June is winding down, but summer has just begun! As we continue to celebrate Audiobook Month, we've set our sights on great titles for those of you hitting the road. As fun as road trips can be, there are only so many rounds of I Spy or 20 Questions a person can take. Give everyone a break with these engaging, critically praised audiobooks.
Looking for something that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Try last year's bestseller The Girl on the Train. Rachel becomes fixated on a couple whose home she passes on her daily train commute. She imagines they are the perfect couple until she witnesses the woman kissing another man, and then she finds out that the woman, Megan, has gone missing. Rachel is determined to discover what happened to Megan, but her out-of-control drinking, which causes memory lapses and blackouts, makes her an unreliable narrator in this twisty, dark thriller. AudioFile Magazine applauds the narration, "Three talented narrators handle Hawkins’s debut psychological thriller, giving identifiable voices and personalities to the characters... listeners must decide how much of what the women report is reliable. Top-notch narration makes this perfect for audio."
Another title that is sure to keep you gripping that steering wheel is Richard Price's The Whites. Writing as Harry Brandt, Price turned out another great crime novel. Billy Graves, a sergeant working the Manhattan Night Watch is settling into his latest post when he gets called to investigate the killing of a guy who was once the prime suspect in a case investigated by his former department. This suspect and others investigated by the "Wild Geese," as the squad was known, evaded justice and thus came to be known as their “Whites” (as in white whales). Billy can’t shake the feeling that this was no random murder. As he fights to exorcise his demons, events conspire to undo him and to thwart his quest for answers. AudioFile Magazine heaps on the praise, "This combination of author and narrator results in a remarkable listening experience. ... Fliakos meticulously delivers each voice with full, rich characterizations. It’s no surprise that he continues to win awards for his narrations."
Have you got kids along on this trip? They're surely anticipating this summer's Disney adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG. Give them a treat by listening to the book first. We have two editions, both hits according to those in the know. First there is Natasha Richardson's narration of The BFG. AudioFile Magazine gushed, "In a perfect combination of plot and narration, Natasha Richardson has created a splendid rendition of a true children's classic...With voices full of emotion, indignation, and humor, Richardson builds and maintains the story, bringing it to its charming end. A true gem!"
David Walliams brings his own talents to The BFG "...Walliams pulls out all the stops from his vocal repertoire to create a romping narration...Helping him along are well-placed sound effects sprinkled throughout...The sounds enhance the wacky adventure, which only Roald Dahl could dream up. The four-plus hours whiz by with whimsy and inspired fun. Whether you’re a child or a child at heart, you’ll have a wopsy, splendiferous time."—AudioFile Magazine.
Is history more your speed? Dead Wake is sure to please. The latest from Erik Larson (Devil in the White City; In the Garden of Beasts) is a retelling of the sinking of the Lusitania a century ago by a German U-boat during World War I, leading to the death of over a thousand passengers. Larson has a great gift for popular history. He's a masterful storyteller with a keen eye for human interest, and he conveys the epic backdrop of World War I with real flair. Award-winning narrator Scott Brick takes the helm on this title, as he did with Devil in the White City. Booklist extolled, "Brick’s polished reading keeps everything in check with clear enunciation and correct pronunciation of occasional German words and names. Events leading up to the attack are compelling, as is the aftermath, in which Brick calmly and sympathetically recounts the terrifying experiences of passengers frantically trying to get into lifeboats or survive in 55-degree waters. Another winner from Larson and Brick."
Got a nature lover on board? Try H Is for Hawk. After her father's death, Cambridge writer and naturalist Helen MacDonald was devastated. In her grief she recalled a book from her childhood about author T.H. White's arduous experience training a goshawk. She'd trained other birds before, but never the fierce goshawk. She decides to take up the challenge. In this dazzlingly intelligent memoir, MacDonald recounts her experience raising and training her hawk (whom she names Mabel). Booklist raves about her narration, “…related in MacDonald’s charming English accent, which manages to sound both professorial and profoundly personal at once. Listeners feel as if they are on the emotional roller coaster with both Macdonald and White, a fascinating and moving experience, not to be missed."
What will you be listening to on your next trip?