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Pronounced!—For Your Enhanced Enjoyment

A recommended listening list for you to better absorb a culturally relevant story, where accents and foreign language vocabulary are pronounced with authenticity! #BetterThanTheBook

Playlist Tags: Bookish Chicago genre: Fiction & Literature topic: international own voices culturally diverse characters culture

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Last Gate of the Emperor

By Kwame Mbalia & Prince Joel Makonnen
Narrated by: Prince Araya Mengesha
Length: 6 hours 22 minutes

Yared Heywat lives an isolated life in Addis Prime -- a hardscrabble city with rundown tech, lots of rules, and not much to do. His worrywart Uncle Moti and bionic lioness Besa are his only family... and his only friends. Often in trouble for his thrill-seeking antics and smart mouth, those same qualities make Yared a star player of the... Read more »

Audiobook details

Interior Chinatown

A Novel

By Charles Yu
Narrated by: Joel de la Fuente
Length: 4 hours 20 minutes

Interior Chinatown

“We all make choices throughout our lives, choosing different paths to follow, different roles to play. But who selects the options we choose from? Interior Chinatown is like a rapier taken to stereotypes that inhabit society's attitudes towards Asian Americans. The main character, Willis Wu, is a minor actor in an ongoing cop drama who wants to be more than a generic Asian male in the background, maybe even someday becoming "Kung Fu Guy". The novel bounces back and forth between the script Wu is inhabiting and an interior monologue . And one of the strengths of this book, for the reader, is how thin the line sometimes feels between these stereotypical roles that Willis is acting, and the ridiculousness of the particular situation. Interior Chinatown is a brilliant novel, one that challenged this reader in the best possible ways”

Green Apple Books image Martin, Green Apple Books
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Infinite Country

A Novel

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

Infinite Country

“Starting with one of the best first sentences of a novel that I've ever read, Infinite Country is a moving portrait of the lengths a daughter will go to in an effort to reunite her family. Engel gives an intimate look into the challenges of a Colombian family that has been separated after emigrating to America. She also provides a unique view of what it's like to be an outsider in multiple different settings and her comparisons of the violence (and possible opportunities) in both countries are fascinating. With a very emotional ending, I highly recommend this title composed in an undoubtedly distinct voice.”

Novel Books image Stuart, Novel Books
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Ordinary Girls

A Memoir

By Jaquira Diaz
Narrated by: Almarie Guerra
Length: 10 hours 8 minutes

Ordinary Girls

“Too often, those of us who grow up below the federal poverty line spend the rest of our lives erasing ourselves. If we manage to migrate out of poverty, we do so at a cost. The gatekeepers of academia, and of literature, often only want to hear our stories if we make a spectacle of our people, or if we tell our stories in the language of the elite at the expense of our own voices. I think this is one of the most powerful things about Ordinary Girls. Díaz tells her sad and beautiful stories in her own voice, a voice that still holds the people and the places that made her. What a gift. Growing up poor means that we are taught, every day and in a million tiny ways, that our families are wrong, our speech is ugly, our stories shameful. This is oppression and Díaz banishes it with beauty, love, honesty, and insight. Ordinary Girls is a book that makes me feel less alone in this world.”

Klindt's Booksellers image Tina Ontiveros, Klindt's Booksellers
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A Pho Love Story

By Loan Le
Narrated by: Ryan Do & Vyvy Nguyen
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes

“Will leave readers swooning.” —PopSugar

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d... Read more »

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The Poet X

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo
Length: 3 hours 30 minutes

The Poet X

“Getting to listen to the author herself read her poetry, which are clearly a testament to the spoken word and the art of slam, is absolutely the best way to devour this novel-in-verse. Acevedo puts everything into her words, and no one else could do them justice the way she does herself. Despite possible age/cultural/religious differences, any listener will immediately relate to this teenage girl desperately trying to both find herself and her voice, and live up to her family's expectations.”

Quail Ridge Books image Amber, Quail Ridge Books
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Darius the Great Is Not Okay

By Adib Khorram
Narrated by: Michael Levi Harris
Length: 7 hours 33 minutes

Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award


“Heartfelt, tender, and so utterly real. I’d live in this book forever if I could.”
—Becky Albertalli, award-winning author of... Read more »

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Firekeeper's Daughter

By Angeline Boulley
Narrated by: Isabella Star LaBlanc
Length: 14 hours 13 minutes

Firekeeper's Daughter

“This story of a young woman roped into a federal investigation of a drug ring tearing her Ojibwe community apart is riveting and sorrowful. Daunis is an 18 year old non-enrolled Ojibwe with plenty of ambition and skills and won't see a clear path to her future that doesn't involve working in her community. This book moved me in so many ways but Daunis' connection to her elders and their traditions really drove this plot. While her parents' choices keep her from acceptance and death seems to haunt her, Daunis stays focused on her values: preserving and protecting the Ojibwe way of life for the next 6 generations. I loved how Boulley wove the Anishinaabe language, traditions and teaching into this story without spelling it all out for non-Native readers. This book tells the story of some of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and helps us connect with the stories more personally.”

BookBar image Jessica, BookBar
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