Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Audiobooks Post for the Week of October 9th.
Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!
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The Survivors by Alex Schulman
Narrated by Daniel Philpott
Random House Audio
International best seller
A gripping tour de force in which three estranged brothers return to the Swedish lakeside cottage where, more than two decades before, an unspeakable accident forever altered their family and changed the course of their lives.
“Takes you deep into an emotional labyrinth [where] you’ll cry for these brothers. For the men they became, for the boys they were, for the innocence they lost. Brilliant, haunting and unforgettable.” (Fredrik Backman, author of A Man Called Ove)
There is Nils, the oldest, who couldn’t escape his suffocating home soon enough, and Pierre, the youngest, easily bullied and quick to lash out. And then there is Benjamin, always the family’s nerve center, perpetually on the lookout for triggers and trap doors in a volatile home where the children were left to fend for themselves, competing for their father’s favor and their mother’s elusive love.
But as the years have unfolded, Benjamin has grown increasingly untethered from reality, frozen in place while life carries on around him. And among the brothers a dangerous current now vibrates. What really happened that summer day when everything was blown to pieces?
In a thrillingly fast-paced narrative, The Survivors mixes the emotional acuity of Edward St. Aubyn, the literary verve of Ian McEwan, and the heart of Shuggie Bain. By brilliantly dissecting a mind unravelling in the wake of tragedy, Alex Schulman reveals the ways in which our deepest loyalties leave us open to the greatest betrayals.
The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Alison Heller
Narrated by Allyson Ryan
L. Alison Heller, whose work has been praised by Liane Moriarty as “warm, witty…refreshingly true to life”, explores the ultimate sacrifices of parenting in The Neighbor’s Secret, a propulsive and juicy novel filled with gripping twists and instantly recognizable characters.
How well do you really know your neighbors?
With its sprawling yards and excellent schools, Cottonwood Estates is the perfect place to raise children. The Cottonwood Book Club serves as the subdivision’s eyes and ears, meeting once a month for discussion, gossip, and cocktails. If their selections trend toward twisty thrillers and salacious murder mysteries, it’s only because the members feel secure that such evil has no place in their own cul-de-sacs.
Or does it?
What happened to Lena’s family 15 years ago was a tragic accident, and she will never admit otherwise. Devoted wife and mother Annie refuses to acknowledge – even to herself – the weight of a past shame. And new resident Jen wants friends but, as always, worries about her troubled son getting in the way.
When late-night acts of vandalism target the women of the book club in increasingly violent and personal ways, they will be forced to decide how far to go to keep their secrets. At least they all agree on what’s most important: protecting their children at any cost – even if it means someone has to die….
A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books
“The Neighbor’s Secret is the rare thriller that actually leaves you feeling better about humanity. Buoyant and big-hearted, I had zero self-control when it came to inhaling chapters to uncover each delicious new secret. This will be an easy book to recommend to everyone I know – an absolute crowd pleaser!” (Chandler Baker, New York Times best-selling author of The Husbands)
“Addictive, suspenseful, and masterfully written, The Neighbor’s Secret kept me glued to the page. This searing portrait of the suburbs, where the perfect surface conceals deadly secrets, will delight fans of Big Little Lies.” (Michele Campbell, internationally best-selling author of The Wife Who Knew Too Much)
Damascus Station by David McCloskey
Narrated by Andrew B. Wehrlen
A CIA officer and his recruit arrive in war-ravaged Damascus to hunt for a killer in this pause resister that offers the “most authentic depiction of modern-day tradecraft in print” (Navy SEAL sniper and New York Times best-selling author Jack Carr).
CIA Case Officer Sam Joseph is dispatched to Paris to recruit Syrian Palace official Mariam Haddad. The two fall into a forbidden relationship, which supercharges Haddad’s recruitment and creates unspeakable danger when they enter Damascus to find the man responsible for the disappearance of an American spy.
But the cat-and-mouse chase for the killer soon leads to a trail of high-profile assassinations and the discovery of a dark secret at the heart of the Syrian regime, bringing the pair under the all-seeing eyes of Assad’s spy catcher, Ali Hassan, and his brother Rustum, the head of the feared Republican Guard.
Set against the backdrop of a Syria pulsing with fear and rebellion, Damascus Station is a gripping thriller that offers a textured portrayal of espionage, love, loyalty, and betrayal in one of the most difficult CIA assignments on the planet.
Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross
Narrated by Emma Ashton
Random House Audio
A young woman takes a job as a nanny for an impossibly wealthy family, thinking she’s found her entrée into a better life – only to discover instead she’s walked into a world of deception and dark secrets.
“Wild, unpredictable, and utterly absorbing, Nanny Needed is a gasp-out-loud thriller that will make your head spin.” (Samantha M. Bailey, number one best-selling author of Woman on the Edge)
Nanny needed. Discretion is of the utmost importance. Special conditions apply.
When Sarah Larsen finds the notice, posted on creamy card stock in her building’s lobby, one glance at the exclusive address tells her she’s found her ticket out of a dead-end job – and life.
At the interview, the job seems like a dream come true: a glamorous penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC; a salary that adds several zeroes to her current income; the beautiful, worldly mother of her charge, who feels more like a friend than a potential boss. She’s overjoyed when she’s offered the position and signs the NDA without a second thought.
But in retrospect, the notice in her lobby was less an engraved invitation than a waving red flag. For there is something very strange about the Bird family. Why does the beautiful Mrs. Bird never leave the apartment alone? And what happened to the nanny before Sarah? It soon becomes clear that the Birds’ odd behaviors are more than the eccentricities of the wealthy.
But by then it’s too late for Sarah to seek help. After all, discretion is of the utmost importance.
Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger
Narrated by Vivienne Leheny
“You won’t be able to stop turning the pages!” (Shari Lapena, New York Times best-selling author of The Couple Next Door)
Think twice before you swipe.
Secrets, obsession, and vengeance converge in this riveting thriller about an online dating match turned deadly cat-and-mouse game, from the New York Times best-selling author of Confessions on the 7:45.
She met him through a dating app. An intriguing picture on a screen, a date at a downtown bar. What she thought might be just a quick hookup quickly became much more. She fell for him – hard. It happens sometimes, a powerful connection with a perfect stranger takes you by surprise. Could it be love?
But then, just as things were getting real, he stood her up. Then he disappeared – profiles deleted, phone disconnected. She was ghosted.
Maybe it was her fault. She shared too much, too fast. But isn’t that always what women think – that they’re the ones to blame? Soon she learns there were others. Girls who thought they were in love. Girls who later went missing. She had been looking for a connection, but now she’s looking for answers. Chasing a digital trail into his dark past – and hers – she finds herself on a dangerous hunt. And she’s not sure whether she’s the predator – or the prey.
The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox
Narrated by Stephanie Cannon
A feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas – perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December.
All they want for Christmas is a different life.
When Chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the LA set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell – both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.
With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?
Full Strength by Alison Sommer
Narrated by Lessa Lamb
The Dartsboard is falling apart. Tessa is no longer on the team. Fitz’s life is in shambles. Dawn is struggling to make ends meet. Can Michelle put these pieces back together, heal her friends, and maybe even assemble a functioning hockey team? And when did this all become her f—ing problem in the first place?
The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo
Narrated by Leiana Bertrand
Two rival coworkers with two very big secrets…. What could possibly go wrong? Cozy up with this charming holiday romance by USA Today best-selling author Tif Marcelo.
Lila Santos is ready for her last winter break of high school. The snow in her small town of Holly, New York, is plentiful, the mood is as cozy as a fuzzy Christmas sweater, and she’s earning extra cash working at the local inn – AKA the setting of the greatest film of all time, Holiday by the Lake – while moonlighting as an anonymous book blogger.
But her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Rivera, becomes her coworker. Lila is type A; Teddy is type “Anything but Lila’s Way”, and the two of them can’t stop butting heads over tangled icicle lights and messy gift shop merch. But when they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they realize they’ve both been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets – and an unexpected snowstorm – bring these rivals together?
“I swooned for the romance!” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times best-selling author of The Proposal, on Tif Marcelo’s The Key to Happily Ever After)
The Falling Girls by Hayley Krischer
Narrated by Jorjeana Marie
“A riveting, intimate portrayal of just how intense and all-consuming female friendships can be. Urgent and piercing, The Falling Girls is a gut-punch of a book.” (Jessica Goodman, New York Times best-selling author of They Wish They Were Us and They’ll Never Catch Us)
From the author of the unforgettable Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf comes an intoxicating thriller about the dark paths female friendships can take, set against the backdrop of a high school cheerleading squad. Perfect for fans of Megan Abbott and Kathleen Glasgow.
Shade and Jadis are everything to each other. They share clothes, toothbrushes, and even matching stick-and-poke tattoos. So when Shade unexpectedly joins the cheerleading team, Jadis can hardly recognize who her best friend is becoming.
Shade loves the idea of falling into a group of girls; she loves the discipline it takes to push her body to the limits alongside these athletes. Most of all, Shade finds herself drawn to The Three Chloes – the insufferable trio that rules the squad – including the enigmatic cheer captain whose dark side is as compelling as it is alarming.
Jadis won’t give Shade up so easily, though, and the pull between her old best friend and her new teammates takes a toll on Shade as she tries to forge her own path. So when one of the cheerleaders dies under mysterious circumstances, Shade is determined to get to the bottom of her death. Because she knows Jadis – and if her friend is responsible, doesn’t that mean she is, too?
In this compelling, nuanced exploration of the layered, intoxicating relationships between teen girls, and all the darkness and light that exists between them, novelist Hayley Krischer weaves a story of loss and betrayal, and the deep reverberations felt at a friendship’s breaking point.
Everything Within and in Between by Nikki Barthelmess
Narrated by Frankie Corzo
Color Me In meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in Everything Within and in Between, a deeply honest coming-of-age story about reclaiming a heritage buried under assimilation, the bonds within families, and defining who you are for yourself.
For Ri Fernández’s entire life, she’s been told, “We live in America and we speak English.” Raised by her strict Mexican grandma, Ri has never been allowed to learn Spanish.
What’s more, her grandma has pulled Ri away from the community where they once belonged. In its place, Ri has grown up trying to fit in among her best friend’s world of mansions and country clubs in an attempt try to live out her grandmother’s version of the “American Dream”.
In her heart, Ri has always believed that her mother, who disappeared when Ri was young, would accept her exactly how she is and not try to turn her into someone she’s never wanted to be. So when Ri finds a long-hidden letter from her mom begging for a visit, she decides to reclaim what Grandma kept from her: her heritage and her mom.
But nothing goes as planned. Her mom isn’t who Ri imagined she would be, and finding her doesn’t make Ri’s struggle to navigate the interweaving threads of her mixed heritage any less complicated. Nobody has any idea of who Ri really is – not even Ri herself.
Everything Within and in Between is a powerful new young-adult novel about one young woman’s journey to rediscover her roots and redefine herself from acclaimed author Nikki Barthelmess.
Reprieve by James Han Mattson
Narrated by JD Jackson
“Like Whitehead’s The Intuitionist, Alyssa Cole’s When No One Is Watching, or Zakiya Dalila Harris’ The Other Black Girl, Reprieve straddles genres in the best possible way…. Sure to spark conversation and debate at book clubs across the land.” (Los Angeles Times)
“An eventual American classic that is unrelenting in its beauty and incisive cultural critique.” (Kiese Laymon)
Recommended by Los Angeles Times • Esquire • O Quarterly • Boston Globe • Harper’s Bazaar • Shondaland • The Millions • CrimeReads • XTRA • Tor • Literary Hub • and more!
A chilling and blisteringly relevant literary novel of social horror centered around a brutal killing that takes place in a full-contact haunted escape room – a provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession with fear as entertainment.
On April 27, 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska, made famous for its monstrosities, booby-traps, and ghoulishly costumed actors. If the group can endure these horrors without shouting the safe word, “reprieve”, they’ll win a substantial cash prize – a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house’s long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants.
Those who were present on that fateful night lend their points of view: Kendra Brown, a teenager who’s been uprooted from her childhood home after the sudden loss of her father; Leonard Grandton, a desperate and impressionable hotel manager caught in a series of toxic entanglements; and Jaidee Charoensuk, a gay international student who came to the United States in a besotted search for his former English teacher. As each character’s journey unfurls and overlaps, deceit and misunderstandings fueled by obsession and prejudice are revealed, forcing all to reckon with the ways in which their beliefs and actions contributed to a horrifying catastrophe.
An astonishingly soulful exploration of complicity and masquerade, Reprieve combines the psychological tension of classic horror with searing social criticism to present an unsettling portrait of this tangled American life.
The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
Narrated by Dave Grohl
Read by Dave Grohl. Features excerpts from five never-before-heard demos performed by Dave Grohl and an original story exclusive to The Storyteller audiobook.
So, I’ve written a book.
Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (“It’s a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!”) I have decided to tell these stories just as I have always done, in my own voice. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child.
This certainly doesn’t mean that I’m quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.