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August/September 2018

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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MY EX-LIFE Stephen McCauley Read by George Newbern Narrator George Newbern eloquently embodies the voice of a man at a midlife crossroads. In McCauley's entertaining audiobook, David and Julie reconnect years after their short marriage ended following a miscarriage and David's realization that he is gay. Julie is now going through another divorce, and her estranged husband is planning to sell their New England home despite Julie's reliance on the property for income as a bed-and-breakfast. David and Julie reconnect over Julie's daughter, Mandy, who needs assistance preparing college applications. Newbern's tone is skillfully timed for subtle humor and thoughtful wisdom. He hits just the right notes as multiple characters face major decisions in their lives. S.P.C. Macmillan Audio 10 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781427296153 $39.99 (also DD) YOU THINK IT, I'LL SAY IT: Stories Curtis Sittenfeld Read by Emily Rankin, Mark Deakins This excellent collection of 10 short stories is insightful, smart, and funny, laying bare the petty concerns, inner thoughts, and vulnerabilities of their high-achieving protagonists. The two nar- rators, Emily Rankin and Mark Deakins, are a credit to the audiobook as they incorporate humorous touches where appropriate, even amid some of the more negative emotions on display. Rankin's youthful delivery is straightforward and no-nonsense, striking a tone that empha- sizes the intelligence of the protagonists. Mark Deakins, for his part, also captures the sardonic intelligence and introspec- tive nature of the stories in his well-paced delivery. Both narrators capture the timely, relevant, and humorous nature of these darkly observant stories. S.E.G. Random House Audio 7 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9780525527770 $35.00 (also DD) Books on Tape Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9780525527794 $35.00 (also DD) MY OXFORD YEAR Julia Whelan Read by Julia Whelan Narrator Julia Whelan performs her appealing debut novel as well as listeners would expect, which is to say, terrifically. The plot is a well-constructed take on the classic romantic drama, this time set in Oxford, where 24-year-old American Ella is studying on a Rhodes Scholarship. Enter her poetry professor, who turns out to be the guy she insulted that morning after he inadvertently trashed her blouse. You can guess the story's direction, but that's part of the satisfaction. And it's all told with an eye for cultural detail. In addition to American Ella and posh Brit Jamie, Whelan has peopled her novel with Oxford's famous cornucopia of characters. The personalities pop, her pacing is superb, and the realism she injects will keep you wide-eyed. A.C.S. Harper Audio 10 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062843456 $26.99 LAWN BOY Jonathan Evison Read by P.J. Ochlan This novel comes alive as an audio- book because of narrator P.J. Ochlan's ability to create unique voices for each of Evison's characters. At its core, it's a coming-of-age story featuring Mike Munoz, a Chicano landscaper who is seeking a break in a society that is seem- ingly stacked against him. As Munoz meets the novel's other characters, his life changes, and in small ways, so does the world around him. The audiobook succeeds because of Ochlan's ability to give life to Evison's extraordinary voices and to dramatize the situations the characters find themselves in. Whether it's when Munoz has an abscessed tooth pulled or when he confronts those whose wisdom turns out to be less than stellar, Ochlan makes the most of every moment. D.J.S. HighBridge Audio 8.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781684413263 $34.99 (also DD) Fiction Ochlan makes the most of every moment. August/September 2018 n 31 THE HIGH SEASON Judy Blundell Read by Julia Whelan N a r r a t o r J u l i a W h e l a n p r o v i d e s a conversational delivery for this multilay- ered summer story set on the North Fork of Long Island. Ruthie and her daughter, Jemma, start the tourist season as they always do, by welcoming summer renters into their beachside home. Little do they realize that by Labor Day nothing will ever be the same. Whelan's impressive ability to impart the charac- ters' personalities into their dialogue comes to the fore in this story of new begin- nings. She gives Jemma a recognizable teenage attitude, and an older art collector a rich man's confidence. This audiobook, with its fully realized characters facing real-life situations and a range of family and relationship issues, will bring depth to your reading list. C.B.L. Random House Audio 10.75 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525524250 $20.00 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525524267 $76.00 Watch narrator videos at audiofilemagazine.com/blog/ category/behind-the-mic BEHIND THE MIC

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