Which Listens Are PRHA Staffers Gifting This Year?

The Penguin Random House Audio team knows good listens. We’ve made our personal gifting list and checked it twice, and now it’s here for you to peruse! Read on to find out what the audiobook expert elves are gifting their friends and families this holiday season…then update your own listening list accordingly. Who says you can’t give yourself the gift of audio, too?

2020 has been a crazy year for me like for everyone else, but it is also the year that made me discover a passion for non-fiction that I did not know I had! Therefore, this holiday season, I will make sure to share the great non-fiction audiobooks that I loved in last 12 months: The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio and Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong, because they give voice to previously silenced, moving, personal stories.
Gloria Tononi, Manager, Marketing Analytics

Author: Ernest Cline
Read By: Wil Wheaton

Ready Player One is one of the first audiobooks I recommend to friends and family – I’ve gifted dozens of copies over the years. This year, I’m gifting my friends and family Ready Player Two so that they can listen to what happens next. Wil Wheaton’s narration was spot-on for Ready Player One, and I think they will love listening to him narrate the sequel.
—Rob Guzman, Senior Manager, Marketing Strategy

I’ve listened to the Hamilton: An American Musical cast album hundreds of times before seeing it “live” from the comfort of my living room this past summer. Literally streaming it on Disney+ was one of my favorite memories of 2020. It has also brought me great joy to see songs from the Hamilton soundtrack take the top song spot on many of my friends’ Spotify 2020 Wrapped playlists. So for this holiday season, I’ve decided to keep with the Hamilton trend and gift the Alex & Eliza trilogy to all my fellow fans. Who doesn’t want to get lost in a popular-girl-meets-poor-boy love story series?!
—Alexis Patterson, Manager, Strategic Events & Special Projects

This year I’m gifting Nick Offerman’s audiobook original All Rise, which is an extension of his 2019 comedy tour in which he points out, in the most wonderful Offerman fashion, how we as a country can be doing a better job when it comes to decency. During a really difficult year, sometimes you just need someone you admire saying the hard truths in a hilarious way—and there is no one better to do that than Nick Offerman. Plus, if anyone else used this year to re-watch Parks and Recreation like I did, you’ll be very pleased with this audiobook!
—Nicole Morano, Senior Manager, Publicity

I’m gifting Max and the Midknights & Max and the Midknights: Battle of the Bodkins to two of my nephews. They’ve started listening to audiobooks this year during remote learning, and both these full cast productions are a blast to listen to. With the amazing voice actors and fun sound effects, even my brother and sister-in-law will enjoy listening to it. Plus, who can resist stories about knights going on quests?
—Taraneh DJangi, Associate Director, Marketing

Author: Barack Obama
Read By: Barack Obama

Two years ago I put off reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming so I could listen to it with my mom on a road trip, and she went ahead and read it on her own. This year, I’m holding her copy of Barack Obama’s A Promised Land hostage so we can listen together!
—Heather Job, Associate Publicist

I’m gifting A Promised Land to my mom to listen to on her daily walks, and National Book Award winner Interior Chinatown to my literary-novel-loving husband!
—Katie Punia, Vice President, Publicity

Looking for more audio gift suggestions? Check out our Listening Season picks.