10 August 2020

12 Audiobooks: What I've Listened to This Summer

Here's what I've read since my last check-in. All books were received for review or for a freelance assignment unless otherwise indicated. Where you see "AFM," please check out my full audiobook review on the AudioFile Magazine website. Also note that I've given fuller treatment to some of these titles over on Goodreads. Also note that I listened to all of these titles. I miss print/digital reading, but audios are what works for now.

Audiobooks for 2020
Before I get into my brief thoughts on the dozen books I listened to since my last post, I want to mention one that I didn't finish. While I really liked the first book in the Aurora Cycle series, I ultimately turned off Aurora Burning. It may be my mood, it may be a case of sophomore slump for the authors, but I just didn't care enough to find out what happens to the characters. Note that I normally love Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, so blame the DNF on me. The narrators were Kim Mai Guest, Johnathan McClain, Lincoln Hoppe, Donnabella Mortel, Jonathan Todd Ross, Erin Spencer, and Steve West, and they all did a fine job. The performances were not the issue. (Listening Library; 15 hr, 16 min).

  • Wandering Strange Lands by Morgan Jerkins (author read; HarperAudio; 8 hr, 3 min): In this memoir, the author sets out to search for her roots and along the way discusses the Great Black Migration north, myths and traditions, food and customs, and more that connect and disconnect Black Americans from each other and their ancestors. Adequately read by the author.
  • The Golden Cage by Camilla Lackberg (read by Ann Richardson; Random House Audio; 11 hr, 2 min): This is a standalone thriller that focuses on a woman who is out to seek revenge on her husband who has done her wrong. A few good twists. I like Lackberg's main series better, but this is a good listen. Richardson does well with the accents and builds the tension.
  • Death of Yesterday by M.C. Beaton (read by Graeme Malcolm; Grand Central; 5 hr, 36 min): The 28th installment in the Hamish Macbeth series still doesn't disappoint. I was, however, unhappy that I downloaded a "Booktrack" version of the audiobook. Malcolm's delivery was fine, but the so-called enhancements (music, sound effects) were too distracting for me. Your mileage may vary, but I'm not a fan of Booktrack.

  • The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley (read by Gary Furlong, Elle Newlands, Morag Sims, Imogen Church, and Moira Quirk; HarperAudio; 10 hr, 8 min): What a super closed-door mystery with a ton of red herrings and an exquisite slow burn. You don't even know who the victim is until pretty far along. Loved this. The full cast was terrific; highly recommended. (personal collection)
  • Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner (read by Molly Parker Myers; Hachette Audio; 11 hr; 36 min): It's not summer without a Brenner book. Her beach reads always have some depth to them and focus a lot on mothers and daughters and family. Perfect for these hot August days. Myers's performance was engaging.
  • Northernmost by Peter Geye (read by Edoardo Ballerini and Lisa Flanagan; Random House; 11 hr, 34 min): Just a quick note here to say that this is probably my top read of the year. I'm pretty much in awe of Geye's talents and love the generations of characters he has created. I write more about this book on GoodReads. Ballerini and Flanagan were amazing. Listen to this one!

  • Death of a Policeman by M.C. Beaton (read by Graeme Malcolm; Hachette Audio; 5 hr, 20 min): I'm almost done with the series and will likely finish up by the time I post reviews again. Still fun and Malcolm is still good.
  • The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay (read by Deepti Gupta and Zehra Jane Naqvi; HarperAudio; 3 hr, 15 min): I'm not sure I understood this Bengali audiobook in translation. It's the story of a poor woman who marries into a rich family and also the story of her daughter. The magical realism and the cultural references I didn't really get made this only meh for me. On the other hand, Gupta and Naqvi's performances were fine. AFM.
  • His & Hers by Alice Feeney (read by Richard Armitage and Stephanie Racine; Macmillan Audio; 10 hr, 39 min): A twisty thriller set in England. Every time I thought I had figured it all out, I was wrong! Well done and worth your time. Armitage and Racine kept my interest and didn't give the story away.

  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (read by Moira Quirk; Recorded Books; 16 hr, 50 min): This is the first in the Locked Tomb trilogy and because the second book was (or will be?) released this summer, I thought it was time to get on board. It's a unique fantasy and science fiction mashup with good characters, okay world building, and some mysteries. I'm interested enough to listen to the second book. Quirk was good; I have no complaints.
  • The Fixed Stars by Molly Wizenberg (read by Erin Mallon; Dreamscape; 6 hr 21 min): I wrote more about this on GoodReads. I like Wizenberg's earlier memoirs so I knew I would like this one too, though the subject matter is not food related. Instead Wizenberg writes about her growing self-awareness in terms of her sexuality and discusses gender in broader terms. Mallon was excellent.
  • Becoming Eve by Abby Chava Stein (author read; Seal; 7 hr, 53 min): Go see my thoughts on GoodReads for more. Fascinating look into both contemporary Hasidic life and the journey of a transgender member of the community. Stein writes with openness and feeling and seems like a natural behind the mic. One of my favorites of the year.


Marg 8/10/20, 6:42 AM  

Lots of interesting sounding reads here! You know it's hard for me to go past an audiobook narrated by Richard Armitage though.

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/10/20, 7:39 AM  

His & Hers is on my TBR list, it sounds like a great distraction read.

Daryl 8/10/20, 7:51 AM  

thanks .. two i am putting in my cart at Audible .. and i may have to finally begin the Hamish Macbeth series ...

shelleyrae @ book'd out 8/10/20, 7:59 AM  

An interesting selection, since you are so enthusiastic aboutt Northernmost I’ll have to learn more.

Wishing you a great reading week

Laurel-Rain Snow 8/10/20, 8:52 AM  

I enjoyed The Golden Cage and His & Hers. I am eyeing The Hunting Party, as I liked The Guest List.

Have a great week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Amanda 8/10/20, 9:27 AM  

I will often put books I see on blogs and which seem like I might like them onto a "to investigate" list on Goodreads. Gideon the Ninth, however, went straight onto my to-read list, and I downloaded it via Audible. Never heard of it before, so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Kay 8/10/20, 10:32 AM  

I really liked The Hunting Party too when I read it a while back. I've got Alice Feeney's new book on my radar to check out. Just read another review of it. Will have to be in the mood for that type of book, but I will be at some point. Good to hear what you've been listening to.

Yvonne 8/10/20, 12:09 PM  

All those books look so good. I have His & Hers on my wishlist. I love the description of it. Have a great week!

Kathy Martin 8/10/20, 2:32 PM  

Many of these sound good. I still have about 100 hours of Honor Harrington books by David Weber before I need to find something new to listen to though. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Jen at Introverted Reader 8/10/20, 6:55 PM  

The Hunting Party sounds like something I've been in the mood for lately. I've been very disappointed by the books I've tried though. I'll have to give this one a try!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 8/10/20, 6:55 PM  

Impressive list - The Hunting Party was a DNF for me on audio, so maybe it was bad timing. I just didn't care for it. The Golden Cage and the Alice Feeney one are on my TBR/listen list as well.

Greg 8/10/20, 9:42 PM  

The Hunting Party is one I'm interested in. I've been eyeing that one a few times.Glad to hear it was good!

Sue Jackson 8/12/20, 5:05 PM  

Wow, what an audio summer you've had! Looks like a great mix of books here. Wandering in Strange Lands sounds very interesting - certainly a topic I'd like to read more about. And The Hunting Party sounds like fun - nothing like a good closed-room mystery!

I have a favor to ask. I need to buy books for my son's birthday, and I often write down your fantasy favorites in my Books spreadsheet for him, BUT my laptop is in for repairs! I am lost without it & using a very old laptop. I know one of the series I wanted to start him on was the Michael Sullivan series you've been reading recently. He love The Ryia (sp?) Chronicles, and I remember thinking that the other Sullivan series you recently mentioned was right up his alley, too. He likes epic fantasy with swords (no guns), some magic, loves a Medieval setting, but others are OK, too. He also loves Melissa McPhail's A Pattern of Shadow and Light and the series that starts with The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Any recommendations greatly appreciated since I don't have access to my notes! If you could leave a comment on my blog, that'd be great :) Thanks!!!


Book By Book

Tina 8/13/20, 8:05 AM  

The Hunting Party is in transit to my library now, I'm excited about that one. Haven't read Beaton in awhile but I loved her Agatha Raisin series. Great books!

sherry fundin 8/13/20, 11:35 AM  

quite a variety and some nice looking covers. happy reading
sherry @ fundinmental

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