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202: Find More Outstanding Audiobooks - Our Latest 2021 Audiobook Recommendations

As audiobook listeners, Jen, Sara, and Ashley are always on the lookout for amazing audiobooks! Join Sara, Jen, and Ashley as they share their latest audiobook recommendations including Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom, Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Jennifer Ryan’s The Kitchen Front. Each of these recommendations is not only a great book but is also enhanced by the audio experience. Looking for more recs? Don't miss links to other audiobook posts in our blog show notes. (See below!)

Bookish Check-in

Ashley - Alisha Rai’s First Comes Like (Amazon |

Jen - Farrah Rochon’s The Dating Playbook (Amazon |

Sara - Melissa Bashardoust’s Girl, Serpent, Thorn (Amazon |

Our Audiobook Recommendations

Ashley - Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom (Amazon |

Jen - Frank Herbert’s Dune (Amazon |

Sara - Jennifer Ryan’s The Kitchen Front (Amazon |

Mentioned in Episode

Episode 143 (Farrah Rochon)

Jacqueline Woodson’s Red at the Bone (Amazon |

Beth Macy's Dopesick (Amazon |

Jennifer Ryan's The Chilbury Ladies' Choir (Amazon |

Looking for More Audiobook Recommendations?

Here are other posts and episodes where we share some audiobook recs.

Bookish Faves


Book Reviews

Give Me One - One Author You'd Write a Letter To...

and who would write back (because having lunch with said author would just be awkward because you don't actually know them)

Listen in to hear the authors we would pick, and pop over to @unabridgedpod on Instagram on Monday to let us know your choice!

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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Bookish Check-in

Ashley was reading . . .

Book cover of Alisha Rai's First Comes Like

Alisha Rai’s First Comes Like (Amazon |

"Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.

"There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.

"The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…

"When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life?"

Jen was reading . . .

Book cover of Farrah Rochon's The Dating Playbook

Farrah Rochon’s The Dating Playbook (Amazon |

"When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.

"And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There's just one catch—no one can know what they're doing. But when they're accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor's game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?"

Sara was reading . . .

Book cover of Melissa Bashardoust's Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Melissa Bashardoust’s Girl, Serpent, Thorn (Amazon |

"Melissa Bashardoust's Girl, Serpent, Thorn is 'an alluring feminist fairy tale' (Kirkus) about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse.

"There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

"As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

"Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming...human or demon. Princess or monster."

Our Audiobook Recommendations

Ashley recommended . . .

Book cover of Yaa Gyasi's Transcendent Kingdom

Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom (Amazon |

"Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed.

"Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive."

Jen recommended . . .

Book cover of Frank Herbert's Dune

Frank Herbert’s Dune (Amazon |

"Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time.

"Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the 'spice' melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for....

"When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

"A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction. "

Sara recommended . . .

Book cover of Jennifer Ryan's The Kitchen Front

Jennifer Ryan’s The Kitchen Front (Amazon |

"Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses: The Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is holding a cooking contest—and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the competition would present a crucial chance to change their lives.

"For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For a lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

"These four women are giving the competition their all—even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together only serve to break it apart?"


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