Friday, June 1, 2018

AudioFile Magazine’s Picks of the Best New Audiobooks for Summer Listening

It goes without saying that we are big audiobook fans around here, so Kat and I  are excited to invite AudioFile Magazine blogger Aurelia C. Scott to stop by and keep to all of our audio TBR piles stacked!

What is it about individuals and society? They’re not always coming from the same place, that’s for sure. Here are our picks of five great new audiobooks about making your own rules and being yourself no matter what. Some edgy, some sweet, some joyful, some weepers. All awesome.

Thanks to Jess and Kat, we’ll be stopping by regularly with our audiobook picks for Books and Sensibility readers. Here’s to having an audiobook in your ear

INK by Alice Broadway | Read by Amy Shiels
Scholastic Audiobooks | Unabridged

What if the heart tat on your ankle or the dragon on your back were just two of hundreds that told the story of your life? What if, instead of wanting a tattoo, you had to get a tattoo? What if an un-inked body made you an outcast? There’s so much going on in this gorgeously read mystery-fable that it made me want to listen slowly to savor and reflect. It’s about the rules that society lays down, finding your personal truth, and so much more. Here’s our review.

FOR EVERY ONE by Jason Reynolds | Read by Jason Reynolds
Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged | AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Written over a period of years, some of them hopeless, others jumpin’, this is a poem to listen to again and again. When you’re good; when you’ve been knocked up sideways; and always, always, when you need to know that you’re going to make it. Reynolds’s warm, deep voice seeped into my marrow and set it thrumming. And how about this? Reynolds, who’s written more than ten books, including LONG WAY DOWN, grew up a non-reader who didn’t take in a whole book until he was 17. Here’s our FOR EVERY ONE review. And our take on LONG WAY DOWN . Plus, more about Jason Reynolds. He’s a keeper.

THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo | Read by Elizabeth Acevedo
Harper Audio | Unabridged | AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Listening to Acevedo read her amazing novel reminded me why bards and poets were the rock stars of the ancient world. Words loosed into the air are powerful. And Acevedo’s debut novel about Xiomara, a 15-year-old Afro-Latina in Harlem with a body that’s blooming and a mother who judges everything she does, is mighty. Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and all I can say is that you can tell. What a performance. Here’s our review.

WHEN MY HEART JOINS THE THOUSAND by A.J. Steiger | Read by Tavia Gilbert
Harper Audio | Unabridged

Figuring out who you are and how to navigate this crazy world is thorny enough. Now try it when people are extra hard to read because you’re neuroatypical, plus you’re dealing with staying out of the messed up foster-care system. Then you meet a guy. My heart broke and then leapt with joy while listening to Tavia Gilbert, who positively channels the heroine, Alvie. This is a can’t-take-the-earbuds-out romance that fills your head with all that is deep, painful, funny, and soaring. Plus, it’s a debut novel, so hopefully, we have a future with this author. Here’s our review. And don’t miss this video of narrator Tavia Gilbert talking about how she works her magic

THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN by Angelo Surmelis | Read by Michael Crouch
Harper Audio | Unabridged

Drawing from his own life, author Angelo Surmelis knows what he’s talking about in his intense and ultimately uplifting first novel about being 17 and gay in an immigrant family that will not accept him. So well written and narrated, and tough enough that I paused occasionally to catch my breath – abuse, prejudice, homophobia are all here. So glad that I kept listening, because this one’s about sticking to your truth no matter what with laughter; and yes, love. Here’s our review. And more about narrator Michael Crouch


Aurelia C. Scott, AudioFile Magazine blogger. Aurelia C. Scott Author and audiobook fanatic, Aurelia often falls asleep at night with earbuds still attached. She can also be found at

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