What We’re Listening To – October 2018 Picks

Ah, autumn in the city. The weather is cooling, actual air is in the air, and it’s possible to roast root vegetables without baking everyone in your apartment in the process. October brings a cozy vibe, but what really slays me about fall is the wistfulness, the yearning, the Big ‘Ol Mood. It’s a time for gusty winds and lost thoughts, but also for substance and introspection. In this rabbit hole of feelings, a great audiobook, podcast, or song is the perfect company.

The Witch Elm
Author: Tana French
Read By: Paul Nugent

Speaking of rabbit holes, I’ve just started listening to Tana French’s The Witch Elm, and Paul Nugent’s subtle, changeable narration pulled me right into the mood of slow-burning terror that is French’s specialty. Nugent uses every corner of his Irish accent to add shadow and texture – his voice is like the weather and makes listening just as inevitable. If you’re a fan of dark, literary thrillers that tunnel into your mind, don’t miss this audiobook. Perfect for a Halloween read, or any gray day or dark night.

Simon & GarfunkelSimon and Garfunkel
Oh, you thought a brooding city gal wasn’t going to listen to “The Only Living Boy in New York” on repeat while gazing into the middle distance of the subway platform? Autumn in NYC is as close to the essence of Simon and Garfunkel as a season can get, and no matter where you live, now is a great time to get in touch with your inner poet and sing along to some S&G.

Well-Read Black Girl
Author: Glory Edim
Read By: Glory Edim

Fall is the perfect season for listening to essay collections and burrowing into big ideas and examinations of the world around us. I can’t wait to listen to this audio collection edited by Glory Edim and including essays from Jesmyn Ward, Jacqueline Woodson, and Gabourey Sidibe, among other superstar writers and thinkers. Full disclosure: this audiobook isn’t out yet, but it will be on October 30, 2018, and it’s going straight to the top of my listening list.

The Allusionist PodcastThe Allusionist Podcast
If you’re a fellow word hound and haven’t already discovered the witty, wry, and wonderful podcast The Allusionist hosted by Helen Zaltzman, please kindly stop your life and download post haste. In episodes ranging from 18 to 29 minutes, Helen Zaltzman and her guests take on everything from the history of words and phrases to the structure and meaning of language itself. It’s funny, charming, and ideal for commutes of all lengths.

TranscriptionTranscription by Kate Atkinson, read by Fenella Woolgar
Atkinson is one of my all-time favorite writers. Her secret sauce? Characters, characters, characters. The way in which she weaves together historical events through the nuanced internal dramas of her protagonists is astonishing – I once finished one of her books thinking, “I can’t believe a human wrote that.” It’s especially striking to listen to Fenella Woolgar narrate Atkinson’s newest novel, Transcription, and the result is exactly the kind of brain and heart bending audiobook I’m digging right now (also don’t miss Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie mystery series, starting with Case Files—so excellent).

Happy listening!