Staff Recommendations to Celebrate Audiobook Month

This ain’t your average party. Though the Penguin Random House Audio staff is still spread far and wide while working remotely, we’re celebrating Audiobook Month together by sharing the stories we love, read by exceptional narrators, because books will always connect us.

“James McBride is a fantastic writer. He has a way of taking all these different threads of narrative and weaving them together into a beautiful tapestry of a novel. It’s funny, it’s poignant and more than anything it’s a human story. Narrator Dominic Hoffman does such a good job at taking all the many characters that James has created in this book and bringing them to life…His accents are on point and everything he does with the narration really keeps you interested in the story. It’s a really great combination of a fantastic writer and an unbelievable narrator.”
Dan Zitt SVP, Content Production, PRH Audio

Author: Abi Daré
Read By: Adjoa Andoh

“I am completely speechless after listening to this book. The story follows the journey of Adunni, a 14 year old Nigerian girl, who has limited educational opportunities but so wants to become a teacher. This book is wonderful: it’s heartbreaking, it’s inspiring and I absolutely fell in love with Adunni’s passion and commitment to herself. Adjoa Andoh’s narration is completely brilliant, it’s emotional, it is raw. She makes you cry and laugh.”
Alexis Patterson, Manager of Strategic Events, PRH Audio

Author: Ali Wong
Read By: Ali Wong and Justin Hakuta

“This book is hilarious, and if you aren’t familiar with Ali Wong or any of her movies or comedy specials, I think this is a great place to start. Her book is a series of letters addressed to her two young daughters. It’s very heartfelt but at the same time it’s very Ali Wong, so it’s super raunchy. I really recommend Dear Girls because I think now more than ever you’re being constantly bombarded with a lot of negative content. It’s becoming essential to basically unplug and have a laugh.”
Jasmin Ayala, Audio Production Assistant, PRH Audio

“Part memoir, park cultural criticism. This book is smart, funny and provocative and was just the thing to stimulate my brain right now.”
Taylor Noel, Marketing Manager, Random House

“If you’re looking for an escapist rom-com to get your mind off the current situation, you can’t go wrong with the story of two boys who fall in love when their parents are selected for NASA’s first mission to Mars. The narration by Michael Crouch is amazing and there’s a full cast element. There are interstitial chapters about this reality show, that’s about the astro kids and their families and NASA. It really adds a fun element to the audiobook. Plus there’s a Q&A at the end between the producer Diane McKiernan and Phil Stamper about the behind the scenes making of the audiobook.”
Emily Parliman, Editor, PRH Audio

A Girl’s Guide to Murder is the story of Pip, who is a super precocious and delightful high school senior who decides to investigate a cold case murder in her town for her senior thesis project. It is filled with twists and turns and red herrings, and is a really fun fiction listen for my fellow true crime lovers. Bailey Carr’s narration is top-notch and there’s a bunch of really cool audio effects that make this a special production to listen to.”
Erin Murphy, Marketing Assistant, PRH Audio

Author: Emma Straub
Read By: Emily Rankin

“This novel, about a multigenerational family in their small town, where everyone knows everyone, offers a perfect escape from your day-to-day life. Emma does what she does best and gives us the most charming, wise, and humorous story about family and all the messiness that it brings. This is a really fun summer listen read perfectly by Emily Rankin. It’s great for listening while you go for a walk, great for book clubs, and a great way to start summer.”
Julia Tabas, Publicist, PRH Audio

“I grew up reading Charlotte’s Web with my mom and it means a lot to me, so much that when I moved to NYC I stole my mom’s childhood copy of the book and brought it along. As special as it is to revisit our favorite stories over and over, it can also be a really cool experience to engage with it in a new way, and to that end I recommend our new recording of Charlotte’s Web read to you by Meryl Streep and a full cast. It’s a really breathtaking production that’s well worth the listen, whether you’re listening as a family or as a nostalgic adult.”—Heather Job, Associate Publicist, PRH Audio

Meaty by Samantha Irby and read by Samantha Irby is so, so funny. This is a collection of essays. She is hilarious. From childhood to adulthood and dating, they’re super relatable. I laughed out loud so many times, which is something that is much needed right now, especially with what’s happening in the world. It gets the happiness flowing.”
Taraneh Djangi, Associate Director, Marketing, PRH Audio

Looking for more audio inspiration this month? Meet the cast of bestselling audiobooks and listen to clips of narrator performances HERE.