Rebecca Bernard
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5 Anticipated Audiobooks of January 2019

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Self-driving cars are supposedly on the way, which means that blogs and news sites around the world are speculating what we’ll do with all that new free time.* I’m a huge book nerd, so if I’m being honest, I’ll probably spend my time making a bigger dent in my monstrous to-be-read pile. Until autonomous cars truly arrive, however, the only way to read behind the wheel when you’re stuck in traffic is to listen to an audiobook.

When you get back from the holidays in January 2019, consider listening to these anticipated audiobooks to make traffic just a bit more bearable.

The Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy

If you’re headed home from your holiday celebrations on New Year’s Day, The Last of the Stanfields will be ready to download for your drive. It’s the latest English translation of the most-read contemporary French writer in the world, Marc Levy. Stina Nielsen and Braden Wright take on the audiobook together for about 13 hours, covering the story of London journalist Eleanor-Rigby Donovan and George-Harrison Collins. It promises to be a mystery and love story to hold your attention, and it might include a healthy dose of Beatles mania if the characters’ names are any indication.


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The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

On Jan. 8, Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy comes to a close with The Winter of the Witch, narrated by Kathleen Gati of Lilac Girls fame. The series takes place in the world of Russian mythology and features Morozko the winter-king, so it’s appropriate for drives surrounded by snow. If you haven’t read the previous two books, 2017’s acclaimed The Bear and the Nightingale and 2018’s The Girl in the Tower, you should catch up during your holiday road trips. I obviously can’t tell you much about the plot of this book without ruining the other two, but I’ll just say that I’ve had this book pre-ordered for months and it’s one of my most anticipated books of the whole winter.

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

On Jan. 29, Mike Chen’s debut novel Here and Now and Then arrives in both hardcover and audiobook, and the early reviews indicate this is both literary and science fiction. Kin Stewart works as an I.T. professional to support his family in San Francisco. Oh, and he’s also a time traveler from 2142 who got stuck. 18 years after he is stranded, a rescue team comes to pick him up and take him back to his family in the future. The only problem is that if he returns to 2142, the very existence of his daughter in San Francisco is at risk. Narrated by Cary Hite and coming in at about 10 hours, this new book might seem like all speculation, but I suspect it has a lot of heart under all that technology.

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

If you have a lot of driving time planned for January and you’re a fan of magic, consider downloading The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty on Jan. 22. It’s narrated by Soneela Nankani, known for her work on the Lake Success and The Widows of Malabar Hill audiobooks, and clocks in at 19 1/2 hours. This is book two of The Daevabad Trilogy, which began in late 2017 with the popular The City of Brass, and it follows a character named Nahri as she journeys through a Middle Eastern kingdom ruled by the djinn and governed by a harsh class system. If you’re not sure that you can sit through a book that long, it comes out in print on the same day so you can read it for yourself when you’re not driving.


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An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

If you’re a fan of thrillers,you probably at least heard of 2018’s monster best-selling book, The Wife Between Us. On Jan. 8, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are back with a new tale of suspense for 2019. In this audiobook, narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Julia Whelan for about 12 hours, Jessica Farris signs up to be a part of a psychology study under Dr. Shields. She’s asked to answer questions, but as the survey goes on the questions get more personal (and creepy). You’ll have to try it for yourself to see what happens, and maybe don’t read it if you’re participating in any studies of your own.

There are so many great books coming out in 2019, and I can’t wait to listen to them during my daily drives. If you want to listen to more audiobooks but you don’t want to shell out for CDs, consider asking for the gift of Audible this holiday season or searching your library’s digital collection.

*I’m old enough to remember when we were promised flying cars, so forgive me if I’m skeptical.