LibraryReads’ June 2016 picks are a wonderful blend of historical and modern that will have you gripping your headphones. From Shakespeare’s modern retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, to intense mysteries and thrilling debuts, you’ll definitely want to check these audios out.
Hear clips to find out why these LibraryReads make great listens and
view the full list of June 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 Anne Tyler
Read by Kirsten Potter
LibraryReads review: “The newest entry in the Hogarth Shakespeare series brings The Taming of the Shrew into the modern world. Kate is stuck in a life taking care of her absent minded professor father and her sister, Bunny. When her father suggests a marriage of convenience in order to secure a green card for his lab assistant Pyotr, Kate is shocked. This is a sweet and humorous story about two people, who don’t quite fit in, finding each other. Tyler’s wonderful writing updates and improves on the original.” —Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Why try the audio? VINEGAR GIRL will delight longtime fans of Tyler, devotees of the Bard, or any listener who enjoys hilarious, heartwarming tales. Also, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death has been marked in 2016 with a worldwide celebration of the author’s work.
Audio Praise for Anne Tyler:
“As always, [Tyler’s] exploration of everyday tragedy and the way people learn to cope with loss is, at times, comic, wise, and heartbreaking…pacing of the dialogue between the main characters is realistic and emotionally engaging…resonates with the listener long after the last words are spoken.”–AudioFile Earphones Award (The Beginner’s Goodbye)
“[Tyler] renders mundane activities and conversations into a bittersweet tableau of love, family ties, and heartache…[Tyler] will leave her fans and other listeners of contemporary fiction awed and satisfied.”–Library Journal (A Spool of Blue Thread)
By Yaa Gyasi
Read by Dominic Hoffman
LibraryReads review: “An engaging family saga following two half-sisters – one who marries into privilege and one sold into slavery – and their descendants as they navigate the politics of their separate countries and their heritage. Each is directly affected in some way by the choices of the past, and finding the parallels in the triumphs and heartbreak makes for an engrossing read.” —Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA
Why try the audio? HOMEGOING is a powerful, emotional listen about race and history, and the lingering residue of colonialism and slavery in the fabric of American culture. This is truly a resonant listen for our time that will spark thought-provoking discussions.
“Gyasi’s characters are so fully realized, so elegantly carved–very often I found myself longing to hear more…HOMEGOING is an inspiration.” — Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of National Book Award winner Between the World and Me
“HOMEGOING is a remarkable feat–a novel at once epic and intimate, capturing the moral weight of history as it bears down on individual struggles, hopes, and fears. A tremendous debut”–Phil Klay, author of National Book Award winner Redeployment
By Susie Steiner
Read by Juanita McMahon
LibraryReads review:“This is a thoughtful police procedural about a missing person case and the secrets that come to the surface when a feisty detective becomes relentless in finding the truth. Edith is a successful college student from a well-known family, but all is not what it seems. Detective Manon Bradshaw is feeling the pressure to quickly resolve the case. What sets this apart from other detective stories is how the lead character is brought to life; she exposes her melancholy and it adds a satisfying mix to the thrills. Recommended for fans of Tana French.” —Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA
Why try the audio? Detective Manon Bradshaw is a character female listeners will relate to — not a work-obsessed genius, but an intuitive, intelligent woman who at 39 is afraid that her chance at personal happiness, in the form of lasting love and family, might be passing her by. She is a fierce, funny, indelible character that will help move any commute right along.
WE COULD BE BEAUTIFUL
By Swan Huntley
Read by Cassandra Campbell
LibraryReads review: “Wealthy art collector Catherine spends her time fussing over her tiny boutique card shoppe so that she can feel like a productive member of society. She meets the handsome and refined William Stockton, yet something seems just a little too good to be true. The plot thickens as long hidden family secrets emerge. Huntley certainly knows how to build up the suspense. This debut novel includes some nice plot twists and Catherine’s character evolves favorably. Recommended for fans of psychological fiction.” –Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX
Why try the audio? The most captivating narrator in recent memory. Like Jasmine in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Catherine is by turns charming, frustrating, sweet and damaged–she’s wildly out of touch with the real world, oblivious to the blindness her money has created but aching for friendship she doesn’t have to buy. And reader Cassandra Campbell is perfect to play this incredible role.
“A terrifically smart, funny, tender debut from the absurdly talented Swan Huntley. With astonishing acuity and compassion, she locates all the foibles and frailties and unexpected moments of courage that make us human. Beautiful, indeed.” –Stacey D’Erasmo, author of Wonderland