Anderson, Laurie Halse. The Impossible Knife of Memory. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. ISBN 9781480553606. $59.97; 8 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
In Anderson’s (Speak) unforgettable novel, 17-year-old Hayley Kincain and her father have settled in his hometown, and the memories they’ve been trying to outrun threaten to swallow them whole. For Hayley, memories of abandonment and her mother’s and grandmother’s deaths start to surface, first as ripples, than as waves. Her father tries to numb his memories of the Iraq War with drugs and alcohol, and his daughter is left picking up the pieces. Then a sweet young man barges into her life. For once, Hayley finds herself thinking about the future, but how can she do that when she’s taking care of her father? The audio is narrated beautifully by Julia Whelan, whose youthful voice does wonders in bringing Hayley to life, and Luke Daniels, whose gruff and melancholy voice is the perfect portrayal of Hayley’s father. VERDICT Engaging, heartfelt, and compelling, this is a must-listen from one of YA’s best authors. For fans of realistic young adult literature and coming-of-age novels.
Layton, Deborah. Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor’s Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple. MP3 digital download. library/retail eds. unabridged. 14¼ hrs. Random Audio. 2014. ISBN 9780804191074. $22.50. (no CD edition.) MEMOIR
Layton’s best-selling 1999 memoir of her high-level involvement with Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple and her dramatic escape from the cult prior to the Jonestown, Guyana, mass suicide of 1978 comes alive in this must-buy audio. Layton worked with narrator Kathe Mazur to perfect a characterization of Jones’s seductive voice and capably reads the prolog and a new epilog herself. The result is a compelling audio that reminds listeners that sophisticated knowledge of the world is not necessarily protection against enslavement to a political or spiritual ideology. Some 50 years after the beginning of Layton’s involvement with Peoples Temple, and 15 years after the memoir was first published, her admonitions to question beliefs, explore motivations, and test the truth continue to be relevant today. VERDICT This exciting, suspenseful, and mysterious work is very highly recommended for adult audio collections. [“Vividly written and powerfully told, this book shows convincingly how a group of people, seduced by promises of an ‘Eden’ on earth, will blindly follow a charismatic leader,” read the review of the Anchor hc, LJ 11/15/98. See a Q&A with the author and the narrator on page 84.]
Tóibín, Colm. The Testament of Mary. 3 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 3 hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2013. ISBN . $14.99; digital download. F
Mary is a solitary old lady. Her much-loved son grew into a charismatic man who surrounded himself with damaged sycophants and gathered huge crowds wherever he went. Eventually the authorities killed him. Now other men, men with agendas, harass her. While they try to mine her for evidence that her son is a god, she knows that he was a man, not the Christ. First a play, then an award-winning novella and a Broadway production, and available now as an audiobook, this is a highly revisionist look at the woman many Christian churches revere as Mary, (virgin) Mother of Jesus. This is a tired Mary, a not-very-sympathetic Mary, a self-tortured Mary, and, most of all, a totally human Mary. VERDICT Superbly read, as expected, by the incomparable Meryl Streep, this audiobook is recommended for two groups of individuals, those interested in a personal reexamination of implicit church doctrine and/or those just interested in a good story about a troubled mother’s life. [“A moving and thought-provoking take on the life of a religious icon,” read the review of the Scribner hc, LJ 9/1/12.]
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Alexander, Tasha. Behind the Shattered Glass. (Lady Emily, Bk. 8). 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781427233509. $39.99; digital download. F
Baldacci, David. King and Maxwell. (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, Bk. 6). 11 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13 hrs. Hachette Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781478925026. $40; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Dotta, Jessica. Born of Persuasion. 11 CDs. retail ed. 13¼ hrs. Oasis Audio. 2013. ISBN 978613755426. $36.99; 2 MP3-CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F
George, Elizabeth. Just One Evil Act. (Inspector Lynley, Bk. 18). 24 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 29 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470382001. $123.75; 24 CDs. retail ed. Penguin Audio; 3 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Inherit the Dead. 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 8½ hrs. S. & S. Audio. ISBN 9781442364349. $29.99; digital download. F
Krentz, Jayne Ann. River Road. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9¾ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. ISBN 9781470380595. $123.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Lustbader, Eric Van. Beloved Enemy. (Jack McClure, Bk. 5). 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 11½ hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781427233110. $39.99; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Morris, Liv. Adam’s Apple. 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 8½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2014. ISBN 9781452618487. $39.99; 7 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; digital download. F
Smith, Lee. Guests on Earth. 9 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 11¼ hrs. HighBridge Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781622312368. $34.95; 9 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Auster, Paul. Report from the Interior. 6 CDs. unabridged. 7½ hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781427233349. $29.99; Playaway digital; digital download. AUTOBIOG
Frankel, Bethenny. Skinnygirl Solutions: Your Straight-Up Guide to Home, Health, Family, Career, Style & Sex. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 11½ hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781442354142. $39.99; digital download. SELF-HELP
Hafner, Katie. Mother Daughter Me. 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452616193. $39.99; 1 MP3-CD. 8 CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. MEMOIR
McKibben, Bill. Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist. 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 9½ hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781427233462. $39.99; Playaway digital; digital download. POL SCI/ENVIRONMENT
North, Oliver. American Heroes: On the Homefront. 5 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 5 hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781442367029. $34.99; digital download. MILITARY STUDIES/SOC SCI
Schneider, Paul. Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History. 11 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452617039. $44.99; 11 CDs. library ed.; 2 MP3-CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. HIST
Sincero, Jen. You Are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. 5 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452615516. $34.99; 5 CDs. library ed.; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; Playaway digital;
digital download. SELF-HELP
Sounes, Howard. 27: A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse. 11 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 12½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452617787. $39.99; 11 CDs. library ed.; 2 MP3-CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. BIOG/MUSIC
IT’S A DOG’S LIFE
Quinn, Spencer. A Fistful of Collars. (Chet & Bernie Mystery, Bk. 5). 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781470302245. $92.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
This not-to-be-missed fifth entry in the series by Quinn, pseudonym for Peter Abrahams, told from the point of view of Chet, a dog, makes for unique and at times laugh-out-loud funny detective fiction. In this outing, Chet, and Bernie, his faithful companion and PI, are “babysitting” the star of a film being shot in the Valley. Murder, mayhem, mystery, romance, friendship, and a cat named Brando combine to make a great listen. Narrator Jim Frangione once again outdoes himself in his over-the-top portrayal of our hero. VERDICT Although it can be enjoyed as a read-alone, don’t miss the others in the series. Fans of Rita Mae Brown’s “Sneaky Pie” series and Alexander McCall Smith’s “Corduroy Mansions” entries will want to add Quinn to their reading lists. [“Although readers will be able to identify the villain before the dénouement, they will enjoy the ride getting there,” read the review of the Atria pb, LJ 7/12.]
Quinn, Spencer. The Sound and the Furry. (Chet & Bernie Mystery, Bk. 6). 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9¾ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2013. ISBN 9781470333256. $102.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
The Little Detective Agency on the road! Chet the Jet and Bernie Little travel to the Louisiana bayou in the sixth installment of the series. This time, Chet, our 100-plus-pound canine narrator learns about boats, Cajun food, and gators as he and Bernie, “the smartest human in the room,” look for missing inventor Ralph Boutette, Big Oil, biker gangs, stolen shrimp, and long-standing family feuds come together in another hilarious outing well told by narrator Jim Frangione. VERDICT As always, Quinn’s books may be enjoyed as stand-alones, but don’t miss the other entries in this well-done, hysterically funny, and heartwarming series.