[Free Audiobooks] Crescendo: The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town by Allen Cheney & Extinction by Hannie Rayson [Historical Biographical Novel & Australia Zoology Drama Play]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for another week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, June 10th through Wednesday, June 16th, have a theme of “Creating Change”.

  • Crescendo: The Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town by Allen Cheney with Julie Cantrell, read by the author himself, from Thomas Nelson. This is an historical biographical novel about the author’s grandfather Fred Allen (no relation to the pseudonymous eponymous comedian), a musical prodigy who grew up in an environment of poverty and neglect in rural Georgia before escaping to New York to attend the prestigious Juilliard School and Columbia University, becoming a Grammy-nominated musician during the 1960s, before reluctantly returning to his childhood hometown of Thomasville to work as a high school music teacher and raise a family, in the process transforming the community.
  • Extinction by Hannie Rayson, performed by a full cast, from L.A. Theatre Works, and a winner of AudioFile Magazine’s Earphones Award. This is a contemporary drama play centred around zoology and exploring the tension between ecological and industrial issues, starring an American zoologist working in Australia, who finds herself possibly making a deal with the devil in the form of an Australian timber baron as she strives to save the endangered tiger quoll marsupials she has just found in the wild.

Offered free through Wednesday, June 16th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection. Apparently the Sora app may need to be reinstalled and logged back into if you’re encountering a bug (see Twitter announcement for details).

[Free Audiobooks] Rook by Sharon Cameron & Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas [YA Dystopian Sci-Fi with Romance & Contemporary Foodie Coming of Age]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for another week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, June 3rd through Wednesday, June 9th, have a theme of “Off to Paris”, involving adventures taking place in a version of France.

  • Rook by Sharon Cameron, read by Caroline Feraday from Scholastic Audiobooks. This is a standalone YA swashbuckling adventure with strong f/m romantic elements, taking place in the dystopian retro-futuristic Sunken City of Paris, where opponents of the new revolution are being sprung from their prison cells by a mysterious vigilante, and a young woman and her fiancé from an arranged marriage discover that neither is quite what they seem.
  • Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas, read by Jennifer Jill Araya, from Blink. This is a standalone foodie coming of age personal drama novel with f/m romantic elements, starring an American Latina teenager aspiring chef who moves to live with her father in Lyon, France, and struggles with fitting into her new stepfamily while seeking to prove herself with a competitive apprenticeship at a world-famous restaurant. (This apparently includes “Isa’s Kitchen Notes” in the back, which may or may not include actual recipes.)

Offered free through Wednesday, June 9th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection.

[Free eBooks] Lethbridge-Stewart: The Grandfather Infestation & The Brigadier: Declassified [Doctor Who Sci-Fi TV Tie-In]

As a special treat for the bank holiday last weekend in the UK, 2 official tie-in books to the long-running Doctor Who science fiction franchise are free for a limited time, courtesy of publisher Candy Jar Books.

These are licensed spin-offs focusing on the popular supporting character from the TV show, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, commander of an international taskforce that defends Earth against alien threats, and an ally of Doctor Who.

  • Lethbridge-Stewart: The Grandfather Adventure by John Peel, with a foreword by British horror novelist Simon Clark, is an adventure novel taking place in the 1960s, featuring the investigation of the disappearance of a pirate radio station and a nuclear submarine, as something ominous stirs in the depths of the North Sea, available @ Amazon
  • Lethbridge-Stewart: The Bridagier: Declassified by various contributors, with a foreword by actor Terry Molloy who played the series character Davros, is a non-fiction tribute collection of articles and essays about the history and media appearances of the character, reviews of selected episodes, an interview with actor John Levene who plays the Brigadier’s right-hand man, and more, available DRM-free @ Amazon

Offered in Canada and the UK and probably worldwide, likely just through Thursday, June 3rd, available @ Amazon (change the .com in the URL to check your region to see if it’s still a $0.00 purchase freebie and not just “Read Free with Kindle Unlimited”)

[Free Audiobooks] Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard by Mawi Asgedom & The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud [YA Refugee Memoir & Jewish Theatrical Drama]

AudioFile Magazine’s annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in weekly themed pairings continues for another week, free for a limited time courtesy of the magazine and participating publishers.

This week’s selections, available to claim from Thursday, May 27th through Wednesday, June 2nd, have a theme of “Making a New Life”.

  • Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard by Mawi Asgedom, read by the author himself, from Hachette Books. This is his memoir of his journey from a young age as a refugee from the civil war in Ethiopia during the 1980s, first to Sudan and then to the US, settling in Chicago with his family, and the hardships and challenges endured along the way to building a new life and eventually graduating with top honours and a history degree from Harvard University.

  • The Magic Barrel by the late Bernard Malamud, a recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, is adapted as a play by Arnold Aprill and performed by a full cast, from L. A. Theatre Works. The plot is a drama taking place in the Jewish community, featuring the unexpected connection that springs up between a shy young rabbinical student and an old-fashioned Yiddish matchmaker who assists him in finding the perfect mate. This was based on the title story of Malamud’s 1958 National Book Award-winning collection, and this 1992 live performance is also an Earphones Award Winner.

Offered free through Wednesday, June 2nd (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app for iOS & Android devices (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection.

[Free eBook] Fools’ Experiments by Edward M. Lerner [Science Fiction Technothriller]

Fools’ Experiments by Edward M. Lerner, a physicist and computer scientist as well as a recipient of the Canopus and Analog Awards, is his science fiction technothriller, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Phoenix Pick Press.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month, and was originally published in 2008 by Tor Books and was also appeared in the Science Fiction Book Club, and is paired with a discount offer on Lerner’s latest novel as well as a non-fiction writing guide.

The story is set in a near future Earth, where something has begun preying upon the brightest minds in the computer industry, as artificial life and artificial intelligence experiments combine into a potentially deadly form that resists conventional defenses against malicious software.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through May 31st, available directly from the publisher.

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Currently free @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi available worldwide, requires newsletter signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on the page to reset the suggested price to $0.00 before checkout).

The tie-in promotion is for an additional bundle for just $5.99 for both Lerner’s latest novel, the space horror thriller Déjà Doomed, alongside his 2018 non-fiction genre reading/writing resource Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Science Fiction which expands and updates Lerner’s popular science articles originally written for Analog magazine (a combined $13.98 value as regular-priced ebooks).

Description
Fools’ Experiments is a near-future technothriller—a tale of artificial life, artificial intelligence, and world-threatening hubris. In a nutshell:

We are not alone, and it’s our own damn fault ….

Something demonic is stalking the brightest men and women in the computer industry. It attacks without warning or mercy, leaving its prey insane or comatose – or dead.

The mayhem is especially calamitous just now. Something far nastier than any virus, worm, or Trojan horse program is being evolved in laboratory confinement by well-intentioned but misguided researchers. When their artificial life-form escapes onto the Internet, no conventional defense against malicious software can begin to compete. As disasters multiply, computer scientist Doug Carey knows that unconventional measures may be civilization’s last hope.

And that any artificial life-form learns very fast ….

[Free eBook] Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America by Rebecca Jo Plant [Social History]

Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America by Rebecca Jo Plant, an associate professor of history at the University of California, San Diego, is a gender studies social history book, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month for May, and is an accessibly-written social history of the 20th century onwards, tracing a cultural shift apparently starting in the 1940s in which an earlier ideal of sentimental self-sacrificial motherhood became both less all-encompassing and more scapegoated, as various groups sought to redefine the popular perception of motherhood for their own reasons.

Offered worldwide through May 31st, available directly from the publisher’s website.

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Currently available @ the publisher’s dedicated promo page (Adobe Digital Editions-DRM ePub, requires newsletter signup with valid email address, to which the link to claim the download will be sent), and you can read more about the book on its catalogue page

Description
In the early twentieth century, Americans often waxed lyrical about “Mother Love,” signaling a conception of motherhood as an all-encompassing identity, rooted in self-sacrifice and infused with social and political meaning. By the 1940s, the idealization of motherhood had waned, and the nation’s mothers found themselves blamed for a host of societal and psychological ills. In Mom, Rebecca Jo Plant traces this important shift by exploring the evolution of maternalist politics, changing perceptions of the mother-child bond, and the rise of new approaches to childbirth pain and suffering.

Plant argues that the assault on sentimental motherhood came from numerous quarters. Male critics who railed against female moral authority, psychological experts who hoped to expand their influence, and women who strove to be more than wives and mothers—all for their own distinct reasons—sought to discredit the longstanding maternal ideal. By showing how motherhood ultimately came to be redefined as a more private and partial component of female identity, Plant illuminates a major reorientation in American civic, social, and familial life that still reverberates today.

[Free eBook] When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo [Award-Nominated LGBT Fantasy]

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo is the 2nd novella in The Singing Hills Cycle series of high fantasy, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Macmillan’s Tor Books imprint.

This is their featured Free eBook of the Month Club offer, and is being made available to celebrate the novella’s nomination as a finalist for the Hugo Awards, as well as promote the author’s upcoming standalone debut novel, The Chosen and the Beautiful, a reimagined magical version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby. The 1st Singing Hills novella, The Empress of Salt and Fortune, a recipient of the Crawford Award and a finalist for the Hugo, Locus, and Ignyte, is also a May monthly discount special as an ebook for just $2.99 in North America.

The series takes place in a world inspired by imperial China, and this novella stars a non-binary cleric and their companions trapped by hungry tigers and awaiting rescue, who pass the time by recounting a legendary tale about a tiger and her scholar lover.

Offered free in Canada & US through Friday, May 28th (until just before midnight Eastern Time), available directly from the publisher.

Currently available @ the dedicated Tor.com eBook of the Month Club page (DRM-free ePub & Mobi, requires newsletter signup with valid email address; officially geo-restricted to Canada & US only due to regional publishing rights issues)

You can also read their blog announcement for it here which links to an excerpt of The Chosen and the Beautiful, which is slated for release in early June.

Description
From Hugo, Ignyte, and Locus Finalist and Crawford Award Winner Nghi Vo

The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover—a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty—and discover how truth can survive becoming history.

“A stunning gem of a novella that explores the complexity and layers of storytelling and celebrates the wonder of queer love. I could read about Chih recording tales forever.”—Samantha Shannon, New York Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree

“Dangerous, subtle, unexpected and familiar, angry and ferocious and hopeful. . . . The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a remarkable accomplishment of storytelling” —NPR

[Free Audiobooks] Alive by Scott Sigler & What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt [YA Sci-Fi Thriller & Contemporary Social Drama]

AudioFile Magazine continues its annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in themed weekly pairings of 1 modern and 1 classic or non-fiction or drama performance, free for a limited time courtesy of the publishers and magazine.

This week’s selections, which can be claimed from Thursday, May 20th to Wednesday, May 26th, have a theme of “How to Be Human”.

  • Alive by Scott Sigler, read by Colleen Delaney and a Full Cast, from Graphic Audio. This is the 1st novel in his Generations Trilogy of YA science fiction thrillers, starring teens who wake up memoryless into an unfamiliar world for an unknown purpose, who must band together in order to survive and work to discover the secrets of their origin and discover what it means to be human in a strange new future.
  • What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt, read by Graham Halstead, from Brilliance Audio/Candlewick, in an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning performance. This is a YA contemporary social drama novel set in Houston, Texas, starring an activist teen of Jewish heritage who discovers a dark family secret when a viral video connects him with his absent father’s past misdeeds, and must come to terms with his own thoughts and feelings about the matter as well as dealing with the community’s reactions to this newly-revealed legacy.

Offered free through May 26th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article. If the “Explore” page isn’t showing the weekly features properly, search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection.

[Free Audiobooks] Descendant of the Crane by Joan He & Monkey by Wu Cheng’en [YA Fantasy & Classic Chinese Literature]

Once again, AudioFile Magazine continues its annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in themed weekly pairings of 1 modern and 1 classic or non-fiction or drama performance, free for a limited time courtesy of the publishers and magazine.

This week’s selections, running from Thursday, May 12th to Wednesday, May 19th, have a theme of “rooted in China”, celebrating Asian heritage and culture.

  • Descendant of the Crane by Joan He, read by Nancy Wu, from Dreamscape. A YA fantasy adventure set in a Chinese-inspired world, starring a teen reluctantly thrown into the role of queen in a realm full of political intrigue upon her father’s sudden death, and coming to terms with ruling her people while also seeking his killers.
  • Monkey by 16th century Ming Dynasty poet and novelist Wu Cheng’en (吳承恩; credited as Wu Ch’êng-ên in the old Wade-Giles romanization system), translated by the late British scholar Arthur Waley and read by Kenneth Williams, from Naxos Audiobooks. This is an abridged translation of the classic Chinese literature novel Journey to the West, featuring highlights from the fantastic adventures and mythological beings encountered along the way on a quest by a Buddhist monk and his companions, including the fabled Monkey King, to travel to India in order to bring back copies of sacred texts for a Tang Dynasty emperor. This translation won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1942, and the audiobook reading is also an AudioFile Earphones Award Winner.

(The display page is being a little weird, so you might have to search for the books by title in the app once switched to the AudiobookSYNC collection.)

Offered free through May 19th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.

NB: if you later need to free up space on your device, DO NOT use “Return” which will remove your access entirely and prevent you from redownloading. Follow the procedure to delete ONLY the stored downloaded files (skip the actual streaming step) in this Sora Help article.

[Free Audiobooks] They Went Left by Monica Hesse & Trell by Dick Lehr [YA WWII Historical & Contemporary Mystery/Crime Drama]

Once again, AudioFile Magazine continues its annual SYNC Summer of Listening program encouraging teen literacy by offering audiobooks in themed weekly pairings of 1 modern and 1 classic or non-fiction or drama performance, free for a limited time courtesy of the publishers and magazine.

This week’s selections, running from Thursday, May 6th to Wednesday, May 11th, have a theme of “confronting injustice”.

  • They Went Left by Monica Hesse, read by Caitlin Davis, from Hachette Audio. This is a YA historical/literary drama novel set in the aftermath of WWII, starring a Jewish girl recently liberated from a concentration camp in Germany, who tries to remember and piece together what happened to her brother, who may be her last family member left alive. This audiobook includes an afterword read by the author documenting her writing process and also recommending books she discovered during her research.
  • Trell by Dick Lehr, read by Bahni Turpin, from Brilliance Audio/Candlewick. This is a YA mystery/crime drama novel set in modern-day Boston, starring a teenager determined to reopen the case that led to her father’s wrongful conviction for murder, track down witnesses, and uncover the true killer with the help of an investigative journalist.

Offered free until May 11th (expires just before midnight Eastern Time), via the Overdrive Sora app (requires account signup with valid email address, follow the instructions on AudioFile Magazine’s dedicated promo page to register for access and claim your books in the app every week). You’ll be able to keep them indefinitely in your account once you click “Borrow” on the featured book’s page (right hand side under the book cover icon) and redownload at any time.