Categories
Audiobooks

A Native Hawai’ian Memoir for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Hello, Audiophiles! Here in the House of Corgis, Gwen and Dylan have taken to sprinting around the room, stealing each other’s toys, and singing for the delivery men. Plus, Gwen enjoys sneaking over to my bookshelves to nibble on her favorite titles. All I’m going to say is, I miss sleep.

In between Corgi races and feeding time at the zoo, I’ve been sneaking in as much listening as I can. In fact, as crate training continues, Gwen always enjoys listening to my latest podcast or audiobook. She falls asleep every time. Admittedly, I often wonder if what I’m listening to is age appropriate for her, but I’m guessing if she’s asleep it can’t hurt.

My friend Laura and I are still buddy-reading The Eighth Life, and we’re enjoying this fairytale-esque feel of the early chapters. It’s such an epic read, so we’re taking it slow. Thanks to all of you who have shared your own listening experience with it!

A photo of Gwen, the black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting on the bottom shelf of a book cart.
Gwenllian now has an excellent taste for books.

A Favorite Listen

A graphic of the cover of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Māhealani Madden

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day this week, I thought I’d recommend one of my favorite audiobooks for the occasion. Madden is a hapa kānaka writer who wrote the brilliant memoir Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls.

Madden’s memoir follows her childhood and adolescence through essay-like chapters that each give a snapshot of Madden’s life. From show jumping to her first middle school dance, we see these key moments in her life. When Madden moves to New York City, she falls in love with a woman for the first time.

In the later chapters of the memoir, we learn more about her Chinese-Hawai’ian mother’s family and Madden’s own search for belonging and reconnection with her Native Hawai’ian heritage. Through every twist and turn in her life, Madden remains hopeful and resilient, always moving forward to better understand herself and where she comes from.

Madden’s prose possesses this beautiful intensity that stays with you. I can still remember where I was when I listened to certain paragraphs. Madden performs the audiobook herself, and I loved listening to her read her essays.

Narrated by T Kira Māhealani Madden

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of 12 Bytes

12 Bytes: How We Got Here, Where We Might Go Next by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson, the author of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is back with a collection of essays all about the rising influence of AI technologies. What does it mean to be human? What will happen to societal norms we share the world with non-human beings? If that wasn’t exciting enough, Winterson narrates the collection herself—I always adore her narration!

Narrated by Jeanette Winterson (Christmas Days & Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson)

A graphic of the cover of Jade Fire Gold by June C. Tan

Jade Fire Gold by June C. Tan

Ahn, a teenage girl, meets Altan, an exiled heir to the throne, and they both realize they each might be able to help the other. Their country is on the brink of war, but will Ahn be able to find a way to discover her hidden powers in time to help Atlan reclaim the throne? I’m always here for a magical adventure story, and this novel seems like just the thing.

Narrated by Natalie Naudus and Kevin Shen (One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston and The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang)

A graphic of the cover of The Sweetest Remedy by Jane Igharo

The Sweetest Remedy by Jane Igharo

Hannah travels back to Lagos, Nigeria to get to know the family of her late father who she never knew. There she meets her father’s family, learning more about her father and who he was. There’s also a little romance with a man she meets in Lagos. Her experience changes everything she thought she knew herself.

Narrated by Sandra Okuboyejo (Black Girl Magic ABC by Sandra Okuboyejo and Minecraft: The Haven Trials by Suyi Davies)

A graphic of the cover of Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Tales from the Cafe follows four new customers as they venture into a cafe that is rumored to give visitors a chance to travel back in time, allowing customers a chance to visit special moments in their lives. Cats, coffee, and bookstores—this heartwarming listen feels like a comforting hug. 

Narrated by Kevin Shen (Playing at the Border by Joanna Ho and The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa)

A graphic of the cover of Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

Jean Swinney is a feature writer for a small London newspaper. She feels stuck, stifled in her career, but when a woman claims that her daughter is a result of a virgin birth, Jean thinks this may be her big break. If Jean can get to the real story, she might be able to give her career just the boost it needs. This audiobook has already taken the UK by storm. Now’s the chance for those of us in the US to get our hands on a copy.

Narrated by Karen Cass (The Other Wife by Claire McGowan and The Missing by Daisy Pearce)

A graphic of the cover of The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Readers of the much-beloved Practical Magic series have been highly anticipating this last book about the Owens family. Delightfully bittersweet, The Book of Magic follows three generations of women as they work to break the curse that has been upon their family for centuries. 

Narrated by Jennifer Ehle (A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle and Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare)

Around the Web

An Interview with the Founders of Margins Bookstores Month” (Libro.fm)

23 Celebrities Who Narrated These Audiobooks Brilliantly” (BuzzFeed)

How Are Audiobooks Are Keeping Reading Culture Alive?” (Entrepreneur)

Book Riot

“20 Awesome Audiobooks for Kids (and the Adults Who Need Them Productively Occupied)” by Mikkaka Overstreet

“8 New Witchy Audiobooks” by Nusrah Javed

We’re celebrating Book Riot’s 10th birthday with limited edition merch!


That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

My Corgi Loves Audiobooks As Much As I Do

Hello Audiophiles! Gwen, our new Cardigan Corgi, has kept our entire household on its toes. Feeding, playing, napping—we now live life based on her schedule as we work to get her inner clock to adjust itself to ours. Thankfully, I work from home, so that will help fasttrack her training as I can work with her throughout the day.

A couple days ago, my husband and I looked at each other with exhaustion as Gwen cried in her crate. Suddenly, I remembered that Dylan liked music when he was a puppy. But when that didn’t work, I thought, “Wait! What about talking?” I quickly turned on a random podcast and that did it. She slowly calmed down and went to sleep. Ever since, I’ve been using my portable speaker to play my audiobooks and podcasts out loud as I move around the house so she always feels like someone is nearby. Girl after my own heart.

She’s a lot of trouble, but Gwen’s sweet face always brightens my day as she loves everything with a pure and enthusiastic joy that only a baby creature can manifest.

A photo of Gwen, the black and white Cardigan Corgi puppy, sleeping tucked halfway under a chair.
Gwen shares an Instagram account with Dylan @thebookcorgi.

Recent Listen

A graphic of the cover of Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Way back when, I remember everyone at Book Riot raving about The Sorcerer to the Crown. Of course, I picked it up and fell in love with Zen Cho’s storytelling. So when I heard about Black Water Sister, I knew I needed to listen to it ASAP. Jess, a Malaysian American queer woman, is returning with her parents to Malaysia only to discover that her grandmother’s dead spirit is haunting her.

As Jess settles into her life in Malaysia, she tries to learn more about her grandmother’s spirit, but her mom refuses to talk about her family. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jess’s girlfriend still lives a world away and keeps asking when Jess is going to tell her parents about them. And at every step, her grandmother’s spirit comments on every part of Jess’s life.

I love how Cho introduces us to Jess’s new world. As she learns more about her family’s path and the gods that they serve, so do we. The book highlights her family’s spiritual beliefs, and while these beliefs aren’t shared by all of her family, they are still respected.

Without getting into spoilers, this book is hella creepy in the best possible way. A couple scenes had me glancing up at my windows and making sure I have nightlights around at night. This world of gods and spirits—some friendly, some not—always hovers at the edge of Jess’s mind, creating a perfect haunting sort of atmosphere.

Emily Woo Zeller performs Black Water Sister with her usual brilliance. I love how she’s able to transfer between the descriptive text and the dialogue—such a range! I’d never listened to anything even remotely spooky narrated by her before, so I was delighted at how she captured the perfect sinister mood with her performance.

Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of An Elderly Lady Should Not Be Crossed

An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Tursten, Translated by Marlaine Delargy

Did you love Maud from An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good as much as I did? Well, Maud is back to her deadly shenanigans in An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed. At nearly 90 years old, Maud is still as formidable as ever.

Narrated by Ann Richardson (The Golden Cage by Camilla Läckberg and There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Linda Åkeson McGurk)

A graphic of the cover of Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

Everyone and their mother’s brother have been raving about Jonathan Franzen’s new novel. Crossroads features a pastor and his family in the 1970s. Each family member has their secrets and desires to be something different. Franzen’s intimate look at these characters has been praised as Franzen at his finest.

Narrated by David Pittu (My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing and The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott)

A graphic of the cover of Black Birds in the Sky

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert

Brand Colbert’s new nonfiction young adult book is Black Birds in the Sky, which shares the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921 and discusses how the horrific events of that day still affects Black Americans today.

Narrated by Brandy Colbert and Kristyl Dawn Tift (Pushout by Monique W. Morris and Colonize This! edited by Daisy Hernández and Bushra Rehman)

A graphic of the cover of Sankofa

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

Chibundu Onuzo’s latest novel, Sankofa, follows Anna, a woman who has just left her husband and her mother has died. With her daughter grown, she begins to search to learn more about herself and the father she’s never known.

Narrated by Sara Powell (All Men Want to Know by Nina Bouraoui and Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel)

A graphic of the cover of What Storm What Thunder

What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J.A. Chancy

One of my most anticipated audiobooks of the fall is What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J.A. Chancy. This novel follows a cast of characters during and after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Across Port-au-Prince, each character witnesses one of the most haunting days of their lives.

Narrated by Ella Turenne (A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler and Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin)

Over on Book Riot

It’s Time to Slow Down Your Audiobook Speed” – Book Riot editor Kelly Jensen writes about slowing down and taking in what you’re listening to

7 Audiobooks for Latinx Heritage Month

Celebrate Book Riot’s 10th anniversary with this limited edition merch!

Around the Web

Simon & Schuster Audio has a playlist of clips of Marin Ireland reading Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr—check out the playlist over on YouTube!

October’s 11 Most Anticipated Audiobooks from AudioFile’s Editors” (AudioFile Magazine) – What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good most anticipated book list

So…You Want to Become a Bilingual Spanish and English Listener?” (Audible) – A fascinating article about how to build up your listening skills


That’s it for this week! Feel free to drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Mysteries and Thrillers in Translation!

Hello, Audiophiles! I’m so excited to chat with you this week. Here in the South, the weather has finally decided to cool down a bit, and I can feel a cool breeze in the evenings. I’ve brought out my candles and plenty of spooky books to celebrate.

I’ve also noticed that I have a ridiculous number of books going at the same time. A few years ago, I stuck to a strict, “no more than three audiobooks at a time” policy, but I’ve now thrown that idea to the wind. Last time I checked, I had ten audiobooks in my currently listening list. I’m not sure when I became such a polyamorous listener, but I’m cetainly not sad about it. Especially with the pandemic, I struggle to pay attention to the same audiobook after a couple hours, and it’s nice to have options.

Do you listen to a lot of books at a time? Let me know!

Now time for a true confession: as I type this, I’m actually waiting for my husband to return with our new Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy—Dylan is going to be a big brother! Here’s an update from the airport:

A photo of Gwen, the black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting on a mat. She is only 11 weeks old.
Meet Gwen!

Recent Listens

A graphic of the cover of quicksand

Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito & Out by Natsuo Kirino

This week, let’s chat thrillers and mysteries in translation. As someone who reads only via audiobook, I often struggle to find audio editions of novels in translation. But with the rise in audiobooks’ popularity, I’ve found so many more titles that I’ve been excited to read. First up, I have to tell you about Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles.

The novel begins at the start of Maja’s trial. She’s been charged with aiding a mass shooting at her highschool in Sweden. The story jumps back and forth between the trial and flashbacks of her relationship with Sebastian, a son of one of the wealthiest men in the country. Her family and friends think it’s amazing that the son of such an important person wants to date her, but what they don’t realize is how Sebastian is isolating her and emotionally manipulating her.

Quicksand also discusses Maja’s own privilege in regards to class through her friendship with Samir, who is the son of immigrants and lives in a less affluent part of the city than Maja and the rest of her friends. Samir and Sebastian act as foils, highlighting Sebastian’s incredible privilege. (Yes, I am dancing around spoilers!)

Speaking of discussion of the working class, I also listened to Out by Natsuo Kirino, Translated by Stephen Snyder, which follows four friends at a packaged food company. One of the women has a very abusive husband, and one day she seems to snap, strangling her husband to death. Panicked, she asks her friends for help. The women dispose of the body in trash bags which they throw away in trash cans across the city.

I sat on the edge of my seat, wondering if these women would get caught or crack under the pressure. This novel turns the traditional crime novel on its head as we the listeners want the women who committed the crime to succeed.

Both Quicksand and Out ask listeners to examine ideas around justice and what that looks like, and I found myself thinking about both of them long after I had finished the novels.

Quicksand, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld & Out, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

Recent Releases

A graphic of the cover of Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

One of the most anticipated Black fantasy novels of the year is finally here! Debut author Ayana Gray spins a tale set in a fantastical world where a young woman who works at the Night Zoo, a menagerie of dangerous beasts.

Narrated by Keylor Leigh, Tovah Ott, and Ronald Peet (Out of Shadows by Justina Ireland & A Girl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi)

A graphic of the cover of Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

With his first novel since the Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr tells the story of characters across space and time. Each section returns to the themes of the power of stories and the power of storytelling.

Narrated by Marin Ireland and Simon Jones (The Push by Ashley Audrain & The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles)

A graphic of the cover fo Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes by Phoebe Robinson

Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes by Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe Robinson writes one-of-a-kind essay collections and turns them into incredible audiobooks. She performs the essays herself, giving her narration perfect comedic timing. Plus, she has such incredible insight.

Narrated by Phoebe Robinson (You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson & Everything’s Trash, but It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson)

A graphic of the cover of The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

It’s time for holiday romance novels! The Matzah Ball features Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt, a Jewish romance novelist who adores Christmas. But when she finds herself desperate for more work, she accepts a request from her publisher to write a Hanukkah novel. 

Narrated by Dara Rosenberg (Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid & The Lightkeeper’s Daughter by Jean E. Pendziwol)

A graphic of the cover of Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

When Andrew’s friend Eddie dies, Andrew finds himself haunted by a mysterious phantom. Now he must search for the truth behind Eddie’s death and maintain a sense of normalcy in his everyday life.

Narrated by Will Damron (Bad Blood by John Carreyrou & The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle)

Around the Web

Celebrate Your Right to Listen During Banned Books Week” (Audiofile Magazine)

Latinx Narrators You Should Be Listening To” (Libro.fm)

7 Things You Need to Know About Shopping Early for the Holidays” (Libro.fm)

Meet the Innovative Director Behind Audible’s Fully Immersive Adaptation of ‘The Sandman’” (Audible)

Over on Book Riot

10 of Libro.fm’s Most Pre-ordered Audiobooks for Fall Pt. 2” – I share the most popular pre-orders for October and November. And be sure to check out Pt.1 if you haven’t already!


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Cookbooks as Audiobooks…? Yes, of course.

Hello, Audiophiles! Here in the American South, we had our first day below 80 degrees—it’s finally fall! I pulled out my hoodies, my collection of fuzzy socks, and the apple cider. BUT, most importantly, I can sense that it’s almost time to bring out all of the spooky audiobooks I’ve been setting aside all year. You know the ones—witchy, dark and sinister houses, anything by Stephen Graham Jones. 

This September has also introduced me to a slew of fabulous new audiobooks, each with their own unique story to tell. All of my audiobook apps keep drawing me into new stories and worlds to visit. I honestly don’t know where to start. Let me know what you’re most excited for!

Meanwhile, I’m still listening through The Eight Life with my friend Laura. It’s still incredibly fascinating meeting each new member of the family. As we move through the book, I’ll keep you updated.

Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, standing on the beach and smiling at the camera.
Dylan soaking up the last of the summer sun.

A Favorite Listen

A graphic of the cover of Salt Fat Acid Heat

Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat

When I’m not creating bookish content, I’m usually cooking, reading about cooking, or watching food TV. I’ve collected cookbooks and books about food for over a decade now, filling shelves and shelves of my library. I used to pour over them, rereading my favorite sections and revisiting my favorite recipes.

But when I lost my ability to read print a couple years ago due to migraines, one of the losses that hit hardest was when I realized that most cookbooks didn’t have audiobook editions. I’ve still faithfully collected cookbooks, handing them over to visiting friends, my spouse—anyone who was around, really—to read the recipes to me.

A couple years ago, I picked up Salt Fat Acid Heat at my local indie, wandered onto my favorite audiobook app, and realized that Samin Nosrat had made an audiobook for it. I remember being in tears that this incredible, one-of-a-kind cookbook was accessible to me in the author’s own words. It felt like a miracle.

Salt Fat Acid Heat is as amazing as I’d hoped. Her prose is clear and precise, and her performance feels so warm and inviting as she reads the audiobook. Nosrat doesn’t ask you to cook like her. She comes alongside you and encourages you to make your food the best it can be. She doesn’t just show you great recipes. She teaches you HOW to cook the food that you want to eat. That’s what makes this book special. 

And I got to experience it just like everyone else, all because of audiobooks. I hope more cookbooks come out on audio in the future, because finally being able to read one again is a wonderful feeling.

New Releases

A graphic of the cover of Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Powers is back with a new novel, Bewilderment, that has already been longlisted for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The novel follows a young widower, Theo Byrne, who’s struggling to handle being a single parent to his nine-year-old son and working at his job as an astrobiologist. His son is on the verge of being expelled after pummeling a fellow student with a metal thermos. All told, it’s sure to be an interesting take on single parenthood. 

Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini (Exhalation by Ted Chiang & Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter)

A graphic of the cover of All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns author Kendare Blake introduces us to a new, fantastical version of the United States where it’s just been reported that a serial killer has been making their way across the Midwest, draining their victims of blood. Marie Catherine Hale is arrested in connection with the murders, and Michael Johnson is an aspiring journalist who is the only person to whom she says she’ll share her confession.

Narrated by Matt Godfrey (The Best Mystery Stories of the Year: 2021 edited by Lee Child)

A graphic of the cover of Room to Dream by Kelly Yang

Room to Dream by Kelly Yang

I’m obsessed with middle grade novels, and Front Desk by Kelly Yang stole the hearts of so many of us. Yang is back with Room to Dream, her latest installment of the series. This time, Mia Tang and her family are going on vacation to China! She can’t wait to see her extended family again!

Narrated by Sunny Lu (Front Desk by Kelly Yang & Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao)

A graphic of the cover of When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash

When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash

Winston Barnes, a Sheriff in a small North Carolina town, discovers a crashed plane and a murdered man near the crash site. Almost as soon as he begins the investigation, the townspeople start pointing fingers. Barnes is back up for election, and his long lost daughter returns home after a devastating loss. When Ghosts Come Home is sure to be full of all of the small town-drama perfect for a Saturday afternoon listen.

Narrated by JD Jackson (The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead & A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib)

A graphic of the cover of Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Set in a world where women can become concubine-pilots of giant robots, Iron Widow tells the story of Zetian, a 18-year-old woman who’s determined to go undercover as one of these women so she can assassinate the man who killed her sister. This wild story is sure to be a fast-paced, action story with a side of the fantastical.

Narrated by Rong Fu

Over on Book Riot

Epic Listens: 9 Works of Epic Poetry on Audio” by Laura Sackton – Want to listen to some epic poetry—in every sense of the word? Look no further!

Around the Web

Audiobooks Take Off With Students During Pandemic” (Government Technology) – I found this sort of insider baseball interesting to read about. It’s always fascinating to see new people discover the wonders of audiobooks.

Voices of Audible: Hispanic Heritage Month” (Audible)

Quiz: Latinx Audiobook Picks by Kalima DeSuze, Owner of Cafe con Libros” (Libro.fm) – I always love Libro.fm’s quizzes!


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Check Out One of My Favorite Middle Grade Audiobooks!

Hello Audiophiles! 

This week I find myself in the middle of several audiobooks, including my ongoing buddy read of The Eighth Life, the Swedish mystery novel Quicksand, and How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue. I can feel the itch where I know I’m going to need to switch to more magical, spooky stories, but I want to make sure to give these fabulous books their chance too.

Last fall, I moved from the South Carolina upstate down to the low country. In less than a four-hour drive, I went from red maples to palm trees. Since don’t really have fall down here, I’ve found myself looking for audiobooks that will take me back to watching the hills break out in yellow and orange. Definitely send me any recommendations you have!

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, looking right in to the camera. He is crouched on the floor with his head on his paws.
Dylan can’t believe he has to wait even MORE time for his most anticipated audiobooks to come out.
A graphic of the cover of Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani

Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani

When I was catching up with old friends recently, they pulled out the pages and pages of handwritten letters I had written to them between the summers we spent at camp. I’ve always loved handwriting letters (yes, even with my terrible handwriting) and still enjoy writing dozens of cards a month to this day. I often feel like the only millennial who has a card writing station in their house. But pen pals were a huge part of my childhood, so when I heard about Same Sun Here, I knew I had to listen.

Appalachian writer Silas House and Indian American author Neela Vaswani team up to give us this incredible epistolary novel. The story follows River, an Appalachian boy living with his grandma in Kentucky, and Meena, an Indian girl who’s just moved to New York City. River and Meena find each other through a pen pal program and begin writing to each other, sharing their seemingly very different lives. 

In the audiobook edition, House and Vaswani each narrate their characters’ letters, making both narrative voices stand out. House narrates River’s perspective with his gorgeous Eastern Kentucky dialect, which would have been incredibly difficult for any narrator not from the region. Vaswani also brilliantly performs Meena’s letter, embodying her vibrant no-nonsense personality to perfection.

There’s always something special when authors narrate their own audiobooks, but with the epistolary style and unique perspectives of this middle grade novel, having the author team perform Same Sun Here makes this audiobook one of the best middle grade novels I’ve ever listened to.

Narrated by Silas House and Neela Vaswani

New Releases!

A graphic of the cover of Fuzz by Mary Roach

Fuzz by Mary Roach

The queen of pop science books is back with Fuzz, a book all about when nature and human civilization collide. There are monkeys, moose, gulls, and so many more animals that find themselves interacting with humans. But who is tasked with safely removing the animals from the situation? Roach follows the folks on the front lines of human/wild animal interactions.

Narrated by Mary Roach

A graphic of the cover of A Soft Place to Land by Janae Marks

A Soft Place to Land by Janae Marks

I loved From the Desk of Zoe Washington, so I’ve had A Soft Place to Land pre-ordered for months. This time, Marks is back with the story of Joy, a young girl whose dad has just lost his job. Her family moves from their home to a small apartment, making Joy feel like she is so far from everything she’s ever known.

Narrated by Imani Parks (Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D Jackson and Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West)

A graphic of the cover of Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead, master of his craft, is back with his take on a crime story, Harlem Shuffle. When a man finds himself beholden to a crime syndicate, will he ever find a way to escape and still provide for his family? Whitehead is sure to make “Best of the Year” lists with this novel.

Narrated by Dion Graham (Evicted by Matthew Desmond and Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas)

A graphic of the cover of White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Jackson makes her horror novel debut with White Smoke. Mari moves into a new house with her family. At first they’re excited that the house came with her dad’s new job, but when a student warns her that her new house is haunted, she begins to suspect it might be true.

Narrated by Marcella Cox (Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen)

A graphic of the cover of You Got Something Stronger? by Gabrielle Union

You Got Something Stronger? by Gabrielle Union

In this follow up to her popular memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine, Gabrielle Union shares more from her life. Her writing is so insightful, and her narration adds an extra layer of depth to the essays. Perfect for lovers of her first book or for new listeners to Union’s writing.

Narrated by Gabrielle Union (We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union)

Around the Web

The Best Vacation Listens for the Dwindling Days of Summer” (Audible Blog) – As summer comes to a close, I share great listens for the last few days of summer.

Yes, audiobooks count as ‘real reading’. Here are 3 top titles to get you started” (The Conversation) – Of course, we already know audiobook listening is “real reading,” but this article also has some interesting general info about audiobooks.

6 Favorite Audiobooks from Well-Read Black Girl’s Glory Edim” (Libro.fm) – As a huge fan of Well-Read Black Girl, I gasped out loud when I saw this. If Glory tells me to check out an audiobook, you bet I’m going to pick it up ASAP.

Over on Book Riot

8 Audiobooks Narrated by Adjoa Andoh” – This week, I basically confess my undying love for this incredible audiobook narrator.

20 Must-Read Audiobooks for the Whole Family” by Ashlie Swicker


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

The Biggest Release Day of the Season!

Hello, Audiophiles! Fall listening is here! I don’t know about you, but I have a very particular fall *mood* that inspires me to reach for epic family sagas, sinister tales, and cozy mysteries. (I am nothing if not an eclectic fall-obsessed book lover.) Now, while I am not a TBR maker, I do love a “possibility pile.” 

I can’t pile a bunch of digital audiobooks in a photo for you, but I can show you this lovely photo of Dylan playing the role of Vanna White and showing off the different options I’ve gathered for my first fall listen. Are any of your favorites here?

A photo of Dylan, a red and white corgi, sitting next to a stack of books: INTIMACIES by Katie Kitamura
SILENCE IS A SENSE by Layla Ammar
SHINER by Amy Jo Burns
THE FIVE WOUNDS by Kirstin Valdez Quade
THE PULL OF THE STARS by Emma Donoghue
DAMNATION SPRINGS by Ash Davidson

Recent Listen

Sabriel audiobook cover

Sabriel by Garth Nix

I’ve mentioned how much I ADORE Sabriel narrated by Tim Curry, and I recently relistened to it because the 25th anniversary edition of the novel is this year. I loved revisiting the Old Kingdom, a medieval-like world where the kingdom has fallen into disarray after the death of the queen 200 years before. Sabriel grew up across the wall in a steam-based world, safe from the undead that wander the Old Kingdom.

I love how Nix introduces us to this incredibly rich world filled with darkness and mystery. Sabriel’s father is the Abhorsen, an office tasked with laying the dead to rest and defending the Kingdom from necromancers. There’s the bells of his office, a magic infused sword, and a mysterious house sitting on a waterfall.

But for me, the book shines when Tim Curry gives voice to Mogget, a free magic entity bound to serve the Abhorsen. Curry has such a brilliant way of voicing his characters, and his voice naturally lends itself to a book about necromancers and the undead that serve them.

If you’re looking for a spooky listen for the fall that isn’t too scary, this is it.

Narrated by Tim Curry

Recent Releases

This week, dozens and dozens of incredible new titles are hitting audiobook apps. It made it incredibly hard to choose, but here are a few of the highlights!

A graphic of the cover of The Matrix by Lauren Groff

The Matrix by Lauren Groff

If you came up to me on the street and pitched me a book about 12th century nuns, I’d probably be giving you a look that said, “Say what now?” But The Matrix is written by the one and only Lauren Groff, a masterful storyteller. I’d read anything she wrote. Yes, even a book about nuns. Adjoa Andoh beauflly narrates the book, capturing that austere quality I imagine a 12th century nun would have.

Narrated by Adjoa Andoh

A graphic of the cover Beautiful World Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

I’ll admit it; I adore Sally Rooney. There’s just something about the way that she capture 20-somethings having terrible sex and intense relationship drama that has me finding every excuse in the world to keep listening. Her latest novel is everything I’d hoped it would be—full of young millennial angst, messy relationships, and lots of steamy scenes. Aoife McMahon is a gem of a narrator, helping create the perfect atmosphere for Rooney’s story.

Narrated by Aoife McMahon

A graphic of the cover of Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang

This memoir follows Qian Julie Wang as her family moves from China to America. In China, her parents were professors, but in America, they work in sweatshops. The stress of their new lives causes her parents to fight constantly, and when illness strikes the family, Qian feels even more isolated. The author also narrates the audiobook, which makes this memoir even more impactful on audio.

Narrated by Qian Julie Wang

A graphic of the cover of So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany C. Morrow

So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany C. Morrow

In this retelling of Little Women, Bethany C. Morrow introduces us to four Black sisters coming of age during the civil war. I love Morrow’s work, so when I heard she was taking on Little Women for this remix series, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. All-star narrator Adenrele Ojo performs the audiobook with the author.

Narrated by Adenrele Ojo and Bethany C. Morrow

A graphic of the cover of The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

Zoraida Córdova might be more well known for her young adult novels, but The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina marks her adult fiction debut. The novel follows the Montoya family, who all gather at the matriarch’s funeral. There, her descendants are given gifts that manifest later in their lives. There are family secrets and hidden magic, which is definitely my speed. Frankie Corzo performs the audiobook edition brilliantly, proving once again why she is one of the best.

Narrated by Frankie Corzo

A graphic of the cover of The Magician by Colm Tóibín

The Magician by Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín is back with an epic family saga that spans the decades through WWI and WWII. Thomas Mann, the family patriarch, is an incredible novelist trying to live up to the expectations that come with his success. He marries well and his children join the resistance against the Nazi regime. This novel is sure to be the engrossing fall listen that you need in your life. In Gunnar Cauthery’s performance, he captures the time period so well.

Narrated by Gunnar Cauthery

A graphic of the cover of The Secret Life of Fungi: Discoveries from a Hidden World by Aliya Whitely

The Secret Life of Fungi: Discoveries from a Hidden World by Aliya Whitely

Nature lovers, assemble! Earlier this year, I shared some nature books that I really loved, and I was delighted to learn that mushrooms, in particular, are having a bit of a moment. The latest book celebrating these fantastic organisms is The Secret Life of Fungi by Aliya Whitely, which gives listeners an inside peek at the lives of mushrooms and celebrates all of their quirky glory. Alison Larkin narrates the audiobook, giving the whole experience a delightfully cozy feel.

Narrated by Alison Larkin

Over on Book Riot

7 Audiobooks for Science September – Perfect for experienced scientists and the newly science curious alike.

Around the Web

5 Questions with Narrator MacLeod Andrews” (Audiofile Magazine) – I love narrator Q&As! It’s fascinating to learn more info from behind the scenes.

Libro.fm for Business: Audiobooks for Employees While Supporting Bookstores” (Libro.fm)

Back-to-School Gifting with Audiobooks.com” (The Audio Blog)


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Witchy Season Approaches!

Hello Audiophiles! As much of the country prepares for a fall filled with Pumpkin Spice lattes, I continue to sit on my porch down here in the South, sipping my pineapple juice and greeting the neighborhood lizards. In the Low Country, we rarely feel even a whisper of chill in the air until October, at the earliest. But, while I dream of mountainsides covered in splashes of autumn foliage, Dylan continues to live his best life toasting his hammies in the sun.

This past weekend, I spent hours installing new shelves in my dining room. There’s nothing like a good home improvement project to give you some quality audiobook time. In fact, I seem to have my groove back, finishing more audiobooks in August than any other month so far this year! So why don’t we jump in and start chatting about a few of them?

A photo of Dylan the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi sitting on a gray wooden porch.
A graphic of the cover of White Magic by Elissa Washuta

White Magic by Elissa Washuta

As witchy season approaches, I thought it would be a perfect time to feature one of my favorite books from this year, White Magic by Elissa Washuta. In the first essay in this collection, Washuta examines the settler ideas around white magic and how many elements from those practices have been culturally appropriated from Indigenous communities. As someone who practices spells and bindings, Washuta provides a unique perspective on the topic.

With each essay, Washuta seems to choose seemingly very different ideas, but as she writes about them, she slowly pulls them together until you finally understand how the two ideas are intimately intertwined. It’s almost its own unique kind of magic.

But one of the key points of why I love this audiobook stems from how Washuta tackles topics around disability. As someone who experiences chronic and mental illness, Washuta gives listeners a unique perspective on the way disability can affect one’s art. Too many people throughout history have romanticized chronic illness, mental illness, and alcoholism, often implying that the artist never would have been as good if they hadn’t experienced these conditions. Washuta shoves aside these romantic notions and takes a realistic look at the lives of other artists and her own.

Kyla Garcia performs the audiobook well, giving us glimpses into Washuta’s narrative voice as well as keeping the audio clear of too many distractions. I can only imagine how the jumping back and forth of ideas, which are clearly notes on the printed page, could be tricky to narrate on audio. But Garcia definitely seemed up for the challenge!

Narrated by Kyla García (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez and There There by Tommy Orange)

Recent Releases

A graphic of the cover of Fast Pitch by Nic Stone

Fast Pitch by Nic Stone

I love a great middle grade novel! In Fast Pitch, Shenice is the captain of a softball team called the Firebirds. I don’t want to share too much since I don’t want to spoil the plot, but there’s family secrets, team drama, and a young Black girl coming into her own as a confident athlete. Nic Stone is also a fabulous audiobook narrator. 

Read by the Author

A graphic of the cover of A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

From the bestselling author of Girl on the Train comes A Slow Fire Burning, a new mystery novel featuring a cast of characters hopelessly entangled in each other’s lives. When a young man and his mother are found dead, one right after the other, the police begin to question their family members, lovers, in-laws and neighbors, searching for the culprit. Rosamund Pike is a brilliant narrator, as always.

Narrated by Rosamund Pike (Restless by William Boyd and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

A graphic of the cover of My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

As a huge fan of Stephen Graham Jones, I’ve had this book pre-ordered for months now. As we follow Jade Daniels and learn more about her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films and books, listeners will quickly realize that My Heart Is a Chainsaw is a love letter to all things horror. Cara Gee performs the audiobook in a way that perfectly captures Jade Daniels’ narrative voice.

Narrated by Cara Gee (Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse and In Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White)

A graphic of of the cover of Three Rooms by Jo Hamya

Three Rooms by Jo Hamya

I first heard about Three Rooms on Debutfiul, a podcast dedicated to promoting and celebrating authors’ debut books. Once I heard Jo Hamya talk about how her book came to be, I immediately went and looked up the audiobook. Three Rooms captures the Millennial struggle to “make it” in a world bogged down by recession after recession. This also appears to be Jin Lusi’s debut audiobook, and she does a fabulous job! I will definitely be waiting to see what she narrates next.

Narrated by Jin Lusi

A graphic of the cover of Revelator by Daryl Gregory

Revelator by Daryl Gregory

Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee sits a cave where a deity called Ghostdaddy lives. At least, that’s what Stella’s family says. It’s 1933, and nine-year-old Stella is left in the car of her grandmother, and she’s about to find out that her Appalachian family’s history is much more sinister than she imagined. Narrated by Reagan Boggs with just the right amount of Southern Appalachian dialect, this audiobook will make you want to look around corners just to see if something is there.

Narrated by Reagan Boggs (No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily)

Over on Book Riot

8 Native Memoirs on Audio from Erin and Dani’s Book Club” – I gush about how much I love Erin and Dani’s Book Club and their fabulous selection of Native memoirs.

Around the Web

European Mysteries on Audio: Celebrating Women in Translation Month” (Audiofile Magazine) – Perfect for wrapping up women in translation month!

How to Become an Audiobook Narrator” (Audible) – A fabulous article from Audible for folks wanting to become an audiobook narrator—it even includes resources!


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

A Must-Listen Audiobook for Your End-of-Summer Reading List

Hello Audiophiles! I’ve recently finished a series of reading deadlines, so now it’s time to listen to something just because I can! So what do you listen to when you have the freedom to choose whatever you like? The answer is, of course, the biggest door stopper you can find!

For months now, a friend and I have planned to listen to The Eighth Life, a multi-generational, Russian family saga that’s over 40 hours long. The audiobook kept getting pushed back, but now it’s finally out! I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a book this long before, so I feel pumped and ready to go. We start soon, so I’ll keep you updated!

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, lying with his head upside-down on Kendra's laptop. He is looking at Kendra with great expectations.
Dylan: “You’re going to stop working and start petting me now, right?”

Latest Listens

A graphic of the cover Rise to the Sun

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

Like I mentioned last week, I’ve been trying to sneak in a few more summer-related reads. My most recent strategy is to work on home improvement projects I’ve been putting off. I have furniture to build, mirrors to hang, and artwork to frame. For heaven’s sake, I’ve even been going to the gym more! But no matter how much I listen, there are always more audiobooks waiting in the wings.

One of the audiobooks I’ve loved is Rise to the Sun, the second book from Leah Johnson, whose You Should See Me in a Crown landed at the top of so many readers’ Best of the Year lists. I always feel a little nervous heading into an author’s second book when I loved their debut. Can lightning strike twice? With Leah Johnson, it most certainly can.

Toni and Olivia meet at a music festival, but neither have any intention of falling in love. They bicker and protest every step of the way, but soon they fall for each other. This is such a heartwarming story, and Lexi Underwood and Alaska Jackson provide the perfect voices for Toni and Olivia. It’s like they are performing monologues for each character as they truly embody our lovestruck duo.

Recent Releases

A graphic of the cover of Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

In her MacLean’s latest romance novel, she gives us another steamy story that leads to a fabulous happily ever after. Sesily Talbot’s reputation is ruined, and she’s the talk of the town. But Sesily finds that her reputation gives her a new found freedom as no one is surprised if she’s seen alone with a gentleman or two. When Caleb, a friend of the family, seems more concerned for her place in society than she is, Sesily begins to look at him in a different way. Is there more to Caleb than what she’s thought all this time?

Narrated by Mary Jane Wells (Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas and The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare)

A graphic of the cover of Seeing Ghosts by Kat Chow

Seeing Ghosts by Kat Chow

In this riveting new memoir, Kat Chow shares the story of her family’s journey with grief. After her mother dies from cancer, Kat and her family try to figure out what their family looks like without her mother. The author interweaves her family’s present with its past, giving listeners an inside look at their journey from China to Hong Kong, Cuba, and America. Perfect for lovers of Crying in H Mart and H is for Hawk, Chow’s portrait of grief gives a unique perspective of a family’s journey to learning how to pick up the pieces after a loved one dies.

Narrated by the author

A graphic of the cover of The love Songs of W.E.B. Du Boise

The Love Songs by W.E.B Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers

In Jeffers fiction debut, she gives listeners a sweeping epic that spans generations of characters across the decades. Ailey grows up in the North, but spends summers in the South with her extended family. She begins to wonder about her family’s past and starts researching the generations of her family, going back hundreds of years. Slowly, Ailey comes to better understand her heritage and embrace who she is today.

Narrated by Adenrele Ojo, Karen Chilton, and Prentice Onayemi

A graphic of the cover of The Women of Troy

The Women of Troy by Pat Barker

Pat Barker follows up the critically acclaimed Silence of the Girls with The Women of Troy. Briseis, a Trojan Queen and former slave of Achilles, returns as our protagonist. She’s now enslaved by Alcimus, and uses her position to reconnect with other women of Troy in hopes of concocting a plan for revenge for the murder of their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons. Perfect for any myth retelling fan, The Women of Troy will have you sitting on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Narrated by Kristin Atherton (Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman)

A graphic of the cover of The Guide by Peter Heller

The Guide by Peter Heller

In this brilliant sequel to his novel The River, Peter Heller returns with the story of a young man who takes a job at a fishing lodge that caters to wealthy clientele. But when piercing screams rip through the clear, bright mountain air, our protagonist realizes that this resort may not be so idyllic. Prepare yourselves for a riveting suspense story that will have you second guessing at every turn.

Narrated by Mark Deakins (Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood)

Around the Internet

End-of-Summer Romance Listening” (Audiofile Magazine) – Perfect for those of us trying to sneak in the last few summer reads!

RBmedia Forms Ascent Audio Brand” (Publisher’s Weekly) – Some insider baseball for all of us audiobook nerds

Over on Book Riot

7 Audiobooks to Listen to in 7 Hours to Tune Out the World”

In “A Better World for Disabled Readers,” I discuss the need for able-bodied gatekeepers to take their allyship seriously and help disabled readers build a more accessible bookish world.


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

One of My Favorite Audiobooks of the Year AND New Releases!

Hello Audiophiles! As we head into the last month of summer, I’m scrambling to sneak in a few more summer reads. Over on Read Appalachia, I’ve been hosting an Appalachian Summer Reading Challenge in the form of a BINGO board. Over the last several months, I’ve been working my way through the different challenges.

There have been so many fabulous audiobooks that I’ve made it through so far—Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome, Pure America by Elizabeth Catte—but my favorite listen of the summer has to be The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson.

Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, stands on the beach. His chest floor is covered in sand. You can tell he's been having a great time rolling in the sand.
Dylan enjoys summer days digging in the sand at the beach!
A graphic of the cover of The Birds of Opulence

The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson

After listening to a series of “just okay” audiobooks this month, I was ready for something to really blow me away. In came The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. While it first came out in print a few years ago, it wasn’t until just a month or two ago that this incredible novel was released on audio.

The novel begins in the early 1960s in a place called Opulence, Kentucky. There, we meet generations of Black women who have been raising their daughters in the town since anyone can remember. From a surprise birth on a winter’s day to secret love affairs to dramatic funerals, these women see it all.

I especially love Wilkinson’s prose. There’s just something about the way she describes the fields on the family land or the relationship between mother and daughter that had me hanging on every word.

Allyson Johnson narrates the story with her masterful skill. Instead of trying to imitate the Appalachian Kentucky dialect, Johnson just uses touches of dialect here and there to give hints of how the characters might be speaking. It’s the perfect balance of accent, giving listeners a taste of the flavor of the region.

Narrated by Allyson Johnson (Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings and Citizen by Claudia Rankine)

Recent Releases!

A graphic of the country of In the Country of Others

In the Country of Others by Leila Slimani

When a Frenchwoman falls in love with a Moroccan soldier, she has no idea what’s in store for her. After WWII ends, she moves with her new husband to Morocco, and her new life begins. What she imagined as the adventure of her life soon turns to an incredible disappointment as she is ostracized and isolated. Her biracial daughter faces difficulties of her own as she is teased by classmates for having a French mother. With In the Country, Slimani steps up her game and gives us a one-of-a-kind story that is must listen.

Narrated by Lara Sawalha (A Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar and The Silence of Scheherazade by Betsy Göksel)

A graphic of the cover of Battle Royal

Battle Royal by Lucy Parker

I love a cute story around baking, and Battle Royal does not disappoint. When two former rivals learn that they will both be competing for the opportunity to bake the cake for an upcoming royal wedding, the gloves come off and the competition begins. The two go head to head in the competition, each showing their own personal flare for their craft. But who will be choosen? The classic perfectionist Dominic? Or the one-of-a-kind Sylvie? 

Narrated by Billie Fulford-Brown (Jane in Love by Rachel Givney and Act Like It by Lucy Parker)

A graphic of the cover of Redemptor

Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko

The much-anticipated follow up to Raybearer is here! Jordan Ifueko is back to continue Tarisai’s story. Now coming into her own power, our protagonist must choose her own council, those who will help her survive. She knows what her kingdom expects of her, and she’s determined to see it through. But she doesn’t realize that the throne she sits upon represents all her kingdom must answer for. Can Tarisai figure out how to make amends for the sins of her kingdom’s past?

Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt (The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris and Legendborn by Tracy Deonn)

A graphic of the cover of Velvet Is the Night

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

In one of the most anticipated novels of the year, Velvet Was the Night, Silvia Moreno-Garcia takes on a brand new, noir-inspired story. In Mexico City, during the 1970s, Maite works as a secretary who loves reading the latest romance stories in her favorite magazine. She dreams of passion and love, hoping for a life beyond the boring office around her. When her next-door neighbor disappears, she finds herself in the middle of a very real mystery. But what starts out as a search for a missing person soon turns into a full blown scheme involving political dissidents.

Narrated by Gisela Chípe (The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende and It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham)

A graphic of the cover of The Many Meanings of Meilan

The Many Meanings of Meilan by Andrea Wang

Meilan loves her family of uncles, aunts, and grandparents who all work with her parents at the family bakery, but when the family’s matriarch dies, Meilan’s entire world is turned upside down. Her parents have a disagreement with some of the other family members, and Meilan finds herself far away from her home in Boston. In Rosebud, Ohio, where few people have heard of Boston’s Chinatown, Meilan must learn a whole new world. This is a beautiful story of a Chinese American girl coming into her own in a whole new way.

Narrated by Annie Q (As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl and Hello (from Here) by Chandler Baker and Wesley King)

Around the Internet

Your Audiobook Guide to Book Awards” (Libro.fm) – I found this post so helpful as I plan my own “to be listened to” audiobook list.

To Be Listened To: Fall’s Most Anticipated Audiobooks” (Libro.fm) – I have been so excited for this list! Definitely a must-read line up for any audiobook lover.

Just in case you missed it, there are three new narrators who been inducted into Golden Voices, Audiofile’s lifetime achievement honor.

On Book Riot

6 Myth Retellings on Audio” – I share some of my favorite myth retellings on audio!


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
Audiobooks

Must-Read Books for Women in Translation Month!

I couldn’t be more thrilled to jump into Women in Translation Month! I first celebrated #WITmonth back in 2016 and have celebrated it every year since. You can find more info about Women in Translation month via the original founder’s website.

A couple friends and I started a #WITreadathon to encourage folks to pick up more books by women in translation and celebrate women’s writing from around the world. For me, I am always looking for audiobook editions of titles, which makes this month all the more challenging. BUT I’m so grateful that as audiobook popularity continues to rise, I have so many more options than I did five years ago.

So in this special edition of the newsletter, I’m going to highlight some of my favorite audiobooks from women in translation that I’ve listened to in the last several years, and I hope you love them as much as I do!

A photo of Dylan, the red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, lying on a floor next to a copy of The Vegetarian by Han Kang. Dylan's head imitates the head of the woman whose silhouette on the cover of the book.
A graphic of the cover of Inkheart

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, Translated by Anthea Bell

Readers with kids often ask me for recommendations so they can make reading women in translation something they do as a family, so I thought I’d start with two books for young people. The one is Inkheart, which I have listened to and relistened to countless times over the years. The book follows a young girl named Meggie whose father repairs books. She loves her quiet life with her dad, but when a mysterious visitor named Dustfinger shows up at their door, Meggie’s whole world begins to change.

This audiobook is the perfect adventure for any young bookworm who has always wondered what they would do if they ever had the opportunity to meet the characters from their favorite books. Lynn Redgrave performs the book perfectly, creating the most incredible voices for each of Inkheart’s memorable characters. 

Narrated by Lynn Redgrave (Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield)

A graphic of the cover of A Winter's Promise

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos, Translated by Hildegarde Serle

As the second book that would be perfect for the kids in your life, I have to tell you about A Winter’s Promise, which is part of a quartet of fantasy novels translated from French by Hildegarde Serle. Our protagonist, Ophelia, lives in a world where people live on Arks, floating pieces of land that each have their own culture and customs. Her parents decide to marry her off to a man far to the north, sending her off to meet her future in-laws with just her chaperone as company. Soon, Ophelia finds herself entangled in the political machinations of the different factions in her new home. Emma Fenney does a fantastic job capturing the large cast of characters and providing distinct voices for them that help the listener remember who is who.

Narrated by Emma Fenney (Envy by Amanda Robson and The Stylist by Rosie Nixon)

A graphic of the cover of My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, Translated by Ann Goldstein

Like many readers back in 2015, I found myself entangled in the incredible story that is Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet. Lena and Lenu are two best friends from a working class neighborhood of Naples. Their relationship is fraught with jealousy, competition, and manipulation. For the entire series, we watch as these two characters are drawn back to each other again and again through the decades. If you want a saga that will capture your attention from the first page until the last, this is it! Hillary Huber narrates the audiobook edition, giving listeners a narrator that they can get invested in and stick with for the entire series.

Narrated by Hillary Huber (Library at Mount by Char by Scott Hawkins and Final Girls by Riley Sager)

A graphic of the cover of Notes of a Crocodile

Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin, Translated by Bonnie Huie

I listened to Notes of a Crocodile last year, and it stood out as one of my favorite audiobooks. The story begins with an unnamed narrator writing her story of attending university in Taiwan in the 1980s. She describes her experience falling in love with another girl in her class and her own struggle with internalized homophobia. As her story unravels, we watch as she creates a found family for herself in her search for a place to belong. Jo Mei narrates the audiobook skillfully, capturing the voice of the unnamed protagonist so well.

Narrated by Jo Mei (The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung)

A graphic of the cover of The Vegetarian

The Vegetarian by Han Kang, Translated by Deborah Smith

Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, The Vegetarian needs no introduction. The novel focuses on a young woman who decides to become a vegetarian, much to her family’s horror. As time passes, they become more and more convinced that the protagonist needs to be pulled out of what they believe to be an irrational belief. Narrators Janet Song and Stephen Park draw listeners into the story quickly, making this audiobook incredibly engrossing.

Narrated by Janet Song (All you Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung) and Stephen Park (The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama)

A photo of the graphic of the cover of The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar

The Enlightenment of the Greenage Tree begins with the death of the narrator. Although dead, she remains with her family as they flee the city for the Iranian countryside. There, each family member experiences their own fantastical journey to untangle meaning from the series of tragedies that they’ve experienced. Azar uses her own imagination and inspiration from Persian folklore to weave together a narrative all her own. One of my favorite narrators, Priya Ayyar, creates the perfect feel for the audiobook edition.

Narrated by Priya Ayyar (Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed and The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani)

Around the Internet

I really enjoy Audiofile Magazine and their wide range of audiobook features! Here a few of their recent ones:

Audiobooks Featuring Four Weddings and Funeral

7 Kids’ Audiobook for Going Back to School

Audiobooks Mysteries Take on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Over on Book Riot

Here are even MORE audiobooks by women in translation! – “10 More Books by Audiobooks for Women in Translation


I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kendra@readingwomenpodcast.com or say hi over on Instagram @kdwinchester. For even MORE audiobook content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy listening, bookish friends!

~ Kendra