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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
Length: 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 »

Audiobook details

The List of Things That Will Not Change

By Rebecca Stead
Narrated by: Rachel L. Jacobs
Length: 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
Audiobook details

A Song Below Water

A Novel

By Bethany C. Morrow
Narrated by: Andrea Laing & Jennifer Haralson
Length: 9 hours 23 minutes

A Song Below Water

“This is sisterhood. This is Black mermaid magic. This is powerful and beautiful and relevant. Fantasy at its finest because it fights for something bigger. A Song Below Water had me mesmerized from the off, unable to unplug from the tapestry of mythos and social justice and current events that Morrow has so tantalizingly woven. There is nothing small about Tavia or Effie, though the world would like them to be. And there is nothing simple about their story, which courses with intrigue a wide array of equally individualistic characters (Love me some Gargy). Read this gem. Then go out and speak siren.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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The Black Flamingo

By Dean Atta
Narrated by: Dean Atta
Length: 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
Audiobook details

Don't Read the Comments

By Eric Smith
Narrated by: Richa Shukla Moorjani & Sunil Malhotra
Length: 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 »

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This Is My America

By Kim Johnson
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 9 hours 34 minutes

This Is My America

“Strong and compelling storytelling, in addition to insightful perspective of racial injustice, bias, and the complexity of adolescence. Both the plot and the characters were engaging and complex on multiple levels, which kept me wishing I could listen faster to know what happens next.”

Leaves Book and Tea Shop image Tina, Leaves Book and Tea Shop
Audiobook details

Mexican Gothic

A Novel

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

Mexican Gothic

“A bit spooky with some underlining themes of science and the power of racism. There’s a feel of modern Bronte sisters here which adds to the intrigue of this original gothic tale. I loved Noemi, the well-educated bright young protagonist who has a great sense of justice and can stare down evil all while being sophisticated and alluring. Great listening!”

Bookworm of Edwards image Karin, Bookworm of Edwards
Audiobook details

A Burning

A novel

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

A Burning

“Wonderfully read by a full cast, Megha Majumdar’s A Burning is especially relevant in the age of highly-politicized social media and government extremism.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
Audiobook details

Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
Length: 9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“What a beautifully rich and nuanced book! Emira, a mid-twenties educated but slightly driftless woman is working 2 part time jobs still trying to find her passion. She find joy in her part time babysitting job, finding her three year old charge a delightfully odd little person who keeps her interested. But things turn complicated when she is asked to take her charge to the local grocery store late at night and is accosted by the store security guard and a "well meaning" patron. Accused of kidnapping and unable to leave Emira holds her dignity and stands up for herself as another patron films the incident. Emira wants nothing more than to put the incident behind her but those closest to her have other ideas of what is best for her. This novel packs an emotional punch, making us question our own motives and wondering if we really have our loved ones best interests at heart. A perfect book group pick for those who like to focus on character driven stories.”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
Audiobook details

The Vanishing Half

A Novel

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

The Vanishing Half

“This is an intriguing story, part family saga, part social commentary, about twin sisters whose lives diverged into two very different directions. Desiree and Stella grew up in Mallard, Louisiana, a place that didn't show up on any map and a community that in the 1960s was racist in a peculiar way: the population was almost exclusively very light-skinned African Americans, many of whom could pass for white. Fourteen years before the story begins, Desiree and Stella suddenly left home together to find work in New Orleans. Shortly afterwards, Stella disappeared without a trace. Desiree married, had a child, and in 1968 decided to return to Mallard to her mother's house to escape an abusive husband. Skipping ahead ten years to 1978, we meet Stella, who has also married and had a child, and now lives in California in an exclusively white upscale neighborhood where not even her husband knows about her African American blood. In a coincidence that the author makes seem believable, the twins' daughters meet, and Stella's secret is in danger of being exposed. Bennett's characters are well-developed and provide a clearly-drawn portrait of race, gender, and the ties that hold families and relationships together.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Alice, Blue Willow Bookshop
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