Cosmos is one of the best-selling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space.
"As a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson's recent documentary series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey which honors Carl Sagan's original work from 1980, I was excited to listen to Sagan's companion book—now available in audio for the first time. While I was a bit too young to catch Sagan's docuseries, LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow did heavily influence my childhood, and this may be why my brain seemed primordially attuned to learn from Burton's voice. He's the perfect narrator for untangling complicated scientific subjects, as well as highlighting their moments of majesty. I legit feel smarter for having listened to Cosmos, and I'll also never be able to forget why medieval Catholic monks first domesticated rabbits (hint: it wasn't because they were cute)." -- Emily, Audible Editor
Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel's marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths.
"I’m embarrassed to admit to being a newcomer to author Dennis Lehane. His disturbing, yet thought-provoking books like Shutter Island and Mystic River are the types of stories that are right up my alley, so I jumped on the opportunity for an early listen of his new novel Since We Fell. At first, it feels like literary fiction, gradually revealing more and more about protagonist Rachel, and how she came to be a happily-married recluse. (Side-note—Lehane’s character development is some of the best I’ve encountered.) As he brings us to present day, the book morphs into a thriller—we already know Rachel shoots her husband …but why? I’d be remiss not to mention the performance of Julia Whelan. She perfectly evokes Rachel's rollercoaster-like internal monologue, all while maintaining an essence of stoicism. While some may feel the need for a light-hearted listen to offset the darkness of Since We Fell, I promptly downloaded Mystic River and can’t wait to press play." -- Laura, Audible Editor
Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met - a man who lounges in boxer shorts, who loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates "like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972". His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the church's country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents' rectory, their two worlds collide.
"I want to be careful about the way in which I write about this book. Not because the subject matter is scandalous (it's not), but because, like all beautifully complex things, it'd be easy to mislabel or to put Lockwood's memoir in a box; to diminish its magnificence and, ultimately, the spell it cast over me. It deserves more than that. So, I'll say this: great writers are often lauded for having an original voice. Well, Lockwood has that and then some (including an amazing—and amazingly absurd—sense of humor). More importantly, she's an original thinker whose devotion to language and words and poetry—her primary trade—can be felt in every line, every turn of phrase, and every bit of confounding imagery that seems to reveal some hidden, intangible truth that normally exists just outside of fingertips' reach." -- Doug, Audible Editor
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office.
"Eleanor Oliphant is the kind of literary character who absolutely shines in audio. She is distinctly cranky, uniquely out of touch with the trends of the day, and has warped ideas about proper social etiquette. Thanks to the brilliant performance by narrator Cathleen McCarron, we get to hear Eleanor's hysterically deadpan inner dialogue with the Scottish brogue it deserves (as opposed to the American version I would have imagined while reading). In a chance encounter, Eleanor finds unlikely friends who help her slowly break through mental and emotional barriers that at one time served the very necessary purpose of self preservation. As her past is revealed and remembered, Eleanor becomes an even richer character and all the more a lovable weirdo you can't help but root for." -- Tricia, Audible Editor
Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world. To where the monsters lived.
"The Girl With All the Gifts was my absolute favorite novel of 2014, so I couldn’t have been more thrilled to return to this story. The Boy on the Bridge is something of a prequel; it returns to the ravaged post-apocalyptic world in which we met Melanie, but the events take place closer to the initial outbreak of the hungry plague. Once again, I find myself unable to say much without giving too much away. At the heart of this novel, like its predecessor, is a steadily-building and ominous mystery that kept me listening as often as possible. That, and the always incredible Finty Williams, whose performance is as captivating as ever. It’s no surprise that she seems to be Carey’s preferred voice for his stories. Whether you’ve listened to Girl with All the Gifts already or not, The Boy on the Bridge stands alone as another engrossing sci-fi thriller from an author who is quickly becoming one of the most exciting in his genre." -- Sam, Audible Editor
Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley's face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes - the moment she hears him speak of his crimes - she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case.
"I won’t bury the lede: If Marzano-Lesnevich doesn’t get shortlisted for a Pulitzer for this incredible work, I’ll eat my hat. This book was so much more than I expected—on one side, a riveting true crime that follows the horrific murder of a 6-year-old boy back through the tragic life story of his killer, convicted child molester Ricky Langley; on the other side, the masterful and emotionally intelligent story of the author’s own childhood abuse. But the truly outstanding achievement is how she folds together those sides to demonstrate that there is no absolute truth or justice, only conclusions that are as variable and complex as the concluder. Like Joan Didion or Truman Capote, Marzano-Lesnevich makes otherwise austere reporting cinematic and moving by filling in sensory details with her own imagination, and by narrating in her own kind, empathic voice, she draws you that much closer." -- Erin, Audible Editor
Time travel meets history in this Audible Original drama. When Max, a recent ancient history graduate, is offered a mysterious job at St Mary's Historical Research Institute, she quickly comes to realise this isn't any old stuffy research library. At St Mary's the historians don't just study the past - they revisit it. What begins as an academic exploration of events, such as the Peterloo Massacre, takes a dark and dangerous turn, and the historians of St Mary's soon learn that it's not just history they're fighting....
"I love imaginative history, British novels, and speculative fiction, which means I couldn’t resist Jodi Taylor’s Just One Damned Thing After Another and the other installments in her series The Chronicles of St. Mary’s. Zara Ramm as Dr. Maxwell (aka "Max"), the rule-breaking 20-something specialist in Ancient History, and Gemma Whalen as Kalinda Black engaged me immediately. The way some people want to go to Hogwarts or to stow away on the Tardis approximates how much I want to go to St. Mary’s, and now I can … at least while listening to this immersive dramatized production with a soundscape that transported me to St. Mary’s and beyond. Not a spoiler, just a warning: WWI and the Cretaceous Period can be rough going for "the tea-soaked disaster magnets of St. Mary’s, as they rattle around History" and impossible to stop listening for the rest of us. Please, Audible Originals, may I have another?" -- Christina, Audible Editor
For nearly four decades, David Sedaris has faithfully kept a diary in which he records his thoughts and observations on the odd and funny events he witnesses. Anyone who has attended a live Sedaris event knows that his diary readings are often among the most joyful parts of the evening. But never before have they been available in print. Now, in Theft by Finding, Sedaris brings us his favorite entries. From deeply poignant to laugh-out-loud funny, these selections reveal with new intimacy a man longtime fans only think they know.
"David Sedaris cut his teeth at NPR, and his popularity is due in large part to his excellent voice. I had forgotten how good his delivery is before listening to this one. Having read two of his books previously, I only knew that I could expect high quality and versatile writing. And boy does he deliver. In reciting the best of 25 years of his life, he draws together a keenly perceptive image of America in all its contradictory and ludicrous forms. He can tell you a story in one line, and craft a sense of character in even less. His characterizations are, for that matter, nothing short of brilliant—bolstered by an amazing ability to impersonate accents and dialectical quirks. Just the fact that he remembers each person so precisely is awe-inspiring, and lends real weight to the raw yet technically refined anecdotes from this expert memoirist." -- Michael, Audible Editor
In 2011 a series of antigovernment uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa in what would become known as the Arab Spring. Few could predict that these convulsions, initially hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy, would give way to brutal civil war, the terrors of the Islamic State, and a global refugee crisis. But, as New York Times best-selling author Scott Anderson shows, the seeds of catastrophe had been sown long before. In this gripping account, Anderson examines the myriad complex causes of the region's profound unraveling.
"In a previous job, I had the privilege of interacting with Scott Anderson from time to time. Whenever he delivered a new story, I promptly stopped what I was doing to read it (sorry old boss!). When I saw Fractured Lands in the pipeline, and that Scott was narrating (he has a great phone voice . . .), I jumped at the chance to listen. What Scott does best is take a complex story and create an immediately compelling—and above-all human—narrative. He does just this in Fractured Lands by profiling six men and women from six Arab countries, and tying their tales into the overarching story of the decades-long turmoil in the Middle East and the ultimate breaking point with the Arab Spring. Incredibly detailed, enlightening, and utterly human, this is Scott Anderson at his best." -- Katie, Audible Editor
Pay close attention, and you might solve this. On Monday afternoon five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app. Only Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead.
"For Karen McManus’s first novel, she dives into the world of high schoolers faced with typical challenges like college applications, sports, and dating. However, these particular teenagers have a less-than-common problem—they are all under investigation for murder. As the story of four unlikely partners in crime unravels, you’ll be guessing right until the very end—whodunit? Four narrators tell the story from each point of view, giving you a real feel for each of the main characters. A blend of The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us is Lying is a thoroughly engrossing YA novel that won’t let you put your headphones down." -- Tori, Audible Guest Editor
When small-town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn't be stronger, but the timing couldn't be worse. Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids and himself is his only priority. Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that's perfect for them - a sleepy little town in Nebraska.
"The characters that Kristen Ashley brings to life in her latest romance novel, Complicated, are the kind that I couldn’t help but love. They’ve both got baggage to overcome, struggles to move past, and ambitions to follow, but the purity of their intentions and the love in their hearts is clear from the very first scene, and in every scene thereafter. Listening to Greta and Hix as they stumble, grow, fail, lose, fall in love, and hold on to each other and themselves is a thrilling and delightful ride. Challenges as ordinary as family drama intrigue just as much as the crimes and murder that the twosome face concurrently, and result in an audio experience that left me grinning throughout!"-- Esther, Audible Guest Editor