Spring ushers in all that is new, and that includes fresh audiobooks to add to your reading list. From author-read to audio originals and full-cast productions, our biannual To Be Listened To (TBLT) list is here to help you find your next favorite listen.
Read on to see which forthcoming releases made the list, and pre-order your favorites! Your future self will thank you.
Audiobooks by Podcasters
It’s hardly a surprise when a podcaster goes the audiobook route, but it’s always a treat—hours of your favorite podcaster to binge, instead of just an hour or so a week? The best! Clint Smith, co-host of Pod Save the People, reads How the Word Is Passed—a bold first-person retelling of Black American history, exploring how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves. In Let’s Talk About Hard Things, the host of Death, Sex, & Money Anna Sale uses the best of what she’s learned from her podcast to reveal that when we have the courage to talk about hard things, we learn about ourselves, others, and the world that we make together.
Memoirs Read by the Author
One of the most treasured listening experiences is hearing an author read their own memoir. Learn about the effects of incarceration on a family or a society with Ashley C. Ford’s Somebody’s Daughter, or about forging an American identity with musician Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart and with comedian Jo Koy’s Mixed Plate. Or, perhaps you want to veer a different direction with Seth Rogen in Yearbook, a collection of humorous essays.
“I hope you enjoy the book should you buy it, and if you don’t enjoy it, I’m sorry. If you ever see me on the street and explain the situation, I’ll do my best to make it up to you.”Seth Rogen, actor and author of Yearbook
If you love to hear a variety of voices, check out these options. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris—a novel about micro- and macro-aggressions at an NYC publishing house—is one of the most anticipated releases of this year, and offers an all-star cast of narrators, including 2018–Audie–Award–winner Bahni Turpin and Joniece Abbott-Pratt. I’m Waiting for You is a collection of speculative fiction from one of South Korea’s most celebrated writers, Bo-Young Kim. Translated for the first time in English, the audiobook is read entirely by native Korean speakers. Dawnie Walton’s novel, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, takes the form of an oral history to tell the story of a famed rock-‘n’-roll duo in 1970s New York. Narrators abound in this debut, among them narrator superstars Bahni Turpin, George Newbern, Robin Miles, and Steve West, as well as actor André De Shields.
Historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s Truth Be Told: Three Classic Black Women’s Narratives is only available in audio format. Interspersed with Dunbar’s context, the audiobook shares the stories of Harriet Jacobs, Susie King Taylor, and Ida B. Wells in order to illuminate the fight of the past and present for social justice. Want to learn more? Read our Author Interview with Erica Armstrong Dunbar.
“I’m just delighted to share the stories of Black women during Women’s History Month. It is an honor and an obligation.”author Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Interested in audiobooks that have all the bells and whistles? Jessica Anya Blau’s Mary Jane, a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of 1970’s Baltimore and rock ‘n’ roll, is narrated by Broadway star Caitlin Kinnunen and includes an original song written specifically for the audiobook. Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley—the much-anticipated follow-up to her debut novel, Elmet—is about a London brothel facing the threat of gentrification, and the audiobook offers thrilling, voice-driven narration by actress Nneka Okoye.
Looking for new releases from authors who’ve earned their chops? The Libro.fm community particularly loved Abby Jimenez’s The Happy Ever After Playlist and Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue, and both authors are back with new reads. Jimenez’s Life’s Too Short—a new romantic comedy about globetrotting and life’s complications—is narrated by Christine Lakin and Zachary Webber, while Casey McQuiston’s time-traveling LGBTQ+ romance One Last Stop is read by Natalie Naudus.
Fans of Stacey Abrams will love her newest thriller, set in the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court, While Justice Sleeps, read by narrator favorite, Adenrele Ojo. And, from Daniel Kahneman (author of Thinking, Fast and Slow) alongside Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein, comes Noise, a study about the detrimental effects of variability in judgments across professional fields, narrated by Jonathan Todd Ross.
Let us know which audiobooks from the list you’re most looking forward to in the comments below!