Some are short, and some are long, but the stories in these three audiobooks will sweep you away for hours.
★ The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
V. E. Schwab's The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a rare, original fable that feels timeless. As a young woman in the 17th century, Addie makes a deal with the darkness, embodied by Luc, a trickster god. He grants her immortality with the caveat that everyone she ever meets will fail to remember her. Addie lives in the shadows for hundreds of years, roaming Europe and the United States, finding ways to get by and doomed to solitude, until one day, she meets a man who can remember her. This epic story, spanning three centuries and two continents, is expertly narrated by Julia Whelan. Her performance grows and changes with Addie, capturing her early French accent and her later American one, which still carries a slight French tinge. This is a transporting listen, and these characters will stick with you for a long time.
Black Bottom Saints
Co-narrated by Prentice Onayemi and Imani Parks, Alice Randall's novel Black Bottom Saints captures the memories of Joseph "Ziggy" Johnson, a gossip columnist who founded a famed dance school in Detroit. As Ziggy recalls the men and women who touched his life from the 1930s to the '60s, he pays tribute to these heroes and toasts each one with a custom cocktail (recipes included). From local legends to household names like Count Basie and Martin Luther King Jr., each story shines a spotlight on Black excellence. Onayemi does a beautiful job narrating the book from Ziggy's perspective, bringing gravity and a warm nostalgia to the telling. Parks plays Ziggy's goddaughter, who is piecing together his story, and her modern sensibility provides a welcome contrast. Both narrators hail from Broadway, and they bring notable vitality to the narration.
The Best of Me
Arguably the king of audiobooks, David Sedaris returns with his greatest hits, The Best of Me, all selected by the author from his more than 25-year career. From imagined letters to the editor to quirky stories about his large family, this collection gathers all the favorites in one place. Sedaris narrates the audiobook as only he can, his distinct voice emphasizing the odd observations that make his perspective so unique. This is a perfect point of introduction to an expansive and celebrated opus.