Captivating e-Audio

Audiobooks are a great way to entertain when you've caught up on all your podcasts or if you need to get something done instead of reading. Some of my favorite cleaning sessions have been while listening to a great audiobook. While nothing compares to being able to sit down and read, sometimes your to-do list is just too long to allow for such things. It also should be mentioned that a quality audiobook can elevate a good, or great, book even more so when read by the author or a talented narrator. Open your ears to new possibilities!

The testaments : a novel

Margaret Atwood

eAUDIO

Set fifteen years after Offred stepped into an unknown fate, this sequel to "The Handmaid's Tale" relates the experiences of three female narrators from Gilead.

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Did you love reading "the Handmaid's Tale" and then watching the show? This book is a great followup, but my favorite part of the audio is that a good amount is read by Ann Dowd who plays Aunt Lydia on the Hulu show. Having her reading the back story of "Aunt Lydia" is really fantastic on so many levels
- Frannie

All the light we cannot see : a novel

Anthony Doerr

eAUDIO

"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work"--

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I can not sing the praises of this book enough. The plot moves quick, the characters are fully realized, and the prose is beautifully written. The audiobook narrated expertly by Zach Appelman imbues every sentence with emotional gravitas. I was left searching for ways to continue to listen to this making it the audio equivalent of reading with a flashlight under the covers.
- Frannie

Bossypants

Tina Fey

eAUDIO

From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon, comedian Tina Fey reveals all, and proves that you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

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I am a sucker for a funny lady memoir, and have yet to meet one that I didn't like. Tina Fey's "Bossypants" kicked off the publishing of some of this sub-genres greats by carving a niche in the market. What's even better? Listening to Tina Fey read "Bossypants", it is her story and she knows how to read it. Always hilarious and often inspiring, I can't recommend enough.
- Frannie

The nickel boys : a novel

Colson Whitehead

eAUDIO

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Colson Whitehead is probably my favorite contemporary author, and the Nickel Boys is another entry in a stellar oeuvre. At times this book can become difficult to read, whether it is depictions of violence and detailing real examples of racism, sometimes I had to put the book down because it was a little too real. Narrator JD Jackson softens the difficult content and forces listeners/readers to confront the issues raised in the book.
- Frannie

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

eAUDIO

For Edmond Dantes, life couldn't be better. At 19, he is soon to be captain of his own ship and about to be married to his true love, Mercedes. But his life is suddenly turned upside down when on his wedding day he is arrested. Without a fair trial, he is condemned to solitary confinement in the miserable Chateau d'If. Soon, it is clear that Edmond has been framed by a handful of powerful enemies, jealous of his success.

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This page turning classic gives people a point of entry when they say something is too long to read. One of my favorite books of all time, many people scoff when they see the doorstop size. However, as an audiobook, it can be far more palatable to read with your ears any classic work of literature.
- Frannie

City of thieves

David Benioff

eAUDIO

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This book written by David Benioff, one of the creators of HBO's "Game of Thrones", is a historical fiction delight, and when narrated by Ron Perlman it is beyond good. Winning the Alex Award (adult fiction with appeal to young adult readers) in 2009, this quickly paced buddy comedy set during the siege of Leningrad is unforgettable in Perlman's voice. There's a reason why this character actor featured on Sons of Anarchy, Beauty and the Beast, and Hellboy seamlessly transitions into voice work. You would never think a fraught quest for a dozen eggs would have so many twists and turns!
- Frannie

World War Z : an oral history of the zombie war

Max Brooks

eAUDIO

This is the fictional, searing, gruesome account of the decade-long period when civilization stood on the brink of extinction due to a viral plague that transformed anyone it infected into a ghoulish creature with an appetite for living flesh, as told by the civilians, soldiers, and politicians who survived it.

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A Sci-Fi book for our moment! I was reminded of this gem of an audiobook after listening to an interview with the author Max Brooks on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Brooks knows what he writes about, this book is well researched, and it shows. Personally, I got a bit burned out on zombies in pop culture, but this one is a standout. The real draw is the all-star vocal talent. I think my favorite was trying to figure out what voice Star Wars' Mark Hamill, finally figuring it out, and being just blown away by his performance.
- Frannie

Uncanny valley : a memoir

Anna Wiener

eAUDIO

"The story of Anna Wiener's time spent working in Silicon Valley as the tech industry went through monumental changes"--

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The author and myself are about the same age so there was more than a few similarities in our path. However, her rundown of life in the San Francisco Bay area made me glad to not have gone that direction with my life. What interested me was the rise of the role of technology in culture which we all seemed to cosign long ago, but then turned away from. Come for the memoir, stay to figure out what all of the code words for different companies actually mean!
- Frannie