Here at Audible, we listen to countless books every month - some are brand-new, and some are the ones we've been meaning to get to for a while. Many are recommendations from colleagues or customers. And, just like our listeners, we have our favorites – those special books that stand out from the crowd and that we can’t stop thinking or talking about. These are the best listens we've unearthed this month from our ever-growing “to-listen lists”.
"With the setting of modern-day Liverpool being so much at the center of story, Jonathan Keeble's superb narration shines through brilliantly in this very British police procedural. Detective Sargent Nathan Cody becomes a key player in the investigation of bizarre and brutal killings where the murderer leaves birds as calling cards - complete with tiny notes tucked in their talons. Through flashbacks, Cody's own traumatic past feeds the suspense, and sets the stage for a series-worthy leading man. Add in cast of distinct and well-developed characters, and the final result is a compulsively listenable mystery that kept me mesmerized (and guessing) to the very end." -- Tricia, Audible Editor
"I expected Judy Sheehan's debut to be a simple light listen until suddenly it was this utterly weird, thoughtful, and surprisingly moving book. The premise (and there's no spoiler here if you're looking at the cover) is that our 16-year old heroine Sarah has died and, as it turns out, purgatory for teens is found at the Mall of America (how apt!). It may sound a bit like a kooky now-only-found-on-a-homemade-VHS-tape-in-your-parents-basement 80s rom-com, but it's about a thousand times smarter, and presents a unique depiction of grief, making the tragic subject matter somehow accessible, and perhaps even necessary, for young adults and parents alike. And narrator Cassandra Morris is one of the best in the business at young voices, perfectly capturing adolescent insight and sarcasm - without the whine." -- Emily, Audible Editor
"On the surface Tigerman is a genre-bending literary thriller full of wry English wit, geopolitical blunder, and video game references. But it’s also an extraordinarily well-written novel, with prose that packs a punch and lends itself perfectly to narrator Matt Bates’ inspired performance and cutting turn of voice. Under Bates’ guidance, Tigerman is a both an eccentric British comedy and a pseudo-surreal coming-of-age story about fatherhood, friendship, and kicking ass. Together, Bates and Harkaway deliver seriously endearing and riveting entertainment that doesn’t, and doesn’t need to, sacrifice depth or profundity to get the point." -- Michael, Audible Editor
"I must admit that there was a certain level of odd curiosity that initially drew me to Talese’s book. Not so much because of the seedy subject matter – a Colorado man purchases a motel to spy on its guests and indulge his voyeuristic desires – since it is indeed very creepy and extremely unsettling, but more so the headlines around Talese’s decision to stand behind the work after publically disavowing it over issues of his subject’s credibility. Talese himself notes the unreliable nature of his subject throughout so if, like me, you’re a fan of podcasts that deal in true crime and take an anthropological approach when dissecting the actions and motives of its morally impaired subjects, then this will be an added layer to an already quizzical tale. Joe Barrett’s hushed and subtle baritone was a perfect match for this and his even, unbiased narration provided a much appreciated anchor in the unnerving world being investigated." -- Doug, Audible Editor
"I credit narrator Jeff Woodman with getting my husband hooked on audiobooks, which is why I decided to finally listen to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. When the novel started, and a young, British voice filled my ears, I actually re-checked the name of the narrator. Surely this couldn’t be the same man who had performed the Jersey shore detective series my husband loved so much? I was floored – but that’s just why Woodman is so good: he truly inhabits whomever he is playing. In The Curious Incident he inhabits Christopher – a teenage boy with Asperger’s who must step outside of his very small comfort zone to solve the mystery of who killed the dog next door. Filled with heart, humor, and beautifully performed, The Curious Incident is a worthy listen that sheds light on an increasingly common syndrome." -- Katie, Audible Editor
"I know I’m more than a little bit late to this book (and the nearly 10-year old movie adaptation), but somehow had yet to be spoiled for me. Atonement is a complex and beautifully written work of fiction that that’s as enjoyable as it is absolutely soul-shattering in its exploration of the consequences of one, ill-fated action of a naïve 13-year-old girl. Good narration is always extra important to me when it comes to such a multifaceted story with alternating perspectives, and Jill Tanner, with her evocative voice is more than up to the task. There’s a little suspense in the beginning of this story – not the heart-pounding thriller variety, more of a nagging sense that something is about to go very wrong – and Tanner manages to weave in that subtle tone from the very beginning. I’m so glad I wasn’t spoiled, but even if you haven’t been so lucky, this one is worth the listen." -- Sam, Audible Editor
"Dutch author Herman Koch is one of my favorites. His bizarre and flawed characters, and utterly eerie subplots set against the banality of everyday life make his works incredibly addicting. Dear Mr. M tells the story (through multiple perspectives) of an aging author whose apex of his career occurred 40 years ago with the publication of his novel based on the real-life, unsolved disappearance of a history teacher and the teenage couple who were suspects. Narrator Luke Daniels does an exceptional job with Koch's tense and dark story. His ability to embody the various characters' genders, ages, and mentalities is simply outstanding and is a performance not to be missed. " -- Laura, Audible Editor