Another kind of belated post, but I wanted to share with you the yet again amazing audiobooks I got to download through Libro.fm this month!
As you may know, I’m a part of Libro.fm‘s influencer program, which means I get to choose from a selection of audiobooks to post about and review every month! Libro.fm is an audiobook service that makes it possible for readers to buy audiobooks and support physical bookstores (you could even choose which store to support if you wanted to), and their service is available worldwide (although their membership is limited to the US).
This month, I chose 7 audiobooks, because the selection was just too good to limit my choices.
Billy-Ray Belcourt – A History of My Brief Body
The youngest ever winner of the Griffin Prize mines his own personal history to reconcile the world he was born into with the world that could be.
Billy-Ray Belcourt’s debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. From there, it expands to encompass the big and broken world around him, in all its complexity and contradictions: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it, first loves and first loves lost, sexual exploration and intimacy, and the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place. Eye-opening, intensely emotional, and excessively quotable, A History of My Brief Body demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.
You probably know I try to read as diversely as possible, but one thing I haven’t prioritized enough is reading from Indigenous voices. I really want to broaden my reading even more and focus on books by Indigenous authors, and this memoir by an author from the Driftpile Cree Nation seems like a good place to start. I have a few other options as well, and hopefully I’ll be able to read some of them soon.
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland – Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything
“In a world where we are so often dividing ourselves into us and them, this book feels like a kind of magic, celebrating all beliefs, ethnicities, and unknowns.” —The New York Times Book Review
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.
It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years since Sia Martinez’s mom disappeared. Sia wants to move on, but it’s hard in her tiny Arizona town where people refer to her mom’s deportation as “an unfortunate incident.”
Sia knows that her mom must be dead, but every new moon Sia drives into the desert and lights San Anthony and la Guadalupe candles to guide her mom home.
Then one night, under a million stars, Sia’s life and the world as we know it cracks wide open. Because a blue-lit spacecraft crashes in front of Sia’s car…and it’s carrying her mom, who’s very much alive.
As Sia races to save her mom from armed-quite-possibly-alien soldiers, she uncovers secrets as profound as they are dangerous in this stunning and inventive exploration of first love, family, immigration, and our vast, limitless universe.
This sounds like such an interesting genre-bending novel, and I’ve been meaning to read more books about immigration as well, so this seems like a perfect book to hopefully get to soon.
Akwaeke Emezi – The Death of Vivek Oji
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?
One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.
I’m actually currently reading this book! I’m reading my physical copy and listening along, and the audio is truly amazing. My full review will be up once I finish the book.
Jordan Ifueko – Raybearer
Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as the Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of Eleven. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But the Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is a story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.
Raybearer was in my most anticipated releases of August blog post, and the audiobook was highly recommended to me. I’m planning on reading the physical book and listening along, for an extra immersive experience.
Beth O’Leary – The Switch
A grandmother and granddaughter swap lives in The Switch, a charming, romantic novel by Beth O’Leary, who has been hailed as “the new Jojo Moyes” by Cosmopolitan UK.
When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest.
Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.<>/p
Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects. But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything…or to find yourself.
This program is read by British actors Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones, star of Hulu’s Normal People.
I’ve actually already read The Switch, but it was such a cosy feelgood read that I’d love to listen to the audiobook at some point if I need comfort.
Molly Wizenberg – The Fixed Stars
At age thirty-six, while serving on a jury, author Molly Wizenberg found herself drawn to a female attorney she hardly knew. Married to a man for nearly a decade and mother to a toddler, Wizenberg tried to return to her life as she knew it, but something inside her had changed irredeemably. Instead, she would discover that the trajectory of our lives is rarely as smooth or as logical as we’d like to believe. Like many of us, Wizenberg had long understood sexual orientation as a stable part of ourselves: we’re “born this way.” Suddenly, she realized that her story was more complicated. Who was she, she wondered, if something at her very core could change so radically?
The Fixed Stars is a taut, electrifying memoir exploring timely and timeless questions about desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family. In honest and searing prose, Wizenberg forges a new path: through the murk of separation and divorce, coming out to family and friends, learning to co-parent a young child, and realizing a new vision of love. The result is a frank and moving story about letting go of rigid definitions and ideals that no longer fit and learning instead who we really are.
I really want to read more non-fiction, and this one is an LGBTQ+ memoir. I really like reading about different LGBTQ+ experiences, so this sounds like a very interesting read.
Tamsyn Muir – Harrow the Ninth
Harrow the Ninth, the sequel to the sensational, USA Today best-selling novel Gideon the Ninth, turns a galaxy inside out as one necromancer struggles to survive the wreckage of herself aboard the Emperor’s haunted space station.
She answered the Emperor’s call.
She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.
In victory, her world has turned to ash.
After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman’s shoulders.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath ― but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.
Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor’s Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?
I have a confession to make: I haven’t actually read Gideon the Ninth yet… But I’m still very excited for it, and once I’ve read it, I would love to listen to the audio of Harrow the Ninth while reading along in a physical copy.
What audiobooks are you planning to listen to or have you listened to this month?
The links in this post lead to Libro.fm’s website. The general link is a referral link, but the links to the specific books aren’t.