05 June 2018

8 Recommended Audiobooks & a Great Audiobook Giveaway

Audiobook Recommendations and a giveaway
It's June and that means it's Audiobook Month. I've written many posts about my love of audiobooks, when I listen, how I listen, and how to review audiobooks. I've also reviewed hundreds of audiobooks in this space.

In fact in almost 10 years of blogging I've written 562 posts that deal with audiobooks in some way, or at least one post every single week.

Today I'm celebrating audiobooks in two ways. First, is a list of my favorite listens so far this year. I picked three children's titles and five adult titles. I narrowed down my adult list by making sure I included audiobooks from different genres. That way, I have a better chance of recommending a book you might want to read. For the children's books, I include one audibook each for young listeners, middle graders, and teens.

Second, thanks to the Audio Publishers Association and the major audiobook publishers, I have an eight-audiobook giveaway to one lucky USA listener. Scroll down for details.

Let's start with my top 2018 audiobooks (so far). I've included quotes from my original reviews (click the links to read more).

Audiobooks for Young Readers

Celebrating June Is Audiobook Month 2018
  • Spin: The Rumpelstiltskin Musical is an audiobook original that I just loved. What a fantastic production of storytelling and singing with a full cast led by Jim Dale. This short audiobook (Harper Audio, 1 hr, 28 min) is a delight, and you and your family will be singing along with Rumpelstiltskin in no time.
  • The overriding message of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Books 1–2, edited by Fancesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli (Listening Library; 6 hr, 59 min) is that girls can dream of doing whatever they want: they can be smart, brave, and strong and if you don't believe it, here are 200 true-life stories to prove it. The audiobook is brilliantly read by a cast of fantastic audio performers, among them Mozhan MarnĂ², Janeane Garofalo, Ashley Judd, Alicia Keys, and Esperanza Spalding.
  • People Like Us by Dana Mele (Listening Library, 9 hr, 18 min) is a fast-paced double mystery with all the good parts of a prep school thriller plus a couple unexpected twists. Erin Spenser did a fine job with the teenage voices--both male and female--and she delivered on the full range of emotions. 
Audiobooks for Adults
  • Celebrating June Is Audiobook Month 2018You'll want to listen to I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (Harper Audio; 9 hr, 45 min) with the lights on. In fact, you may have trouble sleeping--like ever again! The audiobook is brilliantly read by Gaba Zackman, who approaches the material matter-of-factly but with good expression. She blurs the line between narrator and author, which allowed me to lose myself in the story. (nonfiction)
  • Put Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth (Harper Audio; 11 hr, 29 min) on your must-listen list right now. Set in rural Australia in the 1880s, this is the story of two brothers caught up in something they are too young and too unprepared to understand. Narrator David Linski is so, so good. His varied pacing and volume matched the text perfectly, and I was completely won over by his performance. Plus I love his accent. (historical fiction)
  • Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes (Random House Audio; 16 hr, 23 min) is set in Tuscany and follows the lives of three women of a certain age who are on their own for the first time since college. Kimberly Farr is a pleasure to listen to; her lively performance and believable Italian and American Southern accents gave the audiobook an added spark. (contemporary fiction)
  • Force of Nature by Jane Harper (Macmillan Audio; 8 hr, 53 min) is the second entry in the Aaron Falk mystery series set in the Australian wilderness. Good tension and solid plotting pulled me in, and I was unable to figure out the solution before it was revealed. Stephen Shanahan has a natural, fluid style and masterfully works the tempo to keep the tension tight. (mystery)
  • Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel (Random House; 8 hr, 43 min) is the third entry in Themis Files series. Told in a series of interviews, government documents, lab reports, and more, this is a fun, complex story of family and of contact with extraterrestrials. The audiobook is read by a full cast, and the overall production is fabulous. The individual performances are so believable that I truly felt as if I were eavesdropping on people talking rather than listening to an audiobook.
The Giveaway

Celebrating June Is Audiobook Month 2018Thanks to the Audio Publishers Association, Blackstone Publishing, High Bridge Audio, Hachette Audio, LA Theatre Works, Macmillan Audio, Post Hypnotic Press Audiobooks, Scholastic, and Tantor Audio, I'm so pleased to be able to host one of the June Is Audiobook Month giveaways.

All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the form at the end of this post. I'll pick a winner on July 1. Once the winner has been confirmed, I'll send his or her email address to the APA and then will erase the spreadsheet containing any personal data.

The APA will send the winner the codes for downloading all eight audiobooks shown in the graphic and listed below. The books will be available from Audiobooks.com. Remember this is for USA residents only.
  • Seven by Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith, and Susan Yankowitz
  • Gone to Dust by Matt Goldman, narrated by MacLeod Andrews
  • Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris, narrated by Kevin Hely and Cathleen McCarron
  • Wings of Fire Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland, narrated by Shannon MacManus
  • Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, narrated by Todd McLaren
  • Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan, narrated by David Shih
  • A Girl Stands at the Door by Rachel Devlin, narrated by Robin Miles
  • Torn from Troy, Book 1 in the Odyssey of a Slave Trilogy by Patrick Bowman, narrated by Gerard Doyle
NOTE: For more chances to win and to discover more audiobook recommendations and tips, be sure to visit the 21 other blogs participating in this celebration. The links to their blogs can be found on the APA website.

Good luck and keep listening!


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 6/5/18, 8:04 AM  

I want to try the Frances Mayes one but, they all seem worth trying. Have a great summer.

Beth F 6/5/18, 8:41 AM  

Good to all those who enter... June and every month is audiobook month for me.

Kay 6/5/18, 9:58 AM  

That's a very nice giveaway. Someone will be so very pleased! I listen to so many books on audio and consider it a necessary part of my life now. Probably half my books are 'read' in audio format and I also do a lot of rereading through audio. I love it!

Darlene 6/5/18, 10:53 AM  

I haven't listened to any of these yet, but I think Forces of Nature sounds great. I actually had requested it on Overdrive but then realized that it was the second in the series. I'll have to listen to The Dry first.

bermudaonion 6/5/18, 11:13 AM  

My gynecologist recommended Only Killers and Thieves and then someone suggested it for my book club but it was voted down. It sounds like I need to read it on my own.

Daryl 6/6/18, 11:13 AM  

Altered Carbon was an interesting - was it Stars or Netflix? - tv 'show' ? maybe a series ... it was uneven but i enjoyed it ... the other titles sound good too .. thanks!

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