June is Audiobook Appreciation Month and it’s also the start to our annual #SummerAtoZ blog event. We’re big fans of audiobooks here and we’re starting the month by sharing 4 book recommendations that we think you’ll love on audio – whether you’re a beginner, or a long time listener of audiobooks.
BadAsstronauts, Grady Hendrix
Narrated by: Ezra Buzzington; Length: 3 hrs and 44 mins
Melville, South Carolina was out of money, it was out of jobs, it was out of hope, and today it was out of astronauts. There were only two to begin with, and now one is stuck on the abandoned International Space Station after his mission went south. With NASA’s budget cut to the bone, there’s no one to bring him back home. But his cousin, Walter Reddie, isn’t going to let that happen. Tanked on vodka, living on a “farm” whose only crop is cars on cinderblocks, Walter’s a wash-out from the Shuttle Program and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let his cousin die in the sky like a dog.
This is a novella and a very short audiobook, but you’ll still get a fully developed story with a character that’s completely unforgettable and stubborn – a deeply flawed man named Walter Reedie who you can’t help but admire. I love a good character driven novel that’s not light on the plot and substance.
The Last House on Needless Street, Catriona Ward
Narrated by: Christopher Ragland; Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet they are all lies.
This is the kind of book that you want to go into knowing absolutely nothing about. Don’t read any reviews – just take my word that it is better on audio, and it is so absolutely worth your time.
The Butterfly Garden, Dot Hutchinson
Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo, Mel Foster; Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden. In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees … and a collection of precious “butterflies” – young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.
This book is dark and frankly will take you down a deep hole of despair. It’s beautifully written and the story is told in such a way that you will feel all the emotions for the girls who exist as captives in this “garden.” Books are suppose to evoke emotions and I dare say The Butterfly Garden does just that … in spades! After reading this, I went on to more lighthearted books – you have to.
Blackout – Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Dion Graham, Imani Parks, Jordan Cobb, Shayna Small, A.J. Beckles, Bahni Turpin; Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks … A first meeting … Long-time friends … Bitter exes … And maybe the beginning of something new. When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.
I just finished this book and had to include it here. Normally, I don’t listen to short stories on audio as I find it hard to remember the stories individually after I’ve listened to a few – but not in this case! There’s just a few stories, and at least one character is related in each story – and it seems they are trying to get to a blockparty in Brooklyn – so it was easy to keep it together. The writing is just so good – the characters are distinct and memorable, and although this book is very heavy on all things New York, where the characters live, it was integrated seamlessly into the story, and frankly made me want to go there are check out all the places mentioned.
Also check out more Audiobooks we’ve written about in the past. Do you enjoy audiobooks, or are you not really into them?