Celebrate Valentine’s Day with love stories that are classic, screwy, troubled, or just plain fascinating. Let these narrators transport you as they bring these rich characters and settings to life with the power of their voices.
This recent cold snap makes it the perfect time to sink into Doctor Zhivago. AudioFile Magazine bestowed its coveted Earphones Award on this audio edition. “The iconic imagery, so rich and engaging, in Pasternak's epic love story amid the Russian Revolution glows even more brightly in this new translation. Narrator John Lee matches the book's lavish descriptions with moving expression and depth of feeling. He ably pronounces Russian names and words while imbuing characters' emotions and strife, class and age with striking clarity.”
Julia Quinn returns to her Bridgerton series with the story of Billie Bridgerton and the Rokesby brothers. Best described as a mix of romance novel meets screwball, Because of Miss Bridgerton was also selected for the Listen List this year for Rosalyn Landor’s narration, “Landor’s polished reading perfectly matches Quinn’s clever, witty historical romp, providing a delightful listening experience. Through a sophisticated British accent and subtle changes in tone, the storyteller’s distinctly-voiced performance impeccably conveys the exasperation and romantic tension that draws listeners into the budding love story, building to a sensual, satisfying culmination.”
Maybe you’ve seen the 2012 film adaptation of Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook starring Bradley Cooper as Pat and Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany. It was highly praised for their portrayals of this volatile couple and even garnered an Academy Award for Best Actress for Lawrence. If you haven’t read the book, this audio edition is sure to pull you into the story. AudioFile Magazine praised the narration: “Porter lets listeners feel Pat’s confusion and struggle to achieve mental health… The movie is good. Porter’s narration makes the audiobook even better.”
Do you enjoy critically acclaimed stars of the big screen whispering in your ear? Then try Jeremy Irons reading Nabakov’s classic story of obsession, Lolita. AudioFile praised this Earphones Award winner: "Jeremy Irons…commands the text with the grand sense of character and palpable eroticism it requires…The combination of Nabokov's prose and Irons's performance carries listeners out of a seat of judgment into Humbert's pure admiration for and desire to possess that archetypical fire-energy of a young girl. This horrifyingly beautiful story of wild obsession truly comes alive in this audiobook production.”
Finally, if romance novels are not your thing perhaps you would enjoy a title that delves into the sociological side of love. Actor Aziz Ansari does just that in Modern Romance, a look at dating. Booklist favorably reviewed the book and Ansari’s narration: “Listeners expecting a long stand-up routine may be surprised by the authoritative nature of the book and Ansari’s earnest, even heartfelt, tone. The audio offers extra value, as Ansari adds quirky voices and accents to accounts of the dating game, along with laugh-out-loud ad-libs absent in the print version. His vocal high jinx and comedic timing combine to create a smart, informative, and engaging survey of real-life romance.”
Which love stories would you love to hear read aloud?