Barkskins. By Anne Proulx. Read by Robert
Petkoff. 2016. 26hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $59.99 (9781442370067).
With subtle accents and delicate inflections,
veteran narrator Petkoff raises Proulx’s most
recent masterpiece from gorgeous historical
saga to riveting page-turner.
Belgravia. By Julian Fellowes. Read by Juliet
Stevenson. 2016. 16hr. Hachette, CD, $35
Stevenson’s peerless narration and command of Victorian blue-blooded speech
patterns, from mannered courtesy to supercilious disdain, transform Fellowes’ posh soap
opera into enthralling audio theater.
The Black Widow. By Daniel Silva. Read by
George Guidall. 2016. 14.5hr. Harper, CD,
Master art restorer and legendary Israeli
spy Gabriel Allon is indelibly linked to Guidall’s finely tuned, edge-of-our-seats portrayal
of Allon’s forays into the world of espionage
Boys in the Trees. By Carly Simon. Read by
the author. 2015. 13.5hr. Macmillan, CD,
Simon’s narration—her sugar-smooth voice
and comforting tones—and singing (
including a previously unreleased song) elevate the
print version of this candid memoir.
A Great Reckoning. By Louise Penny. Read
by Robert Bathurst. 2016. 13.5hr. Macmillan, CD, $39.99 (9781427274403).
Bathurst’s nuanced character portrayals and
careful pacing help propel this ingenious and
atmospheric crime novel to its unexpected
and powerful conclusion.
The Immortal Irishman: The Irish
Revolutionary Who Became an American
Hero. By Timothy Egan. Read by Gerard
Doyle. 2016. 14hr. Brilliance, CD, $29.99
Doyle lends his distinctive brogue and gripping storytelling skill to this thrilling tale of
Irish and American revolutionary Thomas
The Jealous Kind. By James Lee Burke.
Read by Will Patton.2016. 12hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $39.99
Series narrator Patton inhabits the richly
realized characters in Burke’s often-violent,
southern world, captivating listeners with his
performance of a haunting, historical tale.
The Nix. By Nathan Hill. Read by Ari Fliakos. 2016. 21.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $55
In the performance Olympics that are audiobooks, narrator Fliakos deserves a gold medal
for his virtuoso vocal interpretations of characters and events in this wondrous epic framed
by fantasy games and political activism.
Rain Dogs. By Adrian McKinty. Read by
Gerard Doyle. 2016. 10.5hr. Blackstone,
CD, $90 (9781504661423).
This gritty crime novel set in Northern Ireland in 1987 features smart dialogue, dark
humor, and clever plotting, all masterfully
delivered in Doyle’s mellifluous Irish accent.
The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother
and Son on Life, Love, and Loss. By Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt. Read by
the authors. 2016. 6hr. Harper, CD, $29.99
Journalist Cooper began an e-mail exchange
with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, on her
ninety-first birthday. This audio version engagingly re-creates those refreshingly honest
and intimate conversations.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of
Nike. By Phil Knight. Read by Norbert Leo
Butz. 2016. 13.5hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, CD, $39.99 (9781508211808).
In a take-charge yet slightly understated
fashion, Butz artfully narrates this fascinating
memoir, emphasizing the emotional highs,
lows, and frustrations of trying to get a company off the ground.
The Summer before the War. By Helen
Simonson. Read by Fiona Hardingham.
2016. 16hr. Books on Tape, CD, $45
Hardingham’s lively British accent and silky
cadence provide a luscious sensory sound-scape of proper late-Edwardian charm with
an extra soupçon of sparkling dry humor in
this witty and heartwarming tale.
The Underground Railroad. By Colson
Whitehead. Read by Bahni Turpin.
2016. 11hr. Books on Tape, CD, $40
Turpin’s haunting narration of Whitehead’s
intense, imaginative, and unsettling exploration of slavery in the antebellum South evokes
the harsh realities of a slave’s life and immerses
listeners in the lives of the cast, making this
grim odyssey feel disturbingly real. (Top of
the List winner—Adult Audio.)