Reader: Wil Wheaton
Short Review: In the 25th century, several new members have just joined the crew of the Intrepid, the flag ship of the Universal Union. They quickly discover that many things which happen on the Intrepid are hard to explain, and they search for a deeper explanation. Fans of Start Trek will see the parody at work immediately, but the book is much more than a one-trick joke. Told with a nod to cheesy sci-fi and a great deal of humor, Redshirts still manages to give a serious commentary on the nature of characters in science fiction, and the nature of human existence in general.
Reader: Neil Patrick Harris (as Barney Stinson)
Short Review: Quick and amusing. Fans of the TV show How I Met Your Mother will be giggling. Neil Patrick Harris reading as Barney is basically a 2 hour standup riff on the agony and trauma of becoming a parent.
Reader: Ellen DeGeneres
Short Review: Light and airy visit with the popular comedienne. Nothing too deep here, but it is fun to listen to Ellen share her upbeat cheerful thoughts and get a taste for her life beyond the public eye. Be prepared for some outright silliness.
Reader: Full Cast
Short Review: Fun listen for the whole family. A fantasy classic brought to life by a full cast. Four siblings find a magic token and wacky adventures ensue.
Reader: Martin Jarvis
Short review: One of my favorite humorous novels, expertly read by Martin Jarvis. I’m sure I’ll listen to this book over and over again.
Reader: Kristoffer Tabori
Short Review: A novel I absolutely love, full of gorgeous language, beautifully-rendered characters, and entrancing history and myth. Tabori’s reading is downright fantastic, and Eugenides remains one of the most talented writers of his generation. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read or listened to.
Reader: Stephen Hoye
Short Review: An engaging, funny, environmental crime novel set in the Florida Everglades. Hiaasen is a gem, and Hoye is good but doesn’t shine quite as brightly.
Reader: Stephen Briggs
Short Review: This follow-up to Going Postal follows Moist Von Lipwig as he embarks on a new venture: running the Mint at the all-too-pointed behest of Lord Vetinari. Briggs, as usual, reads well and beautifully. Pratchett, as usual, is funny and satirical. What’s not to love?
Reader: Richard Mitchley
Short Review: A standout story from Pratchett’s Johnny Maxwell trilogy, read with great personality and skill by Richard Mitchley. Our hero Johnny learns that he can see and speak to the Dead in his local cemetery, and winds up facing down corrupt, frightening enemies.
Reader: Jeremy Irons
Short Review: One of my favorite Dahl books, read enchantingly by the inimitable Jeremy Irons.
Reader: David Sedaris
Short review: One of Sedaris’ best books of essays and stories, read tenderly and hilariously and scathingly by the author. Several pieces are live performances, and many of them are downright great.
Reader: David Sedaris
Short Review: Sedaris’ funny, self-deprecating, heart-breaking stories about moving to France with his partner Hugh, learning French, his family, and his own flaws and experiences. The author reads his own work in his distinctive voice, never flinching as he excoriates himself either in front of a live audience or alone in a studio. Sedaris is an amazing, brave writer and reader. I’ve listened to this particular book three or four times, and I know I’ll keep returning to it.