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By 10 December 2019 | Categories: news

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TechSmart News sponsored by the Huawei Global Developer Programme

If you’re a big audiobook fan like us, you might have a few credits saved up on Audible for some good reads/listens for the holiday season. Now Audible has obliged with their annual Top 10 list. The audiobook company’s editors have picked their Top 10 “peak listening experiences” of 2019, providing them for your listening pleasure in no particular order. See if one of your favourites made it to the list or check if any of these will make it to your shopping trolley.

"Back in early 2019, some of us were still new to the concept of audio plays. Then Madhuri Shekar came along and got us hooked. Brilliantly told as a series of phone calls, her breakout Audible Original Evil Eye ricochets between Los Angeles and Delhi, rocketing from a family dramedy to a breathless thriller just as effortlessly. Performed by a pitch-perfect cast, it completely broke us while breaking the mold, too."

"This summer the world was stunned when Chanel Miller revealed her identity as the woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner in 2015. Known then as Emily Doe, she delivered a powerful victim impact statement that was published online the next day. Chanel’s words resonated so deeply that they were read more than 11 million times, including on the floor of Congress. In her hauntingly lovely memoir, she offers an intimate first-person account of surviving not only rape, but the justice system’s tragic failures in handling sexual assault cases. And her vital story is all the more powerful when heard in her own voice."

"Novels that rocket into the zeitgeist with as much velocity as this one did are rare. There was no escaping the Sally Rooney mania this summer—and for good reason. There is nothing normal about how good Normal People is. The writing hits you hard and quick, and Aoife McMahon’s ability to find the sounds of truth in the story’s small moments makes this one of the best things you could listen to this year."

"There's been a boom lately in listens that offer a fly-on-the wall glimpse into others' counseling sessions—starting with Audible Originals creators Mel Robbins and Esther Perel. Maybe You Should Talk To Someone may be the apotheosis of this, with the author revealing her own raw emotions and realizations from sessions with her therapist as well as those revealed in (well-masked) sessions with her patients. The intensity and intimacy is perfectly captured in narrator Brittany Pressley's performance. Voyeurs and fans of personal growth, this is for you."

"This work in translation from Mexican novelist Sofia Segovia is sheer audio perfection! Narrators Xe Sands and Angelo Di Loreto literally breathe life into Segovia’s lyrical prose. With its backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza outbreak of 1918, listeners are transported in time and place—and captivated by the orphaned boy who is magically followed by bees."

"This year saw plenty of content—all of it heartbreaking—about Larry Nassar, the doctor who sexually abused hundreds of young gymnasts in one of the biggest scandals in sports history. But it was the collective power of the many voices of the documentary, Twisted, that resonated loudest. It's particularly impactful in audio with intimate, first-person accounts laid bare. It's not just the scope of horrifying crimes, but the awe-inspiring resilience of those who would not be silenced that makes Twisted essential listening."

"Casey McQuiston’s debut is an alternate-history love story between the snarky First Son of the United States and the poised Prince of England. It’s impossible to listen to this one and not smile. Narrator Ramon de Ocampo nailed accents, angst, and funny tech sounds making this already charming experience even more enjoyable."

"Talking with Strangers incorporates real audio (including, for example, snippets of the Sandra Bland traffic stop) to heighten the urgency of Malcolm Gladwell’s message: that society needs a structured approach to, well, talking with strangers, in order to de-escalate interactions that might be tragic. It’s an ambitious goal, and Malcolm Gladwell strives to point out—and to dismantle—as many stumbling blocks as one sociologist-turned-best selling-author can."

"Listening to Joe Morton bring to life the magical realism-tinged world of The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s first novel, is pretty magical itself. Morton immerses you in the antebellum Virginia where Hiram Walker, an enslaved man with unique abilities, goes from being born into servitude to joining the Underground Railroad and finding out much more about the value of personhood. Coates’s beautiful writing provides a welcome new look at the fully rounded out lives of the enslaved that moves beyond the horror of their predicament."

"For a headline-dominating crime story that completely captured the nation's attention less than 20 years ago, it was surprising to learn how much we didn't know about the DC Sniper investigation. Using thorough reporting, victim interviews, and firsthand accounts from the lead FBI investigators on the case, Call Me God exposes the seams at which our judicial infrastructure breaks down, while elevating the moments of heroism and triumph where both tireless work and a little good luck can deliver justice. Harrowing and immediate, Call Me God is a documentary feels like an edge of your seat thriller, but with very real life stakes."

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