Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Our final week of the AudiobookSYNC 2017 season features a pair of powerful novels about do-over lives, performed in artful celebrations of the audiobook medium. We hope you find them an excellent last call for SYNC 2017 and that you want to come back to them again as well as to SYNC in 2018.


Daniel José Older’s debut novel SHADOWSHAPER has won acclaim from many, including YALSA, Booklist, and the International Latino Book Award for Best Young Adult Fiction (2016).  Anika Noni Rose performs this magic-infused story for Scholastic Audiobooks, providing the rhythms and authentic voices of a teen muralist’s Brooklyn neighborhood where sorcery, Puerto Rican history, and gentrification converge. Listeners will be eager to continue with the sequel, Shadowhouse Fall, due in September.

Paired with this is Franz Kafka’s classic METAMORPHOSIS, narrated here by Martin Jarvis for Naxos AudioBooks. Versions of this story about a traveling salesman who awakens in his parents’ house to discover that he has become a beetle, only to be shunned by his family, have appeared in movies, graphic novels, and on stage. The novel itself is short, and Kafka’s writing style and Jarvis’s performance are both so clear that listeners have an opportunity to succeed in tackling this literary classic.

We hope the changes listeners have discovered in themselves and their ideas about books across this eighth summer of SYNC are as pronounced—although happier!—as Gregor’s metamorphosis. We expect it may take you a couple months to work your way through all 32 titles we’ve shared—and that should extend summer just a bit more for our listeners.

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