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21 Audiobooks We're Excited To Listen To This Summer

Stacey Abrams' call to action, Jasmine Guillory's political rom-com, Riley Sager's gothic horror, and more.

Posted on June 15, 2020, at 12:36 p.m. ET

Libro.fm — an audiobook service that splits profits with independent bookstores — has shared some of the summer titles users (and booksellers) are most excited about. Here are 21 books getting tons of preorders and attention.

The Second Home by Christina Clancy (June 2)

Macmillan

Sisters Ann and Poppy Gordon are faced with the decision of whether or not to sell their family's summer home in Cape Cod after their parents' death. Just when they decide to sell, their brother Michael re-enters their lives with a claim to the house. This complicates matters — because, 15 years earlier, the family spent a disastrous summer at that same house, and left with permanent rifts between the siblings. Now the three have to decide if they'd like to be a family again.

Bookseller recommendation: "While reading The Second Home, you can taste the saltwater of both the ocean and the tears of familial pain. Christina Clancy has written a beautiful story of family and the bonds that can be broken and somehow repaired again. The characters and location are so well-written, you’ll feel like you’ve vacationed on the Cape for years with the Gordon family. Fans of Jane Hamilton and We Were the Mulvaneys will love The Second Home." —Nancy Baenen, Arcadia Books

Our Time Is Now by Stacey Abrams (June 9)

Macmillan

Stacey Abrams describes the long history of voter suppression, which she saw firsthand during her campaign to be governor of Georgia. Her book draws from extensive research and personal stories, offering a practical argument for voter protections, and outlining ways to empower citizens.

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton (June 16)

Penguin Random House

Over the course of Labor Day weekend in 1935, three women's lives briefly connect and their lives are forever changed. Key West native Helen Berner is surrounded by tourists newly arriving on the groundbreaking Overseas Railroad, but she's longing for her own escape. Mirta Perez travels from Havana to the Keys on honeymoon with her new husband, an American man notorious for his illicit business. Elizabeth Preston arrives on Key West with a plan to save her once-wealthy family, now struggling after the Wall Street crash. Their stories intertwine while one of the history's most powerful hurricanes heads toward them.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (June 16)

Macmillan

Mantel released the final book in her critically acclaimed Wolf Hall trilogy this year — but it's also a great time to revisit (or discover) the first book, which introduces us to Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to King Henry VIII in 16th century England. This new audio edition of Wolf Hall is read by Ben Miles, who played Thomas Cromwell in the Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee (June 16)

HarperCollins

Skye Shin has just made it into an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star. Her spectacular voice earns her a spot in the singing portion of the competition, and despite what her mother has told her — that fat girls shouldn't dance, that they shouldn't draw attention to themselves — her incredible moves get her into the dance portion. But her mother isn't the only one whose fat-phobic standards Skye will have to overcome on her quest to become the world's first plus-sized K-pop star.

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks (June 16)

Penguin Random House

Brooks's latest thriller is an eco–horror story set in Greenloop, a community designed as the perfect back-to-nature experience with the full amenities of modern living provided by solar smart houses. But when Mount Rainier erupts, residents are cut off from the rest of the world with no weapons and dwindling supplies. They're completely unprepared for actual survival — especially when faced with an actual monster. The novel is told through the journals of resident Kate Holland, discovered years after the town's unexplained massacre.

Bookseller recommendation: "This was a blast to read. Kate and Dan Holland have an opportunity to move into an eco-friendly community called Greenloop in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. Kate’s therapist asks her to keep a journal, and this is how their story is preserved. Because after Mt. Rainier erupts, horrible things happen at Greenloop. Really horrible things…" —Ann Nye, Excelsior Bay Books

The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency by John Dickerson (June 16)

Penguin Random House

Journalist John Dickerson outlines how the position of American president has become overburdened and misunderstood, writing about the shifts in the responsibilities throughout history. He challenges readers to reevaluate our perception and expectations of the presidency, and to think critically about how we elect the next one.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory (June 23)

Penguin Random House

Shortly after moving to LA to start her own law firm, Olivia Monroe meets a handsome stranger at a hotel bar and sparks fly. However, she has no idea he's junior senator Max Powell. To keep their budding relationship out of the public eye, the two have dates in secret and even wear silly disguises. It's all fun and games until their coupledom is made public and really put to the test.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert (June 23)

HarperCollins

When rugby-player-turned-security-guard Zafir Ansari rescues Danika Brown from a workplace fire, his heroic actions go viral and people start shipping #DrRugbae. He convinces Danika to fake a relationship with him to get publicity for the children's charity he works with, but when he develops feelings for her, he works to turn their fake relationship into a real one.

The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices by Casper ter Kuile (June 23)

HarperCollins

Casper ter Kuile describes how daily, secular practices can help us find meaning and cultivate spiritual lives. He shows how things like exercise classes, gratitude journals, tech breaks, and book clubs can offer connection and community and improve physical and emotional wellbeing.

Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh (June 23)

Penguin Random House

Walking with her dog in the woods by her new lake house, elderly widow Vesta Gul finds a note that reads, “Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body.” — but there is no body. Vesta commits herself to not only solving this mystery but also understanding the woman at the center of it.

Bookseller recommendation: "Ottessa Moshfegh is a modern-day Camus. A woman finds a note in the woods that proclaims someone is dead. Murdered, in fact. She investigates between dog walks and early evening naps but soon facts, memories, and suppositions entwine and overlap until the simple act of asking a question can unravel the thread of an entire life. Ponderous, violent, forgetful, and deft, Death in Her Hands is a genre-bender that teases you into asking, Is this noir? Horror? A whacked-out farce? Or a sly literary trick? I’ll tell you what it is — absolutely brilliant." —Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty (June 30)

HarperCollins

This is the final chapter in the massively popular Daevabad Trilogy, in which a con-woman and a djinn prince team up to save a magical kingdom going through a civil war. Catch up with the first book, The City of Brass, here.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (June 30)

Penguin Random House

Noemí Taboada is a socialite who delights in parties, fancy dresses, seducing men, and anthropology. After receiving a garbled letter from her recently married cousin and dear friend Catalina, she travels to the distant village of High Place and the decaying mansion that is now Catalina’s home. There, she finds Catalina incoherent and lethargic among an inhospitable family — except for the young, shy Francis, who becomes an unexpected ally for Noemí. Meanwhile, the house itself seeps into her dreams and slowly comes alive around her.

Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean (June 30)

HarperAudio

Grace Condry has lived a tough life fending for herself on the streets of London, running from a traumatic past. Ewan, Duke of Marwick is the man who once betrayed her — and has spent the past decade looking for the woman he never stopped loving. But when Ewan finds Grace, it's revenge she wants — not reconciliation.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sagar (June 30)

Penguin Random House

Twenty-five years ago, Maggie Holt and her parents moved into an old Victorian estate in the woods of Vermont — and lived there for three weeks, before a series of horrifying ghostly encounters forced them to flee. Maggie was too young to remember those events, and she's always doubted the story, which her father recounted in a nonfiction book that became a global bestseller. Now she's a restorer of old homes — and when she inherits that same Victorian estate after her father's death, she decides to renovate and flip it. But when she returns, she finds reason to believe her father's account.

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green (July 7)

Penguin Random House

In the follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, the robots known as "Carls" have vanished from Earth just as quickly as they arrived — and April May, the 23-year-old who became famous for discovering them, has (presumably) died. As her friends try to make sense of a post-Carl world, they start to piece together the real story behind the events that changed their lives — and the entire world — forever.

Antkind by Charlie Kaufman (July 7)

Penguin Random House

B. Rosenberger Rosenberg is a neurotic and disillusioned film critic who discovers an unseen film that is so magnificent he's sure it will not only bring him the fame and critical recognition he so desires, it will also change the world. But then it's destroyed. Left with a single frame, Rosenberg must try to recall and recreate the entire film.

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher (July 14)

Penguin Random House

Harry Dresden is Chicago's only professional wizard — and when the supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing conflicts, he's called upon to provide security and maintain civility.

Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman (July 14)

Simon & Schuster

Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, hosts of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, chronicle their first decade in each other's lives, describing the way their Big Friendship — the type of strong bond that survives life's biggest shifts — helped them get through health scares, career woes, relationship pitfalls, and more.

Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood by Trixie Mattel and Katya (July 14)

Penguin Random House

Drag stars Trixie Mattel and Katya offer their take on an old-school etiquette guide for ladies, including essays, conversations, and how-to sections tackling beauty, fashion, money, self-care, and relationships.

Axiom's End by Lindsay Ellis (July 21)

Macmillan

In an alternate version of 2007, a leak has revealed that the US government has made first contact with an alien race. Cora Sabino, whose estranged father is the whistleblower, becomes the center of attention when her father goes into hiding, but she has no interest in getting involved or finding out if the leak is a hoax — until she happens to discover that it's real. Aliens have been living on Earth for decades, and her family has been deeply entrenched in the cover up.

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