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Read With Your Ears: Summer Listening

July 13, 2012

This post is brought to you by Jodie from Listening Library. She knows audiobooks better than most people, so you won’t want to miss any of these terrific listens she recommends. See the end of the post for details on two special audio giveaways!

Grab one of these fantastic new audios and take a trip you won’t soon forget.

summer at forsaken lake

Summer at Forsaken Lake by Michael D. Beil, read by Thomas Vincent Kelly is the perfect summer vacation audio, especially for family road trips. In this mysterious summer adventure listeners will be delighted by the joys of a summer spent experiencing new things and overcoming challenges with family and new friends. The narrative voice is fresh and welcoming, drawing listeners in to discover the joys of sailing, the country, and looking into their family history.

on the day i died

On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming is a title that really springs to life on audio. It’s a collection of ghost stories and each tale is told by a different narrator; Candace Fleming even reads one herself. Candace lives just outside Chicago, and was inspired by an actual graveyard, White Cemetery, that is located not too far from her home. She imagined part of the cemetery was set aside for teenagers only, and she wrote ten ghost stories that take place during different time periods, from the 1860s to the present. Set against the backdrop of Chicago’s rich history—the Great Depression, the World’s Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters. Some stories are funny, some are sad, some are spine-chilling, but all are entertaining.

island of thieves

Island of Thieves by Josh Lacey, read by Toby Longworth is an action-packed, humorous adventure that’s Treasure Island meets James Bond. Josh Lacey’s short, spare sentence style keeps the story exciting, but he also generously sprinkles in a snappy sense of humor. Similar to Artemis Fowl, the protagonist is a bit of an endearing rapscallion…Tom Trelawney is in trouble with his parents. As punishment they send him to stay with Uncle Harvey. Tom is prepared for a dull stay in London, until his uncle announces that he has urgent business in South America. Soon Tom is helping his uncle chase down a secret buried pirate treasure. Besides the clever writing, I really enjoy that the treasure hunt is inspired by some historical truth, and listeners will inadvertently learn a bit of history. Tom and his uncle are hunting after treasure buried by Sir Francis Drake and his crew. As the author explained, “About ten years ago, I was reading about Sir Francis Drake and the voyage of the Golden Hind, the first English ship to sail around the world, when I discovered a fascinating snippet of information: a young boy, Drake’s cousin, sailed on the ship, keeping a journal and drawing maps and pictures.” Josh Lacey works these facts into the story in a really cool way. If you love James Bond and pirates, you’ll find this audio irresistible.


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, read by Mandy Williams and Justine Eyre is an amazing audio that will transport you to an incredible fantasy world that’s full of adventure, mystery, romance, and did I mention there are dragons. Rachel Hartman has created a rich world with elaborate cultures and traditions unlike anything you’ve ever heard. It’s perfect on audio since it has its own language, creatures, and places. Seraphina is concise, the plot moves quickly with surprising twists that will leave even the most distractible listeners glued to their earphones. But, you don’t have to take my word for it as Seraphina has already received 4 starred reviews.  AudioFile raves “Mandy Williams narrates Rachel Hartman’s original coming-of-age story with a girl’s ingenuous enthusiasm while Justine Eyre provides the maternal memories with the rueful tone of one who has ignored a taboo…Williams creates a charming new heroine, and Hartman’s clever symbolism and artful allusions assure fantasy fans of something fresh and unusual.”

jersey angel

Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman is a sexy, literary listen. It’s a story about friendship, desire, and what it feels like to betray a friend over a boy. It’s a terrific beach listen that also offers some honest insight.

great cake mystery

The Great Cake Mystery And finally, we’re delighted to present the audio of this new mystery series for kids ages 7 and up. It’s based on best-selling No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, and a starred Kirkus review says it best: “One case where an adaptation from an adult book is as much fun to read as the original.” This audio is a perfect one for adult fans, parents or grandparents, to share with kids, and is narrated by Adjouah Andoh who also read the British audio of Alexander McCall Smith’s adult series.

What better way to do your required reading this summer then by listening to a great recording. Check out our full list of titles to find the ones you need to read before school starts.

And now for the giveaways!

Ever dream of being a narrator? Listening Library’s mini mic transforms your keychain into a recording studio! The first 10 people to email will win a fun mini mic that not only records your voice, but holds your keys, too.

And if you’d like to be entered to win an Audio Summer Survival Kit, featuring children’s and adult books, audiobooks and other goodies, please email We will draw a winner next Friday. US residents only, please.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2012 8:09 am

    I love a good audio book no matter what time of year it is. Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. July 13, 2012 8:55 am

    I’ve been listening to audio books for a while now, & find them wonderful, short or long, they help bring the story to life in a way reading print does not. Thanks for the ideas.

  3. July 15, 2012 9:05 pm

    Audiobooks are so wonderful, especially when you find a narrator that fits the story well and brings it to life! I’ve listed some of my favorite audiobooks in two posts:

    Part 1:
    Part 2:

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