2012 has been an incredible year for us at ListenUp. We’ve grown so much this year! We moved to a new expanded studio and worked with new authors, publishers, and voice talent. We recorded so many titles this year that it’s hard to narrow it down to our favorites, but with the help of our narrators, editors, engineers, and QCers, we’ve chosen our top picks!
Narrator Suehyla El-Attar listed Why I love Singlehood, by Elisa Lorello as one of her favorite titles this year. Why I Love Singlehood follows Eva, a woman so proud to be single that she writes a blog about the wonders of singlehood.
The Perfect Royal Mistress, Diane Haegar: A beautifully written love story, set in 17th Century London. Of Angèle Masters‘ narration, Serena says “A great performance from Angèle, probably her best performance of the year. The most entertaining cockney accent I’ve heard all year!”
What’s not to love about space zombies? Audio engineer, Brad Cleveland loved Fleet Cooper‘s narration of Containment Room 7, by Bryan Hall.
Serena Reichenbaugh, production manager, loved Bernard Setero Clark‘s narration of The Return Man, by V.M. Zito, a novel in which the U.S. has been split by a zombie outbreak. Serena says, “Bernard’s dark and somber voice was a perfect fit for this book. I felt like I was inside the book, kicking zombie butt and taking names right alongside him.”
Something in the Shadows is one of Vin Packer‘s best psychological thrillers that follows protagonist Joseph Meaker as his mind crumbles, taking him from a shy academic to someone obsessed with revenge for his (accidentally) murdered cat. Narrator Suehyla El-Attar loved this one.
Casey Holloway loved narrating Touched, by Carolyn Haines, which tells the story of sixteen-year-old Mattie, a mail-order bride, who finds herself in the middle of well-executed revenge.
Joe R. Lansdale‘s Edge of Dark Water is a dark Southern mystery, narrated by Angèle Masters. CEO Chris Fogg and Public relations manager, Holly Simpson, both list is as one of the best of 2012.
Narrator Kevin Stillwell enjoyed working on The Right Hand, by Derek Haas, about a CIA spy who works missions so covert that even the government is unaware of them.
Chris Fogg thought “any of the Daniel Woodrell books” could make this list. Narrator Brian Troxell felt that Give Us a Kiss was the best, but don’t overlook The Outlaw Album or The Death of Sweet Mister.
Narrator Leslie Bellair enjoyed working on Summer of the Redeemers by Carolyn Haines, the story of a tight-knit community rocked by a secretive religious sect and a non-traditional woman.
Enter, Night, by Michael Rowe is a refreshing and terrifying vampire tale. Kevin Stillwell loved narrating this novel and Michael Rowe loved his performance, “I could not have asked for a more gifted, intuitive, or sensitive narration of the book”.
Engineer Brad Cleveland enjoyed Fleet Cooper‘s narration of Major Karnage, by Gord Zajac about a former General who’s PTSD has him deemed unfit to live in society until an aliens invade Earth and Major Karnage is needed again.
Brian Troxell has a taste for and a voice for history. He narrates and recommends The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King – The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea, by Walter Borneman, about the World War II admirals who made the United States a dominant sea power.
In addition, Brian Troxell enjoyed Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World, by Evan Thomas, which tells the story of the brilliant mind of Dwight Eisenhower, who history often presents as simpleminded.
Kevin Stillwell narrates the Mercury series, by Robert Kroese, beginning with Mercury Falls. Mercury, Book 1, about a ping-pong playing angel named Galileo Mercury. Make sure to also check out Mercury Rises and Mercury Rests.
Steven Brust‘s Vlad Taltos Series is a favorite around ListenUp. Production manager Jeremy Smith and editor Ryan Jones both list the series as a best of 2012. There are currently fourteen novels, with five more planned. The novels are set in the world of Dragaera, in which humans are alien on another planet, populated and ruled by Dragaerans. Make sure to check out the Khaavren Romances series, which also takes place in Dragaera.
Roger Kahn‘s Good Enough to Dream, narrated by Alan Robertson was engineer Cody Nix’s favorite title of the year. The story of a very minor league baseball team, it shows the game that draws grown men in rekindles childhood sandlot dreams.
Bigger than a Bread Box is a thought-provoking middle-grade novel about a girl named Rebecca, who finds a magic gift-granting bread box after her parents’ separation. Public relations manager, Holly Simpson loved this audiobook, saying “usually I prefer professional narrators over authors, but Laurel Snyder does a fantastic job.”
Let us know what audiobooks you loved this year!