April/May 2020

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Page 39 of 75

THE MAJESTIES Tiffany Tsao Read by Nancy Wu Nancy Wu uses an arch, knowing tone to narrate this family saga steeped in drama and danger. Gwendolyn and Estella are the spoiled sisters of an upper-class Asian family who must confront past secrets if they hope to sur- vive. Wu perfectly captures the sisters' privileged exis- tence in Indonesia. We are taken into a world of luxury and jealousy, of compe- tition between families and among their mem- bers. Wu carries us along the unfolding tension as Estella turns on everyone—including Gwendolyn. Keeping us hanging on every word, Wu makes us eager to find out what happens next. Well paced by an expert narrator, this roller-coaster story intrigues and entertains. M.R. Simon & Schuster Audio 9.75 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9781508299363 $19.99 SUCH A FUN AGE Kiley Reid Read by Nicole Lewis Narrator Nicole Lewis hooks listeners with her lively pacing and vivid char- acterizations in this gripping debut audiobook on race, privilege, and money. In an upscale Philadelphia grocery shop, 25-year-old black college graduate Emira is improperly detained by a security guard who refuses to believe that she is the babysitter of her white employ- er's 3-year-old daughter, Briar. Lewis superbly captures the fallout from this disturbing encounter—Emira's growing unease; intrusive behavior from Alix, Emira's employer and Briar's mother; and complications from Emira's roman- tic entanglement with Kelly, a young white man who filmed the incident. Lewis skillfully delivers the snappy rep- artee between Emira and her best friend, Zara, and the "Sex and the City" vibe of Alix and her New York City friends, Tamra, Jodi, and Rachel. M.J. Penguin Audio 10 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780593107065 $20.00 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780593107072 $76.00 PROCESSED CHEESE Stephen Wright Read by Robert Petkoff Narrator Robert Petkoff continues to demonstrate he's in the top rank of per- formers with this strange take on money and what people will do once they get it. Imagine a bag of cash falls at your feet as you walk along a city street. Petkoff gives protagonists Graveyard and his wife, Ambience, wry and comic tones as he rattles off all the wondrous possessions and adventures they can have now that serious money has fallen into their hands. Petkoff's take on this sly review of contemporary life is notable for perfect pacing that allows the listener to marvel at what money means to some people today. Petkoff's performance of this bleakly comical satire is affecting, funny, and sad. R.O. Hachette Audio 13.75 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781549153389 $40.00 (also DD) 38 n AudioFile/ Fiction RUN ME TO EARTH Paul Yoon Read by Ramón de Ocampo Narrator Ramón de Ocampo's even tone is the perfect match for this quiet historical novel. In 1960s Laos, three teenagers orphaned by war find work at a nearby abandoned field hospital. A doctor there helps them to flee the country, but, separated during the escape, their lives spin out in vastly different directions. The story shifts through time, space, and point of view, but de Ocampo's steady narration never wavers. There's a matter-of-factness in his voice that acknowledges the horrors these characters live through without slipping into sensationalism. At its heart, this is an audiobook about the diaspora of war, and about the dev- astating, rippling, and occasionally redemptive consequences of seemingly minor decisions. De Ocampo's beautiful and brutal narration is as lush and mesmerizing as the prose itself. L.S. Simon & Schuster Audio 6 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9781797101859 $17.99 "You feel drawn into these lives fractured by war in a way that feels so graceful, like this story and its setting already lived in your imag- ination. The book and the experience I had telling it were equal parts beautiful and gut wrenching." —Narrator Ramón de Ocampo Photo by Elsie Rose Photography

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