Samantha Diaz What We're Listening To
What We’re Listening To: Samantha’s Picks

As a college student (and now PRH Audio marketing intern!), my daily schedule consists of Zoom meetings, typing up papers, checking emails, and an enormous caffeine intake. After surviving midterm week, I especially needed a breather from the routine—cue spring break! Spring break brought the promise of relaxation, sleeping in, and listening to my favorite audiobooks. I eagerly looked forward to sipping my iced coffee, nestled in a comfy chair, earbuds blocking out not only the sounds and distractions of the busy New York streets but also the stress of my busy week.

Here are my listening suggestions not only for spring break, but for anytime you need to escape the pressures of reality:

This title sat on my extensively long TBR list for ages and gathered metaphorical dust, but I was finally able to sit down and give it a listen—and I’m so glad I did. A Discovery of Witches is a tale of magic, adventure, and the lengths that people will go to protect the ones they love. It is also the ideal getaway for listeners with a penchant for the magical quality unique to travel and exploration—listening to Jennifer Ikeda’s narration, I let the world slip away and the story carry me onto the streets of Oxford, London, and to the chateaus of France’s countryside. Ikeda gave each character a distinctive voice and accent, and her performance made me feel like they were sitting right next to me.

Author: Jen Sincero
Read By: Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero’s wittiness and insightful observations were a refresher for me. With the stress that comes from being a college student, I’ve noticed that I have developed some bad habits, most of which involve a caffeine binge and pulling all-nighters. Badass Habits offers a 21 step plan to help break bad habits and develop new ones. One of the many bits of wisdom that Sincero imparts is coming up with a mantra for your habit. Sincero notes that we actually use mantras every day, whether they are positive or negative. I had to take several moments to meditate on the negative mantras that flooded my mind before I could create a mantra that affirms the new habit I want to develop. Sincero encouraged me to grab a notebook, sit down, and embody my new habit. I saw the potential at that moment to not be the person who says, “I don’t have the time” or “I’m too busy.” Instead, I’ve become the person who says, “I have the time to focus on myself and not worry about anyone or anything else.” I’ve found my new mantra and feel ready to tackle more habits…although I may not be giving up coffee anytime soon.

Author: Glory Edim
Read By: Glory Edim

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Glory Edim is a collection of stories told by black women about the powerful instrument of words and finding yourself in literature. Narrated by the author and creator of the Well-Read Black Girl community herself, Glory Edim brings an evocative, powerful, and authentic experience to the listener. As a woman of color myself, I found myself nodding along with authors like Jesmyn Ward, Zadie Smith, Gabourey Sidibe, and more phenomenal BIPOC writers. They shared their narratives about living as black women in a world determined to cast them off as small and insignificant. They speak about how the works of Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Nora Zeale Hurston, the pioneers of BIPOC authors, have influenced and shaped their passion for literature and how we can continue to find ourselves in the pages of a book—or in an audiobook.

Brightest Blue by Ellie GouldingEllie Goulding’s vocals and melodic voice in her album Brightest Blue make you feel as if you are traversing through a haze or a dream. You’re there and not there; your mind drifts off, and you feel as if your problems or anxieties no longer ground you. Her latest album Brightest Blue reflects the self, the complexity of relationships, and the power of the heart over the mind. Goulding’s album sends a message to listeners that it is okay to step away for a while and take time to reflect and meditate on life and yourself. The pandemic has forced us to shift perspective, and there is a need to take a breather and find our center and our place in this whole new world we find ourselves in.

Looking for more staff recommendations? Find them all here.