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In her foreword to this collection, Davis writes, “Her sensitivity to the sounds of the language is always there, and we too savor the rhythms of the syllables or the perfect coincidence of sound and sense.” While meant as a reflection on Lucia Berlin’s writing, the words hold equally true for the narrators of this short story collection. They each (with a special nod to Carol Monda and Hillary Huber) slip easily inside the sidelined and marginalized characters who populate these semiautobiographical stories. Berlin’s writing, both tempered and elastic, provides a perfect springboard, and the narrators use it to full advantage: gracefully leaping, twisting, and—when called for—landing with force on the emotional heart of each story. K.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Mark Bramhall delivers a confident performance of Yann Martel's exploration of faith and personal tragedy. The lives of three men are mysteriously connected through loss and grief. In 1904, after the death of his entire family, Tomás, furious with God, sets out to find a "special kind of crucifix," located in the high mountains of Portugal. Bramhall is achingly convincing as the grief-stricken Tomás. In 1938, a pathologist finds a link to the crucifix inside a dead man who came from the same region, and in 1981, a Canadian widower makes a touching interspecies connection, changes his life, and moves to the high mountains of Portugal. Bramhall keeps the sometimes confusing tale just grounded enough to allow the spiritual elements to coalesce. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrators Emily Sutton-Smith and Scott Merriman work well to build the suspense at the heart of this drama. Sutton-Smith has us rooting for plucky Iris, an under-supported single mother who works as a lawyer. Sutton-Smith's determined voice provide a nice contrast to Scott Merriman's restrained characterization of Ray, Iris's autistic brother, who has been incarcerated for murder for many years. It's not long before Iris--who, until recently, didn't even know she had a brother--begins to wonder if the gentle-seeming man really did commit the ghastly crime. Sutton-Smith and Merriman use distinctive pace and pitch to orient the listener as the chapters alternate, from Iris to Ray, and back. The storylines build, exposing the ways in which Iris's personal difficulties mimic Ray's physical confinement. We listen closely as these troubled lives come together to secure a man's freedom. M.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Assaf Cohen so perfectly captures the voice of an expressive kid that it's hard to remember he isn't the author of this enthralling memoir. Gulwali Passarlay, now grown, recounts the story of his journey from Afghanistan to Europe when he was 12. Starting aboard a sinking boat in the Mediterranean, we flash back to the beginning of Gulwali's adventure. The author had a happy childhood in a conservative family until the murder of his father and grandfather propelled him and his brother to flee their home and head to Greece with a “fixer.” When the brothers lose each other, Gulwali survives on his wits and the kindness of strangers. Cohen nails both the nasty and nice characters—everyone from Kurd to Englishman—and brings moving expression to Gulwali’s growing confidence amid enough terrors for a lifetime. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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In New England, 1892, Abigail Rook and her employer, Jackaby, investigate a pilfered antiquity, a ghost, a murder, feuding scientists, and dangerous supernatural creatures. Narrator Nicola Barber creates a large cast of distinctly identifiable characters as this second case reunites the pair with Abigail’s love interest, Officer Charlie Barker, who is a shape-shifter. Barber switches seamlessly from Miss Rook’s brisk, no-nonsense English accent to Charlie’s polite Romanian-accented speech. In showcasing Jackaby’s precise, undemonstrative speech, she accurately reflects the dispassionate character’s Holmesian personality. The pace is fast, matching the action and claiming the listener’s full attention. Campy humor is delivered smartly, like repartee at a party you have the good fortune to attend. Don’t miss it. L.T. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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Narrator R.C. Bray lends his expertise to this darker entry in the Valducan series, which features demon-hunting knights in New Orleans. Bray's deep voice and rich accent suit voodoo practitioner Malcolm exceptionally well. When a betrayal leads to Malcolm's possession by a werewolf demon, listeners directly experience the deepest horrors of the Valducan world. Bray's tempered reading helps assuage some of the story's gruesome scenes. As Malcolm struggles with his defilement and the loss of his holy machete, Hounancier, Order member Matt Romero (from Book 1, DAMOREN) arrives, determined to slay Malcolm and the demon within him. Tension builds steadily as the stakes increase and Bray keeps listeners on the edge of their seats. J.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Alison Larkin evokes the listener's curiosity about this detailed exploration of relearning how to eat. Based on the premise that food preferences are learned, FIRST BITE argues that the key to changing one's diet and adopting healthy food choices is changing one's thinking, rather than receiving nutrition education. Larkin's diverse voices and lively accents bring out the international flavor of research that compares global food and eating habits. The plethora of information, which includes industrial and scientific influences on natural food and our eating habits, occasionally threatens to become dry listening. But these sections are effectively tempered by Larkin's lively tone as well as some of the book's surprising discoveries. M.F. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Reading this pointed advice based on the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Virtues, Tom Hatting performs with exceptional skill and a notable degree of friendliness. He's so pleasing to hear that he makes the message in this audiobook irresistible, even to listeners who may not identify with fundamentalist Christian views. Prayers and interpretations of God’s wishes aside, the authors offer easy-to-follow lists of parental practices associated with each vice, any of which can lead children down the wrong path. Hatting’s vocal charm makes these admonitions sound surprisingly fresh and appealing—like part of a joyous adventure in managing our bad selves. His beguiling performance works even better with the latter part of the audiobook, which focuses on the right and wrong ways to teach our children the Seven Virtues. T.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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It’s difficult to overstate the quality of this work. The precision with which narrator Juliet Stevenson brings each character to life is impressive. Each of them—the long-suffering Gwendolyn, the singular Mirah, even the altruistic Daniel himself—lives as a distinct personality in the telling of the story. Listening to Stevenson, one notes that the effectiveness of her presentation is due in large part to her understanding of George Eliot’s work. Far from being a story of star-crossed lovers, the novel explores the trappings of desire, consequences, and Victorian England’s reception of those of the Jewish faith. Stevenson’s thoughtful treatment of the audiobook’s emotion and commentary merits the 36 hours it spans, even for those already familiar with Eliot. N.J.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Suzy Jackson transports listeners into the colorful world of 6-year-old Dory, who is better known as Rascal to her family. With a light, breathless voice, Jackson convinces listeners they're right in the midst of Dory's family struggles or, on other occasions, in her imagination. While siblings Luke and Violet scheme to keep Rascal out of their hair, she responds by involving imaginary friends in retaliation. Jackson mirrors Dory's boundless energy as she pesters her older siblings with endless questions, irritates her mother to the extreme by pretending to be a dog at the pediatrician's office, and rattles off a list of terrible things Mrs. Gobble Gracker might do when she whisks Dory away. Relish this audio treat! A.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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How many Supreme Court Justices have been compared to rock stars--complete with their own fan pages and Tumblr homage site? As of this writing, there's one, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and this audiobook celebrates both her life and her accomplishments. She has staked her claim to be the voice of those who have faced discrimination and ridicule, and she's left a rich collection of opinions for history. Not bad for a Jewish grandmother who stands less than 5 feet tall. Narrator Andi Arndt's bright, authoritative voice fits the book's reverent tone. She uses a conversational style to humanize Ginsburg and moves the story along efficiently. Arndt adds excellent diction and comfortable pacing to make this audiobook a satisfying experience. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Mary Jane Wells's rich voice immediately draws the listener into the author’s long awaited return to historical romance, set in England in the 1800s. Devon Ravenel never anticipated inheriting an earldom. But with the death of his cousin, he becomes the earl, which means he now has responsibility for a debt-ridden estate and his cousin's three marriageable sisters. Also in residence is his cousin's widow of three days, Kathleen, Lady Trenear. Wells evocatively depicts the passion that arises between Devon and Kathleen and elicits laughs with the mischief that Devon's cousins manage to get into. Listeners will be cheering for Devon as he attempts to rebuild the estate. This is a perfect blend of narrator and story. S.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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Sara and Amy were pen pals who discussed and traded books over the years. When Sara decides to travel from her home in Sweden to Broken Wheel, Iowa, to meet Amy, her journey ends in disappointment--Amy has passed away. With two months to spend in the backward little town, Sara decides to change the lives of Broken Wheel's citizens with books. Fiona Hardingham, narrating with her charming English accent, takes the main narrative of the audiobook. Though her Iowan and other American accents don't quite ring true, she remains fully engaged with the story and characters. Lorelei King narrates the letters from Amy to Sara in a purely straightforward manner. The dual narration fits well with the story--and the whole thing is sweet, impossible, and romantic. M.M.G. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Scottish cab driver, porn star, front-seat confidant, and ladies' man (to put it lightly) Terry "Juice" Lawson is a trip-and-a-half as he chauffeurs unsavory characters around Edinburgh and finds himself entwined in their complicated lives. The remarkable Scots actor Tam Dean Burn portrays the characters so accurately that some listeners may have to focus closely to understand the spicy lingo. Burn also transitions smoothly to portray unscrupulous American businessman and reality star Ronnie Checker as well as the suicidal playwright whom Terry sexually rehabilitates, locals from Edinburgh's underbelly, and many more. Burn understands performance timing, switching from comedy to drama with spot-on flair and spontaneity. Listeners should beware that this top-of-the-mark performance has it all--gritty encounters, "blue" exchanges, and hilarious and weirdly indecent scenarios, resulting in what is sure to be a cult classic. B.J.P. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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When Dr. Alex Delaware jumps out of a case involving an actress and her young son, he thinks it's finished. But several years later, it pops up again--and turns into a full-blown investigation. Narrator John Rubinstein guides listeners through a tapestry of characters as the story moves through its twists and turns. After many years of narrating Kellerman's series, Rubinstein fluidly provides different voices for every single character, minor and major. He singlehandedly keeps a complicated plot from getting out of hand, while making every step of Delaware's fact-finding journey more interesting. M.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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William Shatner and the late Leonard Nimoy were friends for 50 years, creating many memories. They first appeared together in a 1964 episode of “THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E,” which was a far cry from the sci-fi work they’re most known for. Shatner narrates his story with touching reverence for a dear friend and describes how their relationship strengthened as they filmed 79 episodes of “Star Trek,” which would shape their destinies—individually and as a much-loved onscreen acting team. Shatner’s authentic performance moves the story along with humor and sincerity, making the anecdotes all the more interesting and touching. He describes the significant ways the two influenced each other and how their friendship helped make them the unique actors their fans revered for years to come. B.J.P. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Charlotte Parry and Christian Coulson’s narrations, coupled with eerie musical snippets, set an ominous tone that draws listeners into this horror story involving two teenage girls. The story includes police reports, psychiatric evaluations, “video footage,” and diary entries surrounding the mysterious fire that claimed the lives of several students at Elmbridge High. Though it was Carly Johnson who disappeared in the fire, it’s the diary of Kaitlyn, a girl who seemingly did not exist, that causes the case to be re-examined decades later. The narrators infuse their performances with qualities that exemplify their characters’ emotional states, making the two girls easily distinguishable. They do stellar jobs with the secondary characters, as well. A thoroughly entertaining and engrossing production. J.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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This may be the best Marvel audiobook ever created! It takes full advantage of technology but doesn’t overburden the listener with over-the-top performances or special effects. The actor playing Daredevil conveys equal parts strength and uncertainty as he’s caught up in a holy war, which thrusts a dilemma upon him when he’s asked to kill a baby to save the earth. While the acting is top-notch, the plot is the star as Daredevil struggles to do the right thing. The narrators who portray the villains refrain from caricature. Instead, they make the crime kingpins and otherworldly creatures drip with evil without losing any credibility. M.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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This important work describes the plight of the millions of Americans living in extreme poverty through the stories of eight families across the Midwest, from Chicago to the Mississippi Delta. The accounts are both shocking and nuanced, illustrating both the burden and the complexity of extreme poverty in the United States today. Allyson Johnson’s strong, matter-of-fact alto voice presents the material clearly. She has taken the time to learn the names, both geographical and personal, that appear in the text. Her dialogue is excellent, making it clear who is speaking without distracting the listener from their stories. The authors are proponents of a new round of welfare reform in the United States and set out their solutions in the audiobook’s last chapter. F.C. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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With this fast-moving collection of entrepreneur success stories and practical advice, the author shows how creative people can keep from being shut down by conventional wisdom or initial failure. As narrator, Rottenberg sounds remarkably polished. With quiet confidence and enthusiasm for her message, she shares stories about innovators whose enterprises broke through barriers to offer game-changing products or serve constituencies in creative ways. She sounds like a beguiling combination of a trusted family attorney and a veteran business school professor. Also compelling is the story of how she founded Endeavor, a leading supporter of creative people and fast-growing enterprises around the world. Her account of Endeavor's growth and the stories of other passionate change-makers give this inspiring audio enormous energy and credibility. T.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Listeners should treat themselves to this full-cast audio of this tidy production of Kipling's stories of Mowgli and his jungle friends. Richard E. Grant, Bill Bailey, and a well-chosen cast of British actors make the magic of this audio drama, along with a fine soundscape punctuated with Shere Khan's roar or the howl of the wolf pack. Timing, pace, and elegant storytelling are all here. But perhaps the best aspect of this audio collection is the opportunity for listeners to banish the animation that usurped Mowgli, Baloo, and Bagheera and restore them to a rich and vivid life in the Indian jungle. This audiobook will delight families with the engaging, classic storytelling of Mowgli and his pack, and reacquaint old friends with these beloved characters. R.F.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Winner © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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With high animation, actor Jack Black calls directly to the listener: "Pssssst--hey, YOU! Are you afraid of MONSTERS? Do they make you SHIVER and SHAKE and shut your eyes really tight at night?" Music provides an ambiance of mystery as listeners enter the Little Shop, like it or not. As each monster is introduced, Black shouts a warning (as Sneezer sneezes right in your face), or exclaims (while looking at the size of Billy Belly's belly), or is as matter-of-fact as can be (while describing Tina-Not-Ticklish). Black's pacing is brisk and intense. His elocution is precise, and he relishes expanding upon each word with, for example, a gravelly growl or a slurping munch. The musical score is tailored to the story--along with snores and giggling--all helping to project Black's playful delivery. A.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Winner © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Ron Butler clearly and passionately recounts the story of U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, a former slave whose law enforcement career negotiated the lawless areas of the Oklahoma and Indian Territories for nearly 32 years. This is not a biography; instead, Burton uses court documents and contemporary newspaper articles to place Reeves's life in the context of Western history. But the presentation is never dry. As he delivers atmospheric narrative and dialogue that often rings true, Butler's skillful pacing and emphasis ramp up the tension and occasional drama of the marshal’s encounters with various criminals. A great pairing of narrator and history. S.C.A. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Nicholas Boulton delivers this period piece featuring exiled Princess Olympia and naval war hero Sheridan Drake in a deep, commanding voice. Boulton alternates between a condescending tone and a warmer one as Sheridan returns home after a distinguished career and meets Olympia, who convinces him to convey her to Rome. Later, Olympia and Sheridan’s adventure takes them around the world. Boulton’s portrayal of Olympia sounds distant at first, but he settles into a rhythm as the story unfolds. He admirably characterizes the host of characters the couple encounters, including Sheridan’s Egyptian servant, a band of escaped convicts, and the crews of the ships that bring them back home. Listeners who can’t get enough of the Kinsale/Boulton combination will enjoy another fine listening experience. E.N. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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There will be no stopping once you start listening to Simon Vance's performance of this riveting new mystery. Christian, a successful novelist and protégé of Erica Hedström, collapses after receiving another in a series of threatening notes. Christian's friend, Magnus, has disappeared, and the police are stymied. After Magnus's body is found, Detective Patrik Hedström and his wife, Erica, investigate, revealing a shocking secret going back decades and winding through the lives of the residents of Fjallbacka. Vance makes the listening smooth, pronouncing the many Scandinavian names and places with professional expertise. He removes all barriers between listener and characters, and as the puzzle grows more intricate, guides us expertly through the dark places just below the surface. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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The author uses dramatic, insistent tones to draw the listener into the Utu family's story of love and loss. The vividness of Chukwudi Iwuji's narration enlivens the imagery at the heart of this novel, set in modern-day Nigeria. When golden boy Paul Utu inexplicably disappears, the mystery wrenches the family into chaos. This personal drama provides the backdrop against which larger national politics unfold. Listeners discover that Nigeria's economic development comes at the expense of the majority of its citizens--and Paul's inability to overlook corruption. Iwuji's cadence creates an African-sounding English that is central to the characterizations in this story. His talent comes through in his capable treatment of male and female characters. M.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Inspector Rutledge returns in this 18th novel in the beloved series about Scotland Yard in the 1920s. Simon Prebble portrays Rutledge--taciturn and intensely fair-minded as ever--with a steady persistence that suits a time when inter-village communication was limited to telegraph messages and motorcars were rare. Prebble's tone effectively hints at the emotional trauma Rutledge still experiences from the Great War and depicts his flickering interest in a young gentlewoman he knew during peacetime. But she's embroiled with three others who are accused of murdering a villager who appeared to be drowning in a sinking rowboat. Prebble's characterizations of the villagers are distinctive. He capably differentiates the women's voices, and his rich Scots brogue for Rutledge's imaginary associate, Hamish, is downright delightful. N.M.C. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Tavia Gilbert’s narration of these essays written by nurses is beautiful and profound. Nurses are the often invisible backbone of the healthcare system. Gilbert delivers all the essays, irrespective of gender or ethnicity, capturing the spirit of each one. They reflect personal growth as well as social and scientific progress. The hysteria of AIDS once meant that nurses weren’t even allowed to enter the rooms of AIDS patients, and now an HIV-positive individual might die of old age. Gilbert translates all the emotions, including fear, gallows humor, gratitude, and empathy. A baby born with half a heart dies shortly after birth, but the nurse treats both the baby and the parents with compassion and dignity. A home care nurse is the only attendee at the funeral of a client without family—and Gilbert does a terrific grumpy old man, too. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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A taut time-travel romance is given added emotion through Saskia Maarleveld's thoughtful narration. When Etta discovers she's part of a long line of Passengers--or time travelers--her world is turned upside down. She must travel around the world and through time with fellow Passenger Nicholas to save her mother and recover a stolen object that could change history. While at times the pacing is a bit slow, Maarleveld remedies this with perfection in the characters of Etta and Nicholas, keeping listeners engaged and intrigued. When the action picks up and stakes are highest, Maarleveld excels at heightening the tension. Listeners will be waiting on the edge of their seats for Book 2. S.B.T. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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The Zee brothers are called to cope with an infestation of undead Native Americans who have been disturbed by landscaping work in a gated community. Get ready to chuckle as this comic book rises from the page in the voice of opera tenor Ian McEuan. The delightfully voiced characters range from the smarter to the goofier brother and from the hot young woman who joins forces with them to the various undead, soon-to-be-dead, and toothless dead. They all romp through a tight plot with appropriate sound effects and music provided by metal rockers Frostbite. McEuan delivers much fun as the gearshift of the Zees’ truck offers suggestive situations for its three passengers. Yes, there IS room for one more zombie listen! F.M.R.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Thérèse Plummer makes this research study on growing up female in the Digital Age sound at once enlightening, disturbing, and worthy of consideration. Based on interviews with more than 200 young women across the country ages 13 to 19, the audiobook raises questions about how sexual maturing and gender identity are being influenced by today's X-rated social media and easy access to near-anonymous sexual partners. The balance and grace in Plummer's performance neatly mirror the author's investigative neutrality and let this remarkable reporting speak for itself. This satisfying production provides an opportunity for people to think about how to help young people relate to each other as self-respecting individuals instead of objects of sexual entertainment or shame. T.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Lisa Damour's sweet reading voice seems at first to be in conflict with the power of this accessible parenting advice. But her performance avoids the exaggerated phrasing and pitch-spikes one hears from some narrators and quickly engages with the scholarship and insights that abound in every chapter of this book. With phrasing that is as clear as it is spontaneous sounding, she delivers her spare writing with consistency, confidence, and charm. The hard-working author (and mother of her own daughters) offers finely tuned observations that will help make sense of the chaos and volatility most parents experience with teenage daughters. Illustrated with enlightening case studies, this is an easy-to-hear and clarifying resource for all moms and dads who are pulling out their hair while raising their teenage daughters. T.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Anne Hancock gleefully captures the warm characters, charming humor, and colorful descriptions in this classic story, set in 1916 Vermont. When 9-year-old Betsy is orphaned, she's rescued by her overprotective city-dwelling Aunt Frances, and then is uprooted again to live in the country with the often maligned Putney side of her family. Hancock splendidly portrays fastidious Aunt Frances as well as the more casual Putney farmers. However, her best creation is Betsy herself, who positively blossoms on the Putney farm with its delightful animals and daily chores, such as churning butter and harvesting maple syrup. Listeners will enjoy walking through the state fair with Betsy--until she realizes she's missed her ride home. The conclusion is satisfying and fully believable. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Michael Crouch's voice suggests the unspoiled innocence of 11-year-old Perry, who has been raised in a coed correctional facility where his mother is incarcerated. Perry's enthusiasm for small pleasures expresses an appreciation born of his sheltered background. Crouch voices Perry's simple thoughts and comments, which reveal the rich perspective and wisdom he has derived from his nurturing mother and the male inmates who have raised him. The irony is painful when a district attorney decides to rescue Perry from his prison home. Crouch clearly conveys the D.A.'s ruthlessness. Kathleen McInerney, Perry's loving mother, burns with fury for the man and the legalities that separate her from her son. She fiercely hides the past as Perry determines to discover the truth. This poignant story inspires questions about truth, justice, family, and home. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Xe Sands navigates smoothly through shifting perceptions and twisted emotions in this smart legal thriller. Sharp, calculating defense attorney Olivia Randall has been asked to defend her former boyfriend, Jack Harris--a man she cruelly betrayed some years ago--against a triple homicide charge. Jack's convoluted alibi and the disturbing circumstances that tie the characters together fuel the novel's suspense. Olivia and Jack are but two of the many characters Sands must hold like prisms to the light, letting each angle cast a different hue to their actions. Sands plays each character straight and consistently, even as one character's perception of another shifts. Her approach intensifies the questions of what is the truth and who is the killer right up until the final minutes. K.W. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Justine Eyre, winner of multiple AUDIOFILE Earphones Awards, does not disappoint in this latest in the Playful Brides series. Bluestocking Jane Lowndes, who has “a razor for a tongue" when it comes to the handsome Lord Garrett Upton, the bane of her existence, does not want to marry. But then, Jane attends a masquerade ball in disguise, where she encounters her equally disguised nemesis. The romantic sparks fly. Will the romance survive the unveiling? Eyre is exceptional with accents. Her acting skills are showcased in her narration, making this audio experience most enjoyable. A.C.P. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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It has been decided that Mma Ramotswe, owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, shall take a holiday--even though she doesn't actually wish to take one. Lisette Lecat, who has narrated this series from its beginning, is once again perfect for this story set in Botswana. With a relaxed pace, she sets the charming atmosphere, seeming to savor each of McCall Smith's sentences. As Mma Ramotswe struggles to refrain from meddling in the agency while her colleague Mma Makutsi is in charge, Lecat seems to delight in performing the voices and accents of each character, making each one distinct and memorable. This story is meant for fans of the long-running beloved series--newcomers are advised to enjoy each installment from the beginning. M.M.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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When feisty Southern divorce lawyer Paula Vauss receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother, Kai, she begins a search that ultimately shows her the power of family and forgiveness. Joshilyn Jackson's abilities extend beyond her writing--insightful, funny, and poignant--to her narration. She breathes fiery life into Paula, exposing the vulnerability that gives context to the character's self-protective sarcasm. Entertaining on every level, Jackson portrays a variety of original, flawed characters--including Paula's ex-love, Birdwine, who is a private eye, and mystical Kai, a storyteller. In addition, she creates touching scenes and builds suspenseful twists, capturing the listener's complete attention and admiration. J.C.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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This audiobook collaboration elevates listeners to another sphere. Number 4 in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series transports listeners to a tumultuous Norway after the murder of the prime minister. It's not clear whether the killing was a political assassination or personal revenge. Chief Inspector Wilhelmsen intends to find out. Narrator Rosalyn Landor uses finely honed skills, among them pacing, tone, accent, and pitch, to expertly portray the various characters and perspectives as well as the mysterious atmosphere of this thriller. Her portrayal of the colorful detective Billy T. is especially noteworthy. Landor accentuates the spectrum of personality in this seemingly contradictory character. A stellar narration is guaranteed to keep the pulse pounding. J.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Listening to the late Pete Seeger is like chatting with an old friend. It never gets old, even though we do. Seeger's latest collection of songs and stories is a treasure. He talks about life; friends, such as Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson; and his tireless environmental work, which he started in the 1950s—before the word even existed. Musician Jeff Haynes adds a gentle background to Pete's tales, which lead into songs. Some of the songs were written by Seeger, some by others. All the songs are performed by singers touched by Seeger's legacy. The history of the song “Danny Boy” alone is worth buying the audiobook. My only complaint about the work is that it’s way too short. Two hours and 18 minutes barely scratches the surface of Seeger's amazing career. M.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Three narrators deliver the alternating voices of three protagonists. Lydia, Dill, and Travis are graduating seniors who have supported each other through the challenges of school, home, and rural living. Ariadne Meyers renders the wit and confidence of Lydia, a fashionista blogger who is eager to depart for college. Michael Crouch portrays Dill’s disguised passion for Lydia and barely contained disgust for his snake-handling preacher father who’s been imprisoned for child pornography. Ethan Sawyer contrasts Travis’s gentle, dreamy nature with the menacing tone of his demeaning father. All the narrators deliver nuanced, engaging depictions, which strengthen as the characters grow and their relationships evolve. Listeners will be engrossed by their disturbing stories. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Alyssa Bresnahan is so good that it’s possible just to enjoy her voice and forget everything else. Luckily, this geeky, spiritual love story is strong enough to keep listeners riveted, and Bresnahan’s performance is the icing on a very tasty cake. Teenagers Patricia and Laurence are outsiders. Patricia is a tender earth spirit, a budding witch who speaks to birds, while Laurence is a techno-genius, inventor of a time-machine watch that can propel him two seconds into the future. Bresnahan controls the razor-sharp wit and clever dialogue, channeling the over-the-top characters—from Patricia’s sadistic sister to a high-ranking assassin-cum-guidance counselor and an unlikely incarnation of Mother Nature. Which will save the world from political and ecological catastrophe—science or magic? Or is it too late? S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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For a hopeful outlook on the future of individual health and medicine, look no further than to oncologist David Agus. With a light, energetic voice, Agus reads the introduction, offering listeners his argument on why these are "the lucky years" when it comes to personal health. His focus is on prevention through information and the appreciation of each individual's "context," the unique variables that determine individual health outcomes. After the introduction, narrator Holter Graham capably takes over the reigns with the same contagious enthusiasm. When Agus underscores his assertions with data from many studies, Graham artfully uses inflection and careful pacing to prevent the listener from getting lost. An informative, engaging listen that will prove useful both during and between checkups! A.S. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Finally, Joseph Campbell's first (most iconic) work is available in a complete unabridged recording! Campbell captured the imagination of the postwar generation with his exploration of universal themes in mythology. His mythological imagery provided the foundation for generations of fantasy writing. The early Star Wars movies follow this book almost chapter for chapter. Today, Campbell's unquestioned reliance on Jungian and Freudian concepts may seem dated. The power of the audiobook is in the carefully chosen excerpts of tales from mythology. Arthur Morey, John Lee, and Susan Denaker are an adept and experienced performance team. The way they trade voices adds texture to the complex compendium of stories. Although few people could perfectly pronounce the names of all the mythological characters in this global survey, they do an excellent job. F.C. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Whether you're new to Le Fanu's classic tales or a veteran of his particular brand of imaginative horror, these narrators are sure to entertain and spook you with these stories of stalking monkey-demons, supernatural courtroom revenge, premature burial, lesbian vampires, and more. Although it's not clear which reader performs which story, it's worth noting that all six are talented actors, making this a particularly impressive collection. Perhaps the most memorable stories presented are "The Familiar" and "Carmilla," both of which are iconic in their own right but are freshly imbued by their narrators. No over-the-top shenanigans here--these performers understand what creepiness is and how to share it. N.J.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Andrew Eiden deftly captures the colorful vernacular of Washington State in the 1890s. His Western twang gives authenticity to 12-year-old Joseph as he searches for his beloved horse, who has been stolen from him. Joseph has suffered a series of losses--the death of his mother, sister, and father have made him determined to get back what is rightfully his. Not surprisingly, Eiden's narration often projects as much longing as drawl as Joseph is haunted by his family members' words and what their lives meant. Traveling with Joseph is a Chinese boy, Ah-Kee, who speaks no English and faces great prejudice. Eiden's portrayal includes Joseph's developing tenderness and respect for his companion. This story is full of emotion, adventure, and a strong sense of time and place. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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At age 64, following multiple attempts, Diana Nyad finally achieved her long-held dream of becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Key West. It's a testament to her determination that she kept trying even when it seemed like she would never achieve her dream. Hearing her tell her story in her own words adds another dimension to the endeavor, and the listener feels her single-minded dedication to her goal. Her description of the challenging circumstances she overcame early in her life is jarring, and makes her achievements even more impressive. Nyad also gives the listener glimpses of her mind while swimming by singing the songs that help her to maintain her stroke, counting in various languages, and yelping when stung by jellyfish. S.E.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Saskia Maarleveld's English accent, resonant voice, and clear diction set the stage for this Regency romance. With a charming lilt, Maarleveld brings out the confusion and naïveté of Hannah Rogers, who is torn between two suitors. Her indecision is well contrasted with the unwavering strength in the voice of Marianna Mayfield, Hannah's selfish and deceitful former mistress. Maarleveld's deftly timed transitions and command of the characters' evocative voices, including those of men and women with various accents, keeps the dialogue flowing smoothly and distinguishes between social classes. Pauses and modulations in volume add suspense to some cliff-hanger chapter endings, adding further enticement to keep listening. M.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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Chevalier's story of American frontier life and the trees, both apple and redwood, that influence the lives of a family is delivered by a talented group of narrators. Mark Bramhall, Hillary Huber, Kirby Heyborne, and Cassandra Morris each narrate the perspective of a family member. Bramhall and Huber are wonderfully cast as the warring Goodenough parents, with Heyborne and Morris doing an outstanding job voicing the letters sent between two Goodenough siblings. The one way this narration falls down is in having Bramhall continue to narrate the section of the novel that is from the point of view of the Goodenough son instead of having Heyborne take that role, since he's the one who represents that young man when he is writing letters. Bramhall continues to engage, but the choice is somewhat jarring to the listener. J.L.K. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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An experienced narrator like Peter Jay Fernandez is an excellent choice for a classic title by the late African literary giant Chinua Achebe. Fernandez’s tenor pitch laces this parable set in an imagined West African country with a degree of humor and irony. Combining the two is an excellent way to characterize protagonist Chris Oriko, who is forced to choose between loyalty to an old friend, now president for life, or aligning with his other childhood friend, now chief critic of the president. Alternating between the proud tones of the president and the groveling of his followers, Fernandez captures the political satire at the heart of this fictional take on life after British colonial rule. M.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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This Swedish crime thriller sets the tone for its dark story with the hit-and-run death of a teenage boy. Narrator Simon Vance embodies the unnamed male narrator whose perspective fills most of the first half of the novel. Vance characterizes him with a neutral tone that is in keeping with his lack of guilt toward his crime. The policemen in the story are especially vivid as Vance picks up his pace to project their growing desperation to solve the rising number of deaths in their small town. Vance makes the most of a whodunit that mixes the intrigue of blackmail with an array of frustrated detectives. Listeners will lean in to see the villains get their due. M.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Listeners interested in the lives of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson will love this audiobook. Narrator Amanda Carlin provides good interpretations of both Lady Bird's and Lyndon's voices and Texas accents. Lady Bird's southern upbringing cultivated a public persona that was quite different behind closed doors. She was bright, attractive--and formidable. When anyone had a problem with LBJ, they went to her, and she would "persuade" her husband to reconsider his decision. Her expertise in handling those situations was tantamount to salvaging his presidency. As complex as their personalities were, they stayed together until the day LBJ died. Carlin does a fine job of capturing the essence of their relationship and its effect on the Johnson years in the White House. E.E.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Four narrators tell the story of teens in a 1970s Alaska fishing town. Jorjeana Marie portrays Ruth in a soft, slow voice that expresses the character's lyrical nature and a longing born of contrasts. Ruth's early life was idyllic before her father died and her mother went crazy. She faces the antithesis of her earlier life with her harsh grandmother. Dora, portrayed by Erin Tripp, suffers abuse from her father and sounds world-weary. The voice of Alyce, read by Karissa Vacker, is brighter, reflecting the possibilities she has due to having money and parental understanding. Robbie Daymond dramatizes the burdened, fearful Hank, who has escaped a cruel stepfather. Stories connect and relationships build as these talented narrators weave individual experiences into a tapestry that evokes Alaska's cultural and emotional landscape just after statehood. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Stefan Rudnicki's full-bodied deep voice sounds like one might imagine the voice of God. So who better to narrate this tale of guilt and redemption? Rudnicki's tone is full of sorrow and anguish when voicing Malcolm Mays, who runs away to a small Oregon town to escape a tragic accident. His new life is quickly derailed when he receives mail from Dusha Chuchoonyhoof, a town legend who claims to be the owner of Malcolm's house. Dusha is about to be released from prison, and he expects Malcolm to perform a gory ritual to welcome him home. The novel draws on a dizzying blend of Kalapuya, Welsh, Scottish, and Norse mythology, and the listener's bewilderment is echoed by Rudnicki's Malcolm. The veteran narrator aids listeners by making the town's oddball denizens distinctive and the paranormal elements clear. D.E.M. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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There may be no more tragic story in America than the prevalence of black-on-black violence and the public dismissal of it as unimportant. Narrator Rebecca Lowman takes a low-key approach, and it works perfectly; this audiobook is so dramatic and sad that it doesn’t need any amping up. Jill Leovy hangs her exploration of the South Central district of Los Angeles on the death of teenager Bryant Tennelle, the son of a police detective with no gang connections, and the efforts of Detective John Skaggs to solve that murder. Lowman convincingly renders the decency and drive of Skaggs, who is white and who lives in the area, has an unbelievable work ethic, and believes justice is the key to prevention. The litany of death is depressing, but there’s some comfort in learning that there are heroes on the side of angels. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Winner © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Lee Eisenberg performs his exploration of literature, philosophy, history, and his own personal stories to find the meaning of life through all its phases. Eisenberg develops the metaphor of a "scribbler" who lives in our heads, writing our life stories as we go along--so this is a writer writing about writing while frequently referencing other writing. This could come off as navel-gazing (which Eisenberg acknowledges), but while his thoughts are carefully reasoned, his performance glows with the sense of spontaneity, curiosity, and discovery he must have felt while doing his research. His excitement combined with flashes of humor is infectious, creating forward momentum and persuading listeners to consider the stories they're making of their own lives. A.F. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Johnny Heller's stellar narration makes this audio experience ALMOST like hearing Mark Twain himself. Twain's dialogue and descriptions of people and places along the Mississippi River come alive. Huck; the escaped slave, Jim; and Tom Sawyer are equally distinct and believable. Most compelling is hearing Huck and Tom return after hunting for Jim; their discussion sounds like listening to a real conversation. Heller's portrayal of Huck is especially amusing when he pretends to be a shy, soft-spoken girl in order to pry information from an unsuspecting woman. A vivid description of a thunderstorm demonstrates how well-delivered words can serve as sound effects. This is Mark Twain at his best on audio. S.G.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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PAX

Peter and his pet fox, Pax, are inseparable until war parts them. Then, Peter must live with his grandfather and set the fox free. Narrator Michael Curran-Dorsano recounts their parallel journeys. As he exists in the wild, Pax questions domesticity. Peter begins as a submissive boy bent on staying safe, but Curran-Dorsano hints at dark feelings that lurk below his acquiescence. As Peter journeys to find his fox, he becomes the unwilling mentee of Vola, a jaded ex-soldier, who challenges Peter to find his true self. Curran-Dorsano renders Vola's outward harshness and underlying caring. This haunting story about war, sacrifice, and survival has action as well. Curran-Dorsano's pacing quickens into breathlessness in these scenes as he gives them the same fullness he brings to his characterizations. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Caroline Lennon's lilting performance is splendid in this lively look at morality and the Victorians' well-documented obsession with hair. In 1865, the seven Swiney sisters of Harristown, Ireland, are endowed with luxurious, lustrous, overabundant tresses--from golden to raven black--and beautiful voices. To avoid starvation, they become The Swiney Godivas, a vaudeville act. They sing, dance, and perform mini hair-related dramas, and as the pièce de résistance, they let down their hair. Lennon captures the melodic Irish rhythms in both descriptions and dialogue. Each sister's voice is unique--sweet or whiny or fierce. The story is based on the real-life Sutherland sisters of upstate New York, who were also known for their lavish locks. Top-notch listening. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Heartfelt performances by Nancy Linari and Allyson Ryan bring out the emotional ups and downs of two women who are restarting their lives. From alternating perspectives, they portray Leanne, who is divorced, and Nichole, who is separated from Leanne's son. The narrators also take on the voices of the women's love interests. They credibly portray the ruggedness of Nichole's Rocco, a tow-truck driver, and the formidable European accent of Leanne's Nikolai, who encounters stereotypical but endearing language mishaps. Linari and Ryan complement each other's performances as they persuasively capture the protagonists' new romances and personal independence. M.F. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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The audiobook opens with Miss Beatrice Nash’s arrival in Rye, an English village where she’s to serve as the new Latin teacher. It’s the summer of 1914, but the war brewing on the European continent has yet to disturb life in Rye. Narrator Fiona Hardingham breathes life into a huge cast of characters—from the grieving, determined Miss Nash to a Romani schoolboy. She’s especially adept with accents; the American author who is trying to downplay his heritage sounds appropriately ambiguous, and a Belgian refugee who speaks halting, heavily accented English is convincing. With subtle wit and barely suppressed emotion, Hardingham chronicles Miss Nash’s first year in Rye, which stretches from summer garden parties to England’s entry into WWI. This is storytelling at its finest, with a narration to match. E.C. Winner of AudioFIle Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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After a charismatic foreign healer sets up practice in a sleepy Irish village, the residents find themselves caught in the aftershocks of war. O'Brien, a master at weaving the personal with the political, has a perfect partner in narrator Juliet Stevenson. Central to Stevenson's performance are the lovers: Fidelma's emptiness--both the cause and the consequence of her dalliance with Doctor Vlad--nearly echoes in Stevenson's voice. Doctor Vlad--seductively soft and controlled--is a convincing deceiver. Stevenson also crafts even seemingly incidental characters distinctly. That attentiveness pays off richly as the novel progresses, particularly with Mujo, a psychologically scarred functional mute whose voice eventually rises to an epic sound and fury. He reminds listeners that this is no mere tale of love gone wrong--it's a powerfully read modern parable. K.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Gerard Doyle’s performance of this mystery is so fine that listeners may have to remind themselves they’re listening to a one-man show, not full-cast audio theater. His narration combined with such good writing makes this pure pleasure for the ears and mind. A rash of suicides is killing publicly assertive women—or are they being murdered? Ex-cop Carol Jordan is drafted to lead a new high-profile police unit. With the personal and professional assistance of psychologist Tony Hill, she takes on the suspicious deaths as a sort of warm-up exercise for her team. Doyle’s performance enhances McDermid’s story and characters. G.S.D. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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The host of "Top Chef" narrates her memoir as if she's telling her story to a trusted friend. She sounds expressive and vulnerable--revealing mistakes with a tone of regret, letting her love shine through the voices she creates for beloved family members, and enthusing about her passion for food, fashion, and travel. Lakshmi slips in and out of accents as she moves through her childhood in India and the U.S., her modeling career in Europe, her marriage to Salman Rushdie, her move into the world of food and "Top Chef," her struggles with endometriosis, and the relationships that led to the birth of her daughter. While aspects of Lakshmi's story have been celebrity gossip fodder, this well-crafted memoir will have broad appeal to listeners interested in remarkable lives. A.F. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Six months after his sister's sudden death, 16-year-old Quinn is numb, his mother is grieving, and his father is long gone. That might not sound like the premise for a laugh-out-loud audiobook, but Quinn is witty and instantly endearing, which both softens the heartbreak and makes it feel more real. Author Tim Federle's genuine narration is just right--self-deprecating, heartfelt, a little snarky, and always authentic. He puts listeners squarely into Quinn's point of view. We feel what Quinn feels--guilt, lust, fear, love, and the heat of a Pittsburgh summer--as he tries to figure out his place in the world without Annabeth, navigates his first crush, and tests his relationship with his best friend, Geoff. A lovely, winning match of novel and performance. J.M.D. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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In the ninth book of this series, narrator Lorelei King once again revels in grim reaper Charley Davidson's snarky attitude. Though the book begins with Charley suffering from amnesia and living as Janey Doer, a waitress in a small-town diner, it's none too long until she's back to solving mysteries. With the help of a few familiar figures, including sexy Reyes and caring Cookie, she's soon attempting to discover her own forgotten self and rescue those she can sense are in trouble. A variety of different character voices makes King's narration lively and entertaining. While new listeners will benefit by starting with the first book, Charley's amnesia does give them the opportunity to explore the series from here. J.M. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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E.O. Wilson's newest book champions the idea of setting one half the earth's surface aside to preserve a significant portion of the wealth of biodiversity that is currently disappearing so rapidly. Narrator Jonathan Hogan's slow, clear baritone is easy to follow and reminiscent of Wilson's own unhurried presentation style. As always, Wilson's perspective is founded in his concern about the little creatures--from viruses to beetles--that do most of the work that allows ecosystems to function. Hogan's pacing is good, and he has very little trouble with the often arcane names--common and Latin--of the sweeping range of life Wilson discusses. This audiobook contains more excellent thinking by one of the nation's most prominent biologists and proponents of biodiversity preservation. F.C. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Mike Chamberlain engagingly narrates the author's look at productivity and how people get things done. While Duhigg does examine eight ideas that increase productivity, this is really more of an exploration of the topic itself than a guidebook for how to achieve greater productivity. As the text winds through different areas, including neuroscience, probabilistic thinking, goal setting, and decision-making, Chamberlain provides a straightforward and evenly paced delivery. His consistent narration style adds continuity as Duhigg's examples intertwine and are revisited. E.N. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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This 22-minute collection of love poems from iconic writers offers a melodic narration by Richard Armitage. Each recitation is intentionally paced. There are no overly dramatic highs or lows in his voice. The passion is steady and constant from one poem to the next. From gestures of grandeur in Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Give All to Love" to the wisdom of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, the listener hears an array of poetic styles clearly enunciated. There's subtle musicality in each poem. Armitage's masterful delivery of words, whether in rhyme, ballad, or other poetic form, is both gallant and calming. This audiobook of great classic poems is a listening pleasure. T.E.C. 2016 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Gildart Jackson’s narration is full of an old-fashioned regal lilt as befits a tale set in the twelfth century in the world of monasteries, hand-copied manuscripts, and wild creatures outside the walls. Brother Hugo is mortified that a bear has eaten his library copy of the letters of St. Augustine. As he sets out to re-create the manuscript, aided by fellow monks, listeners learn about the bookmaking process from sheepskin to final clasps. Jackson adds a gentle authority as the abbot and the prior, the latter of whom reminds Brother Hugo, “Books are food for the souls of men, not bears.” Listeners will catch bemusement in Jackson’s voice as he delivers the constant stomach grumbling and lip smacking that torments the monastery all Lent long. Light background music augments the period setting. A.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Veteran Australian actor Jack Thompson narrates his first audiobook with dazzling success. Listeners will be immediately drawn into the sad but compelling tale of a father who is seeking to recover the bodies of his three sons who were all lost on the same day in the battles of Gallipoli. The clash of cultures—Turkish, British, and Australian, the heartbreaking losses on all sides, and the slow resolution are vividly created. Thompson’s subtle performance expresses the fierce passions of the characters with powerful resonance. The audiobook simply sweeps you up and tangles you in an extraordinary story. The history is enlightening, especially for Americans, who may not know the scope of this WWI tragedy, but the universality is unmistakable. Powerful to the end, this is a listening saga that stays with you. R.F.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2016 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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Narrator Madeleine Maby serves up wedding drama in this appealing contemporary love story. Genevieve Mackenzie and Wolf have always been friends—until Genevieve becomes engaged to David. But when Genevieve turns into a runaway bride on her wedding day, Wolf is there to catch her—literally. Somewhere between Genevieve’s self-doubt and Wolf’s troubled childhood lies something beautiful. Maby shares the growing understanding between Wolf and Gen with expertly inflected dialogue. She captures Gen’s sweet, matter-of-fact nature and portrays Wolf in a low, gruff voice that conveys his protective nature. The natural flow of their banter gives Probst’s story added realism. While characters are not always perfectly differentiated in conversation, Maby’s pacing and authenticity will have listeners wanting to hear the other titles in this series. C.A. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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