July’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:

Under Currents by Nora Roberts, narrated by January Lavoy

Publisher Summary:

For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they’ve come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under?

Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…

Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.

Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.

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Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes, narrated by Julia Whelan, Linda Holmes

Publisher Summary:

From the host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast comes a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young woman who’s lost her husband and a major league pitcher who’s lost his game.

In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them.

Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future.

When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken—and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts—the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept—but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance—up until the last out.

A joyful, hilarious, and hope-filled debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over will have you cheering for the two most unlikely comebacks of the year—and will leave you wanting more from Linda Holmes.

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The New Girl by Daniel Silva, narrated by George Guidall

Publisher Summary:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva comes a stunning new thriller of vengeance, deception, and betrayal.

At an exclusive private school in Switzerland, mystery surrounds the identity of the beautiful girl who arrives each morning and leaves each afternoon in a heavily protected motorcade fit for a head of state. She is said to be the daughter of a wealthy international businessman. She is not. And when she is brutally kidnapped across the border in the Haute-Savoie region of France, Gabriel Allon, the legendary chief of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a deadly secret war with an old enemy that will determine the future of the Middle East-and perhaps the world . . .

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One Good Deed by David Baldacci, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

Publisher Summary:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces an unforgettable new character: Archer, a straight-talking former World War II soldier fresh out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

It’s 1949. When war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of do’s and a much longer list of don’ts: do report regularly to his parole officer, don’t go to bars, certainly don’t drink alcohol, do get a job–and don’t ever associate with loose women. The small town quickly proves more complicated and dangerous than Archer’s years serving in the war or his time in jail. Within a single night, his search for gainful employment–and a stiff drink–leads him to a local bar, where he is hired for what seems like a simple job: to collect a debt owed to a powerful local businessman, Hank Pittleman. Soon Archer discovers that recovering the debt won’t be so easy. The indebted man has a furious grudge against Hank and refuses to pay; Hank’s clever mistress has her own designs on Archer; and both Hank and Archer’s stern parole officer, Miss Crabtree, are keeping a sharp eye on him. When a murder takes place right under Archer’s nose, police suspicions rise against the ex-convict, and Archer realizes that the crime could send him right back to prison . . . if he doesn’t use every skill in his arsenal to track down the real killer.

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Backlash by Brad Thor, narrated by Armand Schultz

Publisher Summary:

In ancient texts, there are stories about men who struck from the shadows, seemingly beyond the reach of death itself. These men were considered part angel, part demon. Their loyalty was to their families, their friends, and their kings. You crossed these men at your peril. And once crossed, there was no crossing back.

They were fearless; men of honor who have been known throughout history by different names: Spartan, Viking, Samurai.

Today, men like these still strike from the shadows. They are highly prized intelligence agents, military operatives, and assassins.

One man is all three.

Two days ago, that man was crossed—badly.

Now, far from home and surrounded by his enemy, Scot Harvath must battle his way out.

With no support, no cavalry coming, and no one even aware of where he is, it will take everything he has ever learned to survive.

But survival isn’t enough. Harvath wants revenge.

In the most explosive novel Brad Thor has ever written, page after captivating page of action, intrigue, loyalty, and betrayal will keep you hooked until the very last sentence.

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Non-Fiction:

The Pioneers by David Mccullough, narrated by John Bedford Llyod

Publisher Summary:

Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important and dramatic chapter in the American story—the settling of the Northwest Territory by dauntless pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would come to define our country.

As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory under the leadership of Revolutionary War veteran General Rufus Putnam. They settled in what is now Marietta on the banks of the Ohio River.

McCullough tells the story through five major characters: Cutler and Putnam; Cutler’s son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. They and their families created a town in a primeval wilderness, while coping with such frontier realities as floods, fires, wolves and bears, no roads or bridges, no guarantees of any sort, all the while negotiating a contentious and sometimes hostile relationship with the native people. Like so many of McCullough’s subjects, they let no obstacle deter or defeat them.

Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments. This is a revelatory and quintessentially American story, written with David McCullough’s signature narrative energy.

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Best Self: Be You, Only Better by Mike Bayer, narrated by Phil Mcgraw, Mike Bayer

Publisher Summary:

Ask yourself…are you truly who you want to be? Is this the life you really want? Are you living each day as your best self? What can you change, today? How would you answer those questions?

Think about your daily life. Are you thriving, or going through the motions? Are your days full of work, relationships and activities that are true to your authentic self, or do you feel trapped on a treadmill of responsibility? If you dream of a better life, now is the time to turn your dream into reality. And the tools you need are within your grasp, to design a life that is fulfilling on the deepest levels. Best Self will show you how.

Mike Bayer, known to the thousands of clients whose lives he has changed as Coach Mike, has helped everyone from pop stars to business executives to people just like you discover the freedom to be their best selves. By asking them and leading them to ask themselves a series of important but tough questions-such as “What are your core values?” “Do you go to bed each day more knowledgeable than when you woke up?” and “Am I neglecting some aspect of my physical health out of fear or denial?”-he helps them see what their Best Selves and Anti-Selves really look like. As a mental health specialist, a personal development coach, and an all-around change agent, Mike has seen the amazing ways in which lives can improve with honesty and clarity. He understands our struggles intimately, because he’s faced-and overcome-his own. And he knows that change is possible.

By working through each of the Seven SPHERES of life-Social, Personal, Health, Education, Relationships, Employment and Spiritual Development-Best Self is an accessible and interactive book that distills all of Coach Mike’s wisdom into a compact, focused guide that will ignite anyone’s desire for change. Chock full of revealing quizzes, and full of provocative questionnaires, Best Self will empower you to embrace your authenticity, acknowledge what is holding you back, and break through to live a passionate life to the fullest, forever.

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Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, Tahl Raz, narrated by Michael Kramer

Publisher Summary:

A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations-whether in the boardroom or at home.

After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles-counterintuitive tactics and strategies-you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.

Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.

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Girl, Stop Apologizing:A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis, narrated by Rachel Hollis

Publisher Summary:

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

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Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson, narrated by Mark Manson

Publisher Summary:

In Everthing Is F*cked, Manson turns his gaze from the inevitable flaws within each individual self to the endless calamities taking place in the world around us. Drawing from the pool of psychological research on these topics, as well as the timeless wisdom of philosophers such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, he dissects religion and politics and the uncomfortable ways they have come to resemble one another. He looks at our relationships with money, entertainment and the internet, and how too much of a good thing can psychologically eat us alive. He openly defies our definitions of faith, happiness, freedom—and even of hope itself.

With his usual mix of erudition and where-the-f*ck-did-that-come-from humor, Manson takes us by the collar and challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven’t considered before. It’s another counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul. 

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STAFF PICK: Spymaster by Brad Thor

Title: Spymaster
Author: Brad Thor
Narrator: Armand Schultz

It’s summertime, and to me, that means road trips, poolside lounging, twilight walks, and breezy, easy reads. Brad Thor’s new thriller, Spymaster, is just what I’ve been looking for.

It’s a classic political thriller romp through Scandinavia, Europe and the Baltics as special agent Scot Harvath leads a team of elite operatives on a mission: thwart the Russians’ plan to sabotage NATO, destabilize the Western world, and invade and conquer unsuspecting countries (Hitler-pre-WWII-style).

Told in short chapters that jump between Washington, Russia, and Harvath’s current location, Spymaster’s pacing is quick and never drags. Brad Thor sprinkles plenty of cliffhangers throughout, and the question of “what’s going to happen next?” reverberated around my head for the whole 10 hour listening experience.

The whirlwind settings and a cast of interesting characters make for a fun listen. We meet Jasinski, the Pole who may-or-may-not have a thing for Harvath; Oleg, the Russian terror orchestrator; Ryan, the gorgeous and well-connected Washington ex-CIA director; and we learn more about Scot Horvath, the Navy SEAL turned covert counterterrorism operative who has been around the block, to say the least.

With a long list of major characters – each with unique accents, veteran Brad Thor narrator Armand Schultz really has the opportunity to shine. He’s a familiar voice to fans of the Scot Harvath series, having narrated the past 10 or so titles. Spymaster is number 17. For a newbie like me, Spymaster was an easy entry point into Thor’s colorful world, and I never felt that I was missing out on any of the action because I didn’t have a background in the series.

Whether you’re a stalwart fan of the author or just looking for something new, Spymaster is a great accessory to summer – especially when paired with a cold beer and your feet in the sand.

Spymaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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