Categories
Audiobooks

Farewell, Audiophiles!

Hello Audiophiles! Well, it looks like our time together is coming to a close. As of today, this version of the audiobooks newsletter is ending. But Book Riot still has you covered on the audiobooks front: there will be a new Audiobooks Promotions Newsletter launching October 3rd! It will feature special offers, new products, and interesting listens from the world of audiobooks. If you sign up here, you’ll also be entered into a giveaway for a chance to win a one-year subscription to Audible.

This week, Samuel, Dylan, Gwen, and I are heading out on a road trip to spend time with family. This is Gwen’s first road trip, (I can’t believe it’s been a year since she joined our family!) and I strongly suspect there will be a road trip audiobook in our future. She’s always loved the sounds of audiobooks to keep her calm — such a girl after my own heart. Dylan, being the perfect baby angel that he is, loves road trips and will be having the time of his life, I’m sure. If you want to follow along on their travels, you can find the Corgis’ Instagram here.

Okay, let’s jump into the audiobooks for this week.

Bookish Goods

A photo of a book sleeve in a cloth pattern featuring with cute bats

Large Book Sleeve – Night Flight W/ Pockets by Good Vibes Good Books

I adore a good book sleeve — and this one has pockets! This store has sleeves in several different sleeves and patterns. This one is my favorite. Perfect for spooky season! $25

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie

Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie | Narrated by Tania Rodrigues

Women’s Prize Winner Kamila Shamsie is back with her latest novel, Best of Friends, which follows two childhood best friends, Zahra and Maryam. Since meeting as girls in Karachi, these two women have been there for each other through everything. But now as adults, events unfold in ways that will test their friendship in new ways.

A graphic of the cover of Stay True by Hua Hsu

Stay True by Hua Hsu | Narrated by the Author

When Hua Hsu, the child of Taiwanese immigrants, meets Ken, the son of Japanese immigrants, he doesn’t know what to think at first. They come from such different cultures and backgrounds, but in America, they are lumped into the same label of “Asian American.” Hsu and Ken slowly become friends despite their different views on the world, but after Ken dies in a carjacking, Hsu must find a way to mourn his friend and process his grief. So, he writes.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

Riot Recommendations

Since I started writing the audiobooks newsletter, I’ve recommended HUNDREDS of audiobooks, and in my first newsletter, I shared some of my favorites: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, performed by a full cast; and Sabriel by Garth Nix, performed by Tim Curry; The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw, performed by Janina Edwards; and Disability Visibility: Unabridged Selections edited by Alice Wong, performed by Alejandra Ospina.

For my last recommendations, I wanted to tell you about MORE of my favorite audiobooks of all time, the ones I go back to when I need a familiar voice telling me the story of my favorite characters going on incredible adventures or standing up against incredible odds.

A graphic of the cover of he who fight with monsters

He Who Fights with Monsters by Shirtaloon | Narrated by Heath Miller

Before I listened to He Who Fights with Monsters, I had no idea that the LitRPG genre existed. Imagine my surprise that my 15-year relationship with World of Warcraft would directly translate to stories featuring characters who are in video games. But last year, I was randomly assigned this audiobook for a review, and I fell head over heels in love with Heath Miller’s rendition of Jason Asano, a Japanese Australian man thrown into a completely different universe. There, Asano finds himself in a video game-like world where he must gain experience by defeating monsters while saving villagers as he moves through the world. I just finished volume seven of the ongoing series, and now have listened to Miller’s performance for more hours than I can count. It’s one I pre-order as soon as I can and download the day it comes out.

A graphic of the cover of Aru Shah and the End of Time

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi | Narrated by Soneela Nankani

I don’t even have words to express my joy when I realized that Rick Riordan and Roshani Chokshi were teaming up as a writer/editor team for the first book in Riordan’s new imprint. Aru is an Indian American girl who accidentally unleashed a terrible evil into the world only to find out that she is a reincarnation of one of the Pandava brothers. That series also made me a forever Soneela Nankani fan as I listened to her brilliantly perform every book in this series over the last five years.

A graphic of the cover of salvage the bones

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward | Narrated by January LaVoy OR Cherise Boothe

Forever and always, I will love this novel. It’s centered around Esch, a teenage girl who lost her mother as a young girl and who now lives with her dad and siblings in the Mississippi Delta. As hurricane Katrina is headed their way, Esch tries to prepare for the storm and take care of her younger brothers. While I listened to a previous version of the audiobook performed by Cherise Boothe, I love January LaVoy, so it was well worth relistening to. It’s a unique experience hearing the different narrators make their performance their own. They use different voices and interpretation of tone and cadence in the dialogue. Boothe’s edition of the audiobook is now out of print, as it were, so it may be hard to find, but both versions are fantastic.

A photo featuring Kendra, a white woman with brunette hair, Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white cardigan welsh corgi, as a puppy
Kendra, Gwen (at ten weeks), & Dylan

Thank you all so much for reading my musings about audiobooks over the course of countless newsletters. And while I won’t be writing about audiobooks here anymore, you can hear more about what I’m listening to over on Book Riot’s main site, the Read or Dead podcast, or in the True Story newsletter!

Elsewhere on the web, 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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra!

Categories
Audiobooks

Two of the Best Audiobooks of the Year!

Hello Audiophiles! This week, I’ve been making everything from soup to cornbread as I settle into the South’s cool fall season (yes, it’s still in the 80s, but I’ll take it). Naturally, the Corgis are more than happy to volunteer as tribute, I mean, taste testers. While I cook, I have been listening to so many incredible audiobooks, two of which I’ll be sharing with you today. So far, I’ve learned Gwen will eat raw veggies, but Dylan insists that his broccoli and cauliflower are cooked. Bless their little hearts, but I do have two high maintenance floofs.

Just as a reminder, as of 9/29, this version of the audiobooks newsletter will be coming to a close. But worry not, we still have you covered on the audiobooks front: we’re excited to announce our new Audiobooks Promotions Newsletter launching October 3rd! It will feature special offers, new products, and interesting listens from the world of audiobooks. If you sign up here, you’ll also be entered into a giveaway for a chance to win a 1-Year subscription to Audible!

Bookish Goods

A photo of a sticking that says #AudiobooksCount

Audiobooks Count – Bookish Decal by Coffee and a Book Case

An adorable sticker for your water bottle, notebooks, or really anywhere you want to show off you love of audiobooks. $4

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li

The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li | Narrated by Caroline Hewitt

When Agnès’ childhood best friend, Fabienne, dies, she leaves her home in the U.S. to return to France to the place where Agnès and Fabienne grew up. Now Agnès must come to terms with her difficult childhood and confront the tiny community she never wanted to see again.

A graphic of the cover of The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling | Narrated by Shannon McManus

Erin Sterling is back with another witchy romance. Gwyn runs a successful witchcraft shop and feels like her life is going perfectly, but then Wells Penhallow returns to town and opens up a competing store, Penhallow’s. Now the two start a fierce competition to have the best store while they see who can ignore their growing attraction the longest.

Riot Recommendations

A graphic of the cover of Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley | Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt

After listening to her perform Nightcrawling, Joniece Abbott-Pratt has won my never-ending love and support. She perfectly captured Kiara’s narrative voice and voiced the dialogue with such great attention to detail.

The novel begins when Kiara has already dropped out of school and is just trying to pay the rent. Her mother is gone and her dad died years ago, so it’s just she and her brother living in their tiny apartment in Oakland, California. But Kiara’s brother, Marcus, believes his time is better spent pursuing his music career instead of working a minimum wage job just trying to make ends meet. After struggling for months, Kiara feels like she has no other choice than to turn to sex work.

Abbott-Pratt has this incredible ability to create a sense of emotional intimacy between her and the listener, which is a vital part of any audiobook performance. But with her skill with dialogue and understanding of the novel’s main character, Abbott-Pratt creates an incredible listening experience.

A graphic of the cover of Haven by Emma Donoghue

Haven by Emma Donoghue | Narrated by Aidan Kelly

Haven is set in 7th-century Ireland, when a priest chooses two monks to travel with him to an abandoned island to create a religious haven of sorts. With as few supplies as possible, the group makes their home with only seabirds and puffins for company. In my mind, this book could be described as Lauren Groff’s Matrix meets Gary Pausen’s Hatchet. Now you may not enjoy survival and religious figure stories like I do, but for me, this novel was an immediate must-listen.

What’s more, I loved Aiden Kelly’s narration. Kelly performs Haven with such skill and sense of atmosphere. I will definitely be looking up what else Kelly has narrated.

A photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting next to a green t-shirt that says, "Decentralize Publishing"
Gwen and Her New Merch

As we enter Spooky Season, I’ve been thinking a lot about my fall TBR. And while I won’t be writing about what audiobooks I’m listening to in this newsletter, you can hear more about what I’m reading over on Book Riot’s Read or Dead podcast, where I am the new co-host!

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Appalachian Audiobooks and New Releases!

Hello Audiophiles! I’m back this week with even MORE audiobooks, of course. I feel myself settling in for some spooky fall listens paired with hot apple cider or a chai latte. The Corgis are enjoying the cooler weather as we spend a lot more time at the park. There are still toads to find and lizards to chase. Gwen’s first gotcha day is right around the corner, and I think it’s about time for an adorable fall sweater, don’t you?

Just as a reminder, as of 9/29, this version of the audiobooks newsletter will be coming to a close. But worry not, we still have you covered on the audiobooks front: we’re excited to announce our new Audiobooks Promotions Newsletter launching October 3rd! It will feature special offers, new products, and interesting listens from the world of audiobooks. If you sign up here, you’ll also be entered into a giveaway for a chance to win a 1-Year subscription to Audible!

Bookish Goods

A photo of a white person wearing a gray t-shirt that says, "It All Counts As Reading!"

It All Counts as Reading! T-Shirt by Biblio Fox

I ADORE this shirt! I read in a lot of different mediums and am exhausted by people asking me if ebook, audiobooks, or comic actually “count.” *eye roll* Of course it does! $26

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of He Who Fights with Monsters 7: A LitRPG Adventure

He Who Fights with Monsters 7: A LitRPG Adventure by Shirtaloon (AKA Travis Deverell) | Narrated by Heath Miller

Last year, I discovered He Who Fights with Monsters, a serial story turned audiobook sensation performed by Heath Miller. The story starts with Jason Asana, a biracial Japanese Australian young man thrown into another world by a mysterious portal. Now, dozens and dozens of listening hours later, author Shirtaloon (AKA Travis Deverel) is back with the latest installment. I had never listened to a serial story before, but I have quickly come to adore this series with each new volume.

a graphic of the cover of Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place

Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place by Neema Avashia | Narrated by Jeed Saddy

Neema Avashia grew up in West Virginia as part of a family of Indian immigrants moving to America to make a new life. She spent her childhood feeling like a part of two worlds, but never fully in one or the other. She later came out as queer and moved to Boston, living a life very different from her childhood. And when Avashia returns to the place that in many ways her heart calls home, she begins to ponder the contradictions of loving a place that all too often doesn’t love you back.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

Riot Recommendations

A graphic of the cover of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw | Performed by ​​Janina Edwards

All-star audiobook narrator Janina Edwards performs Deesha Philyaw’s stunning short story collection The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. Each one of these stories features a Black woman connected to the church in some way. Some are young women and girls who attend with their mothers and grandmothers. One is the infamous “other woman.” Another is a queer woman who has left the South, and her church lady mother, far behind. Each one of these stories is a perfect, polished gem. They’re full of wit, emotional depth, and just brilliant storytelling. Edwards gives each protagonist such a unique narrative voice, making every story stand out.

A graphic of the cover of Even As We Breathe

Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle | Narrated by Kaipo Schwab

Cowney Sequoyah is a 19-year-old Cherokee man who’s just gotten a job as a groundskeeper at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. But with WWII ongoing, the inn is being used to hold diplomates from Axis countries. When a young Japanese girl goes missing, Cowney is brought in for questioning. This historical fiction novel is Clapsaddle’s debut, and I loved every second of it. It has family secrets, unrequited love, and a coming-of-age story all wrapped into one. Kaipo Schwab does a great job of performing the story from Cowney’s perspective.

a photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting with her pink ball
Gwen and her pink ball

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Nonfiction Audiobooks for the Win!

Hello Audiophiles! As we head into fall, the Corgi are enjoying some cooler evenings at the park. Dylan prefers PERFECT weather (he literally complains about everything else), so he’s been living his best life chasing his favorite pink ball. Gwenllian still checks everywhere for her toad and lizard friends. She’s going to be quite the disappointed puppy when they hibernate for the winter.

Before we head into the main part of the newsletter, I have some news. As of 9/29, this version of the audiobooks newsletter will be coming to a close. But worry not, we still have you covered on the audiobooks front: we’re excited to announce our new Audiobooks Promotions Newsletter launching October 3rd! It will feature special offers, new products, and interesting listens from the world of audiobooks. If you sign up here, you’ll also be entered into a giveaway for a chance to win a 1-Year subscription to Audible! 

I’ve loved discussing audiobooks with you all and will continue to cover audiobooks over on Book Riot’s website, so stay tuned for that too! Okay, now on to this week’s featured audiobooks.

Bookish Goods

A photo of a white t-shirt with the word audiobooks lists in several different colors

Audiobooks T-Shirt by Sunday Nash

A t-shirt with a classic design geared towards audiobooks. It comes in several different colors and sizes! $27

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton | Narrated by Robin Miles

Audiobook narrator legend Robin Miles performs the latest novel from Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. In 1950s San Francisco, sisters Ruth, Esther, and Chloe sing together in a group called The Salvations. Their mother Vivian never made it big, but she’s determined that her daughters will. On the Rooftop follows a family’s journey to stardom, success, and how the family’s direction affects each of them differently.

A graphic of the cover of If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery | Narrated by Torian Brackett

Topper and Sanya immigrated to Miami from Kingston, Jamaica, in the 1970s. But as the decades pass, they and their two children are faced with obstacle after obstacle while trying to achieve the American Dream they were always told about. In these connected short stories, we follow their youngest son, Trelawny, as he moves through the world and faces financial disaster, homelessness, and an endless series of jobs.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

Riot Recommendations

This week, I’m sharing two recent audiobook favorites, both nonfiction titles you won’t want to miss.

A graphic of the cover of Writing Life by Annie Dillard

Writing Life by Annie Dillard | Narrated by Tavia Gilbert

I’d never read Annie Dillard before, so I thought that this was the perfect time to pick up some of her legendary essays. The audiobook is under three hours long, but she packs a lot into such a short amount of space. Her insights about writing and living as a writer seem to flow so effortlessly from her mind. But even while she makes it look so easy, she describes how she often agonizes over a single turn of phrase. Tavia Gilbert performs the audiobook in such a soothing way — I could listen to her read Annie Dillard for hours!

A graphic of the cover of Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong

Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong | Narrated by Nancy Wu

I’ve been waiting for this memoir for SO LONG! Ah! So Alice Wong, legendary disability rights activist and editor of the anthology Disability Visibility, is back — this time, to tell her own story. In her memoir, she shares moments from her life in a scrapbook-like format with photos, transcripts, and illustrations (the audiobook comes with a PDF of those images, which she also describes in the audiobook). Nancy Wu performs Wong’s story and captures the author’s grace, resilience, and wit. This is an audiobook I will listen to over and over again. I’m so happy that it’s now out into the world.

An illustration of Kendra, a white woman with brunette hair, Dylan, red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi
An illustration of Kendra, Dylan, and Gwen by @goodvibesgoodbooks (Instagram)

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Fall Into Mystery Audiobooks

Hello, Audiophiles! Today’s mystery day! I love a good mystery, and as fall is just around the corner, I’m starting to feel the itch to read more chilling and thrilling stories. Performing a mystery can be a challenge, but there are many great audiobook narrators who do it so well! I would love to hear more of your favorite mysteries, so definitely reach out if there are some you’d like to recommend!

Bookish Goods

A photo of a t-shirt that says proud member of audiobook club

Audiobook Club Shirt by Magical Gadabout

What an adorable t-shirt to share your love of audiobooks! Cute pastel colored design: what’s not to like? $25

New Releases

A graphic of the cover Murder in Westminster

Murder in Westminister: A Riveting Regency Historical Mystery by Vanessa Riley | Narrated by Chanté McCormick

From the master of historical novels, Vanessa Riley, comes Murder at Westminster. When Abigail Worthington’s neighbor is murdered, she worries that she will be under suspicion. But she can’t reveal her alibi: she was at a secret abolition meeting. Now she must figure out who murdered her neighbor to avoid suspicion.

A graphic of the cover of Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney | Narrated by Stephanie Racine

When Daisy’s entire family gathers for her grandmother’s 80th birthday party, tensions rise as they wait to hear who’s going to inherit the grandmother’s fortune. But then, at midnight, they find her grandmother dead. Now locked in the mansion together, they must sort out who the murderer is. But as more family members are killed off one by one, Daisy worries that she’ll be next.

Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!

Riot Recommendations

A graphic of the cover of Shutter by Ramona Emerson

Shutter by Ramona Emerson | Narrated by Charley Flyte

Rita Todacheene works as a crime scene photographer for the Albuquerque police force. She’s the best photographer they have, but there’s a reason for that: Rita can see the ghosts of the dead. Rita was raised on the Navajo reservation by her grandmother, who tried to teach her not to talk to the spirits that she saw. But Rita can’t seem to help it. She just wants them to rest and leave her alone, and the spirits always seem quite persistent. The novel jumps back and forth between Rita working on cases in the present day and her childhood living with her grandmother.

Admittedly, I am a sucker for a story where people can see ghosts. There’s just something delightfully creepy about the set up for me. I loved Rita as a character. She’s not the gung ho type. She’d rather not be solving crime or taking photos of the aftermaths of violent attacks. But she needs a job. She’s practical and down to earth — at least, as practical as one can be when they see ghosts. Charley Flyte does an excellent job performing the audiobook. She perfectly captures Rita’s narrative voice, striking just the right balance between the exposition parts of the novel and the character’s emotional depth.

A graphic of the cover of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley | Narrated by Jayne Entwistle

In the English countryside in the summer of 1950, Flavia finds a dead man in the yard of her family’s crumbling manor home. Soon her father is suspected for the murder and Flavia must solve the crime and clear her father’s name. Jayne Entwistle is the perfect choice of narrator for Flavia, who is far too straightforward and practical for her years. She adores chemistry, especially all things poisons and poison compounds. Flavia imagines herself a woman of science, and Entwistle performs Flavia’s perspective with all the brusk British nature that Flavia’s story requires. If you like this book, then you should definitely check out the other ten books in the series.

A photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting in a round rambutan chair
Gwenllian on her throne in the library

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Audiobooks with Great Taste

Hello, Audiophiles! Recently, I’ve taken to cooking ALL of the things. Of course, I’ve been listening to food books, chef memoirs, and cookbooks. Some of my best bookish memories are listening to my favorite food books for the first time. So today, I’m sharing a couple of my favorite listens for foodies of all skill levels. Not to be outdone, Dylan and Gwen take their job of chef supervisor very seriously, sitting in the kitchen, watching me cook, and just waiting for the perfect piece of cauliflower to hit the floor. They have…interesting palettes, so I try not to take their critiques too personally. 🙂

Bookish Goods

A photo of a pastel sticker featuring a book with headphones over it. The text on the sticker says, "Audiobook Lover"

Audiobook Lover Sticker by Honeymoon Creative

I adore stickers. I treasure them, and put them on all of my favorite laptop cover, notebooks, and water bottles. Here’s one that’s a beautiful fairytale-like pastel palette. $4

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution by R.F. Kuang

Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang | Narrated by Chris Lew Kum Hoi and Billie Fulford-Brown

R.F. Kuang, the author of the Poppy War trilogy, is back with Babel, a dark academia novel set in the first half of the 19th century. Robin Swift was taken from China to study in Oxford, England. For years he trained to enter the prestigious school of Babel, a hub for languages and translation. As Robin continues his education, though, he’s not sure he wants to join the academics in Babel. But if he doesn’t join Babel, then what would he do instead?

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

A graphic of the cover of Haven by Emma Donoghue

Haven by Emma Donoghue | Narrated by Aidan Kelly

Aidan Kelly brings to life Emma Donoghue’s latest novel, Haven. Set in seventh-century Ireland and the surrounding seas, Haven follows three monks tasked with making a spiritual haven on a small island with only a vast number of nesting puffins for company. As their first summer on the island draws to a close, the monks begin feeling the tension and anxiety of wondering how they might survive the winter in such a desolate place.

Riot Recommendations

A graphic of the cover of Black, White, and the Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant by Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano

Black, White, and the Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant by Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano | Narrated by the Authors

In their book about their popular restaurant, Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano discuss their journey to finding each other and creating their business relationship that is the heart of The Grey. Morisano bought the old bus station in Savannah, The Grey, and became determined to turn it into a restaurant. After a long search, Morisano found Bailey, a Black woman from Queens with Southern roots. Together, they create an incredible institution of Savannah cuisine. In their book, they each write and perform sections of each chapter. This form of narration adds to the conversational style of the book, like listeners are sitting in on a conversation between friends.

A graphic of the cover of The Cooking Gene

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty | Narrated by the Author

While I wait for Michael W. Twitty’s latest book, KosherSoul, to land in my hot little hands, I thought I’d tell you about his previous book, The Cooking Gene. Twitty takes a few genetics tests, compares the results, and plans his trip around the world. He travels around the US, West Africa, and Europe, learning more about his heritage through the food that he encounters. It feels like he’s taking us on his journey as he explores these different cuisines around the world. Twitty performs the audiobook, creating an intimate atmosphere throughout the audiobook.

A photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting near stacks and stacks of books.
Dylan feels he must supervise when I’m work in my library.

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Back to School with Middle Grade Audiobooks

This is the time of year when school supplies invade every store you enter. Notebooks, scissors, crayons, and pens sit in bins extending through the aisles. And I couldn’t be more excited for it. Back to school joy always makes me think of middle grade novels, an age range of books I still love to read. Earlier this year, I spent an entire weekend listening to middle grade stories, and it felt like the perfect way to enjoy some time off. So in that vein, this week, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite middle grade novels, but first, it’s time for new books!

Bookish Goods

A photo of an AirPods case the says, "I can't hear you. I'm listening to me audiobook."

Sorry I Can’t Hear You I’m Listening to My Audiobook, AirPods Pro Case by Smart Match

My favorite pair of headphones are my AirPods. I actually have two so I can swap them out and keep listening. So if you, like me, primarily use your AirPods to listen to audiobooks, then this case is for you. $21

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis by Beth Macy

Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis by Beth Macy | Narrated by the Author

The author of Dopesick is back with her follow-up, Raising Lazarus, in which she continues to report on the devastating impact  of the opioid crisis in Appalachian Virginia. Macy has been reporting on the crisis for years and brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to untangling the complex realities of ongoing court cases against drug companies, the impact of COVID, and ongoing recovery efforts.

A graphic of the cover of Complicit: A Novel by Winnie M Li

Complicit: A Novel by Winnie M Li | Narrated by Katie Leung

Thriller writer Winnie M Li is back with her latest novel, Complicit, in which we follow Sarah La, a Hollywood hasbeen who’s now stuck teaching at a lackluster university. But when a reporter reaches out to her to try to find out what happened to her career, and who was at fault, Sarah La decides that this is the perfect opportunity to seek vengeance on the person who ruined her career.

Riot Recommendations

This week is all about middle grade novels! I adore middle grade. There’s just something special about reading these engaging, hopeful stories. Here are two of my favorites that I’ve read this year.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

A graphic of the cover of Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed

Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed | Narrated by Vikas Adam

Vikas Adam performs this story about a Pakistani boy finding his voice and using it to make change. Omar is excited to start at his new boarding school. He managed to get a scholarship to attend and can’t believe his luck. But when he arrives, he discovers that he and the other scholarship students are required to maintain an A average AND do extra chores every week. As Omar and his friends investigate these sky-high requirements, they learn that the system is rigged — they were never intended to succeed. Aisha Saeed has given us an incredible story in this slim novel. And Vikas Adam’s performance captures Omar’s resilience and sense of hope.

A graphic of the cover of The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga

The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga | Narrated by Reena Dutt and Jennifer Jill Araya

Reena Dutt and Jennifer Jill each narrate one of the viewpoint characters, Cora and Quinn. A year before the opening of a novel, Cora’s sister was killed in a school shooting. Ever since that day, Cora and Quinn’s relationship has never been the same. But on Cora’s birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep hoping that together they can fix their relationship and their mourning families. Jasmine Warga tackles a very difficult topic in such a gentle way while still illustrating the horrific affects a school shooting can have on a community. This book gives adults a way to talk about gun violence with the kids in their lives.

a photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgis, sitting on the floor with her pink donut toy
Gwen and her beloved pink donut toy

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Audiobooks for Women in Translation Month!

Hello Audiophiles! August is Women in Translation month, and I’m so excited to jump into listening my way through my audiobook TBR. Sometimes, books in translation can be hard to find on audio. And when a work in translation does get an audio edition, I frequently have to wait several months to over a year until the audio edition comes out. So over on Book Riot, I’ve listed some of my favorite women in translation on audio. Plus, I have two more favorites here. So what are we waiting for? Let’s jump right in!

Bookish Goods

A photo of three sheets of stickers that depict large headphones around books

Audiobook Icon Label Planner Stickers by Orange Umbrella Co

Any bullet journal lovers out there? These cute stickers can help you plan or record your audiobook listening! $4

New Releases

A graphic of I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy | Narrated by the Author

Jennette McCurdy starred in Nickelodeon shows like iCarly and Sam & Cat. But while everyone saw her life as this incredible success, behind the scenes her mother was restricting her food and insisting that she be perfect. In her new memoir, McCurdy describes her life as a child star and all of the expectations from her mother that came with it.

A graphic of the cover of Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew by Michael W. Twitty

Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew by Michael W. Twitty | Narrated by the Author

I adored The Cooking Gene, so when I heard that Michael W. Twitty had a new audiobook coming out, I knew I needed to get my hands on it ASAP. This time around, Twitty discusses the intersections of his identity as a Black Jewish man, approaching the topic through Jewish and Black cuisine.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Riot Recommendations

A graphic of the cover of Bitter Orange Tree by Jokha Alharthi

Bitter Orange Tree by Jokha Alharthi | Narrated by Raghad Chaar

Translated from Arabic by Marilyn Booth

Jokha Alharthi and translator Marlyn Booth won the International Man Booker Prize a few years ago for Celestial Bodies, and now the duo is back with Bitter Orange Tree. This novel follows Zuhour, a Omani woman attending university in the United Kingdom. As we follow Zuhour’s first-person narration, she describes her life in the UK as she struggles to find a way to fit in while also being drawn back to Oman in her memories of her family’s past. The narrative alternates between Zuhour’s present and her sharing her adopted grandmother’s past. Everything in Zuhour’s life leads back to Bint Amir, the woman who was a wet nurse to her father and helped raise him and his children. Raghad Chaar performs the audiobook, deftly moving from chapter to chapter, adding to each character’s emotional depth and personality.

A graphic of the cover of Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo | Narrated by Kathleen Choe

Translated from Korean by Jamie Chang

Born in 1982, Kim Jiyoung quickly learned that boys were more favored in society. When her younger brother was born, she couldn’t help but notice her parents giving him preferential treatment. As Jiyoung moves through her life, she struggles to make a place for herself in a society that only sees women as mothers and wives. She loves her career, but finsd it difficult to progress when she’s denied promotions just because she’s a woman. Jamie Chang’s translation captivates listeners with its no nonsense prose, and audiobook narrator Kathleen Choe does a magnificent job performing the text, capturing listeners’ attention from the first few minutes.

A photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting next to a stack of books taller than he is. He's a very ambitious reader.
Dylan and his #WITmonth TBR

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

The Summer of the Robots

Hello, Audiophiles! It’s Leo season, which means that this week, we celebrated Dylan’s 7th birthday! It’s hard to believe how fast time flies. My spouse bought pupcakes, and Dylan and Gwen had the best time opening Dylan’s presents. August also means that it’s Women in Translation Month! Next week, I’ll talk about some of my favorite audiobooks in translation, but this week, we’re going to talk about robots. As someone fairly new to robot stories, I’ve found two that I really enjoyed — it’s like a whole new wonderful subgenre I never knew I was going to love.

This is my last reminder that Book Riot is hiring a new Editorial Operations Associate! Applications are open until August 8. We are committed to building an inclusive workforce and strongly encourage applications from women, individuals with disabilities, and people of color.

Bookish Goods

a picture of the audiobook sticker that says audiobook enthusiast

Audiobook Enthusiast Sticker by mysecretcopy

Show off your audiobook lover pride with these adorable decals. Water bottles, laptop cases, or planners — any space is perfect for these cute stickers. $4

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan

Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan | Narrated by Julia Whelan

Like many audiobook lovers, I love Julia Whelan’s audiobook narration. Whatever she performs, she has this ability to embody characters and their emotions to such an intense degree. So when I heard that she had her own romance novel coming out, I knew I’d need to get my hands on it. Her novel revolves around an audiobook narrator who finds herself narrating a romance novel after a long hiatus from the genre. Now she finds herself performing the novel with one of the industry’s most secretive voices: Brock McNight. With Julia Whelan writing AND performing this story, we are all for sure in for a good time.

A graphic of the cover of All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews

All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews | Narrated by Reena Dutt

Sneha tries to remind herself that she’s fortunate to have her entry-level corporate job in Milwaukee. But as she tries to figure out her new job and send money back to her family in India, she also begins dating women. Soon she’s falling head over heels for her coworker, Marina, but her life seems to fall apart. How can Sneha get her life back on track?

Riot Recommendations

Typically, I don’t read a lot of science fiction. But recently, I read two books that have made me want to branch out into the genre more.

A graphic of the cover of Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson | Narrated by Mike Chamberlain

Mike Chamberlain performs this science fiction story about robots trying to take over the world. Daniel H. Wilson, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, has written one of the best fast-paced apocalypse stories that I’ve read. In an alternate near future, an AI program gains sentience and takes over the world, creating a sort of hive mind and controlling other robots and machines. Humans around the world begin resisting the hostile takeover, and Wilson tells their stories in a series of documents, transcripts, and other forms of communication. I loved how fast paced the story is and how each chapter took us somewhere new around the world. Most of the viewpoint characters are men, so Chamberlain’s performance shows a range of different characters just trying to survive and fight back against the robots.

A graphic of the cover of All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red by Martha Wells | Narrated by Kevin R. Free

In one of the most beloved recent novella’s we meet Murderbot, a sentient robot contracted to work for a team exploring a new planet. What starts as Murderbot performing its protection duties with disinterest, turns into something completely different. Murderbot must finally choose between obedience or do what it thinks is the right thing to do. Kevin R. Free narrates Murderbot’s perspective perfectly, enhancing Murderbot’s personality and perspective. And like all great series, he returns as the narrator for each audiobook in the series.

A photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and Dylan, and red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, staring up at two peanut butter pupcakes.
Dylan and Gwen hungrily eyeing two pupcakes

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Two Novels for Disability Pride Month!

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!

Bookish Goods

A photo of a t-shirt with the word Audiobooks on it

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?!

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows

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.

A graphic of the cover of How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo

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!

Riot Recommendations

A graphic of the cover of True Biz by Naomi Novic

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.

A graphic of the cover of Breathe and Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester

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.

a photo of Gwen, the black and white cardigan welsh corgi, sitting on a couch surrounded by notebooks and books
a photo of Gwen the Cardigan Corgi on the couch

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 kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra