The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli; narrated by Arielle DeLisleTeen Fiction. After 26 crushes and not a single kiss, Molly Peskin-Suso is ready to take a chance…or at least she wants to be ready. Though she's backed by loyal friends and her caring, multiracial family, her confidence is undermined by anxiety, not to mention a society that claims that "chubby girls don’t get boyfriends." As her twin sister Cassie spends more time with her girlfriend, Molly's friendship with geeky co-worker Reid deepens -- could this be a relationship that's worth the risk of rejection? Narrator Arielle DeLisle skillfully differentiates among the multitude of characters in this warm and charming novel.
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual... by W. Kamau Bell; narrated by W. Kamau BellAdult Nonfiction. W. Kamau Bell, the comedian and star of CNN's United Shades of America, says he's always been awkward. As Bell narrates his own memoir, this humorous and thought-provoking audiobook shows off his acting skills. Relating his "Awkward Youth," "Start in Stand-Up Comedy," views on sexism, "Awkward Awesome Parenting Skills," and thoughts about the Democratic Party (among other topics), this is a must-listen if you're a Bell fan or addicted to social and political humor.
Vicious Circle by C.J. Box; narrated by David ChandlerAdult Fiction. Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett has some deadly enemies in the violent Cates family, especially former rodeo champ Dallas (who once assaulted Joe's daughter). When a newly-out-of-prison Dallas returns to town and a murder occurs, Joe realizes that the Cateses are targeting those close to him. Teaming up with his friend Nate, who's no stranger to killing, honorable Joe fights back. With so much backstory in this fast-paced 17th series entry, newcomers may want to start with an earlier book. Fortunately for fans, veteran narrator David Chandler continues his delightful work on the Joe Pickett audiobooks.
Marlena by Julie Buntin; narrated by Emma GalvinAdult Fiction. Fifteen-year-old Cat is lonely in her new hometown in rural Michigan, until she meets her beautiful, reckless neighbor, Marlena. The friendship that the two form is unlike anything either girl has ever experienced, but it is doomed. Within a year, Marlena is dead. Now in her thirties, Cat still feels damaged by the loss. The book alternates between the two eras, creating a haunting portrait of an intense friendship -- and the adult perspective that sees things a little more clearly. Leisurely paced, this debut is well served by Emma Galvin's "slightly gritty yet vulnerable-sounding" (AudioFile) performance.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann; narrated by Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, and Danny CampbellAdult Nonfiction. In 1920s Oklahoma, the Osage Indian Nation possessed immense wealth because their land contained large petroleum reserves. In the thoroughly-researched Killers of the Flower Moon, New Yorker staff writer David Grann portrays a series of murders on the reservation. Local authorities couldn't solve the crimes, but an investigation by the relatively new FBI (led by the young J. Edgar Hoover) identified and arrested the killers. In addition, Grann reveals details undiscovered by the FBI. This thrilling narrative is divided into three sections, each read by a different voice: "The Marked Woman" by Ann Marie Lee, "The Evidence Man" by Will Patton, and "The Reporter" by Danny Campbell.
Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman; narrated by Christina DelaineAdult Fiction. Attending a high school basketball game, Navajo police officer Bernadette ("Bernie") Manuelito hears a car bomb explode in the parking lot. Suspecting that the car's owner, a mediator working with land developers, the Hopi, and the Diné, was the target, Bernie's husband, Sgt. Jim Chee, guards him. Meanwhile, Bernie works with retired Lt. Joe Leaphorn to uncover a link from the bomb to one of his earlier cases. The late Tony Hillerman's daughter Anne, taking over from her father, places Bernie at center stage in her three books that continue the series -- all convincingly read by Christina Delaine.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; narrated by Cathleen McCarronAdult Fiction. Eleanor Oliphant -- despite her social isolation and the rules she sets to survive weekends -- insists that she is just fine. But is she really? The gentle overtures of a coworker who accepts her as she is provide her the emotional support she needs when a horrific (and embarrassing) event forces her to reevaluate her life. As it turns out, Eleanor Oliphant is absolutely not completely fine...but she will be. Her earnest but misguided perceptions of other people offer charm, poignancy, and humor, portrayed well in Cathleen McCarron's reading, which "shines in setting the story's emotional tone" (AudioFile).
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck; narrated by Cassandra CampbellAdult Fiction. Once a fashionable gathering place for Germany's smart set, the Bavarian castle of Burg Lingenfels is now, in the immediate aftermath of World War II, a crumbling ruin. This character-driven novel portrays Marianne von Lingenfels, who offers shelter to Benita Fledermann and Ania Grabarek, the widows of men who fought for the resistance alongside her late husband. The narrative follows all three from their prewar years as teenagers through the war's devastation and their postwar emotional recoveries. Cassandra Campbell's strong and nuanced reading sensitively portrays the women's complexities.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor; narrated by Steve WestTeen Fiction. After 200 years without communication, the lost city of Weep has passed into legend. It's an unusual area of study for young librarian Lazlo Strange, but his passion pays off when he joins an expedition to the desert city, which isn't as lost as it had seemed. In Weep, Lazlo discovers realities even more astonishing than the stories he loves: ghosts, gods, lingering trauma from a vicious war, and Sarai, a beautiful blue girl who visits his dreams. In the audiobook, Steve West vividly represents the alternating perspectives of Lazlo and Sarai, as well as distinctly voicing numerous other characters.
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti; narrated by Elizabeth WileyAdult Fiction. Career criminal Samuel Hawley has spent much of his life on the road, dragging his young daughter Loo along, until she enters adolescence and he tries to leave his criminal past behind. They've moved to the Massachusetts town where Loo's long-dead mother grew up, and they're cautiously making inroads into the community. But Loo's desire to understand her mother's death sets her at odds with her father, who still carries his late wife's makeup, shampoo, and robe to each new home. Elizabeth Wiley provides a well-paced and finely shaded rendition of this suspenseful story, told from Loo's and Samuel's alternating perspectives.
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