With seven BOT picks for April’s LibraryReads, there’s something for everyone to choose from. From “fine literary fiction” with the #1 pick ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, to high stakes non-fiction in KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, and a terrifying potential future in AMERICAN WAR, your patrons will have plenty of titles to reach for as the weather turns warm again. There are so many great titles to be heard, so put these front and center to remind your patrons that LibraryReads also make great listens!
Find out why these LibraryReads make great listens with the audiobooks below and view the full list of April LibraryReads picks here. Check out our LibraryReads Make Great Listens collection to see all of our BOT LibraryReads picks (since the program began).
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
By Elizabeth Strout
Read by Kimberly Farr
LISTEN TO A CLIP: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
LibraryReads review: “Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction.” — Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
Why try the audio? Listeners of Strout’s Earphones Award-winning My Name is Lucy Barton will be delighted that the author has once again teamed up with narrator Kimberly Farr on this emotional story that reveals more insight into the life of heroine Lucy Barton. Designed as a collection of stories, Farr provides guidance in exploring Barton’s family and past, notably in the impact her departure had on her hometown.
Praise for ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE:
“In an impressive encore performance of Strout’s prose, Kimberly Farr successfully mines the essence of each flawed character…Farr’s presence melts into the background, allowing the stories themselves to take center stage. This is an audiobook to get lost in.”—AudioFile Earphones Award
“This is a must-read for fans of Lucy Barton, but it’s also an excellent introduction to Strout’s marvelously smart character studies.”—Booklist, starred review
“With her latest work, Pulitzer Prize winner Strout crafts a deep and complex inside view of the hearts and minds of individuals who make up a community.”—Library Journal, starred review
“In her latest work, Strout achieves new levels of masterful storytelling. Damaged lives can be redeemed but, as she eloquently demonstrates in this powerful, sometimes shocking, often emotionally wrenching novel, the emotional scars can last forever.”—Publishers Weekly
“Another powerful examination of painfully human ambiguities and ambivalences – this gifted writer just keeps getting better.”—Kirkus Reviews
GONE WITHOUT A TRACE
By Mary Torjussen
Read by Emily Pennant-Rea
LISTEN TO A CLIP: GONE WITHOUT A TRACE
LibraryReads review: “Hannah is eager to return home to her boyfriend, Matt Stone, with news of her impending work promotion. Hannah’s joy quickly turns to terror when she finds Matt missing and the house empty of all evidence of his presence. She begins to feel she is being stalked and receives messages that she is certain are from Matt. Little by little, Hannah descends into darkness as all the truths start to unravel and a different tale emerges. This dark debut is one to devour yet savor at the same time.” —Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ
Why try the audio? Torjussen’s debut is gripping, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat suspenseful and will keep listeners guessing until the end. Hannah’s search for her boyfriend, who has completely vanished without any shred of evidence to suggest where he might be, is compelling and addictive and has a shocking twist that will shock listeners.
Praise for GONE WITHOUT A TRACE:
“The deliciously dark conclusion is perfect for this tale of all-consuming obsession, jealousy, and the secrets that lie beneath the most perfect of exteriors.” —Publishers Weekly
“Readers will be absorbed in this hard look at human nature and the lengths we will go to protect what we feel is ours.”—Booklist
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
By David Grann
Read by Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee and Danny Campbell
LISTEN TO A CLIP: KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON
LibraryReads review: “In the 1920s, a string of unsolved murders rocked the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. Made rich by oil rights, the Osage were already victimized by unscrupulous businessmen and societal prejudice, but these murders were so egregious, the newly formed FBI was brought in to investigate. Immensely readable, this book brings a shameful part of U.S. history alive and will keep readers thinking long after they have finished the book.”—Jenna Persick, Chester County Library, Exton, PA
Why try the audio? New York Times bestselling author Grann has once again delivered with this twisted tale of a real-life murder mystery that revealed a disturbing conspiracy. Grann’s gift for storytelling is emphasized in the trio of narrators, who each read a different section of the book to better distinguish between them for the listener. This twisted story of prejudice, targeting, corruption, and murder will have listeners itching to hear the devastating conclusion.
Praise for KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON:
“Grann employs you-are-there narrative effects to set readers right in the action, and he relays the humanity, evil, and heroism of the people involved.”—Booklist, starred review
“This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann’s crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs. Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.”—Kirkus Reviews
“New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Lost City of Z) burnishes his reputation as a brilliant storyteller in this gripping true-crime narrative, which revisits a baffling and frightening—and relatively unknown—spree of murders occurring mostly in Oklahoma during the 1920s.” —Publishers Weekly
THE STARS ARE FIRE
By Anita Shreve
Read by Suzanne Elise Freeman
LISTEN TO A CLIP: THE STARS ARE FIRE
LibraryReads review: “Grace, a young woman with two small children, lives by the coast in Maine in 1947. Her marriage isn’t very happy, but she’s dutiful and devoted to her children. After escaping a devastating fire that wiped out her town and nearby forests, Grace has to become braver, stronger, and more resourceful than she’s ever had to be before. She manages it, and it’s lovely to watch happen, until something unexpected makes her life contract once more. This was deeply engaging and opened a real window on what it would have been like to be a woman in a small town in the 1940s.” — Diana Armstrong Multomah County Library, Portland, OR
Why try the audio? New York Times bestselling and Oprah’s Book Club-selected author Shreve brings a suspenseful and devastating story about a young mother’s relentless strength in the face of the unthinkable. Narrator Suzanne Elise Freeman captures the tragedy and perseverance of Grace and Rosie as they cope with the Great Fires of Maine and a post-war society, hardened by history.
Praise for THE STARS ARE FIRE:
“Freeman and author Anita Shreve deliver the goods. There’s pain, loss, hope, love, and a good narrator. What more could a listener want?”—AudioFile
“Readers will be buoyed by Grace’s strength and resourcefulness and will be eager to debate the ethical decisions she makes as she seizes her independence.”—Publishers Weekly
THE SHADOW LAND
By Elizabeth Kostova
Read by George Guidall, Fred Berman, Barbara Caruso and Barrie Kreinik
LISTEN TO A CLIP: THE SHADOW LAND
LibraryReads review: “Twenty-something Alexandra heads to Bulgaria to teach English and attempt to escape the pain of losing a family member. She ends up searching for a family when she realizes she accidentally kept one of their bags after helping them on her first day in the country. With the help of Bobby, a Bulgarian taxi driver, and many other entrancing characters, the search takes her all over Bulgaria and even back in time as she learns more about the family she is trying to find. Beautifully written and completely enthralling.”—Caitlin Loving, Bedford Public Library, Bedford, NH
Why try the audio? With a talented cast of narrators and vivid, transformative storytelling from best-selling author Kostova, THE SHADOW LAND brings shocking secrets to life in Bulgaria. Spanning three generations, the narrators are guides on an emotional journey in the past and present that will delights listeners as they try to determine why these dark secrets are being protected.
Praise for THE SHADOW LAND:
“Recommend Kostova’s latest to readers seeking outstanding and suspenseful historical fiction…a must-buy for fiction collections.”—Booklist
“Barrie Kreinik wonderfully carries the bulk of the narrative, while Fred Berman, Barbara Caruso (wonderful as Baba Yana), and George Guidall handle their parts with professional expertise.”—AudioFile
“In THE SHADOW LAND, Elizabeth Kostova, a master storyteller, brings vividly to life an unfamiliar country—Bulgaria—and a painful history that feels particularly relevant now. You won’t want to put down this remarkable book.”—Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs
“THE SHADOW LAND is thrilling, and not just as a gripping tale. It’s also thrilling to watch such a talented writer cast her spell. The central character actually begins this deft novel in an urn, only to emerge as one of the most memorable characters I’ve encountered in a long time.”—Richard Russo, author of Everybody’s Fool
“Transporting…draws us into Bulgarian history and character revelation like an elegant, mysterious labyrinth. Page-turning, evocative, and richly imagined.”—Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
By Omar El Akkad
Read by Dion Graham
LISTEN TO A CLIP: AMERICAN WAR
LibraryReads review: “In the not too distant future, the United States is again at war with itself. Fossil fuels, which have decimated the environment, are banned, but the states rich in them refuse to comply and thus break away from the union. Biological warfare, drones as killing machines, and state fighting against state contribute to make this a prescient novel. Multiple narration and differing viewpoints combine to make this an absorbing, shocking read of what could be. A must read that will be discussed by all who read it.”—Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce, MI
Why try the audio? Audie Award-winning narrator Dion Graham, best known from HBO’s The Wire and narration of The First 48 on A&E, voices El Akkad’s dark debut about a second American Civil War in which a family and a nation struggle to survive. El Akkad, an Egyptian-born Canadian journalist, has created a frighteningly believable dystopian future about what a need for sustainable energy could do to the world we know.
Praise for AMERICAN WAR:
“Part family chronicle, part apocalyptic fable, AMERICAN WAR is a vivid narrative of a country collapsing in on itself, where political loyalties hardly matter given the ferocity of both sides and the unrelenting violence that swallows whole bloodlines and erodes any capacity for mercy or reason.”—Publishers Weekly
“This audiobook, vividly imagined by journalist Omar El Akkad and narrated by Dion Graham, transports listeners to a near-future America ravaged by war.”—AudioFile
“AMERICAN WAR is a gripping, unsparing, and essential novel for dangerously contentious times.”—Booklist, starred review
By Sylvain Neuvel
Read by a Full Cast
LISTEN TO A CLIP: WAKING GODS
LibraryReads review: “The sequel to Sleeping Giants contains just as much action and page-turning suspense. The story begins four years later and is told through interviews, memos, and news reports relating to the first robot, after Themis, lands in London. Soon Earth is in an uproar and Themis and her crew are once again called upon to make contact. Read the first book before you tackle this one but the good news is that you will have a shorter time than the rest of us waiting for the next installment.”—Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin TX
Why try the audio? A talented cast of twelve narrators voices the sequel to Neuvel’s praised debut, Sleeping Giants, told through emails, interviews and reports. This second installment in the Themis Files is a thriller that brings together aliens, robots, adventure, and humanity in a story that transport listeners to the world that Neuvel has created.
Praise for WAKING GODS:
“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism featuring giant killer robots and the looming end of humankind. In a word: unputdownable.”—Publishers Weekly
“The author continues the use of recorded accounts of familiar characters intermixing them with testimonies from new individuals. Kick-ass, one-on-one robot action combines with mind-bending scientific and philosophical speculation. Series science-fiction fans will enjoy this follow-up filled with unexpected revelations and a surprise finale indicating more to come.”—Booklist