Laid Back Summer Listens to Close Out the Season

A young Black woman listens to audio content happily in a garden with earbuds
08/27/2020

Cool Listens for Your End-of-Summer Wind-down

Sit back, relax and enjoy some breezy end-of-summer listening

Summer's nearly over and if you’re like most Canadians, you’re savouring every last second. As the summer winds down and you’re about to gear up for fall, you’re likely looking for a little unwind time with a cool drink in your hand and the right title queued up for a listen.

Press play on the perfect summertime audiobooks, from the hottest bestsellers to the coolest podcasts. Find a spot in the shade and prepare to enjoy the last weeks of the season with our curated listening list, conveniently broken up into four sensational sections.

Binge-Worthy Best-Sellers

Dying to know what all the buzz is about? If you love best-selling stories that capture the imaginations of a giant readership, scroll down to find out which titles have people talking.

Becoming

Author:
Michelle Obama
Narrator:
Michelle Obama
Length:
19:03
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Putting the flow in FLOTUS, Michelle Obama showed the world that the First Lady of the US can do more than just smile next to the President during photo ops.

Whether whipping out her dance moves or killing it in Carpool Karaoke, Michelle Obama is a woman everyone wants to get to know. With the audiobook version of this mesmerizing title, now they can.

Becoming not only snagged the number one spot on the New York Times best-seller list, but it also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album and remains a top Oprah’s Book Club Pick.

Narrated by Michelle Obama herself, this title takes listeners on a journey through the events that shaped the former First Lady’s life. She demonstrates with honesty and candour the public and private triumphs and tragedies that helped her become who she is today.

Once you press play, you’ll be hard-pressed to hit the stop button.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

Author:
Amor Towles
Narrator:
Nicholas Guy Smith
Length:
17:52
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

This title might be about one man’s journey to discover his own purpose in life, but the cavalcade of memorable supporting characters has turned A Gentleman in Moscow into a true powerhouse. With more than two million listeners to date, this massive best seller is even being made into a major television series.

The story follows a Russian Count sentenced to house arrest inside a glamourous hotel in the 1920s, where he’s stuck watching much of 20th Century history pass just outside the hotel doors.

Forced by circumstance to look ever more inward, the Count’s emotional journey of self-discovery and actualisation makes for a listen you won’t soon forget.

These titles are the talk of the town. So, why not pour yourself another drink, queue up a best-seller and see why so many other listeners can’t get enough?

Literature for Lounging

When you sign off for the day after sending your hundredth email, the nine-to-five life can feel a bit monotonous and you might be looking for something a bit deeper to occupy your mind.

You’re in the right place. Classic literary stories — and modern ones too — do more than just provide a gripping yarn. They also inspire you to ask yourself some meaningful questions.

Emma: An Audible Original Drama

Author:
Jane Austen, Anna Lea - adaptation
Narrator:
Emma Thompson, Joanne Froggatt, Isabella Inchbald, Aisling Loftus, Joseph Millson, Morgana Robinson
Length:
8:21
Series:
Audible's Jane Austen
Type:

This comedy of manners (narrated with aplomb by Emma Thompson) is one of the most famous works of the 19th century. Brimming with Austen’s patent charm and caustic wit, this listen will have you giggling in no time.

Emma Woodhouse is easily one of Austen's most vividly drawn and memorable characters. Emma is a complex woman — beautiful, vain, and yet impossibly charming. You can’t help but crack a smile as she uproariously uproots the inhabitants of her sleepy English village, playing matchmaker to anyone and everyone.

Of course, Austen’s story also offers up important moral questions prevalent in her day, including the role of marriage and how it unfairly determined the social status of women in ways a sound work ethic or personal achievements never could.

The Illegal

Author:
Lawrence Hill
Narrator:
Gideon Emery
Length:
12:19
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

In this exciting title, Lawrence Hill demonstrates his ability to craft excellent narratives in new forms. Written as a thriller woven with threads of allegory and racial politics, this is one tautly-structured tale. What’s extra impressive is how accessible a listen it is, even as its subject matter offers quite a bit to think about.

The Illegal takes place in a make-believe setting, but the issues it addresses are all too real. Hill tackles pressing issues of our here and now, including race, the status of refugees and just what it means to be considered an “Illegal.”

Even when you’re lounging in the shade, these literary listens will stimulate as they entertain, keeping you engaged all day long.

Five-Star Finds

In late summer, a little time to yourself can be a hot commodity. If you’ve carved out a bit of time to unwind and listen to great audiobook content, you want to be sure the titles you choose are going to satisfy. Here are two gems that carry multiple 5-star reviews. These titles are truly guaranteed to please.

An image of a woman’s legs in capris poking out from behind a chair at a beach

Untamed

Author:
Glennon Doyle
Narrator:
Glennon Doyle
Length:
8:22
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Narrated brilliantly by the author, this title is all about the stories women tell others and themselves in order to function in a patriarchal world. Billed as both a tender memoir and an important wake up call for listeners, the deeper you dive into this emotionally and spiritually rewarding title, the deeper you’ll want to go.

At times tender, moving and even hilarious, this title is all about how women can set boundaries and manage expectations as mothers, wives, daughters and employees without feeling run-down or overwhelmed.

If you’ve ever felt that you have a voice of longing deep inside you, then this listen might just help you set it free.

The Sandman

Author:
Neil Gaiman, Dirk Maggs
Narrator:
Riz Ahmed, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton, Neil Gaiman, James McAvoy, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Andy Serkis, Michael Sheen
Length:
10:54
Type:

When it first appeared in comic book form in the ’80s, The Sandman was hailed by Los Angeles Times Magazine as “the greatest epic in the history of comic books.” This title changed the entire landscape of comics, offering up an indulgence of dark fantasy coupled with a confident, literary flair.

The Audible version is a beautifully-produced, faithful adaptation that keeps nearly every line from the original. An incredible voice cast adds to the experience. Taron Egerton as John Constantine and the velvet-voiced James McAvoy as Dream are a particular treat, and in a surprise twist, Neil Gaiman himself narrates.

This new version available only on Audible provides a powerful listening experience worthy of the original comic’s legacy.

When you want the best possible audio content, only a five-star experience will do. So, press play on these well-reviewed titles today. Looking for even more five-star titles? We’ve got you covered.

Popular Podcasts

It’s three o’clock on a Saturday and you’re craving a snack. You open the fridge in search of a bite-sized something to satisfy that craving.

Sometimes we crave entertainment the same way — in small morsels rather than full meals. If you’re looking for single serving audio entertainment, why not check out one of these delectable podcasts an episode at a time?

Ghosthunter: An Audible Original Podcast

Author:
Rebecca Bennett, Ben Lawrence
Narrator:
Ben Lawrence
Length:
3:00
Type:
Podcast Podcast

The paranormal and the criminal collide in this Audible Original true crime podcast with a twist. It starts as a personal quest to uncover a secret, but this yarn quickly unfurls into a much more robust story of one family’s terrible buried secret and the police investigation that sought to uncover it.

If you like your podcasts with a dash of spookiness, this one’s for you. If the shivers start to creep up your spine, you can always save the next episode for later.

Hot Mic with Dan Savage

Author:
Dan Savage, Greg Behrendt, Rachel Bloom, Jessi Klein, Dan Bucatinsky, Audible Comedy, Joel Kim Booster, Michael Yo, Rachel Lark, Chad Daniels, Marina Franklin
Narrator:
Length:
15:00
Type:
Podcast Podcast

Adding a little heat to the late summer campfire, outspoken advice columnist Dan Savage uses this Audible Original podcast platform to deliver some terrific content, with a host of diverse voices serving as his guests on every episode.

Join Savage — along with guests like Greg Behrendt, Rachel Bloom and Michael Yo — as they discuss relationships, sex, coming of age, coming out and other topics with new and interesting approaches and angles. If you want refreshing perspectives on living in the here and now, this might be the podcast for you.

Don’t have a lot of time? No problem. You can enjoy a single episode of either of these popular podcasts in under an hour. Once you’ve gobbled them both up, come back for more Audible Original Podcasts to satisfy your appetite.

In the dog days of summer, everyone needs a little time to unwind. Hopefully this list of great listens will help you enjoy the final weeks of the season in style.

Do you have any titles you think should be added to the list? Share them with us today, and always be sure to check in on the Audible.ca blog for more new titles coming soon. We’re always happy to have you.

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