Audiobook Reviews & Recommendations
Can’t-Miss Summer Listening

Chilling thrillers, sizzling summer fiction, engaging new memoirs, and more — our audiobook recommendations this week are all must-hears. Happy listening! — Robin & Jennifer

“I loved narrating THE TURN OF THE KEY ; it scared me, and I got so lost in it that every time the producer tried to interject, I literally jumped out of my seat!”
Imogen Church narrates Ruth Ware’s unsettling update of THE TURN OF THE SCREW . Nanny Rowan Caine arrives for her first day at what seems like a dream job to find that things are not as ideal as they first seemed. The house’s “smart” system malfunctions in the middle of the night, and the children hate her for no apparent reason. Church’s increasingly hysterical performance captures Rowan’s slow unraveling, upping the creepy factor.
AudioFile Earphones Award
Photo by Geoffrey Wade
“Just like Russo’s main characters who reunite on Martha’s Vineyard, I attended college in Connecticut in the ’70s, agonized over the Vietnam draft, had island adventures off Cape Cod, and made precious friendships that continue to this day. Add a romantic missing-person mystery to spice it up — what’s not to love?
Narrator Fred Sanders is a master of pacing, easily carrying listeners through the many layers of this story of three college roommates reuniting for the first time since their 1971 graduation. Despite their different life choices and personalities, the men find their bonds are still tight and discover that none of them has ever forgotten their other best friend, a girl, who, four decades earlier, left Martha’s Vineyard after a similar weekend, never to be seen again. 
AudioFile Earphones Award
Photo by James Alexander Photography
“When a story is well-crafted with writing that is lyrical and thoughtful, it makes narrating a joy. SPEAKING OF SUMMER was a thrilling read; Autumn ’s journey was compelling, shedding light on the often overlooked and under-diagnosed issue of mental illness in the black community. It is a powerful fictional narrative of an all too real crisis.”
Simply put, this audiobook is extraordinary. Narrator Karen Chilton portrays Autumn Spencer, whose twin sister, Summer, has disappeared from the roof of their building without a trace. As Autumn attempts to find out what happened, she becomes obsessed with the way that society treats black women — as if they are invisible and the violence perpetrated against them doesn’t matter.
Photo by Jo Anna Perrin
“Daniel Silva brings part of today's world into his latest Gabriel Allon thriller, making nail biting on the edge of your seat unavoidable.”
Narrator George Guidall brings back the many characters we have come to know and appreciate in Silva’s Gabriel Allon series. Once again, Silva leverages the headlines to engage listeners, this time into the intrigues of the House of Saud and the political ramifications of shifting alliances. Listeners are treated to a gripping story from beginning to end performed by a master narrator. 
AudioFile Earphones Award
“Philippa Gregory is a bit of a goddess and, I am delighted to help her tell the story of Alinor. It’s a moment in history where social change was genuinely possible in England, and I love the way in this book she asks questions about how bright, curious women lived their lives when they had no money and few choices.”
In 1648, after his defeat in England’s Civil War, King Charles is exiled to the Isle of Wight. One of the inhabitants is wise woman, herbalist, and midwife Alinor, whose husband, a fisherman, is missing. Brealey makes each of Gregory’s incredibly detailed moments believable — from the treacherous tides and deadly intrigues to the dangers of just being human. 
AudioFile Earphones Award
Louise Penny, read by Robert Bathurst
Robert Bathurst’s intelligent narration captures every nuance, every emotion, and each of Louise Penny’s subtle revelations about the unique, completely engaging residents of Three Pines. Bathurst disappears into Penny’s complications and plot twists, delivering impeccable character portraits, terrifying situations, and a heart-stopping climax. 
AudioFile Earphones Award
Find more NEW Mystery & Suspense reviews.
Ibram X. Kendi, read by the author
With a delivery that is sometimes measured and deliberate, sometimes declaiming, author Kendi drives home his thesis that the only way to ensure true equality for everyone is to identify and dismantle racist policies and enact explicitly antiracist policies. He frames this thinking within his own experiences, relating a series of personal racial awakenings beginning as a 7-year-old and continuing through high school, college, grad school, and beyond.
Find more NEW Contemporary Culture reviews.
Helen Prejean, read by the author
Helen Prejean’s audiobook bubbles with levity, enthusiasm, and inspiration. In her soft Louisiana drawl, she describes her experiences while a novice with the Congregation of St. Joseph as a “boot camp for the Brides of Christ” and the journey to discovering her life’s work: ending the death penalty. Listeners don’t have to be Catholic to recognize an extraordinary individual who is still fighting for social justice at the age of 80.
AudioFile Earphones Award
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