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Mike's Playlist

Mike curates audiobook samples for and advises on legal issues. Mike also works as a social media and website manager for A Great Place for Books in Oakland, California. Here's a selection of Mike's recent audiobook recommendations.

Playlist Tags: A Great Good Place for Books

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Normal People

A Novel

By Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

Normal People

“What a treat to discover Sally Rooney! This novel stands out shining from the current onslaught of mediocre prose and less-than-suspenseful thriller plots. Normal People is the story of a relationship between two high school classmates in a small town in Ireland, and how it changes over time, through their last year of college in Dublin. Rooney’s spare and brilliant writing illuminates her insight and makes the unfolding of these two personalities completely compelling.”

Georgiana Dix Blomberg image Georgiana Dix Blomberg, Magnolia's Bookstore
Audiobook details

The 99% Invisible City

A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design

By Roman Mars & Kurt Kohlstedt
Narrated by: Roman Mars
Length: 10 hours 48 minutes

From the creators of the wildly popular 99% Invisible podcast, comes a guidebook to the unnoticed yet essential elements of our cities. Narrated by Roman Mars, with a bonus Q&A and a Full Episode of 99% Invisible. 

Have you ever wondered what those bright, squiggly graffiti marks on the sidewalk mean?

Or stopped to consider why you don't see...

Read more »
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The Knockout Queen

A novel

By Rufi Thorpe
Narrated by: Michael Crouch
Length: 10 hours 3 minutes

The Knockout Queen

“To say I admire The Knockout Queen feels inadequate, though I do admire a great deal of it: its voice, depth, structure — you name it. But it’s more honest just to say I love The Knockout Queen; I loved reading it, I felt involved in it, and, finally, I was so moved by its ending. This is an epic tale of friendship, one where the magnitude sneaks up on you quietly — but when it strikes home, it rings so brilliantly true.”

Books Are Magic image Will Walton, Books Are Magic
Audiobook details

Revival Season

By Monica West
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Length: 8 hours 24 minutes

Revival Season

“In Revival Season, 15-year-old Miriam Horton's eyes are opened to the complexities of spirituality and the depraved nature of humans, including one who she admires the most: her own father, an Evangelical Baptist preacher who plans revival circuits every summer. After witnessing her father violently react to a man who questions his ability to heal, Miriam's world is turned upside-down. And then we have a front-row seat to the downward spiral of her father's confidence and his treatment of others. She realizes that her father has developed a God-complex, and that his healings have become unsuccessful because he has begun to believe in himself more than God. In the midst of her father's crisis, Miriam grapples with the discovery of her own gifts and the tension between wanting to use her gifts to do God's work, and her father's conviction that women are unfit for such work.As someone who grew up around Southern Evangelical churches, this book was a page-turner for me as I rooted for Miriam to discover her own unique gifts, and to use her voice despite being stifled by her father and the church.”

The Snail on the Wall image Allison, The Snail on the Wall
Audiobook details

The Guncle

By Steven Rowley
Narrated by: Steven Rowley
Length: 11 hours 23 minutes

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.

Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves... Read more »
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Good Eggs

A Novel

By Rebecca Hardiman
Narrated by: Alana Kerr Collins, Gary Furlong & Siobhan Waring
Length: 10 hours 17 minutes

Good Eggs

“I started this delightful Irish novel in celebration of St. Patrick's Day and ended up recommending it to everyone who needs a hilarious and heartwarming escape. Narrated by three generations of a Dublin family in turmoil, the inter-generational angst the Gogarty family is experiencing is universally relatable. It's also a prescient reminder that it's never too late to start over and start living. Unless you can recreate them in your head, I highly recommend listening to Good Eggs on for the pure joy of hearing it read with Irish accents!”

Watermark Book Company image Shirley, Watermark Book Company
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Mary Jane

A Novel

By Jessica Anya Blau
Narrated by: Caitlin Kinnunen
Length: 9 hours 44 minutes

Mary Jane

“Mary Jane is 14 in 1975 and her summer nannying job is filled with surprises, spontaneity, and love as she is pulled into the family of the little girl she watches. A sweet and funny story of discovering yourself, your loved ones, and where you fit in. It really hit home for me.”

Reads & Company image Courtney Boches, Reads & Company
Audiobook details

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

By Dawnie Walton
Narrated by: Janina Edwards, Bahni Turpin, James Langton, André De Shields, Dennis Boutsikaris, Steve West, Gabra Zackman & full cast
Length: 13 hours 16 minutes


An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.

Audiobook details

Infinite Country

A Novel

By Patricia Engel
Narrated by: Inés del Castillo
Length: 4 hours 57 minutes

Infinite Country

“This beautiful novel exploring the past and present of a Colombian family that is separated by deportation is timely and impactful. The Andean myths sprinkled throughout are significant to the narrative. Engel’s writing is magnificent and I believe Ines del Castillo’s narration really captures the soul of this story.”

Carmichael's Bookstore image Amanda, Carmichael's Bookstore
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How Beautiful We Were

A Novel

By Imbolo Mbue
Narrated by: Lisa Renee Pitts, Prentice Onayemi, Janina Edwards, Dion Graham, JD Jackson & Allyson Johnson
Length: 14 hours 7 minutes

A fearless young woman from a small African village starts a revolution against an American oil company in this sweeping, inspiring novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers.

“A novel with the richness and power of a great contemporary fable, and a heroine for our time.”—Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, winner of... Read more »
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The Ministry for the Future

A Novel

By Kim Stanley Robinson
Narrated by: Jennifer Fitzgerald, Fajer Al-Kaisi, Ramon de Ocampo, Gary Bennett, Raphael Corkhill, Barrie Kreinik, Natasha Soudek, Nikki Massoud, Joniece Abbott Pratt, Inés del Castillo & Vikas Adam
Length: 20 hours 40 minutes

From legendary science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson comes a remarkable vision of climate change over the coming decades. 

The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but... Read more »
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Hidden Valley Road

Inside the Mind of an American Family

By Robert Kolker
Narrated by: Sean Pratt
Length: 13 hours 8 minutes

Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, NPR, TIME, SlateSmithsonian, The New York Post, and Amazon 

The heartrending story...
Read more »
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We Run the Tides

A Novel

By Vendela Vida
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 6 hours 34 minutes

We Run the Tides

We Run the Tides kept me listening late into the night—actually into the morning. I wanted to know what Eulabee would choose: the truth or keeping her friend, and what would be the consequences of that choice and those she had already made. In this coming-of-age story, Eulabee navigates the world of her posh San Francisco neighborhood, exclusive girls’ school, and friends with more wealth than she. An unremarkable encounter with a man asking Eulabee and her friends what time it is on their walk to school one morning begins a series of events that become serious and even tragic. In the eighth grade in the early 1980s, the girls are transitioning from childhood, still protected and privileged, and entering a world changing as rapidly and dramatically as they are. Eulabee narrates the novel and through her eyes, we come to know the stories and secrets of the other characters. The novel’s resolution comes nearly 40 years later, in 2019, with a chance meeting between Eulabee and Maria Fabiola. This is a thoroughly enjoyable novel of adolescent female friendship, accurately reflecting the inherent joys, pains, and betrayals. It will resonate with many of us of a ‘certain age.’”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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The Echo Wife

By Sarah Gailey
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 8 hours 25 minutes

If you enjoyed Frankenstein, then you’ll love The Echo Wife.

“Riveting. There's a dark streak in Sarah Gailey's work, and it's really dark here. Come for the clones and the gossipy conceit of a husband having an affair with the wife's clone. Stay, because you can't stop listening. So much menace. So much horror. I lost sleep over this one.”

Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West image Robin, Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West
Audiobook details

Klara and the Sun

A Novel

By Kazuo Ishiguro
Narrated by: Sura Siu
Length: 10 hours 16 minutes

Klara and the Sun

Klara and the Sun from Nobel-winner Kazuo Ishiguro is a radiant new novel about the bond between Klara, an Artificial Friend, and Josie, her human companion. The setting, a dystopian realm of genetic editing and stark class divisions, is not surprising given the author’s previous work, yet Ishiguro’s immense, unwavering portrayal of kindness is astonishing and revitalizing. Classic Ishiguro themes of loyalty, friendship, and sacrifice weave through the novel, but the thread of love runs deep, giving the book warmth and hope so that the earned twist feels more like a dawn than a sunset. Whether you’re returning to Ishiguro or discovering his voice for the first time, I’m excited for you. This is a chance to bask in the brilliance of one the greatest writers of our time.”

Books & Books image Caroline McGregor, Books & Books
Audiobook details

Tokyo Ueno Station

A Novel

By Yu Miri
Narrated by: Johnny Heller
Length: 3 hours 58 minutes



A surreal, devastating story of a homeless ghost who haunts one of Tokyo's busiest train stations.

Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Japanese Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial... Read more »
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The Silence

By Don DeLillo
Narrated by: Laurie Anderson, Jeremy Bobb, Marin Ireland, Robin Miles, Jay O. Sanders & Michael Stuhlbarg
Length: 1 hours 52 minutes

From one of the most dazzling and essential voices in American fiction, a timely and compelling novel set in the near future about five people gathered together in a Manhattan apartment, in the midst of a catastrophic event.

Don DeLillo completed this novel just weeks before the advent of Covid-19. The Silence is the story of a different... Read more »
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The Midnight Library

A Novel

By Matt Haig
Narrated by: Carey Mulligan
Length: 8 hours 50 minutes

The New York Times bestselling WORLDWIDE phenomenon

Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick | Independent (London) Ten Best Books of the Year

"A feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits."—The Washington Post

The dazzling reader-favorite about the choices that go into a life well lived,...
Read more »
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Year of Wonders

A Novel of the Plague

By Geraldine Brooks
Narrated by: Geraldine Brooks
Length: 10 hours 5 minutes

“Plague stories remind us that we cannot manage without community . . . Year of Wonders is a testament to that very notion.” – The Washington Post

An unforgettable tale, set in 17th century England, of a village that quarantines itself to arrest the spread of the plague, from the author The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize 

... Read more »
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That Old Country Music


By Kevin Barry
Narrated by: Kevin Barry
Length: 3 hours 50 minutes

"Stunningly gorgeous."—NPR

From the author of the wildly acclaimed Night Boat to Tangier, one of the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2019, stories of rural Ireland in the classic mode: full of love (and sex), melancholy and magic, bedecked in some of the most gorgeous prose being written today.

With three novels and two short story collections... Read more »
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