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Ostentatious October Staff Picks

Only the Oddest, most Opulent, and Obliging opuses for our staff’s October Staff Picks.

Playlist Tags: Off the Beaten Path season: fall

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The Book of Two Ways

A Novel
By Jodi Picoult
Narrated by Patti Murin /  15 hours 47 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a “powerful” (The Washington Post) novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives.

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing.... Read more »

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$35.00 USD

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The Death of Vivek Oji

A Novel
By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by Chukwudi Iwuji & Yetide Badaki /  7 hours 38 minutes

If you enjoyed Homegoing, then you’ll love The Death of Vivek Oji.

“I am fairly new to audiobooks because I've found myself to be incredibly picky when it comes to narration. That being said, I couldn't have picked a better book to listen to. Not only is this a beautiful and important story, but the narrators are nothing short of brilliant. I still think about this one often and highly recommend!”

The Yankee Bookshop image Nichole, The Yankee Bookshop
Price:

$24.50 USD

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The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes

A Novel
By Elissa R. Sloan
Narrated by Brittany Pressley, Natalie Naudus, Jayme Mattler, Piper Goodeve, Caitlin Kelly, Megan Tusing & Stephen Graybill /  12 hours

“The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes is a page-turning peek inside the glamour and brutality of life as a pop star. Sloan takes us on a wild ride through the world of music video shoots, expensive hotels, and arena tours—showing us the darkness that threatens just below the surface.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy... Read more »

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$31.04 USD

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A Novel
By André Aciman
Narrated by Michael Stuhlbarg /  8 hours 4 minutes

"[Narrator Michael Stuhlbarg's] elegant performance and Aciman's sensitive writing keep things touching without ever being sentimental. Wonderful listening." — AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner

This program is read by Michael Stuhlbarg, the actor who played Professor Samuel Perlman in Luca Guadagnino's critically-acclaimed film, Call... Read more »

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$22.99 USD

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Transcendent Kingdom

A novel
By Yaa Gyasi
Narrated by Bahni Turpin /  8 hours 40 minutes

Transcendent Kingdom

“Gifty immigrated from Ghana, grew up in Alabama, and is working on a PhD in neuroscience at Stanford, where she experiments with mice. She has always felt she wasn’t cool enough or white enough, and tries to prove her value through her brilliance. She tells her raw and powerful story of racism, addiction, mental illness, and especially faith and prayer, all while trying hard to mend a complicated relationship with her mother. This second novel from the author of the award-winning novel Homegoing is compelling and so, so beautifully written.”

Wellesley Books image Sally Weitzen, Wellesley Books
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Squeeze Me

A novel
By Carl Hiaasen
Narrated by Scott Brick /  11 hours 9 minutes

A New York Times Bestseller

"If you could use some wild escapism right now, Hiaasen is your guy. In its themes and its wild imagination, Squeeze Me offers some familiar pleasures, akin to a Greatest Hits collection. Anyone who's read him will know what a prime recommendation that is . . . Angie is a tonic, as Hiaasen's heroines tend to be."...
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$31.50 USD

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The Second Home

A Novel
By Christina Clancy
Narrated by Tavia Gilbert /  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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$31.04 USD

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The Night Swim

A Novel
By Megan Goldin
Narrated by Bailey Carr, January LaVoy & Samantha Desz /  9 hours 58 minutes

If you enjoyed Long Bright River, then you’ll love The Night Swim.

“Rachel hosts a popular true crime podcast and finds herself in a small town reporting on a case that involves a rape of a teenage girl by a local college swimmer (the Brock Turner resemblance is made very clear). While in town, Rachel starts to receive letters from a podcast fan, Hannah, asking for Rachel to investigate the murder of her sister that happened 25 years ago. Told in alternating perspectives, and with some podcast episodes sprinkled in, this book was captivating. This is definitely more crime fiction than thriller, but I absolutely loved it! The audio production on this is brilliant. The way that the podcast chapters are read sound like real podcasts, complete with theme music and everything. Trigger warning for rape and sexual assault.”

Old Firehouse Books image Tara, Old Firehouse Books
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$31.04 USD

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Leave the World Behind

A Novel
By Rumaan Alam
Narrated by Marin Ireland /  7 hours 26 minutes

Leave the World Behind

“Eerie and timely, Leave the World Behind will be the next book to talk about. Rumaan Alam is now solidified as a must-read author for me. He lures the reader in with excellent character development as well as family drama when the book takes a sudden turn. Slowly and masterfully, he starts building tension and suspense while teasing the reader with ominous threats in the background. Before you know it, you’ve stayed up half the night racing to the end of the book. It’s a fast read but a powerful book asking important questions.”

BookShop West Portal image Katerina Argyres, BookShop West Portal
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$24.14 USD

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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 /  9 hours 53 minutes

The Guest List

“Tangled secrets and dark, haunting pasts unravel at the posh wedding of celebrities Will and Jules. As the tension mounted and more was revealed, I couldn’t stop listening until I knew not only “whodunnit”, but to whom it was done. Foley tells her tale from alternating viewpoints, bringing us gradually and suspensefully into the minds and hearts of her characters. A riveting psychological thriller and murder mystery, The Guest List presents a story as dark as the stormy remote island on which it unfolds.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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$31.04 USD

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The Roommate

By Rosie Danan
Narrated by Brittany Pressley & Teddy Hamilton /  10 hours 46 minutes

House Rules:
Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online
 
The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When... Read more »

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Boyfriend Material

By Alexis Hall
Narrated by Joe Jameson /  13 hours 10 minutes

Luc O'Donnell is tangentially?and reluctantly?famous. His rock-star parents split when he was young, and the father he's never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad's making a comeback, Luc's back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.To clean up his image, Luc has to... Read more »

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The Lies That Bind

A Novel
By Emily Giffin
Narrated by Brittany Pressley, Will Damron & Vikas Adam /  10 hours 44 minutes

The Lies That Bind

“Cecily is heartbroken over a recent break-up with her boyfriend. She decides to go out for a beer to drown her sorrows. As she places a call to her ex, a very handsome gentleman approaches her and tells her to hang up. They begin a conversation, and Grant tells her about his life. He neglects to tell her some very important information about himself. Cicely becomes instantly smitten and they begin a sizzling romance for the next few weeks. Grant tells her that his brother is suffering from ALS and he is going to take him to London for some experimental treatments. Cecily visits them in London and then returns to NYC. Days later 9/11 happens and Grant disappears. There are plenty of twists and turns and the last one I never saw coming. Emily Giffin is one of my favorite authors and she did not let me down with this page-turner. The narrator gave a spectacular performance.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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$31.50 USD

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Parable of the Sower

Earthseed: Book #1
By Octavia E. Butler
Narrated by Lynne Thigpen /  12 hours 2 minutes

Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Octavia E. Butler paints a stunning portrait of an all-too-believable near future. As with Kindred and her other critically-acclaimed novels, Parable of the Sower skillfully combines startling visionary and socially realistic concepts. God is change. That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose... Read more »

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$28.74 USD

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A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor

A Novel
The Carls: Book #2
By Hank Green
Narrated by Kristen Sieh, Joe Hempel, Jesse Vilinsky, Nicole Lewis, Kevin R. Free, Hank Green, Robert Petkoff, Angelo Di Loreto, Oliver Wyman, Hillary Huber, P.J. Ochlan & Gabra Zackman /  15 hours 45 minutes

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Who has the right to change the world forever? 

How will we live online? 
How do we find comfort in an increasingly isolated world?
 
The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While the robots were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction with only their presence. Part of their... Read more »

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$35.00 USD

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Hench

A Novel
By Natalie Zina Walschots
Narrated by Alex McKenna /  14 hours 14 minutes

Hench

“How can I describe a book so compelling that I couldn't put it down and so engrossing that I screamed out loud? Natalie Zina Walschots has taken many of the tropes of the superhero genre and twisted them to look at the real human cost of those actions. HENCH asks what separates a villian from a hero and how much are we willing to sacrifice in the quest for "justice". Her characters are flawed in exquisite ways, and real enough that even if they are villains the reader still wants to spend time with them. I loved HENCH and cannot wait to see what she does next. Content warnings: assault, gaslighting, violence, body horror.”

Page 158 Books image Faith, Page 158 Books
Price:

$34.49 USD

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Yellow Bird

Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country
By Sierra Crane Murdoch
Narrated by Sierra Crane Murdoch /  14 hours 56 minutes

The gripping true story of a murder on an Indian reservation, and the unforgettable Arikara woman who becomes obsessed with solving it—an urgent work of literary journalism.
 
“I don’t know a more complicated, original protagonist in literature than Lissa Yellow Bird, or a more dogged reporter in American journalism than Sierra Crane... Read more »

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$35.00 USD

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The Socrates Express

In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers
By Eric Weiner
Narrated by Eric Weiner /  11 hours 20 minutes

The New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss embarks on a rollicking intellectual journey, following in the footsteps of history’s greatest thinkers and showing us how each—from Epicurus to Gandhi, Thoreau to Beauvoir—offers practical and spiritual lessons for today’s unsettled times.

We turn to philosophy for the same reasons... Read more »

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$27.59 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

“I loved this book so much; hands down one of my new favorites! This is an incredibly moving story of sisterhood, female power, and finding your voice and using it for good. As a mixed woman, it felt as though Bethany C. Morrow reached into my heart and mind and was speaking for me - verbalizing emotions I’ve never been able to describe before. Her magical mix of mythos and current events provides an in-depth narrative of the crippling impact of silencing black lives and voices. An incredibly timely story that will empower readers of all ages. A must read!”

Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore image Sara, Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
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$31.04 USD

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The Left-Handed Booksellers of London

By Garth Nix
Narrated by Marisa Calin /  11 hours 15 minutes

A girl's quest to find her father leads her to an extended family of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World of England when it intrudes on the modern world. From the bestselling master of teen fantasy, Garth Nix.

In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime... Read more »

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$38.50 USD

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