Books That Play: Listen in the Garden

Spring has been a slow-approaching season in the northeast, making gardening an incremental process of preparing beds, planting heartier bushes that can withstand an unexpected light frost, and watching the weather report closely for warmer days when vegetable seedlings and sensitive spring flowers can be transplanted successfully. All before the onset of hot summer days!

Unlike previous spring plantings, where I clustered all flora tasks in one exhausting weekend, I have spent more hours across a span of days preparing the gardens than ever before. Laying mulch, shoveling down fresh soil for the raised beds, nestling flowers into the window boxes, clipping back the overgrowth from the evergreens and holly bushes. While it is all indeed considered work, (though arguably I would say it is therapy) it is satisfyingly tangible work, to which I get to enjoy the solace of my thoughts, and even better, the chance to listen to a few fantastic audiobooks, entirely uninterrupted (except of course when my earbuds run out of battery power).

Whether you’re tending to a sprawling property, raised garden beds on your back patio, planters on your balcony, or perhaps an herb garden on your kitchen windowsill, these four audiobooks will serve as a welcome buzz in your ear.

In The Good Left Undone Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, faces the end of her life and is determined to share a long-held secret about her mother’s great love story. In the halcyon past, Domenica Cabrelli thrives until her home becomes unsafe when Italy teeters on the brink of World War II. Domenica experiences love, loss, and grief while she longs for home. A hundred years later, her daughter and granddaughter face the same big questions about life and their family’s legacy. The two timelines intersect in unexpected and heartbreaking ways that lead the family to shocking revelations and, ultimately, redemption.

Jason Bennett is a suburban dad who owns a court-reporting business, but one night, his life takes a turn when a flash of violence changes his life forever. Jason and his family receive a visit from the FBI, telling them that the people who attacked them were members of a dangerous drug-trafficking organization—and now Jason and his family are in their crosshairs. The agents advise the Bennetts to enter the witness protection program right away, and they have no choice but to agree. But WITSEC was designed to protect criminal informants, not law-abiding families. Taken from all they know, trapped in an unfamiliar life, the What Happened to the Bennetts is captivating from beginning to end.

On a bitter-cold day Sam Masur exits a subway car, sees Sadie Green, and a game begins. Before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo: a game where players can escape the confines of a body and the betrayals of a heart, and where death means nothing more than a chance to restart and play again. Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, technology and the human experience.

Author: Linda Holmes
Read By: Julia Whelan

Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-Aunt Dot, and finds a mysterious wooden duck at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie’s curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line “And anyway, if you’re ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling.” Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck—and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. With a cast of unforgettable characters and a heroine you will root for from minute one, Flying Solo is a wonderfully original story about growing up, coming home, and learning to make a life for yourself on your own terms.