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100 Notable Books of 2017

Selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review, this year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction include books reviewed since December 4, 2016.

American War

A novel
By Omar El Akkad
Narrated by Dion Graham /  12 hours 21 minutes

American War

“Omar El Akkad has delivered a stunning debut. He imagines a world in a not-too-distant future where Americans are at war with each other once again. The characters in this story are fully developed and individual, yet their histories - their stories - extend into the histories of all those displaced and affected by the forces of war. The title, American War, is a shape-shifter. At once, it means that America is again at war, but at times reflects the ways in which the true, actual wars that America has perpetrated on Earth have affected the lives of millions of people. This will be one of the most discussed books of the year, and I cannot wait to put it in the hands of all readers looking to be changed.”

SubText Bookstore image Matt Keliher, SubText Bookstore
Price:

$27.00

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Anything Is Possible

A Novel
By Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by Kimberly Farr /  8 hours 28 minutes

Anything Is Possible

“Anything Is Possible merges the interlocking story form of Strout's Olive Kitteridge with the characters from My Name Is Lucy Barton. No one captures both the decency and cruelty of small towns the way Strout does-the kindness of a school janitor, the merciless taunts an impoverished child must endure. Mothers and daughters are a frequent theme, too, and the story of Mississippi Mary, about a woman visiting her mother in Italy, just might break your heart. Every story in this amazing collection is about the events that can make or break us - war, abuse, poverty, illness - and how we respond. I loved this marvelous book, and you should absolutely read it.”

Literati Bookstore image Jill Zimmerman, Literati Bookstore
Price:

$24.00

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Bad Dreams and Other Stories

By Tessa Hadley
Narrated by Emma Gregory /  5 hours 50 minutes

The award-winning author of The Past once again "crystallizes the atmosphere of ordinary life in prose somehow miraculous and natural" (Washington Post), in a collection of stories that elevate the mundane into the exceptional.

The author of six critically acclaimed novels, Tessa Hadley has proven herself to be the champion of revealing the... Read More »

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$21.84

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A Boy in Winter

A Novel
By Rachel Seiffert
Narrated by Mark Deakins /  7 hours 12 minutes

Early on a grey November morning in 1941, only weeks after the German invasion, a small Ukrainian town is overrun by the SS. This new novel from the award-winning author of the Booker Prize short-listed The Dark Room tells of the three days that follow and the lives that are overturned in the process.

Penned in with his fellow Jews, under threat... Read More »

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$21.00

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The Changeling

A Novel
By Victor LaValle
Narrated by Victor LaValle /  14 hours 1 minute

“If the literary gods mixed together Haruki Murakami and Ralph Ellison, the result would be Victor LaValle.”—Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See

“A dark fairy tale of New York, full of magic and loss, myth and mystery, love and madness. The Changeling is a mesmerizing, monumental work.”—Marlon James, author of A Brief History of... Read More »

Price:

$27.00

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The Dark Flood Rises

A Novel
By Dame Margaret Drabble
Narrated by Anna Bentinck /  13 hours 21 minutes

Francesca Stubbs has a very full life. A highly regarded expert on housing for the elderly who is herself getting on in age, she drives restlessly round England. Amid the professional conferences she attends, she fits in visits to old friends, brings home-cooked dinners to her ex-husband, texts her son, who is grieving over the sudden death of... Read More »

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$28.74

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The Dinner Party

Stories
By Joshua Ferris
Narrated by Nicholas Tecosky, Chris Kayser, Jennifer Riker & Zach Roe /  7 hours 4 minutes

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
The first collection of short stories from the critically acclaimed, prize-winning author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.

These eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, are at once thrilling, strange, and comic. The modern tribulations of... Read More »

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$29.88

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The Essex Serpent

A Novel
By Sarah Perry
Narrated by Juanita McMahon /  14 hours 44 minutes

The Essex Serpent

“If you love mystery, Victorian England, and exploring the tension between science and religion, you will love The Essex Serpent. Many contemporary authors manage to evoke for readers that experience of reading Jane Austen or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the first time. The real miracle of Sarah Perry is that she manages to do so with a completely fresh voice. With beautiful sentences and characters and landscapes so well-crafted you feel you've been there, The Essex Serpent captures the imagination and manages to deliver the sense of wisdom only good literature can.”

Klindt's Booksellers image Tina Ontiveros, Klindt's Booksellers
Price:

$32.19

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Exit West

A Novel
By Mohsin Hamid
Narrated by Mohsin Hamid /  4 hours 41 minutes

Exit West

“Exit West will take your breath away as it magically weaves together a story of falling in love while the world falls apart. Spirited Nadia captures the heart of the thoughtful Saeed, but as their different paths in life converge, ordinary life gives way to the insults of war. Mohsin Hamid conveys the story of these young refugees with tenderness, humanizing the horrors that we too often see as merely headlines. As chaos touches so many lives around the globe, Hamid writes eloquently of the beauty found in our struggle to survive. This is more than a timely story; this is a remarkable work of art.”

Book Passage image Luisa Smith, Book Passage
Price:

$18.00

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Five-Carat Soul

By James McBride
Narrated by Arthur Morey, Nile Bullock, Prentice Onayemi & Dominic Hoffman /  8 hours 33 minutes

Five-Carat Soul

“Sometimes after I've read a great book by an author, I judge. When I picked up a copy of James McBride's new collection of stories, Five-Carat Soul, I was prepared to be disappointed; how could he top The Good Lord Bird? Was I ever surprised, in the best way possible! These stories have all the magnificent qualities of his National Book Award-winning novel: quirky, poignant, and hilarious characters amid myriad situations in life, and humanity at its most human presented in beautiful writing. A couple of multi-story combinations read like novellas, and satisfied my craving to know more about the most interesting of the characters. McBride has set the bar high once again.”

Quail Ridge Books image Mamie Potter, Quail Ridge Books
Price:

$21.00

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Forest Dark

A Novel
By Nicole Krauss
Narrated by Gabra Zackman /  8 hours 12 minutes

Forest Dark

“No surprise: Forest Dark was worth the wait. Tapping into intellectual and deeply personal moments, the two main characters are ones to identify with even as the circumstances they find themselves in are fantastic. Krauss' reflections about marriage are poignant, and there is a lot to contemplate. At first, I enjoyed having moments when I wasn't reading to think, but toward the end I found myself not being able to put it down.”

Kira Wizner image Kira Wizner, Merritt Books
Price:

$25.29

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4 3 2 1

A Novel
By Paul Auster
Narrated by Paul Auster /  36 hours 53 minutes

4 3 2 1

“I celebrate whenever there's something new by Paul Auster. I wasn't prepared, though, for just how moved, awed, and astonished I found myself while immersed in his inventive and grand novel 4 3 2 1. About a life lived fully, about possibility in love and finding a path to take that's the right one, this is a large novel in all respects, but, most importantly, in spirit. In its writing, Paul Auster has created nothing short of a masterpiece.”

Books & Books image Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books
Price:

$57.49

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Fresh Complaint

Stories
By Jeffrey Eugenides
Narrated by Jeffrey Eugenides, Ari Fliakos & Cynthia Nixon /  8 hours 2 minutes

"The theme of complaint extends beyond the title story, but for listeners the key takeaway is the word 'fresh.' Jeffrey Eugenides's fresh writing...showcases his originality and — since he also narrates it — his ability to navigate multiple accents and personalities." — AudioFile Magazine

The first collection of short fiction from Pulitzer... Read More »

Price:

$22.99

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Future Home of the Living God

A Novel
By Louise Erdrich
Narrated by Louise Erdrich /  10 hours 43 minutes

Future Home of the Living God

“Powerful, prophetic, and absolutely pertinent to our times, Louise Erdrich's new novel, Future Home of the Living God, is a horrifying, haunting story about the lengths the government will go to control women's reproductive rights and ensure the success of mankind as we know it. Riveting, repulsive, and revealing at the same time, Erdrich captures the essence of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and spins a new twist sure to tantalize and terrorize readers' thoughts and play on their fears. Once again, Erdrich challenges societal constraints and conceives a novel guaranteed to leave you guessing. I highly recommend it!”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Price:

$28.74

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Home Fire

A Novel
By Kamila Shamsie
Narrated by Tania Rodrigues /  7 hours 53 minutes

Home Fire

“One finishes reading Kamila Shamsie's extraordinary Home Fire completely stunned. She has written a brilliant story about two families who share geography and become linked by fate - one that has known exile, death, and family mystery, and another that has adapted to the so-called mainstream. Family, religion, the politics of media, various forms of seduction, and present-day devices all bring themselves to bear in utterly telling form. The U.S., London, Karachi, Syria, and Istanbul all figure into this book, which is of this time and age and beyond. One of the finest writers at work in English today, Kamila Shamsie has written her most heartbreaking, beautiful, necessary book yet.”

The Elliott Bay Book Company image Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company
Price:

$21.00

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Ill Will

A Novel
By Dan Chaon
Narrated by Ari Fliakos, Edoardo Ballerini, Michael Crouch & Various /  14 hours 54 minutes

Ill Will

“Ill Will is a house of mirrors reflecting intergenerational psychodramas in which the abuses of a parent insidiously infect subsequent generations. Violent parricide, false memories, drugs, and sex fuel a double plot line and vivid character development and taut dialog propel the reader as scene shifts blur the roles of the offender and the injured. Chaon adroitly leads us through a literary haunted house, then leaves us to find our own way out.”

The Hickory Stick Bookshop image Bill Fore, The Hickory Stick Bookshop
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$30.00

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A Kind of Freedom

A Novel
By Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Narrated by Kevin Kenerly, Bahni Turpin & Adenrele Ojo /  8 hours 12 minutes

Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. Her family inhabits the upper echelon of black society, and when she falls for no-name Renard, she is forced to choose between her life of privilege and the man she loves.In 1982, Evelyn’s daughter Jackie is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent... Read More »

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$22.94

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Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

A Novel
By Andrew Sean Greer
Narrated by Robert Petkoff /  8 hours 17 minutes

A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of "arresting lyricism and beauty" (The New York Times Book Review).

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
National Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017
A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2017
A San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten... Read More »

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$28.73

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Lincoln in the Bardo

A Novel
By George Saunders
Narrated by Various, George Saunders, Nick Offerman & David Sedaris /  7 hours 24 minutes

Lincoln in the Bardo

“Saunders' first novel has a steep entry curve. It's not a novel that reveals itself quickly and easily, but if you give it your attention, if you burrow deep into the book, you'll be eminently rewarded. There is a richness and depth of humanity here. There is the strange and wonderful. There is love and grief and mystery all brought together in the story of Abraham Lincoln's dead son, the Civil War, and what may happen to us all after we leave the mortal coil. It's a beautiful and moving book that will stay with you for a long, long while.”

University Book Store image Jason Vanhee, University Book Store
Price:

$21.00

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Manhattan Beach

A Novel
By Jennifer Egan
Narrated by Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Lind & Vincent Piazza /  15 hours 16 minutes

Manhattan Beach

“Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach captures a time and place on the verge of momentous change. Set in Brooklyn in the 1940s, the novel tells the story of Anna Kerrigan, a young woman who has dropped out of Brooklyn College to contribute what she can to the American war effort. Unsatisfied with her job of inspecting and measuring machine parts, she attempts to enter the male-only world of deep-sea diving. Manhattan Beach is rich and atmospheric, highlighting a period when gangs controlled the waterfront, jazz streamed from the doors of nightclubs, and the future for everyone was far from certain.”

Politics & Prose image Mark LaFramboise, Politics & Prose
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