Katie O'Connor

Addictions: pop-culture, chocolate, books. Katie loves YA and Romance, but also over-indexes on nonfiction and literary fiction (in particular, books that make her sob uncontrollably).

YA I Can't Wait For

Spring is always a great season for new YA listens. Here are some of the titles I can't wait for!

Kids at home?

Like so many of us, my toddlers are at home right now while we're all in quarantine. Here are some of their favorite listens.

Need a breather?

When my anxiety kicks in and I need to quiet the voices in my head, romance always provides the best distraction. Here are some of my favorite romcoms.

Katie's Recent Reviews

    • Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
    • By: Robert Iger
    • Narrated by: Jim Frangione, Robert Iger
    • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
    • Release date: 09-23-19
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 5,467 ratings
    • More than just a business book
    • I cannot shut up about The Ride of a Lifetime. I’ve brought it up in meetings, out to dinner with friends, on the phone with my cousin...I will recommend this to anyone who will listen. Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, provides a completely candid look at his career, his mentors, and what it takes to be a successful leader and to lead a successful company.

      What makes this audiobook stand out is Iger’s gift for storytelling. His anecdotes are utterly fascinating and deeply human. His rational and kind approach to leadership is inspiring. It’s an exceptional listen, and one of my favorites from 2019.
    • A Novel
    • By: Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
    • Series: All Souls , Book 1
    • Length: 23 hrs and 59 mins
    • Release date: 02-08-11
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 33,454 ratings
    • It begins with...a Jennifer Ikeda obsession
    • I’ve had A Discovery of Witches on my TBLT list ever since Rachel Hollis (very politely) shamed me for never having listened to it on an episode of Audicted. And wow was she right. This series is gorgeous. While yes I love the love story, I’m also mesmerized by the detailed history that author Deborah Harkness explore. Not to mention the central mystery of the series is about a long lost manuscript, aka a book nerd’s dream.

      Jennifer Ikeda’s narration is absolute perfection—I dare you to find me someone who can convincingly perform a deaf 16th century Englishman, followed by a French vampire, then seamlessly transition to a 21st century American witch. Her talent is remarkable and I can’t imagine not listening to this series.
    • A Novel
    • By: Casey McQuiston
    • Narrated by: Ramon de Ocampo
    • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
    • Release date: 05-14-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 3,161 ratings
    • Obsessed is an understatement
    • I dare anyone to listen to this book and not smile. It is so ridiculously charming, and I’m officially a Casey McQuiston fan-girl. Can you tell? I loved the characters. I loved the history (and the alternate history!). Ramon de Ocampo nailed accents, angst, and angry tech sounds with equal adeptness. I need a "History, huh?" t-shirt ASAP, and I need McQuiston’s next novel even faster than that.
    • A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home
    • By: Tembi Locke
    • Narrated by: Tembi Locke
    • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
    • Release date: 04-30-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 2,585 ratings
    • Absolutely Gorgeous
    • I don't even know where to begin. I loved this memoir so much, and I can't stop recommending it to anyone who will listen. There was such power to everything Tembi wrote—it was raw and personal and deeply moving. The way that she describes grief rang true to me, and as someone who has lost their father she seems to be doing a beautiful job of keeping her husband's memory alive for their daughter.

      Tembi's performance is remarkable. Her Italian is obviously impeccable, and it adds a sort of sweetness to the narrative, but the love for her family and for Sicily that's so evident in her voice is what truly elevates this listening experience. I cried. I smiled. I fell in love with Tembi. I fell in love with Saro. And I fell in love all over again with a country I once called home.
    • By: Angie Thomas
    • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
    • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
    • Release date: 02-05-19
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 2,485 ratings
    • Thomas and Turpin are my perfect pairing
    • Whenever an author has a brilliant debut (as Angie Thomas did with The Hate U Give—our 2017 Audiobook of the Year), I always have a bit of apprehension when approaching their sophomore effort. Thankfully, yet unsurprisingly, On the Come Up is every bit as searing and stunning as its predecessor. The combination of Angie Thomas and Bahni Turpin is, quite frankly, genius. Hearing Turpin rap Thomas’s lyrics may be my favorite listening moment of all time. Thomas doesn’t shy away from hard topics, while also masterfully maintaining the careless and sometimes selfish POV of a teenager. The friendships are authentic, the fears and dreams relatable, and the desire (to be the person to make your family feel secure) universal. The novel is a cultural snapshot for 2019, and we’re only 36 days in. Brace yourselves listeners, this is a book I’m going to be recommending over and over again.
    • A Novel
    • By: Sally Thorne
    • Narrated by: Jayme Mattler
    • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
    • Release date: 01-29-19
    • Language: English
    • 4 out of 5 stars 686 ratings
    • If you think Romance and HGTV go hand in hand...
    • I caught up on a lot of romance while I was on maternity leave, and my favorite book from those months was probably Sally Thorne’s debut The Hating Game. When I saw she had a new book releasing—99 Percent Mine—I didn't hesitate before adding it to my queue. She is a master at the slow burn, and her characters have a way of needling their way into your heart and not budging. 99 Percent Mine focuses on Darcy Barrett and her slightly dysfunctional relationship with her childhood friend (and twin brother's bestie) Tom Valeska. When Tom, who now owns his own constructino company, starts working on the house Darcy has inherited, their close proximity (and new singleness) brings years of tension to a boil. Sally, please write faster so that I can continue gobbling up your work!
    • A Novel
    • By: J. P. Delaney
    • Narrated by: Sally Scott, Matt Reeves, Lorelei King, John Chancer, Eric Meyers
    • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
    • Release date: 07-24-18
    • Language: English
    • 4 out of 5 stars 416 ratings
    • This Book Gave Me Nightmares
    • I recently spent a weekend in NYC, and decided to listen to Believe Me by J.P. Delaney during my trip…which opens with a murder in an NYC hotel room. What was supposed to be a restful few nights away turned out to be way more stressful than anticipated (at least when the lights were off), but it was worth it. I loved the literary angle of Delaney’s latest psychological thriller (a serial killer is inspired by the poetry of a 19th century French poet), and the cinematic delivery of the setting and plot kept me hooked. I was disoriented (in a good way) and guessing at the ending until the final minutes. My only recommendation would be to maybe keep your listening restricted to daytime hours with this one…
    • By: Jenna Evans Welch
    • Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
    • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
    • Release date: 05-08-18
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 187 ratings
    • Welch broke my listening rut
    • A few weeks ago I was in the midst of a listening rut when an advanced copy of Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch landed on my desk. It reminded me that her debut Love & Gelato had been lingering on my to-listen-to list, so I downloaded it on the spot…and finished it in a day. (I'll spare you the details about the intense wanderlust it sparked...for now). I then dove right into Love & Luck and devoured it with the same fervor. Welch establishes setting so well and made me want to hop on a plane to the Emerald Isle (the spot-on Irish accent from narrator Lisa Flanagan didn’t hurt either). What’s more, it was incredibly refreshing to have the central relationship in this YA tale be between siblings.
    • Truth, Lies, and Leadership
    • By: James Comey
    • Narrated by: James Comey
    • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
    • Release date: 04-17-18
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 25,599 ratings
    • I'm shocked...
    • ...shocked at how much I loved this book. This was an incredibly human story with a true narrative arc that hooked me the entire time. As the daughter of two trial attorneys I was fascinated by Comey's rise through our justice system, and truly enjoyed the anecdotes he shared about some of the cases that shaped both him as a man and his career. You're more than halfway through the book when you start getting to the "juicier" portions that have been plastered all over the media, but at that point I almost didn't care. I just wanted Comey to keep telling me his story. Nonfiction rarely tops my favorites list, but this is currently the best book I've listened to this year.
    • A Novel
    • By: Julia Whelan
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
    • Release date: 04-24-18
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4,049 ratings
    • A favorite narrator makes her debut as an author
    • What's better than a book performed by Julia Whelan? One written by her too! This book checked my two major "what makes me love fiction" boxes: it made me laugh, and it made me ugly cry. Oh, the ugly crying. Set in Oxford, the novel centers on Ella Duran as she attempts to balance her master’s degree studies, romance, and an unexpected new job as the education lead on a presidential campaign. The premise and setting lends itself to rich descriptions and plenty of fun literature references for us book nerds, showcasing Whelan's deep knowledge of both the subject and area. The novel really stays with you, and the love story within managed to both break me and make me feel hopeful. Whelan performs and really shows off her depth as a character actress, effortlessly transitioning between Washington lobbyists and British pub owners, making the listening experience all the more enchanting. Trust me…go get this book!

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