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Julia's Audio Favorites

These are my all-time favorite audiobooks, from amazing narrators and stellar narrating casts to just edge-of-your-seat great storytelling.

Playlist Tags: Itinerant Literate Books genre: Non-Classifiable

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

A Novel

By Maria Semple
Narrated by: Kathleen Wilhoite
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes

A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears in this "whip-smart and divinely funny" novel that inspired the movie starring Cate Blanchett (New York Times).

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in... Read more »

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We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart
Narrated by: Ariadne Meyers
Length: 6 hours 26 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident....

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The Taxidermist's Daughter

A Novel

By Kate Mosse
Narrated by: Michelle Ford
Length: 10 hours 20 minutes

A chilling and spooky Gothic historical thriller reminiscent of Rebecca and The Turn of the Screw, dripping with the dark twists and eerie surprises that are the hallmarks of Edgar Allan Poe, from the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Citadel.

In a remote village near the English coast, residents gather in a misty...

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Days without End

By Sebastian Barry
Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
Length: 7 hours 58 minutes

From Sebastian Barry, a two-time finalist for the Man Booker Prize, comes a powerful and unforgettable novel chronicling a young Irish immigrant’s army years in the Indian wars and the American Civil War.

Thomas McNulty, having fled the Great Famine in Ireland and now barely seventeen years old, signs up for the US Army in the 1850s and with his...

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The Lonely Hearts Hotel

A Novel

By Heather O'Neill
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

“If there is Canadian magical realism, this is it! The Lonely Hearts Hotel is the charming story of Rose and Pierrot, two children raised in a Montreal orphanage in the early 20th century. O'Neill traces their romance from their childhood of entertaining rich people in their homes to their less salubrious post-orphanage careers. When Rose and Pierrot meet again as adults, magic happens-but can this magic survive the rigors of the real world? Fantastic and fabulous in the truest sense of both words.”

Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza image Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza
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Speak No Evil

A Novel

By Uzodinma Iweala
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi & Julia Whelan
Length: 6 hours 21 minutes

Speak No Evil

“'This is who I am.' 'This is what happened to me.' These are the simplest of expressions, yet the ability to speak them fully is a privilege not shared by the teenaged protagonists of this novel. Nigerian immigrant and Harvard-accepted aspiring doctor Niru is not able to tell his conservative religious parents that he is gay. The daughter of D.C.'s political elite, Meredith is not able to tell the world what really happened in an alley outside a bar on a hot spring night. Speak No Evil describes how loving relationships are strained, how trust is shattered, and how bodies can be broken when the truth is silenced. This heartbreakingly beautiful story will stay with you for a long time.”

Literati Bookstore image Jill Zimmerman, Literati Bookstore
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Milkman

By Anna Burns
Narrated by: Bríd Brennan
Length: 14 hours 11 minutes

Milkman

“Loved this audio of Anna Burns, Milkman. This is a personal telling of the Troubles and life in Northern Ireland, the day to day, the trauma, the danger (where no one is named but all are known). Middle sister, the narrator, is whip smart, wickedly funny and trying desperately to not be "interesting" yet somehow she has become the talk of the neighborhood. Even if you never thought you wanted to time travel to Northern Ireland during the Troubles you really should - Burns makes it a worthy trip.”

East City Bookshop image Jennifer, East City Bookshop
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Sadie

A Novel

By Courtney Summers
Narrated by: Dan Bittner, Fred Berman, Gabra Zackman & Rebecca Soler
Length: 7 hours 57 minutes

Sadie

“This book made me cry. I felt so deeply for Sadie as she goes in search of the man who hurt her sister. Sadie goes on a journey from place to place, fighting against her severe stutter along the way, all to find one man. I think the framing of this story was PERFECT. The author splits the narrative between a radio presenter, West McCray, as he investigates Sadie’s disappearance, and the first person perspective of Sadie herself, as she hunts down her sister’s killer. If you like gripping, emotional reads, don't miss this one.”

The Owl Books & Brew image Heather, The Owl Books & Brew
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Ghosted

A Novel

By Rosie Walsh
Narrated by: Katherine Press
Length: 9 hours 19 minutes

Ghosted

“Ghosting is always unforgivable, right? Before I read this book, I would definitely have said so.”

East City Bookshop image Claire, East City Bookshop
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Red at the Bone

A Novel

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by: Jacqueline Woodson, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small & Bahni Turpin
Length: 3 hours 52 minutes

Red at the Bone

“How did she manage to create this gorgeous family saga in less than 200 pages? Told through a chorus of five different voices, family members fill in the puzzle of their lives piece by piece and generation by generation. Told out of sequence, we learn how these lives intersected, arrived in Brooklyn, and navigated their way through the racial complexities of the 20th and 21st centuries. We experience how they face timeless issues of family, love, identity, race, and class. The poetic language along with full audio cast makes for a moving and spell-binding listen.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
Audiobook details

The Witches Are Coming

By Lindy West
Narrated by: Lindy West
Length: 6 hours 27 minutes

The Witches Are Coming

“Lindy West is hilarious and timely in this must-listen audio book! It is more enjoyable because Lindy reads it herself, so the jokes are perfectly timed and hearing her words in her own voice works very well for this book. Round up all your fellow witches and gather your coven, the witches are coming for the patriarchy!”

Tattered Cover image Chelsea, Tattered Cover
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Loveboat, Taipei

By Abigail Hing Wen
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 11 hours 2 minutes

Loveboat, Taipei

“Ever Wong’s loving, but very strict, Chinese American parents expect her to go to medical school to assume the profession her father gave up when they moved to America to provide her with a better life. But Ever, an accomplished dancer, has dreams of her own. When her parents send her to an elite summer school program in Taipei to study her cultural heritage and language, a whole new world opens up for Ever. The freedom to skip classes, break rules, and explore new friendships leads to plenty of eye-opening experiences and busting of long-held stereotypes. But will Ever figure out how to balance her life in both of her worlds and maybe even fall in love? Remember the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Despite what you might assume from a glance, this story is so much more than a teen romance novel.”

Rediscovered Books image Becky, Rediscovered Books
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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning

By Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by: Jason Reynolds
Length: 4 hours 11 minutes

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

“I really enjoyed this audiobook, and was lucky enough to meet Jason Reynolds at Winter Institute 2020, and he said he hopes this book helps all of us have a full knowledge and a frank discussion about race in America. Reynolds is an engaging narrator, and he deftly reads this remix of Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award winning Stamped From the Beginning. I learned a great deal from this book, and I have been studying American history my whole life. Reynolds' book will allow adults to educate middle readers -- and all of us -- about the true legacy of America's past, and where we go from here. An absolutely essential book. I can't recommend it highly enough, and am grateful to Kendi and Reynolds for providing an accessible telling of the great irony of the premise on the American truth that all men are created equal.”

Main Point Books image John, Main Point Books
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We Want Our Bodies Back

Poems

By jessica Care moore
Narrated by: jessica Care moore
Length: 2 hours 1 minutes

We Want Our Bodies Back

“Lyrical poems that will spark a lot of emotion, and maybe even a call to action. This little book is incredibly powerful! Makes for a great listen on Libro.fm as well. ”

Bright Side Bookshop image Amy, Bright Side Bookshop
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Girl, Serpent, Thorn

By Melissa Bashardoust
Narrated by: Nikki Massoud
Length: 10 hours 6 minutes

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

“This gorgeous young adult fantasy is based on ancient Persian folkore and history, and this made it especially enjoyable as an audiobook because you do not have to guess at the pronunciation of words. Lush world building with romantic elements and an epic quest makes for an enthralling and hard to stop reading/listening tale. Soraya’s journey and coming of age story is filled with heartbreaking betrayals and twists that will have you rooting for her through the last page. You can’t help but feel her loneliness resulting from the curse that made the slightest contact with her skin deadly. It explores how well-intended decisions often have unintended consequences. Yearning for normalcy, acceptance, and love, Soraya’s decisions and actions result in dire consequences for her kingdom and family. However, as she faces the costs of her actions, you are left wondering if you might have ended up on the same path given the circumstances and knowledge in front of you. The story also weaves in a strong message of acceptance through queer love and showing it is never as simple as just heroes and villains or the absolutes of good and bad or right and wrong.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
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