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What We’re Listening To — March 2018 Picks

This month, we heard from some of our audiobook producers. They told us what upcoming audiobooks should be on our must-listen list.


cover_9780525588900I think The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale will take a lot of readers and listeners by surprise. The simplest description of this debut novel is that it’s about a woman, Leda, who buys a book and never gets around to reading it. This story is really a deep examination of a life lived. It’s at times funny and heartbreaking, filled with nuance and the complexities of life. I was able to sit in on a session while Rebecca Lowman was narrating this here in New York City and she nailed the tone of this book more than I could’ve ever imagined. —Diane McKiernan


cover_9780525526186I’d just like to gush one more time (I swear) about the Duplass brothers. Not only do I love Mark and Jay personally, but I listened to Like Brothers after it was edited and think it really stands out. They’re both great readers and they really love each other. This recording is a big blend of their trademark style of humor, heart, and warmth. They talk about a bunch of their projects in the book, and I wanted to mention a few:

The Puffy Chair: Currently streaming on Amazon Prime, this is their first feature film, which they made with almost no money and no additional crew. It stars Mark and his then-girlfriend (now wife), Katie, and was directed by Jay. This earned them a spot at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005 and launched their careers.

Transparent: This is also playing on Amazon Prime. Though this is not created by the Duplass brothers, it features Jay as one of the leads, and is fabulous nonetheless.

Togetherness: If you happen to have HBO, you can watch this TV series that they first created and co-ran, also starring Mark.

All of these do a brilliant balancing act of humor and poignancy. All highly recommended, along with their audiobook! —Kelly Gildea

cover_9780525630890I just finished reading A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen, and I absolutely loved it. What a great look at modern Russia through the eyes of the hilarious, hapless narrator Andrei, a 34-year-old Russian literature Ph.D. candidate who moves back to Russia to care for his elderly grandmother. Like with The Nix, I thought of Ari Fliakos right away [when I read it], and he’s agreed to narrate. We will rely heavily on the author to help with Russian pronunciations. —Karen Dziekonski


cover_9780525637325Touching the Dragon also really took me by surprise. In this memoir, former Navy SEAL Senior Chief, James Hatch, recounts several secret missions he was a part of throughout his twenty-four years in service, as well as the details of his final mission—a failed attempt to rescue rogue Private Bowe Bergdahl—which left him badly wounded. Though the telling of these harrowing accounts is fascinating, what is even more compelling to me is the story of Hatch coming to terms with having no choice but to end his military career and try to assimilate back into civilian life. The introduction, in particular, is disarmingly honest. Hatch mentions that despite the horrors of war, “gunfights in the darkness, on enemy turf, were where we were happy,” while back in the normal world, “I was an alien”. The author will narrate the introduction and Kaleo Griffith will narrate the main text. After I cast this audio, I got a note from Kaleo saying how honored he is to narrate this, as his father was a pilot in WWII. Our director, Christina Rooney, also reached out to say how timely this project is for her, as her father-in-law is just now retiring after thirty-five years in the military. —Diane McKiernan