7 Chilling Summer Listens

If the air conditioner doesn’t give you goosebumps this summer, these thrillers will.

 

1. A Blood Thing by James Hankins, narrated by Timothy Andrés Pabon

A Blood Thing.

Governor Andrew Kane, is at a public meet-and-greet when a stranger slips him a phone and whispers, “Keep this… you’re going to need it after the arrest.” Hours later, Andrew’s brother is framed for murder, and discovers there is only one way to free him: answer the phone and agree to a blackmailer’s demands. He complies, but the stranger isn’t done. He has another little condition. Then another. And another…
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2. Unwelcome Guests by Anna Willett, narrated by Cat Gould

Unwelcome Guests

A weekend getaway in an isolated country house is just what Caitlin needs to fix her relationship with husband Eli. Her spirits are up as they enter the retreat and cool off in the nearby lake. But her husband is cold and dismissive so Caitlin decides to drown her sorrows, and heads into the wine cellar. What she finds there will change their lives forever.
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3. Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding, narrated by Kirby HeyborneCassandra CampbellRebekkah Ross

Her Pretty Face

Frances Metcalfe thought her troubled son getting accepted into an elite school would change their lives. But after an incident that ostracizes the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever. Until she meets Kate Randolph. Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. As they bond, a secret erupts. One of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.
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4. The Cabin At The End Of The World by Paul Tremblay, narrated by Amy Landon

The Cabin At The End Of The World.

Seven-year-old Wen and her parents are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet lake. As Wen catches bugs, a stranger appears. Leonard is the large, young, and friendly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and says, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault.” Three more strangers arrive, beginning a gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival.
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5. Half Moon Bay by Alice Laplante, narrated by Gabra Zackman

Half Moon Bay

Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in an accident. Devastated, she makes one tiny stab at a new life: she moves to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. She is able to cobble together some version of a job, friends, and peace. And then, children begin to disappear. As the disappearances continue, her neighbors wonder is if it is Jane herself who has unleashed the horror of loss.
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6. The Fifth To Die by J.D. Barker, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini and Graham Winton

The Fifth To Die

Detective Porter has been pulled from the hunt for Anson Bishop, the Four Monkey Killer, by the feds. When the body of a young girl is found beneath frozen waters, she is identified as Ella Reynolds, missing three weeks. But how did she get there? The lagoon froze months earlier. More baffling? She’s found wearing the clothes of another girl, missing less than two days. 
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7. Last Girl by J. G. Hetherton, narrated by Laura Jennings

Last Girl Gone

Fired from the Boston Globe, Laura Chambers takes a job with the local paper. The work is boring – at least until a missing girl turns up dead. Years earlier, child after child disappeared, a reign of terror the town desperately wants to forget. Now that terror has returned to seize another girl. And another. And another. She dives deeper into a case, only to discover the truth may be far closer to home than she could have imagined.
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STAFF PICK: From The Corner Of The Oval

Post by Pam Campbell

Title: From The Corner Of The Oval
Author: Beck Dorey-Stein
Narrator: Beck Dorey-Stein

 

Thanks to Beck Dorey-Stein and her book From the Corner of the Oval, I know with absolute certainty that I don’t have the stamina or the party animal ability to work for the White House.

After answering a Craigslist add online, Dorey-Stein lands the job of a lifetime (and yes, the White House really did put a job posting on Craigslist) working as a stenographer for the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. She takes us inside the daily lives of the lucky individuals who travel around the world with the president and it is nothing short of a whirlwind: a high-flying, up-and-down party that is mixed in with hard work, and long hours. Dorey-Stein and her colleagues are dedicated to their jobs, but that doesn’t stop them from letting loose on a regular basis.

This is not a tell-all book of the president’s or nation’s secrets. You will not get any dirty gossip about Obama. This book is in fact a front row seat to a woman discovering who she is while she is learning the ropes of her new job in a high stakes working environment. She makes mistakes – professionally, yes, but mostly personally – and I found myself wanting to shake her and say “NO! Not again! Stop.” But just when you think you can’t keep up with the full throttle pace of her life, Dorey-Stein gifts the listener with moments of stillness, reflection, and exhalation.

Most of these moments come from her interactions with Obama himself or her watching his interactions with others. We learn of the heartfelt moments that Obama shares with survivors, we learn of his genuine kindness and more importantly we see the proof that the kindness, leadership, and grace of one person can have a profound impact on those around them. It was these moments throughout the book that really resonated with me. Knowing that in the midst of the very loud, adventurous, chaotic everyday comings and goings, your actions, your words, and attitude can have a positive impact both directly and indirectly.

So while this is a memoir of a stenographer for the 44th President of the United States of America, it is so much more than that. While Dorey-Stein’s story unfolded in a most amazing setting, at a daily pace much faster than the average person, it is easy to relate to her; to her setbacks, her triumphs and her doubts. The fact that Dorey-Stein narrates herself lends to the personal nature of the audiobook experience. I found myself not only cheering her on, but also enjoying her eloquent and witty perspective on navigating life.

From The Corner Of The Oval.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STAFF PICK: Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

Post by Laura Laidman

Title: Her Pretty Face
Author: Robyn Harding
Narrator: Kirby HeyborneCassandra CampbellRebekkah Ross

Frances Metcalfe has a secret; a secret that could tear apart her home, her family, and the one real friendship she has managed to forge. But in Robyn Harding’s Her Pretty Face, Frances isn’t the only one holding on to a dark secret that lies in waiting just below the surface of her life.

Between her distant husband, her difficult son, and the gossiping mothers at her son’s school, Frances finds solace in Kate Randolph. Kate is everything Frances is not – confident, beautiful, successful, and happy. It’s with her that Frances finds motivation to come out of her shell and move past the pain that haunts her. Unfortunately for Frances, Kate isn’t everything she seems. Darkness looms in Frances’s new friend, one that might be worse than anything Frances herself has to hide away from the world.

Told from three perspectives, Frances herself, Kate’s rebellious teenage daughter Daisy, and DJ, a young man with a haunting past of his own, Her Pretty Face is a perfect pick for fans of domestic dramas and thrillers alike.  Each perspective is read by its own narrator, with Kirby Heyborne (Gone Girl), Cassandra Campbell (Small Great Things), and Rebekkah Ross (All The Missing Girlsall giving amazing performances. They bring Frances, Daisy, and DJ to life with the passion and desperation that each character radiates.

Full of twists and turns, Her Pretty Face was an audiobook I just couldn’t press pause on. Each chapter brought the characters deeper down their own dizzying rabbit holes, which twisted together as the story progressed. Fans of true crime will love this one too, with its subtle influences from famous crimes that were interesting to pick up on. Her Pretty Face is the perfect listen for those long summer nights.

Her Pretty Face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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10 Ways to Listen to Audiobooks This Summer

Whether your calendar is already filled up for the summer months with beach days, backyard BBQs, weddings, or carving out time to relax, we’ve got 10 great audiobooks to help you make the most of summer.

Tell us in the comments how you’re spending your summer and what you’ll be listening to!

 

At the beach

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews, narrated by Kathleen McInerney

High Tide Club.

The queen of beach reads is back with a delicious audiobook about an eccentric heiress, a young lawyer, and a group of former friend who reunite in a southern beach town. Brewing friendships, murder, love, secrets, and stunning scenery together, this juicy summer listen doesn’t disappoint.
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On a roadtrip

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman, narrated by Catherine Steadman

Something in the Water.

If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you? Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banked with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon in Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving, they find something in the water.
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BBQing

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach, narrated by Dara Rosenberg

Dinner: A Love Story.

Jenny Rosenstrach and her husband regularly cook dinner for their family every night. Even when they work long days. Even when their kids’ schedules pull them in 18 different directions. With simple strategies and common sense, Jenny figured out how to break down dinner — the food, the timing, the anxiety, from prep to cleanup so that her family could enjoy good food, time to unwind, and simply be together.
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Walking your dog

My Patients and Other Animals by Suzy Fincham-Gray, narrated by Rebecca Harper

My Patients and Other Animals.

The pursuit of a childhood dream has taken Suzy Fincham-Gray on a journey in veterinary medicine, with thousands of rewarding and emotionally challenging stories collected along the way. Like many physicians, Fincham-Gray tends to see her patients at often life-or-death moments. Her stories expand into deeper explorations of our complex, profound relationships with the animals in our lives.
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Gardening

Honey Farm Dreaming by Anna Featherstone, narrated by Rebecca Harper

Honey Farm Dreaming.

Funning, moving, and engrossing, you’ll be transported to a world where one family tries to keep it all together as they juggle a farmyard full of animals, thousands of tourists in the garden, backpackers, millions of bees, and their commitment to the environment and each other. Discover more about the ‘simple life’ and enjoy a good laugh from this well-reviewed memoir.
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Fishing

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, narrated by Richard M. Davidson

The Perfect Storm.

Man’s struggle against the sea is a theme that has created some of the world’s most exciting stories. Now, in the tradition of Moby Dick, is a New York Times best-seller destined to become a modern classic. Written by journalist Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm combines an intimate portrait of a small fishing crew with fascinating scientific data about boats and weather systems.
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Berry picking

Dead and Berried by Karen MacInerney, narrated by Rebecca Mitchell

Dead and Berried.Developers have returned to Cranberry Island, and this time, they’re planning to wipe out a natural cranberry bog, along with the island’s namesake berries, to build a luxury subdivision. Natalie Barnes isn’t sweet on the idea of commercial interests souring their cozy oasis, but the innkeeper has other problems on her plate. Worst of all, there’s a killer on the loose, picking off people like ripe fruit.
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Star gazing

Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth by Adam Frank, narrated by Kevin Pariseau

Light of The Stars.

Light of the Stars is science at the grandest of scales tells a radically new story about what we are: one world in a universe awash in planets. Astrophysicist Adam Frank shows that not only is it likely that alien civilizations have existed many times before, but also that many have driver their own worlds into dangerous eras of change.
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Getting ready for a wedding

By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank, narrated by Susan Bennett, Sarah Naughton, and Courtney Patterson

By Invitation Only.

By Invitation Only follows two families and their only children who are recently engaged: Shelby, a privileged daughter from Chicago, and Fred, the son of hard-working peach farmers. Shelby’s parents care most about her happiness but cannot help but worry about what their social circle will think, while Fred’s mother worries that her son will soon be lost to her forever.
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Lazing in a hammock

In Praise of Wasting Time by Alan Lightman, narrated by Alan Lightman

In Praise of Wasting Time.

In this timely and essential book that offers a fresh take on the qualms of modern day life, Professor Alan Lightman investigates the creativity born from allowing our minds to roam freely, without attempting to accomplish anything and without any assigned tasks. Break free from the idea that we must not waste a single second, and discover how sometimes, the best thing to do is to do nothing at all.
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9 LGBTQ+ Memoirs For Pride Month

Whether you’re looking for your next favorite listen or looking for more Pride Month celebrations, these nine memoirs capture the spectrum of LGBTQ+ voices and experiences.

 

1. Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride, narrated by Sarah McBride

Tomorrow Will Be Different.

Before she became the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention, Sarah McBride struggled with coming out —not just to her family but to her University, where she was student body president. Four years later, McBride was one of the nation’s most prominent transgender activists and married a trans man and fellow activist, who complemented her in every way… until cancer struck.
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2. Logical Family by Armistead Maupin, narrated by Armistead Maupin

Logical Family.

Born and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, Armistead Maupin realized the South was too small for him and took off in search of adventure. Reflecting on the profound impact of those closest to him, Maupin shares his search for the people he could call his own. What emerges is a portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America’s queer community.
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3. Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock, narrated by Janet Mock

Surpassing Certainty,

Janet Mock is adjusting to her days as a first-generation college student and nights as a dancer at a strip club. Finally content in her body, she vacillates between flaunting and concealing herself while navigating dating and disclosure, sex and intimacy, and letting herself be truly seen, eventually becoming one of the world’s most respected media figures and lauded leaders for equality and justice.
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4. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello, narrated by Michael Ausiello

Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies.

TV fans have counted on Michael Ausiello’s insider knowledge to get the scoop on their favorite shows and stars. What many didn’t know is that outside of his professional life, he endured a major personal tragedy: his husband, Kit Cowan, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. In this heartbreaking and darkly hilarious memoir, he tells the story of his last year with Kit while revisiting the 13 years that preceded it.
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5. Note to Self by Connor Franta, narrated by Connor Franta

Note to Self.

In this diary-like look at his life, YouTube star Connor Franta talks about his battles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and acceptance; his desire to maintain an authentic self; his struggles with love and loss; and his renewed efforts to be in the moment-with others and himself. Note to Self is a raw, in-the-moment look at the fascinating interior life of a young creator turning inward in order to move forward.
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6. Party of One by Dave Holmes, narrated by Dave Holmes

Party Of One.

Growing up, Dave Holmes was the artsy son in a sporty family. At his all-boys high school and Catholic college, he was the closeted gay kid surrounded by crush-worthy straight guys. And in the middle of a disastrous career in advertising, he accidentally became an MTV VJ overnight, opening the door to fame and fortune. In Party of One, Holmes tells the hilariously painful and painfully hilarious tales in the vein of Rob Sheffield, Andy Cohen, and Paul Feig of an outsider desperate to get in, of a misfit constantly changing shape, of a music geek who finally learns to accept himself.
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7. She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan, narrated by Jennifer Finney Boylan

She's Not There.

The provocative bestseller She’s Not There is the winning, utterly surprising story of a person changing genders. By turns hilarious and deeply moving, Jennifer Finney Boylan explores the territory that lies between men and women, examines changing friendships, and rejoices in the redeeming power of family. Told in Boylan’s fresh voice, She’s Not There is about a person bearing and finally revealing a complex secret. Through her clear eyes, She’s Not There provides a new window on the confounding process of accepting our true selves.
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8. Fire Shut Up in my Bones by Charles M. Blow, narrated by Charles M. Blow

Fire Shut Up in My Bones.

Charles M. Blow’s indelible coming-of-age takes place in a segregated town in Louisiana in the near-constant wash of violence. One day, his life was split into Before and After when a cousin took advantage of the young boy. Charles’s eventually attended university where he joined a fraternity despite brutal hazing, and then experienced a social and sexual privilege that seemed, at first, like everything he needed.
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9. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin, narrated by Nancy WuRoxanne HernandezTanya EbyNick PodehlSusan KuklinTodd HaberkornMarisol RamirezJanina Edwards

Beyond Magenta.

In Beyond Magenta, Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults (Jessy, Christina, Mariah, Cameron, Nat, and Luke), who share what it is like for them to be members of the transgender community. Touching on pronouns, body acceptance, transitioning, gender rules, perspective, and family issues, Beyond Magenta is a groundbreaking work of LGBTQ literature.
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New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook 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 audiobook!

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