Getting tired of scrolling through the channels? Here are some recent audios that offer plenty of entertainment. A new mystery from best-selling author John Grisham, the story of a movie star who disappears at the height of her fame, and a dark comedy about a unique kind of theft—these are a few of the audio books below that I really enjoyed recently, all of them perfect for settling in on the couch, grabbing some popcorn, and letting someone read you a story...
A Time for Mercy by John Grisham
Grisham's books always make for an entertaining audio, and this third Jake Brigance novel is read by Michael Beck, the same excellent narrator as A Time to Kill, as well as other Grisham novels. In this new case, Jake finds himself representing a young client who kills a deputy in Clanton, Mississippi (the same town where A Time to Kill takes place), a deputy who was also his mother's abusive boyfriend. The town is up in arms against the defendant and Jake finds himself in familiar territory as folks who used to be friendly now avoid him like the plague, and threats against him start rolling in. But Jake isn't deterred, his client deserves a fair trial, and there is more here than meets the eye.
The Comeback by Ella Berman
A #ReadWithJenna book club pick, The Comeback tells the story of Grace Turner, a young actress who is the Hollywood darling of the day, then disappears without explanation for a year. Grace returns to L.A. and when she's asked to present an award to the man who was her mentor throughout her career she's confronted by the dark secret that drove her to leave. A timely take on the #MeToo experience and the resilience of the human spirit, The Comeback kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see whether Grace chooses to voice her truth or stay quiet.
Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
You probably want to keep the lights on for this debut thriller. Dear Child is told through multiple points of view, and the audio supports this with different narrators, which can make it a difficult task to keep the flow going, but in this case, it's done extremely well. A young woman named Lena—abducted over a decade in the past—seems to have been found, along with two children, after escaping her unknown captor. But is she who everyone thinks she is? And if not, what happened to the real Lena? Jumping back and forth from past to present, this psychological thriller keeps you guessing—and if you're like me, biting your nails—all the way through to the surprising conclusion.
Cut and Run by Ben Acker
A dark comedy indeed, Cut and Run features multiple narrators telling a funny, quirky tale about a woman named Samantha, a con artist and thief with good intentions. What does she steal? Kidneys. But only one from each victim, and only from people who are already morally bankrupt. Her partner in crime is Abe, her best friend and a doctor, who is trying to find a cure for diabetes—research that requires a fair amount of cash. That's where the kidney selling comes in. Meg Ryan is the narrator who oversees the action, while the rest of the story is told in dialogue accompanied by background sounds that add an extra layer of context. Listening to this audio is like hearing a comedic play and seeing it unfold in your mind.
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson's Before the Ever After is a middle grade novel in verse about ZJ, a boy whose dad is a famous NFL player who can no longer play. After the multiple head injuries he suffered on the field, he had to leave the game because of the physical and mental toll it’s taken. Debilitating headaches, anger, and memory loss—ZJ's dad doesn't seem like himself anymore. This is a story of family and friendship that also addresses the important and timely topic of the cost to football players, in an industry that has largely ignored the problem, and for which there is no cure. In his narration, Guy Lockard gives Woodson's novel the emotional heft that brings home the confusion, love, and hope of her words.
Five great listens that are perfect for kicking back on the couch and letting someone tell you a story.