A tale of dark whimsy and treachery, Peter & Max by Bill Willingham offers the fun of a traditional fairy tale partnered with a return to the more gruesome roots of folklore. Inspired by the successful graphic novel series, this first novel explores the rivalry between Peter Piper and his older brother Max. When the Pipers and the Peeps are trapped by villainous forces in the Black Forest, heated jealousy and terrifying danger spark repercussions on all of Fabletown for centuries to come. A fanciful and dramatic reading by Wil Wheaton spotlights the clever interplay of legends both familiar and reinvented. Embrace the storytelling experience, and try Peter & Max on Playaway.
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Orson Scott Card himself has stated that Ender’s Game was meant to be heard, and the outstanding 20th anniversary edition audiobook will convince you it’s true. Winner of multiple awards, the story of a child prodigy upon whom the fate of the world rests is flawlessly produced with a full cast of narrators. Especially mesmerizing is Stefan Rudnicki, who perfectly captures the inner struggle of the peaceful boy Ender wants to be with the violent actions he is often forced to take. Bonus material includes an original postscript read by the author about the origins of the novel. Get ready for next year’s long-awaited film adaptation starring Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield (Hugo) with this definitive rendering.
Calling all Baker Street Irregulars! Anthony Horowitz’s The House of Silk, a new exploit of Sherlock Holmes, lives up to the high standard of the original stories. Derek Jacobi is perfect as the voice of Dr. Watson, and the twisty mystery is one of the most complex and harrowing yet.
In the not-too-distant future, a young woman awakens to discover that her appearance has been chemically altered. She is Red, her skin now the alarming shade of a stop sign. Hannah Payne has been convicted of the murder of her unborn child, and her crime is compounded by her unwillingness to name the father. Justice demands that she be sentenced to wearing her guilt where it can be seen by all. When She Woke by Hillary Jordan is a fast-paced reinvention of The Scarlet Letter as a modern dystopian novel. Narrator Heather Corrigan expertly voices the conflict in this thought-provoking examination of religion, politics, character, and prejudice.
Not many books can boast the clever balance of humor, action, nostalgia, touches of romance, and overflowing wit that characterizes Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. One of the top books of 2011, the story of the ultimate online Easter egg hunt (with real world consequences) blends adventure and heart in a way that makes it unthinkable for you to stop playing. In an inspired bit of casting, Wil Wheaton voices the audiobook, and his reading is both strong and tinged with droll amusement. A noble quest wrapped in pop culture references, Ready Player One is the perfect escape. What are you waiting for? Engage!
When she throws out her two-timing husband, Mildred Pierce is left alone to fend for her family. She may not want to take any job that requires a uniform, but in 1931 there aren’t a lot of options. She has great legs, questionable taste in men, and an overindulged daughter who is the both her greatest pride and her biggest adversary. Recently adapted as an award-winning HBO miniseries, James M. Cain’s Mildred Pierce is a riveting story of social commentary as evidenced in the life of one determined woman. Reader Christine Williams navigates the emotional turmoil with an earthy haughtiness that shadows the noir influence while still bringing Mildred to life in vivid color.
When the comparisons to Tina Fey’s Bossypants are so obvious that the author humorously addresses them in the introduction, you know you are in for a good time. The multi-talented Mindy Kaling, best known for her work on TV’s The Office, makes a bubbly debut as both author and narrator in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns). Kaling mixes glimpses into her personal history with witty commentary on life in general. She is funny, insightful, and endearing, and listening to the audiobook will only increase the feeling that you are sitting down with a clever friend.
No one really wants their mysteries solved. This is one of the bits of wisdom we learn from Claire DeWitt, a private investigator just recovering from a breakdown. A case brings her back to New Orleans, where she was trained in the art of Détection. Her methods are unorthodox, to say the least, and often involve marijuana, dreams, hard work, and I Ching divination. Still, Sara Gran’s new heroine is as hard-boiled as any noir detective from the 50s, and that helps when tracking down lies in a city still recovering from disaster. Carol Monda brings to life the first-person narration in a dry, husky, world-weary voice that is perfect for the debut of Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead.
The celebrated voice of Harry Potter has found a new story to enchant our imagination. With characteristic delight and drama, audiobook virtuoso Jim Dale reads The Night Circus, a title that is already appearing on multiple Best of the Year lists. Erin Morgenstern’s debut conjures a mesmerizing tale of dueling magicians and star-crossed love. With the opening words, “The circus arrives without warning,” we know we are in for a treat. Little does the public realize that Le Cirque des Rêves (The Circus of Dreams) is not only a place of wonder but also a test of strength and skill for two young performers. Put on a bright red scarf and revel in the spectacle of The Night Circus.