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December 2020/January 2021

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HIS ONLY WIFE Peace Adzo Medie Read by Soneela Nankani Soneela Nankani brings a light and airy approach to the narration of this hilarious story of the perfect arranged marriage. Afi, who is young, ambitious, and poor, recognizes her ticket out of poverty when a man from a wealthy family proposes. Nankani takes us on the wild ride from Afi's village to the big city of Accra, Ghana. Listeners are entertained from the opening scene, in which a wedding takes place without the presence of the groom. He has declined to attend, having sent a stand-in instead. Nankani plays up Afi's feisty spirit and the story's unusual circumstances. This fun, well-delivered performance brings together the best elements of inter- national and women's fiction. M.R. Workman Publishing 9 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD $16.77 THE LEHMAN TRILOGY Stefano Massini, Richard Dixon [Trans.] Read by Edoardo Ballerini It's hard to imagine a better narrator for Stefano Massini's novel in verse than Edoardo Ballerini. Ballerini delivers this massive fictional history with accu- rate accents, subtlety, and nuance. The German-Jewish immigrant experience is magnified through the lens of the Lehman brothers—Henry, Emanuel, and Mayer—and their descendants, whose rise from grocers to cotton traders to inter- national banking circles shows them to be sometimes ruthless, often relentless, but always focused on the prize: social acceptance and financial freedom. A wonderful translation enhances Massini's outstanding use of language, particularly his incantatory rhythms and intentional repetition. All highlight the Lehmans' tenacity and determination to achieve success. Ballerini's dazzling performance of Massini's stunning lyrical descriptions and poetic ambience results in an excep- tional listening experience. S.J.H. Harper Audio 13.75 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062940483 $29.99 THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS Jodi Picoult Read by Patti Murin Dawn is thriving as a mom and wife with a fulfilling career when a plane crash leaves her second-guessing everything. Patti Murin admirably narrates this complex novel, providing a strong yet pleasant voice for Dawn at this crossroads. Dawn's early adulthood as an Egyptian archaeologist took a sud- den turn many years before when she returned home to her dying mother and stayed to become a wife and death doula. But her own near- death experience results in deep yearning for her former life in Egypt—and her true love, a British colleague. Murin portrays his smarmy superiority and eventual commitment to Dawn with a light accent. The novel's extensive details about quantum physics and Egyptology are interesting rather than cumbersome, thanks to Murin's conversa- tional narration. N.M.C. Random House Audio 15.75 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9780593289662 $45.00 (also DD) Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780593289686 $45.00 KIM JIYOUNG, BORN 1982 Cho Nam-Joo, Jamie Chang [Trans.] Read by Kathleen Choe Kathleen Choe's controlled narration is perfect for this controversial commen- tary on Korea's patriarchal society. When 30-something Kim JiYoung begins to have dissociative episodes during which she channels the voices of other people, her husband sends her to be treated— by a male psychiatrist. Choe's authentic Korean pronunciations help illuminate this concise allegorical novella. She effec- tively contrasts Kim JiYoung's spirited voice when she defies gender discrim- ination at home and school, and her resignation when she's finally relegated to being a powerless wife and mother. Choe's quietly powerful performance highlights the theme of inequality in this poignant story, making for a subtly edgy listening experience. M.F. Audible, Inc. 4 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD $14.95 THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY Matt Haig Read by Carey Mulligan English actress Carey Mulligan narrates t h i s w o n d r o u s a u d i o b o o k a b o u t a woman's existential journey between life and death. At age 35, Nora Seed attempts suicide. Instead of dying, Nora arrives at a metaphysical library that represents all her possible existences had she made dif- ferent choices. Each book transports Nora to another life, which she experiences firsthand until she feels unfulfilled. She then returns to the library to try again. While the story structure is episodic, Mulligan maintains strong narrative cohesion with her vibrant and humane portrayals of Nora and of the recurring characters who appear in her various lives. Mulligan's incredible talent shines throughout as she leads listeners through a grand adventure and a deeply personal exploration of what it means to have a good life. A.T.N. Penguin Audio 8.75 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780593340233 $20.00 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780593340240 $76.00 Fiction Mulligan's incredible talent shines throughout. 34 n AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com

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