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By now, the usual flurry of spring and summer conferences—replete with giveaway ARCs and advance audio samplers—have whet the appetites of audiobook buyers and listeners for new fall titles. We've sifted through the latest offerings from audiobook publishers and have compiled our own sampler of sorts, of selected highlights for the season. (A number of familiar, blockbuster names with fall releases won't be listed here, not because their titles don't generate enthusiasm, but because their titles traditionally receive lots of attention already.)


The demand for celebrity/entertainment memoirs remains strong, demonstrated by yet another strong crop, including volumes from Florence Henderson, Roger Ebert, Diane Keaton, Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Rogers, and William Shatner, among others. Fall usually ushers in a bounty of political and presidential entries, and this year listeners will hear a memoir from Dick Cheney, Joe McGinniss's investigative portrait of Sarah Palin, and a thoughtful exploration of some of the letters received by President Obama. And if the many illuminating nonfiction titles on topics ranging from war and financial crisis to corporate whistle-blowing start to seem a bit heavy, there's no shortage of humor—from Mindy Kaling, Penn Jillette, John Hodgman, and Ellen DeGeneres—to lighten the mood. Adventure, fantasy, and, yes, more dystopian and paranormal fiction are all thriving in the children's and YA categories as well. We trust there is plenty here to tempt a broad listening audience.

FICTION

The Kid by Sapphire, read by the author. Sapphire's Push, published 15 years ago, was made into the Academy Award–winning film Precious. This new recording gives voice to Precious's son Abdul. (Penguin Audio, July)

Iron House by John Hart, read by Scott Sowers. Part thriller, part literary family drama, Sowers Southern gothic writing style is again paired with narrator Sowers, who won critical kudos for performances of Hart's Down River and The Last Child. The title is part of Macmillan Audio's Sounds of Summer Suspense promotion. (Macmillan Audio, July)

Thick as Thieves by Peter Spiegelman, read by William Dufris. Ex-CIA agent Carr leads an elite team of thieves planning a grand heist that ultimately doesn't go as planned. (Dreamscape Audio, July)

We're Alive: A Story of Survival, the First Season by Kc Wayland, created by Shane Salk and Kc Wayland, read by a full cast. This audio drama is based on a popular podcast that has received hundreds of positive reviews and has had over four million downloads—and counting. The story: riots in L.A. spread beyond containment as people transform into zombies and attack each other. Three reserve soldiers, believed to be the last remaining armed servicemen in the area, set out to secure an apartment building and rescue any survivors while trying to stay alive themselves. (Blackstone Audio, July)

Salvation Boulevard: A Novel by Larry Beinhart, read by Michael Kramer. This thriller grapples with the ecstatic and entropic nature of religious faith in contemporary America. Kramer has recorded more than 200 audiobooks and has received several Audie nominations. (Tantor Audio, July)

Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott, read by Kevin T. Collins. A brilliant CIA agent stationed in London with his pregnant wife seems to have it all, until it's lost in an instant. The thriller was featured in a BEA Playbutton giveaway and features original music. (Hachette Audio, July)

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman, read by Hillary Huber. When teenage Jake receives a sexually explicit video that goes viral, his family's upscale life in New York City is turned upside down. (Blackstone Audio, Aug.)

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer, read by Roger Allam. Debut title in the Clifton Chronicles, a five-book multigenerational saga. A bonus interview with Archer is included, and a link on the ARC will allow listeners to download an excerpt from the audiobook. (Macmillan Audio, Aug.)

Any Human Heart: A Novel by William Boyd, read by Simon Vance. The journals of the worldly Logan Mountstuart take listeners from his boyhood through his 85 years. (Blackstone Audio, Aug.)

Reamde by Neal Stephenson. A wealthy tech engineer gets caught in the crossfire of his own online fantasy war game. (Brilliance Audio, Sept.)

John Dies at the End by David Wong, read by Stephen R. Thorne. A drug that promises an out-of-body experience is the gateway to a mysterious otherworldly invasion that can only be stopped by John and David, two college dropouts who can barely hold down a job. (AudioGO, Sept.)

The Orchard by Theresa Weir, read by Ellen Archer. A memoir about the deep roots of a Midwestern family that reads like a novel. (Hachette Audio, Sept.)

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, read by Jim Dale. Noted children's audio narrator Dale takes on his first adult fiction title with this romantic story of the magical, dangerous, and potentially deadly competition between two young magicians in Le Cirque des Reves. (Random House Audio, Sept.)

Plugged by Eoin Colfer, read by John Keating. Everyone around him is being murdered—and the New Jersey mob and dirty cops are on his tail—but Lincoln has no idea why. This is the first work of adult crime fiction from the author of the Artemis Fowl series for younger readers. (AudioGO, Sept.)

The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar. A Mexican maid in Los Angeles is left alone with two small boys when their parents have a nasty fight, each leaving unbeknownst to the other. When neither parent returns after a few days, the maid sets off on a journey to deliver the boys to their grandfather. (Blackstone Audio, Sept.)

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. Eugenides returns with a humorous and heartbreaking look at young love. His previous novel, Middlesex, won the Pulitzer Prize and the audio adaptation won the Audie in the Best Unabridged Fiction category. Audio publicity plans include a National Public Radio sponsorship. (Macmillan Audio, Oct.)

Down These Strange Streets, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. An urban fantasy anthology featuring all original stories from Charlaine Harris, Simon R. Green, and others. (Brilliance Audio, Oct.)

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier. Smalltown North Carolina in the 1950s is the backdrop for this novel of love and suspense. (Random House Audio, Oct.)

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