From YA fantasy to historical fiction to psychological thriller, May’s LibraryReads picks are perfect for a variety of book lovers. Not only do they all make great reads, but they also all make great listens. So, make sure to have the audios on hand so your patrons can enjoy these titles right away!
View the full list of May LibraryReads picks and check out our LibraryReads Make Great Listens collection to see all of our BOT LibraryReads picks since the program began. Now, see why our May BOT LibraryReads picks are must-listens.
By Clare Legrand
Read by Fiona Hardingham
LISTEN TO A CLIP: FURYBORN
LibraryReads review: “Fierce, independent women full of rage, determination, and fire. The first novel in the Empirium trilogy holds appeal for both young adult and adult readers. For fans of Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, and The Hunger Games.” —Kristin Friberg, Princeton Library, Princeton, NJ
Why try the audio? To save her best friend, Rielle Dardenne exposes herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, she must go through magical trials and pass each one. One thousand years later, young bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora’s mother suddenly vanishes. When she sets out to find her, she discovers more evil than she thought possible. The stunningly original, must-read fantasy follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it. Narrator Fiona Hardingham brings both young women to life with her assured, confident voice.
Praise for FURYBORN:
“Epic feminist fantasy.” —Melissa Albert, New York Times bestselling author
“Truly not to be missed…” —Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“High stakes, epic scope, intense action, and sweeping mythologies.” —Kirkus
“Legrand excels at world building, deftly integrating the religion and history of this imaginary world into a dark yet rousing adventure story that combines passion and danger at every turn.” —Booklist
LOVE AND RUIN
By Paula McLain
Read by January LaVoy
LISTEN TO A CLIP:LOVE AND RUIN
LibraryReads review:“Biographical and historical fiction. Another fascinating Hemingway wife from McLain who always writes interesting women and great period detail.” —Elizabeth Angelastro, Manilus Library, Manilus, NY
Why try the audio? The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. January LaVoy’s narration makes Martha’s thoughts and emotions come to life in a way that draws the listener more deeply into the novel.
Praise for LOVE AND RUIN:
“McLain’s fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration.” —Booklist, starred review
“Gellhorn emerges as a fierce trailblazer every bit Hemingway’s equal in this thrilling book.” —Publishers Weekly
By Sarah Winman
Read by Sarah Winman
LISTEN TO A CLIP:TIN MAN
LibraryReads review:“A beautifully written story of love, loss, grief, friendship, and acceptance. The story winds in and out of time in a figure eight like waves reaching shore and receding again.” —Donna Burger, Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY
Why try the audio? Ellis and Michael are twelve-year-old boys when they first become friends, and, for a long time, it’s just that. then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more. But then we fast-forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question: What happened in the years between? Listening to a fiction author narrating their own work is always something special; plus, Sarah Winman has a background in acting so she keeps the story engaging.
Praise for TIN MAN:
“This is an astoundingly beautiful book. It drips with tenderness. It breaks your heart and warms it all at once.” —Matt Haig, author of How to Stop Time
“Strong characters, settings, and ambiance mark Winman’s unique and uniquely affecting story of love’s varieties, phases, and ability to bend time.” —Booklist
“Without sentimentality or melodrama, Winman stirringly depicts how people either interfere with or allow themselves and others to follow their hearts.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
By Julia Heaberlin
Read by Catherine Taber
LISTEN TO A CLIP:PAPER GHOSTS
LibraryReads review:“Grace has spent years secretly investigating the disappearance of her older sister. Grace’s prime suspect is Carl Feldman, a photographer, who has been acquitted of the crime and now suffers from dementia. Grace decides that a road trip may jog Carl’s memory.” —Galen Cunniff, Scituate Town Library, Scituate, MA
Why try the audio? A Texas map marked with three red dots like drops of blood. A serial killer who claims to have dementia. A mysterious young woman who wants answers. What could go wrong? Catherine Taber’s expert narration will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Praise for PAPER GHOSTS:
“[An] artful and elegiac psychological thriller . . . The author wields words like weapons, with each one chosen to heighten tension, underscore emotion, or foreshadow doom. . . . Heaberlin brilliantly combines travelogue with a heartbreaking portrait of the damage done by childhood.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Paper Ghosts is an exceptional read, with a deftly woven plot—a book to devour in one sitting. This is breathless storytelling at its very best, with a deeply satisfying ending that will give book groups—and all your friends, when you recommend it—much to discuss.” —Elizabeth Haynes, New York Times bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner
“This book haunted me. The writing is beautiful and chilling, laced with a subtle dark humor, and the multiple twists build to a perfect icy shiver of an ending. I loved it!” —C. J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man
“An unexpected twist at the end make this a winner; suggest it especially to patrons who like a Texas backdrop and or the work of Megan Abbott.” —Booklist
By Aja Gabel
Read by Rebecca Lowman
LISTEN TO A CLIP:THE ENSEMBLE
LibraryReads review:“Set against the backdrop of the highly-competitive and merciless world of classical music, this brilliantly written debut is an exquisite portrait of a group friendship spanning decades. Gabel weaves a lyrical tale of four young musician’s journeys and their complex, yet resilient, relationships with each other. For fans of The Interestings, A Little Life, and A Secret History.” —Mayleen Kelley, JV Fletcher Library, Westford MA
Why try the audio? This debut novel gives a riveting look into the high-stakes, cutthroat world of musicians, and of lives made in concert. Having performed on stage and screen, narrator Rebecca Lowman infuses each character with life and gives their distinct voices life.
Praise for THE ENSEMBLE:
“Seldom has a novel managed to better dramatize the particular pressures that make up the life of a professional musician…The four characters are individually memorable, but as a quartet they’re unforgettable.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review