brimming with her unique humor and down-to-earth humanity, Open Book is as inspiring as it is entertaining.

This was supposed to be a very different book. Five years ago, Jessica Simpson was approached to write a motivational guide to living your best life. She walked away from the offer, and nobody understood why. The truth is that she didn’t want to lie.

Jessica couldn’t be authentic with her readers if she wasn’t fully honest with herself first.

Now America’s Sweetheart, preacher’s daughter, pop phenomenon, reality tv pioneer, and the billion-dollar fashion mogul invites readers on a remarkable journey, examining a life that blessed her with the compassion to help others, but also burdened her with an almost crippling need to please. Open Book is Jessica Simpson using her voice, heart, soul, and humor to share things she’s never shared before.

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!

The Perfect Audiobooks to Enjoy at Home for Adults and Kids

You’ve already streamed all of the movies and TV shows and have cleaned the counters twice. Now what?

If you’re looking for new ways to keep yourselves and the kids entertained, we’ve got the perfect audiobook recommendations for you!

Whether you’re looking to build better mindfulness habits, learn something new, or escape into faraway worlds, audiobooks are a great way to keep busy right in the comfort of your own home.

Check out our featured recommendations below, or browse our full lists of the best listens for adults and kids.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, narrated by Nicole Lewis

A striking and surprising debut, Such a Fun Age is a complicated and big-hearted story about race and privilege.

Read more and sample the audio →

Long Range by C.J. Box, narrated by David Chandler

Beset by threats both man-made and natural, two men must go to great lengths to keep their loved ones safe.

Read more and sample the audio →

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, narrated by Grace Gummer

An all-consuming listen about the relationship between a teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Institute by Stephen King, narrated by Santino Fontana

Stephen King brings listeners a gut-wrenching story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

Read more and sample the audio →

Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld

A twisty psychological thriller about a savvy second wife who will do almost anything to come out on top.

Read more and sample the audio →

Crooked River by Lincoln ChildDouglas Preston, narrated by Jefferson Mays

Agent Pendergast finds himself facing the most complex and inexplicable challenge of his career.

Read more and sample the audio →

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson, narrated by Graham Halstead

A mystery-loving bookseller finds himself an unwitting suspect at the center of an FBI investigation.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian, narrated by Rebecca Lowman

When an American man vanishes in Vietnam, his girlfriend chases a thread that leads her to the hospital where they met.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward, narrated by Therese Plummer

In the vein of The Nest, The Jetsetters is a delicious and intelligent novel about the courage it takes to reveal our true selves.

Read more and sample the audio →

Open Book by Jessica Simpson, narrated by Jessica Simpson

America’s Sweetheart, Jessica Simpson, reveals for the first time her inner monologue and most intimate struggles.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré, narrated by Adjoa Andoh

A powerful, listen about a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Numbers Game by Danielle Steel, narrated by Michael Braun

Danielle Steel brings listeners a stunning novel, modern relationships come together, fall apart, and are reinvented over time.

Read more and sample the audio →

Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness, narrated by Jonathan Van Ness

The star of Queer Eye shares stories of growing up gay, transforming pain into positivity, and embracing what makes you gorgeously different.

Read more and sample the audio →

Everyday Calming Rituals by Tania Ahsan, narrated by Antonia Beamish

A practical, easy-to-use guide that emphasizes the mind-body connection using the senses as a focal point to soothe everyday stress.

Read more and sample the audio →

Our Better Angels by Jonathan Reckford, narrated by Jimmy CarterRobert Petkoff

Inspiring and insightful, Our Better Angels celebrates the shared principles that unite and enable us to overcome life’s challenges.

Read more and sample the audio →

On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle, narrated by Melanie Shankle

In On the Bright SideMelanie Shankle reminds us of the unchanging principles we can count on in a changing world.

Read more and sample the audio →

Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon, narrated by Shiromi ArserioJason Carpenter

From the author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast set at an elite boarding school.

Read more and sample the audio →

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare, narrated by Finty Williams

Dive into the first novel in a brand-new Shadowhunters trilogy where evil hides in plain sight and love cuts deeper than any blade. 

Read more and sample the audio →

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell, narrated by Euan Morton

Simon Snow beat the villain. He won the war. Find out what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day.

Read more and sample the audio →

I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi, narrated by Priya Ayyar

Three teens must face down the mistakes of their past after they learn that life on Earth might end in less than a week.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver, narrated by Reba Buhr

From the author of Liesl & Po comes a timely adventure story about monsters of all kinds—and a girl brave enough to save them.

Read more and sample the audio →

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney, narrated by Ramon De Ocampo

An inheritance gives the Heffley family a chance to renovate their home, but construction isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Read more and sample the audio →

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker, narrated by Noah Galvin

Sara Pennypacker brings listeners a novel that is an ode to introverts, dreamers, and misfits everywhere.

Read more and sample the audio →

Watership Down by Richard Adams, narrated by Peter Capaldi

Indulge in Richard Adams’ beloved children’s classic, in a brand new performance by Peter Capaldi.

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!

The Winners and Finalists of the 2020 Audie Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Audie Awards!

The Audie Awards recognize outstanding achievements by the authors, narrators, and producers of the most talked-about audiobooks in the industry. See below for this year’s winners and finalists.



Audiobook of the Year

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of September 11, 2001 by Garrett M. Graff, narrated by a full 45-person cast

At once a powerful tribute to the courage of everyday Americans and an essential addition to the literature of 9/11, The Only Plane in the Sky weaves together the unforgettable personal experiences of the men and women who found themselves caught at the center of an unprecedented human drama. The result is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner, narrated by Bobby CannavaleNathan LaneNathan Stewart-JarrettSusan BrownJames McardleAndrew GarfieldDenise GoughBeth MaloneLee Pace, and Edie Falco

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, narrated by Meryl StreepRobin MilesKirby HeyborneCassandra CampbellKimberly FarrLincoln HoppeMark DeakinsTavia GilbertDanny CampbellEmily RankinJanuary Lavoy, and Macleod Andrews

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, narrated by Margaret AtwoodDerek JacobiTantoo CardinalMae WhitmanAnn Dowd, and Bryce Dallas Howard



Autobiography / Memoir

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, 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.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke, narrated by Tembi Locke

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography by Elton John, narrated by Taron Egerton and Elton John

MotherStruck! by Staceyann Chin, narrated by Staceyann Chin

Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood by Andrew Rannells, narrated by Andrew Rannells



Best Female Narrator

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, narrated by Marin Ireland

Lillian and Madison were inseparable friends at their elite boarding school—until Lillian had to leave unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal. Years later, Lillian gets a letter from Madison asking her to be the caretaker of her stepkids, who are moving in with her family. The catch? The twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated. Thinking of her dead-end life at home, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian begins to learn that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

All the Lost Things by Michelle Sacks, narrated by Cassandra Morris

The Boy by Tami Hoag, narrated by Hillary Huber

Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante, narrated by Rachel Atkins

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, narrated by January Lavoy



Best Male Narrator

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny, narrated by Robert Bathurst

When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder, neither of whom had met the elderly woman.

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing.

Meanwhile, Gamache is attempting to rectify the events that led to his suspension. As his measures become increasingly audacious and desperate, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, narrated by Robert Petkoff

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, narrated by JD Jackson and Colson Whitehead

Watership Down by Richard Adams, narrated by Peter Capaldi



Multi-Voiced Narration

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of September 11, 2001 by Garrett M. Graff, narrated by a full 45-person cast

At once a powerful tribute to the courage of everyday Americans and an essential addition to the literature of 9/11, The Only Plane in the Sky weaves together the unforgettable personal experiences of the men and women who found themselves caught at the center of an unprecedented human drama. The result is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World by Geoff Blackwell, Ruth Hobday, Kieran Scott, narrated by a full cast

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, narrated by Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, Pablo Schreiber, and a full cast

Dooku: Jedi Lost (Star Wars) by Cavan Scott, narrated by Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Marc Thompson, Pete Bradbury, Jonathan Davis, Neil Hellegers, Sean Kenin, January LaVoy, Saskia Maarleveld, Carol Monda, Robert Petkoff, and Rebecca Soler

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, narrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Jeanne Birdsall, Richard Ferrone, Jenna Lamia, and a full cast



Narration by the Author or Authors

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

Inside Out by Demi Moore, narrated by Demi Moore

Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl, narrated by Sophie Dahl

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future by Pete Buttigieg, narrated by Pete Buttigieg

Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice, narrated by Susan Rice



Fiction

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, narrated by Blair Brown

In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand.

Now eighty-nine years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life—and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer, narrated by Therese Plummer

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris, narrated by Louise Brealey

Colombiano by Rusty Young, narrated by Rusty Young and Brian J. Ramos

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell, narrated by Karina Fernandez



Non-Fiction

Grace Will Lead Us Home: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness by Jennifer Berry Hawes, narrated by Karen ChiltonJennifer Berry Hawes

On June 17, 2015, twelve members of the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina welcomed a young white man to their evening Bible study. He arrived with a pistol, 88 bullets, and hopes of starting a race war. Dylann Roof’s massacre of nine innocents during their closing prayer horrified the nation. Two days later, some relatives of the dead stood at Roof’s hearing and said, “I forgive you.” That grace offered the country a hopeful ending to an awful story. But for the survivors and victims’ families, the journey had just begun.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves by Frans de Waal, narrated by L.J. Ganser

The Perfect Predator: A Scientist’s Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug: A Memoir by Steffanie Strathdee and Thomas Patterson, narrated by Christine Lakin and Dan Woren

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell, narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer, narrated by Jonathan Safran Foer



Thriller / Suspense

The Institute by Stephen King, narrated by Santino Fontana

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Blood in the Water by Jack Flynn, narrated by Dion Graham

Freefall by Jessica Barry, narrated by Hillary Huber, Karissa Vacker, and MacLeod Andrews

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman, narrated by Susan Bennett

Winter Dark by Alex Callister, narrated by Ell Potter



Mystery

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup, narrated by Peter Noble

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen. His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene. To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues. Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over. And no one is safe.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Along Came a Spider (25 anniversary edition) by James Patterson, narrated by Taye Diggs

The Boy by Tami Hoag, narrated by Hillary Huber

The Lost Man by Jane Harper, narrated by Stephen Shanahan

The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke, narrated by Will Patton



Fantasy

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, narrated by January Lavoy

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Beasts of the Frozen Sun by Jill Criswell, narrated by Tim Campbell and Alana Kerr Collins

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, narrated by Dion Graham

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, narrated by Michael David Axtell and Lauren Fortgang

Time’s Children by D.B. Jackson, narrated by Helen Keeley



Business / Personal Development

So You Want to Start a Podcast: Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story, and Building a Community that Will Listen by Kristen Meinzer, narrated by Kristen Meinzer

A comprehensive step-by-step guide to creating a hit show, So You Want to Start a Podcast covers everything from hosting and guest booking to editing and marketing—while offering plenty of encouragement and insider stories along the way. With this motivational how-to guide—the only one on the subject available—you’ll find the direction you need to produce an entertaining and informative podcast and promote it to the right audience. So You Want to Start a Podcast gives you the tools you need to start a podcast—and the insight to keep it thriving.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Barefoot Spirit by Michael HoulihanBonnie HarveyRick Kushman, narrated by Ed AsnerAlamada KaratihyGigi Perreau

Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight, narrated by Sarah Knight

Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Ashley Goodall and Marcus Buckingham, narrated by Ashley Goodall and Marcus Buckingham

Wolfpack by Abby Wambach, narrated by Abby Wambach



History / Biography

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley, narrated by Stephen Graybill

On May 25, 1961, JFK made an astonishing announcement: his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In this engrossing, fast-paced epic, Douglas Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind. American Moonshot brings together the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The First Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, narrated by Scott Brick

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep, narrated by Hillary Huber

The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth by Josh Levin, narrated by January Lavoy

Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battles to Save His Legacy by Dan Abrams and David Fisher, narrated by Roger Wayne and Dan Abrams



Romance

Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas, narrated by Mary Jane Wells

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself…as none other than West Ravenel.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez, narrated by Teddy Hamilton and Erin Mallon

Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper, narrated by Amanda Ronconi

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, narrated by Ramon de Ocampo



Literary Fiction & Classics

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, narrated by Joe Morton

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Milkman by Anna Burns, narrated by Brid Brennan

Mythos by Stephen Fry, narrated by Stephen Fry

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, narrated by Yangsze Choo

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by Jacqueline Woodson, with Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small, and Bahni Turpin



Faith-Based Fiction & Non-Fiction

How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

When Ruth Neufeld’s husband and father-in-law are killed working for a relief organization overseas, she travels to Wisconsin with her young daughters and mother-in-law Mabel to bury her husband. She hopes the Mennonite community will be a quiet place to grieve and piece together next steps. Ruth finds solace in the beauty of the land and healing through hard work and a budding new love with her husband’s cousin, Elam.

But an unexpected twist threatens to unseat the happy ending Ruth is about to write for herself. On the precipice of a fresh start and a new marriage, Ruth must make an impossible decision: which path to choose if her husband isn’t dead after all.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Breathe Again by Niki Hardy, narrated by Niki Hardy

Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind by Annaka Harris, narrated by Annaka Harris

Dare to See: Discovering God in the Everyday by Katie Brown, narrated by Katie Brown

Jezebel: The Prequel by Jacquelin Thomas, narrated by Janina Edwards



Middle Grade

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, narrated by Meryl StreepRobin MilesKirby HeyborneCassandra CampbellKimberly FarrLincoln HoppeMark DeakinsTavia GilbertDanny CampbellEmily RankinJanuary Lavoy, and Macleod Andrews

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spider web tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

New Kid by Jerry Craft, narrated by Jesus Del Orden, Nile Bullock, Robin Miles, Guy Lockard, Peyton Lusk, Rebecca Soler, Dan Bittner, Phoebe Strole, Marc Thompson, Miles Harvey, and Ron Butler

Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange, narrated by Lucy Strange

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, narrated by Almarie Guerra and a full cast

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart, narrated by Khristine Hvam



Short Stories / Collections

Full Throttle by Joe Hill, narrated by Stephen LangGeorge GuidallNeil GaimanKate MulgrewJoe HillZachary QuintoWil WheatonNate CorddryAshleigh CummingsLaysla De OliveiraConnor Jessup

In this masterful collection of short fiction, Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in 13 relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including “In The Tall Grass”, one of two stories cowritten with Stephen King. Featuring two previously unpublished stories and a brace of shocking chillers, Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears and demonstrates this exceptional talent at his very best.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid, narrated by Julia Whelan, George Newbern, James Daniels, and Dara Rosenberg

Forward by Veronica Roth, Blake Crouch, N.K. Jemisin, Amor Towles, Paul Tremblay, and Andy Weir, narrated by Evan Rachel Wood, Rosa Salazar, Jason Isaacs, David Harbour, Steven Strait, and Janina Gavankar

I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi, narrated by Bassey Ikpi

Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor and Whoopi Goldberg (foreword), narrated by Yetide Badaki



Audio Drama

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner, narrated by Bobby CannavaleNathan LaneNathan Stewart-JarrettSusan BrownJames McardleAndrew GarfieldDenise GoughBeth MaloneLee Pace, and Edie Falco

In this production, adapted especially for the listening experience, Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, and the entire cast recreate their acclaimed performances from the 2018 Tony Award-winning National Theatre revival of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. With narration by Bobby Cannavale and Edie Falco, and a musical score by Adrian Sutton, this audiobook is a compelling and immersive theatrical listening experience.

Read more and sample the audio →


Finalists

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne, narrated by James Lecesne

Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Andi Arndt, Sebastian York, January LaVoy, Julia Whelan, R.C. Bray, Shane East, Joe Arden, Erin Mallon, Dion Graham, Savannah Peachwood, Jason Clarke, and Robin Miles

Have a Nice Day by Billy Crystal and Quinton Peeples, narrated by by Justin Bartha, Annette Bening, Dick Cavett, Auli’l Cravalho, Billy Crystal, Rachel Dratch, Darrell Hammond, Christopher Jackson, Kevin Kline, Robin Thede

Puss in Boots by Neil Fishman, Harvey Edelman, and Khristine Hvam, performed by Jim Dale, Mark Aldrich, Barret Leddy, Nick Sullivan, Brian Holden, Al Fallick, Lisa Livesay, Meredith Inglesby, Lynn Norris, John E. Brady, and Johnny Heller



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!

Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’!

Sometimes life can get so hectic that you’re lucky if you find time to shower let alone read your book club book in time. If your New Years’ resolution is to read more but you can’t find the time, audiobooks are the answer! You can press play on this month’s pick during your commute or while you’re cooking dinner and before you know it, you’ll have knocked out those pages in no time!

February’s pick is The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, narrated by Joe Morton. The novel is Coates’ first foray into fiction, whose bibliography also includes the acclaimed memoir Between the World and Me. Not only was The Water Dancer chosen for Oprah’s Book Club revival, but it also debuted at the top of the New York Times Fiction Best Seller list. Coates began writing the novel around 2008 and 2009 when he was doing extensive research on slavery and the Civil War. Set on a struggling tobacco plantation in Virginia, The Water Dancer follows Hiram Walker, a young mixed-race boy born into slavery who discovers he possesses a superhuman ability when he falls into a river.

You definitely don’t want to miss this striking debut novel. Check out our discussion questions below, but beware — SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Is the story buoyed by only having Hiram’s point-of-view, or did you feel it was lacking in opportunity and diversity by excluding other characters’ voices?

2) Why do you think Coates decided to write The Water Dancer through the lens of magic realism? What did the addition of his characters’ extraordinary abilities allow Coates to explore and interrogate that he couldn’t have done if the novel wasn’t embellished with magic?

3) Memory is a key theme in the novel. What is Coates suggesting by making the power of Conduction directly tied to memories and the act of remembering? What is the significance of Hiram being unable to recall certain memories?

4) Consider this quote:

“At every gathering there was this dispute about my mother’s mother, Santi Bess, and her fate. The myth held that she had executed the largest escape of tasking folk—forty-eight souls—ever recorded in the annals of Elm County. And it was not simply that they had escaped but where they’d been said to escape to—Africa. It was said that Santi had simply led them down to the river Goose, walked in, and reemerged on the other side of the sea.”

Discuss the significance of River Goose which for some, such as Maynard, is a symbol of danger and death, while for others, like Hiram and Santi Bess, is a symbol of resistance and freedom.

5) How did you feel about the inclusion of a real historical figure such as Harriet Tubman in the story? What impact did it have?

6) Why do you think Coates chose to set The Water Dancer predominantly on a declining tobacco plant? How does Coates juxtapose the trajectory of Lockless to the plights of Hiram and the Underground?

7) Coates often wrestles with how the war against injustice should be waged. When Corrine Quinn and Hawkins plan to take down Georgie Parks, Hiram reminds us that even Georgie was forced into his exploits by circumstance. To what extent is revenge or punishment just when each character is trapped in one way or another?

8) Discuss the complexities of motherhood and fatherhood in the novel and the many forms of “family” we encounter. How does slavery corrupt families? How does Hiram come to define family by the end?

9) Consider the experiences of enslaved women versus enslaved men. How does Coates convey tensions between black characters along gender lines? How does it impact Hiram and Sophia’s relationship over time?

10) Is there any part of the book that you wish had been written differently?

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!

9 Audiobooks to Get Cozy with in January

January can be a stressful time. The pajamas you lived in over the holidays have been swapped for real-life clothes. You’re thrown back into the normal work routine, but with the added pressure of trying to eat healthier or spend less money or go to the gym more. Never mind the annoyance of writing the wrong date on everything for the first few weeks. Welcome to 2019 2020!

A great way to balance out the stress: stay home and cozy up with a warm cup of tea and a good audiobook. Here are nine suggestions to get you started:

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, narrated by Nicole Lewis

Kiley Reid’s debut novel is so hilarious and full of heart that you’ll forget it’s talking about some serious topics.

When Emira Tucker, a young babysitter for the powerful Chamberlain family, is asked to take their toddler out to the grocery store, she is just excited to earn some extra cash. The evening takes a devastating turn when the grocery store security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping, simply because she is a black woman with a white child. After a video of the altercation is released, Mrs. Chamberlain promises to make it right for Emira. Instead, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick, narrated by James Langton

You won’t be able to resist falling for Arthur Pepper, an adorably quirky sixty-nine-year-old man. His story of loss, healing, and self-discovery is just about as uplifting as you can get. And his story is in line with the plot that we all fell in love with through the movie Up.

When he lost his wife Miriam, Arthur did everything he could to hold onto the life they shared. But the one-year anniversary of Miriam’s death brings an opportunity to learn more about her. The surprising and unforgettable adventure that unfolds takes Arthur all over the world in search of hope and healing.

Read more and sample the audio →

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune

The Flatshare is as cheery and lighthearted as they come! Beth O’Leary‘s rom-com lets you be a fly on the wall in the apartment of two strangers, who might also be soulmates. Tiffy and Leon live together without ever having met. Leon works through the night, Tiffy during the day. Their paths never cross. Instead, they communicate solely through short notes left around the apartment. Adorable… But it is a good idea to fall in love with someone you don’t know? 

You’ll love this feel-good audiobook about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

Read more and sample the audio →

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanna Fluke, narrated by Suzanne Toren

Craving a quirky mystery? Look no further than this start to the Hannah Swensen mystery series.

The owner of a small bakeshop called The Cookie Jar is thrust into an investigation when she finds her delivery man has been murdered. When a second person connected to the shop is killed, things get serious. Does Hannah have the right ingredients to solve the case?

Read more and sample the audio →

Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe, narrated by Gemma Whelan

This painfully funny account of life as a hapless teenager in the 1970s follows Lizzie Vogel, a 19-year old who lives a rather uneventful life (for now).

When Lizzie takes on a new job working for an eccentric dental surgeon, she quickly takes a liking to Andy, a patient who she calls her boyfriend despite never actually speaking to him. But Andy doesn’t turn out to be quite who he seems…

Read more and sample the audio →

Layoverland by Gabby Noone, narrated by Sophie Amoss

Perfect for those who love the show The Good Place, Layoverland is a darkly hilarious look at the afterlife.

When Beatrice Fox dies suddenly, she finds herself in purgatory – stuck between two possible fates. Tasked with a challenge that, if fulfilled, will bring her to the pearly gates, Bea works towards her second chance. But what she didn’t expect was to find love and friendship along the way.

Read more and sample the audio →

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell, narrated by Rebecca Gibel

In an age where we’re constantly digesting information through technology, Jenny Odell argues for the importance of taking time to purposely do nothing at all. And we’re here for it! How to do Nothing is a reminder to take a break from the modern world and evaluate your relationship with your devices. That is not to say that the book pushes the luddite lifestyle. Instead, it praises balancing tech time with the simple things in life, too.

Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this is the perfect next listen to frame the rest of your year!

Read more and sample the audio →

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, narrated by Therese Plummer.

When young, childless couple Jack and Mabel arrive at their new home in the Alaskan wilderness, they struggle with the level of work needed to keep their home running. Taking a break one afternoon, they decide to build a child out of snow. To their surprise, the snow child has disappeared by the next morning, though they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

Equally magical and twisted, The Snow Child is a must-listen.

Read more and sample the audio →

My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella, narrated by Fiona Hardingham

Have you ever felt like everyone around you has a picture-perfect life, except you? As a symptom of the social media age, being privy to everyone else’s lives can sometimes make you feel like you just don’t measure up. At least that’s how Katie Brenner feels after she is fired from her job and forced to move home to live with her parents. When her problems seem to follow her everywhere she goes, Katie finds solace in at least making her life seem exciting online.

My Not So Perfect Life shares the timely story of a girl who learns to find her worth outside of the unrealistic world that is social media.

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!