Audiobooks: Summer Listening Recommendations
We’ve collected some of our favourite audiobooks, from crime to memoir!
Whether you’re travelling to a far-flung destination or relaxing at home, we’ve got the perfect summer listening for you!
Swing Time – Zadie Smith
Two black girls meet, and recognise something familiar in each other. Both love dancing, though for different reasons. Tracey is a beautiful, graceful dancer, while the unnamed narrator is not. The girls move into adulthood, and their friendship dissolves, but it is never forgotten. Pippa Bennett-Warner reads excellently, managing a range of accents from London, to American, to West African with ease. Swing Time has now been longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, so start on your summer listening with this audiobook.
My Animals and Other Family – Clare Balding
Each chapter in this childhood memoir features a pet who has played a significant part in Clare Balding’s life. It is by turns hilarious, and absolutely heartbreaking. The book starts with Candy, her mother’s boxer, who was ‘put on this earth’ to guard baby Clare, and moves through Valkyrie, the pot-bellied pony, to Clare becoming a very competent jockey. One particularly funny incident sees a young Clare nearly hitting the Queen with a flying sausage at breakfast. The audiobook is read by Clare Balding herself, so if you enjoyed her down-to-earth, reassuring commentary during the Olympics and Paralympics, then this is the summer audiobook for you.
Download or stream now or borrow on MP3 CD Listening Books number 11214.
The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra – Vaseem Khan
On the day that he retires, Detective Inspector Chopra inherits a dejected baby elephant from his uncle. He also discovers a suspicious drowning, which no one in the Mumbai police force appears to want solved. Retired or not, Inspector Chopra decides he has to find out what happened to the boy, and in the process, goes on a whirlwind tour of Mumbai. Ganesh, his baby elephant, alternatively keeps him company and frustrates him. Sartaj Garewal does a great job as the narrator and makes the most of funny moments, which makes this great summer listening.
Download or stream now or borrow on MP3 CD Listening Books number 14055.
The Last Days of Summer – Vanessa Ronan
Set on a scorching Western Texas prairie in mid-July, The Last Days of Summer starts with Jasper Curtis returning home from the State Penitentiary. He moves in with his sister and her two daughters, who neither recognise him nor trust him. This certainly isn’t a standard small-town crime novel: anger constantly bubbles beneath the surface as the summer rolls on, and the menace builds to something big. There are no chapters, but the audiobook indicates different points of view with different voices. The ideal audiobook for hot days!
Belgravia – Julian Fellowes
This novel from the writer of Downton Abbey was nominated for an Audie award for fiction audiobooks in 2017. It begins at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, but much of the novel takes place 25 years later. Juliet Stevenson, who you may recognise from her excellent narration for Naxos Austen audiobooks, does a similarly great job here. Belgravia is a fun listen, full of the things that made Downton Abbey so great: a tension between upstairs and downstairs, changes in the English class system, and a good helping of scandal. A fun historical romp.
Download or stream now or borrow on MP3 CD Listening Books number 14038.
How To Stop Time – Matt Haig
Due to a rare condition that he has had since puberty, Tom Hazard has been alive since 1581, despite looking as if he was only 41 years old. He has joined a secret society for people who suffer from this condition, membership of which includes changing identity every 8 years to avoid being discovered, and killing anyone who finds out too much. How To Stop Time became the most hotly anticipated book of the summer in March of 2017, when the news broke that Benedict Cumberbatch would star in a film version. It is a fun, but sometimes bittersweet audiobook, which only has one problem: there isn’t enough of it!
If you’d like to know more about Vaseem Khan, why not listen to our interview?
What audiobooks are you listening to this summer? Let us know in the comments!
This post was written by Abigail Jaggers