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.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

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!

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.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

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!

STAFF PICK: The Woman In The Woods by John Connolly

Post by Miranda Winters-Sayle

Title: The Woman In The Woods
Author: John Connolly
Narrator: Jeff Harding

A young woman is found buried in the Maine woods, her body showing signs that she gave birth shortly before her death. Private detective Charlie Parker is hired to recover the missing child — but he isn’t the only one looking him. Someone else is interested in the whereabouts of the child, and they are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.

The latest installment to John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series has something for lovers of various genres: mystery, paranormal thriller, and horror. What makes the audiobook even more exciting is that it isn’t a typical “whodunit” mystery — in fact, the reader is made aware of the whereabouts of the child within the first few chapters. The question is: Who will find him first?

I was a little hesitant to listen to this book as a first time Connolly reader. Launching headfirst into the 16th title in a series can be intimidating. However, the author does a fantastic job of giving enough information that I felt like I knew Charlie Parker without being overwhelmed with exposition of the events from previous titles in the series.

Listeners are able to follow both Charlie Parker and his adversary Quayle as they search for the missing child. This was hands-down my favorite part of the novel, as many authors do not allow the reader inside the head of the antagonist. Quayle is the perfect villain: clever, cruel, and absolutely creepy.

Fans of previous Charlie Parker audiobooks will be pleased to know that Jeff Harding continues narrating the series. His tone matches what you would expect from the protagonist in a gritty detective novel that doesn’t disappoint.

The Woman in the Woods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more and sample the audio.

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!

7 Books That Prove Wasting Time isn’t a Waste of Time

Ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done?

Living in a frenetic, connected world has pushed us to fill every waking second of our days with work for fear that wasted time will mean wasted potential. But, this isn’t healthy, and we must find a way to cope with the overwhelming stress fueled by our addiction to speed.

These seven books will help you do just that. Take a step back, relax, and discover why wasting time may just be the best way to use your time.

 

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

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 freely roam, 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. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

2. The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl, narrated by Patricia Hampl

The Art of the Wasted Day is a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. Patricia Hampl visits the homes of historic exemplars of ease who made repose a goal, even an art form. The real job of being human, Hampl finds, is getting lost in thought, something only leisure can provide. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

 

3. Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, narrated by Adam Sims

Overwork is the new normal. Rest is something to do when the important things are done—but they are never done. Looking at different forms of rest, from sleep to vacation, Silicon Valley futurist and business consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang dispels the myth that the harder we work the better the outcome. “Deliberate rest,” as Pang calls it, is the true key to productivity, and will give us more energy, sharper ideas, and a better life. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

4. Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi, narrated by Manoush Zomorodi

Has your smartphone become your BFF? Do you feel bored when you’re not checking Facebook or Instagram? Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out explains the connection between boredom and original thinking and explores how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive selves. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

 

5. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honre, narrated by Carl Honore

We live in the age of speed. We strain to be more efficient, to cram more into each minute, each hour, each day. Living on the edge of exhaustion, we are constantly reminded that the pace of life is spinning out of control. Realizing the price we pay for unrelenting speed, people all over the world are reclaiming their time—and living happier, healthier, and more productive lives. A Slow revolution is taking place. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

6. An Oasis in Time: How a Day of Rest Can Save Your Life by Marilyn Paul, narrated by Vanessa Daniels

Now, more than ever, people are seeking a reprieve from the constant pressure to achieve, produce, and consume. While many turn to mindfulness and meditation, organizational change expert Marilyn Paul, Ph.D. offers a complementary solution that is as radical as it is ancient.  Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

 

 

7. The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer, narrated by Pico Iyer

In this age of constant movement and connectedness, when so many of us are all over the place, perhaps staying in one place and locating everything we need for peace and happiness there is a more exciting prospect and a greater necessity than ever before. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

 

 

 

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!