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Mike's Playlist

Mike curates audiobook samples for Libro.fm 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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Remote Control

By Nnedi Okorafor
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 4 hours 7 minutes

Remote Control

“I have absolutely loved everything Nnedi Okorafor has ever written, and this latest book from her is no exception! Her amazing ability to blend traditional African stories and themes with hardcore science fiction is spectacular. While Sankofa cannot remember her name, she does remember her past as she travels from town to town. Even as a child, she demands respect from the townspeople she interacts with, for she is the Adopted Child of Death. Or is she? Was it an alien device that changed her when she was just a child? Sankofa knows. But she isn’t sharing. This mind-blowing science fiction fantasy novella is absolutely glorious, and I can’t wait to give it to everyone I know!”

The Neverending Bookshop image Annie Carl, The Neverending Bookshop
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No One Is Talking About This

A Novel

By Patricia Lockwood
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 4 hours 43 minutes

No One Is Talking About This

“Patricia Lackwood's Priestdaddy is one of my favorite memoirs of all time, so I knew I just HAD to get my hands on her debut novel. As expected it's weird and quirky as hell, a tad inappropriate but makes you literally LOL. She creates a plot through a constellation of nebulous observations and witticisms that, as I said, is expected from her. And the narrator's voice drips with that certain sarcasm that is perfectly in line with Lockwood's. What I did NOT expect, however, is for these drifting sentiments and sediments to suddenly unify as one sharp needle point at the book's climax and rip out my still-beating heart. The audacity of Patricia Lockwood! After I was done ugly crying, I was able to take a step back and truly appreciate how marvelous this book really is. Do yourself a favor and just read it.”

BookBar image Conner, BookBar
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Having and Being Had

By Eula Biss
Narrated by: Alex McKenna
Length: 7 hours 14 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS CHOICE

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME , NPR, INSTYLE, AND GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

“A sensational new book [that] tries to figure out whether its possible to live an ethical life in a capitalist society. . . . The results are enthralling.” —Associated Press 

A timely and arresting new look at affluence by the New York...
Read more »

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Fake Accounts

By Lauren Oyler
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Length: 10 hours 13 minutes

Fake Accounts

“This novel about our technological age is subversive from the very start. Its dense, wordy paragraphs seem the opposite of the endless bite-sized chunks of information we consume online. Yet within its density, it also mimics the internet experience through the stream-of-consciousness voice of its not-always-reliable narrator. It’s a fun story with lots to say about the incessant self-branding and impossible unreliability of our lives spent increasingly online.”

The Literate Lizard image Edward Newton, The Literate Lizard
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Cleanness

By Garth Greenwell
Narrated by: Garth Greenwell
Length: 7 hours 11 minutes

Cleanness

Cleanness is a trance-inducing read. I started this book and was immediately swept up in it, and before I knew it, hours had passed. Greenwell describes human relationships in raw, beautiful detail while also exploring the power dynamics at play. If Cleanness is not one of my favorite books of 2020, it will have been a spectacular year for books.”

Hunter Gillum image Hunter Gillum, Beaverdale Books
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The Prophets

By Robert Jones, Jr.
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 14 hours 52 minutes

The Prophets

“I am at a loss for words. How can I even begin to describe the breathtaking language Robert Jones, Jr. has gifted us in his debut novel, The Prophets? How can I begin to explain how he achieves a feat so marvelous it almost seems impossible? Well, that’s the key word: almost. From his innovative restructuring of the Bible through the lens of America’s history with slavery to characters that leap off the page with colorful grace and dignity, Jones masterfully weaves a narrative that serves as a warning from the past, a prophecy for the future, and a testament to the present. His writing defies all great American novels that have come before, and in doing so becomes one of the greatest I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I can’t wait for everyone to be as spellbound by this book as I am; it will stay with me forever.”

Flyleaf Books image Gage Tarlton, Flyleaf Books
Audiobook details

How Long 'til Black Future Month?

Stories

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Shayna Small, Gail Nelson-Holgate, Robin Eller & Ron Butler
Length: 14 hours 10 minutes

Three-time Hugo Award winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption that sharply examine modern society in her first collection of short fiction, which includes never-before-seen stories.

"Marvelous and wide-ranging." -- Los Angeles... Read more »

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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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Deacon King Kong

A Novel

By James McBride
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
Length: 14 hours 5 minutes

Deacon King Kong

“It's been a while since I wanted to listen to an audiobook from the beginning right after I finished it. Deacon King Kong, narrated by Dominic Hoffman, is well-crafted storytelling with memorable characters and oddball humor that I just loved. It's also gritty and heartbreaking. What more can you ask of an engaging story when you are house-bound by a viral pandemic. Thank you, James McBride!”

Rediscovered Books image Becky, Rediscovered Books
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A Children's Bible

By Lydia Millet
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 5 hours 34 minutes

A Children's Bible

“In A Children’s Bible, the age-old war between kids and their parents, children and adults, is reimagined through the lens of Biblical devastation. The result is harrowing and, in unexpected moments, hilarious. Millet has created a story that feels both folkloric and brand new, a tale as much about environmental cataclysm as it is about fighting for the people, things, and ideas that remain right and true, no matter how high the water gets. I love Millet’s perfectly tuned sentences as much as the ambition of this novel, which I’ll continue thinking about for a long time.”

Thank You Books image Kristen Iskandrian, Thank You Books
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Shuggie Bain

By Douglas Stuart
Narrated by: Angus King
Length: 17 hours 30 minutes

Shuggie Bain

“Shuggie Bain is sad, but there’s so much more to it than that. Hugh “Shuggie” Bain is different—he’s gentle and polite and lonely, a poor boy growing up in 1980’s Glasgow. His glamorous mother, Agnes, is an alcoholic, but she embodies her dignity when she needs it most. In one notably humorous scene, she drunkenly collects her son from his good-for-nothing father, upon checking herself out of the psych ward, and breaks the windows of his house while neighborhood boys whoop and holler at her boldness. Shuggie runs to his savior and clings to her with unconditional love. Eventually, he and his mother pledge to be “brand new” upon moving back into the city—she’ll stop drinking and Shuggie will be “normal.” But no matter how many football statistics he memorizes, Shuggie will never be like other boys, and his mother will never stop drinking. Their relationship is beautiful and overflowing with love, deeply humanizing those who struggle with substance abuse. I’ll never forget Shuggie Bain.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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Homeland Elegies

A Novel

By Ayad Akhtar
Narrated by: Ayad Akhtar
Length: 10 hours 19 minutes

Homeland Elegies

“A masterful blend of memoir and fiction, this is an unforgettable journey through the lives of a Muslim family finding their place in a post-9/11 America. A searing navigation of the loves we try to reconcile — familial, religious, societal — and the definition of home. Written with wisdom, wit, and unsparing honesty, this an important book that you will continue to contemplate for a very long time. Both intimate and epic, this is a must-read.”

East Bay Booksellers image Pam Stirling, East Bay Booksellers
Audiobook details

Uncanny Valley

A Memoir

By Anna Wiener
Narrated by: Suehyla El-Attar
Length: 8 hours 44 minutes

Uncanny Valley

“Like Joan Didion or Renata Adler, Ben Lerner or Sally Rooney, Anna Wiener writes with dead-on specificity, scalpel-sharp analysis, deep sensitivity, and an eye for the absurd. She headed west into the modern gold rush that is the tech boom and now returns with gleaming ingots of insight, weaving tales of a strange land where boy-CEOs ride ripsticks and hoover up your data. An essential and very human look at the forces shaping who we are and how we behave.”

Sam MacLaughlin image Sam MacLaughlin, McNally Jackson Williamsburg
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Ring Shout

By P. Djeli Clark
Narrated by: Channie Waites
Length: 5 hours 36 minutes

If you enjoyed Lovecraft Country, then you’ll love Ring Shout.

“Great for fans of Lovecraft Country, Ring Shout takes very real terrors and mixes them with demonic horrors that feed off hatred and racism in a fast paced novella you won't want to put down. ”

Rediscovered Books image Dany, Rediscovered Books
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Flyaway

By Kathleen Jennings
Narrated by: Felicity Jurd
Length: 4 hours 38 minutes

Flyaway

“I’ve never read anything quite like this book. The prose is confident—it’s like an iron backbone on which strange and beautiful flowers grow. Jennings’ use of syntax is utterly unique. Words that should bump and snap at each other instead morph and burst into unforgettable sentences. This is a... fairy tale? An allegory? A murder mystery? I’m not entirely sure. It doesn’t matter. Trying to categorize this wonderful novel would be like putting a unicorn into a horse box. It wouldn’t fit and the horn would shatter the wood. Best to leave it unbound and wild, admire it for what it is, and wonder at what it’s not.”

Main Street Books Davidson image Aimee Keeble, Main Street Books Davidson
Audiobook details

The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities Trilogy: Book #1

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“What did I just listen to and why did I like it so much? Part of falling in love with this book was the listening experience, to be certain. The narration was stellar. The production was on point. But the story... the story itself is sublime. N.K. Jemisin has written a love letter to New York City - but not the one in bright, bold letters on the silver screen - the real city, and the real people who inhabit it and call it home, even if only temporarily. And it was beyond my wildest dreams (and nightmares). "The City We Became" is so incredibly layered and nuanced - diving into discussions of racism and sexism and the fallacy of good vs evil. I wanted nothing more than to steep in its long chapters, and get to know its boroughs as intimately as Jemisin would allow - not mere stereotypes but fully fleshed and brilliant, blinding avatars. Witty, subversive, imaginative, unbelievable. Get on this wild ride.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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The Fifth Season

The Broken Earth: Book #1

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 15 hours 27 minutes

The Fifth Season

“The Fifth Season is an amazing, dark, and gripping work that will hook you from the first sentence. I cannot express to you how much this book stunned me. Robin's narration is well paced and engaging. While I wish this was a book for everyone to listen to, it isn't; destruction, trauma, and rage follow the women and girls who tell their stories. This book is about the end of the world, that you actually don't want to stop reading.”

Once Upon A Time image Jessica, Once Upon A Time
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The Obelisk Gate

The Broken Earth: Book #2

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 13 hours 19 minutes

Essun's missing daughter grows more powerful every day, and her choices may destroy the world in this "magnificent" Hugo Award winner and NYT Notable Book. (NPR)

The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.

Essun -- once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger -- has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead... Read more »

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The Stone Sky

The Broken Earth: Book #3

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 14 hours 16 minutes

Humanity will finally be saved or destroyed in the shattering conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed NYT bestselling trilogy that won the Hugo Award three years in a row.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of... Read more »

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