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Audiobooks to Look Forward to in 2018

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Katie MacBride

Staff Writer

Katie MacBride is a freelance writer, librarian, and weird dog lady living in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she’s not hunched over her computer, she’s teaching writing to high school students or reading in the bathtub. She’s hoping to one day update this bio with the title of a forthcoming book. Read her work at or follow her on Twitter: @msmacb

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As 2018 approaches, there are all kinds of posts around the internet about looking forward to the new year. But as a deeply pessimistic person, I want to know what exactly I’m supposed to be looking forward to. (I mean, right now, the main thing 2018 has going for it is that it’s not 2017, amirite?)

But if you’re a fan of audiobooks, I have five things for you to look forward to in the first half of 2018. Here are five audiobooks coming in the first half of 2018 that are giving me a reason to get up in the morning.

A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa (1-1-18)

Here’s an embarrassing thing about me: most of what I “know” about life inside North Korea, I learned from the fictional book The Orphan Master’s Son. Incredible book, by the way, but fictional. This isn’t entirely my fault—not a lot of information comes out of North Korea about what daily life is like there. Which is why I am so looking forward to A River in Darkness.

Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa moved from Japan to North Korea when he was thirteen years old. In North Korea, he and his family “unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the newly Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian.”

Ishikawa recounts “the brutal thirty-six years” he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life.

Brave by Rose McGowan (1-30-18)

Before there was #metoo, there was Rose McGowan (and many other survivors of sexual assault and harassment), who spoke out about abuses of power, both against her personally and systematically in Hollywood. After having her reputation smeared simply for speaking the truth, McGowan more than deserves the chance to say exactly what she wants to say, how and when she wants to say it. And I, for one, can’t wait to listen.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (2-6-18)

“Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man.” He moves his family off the grid, to the Alaska. Allbright and his wife and thirteen-year-old daughter begin their new life in a “wild, remote corner of the state.” Initially, it seems like the right decision. The family connects to the small, strong community. But they are unprepared for the rigor of the Alaskan wild. “In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska—a place of incomparable beauty and danger.”

Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride (3-6-18)

Sarah McBride shares what it was like to be frightened teenager struggling with her gender identity, a closeted college student, and tells us about her “heartbreaking romance with her first love and future husband Andy, a trans man and activist who passed away from cancer in 2014, just days after they were married.” But despite (or perhaps because of) those struggles, Sarah became an activist, and McBride was the first transgender person to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. More books like this, please.

So Close to Being The Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta (5-29-18)

I am a Parks & Recreation superfan. Like, I actually fall asleep to it every single night because I love it so much it soothes me to sleep like a lullaby. So while I am quite confident that I know exactly how close to being the sh*t Retta is (she is ACTUALLY the sh*t), I am still here for this book. I don’t know much about Retta’s personal story, but “making it” in Hollywood isn’t easy for anyone, especially for women of color. So much to look forward to with this one.


What audiobooks are you looking forward to in 2018? Let us know in the comments!