Universe of Two by Stephen P. Kiernan; narrated by Cassandra CampbellWhat it's about: the life, marriage, and wartime work of mathematician Charlie Fisk, a somewhat reluctant recruit to the Manhattan Project who navigates his ethical ambivalence and guilt with the help of his flawed but supportive wife Brenda.
Narration: Cassandra Campbell juggles the sweeping love story and scientific descriptions with an engrossing and distinctly voiced performance that earned her an AudioFile Earphones Award.
Here We Are by Graham Swift; narrated by Phil DavisWhat it is: an engaging, character-driven story set in postwar Brighton, where a dying artform has one last great summer thanks to an equally doomed variety act.
Narration: British actor Phil Davis' leisurely paced reading conveys the novel's melancholy tone.
The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan; narrated by Brittany PressleyWhat it's about: When her partner inexplicably attacks a child during a raid, FBI agent Odessa Hardwicke shoots him dead and watches in horror as a spectral entity leaves his corpse. Enlisting the help of occult detective John Blackwood, Odessa hopes to track down the centuries-old menace responsible for her partner's demise.
Narration: Brittany Pressley navigates this intricately plotted occult thriller's multiple timelines with a variety of character accents and tones.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson; narrated by Robin MilesWhat it is: a timely and thought-provoking exploration of the "shape-shifting, unspoken, race-based" caste system that has shaped four centuries of American history.
Narration: Robin Miles' AudioFile Earphones Award-winning recording is suffused with a calm, well-paced performance that encourages listener empathy and reflection.
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