4 audio books to savor this fall

Looking for an intriguing audio book as the weather turns chilly? Here are some high-caliber mysteries.

3. 'The Wrong Girl,' by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Read by Ilyana Kadushin

Macmillan Audio; 11 CDs, 13.5 hours

In her sequel to last year’s “The Other Woman,” author and investigative reporter Ryan gives us another thriller featuring Jane Ryland, a reporter at the Register, a Boston newspaper. Ryland’s friend, Tucker Cameron, worries that Ryland's birth mother, with whom she has recently reconnected, is not the real thing and wants Ryland to look into the adoption agency that originally placed her. It turns out that much is awry at that agency.

Ryan creates a realistic feel for the unglamorous work of a reporter and Ryland comes across as smart and savvy, but her on-again-off-again romance with cop Jake Brogan is reduced to a few furtive conversations and little else. Narrator Kadushin has a great sense of timing, a pretty voice, and the ability to express emotion without overdoing it. Her Bahston accent, however, is lacklustah and uneven. Grade: B

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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