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Amanda Ross

Amanda Ross

Black speculative fiction author and campy fantasy heaux.

Top Five Audiobooks

A reliable audiobook can help you get through your stressful commute, workout routine, or trip to see your family for the holidays. Whether you’re braving our highway system or you’re leaving on a jet plane like I am, here are my top five audiobooks to get you through your trip. 

The Raven Cycle Series
This is a collection of three books, but since it’s one continuous story, I’m counting it as one book. Blue Sargent comes from a long line of psychics. One evening while she sits with her aunt Neeve as she greets the spirits that will die in the coming year, Blue sees the spirit of a boy around her age named Gansey. She’s then told that Gansey will either be her true love — or her victim. When she meets Gansey and his friends at a local pizzeria, Blue is caught off guard. After learning about their quest for the grave of the Welsh king Glendower, Blue joins Gansey and his friends Adam, Ronan, and Noah. The other three books follows their journey to finding Glendower, and we discover that Ronan is able to take things out of his dreams and into the real world, learn more about Blue’s family, and sit on pins and needles as the group fights against a demon called the Unmaker. 

Recommended for: those interested in fantasy, YA, impeccable world building, and spunky female MCs. 

World War Z
Narrated by an agent of the United States Postwar Commission, we follow the stories of people who lived through the fictitious Zombie War. From the discovery of the first patient to the moment that soldiers are dispatched to deal with the zombie outbreak. The book is narrated by some of the best actors in the business — Carl Reiner, Alfred Molina, Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, Common, Kal Penn, and more. It’s a sweeping narrative that is altogether horrific and inspiring. 

Recommended for: those interested in horror, zombies, famous actors, and multiple first-person narratives. 

The Mother of Black Hollywood 
Jenifer Lewis has been an icon of the black community for decades, and her role in the hit TV show Black-ish has thrust her into the mainstream Zeitgeist. Her memoir — narrated by Jenifer Lewis herself — chronicles her life and rise to stardom. From her struggle with sex addiction to the emotional stress of fame which led to a breakdown on the set of the movie The Temptations, this book showcases how grit, humor, and a deep love for oneself can help you achieve your dreams. 

Recommended for: those interested in memoirs, Black-ish, strong female narratives, and stories that are equal parts humor and drama. 

Good Omens
Written by fantasy masters Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, this book is an alternate take on the apocalypse as outlined by the Christian Bible. It’s main characters are the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale, who have become friends over the millennia and do not want to carry out their respective duties once they are told the world is to end. After taking part in the delivery and relocation of the anti-Christ, a boy named Adam, the pair vow to watch him and influence him so that he will neither be good nor evil. Their plan does not stop them and all the people of earth from tumbling headfirst toward the apocalypse, and the pair must fight to save the world they love. Other characters include a witch named Anathema Device, the four horse persons of the apocalypse, and Adam’s hellhound, Dog. 

Recommended for: fans of fantasy, world building, black comedy, and sweeping epics. 

IT
IT is my favorite Stephen King book, so needless to say I’ve read the book multiple times. I got the audiobook to listen to while traveling abroad, and it did not disappoint. It is narrated by Steven Weber, who does an excellent job at grabbing the listener’s attention and spinning the tale of Derry, the Loser’s Club, and Pennywise. For those who haven’t seen the recent movies or the Tim Curry version of the story, IT tells the story of seven children — Bill, Ben, Eddie, Richie, Beverly, Stan, and Mike — as they battle IT as children and then as adults. IT can take many forms, though it commonly takes the form of a clown called Pennywise. The story features both the linear story of the group as well as first-person narrative of Mike’s journal as he learns more about the town’s twisted history and the origins of IT. 

Recommended for: horror lovers, Stephen King stans, people who aren’t afraid of clowns. 

The Merciless 
This is the first book in a series written by Danielle Vega. It follows Sofia Flores, who starts at a new, small-town high school. She makes friends quickly with a girl named Brooklyn, who’s a quintessential Cool Girl. She also meets Riley, Grace, and Alexis. Riley is the queen bee of the school, and Sofia forms a friendship with them, much to Brooklyn’s chagrin. After an incident at a party, Riley declares that Brooklyn is possessed and that they must save her by performing an exorcism. At first Sofia thinks the girls plan to scare Brooklyn, but as the night passes and blood is shed, Sofia wonders who’s really the possessed one. 

Recommended for: fans of exorcism and demonic possession stories, Southern gothic tales, YA, and Mean Girls. 

The Weight of Lies
This is the type of book that would easily be dubbed a beach read. It’s a compulsive read, mainly because of the murder mystery at its core. It follows Meg Ashley, the privileged daughter of an author who wrote the best-selling novel titled Kitten, about a young maid who befriends a little girl who may or may not have murdered another young girl on the island where they live. Meg has a strained relationship with her mother and never knew her father. When she’s given the opportunity to write a tell-all memoir about her life and the real truth behind Kitten, she takes the chance, thinking it’ll allow her to get back at her mother. As she begins to dig further into the 40-year-old mystery, Meg starts to question everything she knows about her mother and her best-selling book. 

Recommended for: fans of Lifetime drama, disturbed children narratives, privileged party-girl MCs, and murder mysteries. 

What audiobooks have you listened to? Leave a comment with some of your faves!

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