A Very Superficial New Year

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Started listening to Andy Cohen’s Superficial audiobook today. Very funny.

Friday, December 30, 2016
Laughed out loud on the subway when Andy talked about accidentally and uncontrollably jumping into Justin Long’s arms only to find out Justin had just had hernia surgery. Oops.

Sunday, January 1, 2017
Spent the day thinking about what I have to do to be Andy Cohen? Maybe I’ll have to settle for just trying to make it into his next book…

Andy Cohen’s Superficial is a collection of entertaining, hilarious, and honest diary entries, covering everything from mundane trips to the vet with his dog, tinder dates, and episodes of Watch What Happens Live. Oh and small, uneventful evenings like Madonna’s 57th birthday party. Listeners will get plenty of Real Housewives drama—Bethenny blew up the New York housewives’ trip to Miami by showing incriminating photos of LuAnn’s fiancé, Tamra gets mad when she has to sit behind her nemesis from the Real Housewives of Orange County at one of Andy’s events. Celebrity drama is there too; we hear firsthand about Kelly Ripa’s co-host issues.

Written and read by Cohen, this latest audiobook gives listeners a backstage pass to Andy’s glamorous—albeit hectic and stressful—life. This balance between glamour and stress presents an interesting dichotomy for listeners. One minute you’re sitting there unbelievably jealous that Andy considers dinner with Sarah Jessica Parker a boring night and the next minute you’re nodding along in agreement as you relate to his constant battle to keep from puking every time he forces himself to work out at the gym! How does Andy manage to come off as relatable? He’s witty, and candid, self-deprecating and occasionally dramatic. But aren’t we all? Andy finds a sweet spot with Superficial. In between juggling his Bravo TV empire, book tour, and insanely busy social schedule, he also worries about the upcoming election, stresses about having to move, and then uses said stress as an excuse to turn dinners into “carb festivals.” This combination of “reality” TV and reality makes Andy Cohen’s Superficial a juicy, entertaining listen that still remains authentic.

Listen to Andy reading an excerpt of Superficial:

If You Like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

simplicite-earbudAs the presents pile up and New Year’s Resolutions loom in the not-so-distant future, one could be forgiven the urge to simplify. And in this Marie Kondo world we’re living in decluttering is all the rage. Thanks to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, we were introduced to the concept of keeping only that which “sparks joy.”

At the same time, Americans have coveted the French lifestyle for years. From A Year in Provence to French Women Don’t Get Fat to Bringing Up Bebe, we want to know how the French do it and we want to do it too.

In Dominique Loreau’s L’Art de la Simplicité East meets West to combine Asian philosophy with the French way of life. Already a huge bestseller in her native France, this audiobook will help you achieve a clutter-free home, a calm mind, and an energized body with Loreau’s principle of “less is more.”

Plus, with the audiobook you can multitask. Listen to Jenny Funnell narrate L’Art de la Simplicité while you tackle projects that will give yourself the gift of health and happiness:

L’Art de la Simplicité is available wherever audiobooks are sold January 3, 2017.

The Best of 2016 from Macmillan Audio

Hear ye, hear ye! The elves behind the scenes here at Unabridged Access have rounded up the best audiobooks of 2016 from Macmillan Audio so you don’t have to. Are your favorites on the list?

The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan, read by George Newbern

Who’s talking about it? Los Angeles Times (audio), New York Times (print)

Leonard by William Shatner with David Fisher, read by the author

Who’s talking about it? Los Angeles Times (audio), AudioFile Magazine (audio), Goodreads Choice Awards (print)

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, read by the author

Who’s talking about it? Los Angeles Times (audio), AudioFile Magazine (audio), Oprah’s Book Club (print)

They May Not Mean To But They Do by Cathleen Schine, read by Cynthia Darlow

Who’s talking about it? Los Angeles Times (audio)

Damaged by Lisa Scottoline, read by Rebecca Lowman

Who’s talking about it? Los Angeles Times (audio)

Consequence by Eric Fair, read by the author

Who’s talking about it? Slate (audio)

The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith, read by Edoardo Ballerini

Who’s talking about it? Slate (audio)

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, read by Caroline Lee

Who’s talking about it? AudioFile Magazine (audio), Goodreads Choice Awards (print)

Master of Ceremonies by Joel Grey, read by the author

Who’s talking about it? AudioFile Magazine (audio), Providence Journal (audio)

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker, read by Dylan Baker

Who’s talking about it? AudioFile Magazine (audio)

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny, read by Robert Bathurst

Who’s talking about it? AudioFile Magazine (audio)

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, read by Holter Graham

Who’s talking about it? BookRiot (audio)

I’m Judging You By Luvvie Ajayi, read by the author

Who’s talking about it? BookRiot (audio)

Streaming Soon on a TV Near You: Therese Anne Fowler’s Z

For those of you playing along at home, Therese Anne Fowler’s Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is another audiobook to file in the “listen before you watch” category. A little over a year after the pilot for Z: The Beginning of Everything first became available for streaming via Amazon Video, the Amazon Original series will make its season 1 debut January 27, 2017. Based on Fowler’s New York Times bestseller, Z: The Beginning of Everything stars Christina Ricci as the fiery Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, chronicling Zelda’s life with the famous (sometimes infamous) Scott Fitzgerald at the dawn of the Jazz Age.

Watch the newly released official trailer for Z: The Beginning of Everything:

And while you patiently wait for January 27 to roll around, listen (or re-listen) to the audiobook, read by Jenna Lamia:

5 Fast Facts About Life In Paris During WWII

parisiennes-earbudYou might think you already know everything about WWII, possibly even about what Vichy France was all about. But Anne Sebba’s meticulously researched and compellingly written Les Parisiennes—which is read by Polly Stone—reveals life in France during WWII like never before. Here are just a few of the stories you’ll hear, the facts you’ll learn, and the women you’ll meet in this illuminating audiobook.

1. Bunkering in High Style on the Edge of War

Special guest appearance by Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel:

2. Good Germans

Finding help from unexpected sources:

3. More Useful Than Men

How female couriers helped resistance radio operators:

4. Resistors better than Victims?

New laws create two different titles for persecution victims:

5. Instinctive Heroism

Many women chose to keep silent about her wartime exploits until decades later:

Anne Sebba’s Les Parisiennes is available now as an unabridged CD and digital download: Amazon, Audiobooks.com, Barnes & Noble, NOOK, iTunes, IndieBound, Libro.fm

Take a Celebrity Home for the Holidays

popculturesweeps_1Thanksgiving marks the start of the season of long trips by plane, train, or automobile to get to holiday gatherings near and far. Why not make these travels a little more fun by bringing a celebrity (narrator) along for the ride?! Here are four recommendations from some of the small screen’s biggest names.

Superficial by Andy Cohen, read by the author

The megapopular host of Watch What Happens: Live and executive producer of the Real Housewives franchise is back, better than ever, and telling stories that will keep his publicist up at night.

Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins by Kathy Griffin, read by the author

From New York Times bestselling author Kathy Griffin, an A-Z compendium of the celebrities she’s met over the years and the jaw-dropping, charming, and sometimes bizarre anecdotes only she can tell about them.

The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost, read by the author and a full cast

From the co-creator of the landmark series, the story millions of fans have been waiting to get their hands on for 25 long years.  Five original Twin Peaks cast members, including Kyle MacLachlan, join three new actors to voice the audiobook edition of the novel along with author Mark Frost.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin, read by Anna Wilson-Jones

A new novel from the author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, Daisy Goodwin brings the young queen richly to life in this magnificent audiobook. Don’t miss narrator Anna Wilson-Jones in her role as Lady Emma Portman when Victoria premieres this January!

A Dazzling Prequel: Marissa Meyer’s Heartless

aud_heartless_nov_2016New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer dazzles with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandHeartless. 

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, & monsters, fate has other plans.

Rebecca Soler is a film and voiceover actress who won a 2016 Audie Award for her part in the narration of Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Her audiobook credits include work by Judy Blume, James Patterson, and, of course, The Lunar Chronicles. Her Cheshire Cat is to die for. She brings to life all of the beloved characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in ways that you couldn’t have even imagined hearing them, but they’re everything you could have ever hoped for. And Marissa does such fun things with the characters from Lewis Carroll’s works that any fan of Wonderland will be delighted; this was clearly a project of pure passion. Meyer plays with Hatter’s famous riddle, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” and says in her author’s note that she would like to think that her Raven is actually THE Raven of the Edgar Allan Poe classic, bringing a little extra for her literature-loving listeners.

This is a must-listen audiobook for any fan of Wonderland, classics or great YA lit in general. Lunartics should rejoice in this wonderful addition to Meyer’s works, but you don’t have to take our word for it:

“When you’ve been in a world for probably as many years as [Marissa] was in [the Lunar Chronicles]—creating it, writing it, then releasing it and doing press—I’m sure that there were other projects she was itching to do. I really feel like, especially in Heartless, you can see that [in the book]. It’s almost like an unapologetic departure from our beloved characters in the Lunar Chronicles.”—Rebecca Soler

Watch Rebecca reading an excerpt of Heartless here!

Macmillan Audio at the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016!

Goodreads Choice Awards 20162016 is drawing to a close, and so best book of the year season begins! Over at Goodreads, you can vote for your favorites across a wide range of categories—from fiction and nonfiction, to best debut, humor, and even poetry. Check out the list below to see if your favorites from Macmillan Audio made the cut for the Goodreads Choice Awards (and don’t forget to vote by November 27!).

Best Fiction

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, read by Caroline Lee

What happened at the barbeque? You’ll have to listen to find out.

Best Mystery & Thriller

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny, read by Robert Bathurst

Gamache starts a new job, but the gift of a mysterious map has him on the hunt for a criminal once again.

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris, read by Georgia Maguire

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Best Fantasy

The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones, read by Lorelei King

Part-time PI/full-time grim reaper Charley Davidson’s latest adventure involves saving her daughter from not one, but three malevolent gods.

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab, read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading

Book two of Schwab’s series finds Red London obsessed with the Games, while Black London has risen again—and so, another London must fall.

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, read by Michael Kramer

The mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, The Bands of Mourning are said to grant anyone who wears them the powers he had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist… or do they?

Humor

I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi, read by the author

Professional sassy pants Luvvie Ajayi serves up the hard truths we all need to hear in this Do-Better Manual.

Nonfiction

Adnan’s Story by Rabia Chaudry, read by the author

Get the story Serial didn’t tell.

Best Memoir and Autobiography

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, read by the author

Also one of Oprah’s 2016 Book Club selections, Glennon Doyle Melton shares her journey of self-discovery after the implosion of her marriage.

History and Biography

The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth, read by Clint Jordan

A narrative history of America’s first serial killer who stalked Austin, Texas, in 1885.

Leonard by William Shatner with David Fisher, read by the author

A uniquely heartfelt audiobook written and read by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, read by Robert Petkoff

The final moments of World War II like you’ve never heard before.

Debut Goodreads Author

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, read by Priya Ayyar

What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only 17?

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris (see above)

Young Adult Fiction

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, read by Samia Mounts

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school, and all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda used to be Andrew at her old school—will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction

Heartless by Marissa Meyer, read by Rebecca Soler

A dazzling prequel to a classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland