Collection Development Spring 2017 Editors’ Staff Picks—your ears will perk up at the sound of these audiobooks!

With over 70 new listens on CD and over 130 audio downloads, there are so many great stories to look forward to this spring! Listen up for these audiobooks our editorial team can’t stop talking about…

Click to expand each box below and view outstanding staff picks within each category.

Audios for Science nerds and Radiolab fans
By Helen Czerski
On Sale 1/10/17

Louise says, “If you like Lab Girl and audiobooks by Brian Greene you’ll love STORM IN A TEACUP. Helen Czerski makes even the most complicated concepts about how our world works easy—and she does it using ordinary objects and occurrences like popcorn popping (how a rocket works) and stirring milk into tea (weather patterns). For Science Grrls everywhere!”

By Marcus du Sautoy
On Sale 4/11/17

Louise says, “One of the UK’s leading scientists explores what limits, if any, there may be to knowing what we know about the universe. Science nerds rejoice!”

Epic Science Fiction & Fantasy
By Katherine Arden
On Sale 1/10/17

Megan says, “This is my favorite kind of audiobook, the kind that combines a variety of fantastic elements—history, mythology, a strong woman resisting the patriarchy—and adds a dash (or, let’s be honest, a hearty pinch) of fantasy.”

By Vic James
On Sale 2/14/17

Catherine calls it, “Upstairs/downstairs intrigue made even more complicated by magical powers for the elite and a full scale rebellion brewing among the subjected class. Thank goodness book 2 in the series pubs within the year; I need more of this dark, dystopian world!”

By Tad Williams
On Sale 4/4/17

Catherine says, “The first in a new trilogy from an author who has been praised by George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, and Christopher Paolini! Anyone who inspired those three is definitely worth a listen.”

Find more science fiction and fantasy audiobooks here.

Hear remarkable true stories in these Biographies & Memoirs
By Kay Redfield Jamison
On Sale 2/28/17

Louise says, “Listeners don’t have to like or even know the poetry of Robert Lowell to be captivated by what Jamison reveals about the relationship between Lowell’s bipolar disorder and his creativity. Lowell has received some pretty rough treatment in previous biographies; this one from a bestselling psychologist sheds a sympathetic and knowing light on art and mental illness.”

By Barry Blanchard
On Sale 3/7/17

Maren says, “With riveting descriptions of avalanches and treacherous ascents, Barry Blanchard chronicles his transformation from a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks to one of the most respected alpinists in the world…Men’s Journal ranked it #19 on their list of the 50 best adventure books ever written.”

By Nell Stevens
On Sale 3/14/17

Megan says, “For listeners who loved the charm of The Folded Clock, this genre-fusing memoir about the creative life and struggle is their next listen.”

History comes alive on audio
By Randall Fuller
On Sale 1/24/17

Louise says, “I’m a bit of a popular science and American history nerd so this story, of how one copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was shared among five great scientists and social reformers in 1860, is like popcorn at the movies. Their embrace of Darwin’s theory forever changed how Americans view the world—and provided a scientific basis for the end to slavery.”

By Anders Rydell & Henning Koch
On Sale 2/7/17

Louise says, “Much has been written about The Monuments Men and their mission to find art stolen by the Nazis. In THE BOOK THIEVES it’s a team of librarians who search for and find a number of books taken by the Nazis that are now returned to their owners.”

By Sharon Weinberger
On Sale 3/14/17

Louise says, “Even James Bond could not have imagined some of the technology and weaponry developed by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).”

By Chris Whipple
On Sale 4/4/17

Megan says, “Each president has a right hand man, but how much do we actually know about the influential chiefs of staff? THE GATEKEEPERS goes behind the scenes of the country’s most scrutinized office and reveals the man behind the curtain.”

Listen While You Cook
A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste
By Bianca Bosker
On Sale 3/28/17

Catherine says, CORK DORK will be your secret weapon at the next event you go to when someone is dying to let everyone know they are a ‘wine expert;’ after listening to Bianca Baker’s audiobook, you will dazzle the crowd with fun facts about the history and science of wine, what elite sommeliers really think, and answer the age old question ‘does it really matter what glass I drink my wine out of?’”

Find more Delicious Listens here.

Lush Literary Listens
By Emily Ruskovich
On Sale 1/3/17

Megan says, “Told in stark, poetic prose, young author Emily Ruskovich breathes life into the mountains of her home state of Idaho and the mysterious forces that make us human.”
By Sara Benincasa
On Sale 1/10/17

Maren calls it, “An honest and irreverent journey of sexual confusion, bar shots, drag queens, and pot cookies in the Rose Garden. Plus, DC TRIP will be a film: the Oscar-nominated producers of Little Miss Sunshine and Cold Mountain are signed up to produce and the author Sara Benincasa is writing the screenplay—she has a hilarious voice!”

By Shanthi Sekaran
On Sale 1/10/17

Megan calls it, “Beautifully heart-wrenching. Listeners will be torn between two characters they can’t help but root for, but whose success is tied up in the other’s failure.”
By Emily Ruskovich
On Sale 3/7/17

Megan says, EXIT WEST manages to tackle the refugee crisis, religious extremism, and xenophobia alongside love, family, and a sense of home—all within a world of magical realism. Plus, the star-crossed love affair featured here gives Romeo and Juliet a run for their money.”

By Bernhard Schlink & Bradley Schmidt
On Sale 3/14/17

Catherine says, “I am always fascinated by the intersection of art and human relationships. THE WOMAN ON THE STAIRS starts with a simple enough lawsuit, an artist is eager to get a painting back that is being defaced by the man who purchased it. But what evolves is a love triangle (and later, a love square) that spans continents and decades and leaves the listener to wonder what strange elements of fate continue to link a lawyer, an artist, a husband, and one enigmatic woman.”

By Phillip Lewis
On Sale 4/4/17

Louise says, “In my mind this debut novel is already a modern, Southern Gothic classic—a Look Homeward, Angel for the 21st century. THE BARROWFIELDS drew me from the first sentence: a son, Henry, returns to his childhood home where his father’s library with his first editions and handwritten journals remains untouched, though now covered with dust. What happened to Henry’s father and why he disappeared all those years ago drives this textured, deeply moving story to a conclusion that took my breath away.”

By Pajtim Statovci
On Sale 4/18/17

Megan says, “Listeners’ bizarre roommate stories will surely pale in comparison to this story of Bekim, the boa constrictor, and the talking cat.”

Must-Listen Mysteries and Thrillers
By Alexandra Burt
On Sale 2/7/17

Catherine says, “The listener is along for the ride as Dahlia begins to piece together her scattered and tumoltuous childhood. To say that ‘ignorance is bliss’ takes on a whole new meaning in this audio is an understatement, as secrets are revealed and she see her mother in an entirely new light.”

By Dan Chaon
On Sale 3/7/17

Catherine says, “What would you do if it was proven that a memory you stood by—which ultimately sent your brother to prison—was entirely discredited? Dustin Tillman copes by obsessing over a string of unsolved murders, trying to distract himself from the reintroduction of his brother Rusty to society, and his unraveling life and medical practice. While listening, you will 100% question your own memories—and what outside factors are corrupting those mental records without you even realizing it.”

By Amy Engel
On Sale 3/7/17

Catherine says, “There is always more to a family than what meets the eye; Lane is initially caught up in reconnecting with family in Kansas and reuniting with a lost first love. But in this creepy, coming of age story, Lane quickly realizes that the rumors are true—the Roanoke girls seem to do one of two things; die or disappear…”

By Caite Dolan-Leach
On Sale 3/14/17

Megan calls it, “A Gone Girl-like mystery/scavenger hunt between twin sisters. This one I dare you to put down!”
By Melissa Love
On Sale 3/21/17

Catherine says, “In an alternate universe where Walter White and Lisabeth Salander had a child, that little girl would most certainly grow up to be Lola, the ruthless, cunning, and unpredictable leader of a LA gang. You will rarely encounter a character with so many layers, and Lola completely dominates the action in this modern urban thriller.”

By Mary Torjussen
On Sale 4/11/17

Catherine says, “There are times when you don’t see a break-up coming, but Hannah’s boyfriend Matt takes it to an entirely different level when he not only disappears, but every sign of his existence is deleted. As the story progresses, listeners will begin to realize that the ‘how’ he disappeared is much less important than the ‘why’…”

Find more Thrillers and Suspense audiobooks here.

Transporting Historical Fiction Listens
By Simon Tolkien
On Sale 1/24/17

Megan says, “More than a tribute to his famous grandfather, J .R. R. Tolkien, Simon Tolkien’s NO MAN’S LAND is an excellent blend of a novel, with an Edwardian England atmosphere for fans of Downton Abbey and Helen Simonson, alongside a World War I narrative.”

By Heather O’Neill
On Sale 2/7/17

Megan says, “No words can express how much I truly, deeply, in my heart of hearts loved this book. Like Fates and Furies meets The Night Circus, with circus performers and drunkards fleeing to Montreal at the height of American prohibition. I’d say I dare you to put it down, but I put this one down frequently to prolong the experience.”

By Georgia Hunter
On Sale 2/14/17

Louise calls it, “A miraculous novel about survival in World War II Poland, based on the true story of the author’s family.”
By John Freeman Gill
On Sale 3/21/17

Louise says, “What’s not to love about a treasure hunt through New York City’s architectural treasures mixed with adventure and mystery? THE GARGOYLE HUNTERS is an atmospheric peek into known and unknown parts of the city centered around the story of a son in search of his father.”


The Penguin Random House Audio editorial team is responsible for the curation of a diverse and robust audiobook list of over 750 titles per year.

cropped_catherine cropped_maren cropped_amy
Catherine Bucaria
Acquisitions Editor
Maren McCamley
Senior Manager,
Subrights and Special Projects
Amy Metsch
Vice President,
Associate Publisher,
Director of Licensing,
Penguin Random House Audio
Megan1 cropped_louise
Megan Mills
Editorial Assistant
Louise Quayle
Senior Acquisitions Editor
Tagged: , ,