All posts by tantormedia

Picks of the Week-March 23

March is loaded with talented authors and narrators. We understand that at times it could be a challenge narrowing down your next listen, but don’t worry. Our acquirers have selected some of their top picks for you.

 

To Kill a Fae

C. S. Wilde presents Book 1 in the Hollowcliff Detectives series.

Note: To Kill a Fae is an exciting start to a series packed with magic, mystery, and compelling characters. Fans of Annette Marie will love this! –Maddy Collins

Publishing date: 3/24/2020

Written by C.S. Wilde

Narrated by Cris Dukehart

Break in Case of Emergency

Set in a small town in the 1990s, this is the story of a girl on the edge—of a breakdown, of family secrets, of learning who she really is.

Note: A raw and heartfelt story about a young girl learning to deal with her demons while also navigating family and friendships. For fans of It’s Kind of a Funny Story and How It Feels to Float, this book is sure to suck you in. –Kelly Srubas

Publishing date: 3/31/2020

Written by Brian Francis

Narrated by Chloe Cannon

Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland

With the same skill, style, and storytelling flair that made his bestselling Capote a landmark literary biography, Gerald Clarke sorts through the secrets and the scandals, the legends and the lies, to create a portrait of Judy Garland as candid as it is compassionate.

Note: A candid and colorful biography of the enigmatic entertainer and icon, Judy Garland. For those captivated by Renee Zellweger’s recent Oscar-winning performance in “Judy.”–Sonia Brand-Fisher

Publishing date: 3/31/2020

Written by Gerald Clarke

Narrated by Erin Bennett

Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System

From an award-winning civil rights lawyer, a profound challenge to our society’s normalization of the caging of human beings, and the role of the legal profession in perpetuating it.

Note: Every day, half a million people are jailed merely because they can’t afford to pay bail. Alec Karakatsanis, an award-winning civil rights lawyer known for, uses USUAL CRUELTY to challenge American society’s normalization of this common practice. The New Yorker calls this work “Passionately argued. . . . Karakatsanis sets out the moral and political philosophy that drives his work—that criminal law, and the manner in which it is selectively enforced, is a reflection of ‘power, racial bias, and economic self-interest.’”–Molly Miller

Publishing date: 3/31/2020

Written by Alec Karakatsanis

Narrated by George Newbern

Picks of the Week -March 16

March is loaded with talented authors and narrators. We understand that at times it could be a challenge narrowing down your next listen, but don’t worry. Our acquirers have selected some of their top picks for you.

 

Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider: How Scientific Names Celebrate Adventurers, Heroes, and Even a Few Scoundrels

An engaging history of the surprising, poignant, and occasionally scandalous stories behind scientific names and their cultural significance.

Note: Jonathan Todd Ross’ narration brings to life these stories of how organisms got their scientific names. Stories that are at times petty, heartwarming, humorous, or downright mean.  Fans of Mary Roach will want to check this one out! –Dan Totten

Publishing date: 3/17/2020

Written by Stephen B Heard, PhD

Narrated by Jonathan Todd Ross

The Doughnut Fix

Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in this funny, heartwarming series debut about change, adventure, family, and of course, doughnuts.

Note: I love this funny, heartwarming tale about a boy who starts a doughnut stand in his new small town. The perfect read for young foodies! –Jannah McCowan

Publishing date: 3/24/2020

Written by Jessie Janowitz

Narrated by Brian Holden

The Spies Who Never Were

The thrilling true story of the daring double agents who thwarted Hitler’s spy machine in Britain and turned the tide of World War II.

Note:  Calling all history buffs! This is the perfect listen for fans of the history of espionage and World War II history. — Kristen Hummel

Publishing date: 3/24/2020

Written by Hervie Haufler

Narrated by Derek Perkins

House Lessons: Renovating a Life

Have you ever fallen in love against all odds? Discover what happens when a house has its own lessons to teach in this moving and insightful memoir that ultimately shows us how to make our homes (and lives) better.

Note: New York Times bestselling author learning life lessons and how to make our lives better through the painstaking renovation of a 100-year-old home. –Scott Smith

Publishing date: 3/24/2020

Written by Erica Bauermeister

Narrated by Tavia Gilbert

Picks of the Week-March 9

March is loaded with talented authors and narrators. We understand that at times it could be a challenge narrowing down your next listen, but don’t worry. Our acquirers have selected some of their top picks for you.

Hate Inc.

Part tirade, part confessional from the celebrated Rolling Stone journalist, Hate Inc. reveals that what most people think of as “the news” is, in fact, a twisted wing of the entertainment business.

Note: A perfect book to help you sort through the chaos of the 2020 election cycle and the media that covers it. For fans of Ryan Holiday’s Trust Me I’m Lying and Daniel Boorstin’s The Image. —Aaron Piccirillo

Publishing date: 03/10/2020

Written by Matt Taibbi

Narrated by Robert Fass

I Want You Gone

A must-listen psychological thriller from the author of the Dr. Pippa Durrant Mystery series.

Note: The one obituary you never want to read – is your own. A gripping new psychological thriller perfect for fans of Natalie Barelli and K.L. Slater. —Ashley Fortier

Publishing date: 03/17/2020

Written by Miranda Rijks

Narrated by Gemma Dawson

Druid Vices and Vodka

Annette Marie presents Book 6 in The Guild Codex: Spellbound series.

Note: Woven with wit and Annette Marie’s transfiguring storytelling magic, be prepared to be Spellbound once again! — Kara Boucher

Publishing date: 03/17/2020

Written by Annette Marie

Narrated by Cris Dukehart

Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today

The only comprehensive study of American presidents’ misconduct and the ways in which chief executives and members of their official families have responded to the charges brought against them, this new edition is designed to serve the same purpose as the original 1974 report: to provide the historical context and metric against which the actions of the current administration may be assessed.

Note: History buffs will love this is an enthralling dive into the controversies that surrounded US Presidents of the past and present! — Desiree Lynch

Publishing date: 03/17/2020

Written by James M. Banner, Jr.

Narrated by Mike Chamberlain

Picks of the Week-March 2nd

March is loaded with talented authors and narrators. We understand that at times it could be a challenge narrowing down your next listen, but don’t worry. Our acquirers have selected some of their top picks for you.

The Firethorn Crown

A kingdom of shadows. A soldier is sworn to protect. A princess silenced by love.

Note: Fans of young adult fiction will love this fairy tale-inspired story.  Follow Princess Lily on an adventure to break the curse put on her and her sisters before time runs out. If you love Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge then you will not be able to put down The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doué! — Jordan Spellman

Publishing Date: 3/3/2020

Written by Lea Doue

Narrated by Zehra Jane Naqvi

Crooked Snake

Crooked Snake: The Life and Crimes of Albert Lepard is the true story of Lepard, sentenced to life in Parchman for the murder of seventy-four-year-old Mary Young in 1959. During the course of his sentence, Lepard escaped from prison six times in fourteen years.

Note: Crooked Snake is a gripping account of Lovejoy Boteler’s kidnapping and his years-long quest to learn more about his captors. A True Crime memoir written by the victim, Crooked Snake offers a glimpse into a rural America that is fast fading, Boteler follows the exploits of Albert Lepard, a man who led a life of crime and 6 times escaped federal penitentiary. —Nick Pouliot

Publishing Date: 3/10/2020

Written by Lovejoy Boteler

Narrated by John McLain

The League and the Legend

In the sequel to the critically acclaimed The League and the Lantern, Jake Herndon must once again fight off dangerous intruders. This time the mystery is taken to a whole new level.

Note: Pack your bags because the adventure continues for Jake and friends as they go on the run to uncover another Civil War mystery. Filled with intrigue and humor, and packed with action, this book is hard to put down! Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will love it! —Kim Budnick

Publishing Date: 3/10/2020

Written by Brian Wells

Narrated by Ramon De Ocampo

Prime Verse: Forced Login

For Hudson, the virtual world of PrimeVerse isn’t all bad. It’s beautiful; much nicer than overpopulated Earth. It almost feels like a vacation except for the volatile wildlife, lack of any amenities, and—oh yeah—the inability to log out.

Note: Looking for a new series? This debut LitRPG from R.K. Billiau has all the adventure you could want inside a gaming world.  Fans of Eric Ugland’s The Good Guys series will enjoy this series. —Greg Souza

Amazon #1 Best Seller in:

Humorous Science Fiction

  • Virtual Reality
  • Video and Electronic Game

Publishing Date: 3/10/2020

Written by R. K. Billiau

Narrated by Eric Jason Martin

Q+A With Marion Winik, Author of The Big Book of the Dead

Tantor Media sat down with the University of Baltimore professor, Marion Winik, and author of The Big Book of the Dead and winner of the 2019 Towson Prize for Literature. Among her nine other books are First Comes Love and Highs in the Low Fifties. Her award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody column appears monthly at Baltimore Fishbowl, and her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun, and elsewhere. A board member of the National Book Critics Circle, she writes book reviews for People, Newsday, The Washington Post, and Kirkus Reviews; she hosts The Weekly Reader podcast at WYPR. She was a commentator on NPR for fifteen years; her honors include an NEA Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction.

Tantor Media (TM): First off, you’ve done a wonderful job narrating. You had a lot of confidence and humor while you were reading despite the subject matter. Were there any essays that were particularly difficult to record?

Marion Winik (MW): Thank you! It was such a pleasure to record the book – like living my whole life over again in 5 hours, each character sort of materializing and then fading, like a parade of ghosts. The only audience was the engineer, a twenty-something musician who reminded me of my sons; I was energized by his attention and reactions.

I have read almost all of them aloud many times before and I was surprised at how much they still affect me. The Carpenter and The Skater, my brother-in-law and my first husband, both of whom died very young of AIDS, in particular, hit me hard. The last line of The Carpenter, “I miss him more, not less, as time goes by” came as much from my heart as from the page.

TM:  For a memoir, it seems like you have taken on the role of narrator, making only small appearances in the lives of those who appear in your book. Each essay focuses on a specific character and their death, and some characters appeared briefly, playing a very small role in your life. How did you decide to arrange your memoir in a way where you assume a minor role?

MW: I’ve written about five of books of memoir and personal essay where I am center stage – my character, my choices, my mistakes. There are many things about that fierce spotlight that are challenging. So actually, it was a relief to be off to the side. When I was first writing the pieces, all the way back in 2007, I didn’t quite realize that whomever I was writing about —  whether it was my father, my son’s second-grade teacher, an old boyfriend, or even a cat – I was also writing about myself. By the time there were 125 of the little essays (each is no more than 400 words), I saw that they could be assembled to tell the story of my life – in terms of the people lost from it. So the book starts with characters from my childhood in New Jersey, goes through people I met during my 20 years in Texas, moves on to rural Pennsylvania and finally to where I am now, Baltimore.

As a writing teacher, I’ve had the chance to notice that you can sometimes learn more about a person by what they say about other people than what they say about themselves, which is always a bit fraught. I’d think that dynamic might be operating here.

TM: Despite your book showcasing death, there isn’t a whole lot of time spent on the dying process or grieving; rather, you pinpointed meaningful moments in each person’s life. Was this an intentional choice, or did your work start out as something different?

MW: The book is not really about death – it’s about people, and it’s about life. But in some cases, the way the person died felt like a big part of the story. That’s particularly true of the young people in the book – The Virgin, The Graduate, The Boy With the Wrong Story, The Very Tiny Baby. The Innocents, which is about victims of school shootings. For the older subjects, the death is often more of a footnote to the life. Still, in each case, I try to give the sense of how it fits into the story. “The only consolations of Alzheimer’s, and they are small indeed, is that it doesn’t hurt much and that once the full nightmare is underway, you are long gone.” “She certainly did not believe a clot in her lung could bring her down, that smoking for sixty-five years would actually cause lung cancer, or that lung cancer was definitely fatal.” “He was fifty-six, just like my own father who died the same way: the heart in the dark of the night that loses its place.”

TM: Are there any people you wanted to include in The Big Book of the Dead that didn’t make an appearance? If so, is there a reason why they weren’t included?

MW: I relied heavily on information from surviving family and friends to fill in details about the subjects, and luckily no one turned me down when I asked them for help. As you know, there are a few famous people in the book. Towards the end of the writing process, I was thinking of writing one about Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade that would talk about their suicides – how suddenly a subject no one ever talks about was being discussed at every dinner table. But I found I didn’t have the personal connection to either one of them that I would need to strike the right tone. Not like, say, Prince, who may not have known he was in my life, but definitely was. David Bowie, Philip Roth, Keith Haring – same.

TM: Who did you write about first? Whose life or death compelled you to start writing your series of books about the dead?

MW: The first one was The Jeweler, a guy I briefly dated in Austin in my twenties. How it came about was that I was sitting in on a writing workshop given by another teacher. She read the students a poem called “Tenderness” by Stephen Dunn, and asked them to write about someone for whom they felt the same blend of regret and nostalgia that is captured in the poem. The Jeweler came immediately into my mind… and then I realized I had dozens of people I felt this way about. I wrote a list right then and there that eventually became the first table of contents.

TM: What would you like listeners to come away with after finishing The Big Book of the Dead?

MW: A desire to read my other books? Ha. Perhaps a renewed appreciation of our short time on earth. Maybe the urge to make something or write something in memory of their own lost loved one, to bring them back in the way the characters in the book are. Think of it as a writing prompt.

 

Questions created by Marissa Woble

For more information about Marion Winik visit: www.marionwinik.com

June Audiobook Giveaway—The Ables

Read by Eric Michael Summerer

The Ables is a fast-paced, captivating debut novel from Jeremy Scott, a bold new voice in fantasy and science fiction, and already a widely popular storyteller as co-creator and narrator of CinemaSins, a YouTube channel that has amassed more than 3.8 million subscribers in under two years.

“Smart, thought-provoking, and unique… readers won’t want to put this eye-opening, explosive story down.” ―School Library Journal

How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to contests@tantor.com
  2. Put the word “Ables” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by  June 30, 2019. Open to US only.

________________________

Thank you to all that entered!

May Audiobook Giveaway—Queen of the Mountaineers

Read by Elizabeth Wiley

Author and journalist Cathryn J. Prince brings Fanny Bullock Workman to life, deftly showing how she negotiated the male-dominated world of alpine clubs and adventure societies as nimbly as she negotiated the deep crevasses and icy granite walls of the Himalayas.

Queen of the Mountaineers will inform scholars and delight mountaineers and armchair travelers with its rich and detailed descriptions of local people, global customs, and the dangers of traveling abroad at the turn of the twentieth century.” —Foreword Reviews

How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to contests@tantor.com
  2. Put the word “Mountain” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by  May 31, 2019. Open to US only.

________________________

Congratulations to Debra Cantaluppi, Tantor winner of last month’s giveaway of Apocalypse Any Day Now. Thank you to all that entered!

April Audiobook Giveaway—Apocalypse Any Day Now

Read by Eric Michael Summerer

In Apocalypse Any Day Now, journalist Tea Krulos travels the country to try to puzzle out America’s obsession with the end of days.

“This chatty, fast-paced volume will entertain those who enjoy reading about unusual subcultures.”—Publishers Weekly

How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to contests@tantor.com
  2. Put the word “Apocalypse” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by  April 30, 2019. Open to US only.

________________________

Congratulations to Kim Bennett, Tantor winner of last month’s giveaway of
Fallen Mountains. Thank you to all that entered!

March Audiobook Giveaway— Fallen Mountains

Read by James Patrick Cronin

When Transom Shultz goes missing shortly after returning to his sleepy hometown of Fallen Mountains, Pennsylvania, his secrets are not the only secrets that threaten to emerge.

“In Fallen Mountains, Kimi Cunningham Grant has painted an intense and engaging portrait . . . an absorbing mystery as well as a gracefully layered story of death and loss in a small town, with a haunting conclusion that will linger with the reader long after they turn that last page.” -Allen Eskens, USA Today bestselling author

How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to contests@tantor.com
  2. Put the word “Mountains” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by  March 31, 2019. Open to US only.

________________________

Congratulations to Molly Wilsbacher, Tantor winner of last month’s giveaway of
The Outsider. Thank you to all that entered!

 

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng

Read by Emma Lysy

Reviewed by Emily Cahill

This one is not for the faint of heart, folks. If you are looking for a dark, gothic, twisted listen allow Emma Lysy’s voice to lull you in. Newcomer Jeanette Ng’s Under the Pendulum Sun is the most original book you will listen to all year.

When Catherine Helstone’s brother Laon goes missing on a mission to convert the fae inhabitants of Arcadia to Christianity, she seeks permission to follow after him and ascertain his safety. What she finds instead is a land full of serpentine twists where very little seems real—even herself. The sun, the moon, the house she lives in, are all part of a great manufactured world that she explores in the company of Ariel Davenport’s changeling and a gnome-like butler Mr. Benjamin while waiting for news of her brother.

Ng’s Arcadia is such a beautiful world—filled with a swinging pendulum of a sun and wicker whales that dive and swim through the earth as if through water—that you may think for a moment that is the great benefit of this tale, a jolly trip down the gorgeously imagined Arcadian lanes. It’s not. The point is to ravage your—er, Cathy’s soul.

Full of Christian mythology and classic fae tropes, Arcadia is a land that will seem familiar at first until you realize you—like Cathy—are utterly lost. In true Gothic form, Cathy discovers a sinister plot in the moonlit, deserted rooms of the grand house she is imprisoned in. And the truths she discovers are enough to shatter both her and the listener vicariously.

Deserving of praise is Emma Lysy, the narrator who brings to life Laon’s husky despair, Cathy’s righteous narration, and Ariel’s chirping London accent. In a world full of the abnormal, Lysy’s voice is a dependable anchor of the real. She remains the reliable narrator directly opposed to the increasingly unreliable literary one. Her variation in British accents is so convincing you might be shocked to learn she grew in the American Midwest. But the fact that she has narrated over 100 audiobooks should be no surprise—she clearly knows what she is doing.

And likewise Ng, whose background in studying history and theology is evident in her scrupulously rendered historical atmosphere. Even as you want to look away from the degradation of her main characters, you only get further enveloped in their dark tale. No doubt Jeannette Ng’s next work will be equally full of evocative prose. And though another trip into her imagination will likely be just as hellacious as the first.