Best Audiobooks September 2018

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the memoir of a meth head, and a delightful debut novel about an odd and endearing heroine.

By David Adams

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen, read by Jeremy Bobb

La La Land director Damien Chazelle returns to the big screen in October with an adaption of this definitive biography of the first man to walk on the moon. Ryan Gosling is Armstrong; The Queen’s Claire Foy is his strong-willed first wife, Jean Shearon Armstrong. Nicknamed the “ice commander” by his fellow astronauts, Armstrong was so remote and uncommunicative that dozens of myths sprang up about him in the years after Apollo 11. Hansen’s richly detailed biography debunks those rumors and provides essential context in its portrayal of mid-century America, a time when the impossible seemed possible and an engineer from Ohio could become the most famous man in the world.

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff, narrated by Paul Michael Garcia

In 2017, Timothée Chalamet had one of the greatest breakout runs in movie history, delivering unforgettable performances in Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, and Hostiles. He finally returns to the spotlight this fall, playing Steve Carrell’s son in Beautiful Boy (October 12), but be forewarned: This isn’t the tender tale of an Italian love affair or a poignant coming-of-age comedy. It’s a harrowing, intensely realistic portrait of drug addiction based on two bestselling memoirs by David Sheff and his son, Nic. We’re steeling ourselves for the emotional rollercoaster ride by listening to Nic’s raw and electrifying chronicle of his worst days as a meth addict.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, narrated by Cathleen McCarron

The oddball heroine of this award-winning debut novel leads an anonymous life of workplace drudgery and solitary weekends until a tentative friendship with the company IT guy brings her out of her shell. But a mysterious childhood trauma raises the stakes of Eleanor’s social reawakening to daunting heights. Hilariously narrated by Scottish actress Cathleen McCarron, this Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick blends deadpan wit, edge-of-the-seat thrills, and tender romance to create the perfect antidote for your post-vacation blues.

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