Awards & Recognition May LibraryReads: A Tale of Three Cities

May’s LibraryReads are an intriguing blend of one alternate history of London, an experience of life in the Big Apple, and an astonishing tragedy in Bristol. You won’t want to take your earbuds out during these riveting stories. Hear clips to find out why these LibraryReads make great listens.

View the full list of May LibraryReads picks here, and check out our LibraryReads Make Great Listens collection to see all of our BOT LibraryReads picks (since the program began).

By Stephanie Danler
Read by Alex McKenna


LibraryReads review: “At her new job at one of NYC’s posh restaurants, Tess falls for a mysterious bartender and negotiates the politics of the service industry while building a social life. Danler drew from her own experience and the writing is vivid and stimulating.I’m always interested in a story about a girl trying to find her place in the world and her adventures, but anyone who appreciates writing that pulses with life will drink this down.” —Sonia Reppe, Stickney-Forest View Public Library, Stickney, IL

Why try the audio? Stephanie Danler is an electrifying new voice that captures the experience of being young and new to the city with an energy reminiscent of BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY and an intimate accuracy that will resonate with listeners of all ages. Already the subject of an article in the New York Times at the time of acquisition, this outstanding audiobook will make listeners hungry for more from this sensational debut talent.

★ “[Stephanie] Danler writes about food with sensory gusto…[and] evokes Tess’s voice– intimate, confiding, wonderstruck, depressed–with deft skill. This novel is a treat, sure to find a big following.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“McKenna’s performance is infused with a magical mix of youth and naïveté, tempered by a toughness earned after a year in the city. Listeners will practically taste the briny oysters, feel the bubbles of champagne, and sense the pop of caviar between their teeth.” — AudioFile Earphones Award review

By Dan Vyleta
Read by Allan Corduner


LibraryReads review: “In an alternate historical London, people who lie reveal themselves by giving off smoke but the rules of how this works are complicated.There are some people who can lie and not trigger any smoke and this lends an interesting element to the story. The rules we are given are changeable. The setting lends itself well to the story.The writing is descriptive, and the tone is atmospheric. Similar authors that come to my mind were Neil Gaiman and China Mieville. This is a dark, delicious tale.” —Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO

Why try the audio? SMOKE is a narrative tour de force, a tale of Dickensian intricacy and ferocious imaginative power, fantastically detailed and intensely suspenseful. Fans of THE NIGHT CIRCUS and THE MAGICIANS will be swept away by this spell-binding audiobook.

★ “Vyleta’s bold concept and compelling blend of history and fantasy offer a provocative reflection on the nature of evil, power, belief, and love.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

By Clare Mackintosh
Read by Nicola Barber & Steven Crossley


LibraryReads review: “Five-year-old Jacob is killed in a hit and run, an event that sends the police in search of the driver. Jenna Gray flees to Wales to mourn the loss of her son and recover from her past. As the anniversary of Jacob’s still unsolved death approaches, a tip to police results in an arrest and a very different picture emerges. This self-assured debut combines jaw-dropping moments with complex, believable characters and an ending that is hard to see coming.” —Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Why try the audio? Listeners who loved THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and GONE GIRL will be thrilled by this audiobook filled with “an astonishing intensity that drags you in and never–ever–lets you go.”* The riveting psychological suspense and the incredible plot twist will leave listeners gasping.

“Astonishingly good.”–Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of MAKE ME

* “Astonishing…drags you in and never–ever–lets you go…This is a story so heartfelt that reading it feels like intruding on a private nightmare…and ends with a series of searing twists.”— Daily Mail

See all ten May LibraryReads 2016 picks on the LibraryReads site.

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