What We’re Listening To – 2017 Picks

The year is coming to an end, and we’re reflecting on all the wonderful, unique, and engaging audiobooks that we’ve listened to in the past twelve months. Here staff members share their favorite listens of 2017.

cover_9780525501558William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken is a super fun way of geeking out about Star Wars, leading up to the new movie this Christmas. A scene-by-scene retelling of Episode VII in Shakespearean verse with all of my favorite Star Wars audiobook narrators, yes please.
‒Nicole Morano, publicity manager

 

 

cover_9780807216859Hands down: The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. Michael Sheen does an impeccable job matching the character voices and accents of the first three books in the series, which were performed by an ensemble cast.
‒Juliana Wilson, audio producer

 

 

cover_9781524755348I loved Bianca Bosker’s Cork Dork. On the surface it’s a behind-the-scenes look at the world of sommeliers; however it’s really an examination of a person’s capacity for discipline. Bosker was a tech writer when she decided to quit her day job to pursue her interest in the wine industry. It’s truly incredible how quickly she became a certified sommelier. Packed with delightful insights about the industry (did you know that some restaurants encourage their sommeliers to take ballet classes?), this audiobook also touches on the science of wine making and tasting. Read by the author, it’s a must listen for wine enthusiasts and risk takers. ‒Winnie De Moya, social media marketing manager

cover_9780553397581This year had a lot of incredible literature to listen to, but if I had to choose just one from this embarrassment of riches, it’d have to be George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo. The audio edition stands on its own, leveling up an already beautiful, strange, funny, heartbreaking, timely book with a star-studded, textured collage of voices (Nick Offerman! Megan Mullally! Bill Hader! Carrie Brownstein! Don Cheadle!) that includes performances not only from author-narrator George Saunders but one of audio’s great author-narrators, David Sedaris, absolutely killing it in a fictional role. ‒Sarah Jaffe, audio producer

cover_9781524721350Since this was a year full of intense news stories, events, and stress, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir was a refreshing respite from that all. This production had multiple narrators (something I always enjoy). It also included a few songs within the audiobook, which were lovely to hear. The story itself is told through diary entries, letters, and town notices in the alternating voices of a handful of women in a small English town during World War II. Women struggling with fear, loss, and heartbreak, but ultimately sharing happiness and love, is just the type of story to warm your heart. ‒Taraneh DJangi, senior manager, creative marketing

cover_9781524750602There is no shortage of suggested book titles thrown your way when you are expecting a baby—and no shortage of good intentions for how much you plan to read during your maternity leave! What I wasn’t expecting when I was expecting? The sudden and uncharacteristic lack of desire to want to read anything for pleasure. The Fifth Trimester broke that spell. It was the best audiobook to ease me back into my reading habit, while also making me feel like I was treating myself to something that was just for me. And audio was the necessary format to effortlessly add reading back into my unrecognizable life as a new working mom where my hands were suddenly full all of the time. I looked forward to my daily “meet-ups” with narrator Allyson Ryan as she delivered Lauren Smith Brody’s helpful insight and advice in a conversational and friendly tone. A great mix of a pleasure listen with all the elements that make for an important self-care title for women.
‒Jennifer Rubins, associate director, creative marketing

cover_9780525497691I loved John Hodgman’s Vacationland–I burst out laughing constantly while reading it, and his delivery of the audiobook is spot on. Perfect for podcast addicts!
-Katie Punia, vice president, publicity

 

 

cover_9780553397970Although this came out a few years ago, Station Eleven was my absolute favorite audiobook of 2017. I’ve always been a fan of apocalyptic stories, but to have such a unique perspective, both from before and after the event, as well as from multiple viewpoints, made this listen extraordinary. It was quietly powerful, in a way that I wasn’t expecting but made me want to discuss the audiobook with everyone I know. Kirsten Potter is fantastic as the various voices, and helps to make this listen so memorable.
‒Brieana Garcia, marketing associate