A hilarious memoir of single motherhood, a workplace romance and a spooky small-town thriller—what more could you want for this month’s best audiobooks?
★ The Hungover Games
Listening to The Hungover Games: A True Story, written and read by Sophie Heawood, is like having a gossipy brunch with your wittiest friend. British entertainment journalist Heawood takes us on a journey of unexpected single motherhood while living in Los Angeles, from her affair with an immature rocker to her attempts at dating with a baby at home. She takes life advice from the celebrities she profiles and sometimes gets a little too personal with them. Heawood’s narration makes the book even funnier and her experiences even more charming. In particular, her stories from the OB-GYN’s office and some remarkably bad dates left me cackling.
Great news for Rainbow Rowell fans: Her charming 2011 novel, Attachments, has finally been released on audio, narrated by Rebecca Lowman. Just before the beginning of the new millennium, Lincoln is hired as an IT guy for a small city paper, where part of his job is to read any internal emails that get flagged by the new security system. He spends most days reading exchanges between Beth and Jennifer, two co-workers he’s never met but feels like he knows. Can there be love before first sight? For a book that mainly follows a man’s perspective, it’s surprising that a woman narrates the audiobook, but it somehow totally works. Lowman makes the email exchanges come alive with humor, and her performance has a down-to-earth quality that’s perfect for the more somber parts of the book.
The Bright Lands
John Fram’s suspenseful debut, The Bright Lands, narrated by Luis Selgas, is a spooky, queer thriller set in a small Texas town ruled by high school football. After a decade in New York, Joel returns to his conservative hometown to help his younger brother, Dylan, a football star who seems to be in trouble. Shortly after Joel arrives, Dylan turns up dead, and Joel’s visit becomes a murder investigation. Selgas is the perfect narrator for a mystery, as it feels like he’s always holding a little something back. He also performs a solid mix of Western accents for the side characters, adding to the book’s overall sense of place.