Witherspoon Takes on ‘Watchman’

Academy Award–winner Reese Witherspoon was in the studio narrating the audiobook edition of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, to be published on July 14. “As a Southerner, it is an honor and privilege to give voice to the Southern characters who inspired my childhood love of reading, Scout and Atticus Finch,” said Witherspoon. “I am eager for readers to be transported to a pivotal time in American history in the manner that only Harper Lee’s gorgeous prose can deliver.”

Bathurst and the Beast, at Macmillan

British actor Robert Bathurst, known for his roles in Scoop, Cold Feet, and Downton Abbey, was recently in the studio recording Louise Penny’s The Nature of the Beast, the latest in her Chief Inspector Gamache series. The program will have a special note from Penny memorializing longtime series narrator Ralph Cosham, who died in 2014, and introducing listeners to Bathurst. The Nature of the Beast goes on sale August 25.

Family Affair for Hachette Audio

T.D. Jakes was in the booth for Hachette reading Destiny: Step into Your Purpose, to be released August 4. The narration of the audiobook was directed by his son Jamar. In the new book, Jakes “teaches listeners to find order in the steps of life and have the courage to say yes to destiny,” according to the publisher.

Hoffman the Possum at Listening Library

Academy Award–winner Dustin Hoffman will read Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of Counting by 7s, for Listening Library. In the book, The Graduate and Rain Man actor will lend his voice to a possum family that must rescue the title character, Appleblossom, after a failed attempt to spy on a human family. The audiobook goes on sale August 11.

Garcia Reads a Debut for Blackstone

Paul Michael Garcia will read A Good Family, the debut novel by former high school teacher Erik Fassnacht. Blackstone said that Garcia, who narrated C.D. Payne’s Youth in Revolt series and Chuck Palahniuk’s Pygmy, has an “ability to bring a sympathetic quality to darkly humorous situations,” making him the “ideal choice for this richly crafted portrait of a dysfunctional family.” Blackstone’s audiobook goes on sale August 25, the same day St. Martin’s will release the title in hardcover.

S&S Gets Presidential

President Jimmy Carter returned to the Simon & Schuster studio to record his latest audiobook, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, which went on sale July 7. In the book, said S&S, the 39th president discusses, among other things, his regret at losing his re-election, and the rewarding second and third careers that followed.

Scholastic Taps Clayton for Middle-Grade Debut

Scholastic has cast actress Jamie Clayton (who portrays one of the main characters in the new Netflix series Sense8) to read George, Alex Gino’s middle-grade debut novel. Clayton, a transgender actress, brings a “deep emotional resonance to Gino’s sweet, moving story about a 10-year-old who knows she’s a girl even though she was born a boy,” said the publisher. The book goes on sale September 1.