YA Pick of the Month Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

Peyton Rios has everything a high school senior could want in Kami Garcia’s Broken Beautiful Hearts. She’s the all-star of her soccer team, has already been recruited to her top-choice college, and has a loving boyfriend. What more could she ask for? All of that changes when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s darkest secret; one she never meant to find. Next thing she knows, she’s fallen down a flight of stairs and her knee is shattered. Peyton’s dreams of going pro may vanish before they even started, and suddenly her senior year isn’t looking so bright. Everyone wants to know… did she really fall? Or was she pushed?

When Peyton meets Owen Law during her recovery stay at her uncle’s in Tennessee, she’s instantly smitten. However, dating isn’t her priority, and she suspects Owen is hiding something. Peyton has to decide if love is really worth trouble and drama. Brittany Pressley’s narration beautifully captures the ups and downs of love and heartbreak, and what it’s like to start all over again. 

Thriller Thursday: Ausma Zehanat Khan’s A Dangerous Crossing

In Ausma Zehanat Khan’s A Dangerous Crossing Inspector Esa Khattak and Sergeant Rachel Getty never expected the Syrian refugee crisis to become one of their most personal, pressing cases. That changes when Esa receives a call from one of his closest friends, an utterly distraught Nathan Clare who relays news about his sister, Audrey. She has gone missing from their base at an NGO in Greece while she was working to send Syrian refugees to Canada.

Upon arrival in Greece, Esa and Rachel are shocked not only to witness the effects of the raging war and refugee crisis, but also to learn that in addition to going missing, Audrey has been accused of a double murder: one involving a French Interpol agent and a Syrian refugee. Everything is complicated further when they meet Ali, a volunteer who is in the midst of investigating the disappearance of another girl, and prosecutor Sehr Ghilzai.

From Greece to the Turkish-Syrian border, through Europe and the Netherlands, Esa and Rachel stop at nothing to find Audrey, who they think may have been on her way to making a dangerous discovery regarding the war. Narrator Peter Ganim’s performance is captivating, and will have every listener covered in goosebumps long after the final track. Listen to an audiobook excerpt of the international mystery unfold:

New Release: Brittney Cooper’s Eloquent Rage

Just in time for Black History Month is Brittney Cooper’s memoir, Eloquent Rage. This bold yet hilarious audiobook about feminism and black womanhood is littered with truth bombs that will incite you with rage to make change. Brittney Cooper is a professor at Rutger’s University in Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies, and listening to her narrate reminds you of that one professor who was EVERYONE’S favorite. You know… the one that people highly suggested you take (but not for the easy A) and when you came out of their class, you were energized and ready to take on the sick sad world.

The message of Eloquent Rage is heighted as an audiobook—you can hear key inflections that convey light and serious tones in Cooper’s speech that clue you into how she’s feeling, which helps listeners better understand her experience. But in addition to being articulate, Cooper is also extremely relatable to listeners. It feels like she is having a conversation with you instead of at you, and regardless of your background or upbringing, she is still able to provide insight and challenge ways of thinking about feminism, blackness, and the intersection of the two. Listen to Cooper while she brings character and her wealth of knowledge to her narration by listening to an audiobook excerpt below:

Audiobooks for Podcast Fans

Think of podcasts as the gateway drug to audiobooks. If you love long, intricate narratives or just love to listen to people talk, there are audiobooks that capture the same feel and vibe of some of your favorite podcasts. Here are suggestions for audiobooks that will please any podcast fanatic!

If you’re a fan of Pod Save The People, we recommend: Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff, narrated by Holter Graham

Wolff leverages his insider access to take listeners behind the scenes of the Trump White House. Wolff’s reporting takes you inside FBI director James Comey’s firing, infighting inside the Oval Office, and what Trump’s staff really thinks of him.

If you’re a fan of Dirty John, we recommend: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, narrated by Julia Whelan

The Wife Between Us tells the story of a love triangle gone wrong. Currently being developed by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners as a major motion picture, this thriller will have you questioning your assumptions and doubting everything you thought you knew.

If you’re a fan of The Longest Shortest Time, we recommend: Achtung Baby by Sara Zaske, narrated by the author

An American mother moves to Germany with her husband and toddler and discovers she’s pregnant with her second child. Filled with a combination of funny and heartfelt anecdotes, Zaske’s book is a lesson in how cultural differences can surprise and change your own beliefs.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors during the recording of When They Call You a Terrorist audiobook.

If you’re a fan of 74 Seconds, we recommend: When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, narrated by the author

This audiobook takes you inside the life of Khan-Cullors, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. The powerful, emotional memoir takes you behind the scenes of the protests that sparked a cultural shift in the American consciousness.

If you’re a fan of Happier with Gretchen Rubin, we recommend: Happiness Is a Choice You Make by John Leland, narrated by Robert Petkoff

Happiness is a Choice You Make investigates how to choose joy, even as you near the end of your life. Author John Leland interviews America’s fastest growing age group — those over 85 — to discover the secrets behind living well.

If you’re a fan of Steal The Stars, we recommend: Steal The Stars, the full cast audio play!

With bonus interviews with the actors and exclusive outtakes, it’s a must listen for those who love the podcast!

Can’t get enough and want more podcasts to listen to? Check out the two newest launches from Macmillan Podcasts!
One True Pairing is a hilarious podcast for pop-culture fans about our favorite couples and what these obsessions say about romance today. If you loved listening to all the juicy details of Jackie, Janet & Lee, you’ll love listening to hosts Erica Martirano and Marissa Sangiacomo!

But That’s Another Story asks whether a single book can change the course of our lives, and is hosted by bestselling author Will Schwalbe. If you were inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s Wisdom of Sundaysyou’ll be inspired by the ordinary stories that books have on people’s lives.

Want to hear more? Listen to the audiobook excerpts!

Thriller Thursday: Kimberly Reid’s Prettyboy Must Die

Inspired by the #AlexFromTarget story comes Prettyboy Must Die, a new novel by Kimberly Reid.

Peter Smith is your average teenage boy: he’s cute, runs track, and pretty much stays under the radar. That is, of course, until one of his classmates snaps a pic of him at the track, posting it with the caption “See the Pretty Boy Run”, and it becomes clear that Peter Smith is not so average. As it turns out, he’s a CIA agent on a pity assignment after a massive screw-up, and his real name is Jake Morrow. Consider his cover blown. This assignment was supposed to be his moment of redemption, but with killers on the loose and fans dying for a glimpse of him, #Prettyboy might be #Deadboy pretty soon. Narrator Kevin R. Free brings life to this thriller and skillfully captures the voice of not only Peter Smith, but all those of Reid’s diverse cast of characters. Listen to an audiobook clip and hear for yourself!

New Release: Dead People Suck by Laurie Kilmartin

If grief and laughter aren’t two words you normally associate with one another, think again; Laurie Kilmartin, bestselling author of Sh*tty Mom and Emmy-nominated writer for CONAN Conan, will leave you dying with laughter in her new audiobook memoir, Dead People Suck. Kilmartin relives losing her father and retraces all of the parts of his passing that were so awful you have to… well…laugh.

Dead People Suck includes hilarious chapters such as “Bad News: Grief is Not a Calorie Burner” and “Reverse KonMari: When You Can’t Throw Away Your Dead Parents’ Crap.” With essays covering everything from hospice to cremation and “joining the dead dad club”. This audiobook gives a much-needed perspective and voice to topics that are often relegated to hushed tones and private conversations. More than just a memoir, Dead People Suck is also a resourceful guide to grief that is equal parts humor and heart, and is sure to provide every listener, grieving or not, with a hopeful outlook on one of life’s most challenging obstacles.

Laurie Kilmartin reading Dead People Suck for a live recording of the audiobook at The Stand in New York.

Kilmartin, is an alum of Last Comic Standing, recorded several chapters from Dead People Suck at The Stand Comedy Club in New York City. The live recording gives the audiobook new life—Kilmartin’s flawless comedic timing and the roaring laughter in the background brings the atmosphere of a comedy club right to your ear! Listen to a clip of the bonus live recording below!

 

New Release: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Alaska brings out the best and the worst in a man.”

Ernt Allbright is a former Vietnam veteran who has been having trouble adjusting to civilian life. He can’t keep a job, constantly uproots his family, and has a tumultuous relationship with his wife, Cora. Caught in the middle is their daughter Leni, who has to deal with always being the new kid in school and the constant fighting from her parents.

It wasn’t always like this. Before Ernt went to war, the family had a stable and happy life. But when he came back Ernt was “moody, quick to anger, and distant.” Then, one day, something happened that changed the course of their lives. They receive a letter stating that they have inherited property in Alaska. A friend Ernt fought alongside in Vietnam — and a friend he watched die —wanted Ernt to have his house when he passed. Optimistic and ready for a fresh start, the family packs up everything to head to the great Alaskan frontier.

Things are great at first —Ernt and Cora appear to be in love again, the family is welcomed warmly by their community, and Leni has a budding romance with one of the locals. However, the harshness of winter and isolation begin to take a toll on the family, and Ernt slowly slides back to his old ways… only worse.

As she did in The Nightingale, Hannah continues to write complex and captivating family dramas. The drama is heightened by the narrator, Julia Whelan, who is also known for reading other best-sellers like Gone Girl and The Wife Between Us. What makes The Great Alone a standout audiobook, is the balance between Hannah’s description of the beauty and brutality of the Alaskan wilderness coupled with Whelan’s knack for building suspense and tension.

Hannah drew inspiration from her own adventurous family in writing The Great Alone. Her father moved to Alaska to start the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge, where her family has worked for three generations. Listen to Hannah record the acknowledgments to learn more about her story.

Audiobooks You’ll Love

Love is in the air. Listen to your heart—and these 5 audiobooks!

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Ernt Allbright, his wife Cora, and teenage daughter Leni move to the wild and remote state of Alaska. Ernt fought in the Vietnam war, but when he came home he wasn’t quite the same. He was moody and easily agitated—a departure from the fun-loving and happy man he used to be. When Ernt receives a letter that the friend that he fought alongside with in Vietnam left Ernt his property in Alaska, he sees it as an opportunity to start over and breathe again. Enthusiastic and optimistic about the move, the family initially finds strength in community, and Ernt starts to become his old self again. But as winter approaches, things turn for the worse. Ernt’s mental condition deteriorates and his family must try to survive the harsh conditions both inside and outside their home.

The Great Alone is set in the beautiful Alaskan backdrop, and narrator Julia Whelan drops you right in the middle of the wilderness. Expect to experience love and heartache, and fall in love with the complex characters in this family drama.

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox

Euan Morton and Candice Fox meet backstage at Hamilton

Far from the dry winters of Alaska and across the Pacific Ocean are the wetlands of Queensland, Australia where the crime thriller Crimson Lake takes place. Ted Conkaffey moved to Crimson Lake attempting to escape his troubled past. But bad luck places him at the wrong place at the wrong time, and he is accused of raping a young woman, only being set free due to insufficient evidence. He meets private investigator, Amanda Pharrell, who has her own troubled past, once a convicted murderer. They team up to investigate a missing person case, but the whole town is suspicious and keeps a watchful eye on the duo.

Crimson Lake is narrated by Euan Morton, who lent his voice to the program during his days off from starring in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton as King George. Candice Fox and Morton met backstage after a showing of Hamilton that Fox attended, where Euan described the book as “smartly sympathetic: it makes you ask larger questions” (see the full EW article here). With such broken and complex characters and ample talk of crocodiles, you’ll find it hard to pause while listening to Crimson Lake.

Force of Nature By Jane Harper

The numbers don’t add up when five coworkers go into the woods during a corporate retreat and only four come out. When police agent Aaron Falk digs further into the investigation, he finds inconsistencies between the surviving four’s stories and learns of the complicated relationships between coworkers that could have led to a murder. Force of Nature is full of twists and thrills that will discourage you from ever secluding yourself in the woods with your colleagues. AudioFile magazine raves that the narrator Stephen Shanahan “makes it sizzle to the very end”. Don’t let Force of Nature be the audiobook that got away!

The Hush by John Hart

The sequel to John Hart’s The Last Child, The Hush picks up with Jack and Johnny as adults 10 years later. Jack is a lawyer and Johnny becomes a recluse secluded in his cabin, but their friendship continues. Hart creates a dark and magical world for his characters, and Jeremy Bobb’s narration brings it to life. Fans of Hart and new listeners alike will want to hide away themselves for a day or two to finish this highly anticipated audiobook.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone is one of the most anticipated fantasy novels of 2018, appearing on lists such as Entertainment Weekly’s 50 most Anticipated Books of 2018, Bustle’s Anticipated YA Fantasy of 2018, and Buzzfeed’s YA Books That Need To Be On Your Reading List This Year. After movie rights to the story were sold to Fox, it was even more obvious that Children of Blood and Bone is the epic YA audiobook everyone has been waiting for.

Orïsha was once a land abundant in magic. That all changed when King Saran ordered the maji -Orïshans possessing magical powers- to be killed, and magic banned forever. Zélie, the daughter of a powerful maji who was killed on that fateful night, has been training as a warrior in secret since her mother was killed. More than anything, she desires to bring magic back to the land and restore her people’s place as the most powerful and respected in Orïsha. When a chance encounter hands Zélie a magic scroll that unlocks some of her inner powers, she knows it is her destiny to redeem her mother and her people. With the help of her brother Tzain and the fugitive princess Amari, Zelie embarks on a harrowing battle to bring magic back for good—unless the monarchy catches her first.

Children of Blood and Bone is narrated by Bahni Turpin, known for her roles in Malcom X and the CBS television show Cold Case. She has been praised for her narration in Young Adult audiobooks, such as The Hate U Give, and is the recipient of numerous nominations and awards for her work, most recently her 2017 Audies win for Best Fiction Audiobook of the Year for Sister of Mine.

Want more? Listen to excerpts below!