It’s Love Audio week, which means here at Team Bookends we’ll be cranking our books up to full volume. If you haven’t yet discovered the joy of audiobooks now is the perfect time to try them out – perfect for listening hands-free while you cook, clean, exercise, or (our personal favourite) just before bed!
Here’s our pick of the best books to get you listening this week:
Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it’s time for The Switch…
Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and L Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.
But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?
“So charming, so sweet and so lovely” Marian Keyes
LOUIS THEROUX: ‘For anyone who enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy or Educated, Unfollow is an essential text’
DOLLY ALDERTON: ‘A modern-day parable for how we should speak and listen to each other’
It was an upbringing in many ways normal. A loving home, shared with squabbling siblings, overseen by devoted parents. Yet in other ways it was the precise opposite: a revolving door of TV camera crews and documentary makers, a world of extreme discipline, of siblings vanishing in the night.
Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church – the fire-and-brimstone religious sect at once aggressively homophobic and anti-Semitic, rejoiceful for AIDS and natural disasters, and notorious for its picketing the funerals of American soldiers. From her first public protest, aged five, to her instrumental role in spreading the church’s invective via social media, her formative years brought their difficulties. But being reviled was not one of them. She was preaching God’s truth. She was, in her words, ‘all in’.
In November 2012, at the age of twenty-six, she left the church, her family, and her life behind.
Unfollow is a story about the rarest thing of all: a person changing their mind. It is a fascinating insight into a closed world of extreme belief, a biography of a complex family, and a hope-inspiring memoir of a young woman finding the courage to find compassion for others, as well as herself.
The trouble with secrets is that you can’t guess what the consequences will be . . .
Lainey has lost everything. Luckily one little fib (OK, quite a big fib) helps nail her dream job. Soon she’s living in a stunning house by the sea, fending off obsessed fans for a retired – if far-from-retiring – actor and organising his charming but chaotic family. It’s definitely worth the challenge of keeping her secret.
At least Lainey isn’t looking for love. It’s time for a break from all that. And yet . . . Seth, the actor’s grandson, really is rather attractive. There’s growing chemistry and a definite connection between them. But how would he react if he knew she hadn’t been honest with him?
Lainey’s not the only one with a secret, though. Seth has one of his own. And everything’s about to start unravelling . . .
A beautiful Cornish setting, one chaotic family, and a woman who’s had enough of love. Or has she?
A heart-warming and uplifting story about love, loss and finding the strength to say goodbye, from the author of The First Time I Saw You.
Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Cecelia Ahern.
Jennifer Jones’ life began when her little sister, Kerry, was born. So when her sister dies in a tragic accident, nothing seems to make sense any more.
Despite the support of her husband, Ed, and their wonderful children, Jen can’t comprehend why she is still here while bright, spirited Kerry is not.
When Jen starts to lose herself in her memories of Kerry, she doesn’t realise that the closer she feels to Kerry, the further she gets from her family.
Jen was never able to say goodbye to her sister. But what if she could?
Would you risk everything if you had the chance to say goodbye?
The remarkable life of Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret who was also a Maid of Honour at the Queen’s Coronation – and is a character in The Crown this autumn.
Anne Glenconner reveals the real events behind The Crown as well as her own life of drama, tragedy and courage, with the wonderful wit and extraordinary resilience which define her.
Anne Glenconner writes with extraordinary wit, generosity and courage, and she exposes what life was like in her gilded cage, revealing the role of her great friendship with Princess Margaret and the freedom she can now finally enjoy in later life.
Compelling new novel of stigma and secrecy from Sunday Times best seller.
It is 1987, and a small Irish community is preparing for the wedding of two of its young inhabitants. They’re barely adults, not so long out of school and still part of the same set of friends they’ve grown up with. As the friends head home from the beach that last night before the wedding, there is a car accident. Three survive the crash, but three are killed. And the reverberations are felt throughout the small town.
Connor, the young driver of the car, lives. But staying among the angry and the mourning is almost as hard as living with the shame and so he leaves the only place he knows for another life.
Travelling first to Liverpool, then London, by the noughties he has made a home – of sorts – for himself in New York.
The city provides shelter and possibility for the displaced, somewhere Connor can forget his past and forge a new life.
But the secrets, the unspoken longings and regrets that have come to haunt those left behind will not be silenced. And before long, Connor will have to meet his past.