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10 of AudioFile Magazine's Best Audiobooks of 2018

A selection of 10 amazing titles from AudioFile Magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2018: listens that combine blow-you-away narrations with standout writing. For the complete list, visit www.audiofilemagazine.com/bestof. AudioFile is the best independent source of audiobook reviews and recommendations—with clear focus on the performance and audio experience.

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Barracoon

The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"

By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 3 hours 49 minutes

Barracoon

“Barracoon would be a significant document were it only about Cudjo (Kossola) Lewis, the last survivor of the last recorded slave ship to the US. His memories, recounted orally, preserve a trans-atlantic history that has long-been suppressed. But Barracoon is also a story about Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance, and the reclamation of African-American folklore. Woven throughout Hurston and Lewis' conversations is a yearning for roots and a fight for identity.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Clara, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Audiobook details

Educated

A Memoir

By Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 9 minutes

Educated

“Raised by Mormon fundamentalists, mistrustful of the medical community while having never stepped foot in a classroom setting, Tara Westover's memoir, "Educated" is excruciatingly painful at times. From witnessing devastating destruction deep in the woods of Idaho to enduring an abusive bi-polar brother to becoming ostracized by her survivalist parents for her beliefs, Tara's tale of self-discovery will totally bring you to tears. Torrents of them. For fans of "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls and "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance, except much more dysfunctional, "Educated" will leave you thanking your lucky stars you weren't raised a Westover. Read by Julia Whelan, this audiobook is perfect for recent graduates, educators and everyone concerned about the state of our country. I highly recommend!”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Audiobook details

Spinning Silver

A Novel

By Naomi Novik
Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 17 hours 56 minutes

Spinning Silver

“When Miryem takes over the family money-lender business from her unsuccessful father, her family's fortune finally starts looking up. However, her reputation for turning silver to gold catches the notice of the feared Staryk (magical ice-beings) who come to test her claim. Meanwhile, a duke plots to marry his daughter to Tsar Mirnatius, who is trapped by a deadly secret. When the girls cross paths, chaos ensues and no one is what they appear. Every moment is action packed and engrossing. Novak does so well weaving the multiple story lines into the novel and showing how a first impression is not always accurate.”

Undercover Books & Gifts image Darean, Undercover Books & Gifts
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Washington Black

A novel

By Esi Edugyan
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 12 hours 18 minutes

Washington Black

“Epic in scope, ranging from a brutal slave plantation in Barbados to scenes in the Arctic, antebellum America, and London, plus a thoughtful denouement in the Moroccan desert, Edugyan’s novel explores the complex relationship between slave and master, the hubris of good intentions, and the tense life of a runaway in constant flight with a Javert on his tail. What results is a compulsive page-turner blessed with effortless prose. Highly recommended.”

Matthew Lage image Matthew Lage, Iowa Book
Audiobook details

Kingdom of the Blind

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
Chief Inspector Gamache Novel: Book #14

By Louise Penny
Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
Length: 12 hours 19 minutes

Kingdom of the Blind

“Inspector Gamache has puzzled his way through 13 of Louise Penny’s mysteries, and his 14th is an exceptional read. Penny brings us a mystery that will delight old-school mystery lovers (a storm, the reading of a will) as well as those who enjoy a fast-paced thriller (Gamache’s plans involving the opioids he lost). The pacing is swift and the cast of characters from Three Pines is as charming and wonderful as always. The Kingdom of the Blind is easily one of the best of the series. Thank you, Louise Penny, for reminding us that kindness does exist in this mostly cruel world and that when utilized correctly, it can be inspiring and life-changing.”

Wellesley Books image William Carl, Wellesley Books
Audiobook details

Circe

By Madeline Miller
Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

Circe

“This sweeping tale of the gods and heroes of Greek mythology as seen through the eyes of a minor goddess had me from the first chapter. I listened to this as an audiobook from our audio vendor, Libro.fm. The brilliant narrator was the 29-year-old Welsh film actress, Perdita Weeks.”

Changing Hands image Bob, Changing Hands
Audiobook details

Make Trouble

Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story

By Cecile Richards & Lauren Peterson
Narrated by: Cecile Richards
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

From Cecile Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood for more than a decade, daughter of the late Ann Richards, featured speaker at the Women’s March on Washington, and “the heroine of the resistance” (Vogue), comes “an enthralling memoir” (Booklist, starred review) filled with “practical advice and inspiration for aspiring leaders... Read more »

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The Death of Mrs. Westaway

By Ruth Ware
Narrated by: Imogen Church
Length: 14 hours 14 minutes

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

“The perfect atmospheric thriller to curl up and listen to while the rain lashes the window and your tarot spread suggests you stay inside. Cold mansion, creepy maid, a surprise will, and long buried secrets clawing their way out of the grave will keep you glued to the seat, cup of tea trembling in your hand until the last word. ”

Fountain Bookstore image Kate, Fountain Bookstore
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Social Purpose Annual Report

Social Purpose Annual Report

As we look to the future as a Social Purpose Corporation, we’re committed to serving readers and independent bookstores. Read our 2020 Annual Report to see an overview of the year.

Read the Report

What Are We Doing Here?

Essays

By Marilynne Robinson
Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
Length: 11 hours 7 minutes

Marilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels, including Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith.Whether... Read more »

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The Good Neighbor

The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

By Maxwell King
Narrated by: LeVar Burton
Length: 14 hours 7 minutes

The Good Neighbor

“A wonderful biography of an American icon who seemed too good to be true. And yet, believe it or not, he was an even better, more caring man than he portrayed on television. If you are a fan of Fred Rogers and want to understand what drove him to create Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, this is an essential read. Learning more about Rogers’ life through the words of his family and friends in this well-researched and comprehensive biography will give you even more reason to admire the man. And when’s the last time a biography made you cry tears of joy?”

Octavia Books image James Wilson, Octavia Books
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