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2020 Summer Favorites/ Bestsellers

2020 Summer Favorites/ Bestsellers

This playlist a combination of 'Staff Picks' and bestsellers from a small Indie bookstore in Brewster, Massachusetts.

Playlist Tags: The Brewster Book Store genre: Fiction mood: fun audience: adult topic: beach reads season: summer

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Normal People

A Novel

By Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

Normal People

“What a treat to discover Sally Rooney! This novel stands out shining from the current onslaught of mediocre prose and less-than-suspenseful thriller plots. Normal People is the story of a relationship between two high school classmates in a small town in Ireland, and how it changes over time, through their last year of college in Dublin. Rooney’s spare and brilliant writing illuminates her insight and makes the unfolding of these two personalities completely compelling.”

Georgiana Dix Blomberg image Georgiana Dix Blomberg, Magnolia's Bookstore
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American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club)

A Novel

By Jeanine Cummins
Narrated by: Yareli Arizmendi
Length: 16 hours 55 minutes

American Dirt (Oprah's Book Club)

“American Dirt can only be described as riveting. I could not stop listening to this compulsive, spine-tingling story. I positively loved this book. There is not a dull moment in it. I highly recommend listening to this book when you have some time on your hands because you won't want to turn it off. The narrator of this book is one of the best that I have listened to. She has a pleasing voice, a lovely accent, and gives just enough drama to the words.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The Vanishing Half

A Novel

By Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Length: 11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“This is a beautifully written, stunning, and scandalous story about two identical black twin girls, one who runs away from home at age 16. And then their lives completely shift, as one continues living her life as a Black woman, and the other that tries to pass herself off as white. This novel came at just the right time, in the middle of the Black Lives Matter protests and racial unrest in the United States. Brit Bennett has done a brilliant job with her novel! It is compelling and the audiobook on Libro.fm is exceptional!”

BookBar image Marilyn, BookBar
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Rodham

A Novel

By Curtis Sittenfeld
Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
Length: 13 hours 58 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of American Wife and Eligible . . . He proposed. She said no. And it changed her life forever.
 
“A deviously clever what if.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Immersive, escapist.”—Good Morning America
“Ingenious.”—The New York Times

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • NPR • The Washington... Read more »

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The Guest List

A Novel

By Lucy Foley
Narrated by: Jot Davies, Chloe Massey, Olivia Dowd, Aoife McMahon, Sarah Ovens & Rich Keeble
Length: 10 hours 22 minutes

The Guest List

“The Guest List kept me hooked through several epic gooseberry processing sessions. (When I hadn't quite finished, I had to quickly pick more berries to carry me through to the end.) When all the guests arrive for a seemingly idyllic wedding, numerous audio narrators quickly reveal that the skeletons in the bride's and groom's pasts–infidelities, betrayals, and flagrant abuse of societal privilege–present serious obstacles to wedded bliss. This patchwork of revelations build to a stunning crescendo complete with a raging storm and subsequent power outage.”

Raven Book Store image Kelly, Raven Book Store
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All Adults Here

A Novel

By Emma Straub
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Length: 11 hours 4 minutes

All Adults Here

“All Adults Here by Emma Straub is quick, entertaining summer read. With an eclectic cast of characters, I found the Strick family endearing as they tried to navigate the complexities of family, aging, and change. These pages felt like a glimpse into the family's life, that felt satisfying in the end, but certainly not complete, a fitting reminder that life continues on.”

Leaves Book and Tea Shop image Tina, Leaves Book and Tea Shop
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A Burning

A novel

By Megha Majumdar
Narrated by: Vikas Adam, Priya Ayyar, Deepti Gupta, Ulka Simone Mohanty, Soneela Nankani & Neil Shah
Length: 7 hours 21 minutes

A Burning

“A Burning tells the all-too-believable story of Javin, a teen-age girl in India who has left school, despite being an excellent student, to get a job and help her struggling family. After a comment against the government on facebook, she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, largely because she is a Muslim. Her story is the central of three comprising the novel. PT Sir is Javin’s physical education teacher who, largely through chance, becomes involved with the leading nationalist political party. And Lovely is a trans woman aspiring to be a film star whom Jivan is tutoring in English. As Jivan’s arrest and trial unfold, the stories of all three characters develop in alternating chapters told from each of their points of view. This novel is not only a compelling tale of each of the characters’ lives and the impact of PT Sir’s and Lovely’s actions on Jivan’s fate, but it is a critical examination of nationalism in India today – and thus a cautionary tale about nationalist extremism anywhere in the world.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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Ask Again, Yes

A Novel

By Mary Beth Keane
Narrated by: Molly Pope
Length: 12 hours 42 minutes

Ask Again, Yes

“"Love is only part of the story" is a quote taken from one of the last pages of "Yes, Again Yes." Love may be just a fraction of this fabulous novel but it is also the thread that weaves this heartbreaking tale together. The novel centers around two families who are next-door neighbors. The patriarchs are policemen. The families are not friends due to one of the family member's mental illness. However, there is a deep friendship that develops between the teenage daughter and son. An unthinkable tragedy occurs and one of the families moves away. "Yes, Again Yes" explores life, love, family ties, tragedy, heartbreak, mental illness and the strong power fo love. I enjoyed every moment of this moving novel and highly recommend it. The narration is well-done.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Beach Read

By Emily Henry
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hours 12 minutes

If you enjoyed Take a Hint, Dani Brown, then you’ll love Beach Read.

“2020 is apparently the year I start reading romance novels and loving them. Maybe it's my need for a little lighthearted fluff in quarantine, but straight fluff isn't really my jam no matter the day. I want fluff with meat on its bones. I want fluff with substance.

As for Beach Read... Did I just give a romance novel ALL THE STARS? Why yes. Yes I did. And if I could give it a few more, I would. Because Beach Read is just the kind of substantial 'fluff' I needed to read. It's the kind of book that flips the patriarchy on its head, the one that has told readers like me that romance novels can't be good literature. Because at the end of the day, my preference for anything *but* romance had little to do with the writing quality, and everything to do with social biases. Henry attacks those head on. And then she goes leaps and bounds further, delving into grief and love and identity, and how we understand each other.

This book is therapy. It's a book about writer's block in the best of ways - not just the literal premise of swapping stories, but that of feeling stuck in a rut and not knowing what to do to move forward with life. I felt completely and utterly seen in its pages. I cried ugly tears until I had none left. And then it lifted me up in a bucket full of swoon. Reader, I adored every minute. And with Julia Whelan to narrate, what more could you ask for?”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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The Jane Austen Society

A Novel

By Natalie Jenner
Narrated by: Richard Armitage
Length: 9 hours 55 minutes

The Jane Austen Society

“I loved this book so much that I bought the hardcover for myself right after I finished listening to the book on Libro.fm - and I bought 3 more copies to give to friends. You don't have to like Jane Austen to love this book. It's so refreshing!”

Content image Myrna, Content
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Friends and Strangers

A novel

By J. Courtney Sullivan
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Length: 14 hours 4 minutes

Friends and Strangers

“I am a big fan of J. Courtney Sullivan's writing. This engaging novel examines privilege, motherhood, and relationships between employer and employee in a daily domestic setting. Elizabeth is a writer and hires Sam from a local college to babysit for her infant son. As time passes, they develop a close relationship. Elizabeth's work habits slowly diminish. If she is not drinking wine with Sam, she is wasting away the hours perusing Facebook for old acquaintances. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's husband, Andrew is a struggling inventor who is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed. Friends & Strangers is engrossing and well written. Hat's off to the narrator who gave an outstanding performance.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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28 Summers

By Elin Hilderbrand
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
Length: 15 hours 26 minutes

28 Summers

“I have had the pleasure of reading all of Elin Hilderbrand's books. My favorite has always been her first novel, The Blue Bistro. I'm afraid to say the 28 Summers has officially dethroned The Blue Bistro in my heart. Listening to 28 Summers was a total delight to my ears. It is based on one of my favorite movies, Same Time Next Year. 28 Summers tells the story of Mallory and Jake. Jake is a college buddy of Mallory's brother, Cooper. Although Jake is involved in a relationship, he immediately becomes enamored by Mallory. The reader is given a birds-eye view of their blossoming romance that begins on Labor Day weekend and continues on that same weekend for 28 years. If you are looking to escape some of the awful news in the world, and you appreciate a story of enduring love, this book is for you. As an added bonus, the fabulous narrator is the cherry on this delicious sundae.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Summer Darlings

By Brooke Lea Foster
Narrated by: Rebekkah Ross
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

Summer Darlings

“If you relish a story that takes place in the 1960s, includes beautiful, wealthy characters, and takes place in charming Martha's Vineyard, Summer Darlings is for you. This book is beautifully written and rich in detail. It tells the story of Heddy, a Wellesley student who is hired as a nanny for the wealthiest family on the island. At first, Heddy is enamored with her employers and their lifestyle. But she soon realizes that all that glitters is not gold. Over the course of the Summer, Heddy befriends a famous Hollywood star and finds herself with two handsome suitors. This novel is the perfect Summer read. It is entertaining as well as full of glamor reminiscent of the '60s. If you choose to listen to it, the narrator is exceptional and puts her heart into the reading.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Summer Longing

By Jamie Brenner
Narrated by: Molly Parker Myers
Length: 11 hours 36 minutes

Summer Longing

“Jamie's books remind me of the first warm, sunny day in Spring. Summer Longing takes place in quirky, colorful Provincetown. Ruth Cooperman, a woman in her 50's steps off the ferry with high hopes of starting a new chapter in her life. She rents a picturesque home from Elise and Fern, who owns the town's Tea Shop. After she is settled in her home away from home, Ruth opens her front door and finds an infant on her doorstep. Elise is contacted, and she immediately falls in love with the sweet baby girl. Several of the women in town pitch in to take care of the baby, including Ruth. This book tackles many topics: infertility, unwanted pregnancy, mother/daughter dynamics, and of course, love. I highly recommend this delightful story.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Writers & Lovers

A Novel

By Lily King
Narrated by: Stacey Glemboski
Length: 8 hours 13 minutes

Writers & Lovers

“I have had this book since last fall, but have been *saving* it for the right time and I am so thrilled I waited. Quarantine is the perfect time to allow Lily King to bring you gently into the world she creates in Writers & Lovers. A young woman who has recently lost her mother is waiting for the world to make itself known to her. Stuck in a dead end job while trying to finish her novel and find love, KC makes the reader not just feel FOR her, but feel WITH her. A beautifully written story that shows Lily King is at the top of her game.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Mary, Anderson's Bookshop
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The Second Home

A Novel

By Christina Clancy
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 12 hours 22 minutes

The Second Home

“Anne and Poppy are sisters who have taken very different roads in life. Growing up in Wisconsin, they enjoyed their Summers at their run-down cottage on the Cape with their adoring parents. When they were in their teens, their parents adopted a sixteen-year-old named Michael. For some time the family lived in peaceful harmony until a life-changing event occurred. Years later, after their parent's tragic death, the sisters reunite at the cottage. They search the house for a will. The sisters and Michael have been estranged for many years due to a misunderstanding. Michael then reenters the picture. This debut novel is beautifully written and touches on many aspects of love - parental, sibling, and last but not least, undying love. The narrator gives an outstanding performance and reads with heart and soul.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Big Summer

A Novel

By Jennifer Weiner
Narrated by: Danielle Macdonald
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

Big Summer

“I have never read or listened to anything by Jennifer Weiner before, I thought would be a bit too fluffy for me. I was really surprised to find that I really enjoyed this audio. This story about friendship, loyalty, being comfortable with yourself and staying true to yourself, was very well written and I also really enjoyed the narration. I liked it even more once I got to the twist and realized there was a bit of a mystery thrown in! I very much enjoyed listening to this audio. I highly recommend this one to get your summer reading/listening started!!”

Gottwals Books image Julie, Gottwals Books
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