At ListenUp Audiobooks, we publish, produce, and distribute audiobooks. For the ones we publish, we are involved in every step of the process – we select the narrator, we record the story, listen to the whole thing while reading along to find any mistakes, fix any problems through re-recording and editing, master the files, and upload it to distribution servers.
We’re also hired by publishers and authors for any of those steps – sometimes we do it all, sometimes we just listen for mistakes and edit. Because of this relationship, our narrators, engineers, editors, quality control technicians, and mastering professionals get to read and listen to amazing books, some of which have been overlooked.
Here are, in no particular order, our favorite books of the year.
The Passion of Marie Romanov: A Tale of Anastasia’s Sister, by Laura Rose, narrated by Lillian Webb & Travis Smith
The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey From Shame to Fame, by Rick Hall, narrated by Rick Hall & Jeremy Arthur
It was surprising to hear some of the heartache, loss, and personal struggles these men endured, while still managing to bring beautiful, memorable songs to our record collections. – Chris, editor
The Only Ones, by Carola Dibbell, narrated by Sasha Dunbrooke
Mine is obvious. The Only Ones. Because it was a natural story for me to tell, to become. I loved my character. So much. – Sasha, narrator.
Those were all good. Kevin gave great nonfiction performances on all of them. I became seriously immersed in the craziness of the true story murder mysteries. Especially since all occurred in semi-rural southern towns. – Delia, QC
Bury Me, by Tara Sivec, narrated by Stephanie Willis
Stephanie Willis was the narrator and she KILLED it. It was so creepy and intense. Great thriller! – Kristin, director
Those Girls, by Lauren Saft, narrated by Analysa Gregory, Casey Holloway, and Amy Talmadge.
It was pretty raw and even uncomfortable at times, while still having moments of humor. It’d be a great “beach read” or “guilty pleasure” book. – Amy, narrator
A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara, narrated by Oliver Wyman
The Anatomy of a Calling: A Doctor’s Journey from the Head to the Heart and a Prescription for Finding Your Life’s Purpose, by Lissa Rankin, M.D., narrated by Erin Moon.
Buddy Boys: When Good Cops Turn Bad, by Mike McAlary, narrated by Dan Triandiflou
Buddy Boys was a great title I worked on with Dan, great story about good cops turned bad and an inner look into a crooked cops world! Plus it’s based on a true story on NYPD. – Jacob, editor.
Bull Mountain, by Brian Panowich, narrated by Brian Troxell
The Words We Live By, by Linda R. Monk, narrated by Marianne Fraulo
I really enjoyed working on Words We Live By — a study of the U.S. Constitution and the ensuing legislation that has shaped our society. It was a joyous challenge to make the legal language come alive and to inspire readers –particularly, I hope, young readers and new immigrants — as they learn about the Constitution as a living document whose provisions have been argued, interpreted and illuminated by debate in the public arena, and which has reflected the growth of our republic’s commitment to civil liberties. – Marianne, narrator
Taking a Stand, by Rand Paul, narrated by Brian Troxell
The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America, by D. Watkins, narrated by Brandon Rubin
The Dead Saint, by Marilyn Brown Oden, narrated by Cassandra Livingston
Compelling story, good characters, it was an utter [bear] to research, but I respect that. – Cassandra, narrator
Destroyer, by Brett Battles, narrated by Vikas Adam – will be released January 12.
I’d have to say, one that sticks out as fresh in my mind is the book Destroyer. Wow! Very riveting. Once it got going, it had me on the edge of my seat to the very end. It’s a time traveler science fiction thriller. The main character is ripped repeatedly through different historical events of the past, (WW2, WW1, the Civil War, ect.) in a desperate attempt to preserve our timeline, all why his nemesis aims muck it all up. Very thrilling. Very Entertaining. – Thomas, editor
From Russia Without Love, by Stephen Templin, narrated by Brian Troxell
The Head, The Heart, and the Home, by Kaitlyn Wylde, narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creeel
I think I most enjoyed working on The Head, The Heart, and The Home by Kaitlyn Wylde. She has a beautiful way with words – and, that’s all really. – Barbara, narrator
The Lotus Crew, by Stewart Meyer, narrated by Fleet Cooper
Space Chronicles, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, narrated by Mirron Willis
Very interesting and informative book, written by a smart/bright man, and about things that matter. I’ve learned quite a bit working on this. It made me think… Still does. – Gregory, editor
No Mardi Gras for the Dead, by D.J. Donaldson, narrated by Brian Troxell
Petty: The Biography, written and by Warren Zanes
Renegade, by Joel Shepherd, narrated by John Lee
Renegade was my favorite book I worked on this year. It was lengthy, well written, great characters, SciFi with action, memorable plot that wasn’t predictable. – Philip, QC
What were your favorite audiobooks of the past year?