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2021 Spring Reading: Fiction

2021 Spring Reading: Fiction

We're sharing some of our favorite new books of the season! Our Spring Reading Guide is filled with staff recommendations for over 30 brand new titles—from novels to mysteries, essays to memoirs—that we think you will love. These are our recommendations in adult fiction.

Playlist Tags: Bookshop Santa Cruz genre: Fiction 2021 fiction fiction 2021 books spring 2021 spring books new releases

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What's Mine and Yours

By Naima Coster
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 12 hours 15 minutes

A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

An instant New York Times bestseller!

A USA Today bestseller!

Named a Best Book of 2021 by Amazon • Esquire • Marie Claire • Refinery29 • Kirkus • Redbook • Ms. Magazine • The Millions • Undomesticated Magazine • Paperback Paris

"A once-every-few-years reading experience."—Mary Beth Keane, New York...
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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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The Girl with the Louding Voice

A Novel

By Abi Daré
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 12 hours 6 minutes

The Girl with the Louding Voice

“This year is overflowing with phenomenal debuts — including this one from Abi Daré. It tells the story of Adunni, a young girl in Nigeria whose dreams and ambition focus in on one thing: education. In a city where girls like her are looked down upon and considered unworthy, she comes to find that change can begin with even the smallest of voices. This story is the kind that makes you itch: you’ll ache for Adunni, bristle at the people who treat her so unjustly, and yearn for her to succeed. This is a stunning, important, and fascinating first novel.”

Lindsay Howard image Lindsay Howard, Lark and Owl Booksellers
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The Rain Heron

A Novel

By Robbie Arnott
Narrated by: Jessica Douglas-Henry & Zoe Carides
Length: 7 hours 17 minutes

A gripping novel of myth, environment, adventure, and an unlikely friendship, from an award-winning Australian author.

Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup d'état. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting, farming, trading, and forgetting the contours of what was once a normal life. But her quiet...

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My Year Abroad

A Novel

By Chang-rae Lee
Narrated by: Lawrence Kao
Length: 16 hours 34 minutes

INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A New York Times Notable Book * Named a Best Book of the Year by Vogue, TIME, and Marie Claire

“A manifesto to happiness—the one found when you stop running from who you are.” –New York Times Book Review

“An extraordinary book, acrobatic on the level of the sentence, symphonic across its many movements—and...
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The Seed Keeper

A Novel

By Diane Wilson
Narrated by: Kyla García
Length: 10 hours 42 minutes

The Seed Keeper

The Seed Keeper shimmers like the horizon in the summer heat—depending on how you look at it, it is a stunning historical novel, a paean to the land and the plants that people it, a prayer to Dakota women wading through generational trauma. It is all of these things, and so much more. Wilson deftly weaves together multiple voices to bring the original relationship of reciprocity between people and Earth into the present day. This is a clarion call to think about seeds as much more than commodities: Seeds are stories; seeds are possibilities; seeds are past and future generations. Powerful and compelling, The Seed Keeper will be treasured by readers who enjoy Robin Wall Kimmerer's lyricism, Barbara Kingsolver's activist bent, and Louise Erdrich's historical fiction.”

Avid Bookshop image Hannah, Avid Bookshop
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Oona Out of Order

A Novel

By Margarita Montimore
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Oona Out of Order

“Oona Lockhart has been cursed (or blessed) with a magical wrinkle in time that has her leaping forward and back through the years. Inside she is aging chronologically, but on the outside, Oona is sometimes 51, 30, or 26 years old. A life lived out of order, however, can be just as valid as a life lived forward. Surprising, bittersweet, and filled with love, Oona discovers both the wisdom of age and the spontaneity of youth. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be the most enchanted reading experience of 2020.”

Excelsior Bay Books image Pamela , Excelsior Bay Books
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Honey Girl

A Novel

By Morgan Rogers
Narrated by: York Whitaker
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes

Honey Girl

“This will be the most beautiful love story you read this year. This story curves and twirls and spirals along a golden, sparkly path of whirlwind romance and great expectations and finding one’s true self, and making mistakes and accepting imperfection and learning to change plans and go with the flow. Honey Girl is beautiful and lovely and you will laugh and you will cry and you will read passages aloud because they are as delicious as the first sticky sweet bite of a ripe orange straight from the tree. This book will transport you into the stars where you will dance among the constellations and marvel at the raw beauty of it all. As Grace Porter fell in love with Yuki Yamamoto, I fell in love with Honey Girl. ”

Gibson's Bookstore image Ryan, Gibson's Bookstore
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How Beautiful We Were

A Novel

By Imbolo Mbue
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi, Janina Edwards, Dion Graham, JD Jackson, Allyson Johnson & Lisa Renee Pitts
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.

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, People ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The... Read more »

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The Bad Muslim Discount

A Novel

By Syed M. Masood
Narrated by: Pej Vahdat & Hend Ayoub
Length: 12 hours 23 minutes

The Bad Muslim Discount

“I loved The Bad Muslim Discount so much I read the acknowledgements just so it wouldn’t end — and they were great, too! This is an insightful and funny novel about faith, family, and being a Muslim American today. Masood offers us a sharp perspective, a seamless style, and unforgettable characters, leaving the reader enriched for the experience.”

Bear Pond Books image Claire Benedict, Bear Pond Books
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Cowboy Graves

Three Novellas

By Roberto Bolaño
Narrated by: Anthony Rey Perez
Length: 4 hours 49 minutes

One more journey to the universe of Roberto Bolaño, an essential voice of contemporary Latin American literature

Cowboy Graves is an unexpected treasure from the vault of a revolutionary talent. Roberto Bolaño's boundless imagination and seemingly inexhaustible gift for shaping the chaos of his reality into fiction is unmistakable in these three... Read more »

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We Begin at the End

By Chris Whitaker
Narrated by: George Newbern
Length: 10 hours 30 minutes

We Begin at the End

“"I loved this book! INCREDIBLE CHARACTERS: Move over Scout, 13 year old Duchess Radley, self proclaimed outlaw, has won my heart. RIVETING PLOT: You will continually be surprised where this book takes you. MANY LAYERS OF FEELING AND MEANING: The story and characters will stay with you.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Samantha, A Great Good Place for Books
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The Vanished Birds

A Novel

By Simon Jimenez
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Length: 13 hours 17 minutes

The Vanished Birds

“This book has stuck with me in a way that I know can only be attributed to masterful storytelling. In The Vanished Birds, Earth becomes uninhabitable and humankind spreads out into space using technology that is all of our capitalist, designer-baby, smart-everything, social-media-age fears realized. But this new world is also beautifully poetic — enormous space stations have been designed to mimic specific birds but have outlived their namesakes for lifetimes. I am dizzied by this world Jimenez has created and the characters that live in it. I find myself thinking about Nia and the people in her orbit — their thoughts, their motives, their choices — and going over mistakes and minutiae as if they were my own. This is literary science fiction at its most effective and affective.”

Tattered Cover image Samantha Tovey, Tattered Cover
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Remote Control

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

If you enjoyed The Fifth Season, then you’ll love Remote Control.

“Once again delivering us a highly entertaining science fiction novella, Okorafor hits all the right notes with Remote Control. Okorafor weaves a very powerful and sad tale, combining the ancient feelings of folklore with a not-too-distant future (the comment about a new plague worse than the one in 2020 made me guffaw). You feel for Sankofa, who had her childhood stolen from her. While she feels powerful when she gets food and clothes easily from people, all she wants is to love and be loved and to just be a kid but even when she thinks she finds a safe place, the people slowly begin to turn against her. The public will always be scared of things they cannot explain and despite Sankofa being a child, this mysterious gift and curse that has been bestowed upon her frighten them. They want to use her when it benefits them but belittle and attack her when their feelings shift. The audiobook was brilliantly narrated by Adjoa Andoh, whose voice is so beautiful I almost listened twice. She gives such gravity to Sankofa while also making it clear that she is a child. Okorafor has mastered the novella—a quick but powerful story from end to end that often feels (in a good way) that it is is longer than it's 160 pages. It's truly a talent!”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The Echo Wife

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

The Echo Wife

“A page turner! Great slow burning science fiction thriller. Good fit for anyone trying out either genre for the first time. Very intense read with some jaw-dropping twists. Lots of fun. Xe Sands has the perfect throaty voice. She sounds like a work-obsessed, self-doubting, egotistical, traumatized, scientist!”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Eight Perfect Murders

A Novel

By Peter Swanson
Narrated by: Graham Halstead
Length: 8 hours 3 minutes

Eight Perfect Murders

“Malcolm Kershaw is an unassuming bookseller who once wrote a list of the eight most perfect literary murders. He is surprised when the FBI shows up at his door and explains that someone is using this list and recreating the murders. With perfect pacing and shocking twists, this is a murder mystery with a classic feel that will leave you questioning how well you can know anyone. It will also add eight more books to your to-be-read pile as you will immediately need to read all the books on the perfect murder list!”

Dog Ear Books image Carrie Deming, Dog Ear Books
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