19 July 2019

8 New Audiobooks for Summer Listening

Summer is here with a vengeance (at least in my part of the world). Hot, humid, and horrible . . . except for the sun-ripened fruit, the abundance of farm-fresh veggies, grilling most nights, ice cold rosé, flowy sundresses and strappy sandals, long evenings, good friends, and—of course—audiobooks. Hello oppressive heat, I won’t let you get me down.

That introduction has pretty much nothing to do with this roundup of 8 audiobooks that caught my eye, all releasing next Tuesday. Some are already in my queue and some I'll be reviewing for AudioFile Magazine. I hope to get to them all. What else is there to do when hanging out in front of the A/C unit? Give me an engaging audiobook, a cold drink, and maybe a jigsaw puzzle and I'm a happy camper.

Bring on the Thrills and Chills

reivew of Lady in the Lake by Laura LippmanLady in the Lake by Laura Lippman, read by Susan Bennett (HarperAudio; 10 hr, 17 min). Do you really need to know anything at all about this audiobook besides the Lippman–Bennett pairing? I don’t, but here goes: Set in Baltimore in the 1960s this mystery is based on a real-life cold-case of the drowning of an African American cocktail waitress. Besides the details of the murder, we see the workings of a big-city newspaper office, meet an ambitious woman reporter (with at least two strikes against her: female and Jewish) and a host of shady characters, and get a taste of life during the civil rights era.

reveiw of Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael RobothamGood Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham, read by Joe Jameson (Simon & Schuster Audio; 11 hr, 30 min). Jameson is a relatively new narrator on my go-to list but I so loved his work on the Spellslinger series that I had to add this audiobook to my list. Here’s the premise: a young girl without a known past, a psychologist who works on criminal cases, a chief inspector in charge of a murder cases, converge to figure out who raped and killed one of Britain’s rising star female figure skaters. Reviews of the thriller have been terrific, and I’m looking forward to hearing Jameson perform this gritty story.

review of A Stranger on the Beach by Michele CampellA Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campell, read by January LaVoy (Macmillan Audio; 10 hr, 29 min). I’m not familiar with Campbell’s writing but I am a huge fan of LaVoy’s; whenever I see her name on an audiobook cover, I’m pretty much in. Here's the story: For Caroline, having a dream beach house (think Martha’s Vineyard, not Ocean City, NJ) didn’t come with a dream life. After she discovers her husband’s cheating, lying ways, she may have made some poor choices, but killing the bastard wasn’t one of them. Or was it? Stalking, passion, adultery, power, murder, and a new man—who can any of us trust?

Take Me to the Past

review of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie GreenThe Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green, read by Anthea Greco (Hachette Australia; 11 hr, 29 min). It’s true that I haven’t read anything by Green and have never even heard of Greco (though I did hear a sample of her easy-to-listen-to voice), but when I learned about this book from Shelleyrae at Book’d Out, I knew I had to track it down. Set in 1982 in New South Wales, Australia, it’s the story of four women in different places in their lives (and of different ages) who meet serendipitously on the beach and end up offering each other healing and hope and friendship. I’m thinking this could be the perfect summer listen.

review of Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie KiblerHome for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler, read by Karissa Vacker (Random House Audio; 14 hr, 24 min). This is another take-a-chance audiobook for me, seeing as this would be my first time with both Kibler and Vacker. The dual-time-period story takes place in Texas. One plot line is set in the early 1900s and follows two young mothers who, for various reasons, find themselves without resources or husbands. Choices were few in those days for single mothers, but together the two women just might find a way to survive. In contemporary times, a recluse librarian finds evidence of their existence and seeds of hope for her own redemption. I’m attracted to the themes.

reveiw of Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather WebbMeet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, read by Nancy Peterson and Jeremy Arthur (HarperAudio; 9 hr, 32 min). I don’t often fall for celebrity fever, but I do have a thing for Grace Kelly and have read a couple of nonfiction books about her life and the choices she made to marry her prince. Thus it was a no-brainer that “A Novel of Grace Kelly’s Royal Wedding” was going on my list; that it was written by Gaynor and Webb is a much-welcome bonus and I’m confident Peterson and Arthur will bring the story to life. This well-researched fictionalized version follows the Kelly, her family and friends, and reporters from America to the Mediterranean.

Let Me Escape

review of The Marriage Clock by Zara RaheemThe Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem, read by Ariana Delawari (HarperAudio; 8 hr, 33 min). Thanks to my friend Swapna Krishna I was introduced to South Asian literature more than a decade ago, and I haven’t ever looked backed. This is Raheem’s debut novel, but I’ve enjoyed Delawari’s performances over the years, especially on the Wrath and the Dawn books. In modern times, the immigrant parents of Lelia—an LA-born twenty-something Indian Muslim woman—will call in the matchmaker if she can’t find her own Muslim husband in the next three months. After, bad dates, soul-searching, and a trip to India for a family wedding, Lelia’s time is up. What happens?

review of The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan StradalThe Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal, read by Judith Ivey (Penguin Audio; 11 hr, 13 min). This audiobook calls to me on so many levels: It is set in the Midwest and written by Stradal and has themes of family, food, and drink and offers a realistic view of women in their sixties. I was introduced to Ivey through her work on a Sue Miller novel and again through the Ya-Ya books. This audiobook is about estranged sisters, a decades-old inheritance, a family business, second chances, and the younger generations. Oh, and there’s plenty of beer and pie! Absolutely refreshing on a hot July day.


bermudaonion 7/19/19, 7:58 AM  

I think I'm reading more audio than print these days so this list is of great interest to me.

rhapsodyinbooks 7/19/19, 8:44 AM  

I can't wait to try the new Stradal book!

Vicki 7/19/19, 11:59 AM  

They all sound really good but The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle and The Marriage Clock are definitely going on my list.

Jackie McGuinness 7/20/19, 7:22 AM  

Thanks, added a few of these to my TBR list.

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