René Auberjonois provides a thrilling rendering of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's "Fever Dream" (Hachette: $44.98) — the tale of a special agent involved in a cold case that hits very close to home — while C.J. Critt has enough smart-alecky attitude to give life to Janet Evanovich's "Hero at Large" (HarperAudio: $14.99), a funny story about how love can begin with a broken arm. There's also Tiger Woods himself discussing "How I Play Golf" (Hachette: $17.98), though I'd probably have added "from the center of a tabloid whirlwind" to that title. You can find plenty of other offerings at HarperAudio (http://www.harpercollins.com), Hachette (http://www.hachettebookgroup.com) or MacMillan (http://us.macmillan.com).
Tone is just right in Anton Lesser's performance of Petrarch's love sonnets, as is the choice of Joseph Auslander's beautiful 1932 translation. Some readers are bound to roll their eyes. You want me to listen to Petrarch on summer vacation? A 14th century Italian poet? Wait, I say, just imagine this scene: A smitten youth, poolside, spies his own Laura emerging from the resort's jacuzzi. As the suntan lotion drips into his eyes, a voice intones in his ears:
Tears, bitter tears, fall in a bitter rain,
And my heart trembles with a storm of sighs
When on your beauty bend my burning eyes,
For whose sole sake the world seems flat and vain.
That's really not so out of place, is it?
Owchar is deputy books editor of The Times.