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Authors blurbs, as publishers call them, can be a funny business – with friends, other house authors, and even (with permission) books’ editors writing up author endorsements for books. But not all praise stems from personal connection, and friend or not, some blurbs can be simply outstanding—attracting our attention to books we might not otherwise listen to.


Of our recent favorites, Patrick Rothfuss and John Scalzi’s geeked awe of Ready Player One beckoned to our love for the 80s—and the inner nerd in all of us. "Completely frickin' awesome," says Rothfuss, author of The Wise Man’s Fear. "This book pleased every geeky bone in my geeky body." "A nerdgasm," Scalzi agrees. "Imagine Dungeons and Dragons and an 80s video arcade made hot, sweet love, and their child was raised in Azeroth." (Bonus geek points for you if you recognize the reference from Warcraft.) And speaking of nerdy cool, Stiff and Packing for Mars author Mary Roach gets a brainy kick from Joshua Foer’s Memory Championship memoir, Moonwalking with Einstein, while My Chemical Romance lead singer and author Gerard Way sings the praise of Supergods’ "finely-tuned death ray" to the myths of the comic book world.


If weddings are more your thing, or perhaps what you can’t escape during its most popular season – summer, J. Courtney Sullivan (author of Maine and Commencement) recommends Girls in White Dresses to fulfill your matrimonial fix...or even to take over it. "Like a lot of women in America," Sullivan explains, "I was awake at 4 a.m. on April 29th. But unlike the rest, I wasn’t waiting to see Kate Middleton walk down the aisle. I was reading Girls in White Dresses. This hilarious, pitch-perfect debut more or less took over my life for three glorious days. I cancelled dinners, ignored deadlines and went without sleep, all because I could not stop reading it."


Luis Carlos Montalvan’s memoir Until Tuesday, which he movingly narrates, elicits a different kind of tear from weddings and had author Lee Woodruff "crying on page 3. The collision of man and dog, and the unbreakable bond they form, made my heart leap." Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet author Jamie Ford similarly found himself transformed by Kyung Sook-Shin’s family saga Please Look After Mom, and Booker-longlisted novel Pigeon English made Room author Emma Donoghue "laugh and tremble all the way through."


Alafair Burke and Brad Thor highlight two of our favorite new mystery heroes from Clare DeWitt and the City of the Dead and Forced to Kill, while Ann Hood and Sarah Blake revel in the streets of Paris in their praise for the novels French Lessons and The Paris Wife. So whether you’re a foodie looking for the next best chef memoir or an Andromeda Strain fan seeking out sci-tech ala Michael Crichton, take your cues from these and more standout blurbs from your favorite authors.


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  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18922)
    Performance
    (17471)
    Story
    (17470)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "Completely fricking awesome...This book pleased every geeky bone in my geeky body. I felt like it was written just for me." —Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Wise Man’s Fear

    "A nerdgasm...imagine Dungeons and Dragons and an 80s video arcade made hot, sweet love, and their child was raised in Azeroth." —John Scalzi, author of Fuzzy Nation
  • Moonwalking with Einstein

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Joshua Foer
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1769)
    Performance
    (1247)
    Story
    (1245)

    Foer's unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion frames a revelatory exploration of the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of our lives. On average, people squander forty days annually compensating for things they've forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. Even more important, Foer found a vital truth we too often forget.

    michael says: "Interesting Topic, Great Narrator!"
    "You have to love a writer who employs chick sexing to help explain human memory. Foer is a charmer, a crackling mind, a fresh wind. He approaches a complex topic with so much humanity, humor, and originality that you don't realize how much you're taking in and understanding. It's kind of miraculous." —Mary Roach, author of Packing for Mars
  • Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Grant Morrison
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (296)

    From one of the most acclaimed and profound writers in the world of comics comes a thrilling and provocative exploration of humankind's great modern myth: the superhero. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Grant Morrison draws on art, science, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of the superhero - why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are... and what we may yet become.

    Amazon says: "Geek Gospel"
    "Grant Morrison is the antimatter to the often mundane world of comics - Supergods is the finely tuned death-ray. Far beyond deconstruction, it exposes, challenges, invigorates and detonates everything we know about this modern mythology. Supergods gives meaning to the fictional worlds we create and live within and helps us make sense of the madness within ourselves through the four-color world of the super hero." —Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance and author of The Umbrella Academy
  • Girls in White Dresses

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jennifer Close
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (129)

    Isabella, Mary, and Lauren are going to be bridesmaids in Kristi's wedding. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, eat tiny sandwiches, and drink mimosas. They're all happy for Kristi, but they do have the ups and downs of their own lives to cope with. Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, where she's extremely successful, and wildly unhappy. Mary is in love with a man who may never love any woman as much as he loves his mother. And Lauren, a waitress at a midtown bar, finds herself drawn to a man she's pretty sure she hates.

    Candi says: "Waste of a credit"
    "Like a lot of women in America, I was awake at 4 a.m. on April 29th. But unlike the rest, I wasn’t waiting to see Kate Middleton walk down the aisle. I was reading Girls in White Dresses. This hilarious, pitch-perfect debut more or less took over my life for three glorious days. I cancelled dinners, ignored deadlines and went without sleep, all because I could not stop reading it." —J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine and Commencement
  • Until Tuesday

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Narrated By Luis Carlos Montalvan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (885)
    Performance
    (704)
    Story
    (709)

    A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. In constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; he cut himself off from those he loved. Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever....

    Char says: "Very Good Book"
    "Wow, what a book! I think I was crying on page 3. The collision of man and dog, and the unbreakable bond they form, made my heart leap. Everyone should read this book to better understand not only the ravages of war, but the amazing capacity of the human spirit to rebound. I dare anyone to read this book and not believe in the power of love to heal." —Lee Woodruff, author of Perfectly Imperfect
  • Please Look After Mom

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Kyung-Sook Shin, Chi-Young Kim (translator)
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall, Samantha Quan, Janet Song, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (126)

    On a family visit to the city, Mom is right behind her husband when the train pulls out of Seoul Station without her, and she is lost, possibly forever. As her children argue over how to find her, they each recall their lives with her. Have they lived up to her expectations? Was she happy? Through the piercing voices of daughter, son, and husband, and through Mom’s own words in the novel’s shattering conclusion, we learn what happened that day, and explore an even deeper mystery—of motherhood itself.

    Diana - Audible says: "A moving family portrait"
    "Some books change us. They change the way we look at ourselves, the way we interact with those closest to our hearts—the way we’ve loved those people, or the way we’ve missed them or honored them or taken them hopelessly for granted. This is one of those books. This is a book that alters the way we remember. Once you cross its threshold, you’ll never be able to go back to that comfortable place you came from. Your perceptions will be transformed. Permanently." —Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • Pigeon English

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Stephen Kelman
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (79)

    Lying in front of Harrison Opuku is a body, the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills, who seems to have been murdered for his dinner. Armed with a pair of camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television shows like CSI, Harri and his best friend, Dean, plot to bring the perpetrator to justice.

    Louisiana says: "Stopped listening after about 20-30 minutes"
    "Simultaneously accurate and fantastical, this boy's love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through. Pigeon English is a triumph." —Emma Donoghue, author of Room
  • Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sara Gran
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (444)
    Performance
    (373)
    Story
    (372)

    Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant skills of deduction and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Détection—the only book published by the great and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette before his death.

    A. D. Mcrae says: "Mostly Disappointed but it was Quick"
    "Not your mother's girl detective, Claire DeWitt is a cool blend of Nancy Drew and Sid Vicious. Sara Gran has pulled the traditional female sleuth into the twenty-first century with a novel that's smart and hip, dark and funny" —Alafair Burke, author of Long Gone
  • Forced to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Andrew Peterson
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (2145)
    Performance
    (1707)
    Story
    (1721)

    Bravery. Honor. Sacrifice. These are more than mere words to trained Marine sniper Nathan McBride. He’s never backed away from danger and he’s not about to start now, even if it means confronting the cold-blooded interrogator who tortured him to the brink of death more than a decade ago.

    1BookJ says: "Awsome sequel!!!"
    "An absolutely bone-chilling thriller. Equal parts Stephen Hunter and Thomas Harris. Imagine Bob Lee Swagger going after Hannibal Lecter and you will have only scratched the surface of this intensely exciting novel. Forced To Kill will haunt you long after you read its last brilliantly plotted page." —Brad Thor, author of Full Black
  • French Lessons: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ellen Sussman
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    A single day in Paris changes the lives of three Americans as they each set off to explore the city with a French tutor, learning about language, love, and loss as their lives intersect in surprising ways.

    "If you are like me and you are stuck at home this summer, I have the perfect antidote for your summertime blues: buy a copy of Ellen Sussman’s new novel French Lessons, and get transported to Paris. Her characters are charming, sexy, intelligent, and most important—human. They serve as guide to the city and to the various conditions of the heart, from love to infidelity and grief to hope, with a good dose of sexual highjinks thrown in. You will savor the food and wine of Paris, discover hidden treasures, have your heartbroken and your spirits lifted, even though you are stateside. Most importantly, you will spend some hours in the pleasure of Sussman’s lovely story and storytelling. This is a trip you will want to take." —Ann Hood, ..
  • The Paris Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Paula McLain
    • Narrated By Carrington MacDuffie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2091)
    Performance
    (1478)
    Story
    (1483)

    Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet 28eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

    Pris says: "Delighted in Del Mar"
    "Despite all that has been written about Hemingway by others and by the man himself, the magic of The Paris Wife is that this Hemingway and this Paris, as imagined by Paula McLain, ring so true I felt as if I was eavesdropping on something new. As seen by the sure and steady eye of his first wife, Hadley, here is the spectacle of the man becoming the legend set against the bright jazzed heat of Paris in the 20s. As much about life and how we try and catch it as it is about love even as it vanishes, this is an utterly absorbing novel." —Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress
  • Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Hamilton
    • Narrated By Gabrielle Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (732)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (500)

    Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty fierce, hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Above all she sought family, particularly the thrill and the magnificence of the one from her childhood that, in her adult years, eluded her. Hamilton’s ease and comfort in a kitchen were instilled in her at an early age when her parents hosted grand parties, often for more than one hundred friends and neighbors.

    loix says: "A sensory feast"
    "Magnificent. Simply the best memoir by a chef ever. Ever. Gabrielle Hamilton packs more heart, soul, and pure power into one beautifully crafted page than I’ve accomplished in my entire writing career. Blood, Bones & Butter is the work of an uncompromising chef and a prodigiously talented writer. I am choked with envy." —Anthony Bourdain, author of Medium Raw and Kitchen Confidential
  • Robopocalypse: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Wilson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1626)
    Performance
    (1227)
    Story
    (1235)

    In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans - a single mother, a lonely Japanese bachelor, and an isolated U.S. soldier....

    Raxxillion says: "OMG! The hyperbole is the GREATEST EVER!!!!!"
    "Robopocalypse reminded me of Michael Crichton when he was young and the best in the business. This novel is brilliant, beautifully conceived, beautifully written (high-five, Dr. Wilson)...but what makes it is the humanity. Wilson doesn't waste his time writing about 'things', he's writing about human beings—fear, love, courage, hope. I loved it." —Robert Crais, author of The Sentry
  • The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Joby Warrick
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (217)

    In December 2009, a group of the CIA’s top terrorist hunters gathered at a secret base in Khost, Afghanistan, to greet a rising superspy: Humam Khalil al-Balawi, a Jordanian double-agent who infiltrated the upper ranks of al-Qaeda. For months, he had sent shocking revelations from inside the terrorist network and now promised to help the CIA assassinate Osama bin Laden’s top deputy. Instead, as he stepped from his car, he detonated a 30-pound bomb strapped to his chest, instantly killing seven CIA operatives....

    Melissa says: "Great modern history story"
    "The Triple Agent is a spy thriller like no other. Never has such a giant intelligence debacle been chronicled this vividly, this intimately. Riveting and harrowing, laden with deception and duplicity, it is a remarkable, behind-the-curtain account of the CIA’s darkest day in Afghanistan." —Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City
  • The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies - How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Shermer
    • Narrated By Michael Shermer
    Overall
    (857)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (624)

    In this, his magnum opus, the world’s best known skeptic and critical thinker Dr. Michael Shermer—founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and perennial monthly columnist (“Skeptic”) for Scientific American—presents his comprehensive theory on how beliefs are born, formed, nourished, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished.

    Leigh says: "Great material. Not-so-great narration."
    "Richard Feynman once said that the easiest person to fool is yourself, and as a result he argued that as a scientist one has to be especially careful to try and find out not only what is right about one's theories, but what might also be wrong with them. If we all followed this maxim of skepticism in everyday life, the world would probably be a better place. But we don't. In this book Michael Shermer lucidly describes why and how we are hard wired to 'want to believe'. With a narrative that gently flows from the personal to the profound, Shermer shares what he has learned after spending a lifetime pondering the relationship between beliefs and reality, and how to be prepared to tell the difference between the two." —Lawrence Krauss,
  • The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Eric Greitens
    • Narrated By Eric Greitens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (937)
    Performance
    (725)
    Story
    (730)

    Like many young idealists, Eric Greitens wanted to make a difference. During college and afterward, he traveled to the world's trouble spots, working in refugee camps, serving the sick and the poor on four continents, from Gaza to Croatia to Mother Teresa's home in Calcutta, among others. Yet he could not prevent violence or save anyone from becoming a refugee; he could only step in afterward and try to ease the damage. So Eric joined the Navy SEALs and became an elite warrior....

    Theodore says: "Unforgettable"
    "The Heart and the Fist might have been written in many countries, but its ideals seem to me to be quintessentially American, from and of the United States as she is at her best. That Eric Greitens—Rhodes Scholar, Navy SEAL, international humanitarian worker and founder of a veterans' aid organization—is an extraordinary individual goes without saying. But what resounds so powerfully in this book is his consciousness and drive, from the earliest age, not to cash in on his own abundant gifts but to find some path that was worthy of his highest self, some way to be of use, to make a contribution and to really live a life. He combines in one person the warrior ethos of toughness, courage and tenacity with the compassion of the humanitarian. ..
  • The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (56)

    The only sign of life for miles is an empty BMW. Inside the expensive car he finds clothes that fit perfectly, shoes for his tattered feet, a Rolex, and an auto registration in the name of Daniel Hayes, resident of Malibu, California. None of it is familiar. How did he get here? Who is he? Who was he? While he searches for answers, the world searches for him - beginning with the cops that kick in the door of his dingy motel with guns drawn. Lost and alone, the man who might be Daniel Hayes flees into the night. All he remembers is a woman’s face, so he sets off for the only place he might find her.

    Barbara says: "Plot has potential"
    "The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes takes "what if" in a new direction and to new heights. Every writer muses, "What if the reader isn’t sure whether the husband killed his wife, or not? That’s a basic whodunit. But Sakey asks, 'What if the husband isn’t sure whether he killed his wife, or not?' That’s a terrific premise, and it boosts an already-terrific thriller plot into the stratosphere. Add in LA’s easy glitz and glamour, and coast-to-coast chase tension, and a bad guy to die for (or be killed by), and shocks and surprises galore, and you’ve got the kind of story you’ve never read before." —Lee Child, author of Worth Dying For
  • The Last Werewolf

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Glen Duncan
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (503)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (417)

    Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but otherwise in the pink of health. The nonstop sex and exercise he’s still getting probably contribute to that, as does his diet: unusual amounts of flesh and blood (at least some from friends and relatives). Jake, of course, is a werewolf, and with the death of his colleague he has now become the only one of his kind.

    Mel says: "The Ennui of a Naughty Dog"
    "A magnificent novel. A brutal, indignant, lunatic howl. A sexy, blood-spattered page-turner, beautifully crafted and full of genuine suspense, that tears the thorax out of the horror genre to create something that stands rapturous and majestic and entirely on its own." —Nick Cave, author of The Death of Bunny Munro
  • Say Her Name

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Francisco Goldman
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Celebrated novelist Francisco Goldman married a beautiful young writer named Aura Estrada in a romantic Mexican hacienda in the summer of 2005. The month before their second anniversary, during a long-awaited holiday, Aura broke her neck while body-surfing. Francisco, blamed for Aura’s death by her family and blaming himself, wanted to die, too.

    Lynne says: "Should have stayed a magazine article"
    "Say Her Name is a tender and sacred narrative, many-angled, fearless, incandescent in its frankness. As I read it, I felt I were reading something more alive than life itself, and thought this is surely why one reads, why one writes: that one might mingle oneself with a beloved person, a book, a landscape, and hold it...utterly alive." —Kiran Desai, author of The Inheritance of Loss
  • Shut Your Eyes Tight: Dave Gurney, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By John Verdon
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (205)

    When he was the NYPD’s top homicide investigator, Dave Gurney was never comfortable with the label the press gave him: super detective. He was simply a man who, when faced with a puzzle, wanted to know. He was called to the investigative hunt by the presumptuous arrogance of murderers - by their smug belief that they could kill without leaving a trace. There was always a trace, Gurney believed. Except what if, one day, there wasn’t?

    Janels says: "Great read, without gratuitous violence"
    "Voice is the hallmark of a great writer, and I loved John Verdon’s riveting Shut Your Eyes Tight from page one, because I fell in love with his voice. Yes, the plot is a humdinger, too, but what keeps the pages turning is the pitch-perfect, intriguing voice of its "hero", NYPD detective Dave ("Don’t call me Davey") Gurney. He’s super-smart, but the last one to brag. He loves his wife, but he doesn’t get all mawkish about her. He’s haunted by the death of his young child, but he doesn’t even say that aloud. Even his diversions are fascinating." —Lisa Scottoline, author of Save Me
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