The Best Books We Listened to This Month!

The Life We Bury

"I had my eye on The Life We Bury for a while. With its impressive reviews and seemingly permanent placement on our best sellers list, it certainly warranted some curiosity. I finally got around to listening to it in March and it undoubtedly lived up to the hype. The characters crafted by Allen Eskens were authentic and raw, and Zach Villa’s measured and solemn cadence was the perfect compliment. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and I repeatedly found myself lengthening drives and chores to hear what happened next. " -Regina, Audible Editor

Code Name Verity

"Fellow Editor Emily has been telling me to listen to Code Name Verity for well over a year now, and I only wish I had listened to her sooner. Wow. Two young women become best friends during World War II after their paths cross in their work for the British army. I can’t say much more than that without giving away this gorgeous and mesmerizing plot. I trusted both characters implicitly as if they were my own best friends, and I was so emotionally invested in their stories - I had to pull over in the car more than once to regain my composure while listening. The dual narration by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell is amongst the best I’ve ever heard - I only wish they performed more audiobooks." -Katie, Audible Editor

Chasing the Scream

"As someone who “yearns to learn”, I love listening to nonfiction. A great nonfiction work can turn a commute previously wasted playing Candy Crush into a productive and eye-opening experience. And Johann Hari’s Chasing the Scream is just that – eye-opening. There is so much that I didn’t know, and Hari crafts a fascinating, thorough, and informative exploration of “The War on Drugs” in the United States. From the DEA-predecessor’s humble beginnings as a dinky and underfunded department, to its current status as a multi-billion dollar agency, the War on Drugs’ impact on economic, social, and racial issues is so far-reaching, that I feel like I’d be doing a disservice by not recommending this book. " -Laura, Audible Editor

Cow Country

"Cow Country first came to my attention back in September, after a critic posited the theory that the quirky novel, a satire about a dysfunctional community college on the brink of losing its accreditation and the man charged with saving it, was actually written by Thomas Pynchon. Since then, the Pynchon rumor has been dispelled, but the mystery surrounding the author – his admission to writing under various pseudonyms; an author website as puzzling as it is bizarre; the invention of a publishing house seemingly for this title alone – has sustained. For me, I found that this anonymity just added to the overall manic, laugh-out-loud, wackiness of the whole book. Ganser, who provides the lion’s share of narration, nails the eccentric cast, bringing out the zaniness of every situation, and his often tongue-in-cheek delivery was spot-on for this cultural satire. If you love a good farce, look no further." -Doug, Audible Editor

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

"Behind the Beautiful Forevers has been on my Wish List since it won the National Book Award. I was finally prompted to start listening to it when I heard about a new book, coming this summer, being favorably compared to it. Katherine Boo, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, spent three years in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement outside Mumbai’s airport, during a time when India was starting to prosper, documenting the heartbreaking struggles for families living in the shadow of luxury hotels and with the constant threat of hunger, police corruption, violence, and more. Narrated by Sunil Malhotra (Cutting for Stone, When Breath Becomes Air) Boo’s compelling portrait of what poverty really looks like represents the best of narrative nonfiction." -Diana, Audible Editor

Illuminae

"I tend to favor more straightforward productions - music and extra audio flourishes don't really do it for me. But Illuminaeis one of the most original and immersive audio productions I've ever experienced. A dystopian space opera presented as an epistolary novel - with a dash of zombies - sounds like it could have been a total genre-blending mess. But instead I felt completely surrounded by the action. The whip smart narrative and the awesomeness of the recording makes this a memorable, and hugely recommendable, pick. " -Emily, Audible Editor

The Bell Jar

"The Bell Jar is one of those classics I always suspected I'd love, but never quite got around to. Now I find myself simultaneously regretting not getting to it sooner and thankful I waited for this performance. This is such an important, heartbreaking work, and Maggie Gyllenhall is nothing short of perfection as the voice of Esther Greenwood. Her tone beautifully conveys all the complicated nuances of the protagonist's mental state - from dark hopelessness to the fleeting moments of almost giddy joy. I sincerely hope Gyllenhall reads more in the future, but since this book is officially on my "re-listen" list, I'm glad I'll have this one to come back to again and again." -Sam, Audible Editor