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February 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
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With subtle accents and delicate inflections, veteran narrator Petkoff raises Proulx’s most recent masterpiece from gorgeous historical saga to riveting page-turner.
Belgravia. By Julian Fellowes. Read by Juliet Stevenson. 2016. 16hr. Hachette, CD, $35 (9781478941484).
Stevenson’s peerless narration and command of Victorian blue-blooded speech patterns, from mannered courtesy to supercilious disdain, transform Fellowes’ posh soap opera into enthralling audio theater.
The Black Widow. By Daniel Silva. Read by George Guidall. 2016. 14.5hr. Harper, CD, $44.99 (9780062320285).
Master art restorer and legendary Israeli spy Gabriel Allon is indelibly linked to Guidall’s finely tuned, edge-of-our-seats portrayal of Allon’s forays into the world of espionage and terrorism.
Boys in the Trees. By Carly Simon. Read by the author. 2015. 13.5hr. Macmillan, CD, $39.99 (9781427271952).
Simon’s narration—her sugar-smooth voice and comforting tones—and singing (including a previously unreleased song) elevate the print version of this candid memoir.
A Great Reckoning. By Louise Penny. Read by Robert Bathurst. 2016. 13.5hr. Macmillan, CD, $39.99 (9781427274403).
Bathurst’s nuanced character portrayals and careful pacing help propel this ingenious and atmospheric crime novel to its unexpected and powerful conclusion.
The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero. By Timothy Egan. Read by Gerard Doyle. 2016. 14hr. Brilliance, CD, $29.99 (9781480562745).
Doyle lends his distinctive brogue and gripping storytelling skill to this thrilling tale of Irish and American revolutionary Thomas Francis Meagher.
The Jealous Kind. By James Lee Burke. Read by Will Patton.
2016. 12hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $39.99 (9781508211686).
Series narrator Patton inhabits the richly realized characters in Burke’s often-violent, southern world, captivating listeners with his performance of a haunting, historical tale.
The Nix. By Nathan Hill. Read by Ari Fliakos. 2016. 21.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $55 (9780147523280).
In the performance Olympics that are audiobooks, narrator Fliakos deserves a gold medal for his virtuoso vocal interpretations of characters and events in this wondrous epic framed by fantasy games and political activism.
Rain Dogs. By Adrian McKinty. Read by Gerard Doyle. 2016. 10.5hr. Blackstone, CD, $90 (9781504661423).
This gritty crime novel set in Northern Ireland in 1987 features smart dialogue, dark humor, and clever plotting, all masterfully delivered in Doyle’s mellifluous Irish accent.
The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss. By Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt. Read by the authors. 2016. 6hr. Harper, CD, $29.99 (9780062466563).
Journalist Cooper began an e-mail exchange with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, on her ninety-first birthday. This audio version engagingly re-creates those refreshingly honest and intimate conversations.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike. By Phil Knight. Read by Norbert Leo Butz. 2016. 13.5hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $39.99 (9781508211808).
In a take-charge yet slightly understated fashion, Butz artfully narrates this fascinating memoir, emphasizing the emotional highs, lows, and frustrations of trying to get a company off the ground.
The Summer before the War. By Helen Simonson. Read by Fiona Hardingham. 2016. 16hr. Books on Tape, CD, $45 (9781101888599).
Hardingham’s lively British accent and silky cadence provide a luscious sensory soundscape of proper late-Edwardian charm with an extra soupçon of sparkling dry humor in this witty and heartwarming tale.
The Underground Railroad. By Colson Whitehead. Read by Bahni Turpin.
2016. 11hr. Books on Tape, CD, $40 (9781524736279).
Turpin’s haunting narration of Whitehead’s intense, imaginative, and unsettling exploration of slavery in the antebellum South evokes the harsh realities of a slave’s life and immerses listeners in the lives of the cast, making this grim odyssey feel disturbingly real. (Top of the List winner—Adult Audio.)
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