Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West by Thomas Clavin; narrated by John Bedford LloydAdult Nonfiction. 1870s Dodge City, Kansas was a supply center, a railhead, and a host to gigantic stockyards. It existed on the fuzzy boundary between law and lawlessness, where tough and fearless men, among them Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp, kept order. In this vivid, well-researched portrait of the city and its denizens, award-winning journalist Tom Clavin traces Masterson's and Earp's careers, while narrator John Bedford Lloyd "makes this a delightful listening experience" (AudioFile).
Universal Harvester: A Novel by John Darnielle; narrated by the authorAdult Fiction. This intricate, disturbing novel explores the darker side of 1990s small town Iowa. After several Video Hut customers complain about seeing extraneous footage in their VHS rentals, clerk Jeremy Heldt starts viewing the tapes, which draw him into a decades-old tragedy. Universal Harvester (narrated by author and singer/songwriter John Darnielle) boasts a strong sense of place, compelling turns of phrase, a menacing atmosphere, and an absorbing, lyrical portrayal of grief.
The Girl Before: A Novel by JP Delaney; narrated by Emilia Fox, Finty Williams, and Lise AagaardAdult Fiction. The Girl Before unfolds in two time periods, each focusing on a young woman who has seized the opportunity to live in a one-of-a-kind home, which comes with some rather strict and unusual rules. Their stories emerge in parallel, as the second learns what happened to the girl before her and unwittingly follows the same path. The audiobook features three narrators, who portray the two young women and the building's control-freak architect, together capturing the terrifying character of the building itself.
Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach; narrated by Jorjeana MarieAdult Fiction. Ava Antipova doesn't quite believe that her twin sister Zelda has died in a fire, especially after she starts receiving cryptic emails supposedly from Zelda. In this twisty suspense plot, Ava feels compelled to find out what happened to her sister, while her quest is hampered by her alcoholic, dementia-addled mother, her estranged father, and her hypercritical grandmother. Narrator Jorjeana Marie presents a "pitch-perfect" (Publishers Weekly) reading that distinguishes clearly between the twins' personalities in this complex story.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber; narrated by Rebecca SolerTeen Fiction. Fleeing an abusive father and an arranged marriage, Scarlett and her sister Tella arrive at Caraval expecting to be dazzled by the magical circus/live action game run by enigmatic mastermind Legend. But the sisters' excitement turns to terror when Legend makes Tella the object of Caraval's treasure hunt. Scarlett, while dealing with her own emotional complications, will have to win the game to rescue Tella. Each character (including the menacing Legend) receives a distinct voice in narrator Rebecca Soler's deft performance.
Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eloisa James; narrated by Susan DuerdenAdult Fiction. In this absorbing Regency historical romance, Edward "Ward" Reeve needs someone who can handle his rambunctious younger half-siblings. Enter widowed Lady Eugenia Snowe, who supplies the upper classes with England's finest governesses. Ward is so frantic to find an effective governess that he kidnaps Eugenia to make her sort out his child-rearing problems. Narrator Susan Duerden, a veteran of author Eloisa James' Desperate Duchesses series, provides an upbeat tone that enlivens this recording of Seven Minutes in Heaven.
My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King; narrated by Phylicia Rashad and January LaVoyAdult Nonfiction. In My Life, My Love, My Legacy, Coretta Scott King's close friend Barbara Reynolds transcribes recordings King made about her life and experiences. After Martin Luther King Jr. persuaded Miss Scott to marry him, she gave up her ambition to be a professional musician and joined her husband as a leader in the Civil Rights movement. This graceful narrative, compellingly voiced by narrators Phylicia Rashad and January LaVoy, brings both Kings to life for the listener.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour; narrated by Jorjeana MarieTeen Fiction. At the end of last summer, Marin left her home in San Francisco and went off to college in New York with nothing but what she had in her pockets. Now she's facing a lonely winter break in an empty dorm. Narrator Jorgeana Marie skillfully renders the pensive intensity of We Are Okay, expressively portraying Marin's grief and loneliness as well as her friend Mabel's determination to help Marin deal with the reasons for them.
Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen; narrated by Julia WhelanTeen Fiction. Ever since her baby sister's accidental death, Petula de Wilde is obsessed with dangerous freak events. To help her manage this anxiety, she attends art therapy sessions for students who have a variety of issues. When the outgoing Jacob -- who has a prosthetic arm, a hidden past, and eyes for Petula -- joins the group, she begins opening up to unpredictability. From heavy emotional content to lighter comedy, narrator Julia Whelan expertly portrays Petula and the other misfit artists in this moving novel.
Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to... by Lydia Reeder; narrated by Virginia WolfAdult Nonfiction. In the middle of the Great Depression, Oklahoma Presbyterian College coach Sam Babb attempted the impossible: to create a championship women's basketball team. Despite major obstacles, including inadequate funding and lack of support for women's sports, he succeeded. In this inspiring sports history, a "warm, earnest" (Publishers Weekly) performance by narrator Virginia Wolf traces Babb's incredible efforts to recruit and train a team that actually did win the 1932 AAU national championship.
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