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Staff Picks for Adults
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Staff Picks for Adults

The Wild Rumpus staff's favorite audiobooks for adults, including fiction and non-fiction. (Organized from newest to oldest publication date.)

The City of Good Death

By: Priyanka Champaneri
Narrated by: Manish Dongardive
Length: 14 hours 56 minutes

Winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Priyanka Champaneri’s transcendent debut novel brings us inside India’s holy city of Banaras, where the manager of a death hostel shepherds the dying who seek the release of a good death, while his own past refuses to let him go.Banaras, Varanasi, Kashi: India’s holy city on the banks... Read more

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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

A Novel

By: Cherie Jones
Narrated by: Danielle Vitalis
Length: 8 hours 41 minutes

“Lala wants more. More than her grandmother’s small house and strict admonishments. More than a hand on her head for her birthday. And certainly more than her grandmother’s tale about the one-armed sister, a tale of what happens to disobedient girls who venture where they shouldn’t. But mostly Lala wants her loving and protective mother who sang... Read more

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A Promised Land

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

“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. Read more

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The Best of Me

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

“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... Read more

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Memorial

A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel)

By: Bryan Washington
Narrated by: Bryan Washington & Akie Kotabe
Length: 8 hours 19 minutes

“Don’t let the simplicity of Washington’s story and prose deceive you. This quiet story of two young gay men at the end of their relationship dives deep into the emotional truths we learn when we allow ourselves to try to fully understand those who surround us. Read more

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Leave the World Behind

A Novel

By: Rumaan Alam
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 7 hours 26 minutes

“I can’t help but laugh as I recollect this novel. Darkly funny and richly suspenseful, it follows a white family and a Black couple in a remote New York house as a series of unfathomable events occur around them. Alam comments on our modern obsession with information, as we compulsively scroll our feeds and pat our pockets in panic to ensure our... Read more

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Transcendent Kingdom

A novel (A Read with Jenna Pick)

By: Yaa Gyasi
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 8 hours 40 minutes

“This is a flippin’ gorgeous book. The writing is exquisite, the story is moving, and the characters are rendered with the skill of a true artist. Can you tell that I enjoyed this? Transcendent Kingdom is about Gifty, a young neuroscientist studying addiction. We come into her story just as she has taken her depressed mother into her care and is... Read more

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Tender is the Flesh

By: Agustina Bazterrica
Narrated by: Joseph Balderrama
Length: 6 hours 43 minutes

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans—though no one calls them that anymore.

His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made... Read more

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The Death of Vivek Oji

A Novel

By: Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Yetide Badaki & Chukwudi Iwuji
Length: 7 hours 38 minutes

“I am staggered by the immersive, fluid, irresistible prose Emezi has perfected in their third novel, The Death of Vivek Oji. This tale follows the captivating, curious Vivek through the aftermath of his mysterious death, while simultaneously examining the people and relationships closest to him. Vivek, his cousin Osita, and a distant... Read more

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The Hollow Ones

By: Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 9 hours 16 minutes

A horrific crime that defies explanation, a rookie FBI agent in uncharted territory, and an extraordinary hero for the ages: an investigation spirals out of control in this heart-pounding thriller.
Odessa Hardwicke's life is derailed when she's forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly,... Read more

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Notes on a Silencing

A Memoir

By: Lacy Crawford
Narrated by: Lacy Crawford
Length: 11 hours 5 minutes

A "powerful and scary and important and true" memoir of a young woman's struggle to regain her sense of self after trauma, and the efforts by a powerful New England boarding school to silence her—at any cost (Sally Mann, author of Hold Still).

Shortlisted for the 2022 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
When Notes on a Silencing hit... Read more

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Mexican Gothic

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

“Although Mexican Gothic begins in an unassuming Gothic way, with a psychotic cousin and a haunted house, the book slowly turns until you are completely snatched from reality and cannot put the book down. Until the end, I couldn’t figure out which of the creepy characters were trustworthy or even which scenes were reality. The atmosphere and... Read more

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The Power of Ritual

Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices

By: Casper ter Kuile
Narrated by: Casper ter Kuile
Length: 5 hours 54 minutes

Casper ter Kuile, a Harvard Divinity School fellow and cohost of the popular Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, explores how we can nourish our souls by transforming common, everyday practices—yoga, reading, walking the dog—into sacred rituals that can heal our crisis of social isolation and struggle to find purpose—a message we need more... Read more

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Saving Ruby King

A Novel

By: Catherine Adel West
Narrated by: Kim Staunton, Imani Parks, Ron Butler, Adam Lazarre-White, Lloyd Roberson II & Terra Strong Lyons
Length: 10 hours 14 minutes

“Saving Ruby King is a slow burn—a richly woven three-generation history of two families on the south side of Chicago, bound forever by trauma and religion. A tragic murder in the present unearths secret wrongdoings of the past. Intergenerational trauma is a primary focus, and the given circumstances allow readers to both hate and empathize with... Read more

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Devolution

A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

By: Max Brooks
Narrated by: Judy Greer, Max Brooks, Jeff Daniels, Nathan Fillion, Mira Furlan, Terry Gross, Kimberly Guerrero, Kate Mulgrew, Kai Ryssdal & Steven Weber
Length: 9 hours 49 minutes

“Made the mistake of listening to this book before going to sleep and subsequently spent an hour after turning off my phone staring at the shadows at the corners of my room as they morphed into bigfoot. Hauntingly written and beautifully performed. Read more

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A Burning

A Read with Jenna Pick

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

“A Burning tells the all-too-believable story of Javin, a teen-age girl in India who has left school, despite being an excellent student, to get a job and help her struggling family. After a comment against the government on facebook, she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, largely because she is a Muslim. Her story is the central of three... Read more

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The Vanishing Half

A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel)

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

“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... Read more

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Almond

A Novel

By: Won-pyung Sohn
Narrated by: Greg Chun
Length: 4 hours 51 minutes

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. One of the monsters is me.Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and... Read more

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Lakewood

A Novel

By: Megan Giddings
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 8 hours 33 minutes

“Lena just lost her grandmother, her mother has health problems and to top of off they are having financial problems. Lena takes a mysterious job in hopes help her mother and to pay off bills. Lakewood takes you into a dark world of medical testing where human rights are disregarded. This whole story felt more than real and makes you question how... Read more

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The Freedom Artist

By: Ben Okri
Narrated by: Ben Okri
Length: 6 hours 51 minutes

In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner?

When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization that to find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of... Read more

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