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AUDIOBOOKS: Thriller, memoir, and follow-up

This week we have a thriller, a smart-alecky and rather wise memoir, and an adult follow-up to a popular audiobook.

This week we have a thriller, a smart-alecky and rather wise memoir, and an adult follow-up to a popular audiobook. Please remember that all titles are available at your local bookstore and library.

The Guardians
John Grisham; read by Michael Beck
Random House Audio, 12 hours, 10 CDs, $45; download, $31.50

When you finish this entertaining and surprisingly educational novel about wrongly incarcerated death row inmates, listen to the author’s note, because it gives you the basis and the impetus behind the novel. Grisham’s protagonist is a lawyer/minister who defends clients unjustly sentenced for death. Fast-paced and suspenseful, it keeps the listener both entertained and thinking thanks to the powerful themes at play. Beck, a longtime Grisham narrator, has an authentic Southern drawl and easily juggles various accents. Grade: A-minus

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Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder
John Waters; read by the author, includes a PDF of bonus materials
Macmillan Audio, eight CDs, 10 hours, $39.99; download, $27.99

As a septuagenarian, Waters has discovered he’s become a mainstream entity, so he wrote a book full of trashy gossip, filthy sexual revelations and sensational behind-the-scenes details from his many films. The result is shocking, revealing and laugh-out-loud funny. It is also not for everyone. You have to enjoy all thing outré to appreciate Waters, but those of us who do also know to keep the volume low in the presence of others. The production is enhanced by his narration, which picks up on every humorous tidbit that may have sounded harsh or sarcastic when read to oneself. Grade: A-minus

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Find Me
Andre Aciman; read by Michael Stuhlbarg; includes a conversation with author and narrator
Macmillan Audio, eight hours, seven CDs, $29.99; download, $20.99

This is a sequel to Aciman’s most famous novel, “Call me By Your Name” — sort of. It briefly includes the two main characters from that novel, but then expounds upon the lives of those around them in a series of interconnected, sexually charged tales. It is intriguing and compelling, but not really a true follow-up. That said, narrator Stuhlbarg, who starred in the movie version of “Call Me,” is a deft reader who mostly pulls us into the stories, though very occasionally is so over the top as to be jarring. Grade: B-plus