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Hello there, audiophiles! I’m Kendra, and I’ll be your new resident audiobooks enthusiast moving forward. A huge thanks to Vanessa for showing me the ropes, and I’m so excited for her as she takes the helm as Book Riot’s new Managing Editor. *confetti cannons*
As a little introduction, I’m a disabled book nerd from Appalachian Ohio and now live in the South Carolina Low Country with my Corgi, Dylan. Like I’ve mentioned in previous articles on Book Riot, because of my disability, I can’t read print anymore, so audiobooks have been my lifeline to the bookish world. I use roughly a dozen audiobook apps to keep up with my own quest to read ALL of the things!
To help us get to know each other, I thought I’d start by sharing some of my favorite audiobooks of all time.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
As a kid, I used to listen to audiobooks on my boom box like there was no tomorrow. I fell in love with the audiobook production company Full Cast Audio, which produced books from children’s authors Tamora Pierce and Bruce Coville. But my favorite book of theirs was the full-cast production of His Dark Materials Trilogy. I still listen to the series every few years and cry at the end of The Amber Spyglass every time.
Narrated by Philip Pullman and a full cast
Sabriel by Garth Nix
I’ve written a couple of times about my love of playing video games and listening to audiobooks. Sabriel inspired many of my adventures in World of Warcraft—Abhorsen is even my character’s name! Tim Curry (yes, THE Tim Curry) narrates this dark story of the Abhorsen, the title of the person tasked with hunting down necromancers throughout the Old Kingdom. Curry does a particularly excellent job voicing Mogget, a cat (sort of) who is the Abhorsen’s official companion and provides much of the book’s comedic relief.
Narrated by Tim Curry
Disability Visibility: Unabridged Selections edited by Alice Wong
As a disabled person, I rarely see that part of myself in books. But when I heard about Disability Visibility, I knew I had to pick it up. The essays from the writers inside were everything I’d hoped they’d be, and I felt seen in ways I never had before. Later, Alice Wong told me she wanted as many disabled people included in the project as possible, so she was delighted that Alejandra Ospina, who is also disabled, was chosen to perform the audiobook.
Narrated by Alejandra Ospina
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
As an Appalachian, I can’t help but notice that folks often have a certain memoir in mind when they think of Appalachian Literature. So when Appalachian writer Deesha Philyaw started taking the world by storm with her short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Philyaw has this way of capturing her characters on a page that is all-engrossing. The all-star audiobook narrator Janina Edwards performs the collection, making the listening experience as close to perfection as you can get.
Narrated by Janina Edwards
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
I remember The Fifth Season not just as my first time listening to N.K. Jemisin, but also as the first time I remember adoring Robin Miles. There’s a video online where Miles and Jemisin discuss the making of the audiobook edition, and it’s this magical piece of insider perspective on what a narrator brings to the table.
Narrated by Robin Miles
Those are a few of my favorite audiobooks that I plan on listening and re-listening to until the end of time (or close to it, anyway). But now it’s time for a few new releases!
New Releases – Week of July 6th
Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson
After her incredibly successful debut You Should See Me in a Crown, Leah Johnson is back with Rise to the Sun, another young adult queer romance. Like most of the bookternet, I adored Johnson’s first novel, especially since the audiobook edition is narrated by Alaska Jackson, who became an instant favorite of mine. Jackson is back to narrate Rise to the Sun, but this time with Lexi Underwood, and the two make a fabulous team.
Narrated by Alaska Jackson and Lexi Underwood
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Crosby
The moment I heard Adam Lazarre-White read the first line of this book, I became hooked. The novel focuses on two ex-cons whose sons are both murdered. They carry a lot with them, including their mixed emotions about their sons being gay and very much in love with each other. But their quest for justice for their sons unites them in a single cause. So buckle in. Crosby’s second novel is just as all-engrossing as his first.
Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White
Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev
Sonali Dev is back with another Jane Austen retelling, and this time she’s retelling Sense and Sensibility. The novel focuses on Yash Raje, California’s first Indian American gubernatorial candidate, who starts to spiral after witnessing his friend become a victim of a hate crime. Yash’s family turns to his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, to help teach Yash stress management. This is a romantic comedy, so you can see where this is going, but with Sonali Dev’s storytelling, it’s sure to be quite the journey. As an added bonus, one of my favorite narrators, Soneela Nankani, performs the audiobook!
Narrated by Soneela Nankani
Over on Book Riot
From Around the Internet
For those who love insider baseball, this article discusses how audiobook royalties work and why they may need to change
Happy listening, bookish friends!