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2020 Audiobook Favorites

As the year comes to an end, we've compiled a few of our favorite audiobooks of 2020. Here, you'll find picks for readers of many ages and interests. Enjoy anywhere, anytime, with anyone—happy listening, friends!

Playlist Tags: Blue Willow Bookshop

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The One and Only Bob

By Katherine Applegate
Narrated by: Danny DeVito
Length: 3 hours 49 minutes

The One and Only Bob

“Gruff-but-lovable Bob the dog picks up the narrator’s reins in this follow-up to Newbery winner The One and Only Ivan. He’s adjusting to his newfound status as a family dog after years on his own, and looks forward to trips to the zoo to visit with old friends Ivan and Ruby. When a bad storm throws his world into chaos, Bob finds bravery he never knew he had in order to rescue a friend he thought was lost forever. Themes of courage, friendship, and forgiveness are balanced perfectly against Bob’s wry observations and self-deprecating wit. Readers in grades three through six—and anyone who loved Ivan—will cherish more time spent with these characters. Highly recommended.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Noah, Blue Willow Bookshop
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Before the Ever After

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by: Guy Lockard
Length: 2 hours 14 minutes

Before the Ever After

“Jacqueline Woodson tackles the aftermath of concussions on a boy and his family. The only son of a pro-football player sees his dad change before his eyes, and must alter his own participation in the rough-housing team games he loves, in this middle-grade novel. It's great for 9-12 year olds, full of play action and admiration, personal growth and acceptance. Perfect for active kids and a well-narrated audio book for a short road trip, too!”

Bookworm of Edwards image Nicole, Bookworm of Edwards
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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
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Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom

Wayside School: Book #4

By Louis Sachar
Narrated by: Louis Sachar
Length: 3 hours

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom

“I like that this Wayside School was one big story/topic rather than little stories like in the other Wayside Books. I like how the characters kept having problems and blaming them on the cloud of doom (which is not a cloud). I would recommend this book to others. If you like Wayside School you will like this book.”

Fables Books image Cai (age 11), Fables Books
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Clap When You Land

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo & Melania-Luisa Marte
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes

Clap When You Land

“Its category as a young adult novel shouldn't keep grownups from listening to "Clap When You Land." The parallel first-person stories of two teenage girls who lose their fathers in the same plane crash from NY to the Dominican Republic -- and the revelation that their fathers were the same man, who had led a double life -- is tender and wise. Elizabeth Acevedo's poetic prose, and her narration, convey the grief and love of the families. Camino and Yahaira will live in your heart forever.”

Market Block Books image Cheryl, Market Block 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 was blown away by this book. I listened to the audio and Jason Reynold's narration is engaging, funny, and moving all rolled into one. I found myself interested in history in ways I have not been in the past. As white women I found myself grieving for the crimes my race has committed. For hatred that continued to take root and spread. Yet I also found hope. This book does a great job of engaging the topic of race, why racism persists and gives hope that things can change. I wish I could make everyone read this book.”

Fables Books image Kristin, Fables Books
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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
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Bear Necessity

A Novel

By James Gould-Bourn
Narrated by: Rupert Holliday-Evans
Length: 8 hours 6 minutes

Bear Necessity

“This is simply a delightful book that handles grief in a way we can all laugh at. Danny and his son, Will, are trying to deal with the death of Danny's wife, Will's mother. Except, Danny has lost his job, and Will has selective mutism and can't talk. Danny's landlord is threatening to break his legs if Danny can't pay his rent. And, there are no jobs to be had. Join Danny as he tries to make a quick pound as a dancing bear in the park. This book is filled with fun characters that will leave you cheering, including Christine, an outrageous pole dancer. Grief is horrible, and healing can be even more horrible. But James Gould-Bourn shows us how there are small moments of laughter that can help the heart feel a little better. Oh, how I loved this book. A wonderful listen!”

BookBar image Marilyn, BookBar
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The Switch

A Novel

By Beth O'Leary
Narrated by: Alison Steadman & Daisy Edgar-Jones
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes

"Daisy Edgar-Jones and Alison Steadman team up as a fun, quirky grandmother and granddaughter pair in this lively narration...The two narrators, each portraying her respective character's point of view, are a perfect match." --AudioFile Magazine

This program is read by British actors Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones, star of Hulu's...

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The Exiles

A Novel

By Christina Baker Kline
Narrated by: Caroline Lee
Length: 10 hours 17 minutes

The Exiles

“To be candid, I sure that The Exiles wasn't going to be my cup of tea. Boy, was I ever wrong. The Exiles is a powerful and unforgettable novel that is beautifully written. I will warn you, some of the scenes portrayed were so raw and haunting that the visuals took a while to leave my mind. But they were warranted and made the story much more believable. The narration was definitely a star in its own right. Every accent was on point. Christine Baker Kline has now become one of my favorite authors. If you enjoy historical fiction with depth this book is for you.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The Authenticity Project

A Novel

By Clare Pooley
Narrated by: Anna Cordell
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes

The Authenticity Project

“A little green notebook, well-meaning characters, and a lot of misunderstanding make for a great quirky, entertaining, and sweet novel!”

Rediscovered Books image Rebecca, Rediscovered Books
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The Lying Life of Adults

By Elena Ferrante
Narrated by: Marisa Tomei
Length: 10 hours 21 minutes

The Lying Life of Adults

“Ferrante’s latest novel gives an insightful and intriguing look at the life of a budding Italian teenage girl, both internally and externally. I found Ferrante’s ability to delve into Giovanna’s psyche fascinating, especially since I’ve never parented a girl and don’t always feel like I understand them. Her sensitivity to the myriad of issues and the fragility of Giovanna’s relationships make for a marvelous read. Ferrante is a gifted writer, and this latest offering does not disappoint. I loved this story! Fabulous read!”

Page and Palette image Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette
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The Best of Me

By David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
Length: 13 hours 8 minutes

The Best of Me

“As if there is anything greater than a new David Sedaris, it's listening to David Sedaris read the new David Sedaris. This self-edited collection of essays from his prolific 25-year career is exactly what we need to boost the morale of 2020 and remind ourselves what a crazy world we've always lived in when viewed through Sedaris's keen observational eye and told with his unique & irreverent voice. The Best of Me is perfect for both long-time fans or those reading Sedaris for the first time and the audio read by the author means no nuance is left behind.”

Literally Speaking image Jessica, Literally Speaking
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Greenlights

By Matthew McConaughey
Narrated by: Matthew McConaughey
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Over one million copies sold! From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction
 
“Unflinchingly honest and remarkably candid, Matthew McConaughey’s book invites us to grapple with the... Read more »
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Me and White Supremacy

Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

By Layla F. Saad
Narrated by: Layla F. Saad
Length: 5 hours 19 minutes

Me and White Supremacy

“Want to learn how to be a good ancestor? Need to address your privilege and feel uncomfortable about talking about racism? You need to read and work through Me and White Supremacy.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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Untamed

By Glennon Doyle
Narrated by: Glennon Doyle
Length: 8 hours 21 minutes

Untamed

“I read this book non-stop for a week, underlining, reading passages to my friends & recommending it to anyone with a pulse. There are many great stories inside, but their charm & power, really, is all Glennon. She is a spiritual seeker & leader who loves reality tv, a formidable activist on the global scale who gets anxiety sweats when the doorbell rings. Equal parts poetic & conversational, memoir & manifesto. Her love story will make you swoon. Her shamelessness & relentless self-interrogation will make you feel deeply exposed. This is not a "you can do it, girl!" book. It's more like a spiritual marathon that invites you to jump the guardrail & take off.”

Apotheosis Comics image Elon, Apotheosis Comics
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A Promised Land

By Barack Obama
Narrated by: Barack Obama
Length: 29 hours 9 minutes

A Promised Land

“No one really needs my blurb to help sell this book, but I wanted to give it anyway, especially for the audiobook, narrated by Barack Obama himself. If you want to know his incredible knowledge and wisdom that guided him through major decisions, and also hear him drop a few F-bombs, you need to listen to this fantastically written book. ”

Quail Ridge Books image Amber, Quail Ridge Books
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Dolly Parton, Songteller

My Life in Lyrics

By Dolly Parton
Narrated by: Dolly Parton
Length: 5 hours 17 minutes

A Recorded Books Audio Original production of songs and stories performed by Dolly herself, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics goes beyond the glitz, glamour, and rhinestones to the warmth, heart, and soul of a treasured pop-culture icon. In this exclusive audio performance, the ten-time Grammy Award–winning artist weaves her words... Read more »
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