Hello, Audiophiles! It’s been an incredible summer full of great listens and outdoor adventures. The Corgis love playing in the park, chasing lizards, and splashing in puddles. I love sitting and watching them chase each other while I enjoy my latest listen.
Disability Pride Month has been a wonderful chance to sit back and appreciate the disability community and our stories. Especially as someone who’s in the book industry and can’t read print, I really appreciate all the work that people put into the audio editions of books that make my reading possible.
So to close us out, I’m recommending two novels about disabled characters who experience the world much like their authors. But first, bookish goods and new titles!
And don’t forget to apply to be an Editorial Operations Associate at Book Riot!
Audiobook Typography by SYME Creative Studio
I love bookish t-shirts — they are basically my work uniform — but audiobook t-shirts are THE BEST. Plus, this one has rainbow text, so what’s not to love?!
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows | Narrated by James Fouhey and Vikas Adam
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance is a fantasy novel where two men are betrothed in a political marriage. Caethari Aeduria is betrothed to a man from another country, changing so much about what he thought his future might be. Velasin vin Aaro never wanted his family to know that he preferred men, but then his family finds out. This novel is full of romance and political intrigue.
How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo | Narrated by the Author
In this collection of linked essays, Elaine Castillo looks at the politics of reading, the importance of diversifying the books we read, and the importance of books in people’s lives. She also delves into weighty questions around reading, like what role do the classics still play in contemporary literature? And when are we going to acknowledge some of the problematic elements of popular favorites like Joan Didion? I can’t wait to dive into this audiobook that I’ve been waiting for — plus, the author reads the audio edition!
Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!
True Biz by Sara Novic | Narrated by Lisa Flanagan and Kaleo Griffith
As soon as I heard about True Biz, I knew I needed to read it ASAP. But I wondered how they were going to translate the portions of the book that discussed ASL in an audiobook. In the text, when a character is speaking in sign, the words are in italics. In the audiobook, you can hear the author actually signing the words as the narrator is reading them. So listeners can tell when dialogue is being signed versus spoken out loud. I really appreciated the care that the producers, narrator, and author took with the audiobook.
The novel focuses on a Deaf School in the Ohio River Valley (my home region!), and we follow three different characters at the school. February is a CODA (child of Deaf adult) who runs the school, Austen has lived in the Deaf community his entire life, and Charlie is a Deaf teen who didn’t learn to speak sign growing up, so now she’s learning it for the first time.
I really appreciated the complexities of this novel as it delves into the Deaf culture, history, and community. I can’t recommend it enough.
Breathe and Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester | Narrated by Frankie Corzo
Verónica’s parents are immigrants from Peru, and they hope that their new life in America will give Verónica better medical care as she lives through the many procedures and complications of living with hip dysplasia. While Verónica’s parents want her to spend the summer focusing on getting into college, she wants to become a professional mermaid at the local underwater mermaid show.
Sylvester’s story unravels the complex realities of being a disabled teenager in an immigrant Peruvian American family. I really appreciated the care and depth she invested in her novel. And of course, all-star narrator Frank Corzo did an excellent job performing the audiobook, making this listening experience incredibly special.
That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.
Happy listening, bookish friends!