Categories
Audiobooks

Audiobooks with a Large Cast!

Hello Audiophiles! Between endless games of fetch with my ten-month-old gremlin (#FetchIsLife), I’ve been making notes on 2022 audiobook releases that I have loved the most or that I need to add to my TBR. Before I knew it, my list had grown, including dozens of titles I needed to listen to NOW. So I guess in between the giant tomes I’ll be listening to this summer, I will be adding some new releases.

Currently, I’m listening to Before and After the Book Deal by Courtney Maum, which she narrates. It gives listeners an overview of the publishing process, from finishing your manuscript to your publicity campaign to what to do after your first book is out. I keep the print edition beside me to annotate as I go along. I really appreciate how Maum breaks down the process. Even if you aren’t looking to publish a book but just want to know how things work, this book will help.

When Gwen isn’t listening to audiobooks with me, she’s trying to get on her brother’s good side. Dylan is almost seven and isn’t really interested in hanging out with his over-enthusiastic little sister all the time. But recently, she’s tried to snuggle up close to him. She’s actually beginning to succeed. Yes, we were all shocked too.

A photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting together in the library.
Dylan and Gwen

Recent Listen: Two Audiobooks with a Large Cast

A graphic of the cover of The Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

When Jess arrives in Paris, she plans on staying with her brother, Ben, in his very nice apartment. But her brother isn’t there. Instead, Jess meets his eclectic neighbors, who all eye her with suspicion.

The story starts from Jess’s point of view before moving to the different neighbors’ perspectives. They each get their own narrator, making the audiobook feel like a performance of different monologues. I really enjoyed the overall effect, and found myself staying up late to finish the story.

Narrated by Clare Corbett, Daphne Kouma, Julia Winwood, Sope Dirisu, Sofia Zervudachi, and Charlie Anson

A graphic of the cover The Atlas Six

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Six twenty-somethings are chosen to join a prestigious magic school. Each possesses a unique ability, and they all compliment each other as a whole. They are now a team. The catch? One of them will be cut from the group by the end of the year.

At first, I felt overwhelmed trying to keep the characters straight. But each character has their own narrator, which gives them all a unique feel. Once I got to know them, I was hooked. I had to know what happened next. There are so many twists and turns to this story, so it’s perfect for anyone wanting a fast-paced, character-driven fantasy novel.

Narrated by James Cronin, Siho Ellsmore, Munirih Grace, Andy Ingalls, Caitlin Kelly, Damian Lynch, David Monteith, and Steve West

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of All the Things We Don’t Talk About by Amy Feltman

All the Things We Don’t Talk About by Amy Feltman

In this intimate family story, we meet Morgan who was raised by their neurodivergent father, Julian. Morgan’s mom, Zoe, left when Morgan was just a year old. But after a bad break up, Zoe comes back into Julian’s and Morgan’s lives. Morgan is drawn back into Zoe’s chaotic whirlwind of a life and is forced to confront some hard truths about their mom.

Narrated by Sagan Chen

A graphic of the cover of City of Orange by David Yoon

City of Orange by David Yoon

A man wakes up in the wilderness remembering only glimpses of his past life. With only a head wound and a pocket of pills to his name, he wanders around the desolate landscape, trying to figure out who he is and where he came from.

Narrated by Intae Kim

A graphic of the cover of Either/Or by Elif Batuman

Either/Or by Elif Batuman

In her follow up to The Idiot, Elif Batuman continues Selin’s story in Either/Or. It’s 1996, and Selin is now a Sophomore at Harvard. Though she’s tried to move on, she can’t understand why her crush, Ivan, would get her a job in Hungary if he wasn’t interested in her. Full of Batuman’s dry wit and brilliant characterization of her protagonist, Either/Or is sure to be just as all-consuming listen as The Idiot.

Narrated by the author

A graphic of the cover of Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda

Aside from having on of the best book titles this year, Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is sure to be one of the most memorable young adult debuts of 2022. Maggie must find an escort to her sister’s quinceañera. But Maggie has three friends/escort prospects that are making her love life a bit more complicated than she’d like.

Narrated by Stacy Gonzalez

A graphic of the cover of You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

Feyi Adekola is trying to move after the love of her life died five years ago. Her new boyfriend is everything she could ever want in a man. But there’s a catch: she can’t help but be deeply attracted to her boyfriend’s father. Feyi must come to decide what kind of person she wants to be and what her life will look like moving forward after tragedy.

Narrated by Bahni Turpin

A graphic of the cover of The Measure by Nikki Erlick

The Measure by Nikki Erlick

One day, people start receiving little boxes that inform them how many years they are going to live. This knowledge causes society to change. Some people want to know how long they have, while others refuse to open the box. It invites the question, if you received a box like that, would YOU want to know how long you had to live?

Narrated by Julia Whelan

Around the Web

Audible Alternatives: The Best Audiobook Apps of 2022” (PC Magazine)

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


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

New Audiobook Releases and Body Work by Melissa Febos

Hello Audiophiles!

With summer fun just around the corner, I can’t help but make lists and lists of audiobooks for my by-the-pool reads. Now, while I do love a good romance at the beach, I naturally lean towards hefty books for my summer listens. Historical fiction, classics, epic fantasy novels—I am ready for them all!

Plus, Sam (my spouse) and I read a series of books together every summer, a tradition that began in our college years. This year, we’re re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy to prepare for the new series this fall. I bought us the new audiobook versions of the series narrated by Andy Serkis. What more could a LOTR fan want?!

Dylan and Gwen have big beach plans this summer too. We live right near the beach, and we’re excited for Gwen’s first trip to the ocean. And, of course, I will be taking pictures for you all. In the meantime, here is a photo from Dylan’s first trip to the beach a few years ago.

A photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting in a giant beach chair looking very proud of himself.
Dylan Sitting on His Beach Throne

Recent Listen

A graphic of the cover of Care Work by Melissa Febos

Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative by Melissa Febos, Narrated by the Author

I have been reading Melissa Febos’s writing for years, but I hadn’t read a full-length book from her until last year. Once I’d finished Girlhood, I went out and bought all of her books immediately. 

When Body Work landed on my doorstep, I ran to Hoopla and checked out the audio. In a delightful collision of the best of both worlds, I annotated the print copy while Melissa Febos read the text.

The book’s essays focus on Febos’s approach to writing memoir. From sex scenes to respecting the privacy of others, she covers a wide range of topics perfect for writers, memoir lovers, or the purely curious. 

Febos writes each essay in her precise style, each word carefully chosen. She has this way of expressing her ideas in a clear way that makes you pause and think on what she’s just said.

Whether you are new to Febos’s work or are a long-time fan, you’ll find something wonderful in this audiobook.

New Releases

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

Breathe and Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester

Verónica is the child of Peruvian immigrants and was born with hip dysplasia, a condition requiring many surgeries and lots of physical therapy. Her favorite place is the local mermaid show where women in tails dance beneath the water. When a chance to become one of them comes her way, she decides to go for it. But even if she gets the job, how will she manage it when her parents would definitely disapprove?

Narrated by Frankie Corzo

A graphic of the cover of This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

The day before her 40th birthday, Alice tries to cheer herself up. Her father’s health is deteriorating. If only they had more time. The next day, she wakes up and it’s 1996. She is 16 years old, and her dad is vibrant and healthy. Now armed with the wisdom of hindsight, she sees this incredible time for the important time that it was. Alice must decide if she would change anything now that she has the chance.

Narrated by Marin Ireland

A graphic of the cover of Translating Myself and Others by Jhumpa Lahiri

Translating Myself and Others by Jhumpa Lahiri

Granted, I would listen to anything Jhumpa Lahiri writes, even if it was a grocery list. But I’m especially excited to read her new book all about writing and translating. She draws from Ovid’s myth of Echo and Narcissus and closely examines Aristotle’s Poetics to talk about writing in a broader sense.

Narrated by Sneha Mathan

A graphic of the cover of You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead

You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead

The author of the much-acclaimed novel Great Circle, Maggie Shipstead is set to publish her new short story collection, You Have a Friend in 10A. These stories illustrate the incredible range of Shipstead’s talent. With settings in Montana, Paris, an Olympic village, and Romania, listeners travel to new places around the world with each story.

Narrated by Mark Bramhall, Mark Deakins, Ari Fliakos, Kyla Garcia, Rebecca Lowman, Alex McKenna, George Newbern, and Xe Sands

A graphic of the cover of We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies by Tsering Yangzom Lama

We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies by Tsering Yangzom Lama

Two sisters from Tibet arrive at a refugee camp in Nepal. The two are haunted by their trip over the Himalayas when they lost their parents. Years later, the sisters are separated. When the daughter of one of the sisters begins to uncover some secrets of her family’s past, she must make a life-changing decision. 

Narrated by Asha Vijayasingham, Shridhar Solanki, and Rishma Malik Scott

A graphic of the cover of How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann

How to Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann

Five women meet in New York City to work through their problems. Each woman has a horrible story in their past that sounds very suspiciously like a fairytale. Each of the women is suspicious of the others. Can they really trust each other? In this delightfully dark take on women in fairytales, Adelmann creates a one-of-a-kind story.

Narrated by Lauren Ezzo

Over on Book Riot

Why Are Audiobooks So Expensive?” by Carina Pereira – I love learning how things work, especially audiobooks. Carina does a fantastic job explaining the nuts and bolts of the cost of audiobooks.

11 of the Best Headphones for Audiobooks” by Erica Ezeifedi – We all have a favorite pair of headphones—I have two! Here are eleven options to help you find the perfect addition to your listening experience.

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

Around the Web

Turning Terry Pratchett’s Discord into Audiobooks” (Penguin Audio UK) – I CAN’T WAIT for these adaptations. Ah!

From Kaikeyi to Cartography, Audiobooks That Make You Question What You Know” (The New York Times

The Best $15 I Ever Spent: An Audiobook Subscription” (Vox)

AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of April” (LitHub)


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

How do you organize your audiobook TBR?

Hello Audiophiles!

By some miracle, the Lowcountry has decided to give us some cooler days post-pollen apocalypse. So Dylan, Gwen, and I have spent a lot of time at the dog park working on Gwen’s recall and other obedience training. Gwen has recently fallen in love with the dog tunnel, hiding out in it like it’s her secret Corgi cave. She waits for the perfect moment and pounces on Dylan from above. Nothing like being known for the two Corgi who always seem to be bickering.

The months have flown by, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s closing in on time to figure out the best audiobooks of the year so far. Do you have any traditions around this? While I usually talk about this more over on my BookTube channel, I have something special planned for audiobooks coverage this year—stay tuned! But in the meantime, what have been YOUR favorite audiobooks of the year?

As many of you already know, I can’t read text very much. I get severe migraines if I read more than a paragraph at a time. Currently, in our world of an abundance of audiobooks for recent titles, it’s usually not an issue. But I often struggle to find audiobooks for backlist and translated titles.

Recently, a friend has been reading some books to me over voice message. Right now, he’s reading Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel, which doesn’t have an audiobook edition here in the U.S. Mantel’s prose is phenomenal. There’s nothing like it. She has this way of communicating so much in a single sentence. 

Giving Up the Ghost details Mantel’s childhood and, later, her experience with endometriosis. The memoir is short, but impactful. It’s so beautifully written, I’m shocked that the audio rights haven’t been snapped up yet. But I’m grateful to have the chance to listen to it via my friend volunteering.

A photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, standing in a green dog tunnel.
Queen of the Dog Tunnel

Recent Listen

A graphic of the cover of Finding Me by Viola Davis

Finding Me by Viola Davis, Narrated by the Author

As soon as this audiobook hit my audiobook app, I dropped everything to listen to it. From the moment I saw Viola Davis on screen, I was mesmerized by her performance. She quickly became one of my favorite actors. She possesses an incredible ability to get under the skin of her characters, understanding everything that makes them who they are.

Finding Me begins with Davis’s childhood in Rhode Island. She and her family lived in a run down apartment. Economical disadvantage, combined with her father’s violent outbursts and alcoholism, created a very unstable home life for her. She describes the child she was and the determination she had to make something of herself.

When she found acting as a child, she began to blossom. She worked hard to get to college, eventually attending Juilliard. But as a dark-skinned Black woman, Davis chafed against the very white-centered classical training she received. She pushes back against the racist idea that the “proper” way to do things was to focus on white characters and experiences.

When she entered the professional acting world, Davis had an uphill battle pushing back against colorism and feedback that she wasn’t “the right kind of pretty.” But then she gets some hard-earned lucky breaks and ends up on broadway.

Davis is one of the best actors I’ve ever had the privilege to watch, and her performance reflects that. As she describes her early childhood, you can hear the raw emotions in her voice as she tells her story. I hung on every moment.

If you want a preview of what Finding Me is like, Davis sat down with Oprah for a special on Netflix. There, Davis describes some highlights from the book.

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

Around the Web

What Makes a Great, or Terrible, Audiobook Performance? The case for doing less.” by Mimi Kramer (Vulture) – An interesting take on what makes a good audiobook narrator. 

Quiz: Audiobooks by Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors” (Libro.fm) – Looking for more recommendations for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month? Check out this quiz from Libro.fm!

Holly Black Appreciates a Good Con” (Audible) – “The best-selling author of The Folk of the Air series and the Spiderwick Chronicles debuts her first adult fantasy, Book of Night, which follows an accomplished con artist as she navigates the criminal underworld of shadow magic and those hunting for its secrets.”

‘It’s like somebody’s whispering in your ear’: Inside the expansive, intimate world of audiobooks” by Marsha Lederman (The Globe and Mail) –  As more people discover audiobooks, more articles like this keep popping up. I find it interesting to see how different folks are introduced to audiobooks. I love seeing their joy.


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

Check out these incredible May audiobook releases!

As a perpetual night owl, I often find myself up in the middle of the night, sorting through my audiobook TBR. I don’t know if you run into this problem, but since I don’t have physical copies of all of my audiobooks, I struggle to keep track of which audiobooks I want to read next. My efforts at record-keeping have turned into a half dozen notebooks filled with scribbled lists of audiobook hopefuls.

I’ve tried keeping track of audiobook possibilities on Goodreads and Storygraph, but nothing has seemed to work for me. I need something I can carry with me on my phone AND scribble on. Maybe a digital list on my iPad? Should I try making a Google doc? I’d love to hear how you all keep track of your audiobook TBRs! Feel free to email me suggestions at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com.

As I wander around my library and hunch over my computer in the middle of the night, Gwen has decided that my library chair will forever be her nest. She refuses to go to bed before I do, and I often turn around to see her staring back at me sleepily blinking in her efforts to stay awake.

A photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy, sitting in a round gray library chair.
She is very adorable, which definitely helps her get away with book murder. RIP my books.

Recent Favorite

A graphic of the cover of Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Nora has an incredible career as a literary agent, living her best life in New York City. When Libby, her sister who is seven months pregnant, asks her to go on a vacation to small-town North Carolina, Nora reluctantly agrees. But her entire vacation plans are thrown off kilter when she runs into Charlie, her New York nemesis.

I’m a sucker for books about the book industry. But even more, I love grumpy characters in romance novels, and Book Lovers follows two very grumpy people falling in love. Nora constantly resists the trope of the big city girl who falls in love with the small town guy. She just wants to get through this vacation and go home to the city. But Charlie ends up working with her on a book, meaning she has to spend time with one of the men she likes the least. And when she learns he’s actually from this tiny town in North Carolina, well, that’s just perfect isn’t it?

As the listener experiencing every single moment of this novel, yes, it is wonderful. I love watching two city people fall in love in my neck of the woods. The contrast is perfection. And while I’ve listened to a lot of witty banter in romance novels, Julia Whelan performs the dialogue perfectly. I found myself laughing out loud throughout the entire book. I guess that’s just the magic of a great novel finding the perfect narrator.

Narrated by Julia Whelan

New Releases!

A graphic of the cover of I Kissed Shara Wheeler

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

A month before her graduation Chloe kisses Shara Wheeler. When Shara vanishes after they kiss, Chloe decides to try to find Shara. But as she investigates, she realizes that she isn’t the only one to kiss Shara. As the mystery unfolds, Chloe finds herself chasing clues into unusual places.

Narrated by Natalie Naudus

A graphic of the cover of Trust by Hernan Diaz

Trust by Hernan Diaz

It’s the 1920s, and Benjamin and Helen Rask are at the top of their game. He’s a Wall Street tycoon and she’s got the well-known family name. Together, they are taking New York by storm. But a question starts circulating: how did they make their fortune? As rumors start circulating, the Rasks must navigate a high-stakes game of the New York elite.

Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, Jonathan Davis, Mozhan Marnò, and Orlagh Cassidy

A graphic of the cover of Book of Night by Holly Black

Book of Night by Holly Black

Charlie Hall lives in an alternative world where people can manipulate their shadows, creating a sinister underworld. Charlie wants nothing to do with her old life stealing things for the criminal elite, but when she finds herself backed into a corner, Charlie decides to do one last job before she retires for good.

Narrated by Sara Amini

A graphic of the cover of Companion Piece by Ali Smith

Companion Piece by Ali Smith

Only Ali Smith could write a quartet with five books, but I’m here for it. While this novel stands apart from the quartet, it still possesses the timely nature of the other four books. Smith’s prose, per usual, is incredible. I love the way her writing just flows in this beautiful way.

Narrated by Natalie Simpson

A graphic of the cover of By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

Look, I will read anything that Jasmine Guillory writes. This time around she’s writing a standalone novel about Isabelle, a Black woman working in publishing determined to make her mark in the industry. So when she hears that one of her boss’s clients is about to miss his manuscript deadline, she decides to go to his house and collect. 

Narrated by Sarah Hollis

A graphic of the cover of Ballad & Dagger by Daniel José Older

Ballad & Dagger by Daniel José Older

Rick Riordan presents Daniel José Older’s latest fantasy novel. It focuses on Mateo Matisse, whose island homeland disappeared. Now he and the other members of his community move to Brooklyn, creating their own neighborhood. Mateo becomes determined to find out why  he had to flee his island, and to take down whoever caused such a horrible disaster in his community.

Narrated by Lee Osorio

Over on Book Riot

Free Audiobooks for Teens Available to Download from Sync

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

Around the Web

What qualities make an audiobook good?” (NPR) – I talk about some of my favorite memoirs on audio!

Quiz: Audiobooks by Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors” (Libro.fm) – Check out this quiz to find more recommendations for AAPI Heritage Month!


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

A Road Trip Through the South with Imani Perry

As my May Day birthday approaches, I can’t help but start my annual birthday tradition: planning summer listening. Every year, my birthday coincided with the end of the spring semester, meaning my birthday and summer started around the same time. Naturally, as a book nerd, I always have to take my celebrations to the next level.

In my house, birthdays were always a personal holiday of sorts where you got to decide what food you ate, what multicolored pens you got to use in school, and what flavor cake you wanted. (I was partial to funfetti or oreo ice cream cake myself). Translate that to the book world, and you get a ridiculously epic TBR.

So I ask you: what should I put on my summer TBR? Any beach read recommendations? 

In other news, Gwenllian figured out how to get into my library chair. I already know I’m never getting it back.

A photo of Gwenllian, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting in a round chair.
Lady Gwenllian

New Favorite Listen

A graphic of the cover of South to America by Imani Perry

South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry

The moment I heard Pamela Paul interview Dr. Imani Perry on the New York Times Book Review Podcast, I knew I needed to listen to South to America. This book meanders its way through the South, touching on different locations around the region. Each chapter focuses on a different location, usually a city or general area, and Perry shares some of its history with her readers.

Perry asks her audience to approach the South from a more nuanced point of view, to investigate our preconceived notions, and to examine the things non-Southerners typically assume to be true in American history. Perry’s love for the South comes through in every chapter. She centers and celebrates Black Southern culture while also making the point that for the South to make positive change, white Southerners need to be prepared to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

As a Black woman with Southern roots, Perry’s journey through the South is deeply personal to her and she brings her readers along for the ride. Perry is an excellent tour guide, unafraid to confront the South’s obvious racist history as well as the more complex American narratives that proclaim the South as the root of all of the country’s ills.

As a long-time South Carolina resident, I recognized the ebb and flow of Perry’s audiobook narration. Her sentences and paragraphs blend together to create rhythm reminiscent of many Southern accents, and her approach to different topics feels more like an even paced meander through her subjects, not a precise rush to get to her points. You can hear the dialect in her voice, the way she says place names, and turns of phrases she uses. It all drips with the South in the most wonderful way.

Narrated by the Author

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis

Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis

Viola Davis is one of my favorite actors, so when I heard she had a memoir and that she narrates the audiobook, I immediately put it on my “drop everything and listen” TBR. This memoir covers Davis’s childhood in Rhode Island and her introduction to acting. If you want a long trailer of sorts, be sure to check out the special on Netflix where Oprah interviews Viola Davis about the memoir.

Narrated by the Author

a graphic of Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change by Anjali Enjeti

Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change by Anjali Enjeti

From the moment I heard about it, I knew I had to read Anjali Enjeti’s essay collection Southbound. But while the print edition came out in 2021,  it wasn’t released as an audiobook until April of this year. In Southbound, Enjeti shares her experience growing up in the deep south as a South Asian girl during the 80s and 90s. She performs the audiobook herself.

Narrated by the Author

A graphic of the cover of Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel

 Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel

In Kaikeyi, Vaishnavi Patel retells the queen’s story from the Indian epic the Ramayana. Kaikeyi grows up as a princess, but she feels stifled. She searches for new ways to gain her independence, and she finds it in magic. In her Instagram stories, Roshani Chokshi says that this was the book she was always looking for as a kid. Now it’s here!

Narrated by Soneela Nankani

A graphic of the cover of Like a House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer

Like a House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer

Merit feels that her entire existence is focused around her husband and her two kids. While she loves them, she wants to carve a space out for herself. So she goes back to work at an architecture firm and meets Jane. The two women immediately hit it off, and Merit begins to feel her love life quickly becoming… complicated.

Narrated by Marin Ireland

A graphic of the cover of Zia Erases the World by Bree Barton

Zia Erases the World by Bree Barton

Zia finds a magical dictionary. After her world seems to be changing way too fast, Zia decides to start erasing words out of the dictionary. But the results aren’t exactly what she was looking for. Full of the complex feelings that come when a tween’s world seems out of their control, Zia Erases the World is a heartwarming story of kids learning how to change and how to adjust to the changes around you.

Narrated by Cassandra Morris

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

On Book Riot

Making Space for Audiobooks: An Exercise in Mindfulness” by Nusrah Javed

8 of the Best Audiobook Adaptations for Graphic Novels” by Mara Franzen

Around the Web

The 30 Best Audiobooks of All Time” (Esquire)

5 Audiobook Picks from Leah Thomas, The Intersectional Environmentalist” (Libro.fm)

In the last couple of months, Libro.fm has released some new audiobook-related merch! And don’t miss their big Indie Bookstore Day sale this week.


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

Print or Audio? Why Not Choose Both!

While much of the U.S. saw snow appear across their lawns, we just had a few chilly days down here in South Carolina. This is perfect Corgi training weather. Corgis, with their thick coats, can overheat in warm weather, but chilly weather is perfect for the endless games of fetch and working on their obedience training. With Gwen, I’ve been working on her “emergency down,” which is great if your dog gets off leash and you need to stop them from running into the road.

When Gwen first came home, I listened to Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution, which gives you a step-by-step method for getting your puppy off to the right start. It’s also great if you’ve adopted an older dog with little training and are starting from zero. Zak George narrates the audio, and the book sounds as if I’m watching one of his YouTube videos: so friendly and approachable.

I still remember when Gwen wasn’t crate trained, she’d cry for seemingly endless amounts of time. It wasn’t until we discovered she loved talk radio that we realized she was soothed by the sound. Immediately, I started playing all of my podcasts and audiobooks out loud. She still cried a little bit, but the narrator’s soothing voices helped me get some much needed sleep. Audiobooks save the day, once again.

A photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy, asleep on the porch
Gwen (11 Weeks Old)

Why choose one format when you can choose both?

Recently, I started a regular practice of annotating a physical copy of the book I’m listening to, helping me pay close attention to the text. Now I don’t do this with all of my audiobooks, just the ones I’m studying closely. I’m always looking to keep my writing skills sharp, so I recently listened to The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr. She reads the audiobook, creating this listening experience that felt like I was in the classroom with her. I took notes, underlined, and just generally enjoyed studying like I was in college again.

Sometimes I’ll see comments like, “Who wants textbooks on audiobook? Wouldn’t that be so boring?” In addition to issues around accessibility, listening to a book while I have the physical copy in front of me helps me retain the material and engage with the book’s content. While it does take more brain power than casually listening to a book on audio, I still find the practice well worth it.

My most recent selection for this text/audio combo is Care Work written and narrated by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, which I have in print before, but I wanted to revisit it. Piepzna-Samarasinha focuses around the social justice work of queer, disabled, women and femmes of color, pointing out time and time again how integral their work has been to the disability justice movement. Each essay asks its readers to look at issues around disability in new ways. Besides being a cornerstone to the contemporary disability rights movement, Care Work is a vital read for anyone looking to better support disabled people.

Do you have any unique takes on audio listening? Do you use the text and audio combo too? Let me know at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com!

Recent Favorite Listen

A graphic of the cover of Time Is a Mother

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

Every time I start a new poetry collection on audio narrated by the author, I find myself holding my breath. I know I’m about to start something truly special. And Ocean Vuong is one of the best. I often see folks on the corners of the internet bemoaning the fact that you can’t see the use of form and white space on audio editions of poetry. While this can be an issue, you can use the text along with the audio, if that’s something you have access to. But to me, the greater tragedy is missing out on listening to poets read their poetry.

Ocean Vuong’s narration is full of emotional depth, using pauses, adjustment in volume, and rhythm to communicate his work to the listener. He portrays angst, longing, and grief, sometimes all in a single sentence. His poems are tight: not a word out of place. Time after time, he gives listeners concrete images to go with his ideas, making each poem feel fully rounded, complete.

Time Is a Mother was written after the passing of Vuong’s mother, a woman his readers will recognize from his previous work. This loss informs these poems, as each piece is rife with emotional loss. Conversely, this collection is full of hopefulness, particularly when Vuong writes about his longtime partner, Peter. Full of bittersweet stanzas and impeccable use of language, Time Is a Mother is an audiobook you won’t want to miss.

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

Over on Book Riot

Fulfill Your Bookish Dream Job: How to Become an Audiobook Narrator” by Megan Mabee – Have you ever wanted to know how you can become an audiobook narrator? Or perhaps you just want to know more about how it works? Then this article is for you!

8 of The Best Audiobook Adaptations of Graphic Novels” by Mara Franzen – Yes! Audiobook editions of graphic novels exist! As someone who can’t read text, I use these kinds of audiobooks all the time alongside the text. This article has some excellent recommendations to get you started.

Around the Web

14 Enthralling Audiobooks By Trans Authors That You Should Check Out Immediately” (Buzzfeed) – Who doesn’t love a well-timed audiobook list? #ListenToBannedBooks

22 Captivating Audiobooks to Listen to with Kids on Your Next Road Trip” (Country Living) – Summer road trips are just around the corner. Here are some great recommendations to help you maintain peace in the car as you spend hours in an enclosed space with the kids in your life.


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

Springtime Audiobooks!

Hello Audiophiles! Here in the American South, we are experiencing a full-on pollenagedan, where everyone’s car is covered in a fine layer of yellow dust—it’s even in the Corgis’ floof! So I’ve been spending a bit of time inside hiding from the golden onslaught. 

I finished Vol 5 of He Who Fights with Monsters. After I finished it, I felt INCREDIBLY tempted to restart the whole series! Ugh! And how am I supposed to wait until June for Vol 6? #AudiobookNerdProblems

In the spring, I always get the urge to relisten to my favorite fantasy-related novels. I recently bought the entire Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones, which is perfect on audiobook. It has that wonderful, fantastical, small-town English vibe. Jones possesses the unique ability to make incredibly complex stories seem very straightforward. But once you scratch the surface, you realize how complicated her stories truly are!

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, sitting on a porch chair and smiling at the camera.
Spring is Dylan’s favorite season!

Recent Listens

A graphic of the cover of Aru Shah and Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah and Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

For the last several years, I’ve looked forward to spring when the latest Aru Shah book will come out and I can savor each new adventure. Aru is a reincarnation of one of the Pandava brothers from Hindu mythology. As she goes on her different adventures, she meets the reincarnations of the other four Pandava brothers, but this time around, they are all girls. Aru and her soul sisters are tasked with defeating The Sleeper, a malicious enemy determined to find the Nectar of Immortality, and end/rule the world.

I don’t want to spoil the fifth book for you, but let’s just say the book’s ending is incredibly satisfying. There’s something special about listening to this series with the same narrator all the way through, which is how I prefer to listen to my series. Keeping the same narrator with the same series (particularly a series from the same character’s perspective) helps the books sound cohesive and the characters’ voices remain the same, like you are returning to visit old friends. In this case, Soneela Nankani is with you every step of the way. The first Aru book, Aru Shah and the End of Time, was the first time that I remember truly falling in love with Nankani’s narration. She has this way of capturing the protagonist’s narrative voice that really grabs my attention.

For the longest time, I wasn’t sure I’d be ready to say goodbye to Aru and her sisters. I loved everything about Aru, her nerdy references and truly clumsy moments. With every book, I watched her learn and grow older. It was almost like I was a silent 6th sister in her adventures. From what I’ve seen online, middle graders felt the same. To me, that is the most important: kids in the target audience should be able to connect and relate to the story.

Narrated by Soneela Nankani

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

New Releases!

A graphic of the cover of The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

Visit from the Goon Squad received much acclaim when it came out several years ago. Now Jennifer Egan is back with a companion novel, which you can read on its own or as a follow up to Goon Squad. BUT The Candy House received the royal treatment, audiobook wise, and is narrated by a full cast. Ah! Can’t wait!

Narrated by a Full Cast

A graphic of the cover of Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

I just finished listening to Ocean Vuong narrate his latest poetry collection on audio. Ugh, it’s so incredibly beautiful, and there’s nothing like listening to a poet narrate his work. Time Is a Mother was written after Vuong’s mother passed away, and it’s full of longing for the person he loved most.

Narrated by Ocean Vuong (On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong)

A graphic of the cover of An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X. R. Pan

I ADORED The Astonishing Color of After, so I’ve been waiting SO LONG to listen to this one. An Arrow to the Moon is Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology, which is 100% in my wheelhouse.

Narrated by Natalie Naudus, Shawn K. Jain, and David Shih (Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum, Golden Boys by Phil Stamper, and No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai)

A graphic of the cover of Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir by Delia Ephron

Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir by Delia Ephron

This heartrending memoir follows Delia Ephron after the death of both her sister and her husband. She meets a new romantic interest, but is shortly thereafter diagnosed with cancer. Full of heart from someone facing the complex reality of life, Left on Tenth is a beautiful memoir.

Narrated by Delia Ephron

A graphic of the cover of Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett

Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett

I loved Annie Hartnett’s debut novel, Rabbit Cake, so I’ve been waiting on Unlikely Animals for years. But it’s well worth it! Emma Starling is a med student who’s faced with caring for her father while he’s experiencing a deteriorating brain disease.

Narrated by Mark Bramhall and Kirby Heyborne (Nine Lives by Peter Swanson and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn)

A graphic of the cover of Things They Lost by Okwiri Oduor

Things They Lost by Okwiri Oduor

This novel follows Ayosa, a wandering spirit who feels incredibly alone. But when she meets someone new, she finds herself caught between the world of the living and her own. Full of the complex contradictions that is life, Things They Lost is sure to tug on your heartstrings.

Narrated by Christel Mutombo

Around the Web

Celebrate National Poetry Month (and the Oral Tradition) with These 6 Audiobooks” (Paste) – I love poetry on audiobook! Here are some great recommendations.

Barnes & Noble is finally offering an audiobook service” (Engadget) – This news has been EVERYWHERE! Barnes and Noble has finally decided to enter the audiobook market. But who would leave their already established libraries to move to B&N’s service? Definitely tell me your thoughts on this!


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

Middle Grade Marathon!

Hello Audiophiles! 

Ah, air travel, the chaos-ridden, anxiety-inducing practice of flinging normally grounded members of the human species into the air. At least, that’s what it feels like to me. I never really flew a lot until I started dating a guy from the opposite side of the country. And I quickly realized that flying was not my favorite, to say the least. Now that my spouse and I have been together for over a decade, I think it’s safe to say that I at least know what I’m doing now.

As a disabled person, flying is especially draining. Huge airports, tiny amounts of leg room, and the inability to lift heavy objects into the carry-on storage bins in the plane tend to make my trip quite an adventure. And oh, right, and we’re in a pandemic. 

To help counterbalance my anxiety, I spend a ridiculous amount of time choosing the audiobooks for my trip. This time, I decided to start listening to some middle grade novels that have been on my TBR for far too long.

Recent Listens

A graphic of the cover of Omar Rising, The Shape of Thunder, and How To Find What You're Not Looking For

As someone with a disabling chronic illness, I always have to take some time off to recover from traveling. So I’ve spent this past weekend resting up after my trip up to Kentucky to visit my parents. I ended up listening to SEVEN middle grade novels that have been sitting around just waiting for me to finally choose them to read.

Like I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, I started with Jasmine Warga’s The Shape of Thunder (narrated by Reena Dutt and Jennifer Jill Araya), which follows a biracial Lebanese American girl after her sister is killed in a school shooting. What’s worse, her best friend’s brother was the shooter. This audiobook is incredible and is a great way to start difficult conversations with the kids in your life.

I then moved on to Amina’s Song, the sequel to Amina’s Voice (both narrated by Soneela Nankani). Amina returns from visiting her dad’s family in Pakistan and starts school. But middle school is so complicated. I loved this novel, and it was one of my top listens of the weekend.

Rajani LaRocca published two books last year, including Red, White, and Whole (narrated by Priya Ayyar) and Much Ado About Baseball (narrated by Ariana Delawari and Eddie Lopez). She’s so busy! I also read the new novel How to Find What You’re Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani (narrated by Priya Ayyar). The novel follows Ariel, a Jewish girl in the 1960s. Her older sister has just eloped and married an Indian man, and now Ariel’s parents refuse to acknowledge that Ariel even has an older sister.

But my favorite of the group was Omar Rising, a companion novel to Amal Unbound. Aisha Saeed outdid herself with this novel. Vikas Adam performs the audiobook. The man can really do no wrong. Omar gets a scholarship to go to a prestigious school for boys, but when he arrives, he realizes that the whole system is set up for boys like him to fail.

A photo of Gwen the Corgi with her tongue out, smiling
All smiles!

In case you were wondering what the Corgis were doing while I was away, they spent some quality time with their dad. When I got back, Gwenllian snuggled with me, asking me to make up for all the pets I missed while I was gone.

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

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

June lives with her family in a homeless shelter called Huey House. But she’s not allowed to bring her beloved viola. Determined to change things for other kids like her, June pushes back, trying to make a better place for her and the other residents of Huey House.

Narrated by Sura Siu and Preston Butler III

A graphic of the cover of Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi

In one of my favorite middle grade series, Roshani Chokshi has told us the story of Aru Shah and her sisters as they try to save the world from the Sleeper. Now the final book is here, and my heart is not ready.

Narrated by Soneela Nankani

A graphic of the cover of Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

The author of the smash hit sensation Station Eleven is back with another novel. Like many of her other novels, Sea of Tranquility is told over the course of several different sections that take place over the course of a long period of time. I love this episodic type of novel and can’t wait to listen to it!

Narrated by John Lee, Dylan Moore, Arthur Morey, and Kirsten Potter

A graphic of the cover of He Who Fights with Monsters Vol 5 by Shirtaloon

He Who Fights with Monsters, Vol 5 by Shirtaloon (Travis Deverell)

I’ve had this audiobook pre-ordered for months. I love listening to Jason as he moves through this world of monsters in a video game-like environment. This is Vol 5 of the bind up of the serial story, so not exactly a novel. But definitely still lots of fun.

Narrated by Heath Miller

A graphic of the cover of Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

Memphis follows three generations of Southern Black women. Joan is an artist, and finds comfort in painting portraits of people from her community in the city. As we meet more of her family members, we begin to understand the past Joan is trying to forget and the future that she’s trying to make.

Narrated by Karen Murray, Adenrele Ojo, and Tara Stringfellow


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

I Finally Got My Hands on One of My Most Anticipated Listens!

Hello Audiophiles! This past week, I’ve been at my parents’ house in Kentucky. Appalachia isn’t generally an easy place to fly into, so it was quite the experience going from one puddle jumper (tiny plane) to another, flying from my island home to my former mountain home. Plus, this was the first time I’ve flown since the start of the pandemic. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous and arrived WAY too early for my flight out. But once I got through security, I had a chance to sit, relax, and breathe.

To help pass the time, I played Animal Crossing while listening to the end of Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. I’ve had a wide range of discussions with my Irish family members from both the Republic and the North of Ireland, but this was the first time I got a broad overview of some of the key events of the Troubles.

Between games of Phase 10 and Mario Kart, I’ve been listening to The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga and The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde. Both of these books have been waiting around on my iPhone for a bit, so I was happy to finally start them.

While I’ve been gone, the Corgis have enjoyed going to the office with their dad and exploring the outdoors in the warm South Carolina sunshine. I saw this photo and couldn’t believe how big Gwenllian is now!

A photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting on a bridge looking to the right. The Lowcountry wetlands can be seen behind them.

New Favorite Listen

A graphic of the cover of Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby

Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby

The moment this audiobook landed in my audiobook app, I dropped everything I was doing to listen. Like many Americans, I discovered Hannah Gadsby via her comedy special Nanette. The moment I finished watching Nanette, I started frantically googling, hoping to find out more about this incredible comic. When her memoir was announced, I immediately wrote it down with all of the underlines, arrows, and bolded print. I needed this book.

As an audiobook lover, I knew this was a must-listen memoir. Gadsby narrates her memoir, describing her childhood in Tasmania. Growing up as a queer, neurodivergent child made navigating the world incredibly complicated for her. At the time, she and her family didn’t know that she has Autism Spectrum Disorder, they just knew she was different.

In her late 20s, Gadsby discovered that she had a knack for stand up comedy, and slowly the world unfurled before her, giving her opportunities that she never imagined. After a decade in comedy, Gadsby began crafting the show Nanette.

There’s nothing like listening to an author narrate their memoir. Of course, her comedic timing is perfect. And as a neurodivergent person, I appreciated hearing about Gadsby’s story of trying to find a diagnosis later in life. When your brain views the world differently, you can often feel adrift, too different to matter. Gadsby captures those feelings so beautifully in Ten Steps to Nanette.

Performed by the Author

New Releases!

A graphic of the cover of A House Between Earth and the Moon by Rebecca Scherm

A House Between Earth and the Moon by Rebecca Scherm

Alex Welch-Peters has put everything on the line for his scientific research. He believes that his super-algae can reverse the effects of climate change. When a tech company offers to fund his research he agrees, but there’s a catch: his new lab is going to be in space.

Narrated by Xe Sands

A graphic of the cover of Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The Aunties from Dial A for Aunties are back. Meddy Chan’s day has finally arrived! After attending countless weddings, it’s finally time for her to have her own. But when the mafia plan to use her wedding as a cover for some sketchy deals, Meddy’s aunties swoop in to help keep Meddy’s special day drama free.

Narrated by Risa Mei

A graphic of the cover of Conversations with People Who Hate Me: 12 Things I Learned from Talking to Internet Strangers by Dylan Marron

Conversations with People Who Hate Me: 12 Things I Learned from Talking to Internet Strangers by Dylan Marron

From the creator of the podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me comes a book about having difficult conversations. It’s part guide and part personal story, giving listeners a range of ideas for having more hard conversations with the people in their lives.

Narrated by Dylan Marron

A graphic of the cover of Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Annie Mason has no desire for any sort of magic in her life. After magic ruined her life, she never wants it in her life again. But on the island she now calls home, magic lies in wait, biding its time until it can make its appearance—again.

Narrated by Marisa Calin, Gemma Dawson, and Ralph Lister

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

Over on Book Riot

Audiobooks and ADHD” by Nikki DeMarco – I really appreciated Nikki’s discussion of how her ADHD influences her listening. 

On the Road Again: 26 of the Best Audiobooks for Road Trips” by Mikkaka Overstreet – Have a road trip coming up? Mikkaka is here for you!

9 of the Best Audiobook Subscription Services” by Kate Krug – Kate gives listeners a birds eye view of different subscription services to help you choose the best for you.

I Love Audiobooks, But Will My Nephew Love Them Too?” by Kendra Winchester – I share about how I played samples of a dozen audiobooks for my nephew to see what ones he liked best. Here are the results!

Around the Web

Saudis Embrace Audiobooks as a New Form of Entertainment” (Arab News) – I love seeing how audiobooks are taking off all around the world.

Audiobooks, Translations, and Other Letters to the Editor” (The New York Times) – One of the letters to the editor includes someone who wonders why NYT has only been reviewing nonfiction audiobooks (when they review audiobooks at all). I am glad they said something, because I had been wondering the same thing!

New Report Shows Link Between Adult Audiobook Habits and Mental Wellbeing” (National Literacy Trust)

Your Guide to Independent Alternatives for Books, Audiobooks, eBooks, and Beyond” (Libro.fm)


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

Flying on a Jet Plane —Travel Listening!

Hello Audiophiles! This week, I’m preparing to visit my parents in Northeastern Kentucky. I’ll be flying, so no road trip audiobooks this time. But I still plan on downloading plenty of options for my flight. When I travel, I always look for books that capture my attention quickly, sucking me into the world of the book within the first few minutes. Since I have two short flights, I won’t need anything especially long.

So I’ll give you my two favorite options, and y’all can tell me which one you like best. First up, The School of Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan. After hearing a great interview with Jessamine Chan on Debutiful, I knew I had to check out her debut novel. Catherine Ho performs the audiobook, so it’s sure to be a great listen.

My second choice is All My Rage by Sabba Tahir. I’ve seen Tahir talk about this book on her Instagram. It’s the first book of hers that has a contemporary setting, so I am 100% here for it. Deepti Gupta, Kamran R. Khan, Kausar Mohammed narrate the audiobook, which is such a great lineup. Let me know which one you think would work!

While I’m gone, my spouse, Sam, will be on full-time Corgi parenting duty. I’m sure Gwen will enjoy going into work with him, and Dylan can’t wait for uninterrupted alone time without a yappy puppy around.

A photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting in front of a shelf of books.
Dylan & Gwen in the library

Recent Listen

A graphic of the cover of The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

When I read Peng Shepherd’s first novel, The Book of M, I found myself swept into a world where people’s shadows disappear and then they lose their memories. The novel felt gloriously messy and all engrossing. So when I heard Shepherd’s second book was coming out in 2022, I immediately marked it as one of my most anticipated novels of the year.

The Cartographers begins when Nell’s father, a prestigious cartographer at the New York Public Library, dies, leaving behind a disheveled office, which makes Nell believe there was foul play. As she looks around at his papers, she finds a secret compartment in his desk holding what seems to be a worthless map with a mysterious symbol on it. From there, Nell is thrown into a part of her father’s life that she never knew existed. There are secret societies, missing towns, and a mysterious figure haunting Nell’s every step.

All-star narrator Emily Woo Zeller performs the audiobook when we’re in Nell’s perspective. She captures the emotions of the protagonist with precision. Whenever we enter the perspective of a new character, a different narrator performs that chapter, giving each perspective a unique feel. Each narrator fits their character perfectly.

As I listened to this adventure story, I loved following clues to discover the truth that’s always lingering at the edges of Nell’s life. While the book’s vibe is incredibly different from The Book of M, The Cartographers reminds me of a story that’s made for television, fast paced and intriguing with all of its twists and turns.

Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, Nancy Wu, Karen Chilton, Ron Butler, Neil Hellegers, Jason Culp, and Brittany Pressley

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow

A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow, Narrated by Salem Corwin and Kaden Catalina

In a town with few trans people, Aaron and Oliver, two young trans men, have always had each other. But when Aaron moves away, they both feel so much more alone. They find solace in looking into American history, trying to find more people like them in America’s past.

A graphic of the cover of Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou

Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou, Narrated by Jennifer Kim

Ingrid Yang is an exhausted PhD student trying to finish her dissertation on poet Xiao-Wen. And after it’s done, she never wants to think about Xiao-Wen again. But as her time as a grad student comes to an end, Ingrid begins to wonder if it’s been worth it.

A graphic of the cover of Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library by Amanda Oliver

Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library by Amanda Oliver, Narrated by Eva Wilhelm

With library budgets shrinking, libraries are in danger of becoming an endangered institution. Amanda Oliver discusses the history of libraries in America, and the many services they provide. Using her own experience as a librarian, Oliver gives listeners an incredible portrait of one of America’s most beloved institutions.

A graphic of the cover of Portrait of an Unknown Lady by Maria Gainza

Portrait of an Unknown Lady by Maria Gainza, Narrated by Kyla García

A master forger, said to be a woman, becomes notorious in Buenos Aires for her forgeries of the work by painter Mariette Lydis. Lydis is known for her portraits  of well to do Argentinians. When an art critic becomes determined to find the forger and to learn more about what drives her to imitate the art of others, the chase is on.

A graphic of the cover of Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy, Narrated by Adenrele Ojo

Savvy Sheldon is obsessed with house renovation shows, so when she finally realizes that her life is a hot mess, she decides to renovate her life. Savvy starts by renovating her kitchen and her body, determined to become a healthier version of herself. But then she keeps running into a handsome stranger. Will he fit into her new plans for her life?

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

Over on Book Riot

10 of Libro.fm’s Most Preordered Books of Spring 2022

Around the Web

Talking Up Synthetic Narration for Audiobooks” – On Velocity of Content, host Chris Kenneally talks to Bill Wolfsthal about synthetic audiobook voices, explaining how Audible doesn’t allow audiobooks with synthetic voices on its platform. While Wolfsthal acknowledges that audiobook narrators are concerned for their jobs, he believes that synthetic narration will primarily be for books that don’t have audiobooks at all.


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