Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of May 9th.
Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!
Authors, narrators, producers, and publishers — any of the books featured here are prime candidates for review.
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Chasing Daisy by Scott Baron
Narrated by Vivienne Leheny
Thrown for the biggest loop she would likely ever be forced to experience, Daisy found herself at a complete loss for once. While a course of action normally made itself clear to her, her new predicament made following her instincts impossibly dangerous. One misstep, and she not only might harm those she cared for, but could even fracture the universe itself.
Forced to rely on her unlikely alliances along with her own wits, Daisy would soon find herself going head-to-head with the most brutal race of alien conquerors the galaxy had ever known.
If she succeeded, freedom was the prize. If she failed, oppression, slavery, and death awaited the vanquished.
The stakes were high and the pressure higher, but with the help of friends, both old and new, she was determined to give it her all. But if she failed, all was exactly what she might lose.
The New One by Mike Birbiglia, J. Hope Stein
Narrated by Mike Birbiglia, J. Hope Stein
Grand Central Publishing
With laugh-out-loud funny parenting observations, the NYT best-selling author and award-winning comedian delivers a book that is perfect for anyone who has ever raised a child, been a child, or refuses to stop acting like one.
In 2016 comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet Jennifer Hope Stein took their 14-month-old daughter Oona to the Nantucket Film Festival. When the festival director picked them up at the airport she asked Mike if he would perform at the storytelling night. She said, “The theme of the stories is jealousy.”
Jen quipped, “You’re jealous of Oona. You should talk about that.”
And so Mike began sharing some of his darkest and funniest thoughts about the decision to have a child. Jen and Mike revealed to each other their sides of what had gone down during Jen’s pregnancy and that first year with their child. Over the next couple years, these stories evolved into a Broadway show, and the more Mike performed it the more he heard how it resonated – not just with parents but also people who resist all kinds of change.
So he pored over his journals, dug deeper, and created this book: The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad. Along with hilarious and poignant stories he has never shared before, this audio is sprinkled with poetry Jen wrote as she navigated the same rocky shores of new parenthood.
So here it is. This book is an experiment – sort of like a family.
Network Effect by Martha Wells
Narrated by Kevin R. Free
Martha Wells’ New York Times and USA Today best-selling Murderbot series exploded onto the scene in 2017, and the world has not been the same, since.
Murderbot returns in its highly anticipated, first full-length stand-alone novel, Network Effect.
You know that feeling when you’re at work and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you’re a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you’re Murderbot.
Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable AI you’ll listen to this century.
I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90-plus percent of my problems are.
When Murderbot’s human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.
Drastic action it is, then.
Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Narrated by Kim Mai Guest, Johnathan McClain, Lincoln Hoppe, Donnabella Mortel, Jonathan Todd Ross, Erin Spencer, Steve West
Our heroes are back…kind of. From the best-selling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic Aurora Cycle series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.
First, the bad news: An ancient evil – you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal – is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.
Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.
And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.
Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.
When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.
Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes – and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.
Goldilocks by Laura Lam
Narrated by Patricia Rodriguez
A gripping science-fiction thriller where five women task themselves with ensuring the survival of the human race; perfect for fans of The Martian, The Power, and Station Eleven.
Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.
It’s humanity’s last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this – to step out of Valerie’s shadow and really make a difference.
But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi begins to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret – and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared….
Goldilocks is The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Martian – a bold and thought-provoking new high-concept thriller.
The Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer
Narrated by Will Damron
A captivating, gritty, and tender story of a reclusive musician and the environmental disaster that threatens his small town and changes his life forever.
Hollis Bragg lives on the fringes. The hunchbacked son of a West Virginia hill preacher, he now resides in rural isolation next to the burned-out husk of his father’s church, and earns his living ghostwriting songs for a popular band that left the poverty and corruption of Appalachia and never looked back. It’s the life he prefers, free from the harsh glare of the spotlight and attachments that lead only to heartbreak.
Then, much to his consternation, he’s discovered by Russell Watson, a local musician and fan who also happens to be the rebellious son of the local chemical company magnate. When a devastating toxic spill at the Watson chemical plant poisons the local water, it sets off an unpredictable series of events as Hollis witnesses a murder, faces a shocking betrayal, and begins to come to terms with his body and his past. Soon Hollis will find that in losing his anonymity and reclaiming his music, he can transform his future; and in opening himself up to the world, he might find redemption.
Containment by Vanda Symon
Narrated by Genevieve Swallow
Aurora Audio Books
Anarchy hits Dunedin when a cargo ship runs aground on Aramoana Beach amid a crowd of onlookers. One of them discovers a skull in the sand while desperate scavengers fight each other for the best of the bounty.
Waking up to the chaos and hurrying outside to give the police a hand, Detective Constable Sam Shephard cops a wallop before her attacker is himself beaten senseless – and she saves his life in the ambulance. Returning to work, she is sent to help recover a body submerged in the water, the autopsy revealing that this was no accidental drowning but a lethal assault.
The undercurrents from one morning’s madness turn out to be far-reaching as Sam begins to tie events together. Who else will be caught in the backwash, with a killer on the loose? Can Sam stem the tide?
The Void Beyond by P.W. Hillard
Narrated by Matt Jenkins
In the vastness of space, something lurks in the darkness.
Captain Morgan Starling and her crew travel the stars, shipping cargo from one system to the next. Easy work, until first contact with another race devolved into all-out war.
Now, they’re under attack from humanity’s mysterious alien foe, ambushed in the void between systems. When an unknown vessel comes to their aid, events spiral out of control, a twisted secret within its haunted corridors threatening to consume them, body and soul.
What they discover within will shatter what they know of life and death. Dragged into a battle with monstrous unfathomable forces, they must escape the nightmarish creatures that lurk out amongst the infinite black of space.
Forced into a desperate struggle for life, the crew must survive, if they ever want to get home…
The Dark Trail by J.C. Fields
Narrated by Paul J. McSorley
The Dark Trail
FBI Profiler Special Agent Sean Kruger is called back to the FBI from his special task force when his long-time friend and current Deputy Director of the FBI, Alan Seltzer, is brutally murdered during his morning bike ride. As Kruger is thrown into the investigation, he quickly finds out Alan was not the first high-profile African American to die in a suspicious manner.
Now with the loss of his friend and his pending retirement on his 57th birthday, Kruger must endure a dark trail as he rushes to find Alan’s murderer before he is forced to leave the FBI.
Filled with the trademark twists and turns of a J.C. Fields thriller, The Dark Trail will keep you listening well past your bedtime.
Driving the Deep by Suzanne Palmer
Narrated by Paul Woodson
From a Hugo Award-winning author comes the second book in this action-packed sci-fi caper, starring Fergus Ferguson, interstellar repo man and professional finder.
As a professional finder, Fergus Ferguson is hired to locate missing objects and steal them back. But it is rarely so simple, especially after his latest job in Cernee. He’s been recovering from that experience in the company of friends, the Shipmakers of Pluto, experts at crafting top-of-the-line AI spaceships.
The Shipmakers have convinced Fergus to finally deal with unfinished business he’s been avoiding for half his life: Earth. Fergus hasn’t been back to his homeworld since he was 15, when he stole his cousin’s motorcycle and ran away. It was his first theft, and nothing he’s stolen since has been anywhere near so easy, or weighed so heavily on his conscience. Many years and many jobs later, Fergus reluctantly agrees that now is the time to return the motorcycle and face his family.
Unfortunately, someone has gotten to the motorcycle before him. And before he can figure out where it went and why the storage unit that held it is now filled with priceless, stolen art, the Shipyard is attacked. His friends are missing, presumably kidnapped.
Accompanied by an untrustworthy detective who suspects Fergus is the art thief and the sole friend who escaped the attack, Fergus must follow the tenuous clues to locate and save his friends. The trail leads them to Enceladus, where Fergus plans to go undercover to the research stations that lie beneath the moon’s thick ice sheet deep in a dark, oppressive ocean.
But all movement and personnel are watched, and the limited ways through the thick ice of the moon’s surface are dangerous and highly monitored. Even if Fergus can manage to find proof that his friends are there and alive, getting out again is going to be a lot more complicated than he bargained for.
Strong and Courageous by Daniel Gibbs
Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer
David has won a battle – but the war is far from over.
Colonel David Cohen has one goal: Drive out the League of Sol. After a string of successful engagements, the warship Lion of Judah is ordered on a goodwill mission to assist neutral border planets long caught between both sides of the galactic conflict.
What David finds on Monrovia sends shock waves of horror through the Terran Coalition.
Monrovian citizens of all faiths are being rounded up and sent to reeducation camps, while others are exterminated to cleanse the population as the planet seeks to join the communist League. Mass graves containing thousands of murdered men, women, and children dot the landscape.
David vows to use whatever means necessary to stop the holocaust.
To face down the overwhelming brutality of the League, David will need more than the prayers of the faithful.
He’ll need a miracle.
If you love Babylon 5, Safehold, and Destroyermen, you must listen to Echoes of War, a military sci-fi series that will take you to the heart of duty, sacrifice, and the unseen scars of those who serve.
When You Know by Kiki Archer
Narrated by Claire Storey
When You Know is the sequel to Kiki Archer’s best-selling lesbian fiction novel One Foot onto the Ice.
Teacher Susan Quinn, and club ski instructor Jenna James have finally found love. True love. Real love. Breathless love. There’s chemistry. There’s passion. There’s a future. But what happens when distance separates them?
The fun cast of characters from St. Wilfred’s All-Girls School are back to support Jenna and Susan on their journeys of self-discovery.
Will Susan be able to overcome her anxieties and accept that Jenna’s changed? Will Jenna really be able to give up the life she loves on the slopes of the French Alps to teach alongside Susan? But more importantly, will their new relationship withstand the worries and doubts that social media can cause?
When you know, you know…but is that ever enough?
Departure from the Script by Jae
Narrated by Abigail Rakocy
It’s aspiring actress meeting photographer, femme meeting butch in this light-hearted lesbian romance set in Hollywood.
Aspiring actress Amanda Clark and photographer Michelle Osinski are two women burned by love and not looking to test the fire again. And even if they were, it certainly wouldn’t be with each other. Amanda has never been attracted to a butch woman before, and Michelle personifies the term butch.
Having just landed a role on a hot new TV show, she’s determined to focus on her career and doesn’t need any complications in her life. After a turbulent breakup with her starlet ex, Michelle swore she would never get involved with an actress again.
Another high-maintenance woman is the last thing she wants, and her first encounter with Amanda certainly makes her appear the type. But after a date that is not a date and some meddling from Amanda’s grandmother, they both begin to wonder if it’s not time for a departure from their usual dating scripts.
The Paladin by David Ignatius
Narrated by George Guidall
When a daring, high-tech CIA operation goes wrong and is disavowed, Michael Dunne sets out for revenge.
CIA operations officer Michael Dunne is tasked with infiltrating an Italian news organization that smells like a front for an enemy intelligence service. Headed by an American journalist, the self-styled bandits run a cyber operation unlike anything the CIA has seen before. Fast, slick, and indiscriminate, the group steals secrets from everywhere and anyone, and exploits them in ways the CIA can neither understand nor stop.
Dunne knows it’s illegal to run a covert op on an American citizen or journalist, but he has never refused an assignment and his boss has assured his protection. Soon after Dunne infiltrates the organization, however, his cover disintegrates. When news of the operation breaks and someone leaks that Dunne had an extramarital affair while on the job, the CIA leaves him to take the fall. Now a year later, fresh out of jail, Dunne sets out to hunt down and take vengeance on the people who destroyed his life.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Narrated by Emily Rankin
A Today Show #ReadwithJenna Book Club Pick!
“Brimming with kindness, forgiveness, humor and love and yet (magically) also a page turner that held me captive until it was finished. This is Emma Straub’s absolute best and the world will love it. I love it.” (Ann Patchett)
“A totally engaging and smart book about the absolutely marvelous messiness of what makes up family; a wonderful book.” (Elizabeth Strout)
“Delivers a Dose of Normal Life, Right When We Need It…. Straub cements her status as a master of the domestic ensemble drama.” (Time)
A warm, funny, and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family – as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes. From the New York Times best-selling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers.
When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three now-grown children. But to what consequence?
Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s 13-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.
In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not.
A Royal Mistake by Piper Rayne
Narrated by Tim Paige, Penelope Rose
He’s not your average Joe from the corner bar.
He’s the heir to the crown.
I should know, I’ve followed him for years.
Not in a stalkerish way. Magazines and online gossip blogs are fair game when you’re royalty.
But I do know every detail about him, down to the brand of boxer briefs he wears.
All my studying of the man who plays a starring role in my dreams pays off when I win a dinner with him. As if that wasn’t enough, he barters a deal with me that has him moving into my spare guest room.
I forgot that fairy tales don’t exist though because just as I’m about to get everything I want, including the prince, I find out there’s someone in Prince Adrian Marx’s life I don’t know – his fiancée.
- The Sun Pillar (Adventures of Fawn #4) by Al E. Boy (Narrated by Pam Tsujioka) - October 20, 2021
- 44 Hours by Donna Jay (Narrated by Emma Wilder) - October 18, 2021
- Free with Audible Plus Audiobook Releases for the Week of October 17th on Brian’s Book Blog - October 17, 2021