Our Top Staff Picks of 2019 So Far

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

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


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

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

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

Read more and sample the audio →


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

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

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

Read more and sample the audio →


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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more and sample the audio →


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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more and sample the audio →


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

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

Read more and sample the audio →


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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.

Read more and sample the audio →

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.

Read more and sample the audio →

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.

Read more and sample the audio → 

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. 

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!

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STAFF PICK: Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Title: Girl, Stop Apologizing
Author: Rachel Hollis
Narrator: Rachel Hollis

Have you ever felt like a book was literally written just for you and that it fell into your life at exactly the right moment? That is the feeling I got when I started listening to Girl, Stop Apologizing, which was released on March 5, 2019.

I have been working on a dream of mine since the beginning of this year, but I started to feel like the dream was fading and I didn’t know what to do next. I started doubting myself and wondering if it was still worth it. As soon as I started listening to this book, I felt so motivated that my self-doubt was gone almost instantly!

Rachel Hollis gives you real examples from her life experiences—both personal and professional—to help you reach your goals. She talks about how she started her company, The Hollis Co., and all the failures she endured in order to get to where she is now. Hollis’s mantra is that it is okay to fail; what really matters is how you decide to continue working towards your goal or dream. That toolbox of knowledge in your head is going to be overflowing with all of the tools she supplies, and you’ll be left motivated to do that thing you have feared for so long. Your dreams will seem less daunting and you will be able to create a road map of the steps needed to reach your goal.

There are plenty of motivational self-help books out there, but Hollis has really set herself apart from the crowd with her relatable writing and narrative style. I honestly felt like she was speaking to me as a close friend, giving me advice on how and what to do in order to bring my dreams to fruition. You’ll finish the book with the understanding that it is perfectly okay to work on your goals and dreams, and not just to help others with theirs (as women sometimes fall into the trap of doing).

Hollis narrates the audiobook herself, and this further enhanced the whole experience; her engaging, positive manner and personal touch indeed captivates the listener. The conviction with which she shares her ideas are sure to make an impact—you will immediately want to start taking action and striving for more.

I highly recommend this book if you are currently working towards a goal or dream, or if you’re simply a fan of motivational self-help books. Her drive and passion for helping other women strive for more are truly inspiring. I would also highly recommend her previous book Girl, Wash Your Face for even more wisdom and motivation.

Publisher Summary:

“I believe we can change the world. But first, we’ve got to stop living in fear of being judged for who we are.”

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.

As an audiobook exclusive, join Rachel in a guided meditation bonus track designed to ground you in gratitude with focus and intention!

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!

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March’s Top 10 Audiobooks.com Member Downloads

Listen to this month’s roundup of the top fiction and non fiction titles downloaded by Audiobooks.com members.

Fiction

1. The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian, narrated by Mark DeakinsErin Spencer and Grace Experience

Flight Attendant.

A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened. Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. Afraid to call the police, Cassie begins to lie.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

2. Look For Me by Lisa Gardner, narrated by Kirsten Potter

Look For Me.

The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four are savagely murdered, and a 16-year-old girl is missing. Was she lucky to escape? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D.D. Warren is on the case, but so is the survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether a victim or suspect, is silently pleading.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

3. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan

The Great Alone.

Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed. For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
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4. The Shape Of Water by Daniel Kraus and Guillermo Del Toro, narrated by Jenna Lamia

The Shape Of Water.

The Shape of Water is set in Cold War-era Baltimore at the Occam Aerospace Research Center, which has recently received its most sensitive asset ever: an amphibious man captured in the Amazon. What unfolds is a stirring romance between the asset and one of the janitors on staff, a mute woman who uses sign language to communicate with the creature.
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5. The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer, narrated by Scott Brick and January LaVoy

The Escape Artist.

Who is Nola Brown? Nola is a mystery. Nola is trouble. And Nola is supposed to be dead. Her body was found on a plane that mysteriously fell from the sky as it left a secret military base in the Alaskan wilderness. Her commanding officer verifies she’s dead. The U.S. government confirms it. But Jim “Zig” Zigarowski has just found out the truth: Nola is still alive. And on the run.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

Non-Fiction

1. Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by David Corn and Michael Isikoff, narrated by Peter Ganim

Russian Roulette.

The incredible, harrowing account of how American democracy was hacked by Moscow as part of a covert operation to influence the U.S. election and help Donald Trump gain the presidency.
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2. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis, narrated by Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face.

With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite.com founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have.
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3. The Kremlin’s Candidate by Jason Matthews, narrated by Jeremy Bobb

The Kremlin's Candidate.

In the final, thrilling installment of the Red Sparrow Trilogy, Russian counterintelligence chief Dominika Egorova and her lover, CIA agent Nate Nash, must find a Russian agent about to be appointed to a very high office in the US government.
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4. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara, narrated by Gabra Zackman

I'll Be Gone.

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer-the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade-from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.
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5. Educated by Tara Westover, narrated by Julia Whelan

Educated.

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag.
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