It began on New Year's Eve. The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed - and more than half of the world's population was decimated. Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max.
Best-selling author Nora Roberts’s new post-apocalyptic dystopian fantasy novel is a departure from the romantic fiction for which she’s known (or the suspense of her alter ego J.D. Robb), but it showcases the masterful storytelling that fans know and love while embracing the kind of world-building called for in this genre. Julia Whelan’s nuanced narration captures Roberts’s wide swath of characters and their authentic relationships. When the earth succumbs to a new plague, otherworldly powers manifest and human traits come in both life-affirming and monstrous ways in the first of a promising series.
Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway - until he admits his student visa has expired and he's in the country illegally. Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him.
It’s no secret that I’m a massive Christina Lauren fan, so when I saw that their latest standalone novel Roomies was coming out in December I jumped at the chance to make it my editor pick. In fact, I even re-listened to Beautiful Bastard – the first book in their popular series by the same name – to get me in the right frame of mind. Unlike Beautiful Bastard, however, Roomies has a surprising innocence to it that caught me off guard. 25-year-old Holland is stumbling her way through adulthood, and she shocks even herself when she decides to save her uncle’s Broadway show by marrying the sexy Irish guitarist he wants to hire for the orchestra – who happens to be in the country illegally. Their slow burning relationship, and Holland’s own journey of self-discovery, was charming, natural, and completely real to this subway riding, Broadway obsessed, NYC gal.
P.S. K.C. Sheridan needs to narrate more – her Irish accent is officially my new obsession.
Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including: Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother.
When I chose this book, I was mainly drawn in by the idea of listening to a YA novel narrated by one of my favorites: Julia Whelan, who performs young voices so well. And then it won the National Book Award, and I knew for sure I’d be in for a good listen. Far From the Tree is the story of three biological siblings getting to know one another for the first time. There’s the middle sibling, Grace, who recently had to give her own infant daughter up for adoption; the youngest, Maya, who feels like the lone sheep in her adoptive family; and the oldest, Joaquin, who has bounced from one foster home to another. Having seven (yes, seven) siblings of my own, I related with this story on such a visceral level. But, it’s about so much more than siblings and biological relationships: it’s about finding your own sense of family and home, in whatever form that may take. This is a gorgeous listen all around, made all the more powerful by Whelan’s warm, authentic performance.
When Gabriel Winter's daughter mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, the wealthy whiskey baron seeks revenge. Having lived in Colnora during the infamous Year of Fear, he hires the one man he knows can deliver a bloody retribution - the notorious Duster.
This was the first Michael J. Sullivan book I’ve ever experienced. That fact might aggravate some of his more dedicated fans, seeing as it’s the 4th book in the series (“you have to start at the beginning!”). But I heard that it could be enjoyed as a standalone work, and that it definitely can, because I was obsessed immediately. Sullivan’s characters really take on a life of their own, especially with Tim Gerard Reynolds giving them such a dynamic performance. Sullivan's sense of pacing is akin to a thriller writer's; each chapter is succinct and compelling with frequent cliffhangers that make it impossible to stop listening. Most crucial, perhaps, is the quality and subtle detail of Sullivan’s world building—and his synergy with Reynolds—making it easy to dive headlong into this book.
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is a 1902 children's book, written by L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The book is the origin story of Santa Claus and persuasively explains how he began to deliver toys to children, why he arrives via chimney at night, and how he came to travel by a sleigh pulled by reindeer.
This story includes all the adventure and magic you would expect from L. Frank Baum, the creator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: an enchanted forest ruled by the Master Woodsman of the World, a foundling baby adopted by wood nymphs, a war with dragons and giants, and of course, the toys, the reindeer, and the sleigh. This is the perfect audiobook to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit, but it’s especially wonderful for kids with questions about the whys and hows of Santa Claus.
Internationally recognized coach and New York Times best-selling author Cheryl Richardson has toured the world empowering others to make lasting change. But when Richardson's own life no longer worked as it once had, a persistent inner voice offered unmistakable guidance: It was time to reevaluate her life to uncover what really mattered.
Cheryl Richardson’s new book feels different than her previous works; she opens up a bit about her own challenges during a few tough years, and how she needed to rethink every aspect of her own life in order to re-establish her balance. The concept of Waking Up in Winter appealed to me—I definitely feel the exhaustion of the advancing cold, and Cheryl Richardson will always deliver a positive, actionable message. She is a seasoned and reassuring narrator, and the audiobook includes a special section at the end to spark self-discovery. If, like me, you are a bit resistant to self-help books, but also need a little inspiration in December, Cheryl Richardson might be the coach for you this season.
A heartbroken and humiliated Ricky Graves took the life of a classmate and himself. Five months later, the sleepy community is still in shock and mourning. Ricky's sister, Alyssa, returns to confront her shattered, withdrawn mother and her guilt over the brother she left adrift. Mark McVitry, the lone survivor of the deadly outburst sparked by his own cruelty, is tormented by visions of Ricky's vengeful spirit. Ricky's surrogate older brother, Corky Meeks, grapples with doubts about the fragile boy he tried to protect but may have doomed instead.
It's amazing how differently you come to know a person when a book presents them from multiple perspectives. The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves does this, with a full cast of eight narrators each taking on the multiple first-person narratives that make up the story. While on their own each character (the mother, the sister, the online friend, the camp counselor . . .) may be considered an unreliable narrator, once you mix all of their accounts together you get something close to a full picture of a person and their story. In this case that person is Ricky Graves: a teenaged boy who does the unthinkable. Whose suffering and ultimate response to that suffering creates an irreparable shift in the world of the many people who are a part of his life. As the listener, it's easy to put yourself in each of their places and wonder, "What if I did . . .? Would the outcome have changed?" With tragedy, it's natural to wonder why. The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves gives us a way of tackling this very human response.
From the author of the number-one New York Times best seller 10% Happier - this book will get you to meditate! With the same humor, candor, and practical advice that made him one of the freshest, most inspiring voices to come along in years, ABC News anchor Dan Harris now debunks all the myths, misconceptions, and self-deceptions that keep you from meditating so you'll quit procrastinating and get your butt on the cushion.
As its title so brilliantly conveys, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics is 100% for you if you’ve considered meditation but are put off by the crystals-and-incense connotations. With laugh-out-loud humor and real-life scenarios, Harris deftly defuses woo-woo preconceptions. A spinoff of his wildly popular 10% Happier, this book is informed by his own transformation from meditation naysayer to eight-years-strong practitioner—as well as the neuroscience of how it literally rewires your brain for self-awareness, compassion, and resiliency. Harris quells concerns that meditating will make you a “lifeless blob” doormat, and gives actionable, practicable ways to incorporate it in your life. You’ll be on a path to enlightenment—minus the patchouli—before you can even utter “be here now.”
Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems. Callie, Tilda's unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix's domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash.
I’m a sucker for psychological thrillers—even when they’re not the best, they’re still entertaining, and when they’re great, they’re unputdownable. White Bodies is one of those thrillers that doesn’t rely on action, but draws you in with the characters—totally weird characters who will have you silently screaming, “WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS?!” throughout the book. White Bodies is creepy and unsettling, and (be warned) many parts will leave you cringing.
Here Edgeofsports.com sportswriter Dave Zirin shows how sports express the worst, as well as the most creative and exciting, features of American society. Zirin explores how Janet Jackson's Super Bowl flash-time show exposed more than a breast, why the labor movement has everything to learn from sports unions, and why a new generation of athletes is no longer content to "play one game at a time" and is starting to get political.
This new release about the history of sports and resistance immediately piqued my curiosity. With all the media hype surrounding Colin Kaepernick and NFL boycotts in 2017, I was interested in learning more about the lineage of these types of protest movements. What’s My Name, Fool? isn’t perfect, but it was a fascinating entry into learning about athletes like Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Billie Jean King, who’ve used their platforms to make powerful statements about what they believe in. I was also fascinated to learn about athletes who’ve played barefoot, worn beads, or raised their fists to protest various social conditions. This audiobook provides a great jumping-off point to explore this compelling intersection of sports and history.