Biblio File, NYPL Recommends: New & Noteworthy
New & Noteworthy: E-Audiobooks
Friends, New Yorkers, countrymen, lend me your ears…
When the old becomes new again listeners can win the prize. These works of literary fiction are nods to some past familiar tales, but with twists placing them firmly in the present. Check out these new adaptations.
The Weight of an Infinite Sky by Carrie La Seur
Narrated James Patrick Cronin
Duration: 7 hours
Carrie La Seur explores the vast openness of the west in this moving Montana novel. This is a tale that measures family legacies, ties that bind, and the desire to be free. Echoes of Hamlet reverberate for Anthony Fry, who returns to his family ranch after his father’s sudden mysterious death. There he must face his uncle now married to his widowed mother, an unscrupulous corporation scheming to get the family land, a browbeaten community, and his overwhelming desire to be his own man. Brooding and introspective, Anthony cuts a somber character as he wrestles with revenge, alcoholism, and a slowly dawning realization that he can never be free of the place called home. This is a well written, character driven story of complicated lives set within a deceptively simple landscape. The narrator’s simple understated tone is a good match for this serious reflective work.
For readers who enjoyed: The Sellout by Paul Beatty, The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks, and Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving and the authors Wiley Cash, Jonathan Franzen and Julia Glass and Ian McEwan
No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
Narrated by Janina Edwards
Duration: 11 hours
Wealthy and worldly JJ Ferguson returns to Pinewood to build the largest home in a town that has seen much better days. His return and his undiminished love for married childhood sweetheart Ava trigger a series of events in this Great Gatsby adaptation. JJ’s unfulfilled hunger for Ava, also mirrors the unfulfilled longings of other characters, like Sylvia, who longs for her dead son; the flawed Henry, Ava’s husband, who yearns to be a better man; and Ava herself who aches to have a child after three miscarriages. Regrets, death, loss, and betrayal are handled gently by narrator Janine Edwards. With a conversational tone that is by turns warm, wry and nostalgic she allows listeners to emotionally connect with each of the various characters, and to sympathize in turn. This debut is both moving and complex, with a strong sense of place.
For readers who enjoyed: Home by Marilynne Robinson, The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, and Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash and the authors Wilton Bernhardt, Reynolds Price, Bev Marshall and Megan Bergman
Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott
Narrator: Adenrele Ojo
Duration: 16.25 hours
Mix the Harlem Renaissance, a decadent plot, an entertaining narrator, and an unusual cast of characters together and you are ready for Unforgivable Love. This highly dramatic novel makes no apologies for its likeness to Dangerous Liaisons. An array of characters bring to life the glory days of the Black upperclass in the 1940s, as they partied in the finest nightclubs, dined in the finest brownstones, travelled to Paris, and escaped to their summer estates. Queen amongst these is Mae Malveaux, a wealthy businesswoman who finds great joy in being the puppet mistress of Harlem. Beautiful and cunning Mae and her seductive cohort Val Jackson, plot vindictive schemes to destroy others for their own amusement. Caprice and ego, vice and artifice are pit against innocence and naivety, morals and ideals. The consequences are unforeseen and deadly. Narrator, Adenrele Ojo’s voice skillfully brings to life an array of characters. With a distinct voice that is sensuous, brash, husky, lyrical and engrossing; she makes the story a listener’s delight.
For readers who enjoyed: Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer, Caravans by James Michener, and In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helprin and the authors Judith Michael, Jodi Picoult and Camille Di Maio.