Have we ever lived in a better time for technology, especially considering the capabilities of audiobooks now? Gone are the clumbersome Tapes and CD’s, replaced by the mobile app. It’s easy, it’s quick and you can listen while cooking dinner. We have A- list stars looking to queue up to be the voice of blockbuster reads, everyone wants in on it!
I’m going to give a run down of my favourite top 10 of this year!
The Secret Commonwealth By Phillip Pullman
It is 20 years since the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey.
It is seven years since listeners left Lyra and the love of her young life, Will Parry, on a park bench in Oxford’s Botanic Gardens at the end of the ground-breaking, best-selling His Dark Materials sequence.
Now, in The Secret Commonwealth, we meet Lyra Silvertongue. And she is no longer a child….
The second volume of Sir Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now 20 years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm: once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.
Theirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost – a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.
The Secret Commonwealth is truly a book for our times – a powerful adventure and a thought-provoking look at what it is to understand yourself, to grow up and make sense of the world around you. This is storytelling at its very best from one of our greatest writers.©2019 Philip Pullman (P)2019 Penguin Audio
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F**k By Mark Manson
In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.
For decades we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F*ck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is – a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited – “not everybody can be extraordinary; there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault”. Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives. ©2016 Mark Manson (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Ninth House By Leigh Bardugo
The mesmerising adult debut from number one New York Times best-selling author Leigh Bardugo.
Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age 20, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies, well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than she ever imagined….
Welcome to a world of secret societies and the occult that’s perfect for fans of Deborah Harkness, Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke and Ben Aaronovitch. ©2019 Leigh Bardugo (P)2019 Macmillan Audio
Letters From An Astrophysicist By Neil deGrasse Tyson
Brought to you by Penguin.
Join the galactic conversation on the biggest issues in the universe.
“Don’t fear change. Don’t fear failure. The only thing to fear is loss of ambition. But if you’ve got plenty of that, then you have nothing to fear at all.” (Neil deGrasse Tyson)
Neil deGrasse Tyson is arguably the most influential, acclaimed scientist on the planet. As director of the Hayden Planetarium, and host of Cosmos and StarTalk, he has dedicated his life to exploring and explaining the mysteries of the universe.
Every year, he receives thousands of letters – from students to prisoners, scientists to priests. Some seek advice, others yearn for inspiration; some are full of despair, others burst with wonder. But they are all searching for understanding, meaning and truth.
His replies are by turns wise, funny, and mind-blowing. In this, his most personal book by far, he covers everything from God to the history of science, from aliens to death. He bares his soul – his passions, his doubts, his hopes. The big theme is everywhere: what is our place in the universe?
The result is an awe-inspiring listen and an intimate portal into an incredible mind, which reveals the power of the universe to start conversations and inspire curiosity in all of us.©2019 Neil deGrasse Tyson (P)2019 Penguin Audio.
H.G. Wells: The Science Fiction Collection
An all-star cast brings science fiction classics to life.
Five gripping classics from H.G. Wells – whose innovative genius led him to be known as ‘The Father of Science Fiction’ – in one captivating audiobook. Exploring the ethics of genetic modification, The Island of Doctor Moreau is both a chilling masterpiece and a cautionary tale. The Invisible Man follows a scientist’s descent into madness after turning himself invisible. The Time Machine will transport you to a dystopian future, where Earth is slowly dying and two bizarre races exist. Two men embark on an adventure of a lifetime inThe First Men in the Moon. When Earth is invaded by Martians, The War of the Worlds entails.
Imaginative and evocative, Wells’ tales continue to fire the imagination.
A Little Hatred By Joe Abercrombie
The chimneys of industry rise over Adua, and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep as ever.
On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to win fame on the battlefield and defeat the marauding armies of Stour Nightfall. He hopes for help from the crown. But King Jezal’s son, the feckless Prince Orso, is a man who specialises in disappointments.
Savine dan Glokta – socialite, investor and daughter of the most feared man in the Union – plans to claw her way to the top of the slag-heap of society by any means necessary. But the slums boil over with a rage that all the money in the world cannot control.
The age of the machine dawns, but the age of magic refuses to die. With the help of the mad hillwoman Isern-i-Phail, Rikke struggles to control the blessing, or the curse, of the Long Eye. Glimpsing the future is one thing, but with the guiding hand of the First of the Magi still pulling the strings, changing it will be quite another….©2019 Joe Abercrombie (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group Limited
IT By Stephen King
To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine, was just their hometown: familiar, well ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different.
In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing….
The adults, knowing better, knew nothing. Time passed, and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.©1986 Stephen King (P)2010 Penguin Audio
The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.©2017 Bloomsbury (P)2019 Audible, Ltd
The Lying Room by Nicci French
Neve Connolly looks down at a murdered man.
She doesn’t call the police.
‘You know, it’s funny,’ Detective Inspector Hitching said. ‘Whoever I see, they keep saying, talk to Neve Connolly, she’ll know. She’s the one people talk to, she’s the one people confide in.’
A trusted colleague and friend. A mother. A wife. Neve Connolly is all these things.
She has also made mistakes: some small, some unconsciously done, some large, some deliberate. She is only human, after all. But now one mistake is spiralling out of control, and Neve is bringing those around her into immense danger. She can’t tell the truth. So how far is she prepared to go to protect those she loves? And who does she really know?
And who can she trust?
A liar. A cheat. A threat.
Neve Connolly is all these things.
Could she be a murderer?©2019 Joined-Up Writing (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd
Then She Was Gone By Lisa Jewell
The Sunday Times number one best seller.
A missing girl. A buried secret.
From the acclaimed author of I Found You and the Richard & Judy best seller The Girls comes a compulsively twisty psychological thriller that will keep you gripped to the very last moment.
She was 15, her mother’s golden girl.
She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.
Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet.
But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.
Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.
Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?©2017 Lisa Jewell (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks