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Audacious August Staff Picks

Awaiting an audacious anecdote? August’s staff picks have an excellent selection of books for you to browse.

Playlist Tags: Off the Beaten Path season: summer audience: everyone

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Paola Santiago and the River of Tears

By Tehlor Kay Mejia
Narrated by Frankie Corzo /  10 hours 13 minutes

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents author Tehlor Kay Mejia and her thrilling fantasy adventure based on the Mexican legend of La Llorona (the Crying Woman).

Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It's all they've heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned... Read more »

Price:

$35.00 USD

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The List of Things That Will Not Change

By Rebecca Stead
Narrated by Rachel L. Jacobs /  4 hours 56 minutes

The List of Things That Will Not Change

“Rebecca Stead has written yet another layered novel about familial love in its myriad of forms. When her parents divorce, Bea is given a journal to write down things that will remain constant in her life. When her dad announces that he is marrying his boyfriend Jesse, Bea is excited to gain a sister. With the help of her notebook and her kind therapist, Bea is ahor.ble to work through her feelings (mostly her anger management ones). It's a quiet book that will resonate with Stead’s fans and hopefully garner new ones.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Valerie, Blue Willow Bookshop
Price:

$21.00 USD

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A Song Below Water

A Novel
By Bethany C. Morrow
Narrated by Andrea Laing & Jennifer Haralson /  9 hours 23 minutes

A Song Below Water

“Tavia and her sister, Effie, are struggling with being themselves in a world where some people are born as mythological beings, like Sirens, Eloko and Gargoyles. Tavia is a Siren, a being that is feared because her Siren voice can be used to control others. In addition, she is Black, adding an additional layer of silencing. She lives in hiding and fear and frequently resorts to sign language when she cannot speak for fear of revealing her Siren voice. Effie is a Ren Faire performer and only feels herself when swimming or being Euphemia the Mer, her mermaid alter ego. At school she hates when attention turns to her and clams up, unable to speak. She is also troubled by secrets in her past, including her absent father. Tavia and Effie are everything to each other, even though they are sisters by circumstance rather than birth, and are able to truly talk to each other. With this support they learn to find and accept their voice and their true selves. The narrator alternates from one sister to the other throughout the book and each chapter has a unique voice and feel. Through a mix of reality and metaphor Bethany C. Morrow is able to tackle, without preaching, issues concerning Black women's voices being silenced.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Caroline R., Blue Willow Bookshop
Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Black Flamingo

By Dean Atta
Narrated by Dean Atta /  3 hours 40 minutes

The Black Flamingo

“Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London who goes to college and can't find a place to fit in, until he discovers The Drag Society. This story, told in poetry, is full of stunning language and the joy of finding your place in the world.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Ann, Blue Willow Bookshop
Price:

$18.39 USD

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Don't Read the Comments

By Eric Smith
Narrated by Richa Shukla Moorjani & Sunil Malhotra /  8 hours 32 minutes

We all need a place to escape from the real world.

For Divya and Aaron, it’s the world of online gaming. While Divya trades her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay rent, Aaron plays as a way to fuel his own dreams of becoming a game developer – and as a way to disappear when his mom starts talking about... Read more »

Price:

$6.99 USD

Retail price (USD): $8.04

Discount: 13%

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This Is My America

By Kim Johnson
Narrated by Bahni Turpin /  9 hours 34 minutes

"Incredible and searing." --Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.


Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help... Read more »

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$35.00 USD

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Mexican Gothic

A Novel
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by Frankie Corzo /  10 hours 39 minutes

Mexican Gothic

“Best book I have read this year. An amazing, gripping tale of a young woman in a strange old house. It's an epic ghost story mixed with some element for "Girl with all the Gifts." Compelling characters and a twist ending that will have you in the edge of your seat until the very end. 10/10 would recommend. ”

Leaves Book and Tea Shop image Tiffany, Leaves Book and Tea Shop
Price:

$28.00 USD

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A Burning

A novel
By Megha Majumdar
Narrated by Ulka Mohanty, Vikas Adam, Priya Ayyar, Deepti Gupta, Soneela Nankani & Neil Shah /  7 hours 21 minutes

A Burning

“Majumdar’s suspenseful narrative holds a mirror up to society at large, reflecting the lies people tell themselves to rationalize sacrificing morality for personal gain. Unintended consequences from an impulsive social media post explode against a backdrop of deep economic insecurities and centuries-old prejudices. A searing debut, this novel is timely and timeless. It packs a punch way above its weight. Brilliant.”

Penguin Bookshop image Lisa Johnson, Penguin Bookshop
Price:

$24.50 USD

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Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by Nicole Lewis /  9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“A racial comedy of manners for the digital age, Such a Fun Age is a hilarious and cringe-inducing look at white people trying to do the right thing: badly, and for all the wrong reasons. Nicole Lewis's reading is a dazzling feat: expertly code-switching between the voice Emira uses with her friends, to the voice she uses with her boss, Alix, to the voice her boss's suburban black friend, Tamara, uses with Alix, to the voice Tamara uses with Emira. I don't think I would have enjoyed this book half as much without this effortlessly nuanced narration.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
Price:

$28.00 USD

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The Vanishing Half

A Novel
By Brit Bennett
Narrated by Shayna Small /  11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“Within the first few pages of The Vanishing Half, I knew I was reading something special. In this slow-burn novel, twins Desiree and Stella grow up in Mallard, a small black community in segregated Louisiana that prides itself on the lightness of its people’s skin. At sixteen, the twins flee from Mallard after their mother pulls them out of school to work cleaning white people’s houses, sacrificing the familiarity of home, the safety of their community, and the predictable trajectory of their lives. In New Orleans, the twins begin their new lives together, but eventually Stella takes off on her own, choosing to live the rest of her life “passing” as white; Desiree marries a dark-skinned man, has a child who looks like him, and ends up living back in Mallard. The consequences of the twins’ life choices unfold throughout the book, from the 1950s to the 1990s, and include the lives (and perspectives) of their daughters, Kennedy and Jude. The Vanishing Half is a fascinating story about family relationships, identity, and belonging, and I savored every page.”

Phinney Books image Anika, Phinney Books
Price:

$31.50 USD

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