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May 2021 Staff & Board Picks

Enjoy this month's staff and board recommendations that range from riveting non-fiction to fantastical young adult and everything in between. You can purchase and enjoy many of our picks as audiobooks on Libro.fm to enjoy a new audiobook and support the store.

Playlist Tags: Asbury Book Cooperative staff picks topic: staff picks topic: staff recommends topic: content bookstore staff picks

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The Rose Code

A Novel

By Kate Quinn
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 15 hours 39 minutes

If you enjoyed The Alice Network, then you’ll love The Rose Code.

“I was really impressed with Kate Quinn's newest work, The Rose Code, following three women during their turn as codebreakers at Bletchley Place during WWII. The novel jumps back and forth between their BP days, where we witness their blossoming friendships as well as falling out, and the period leading up to Queen Elizabeth's royal wedding when the three must come together to uncover a traitor. There was some great character development and I loved the focus on a slightly lesser known side of England's WWII history. Beth in particular stood out as a character that had a great arc, standing up to her religious bully of a mother and really coming into her own. The inclusion of Osla Kendall and her relationship with Prince Phillip pre-marriage was SUPER intriguing as well (and had me flashing back to The Crown season 1). I also enjoyed the discussion of gender roles and how men who worked at BP were often bullied and alienated for "not participating in the war effort" because they weren't enlisted but also couldn't divulge their secretive roles. I listened to the audiobook which was expertly narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. I am always floored by the number of accents and personalities Maarleveld can bestow on her characters and she shone in her interpretation of Mab, Osla, and Beth. I turned into this book at literally every free moment I had because Maarleveld and Quinn kept the suspense up throughout and really reeled you in. Kate Quinn does it again with The Rose Code and I highly recommend it to any historical fiction fan. I pre-ordered 2 copies for both of my grandmothers before even finishing because I just knew it would be a stunner even 100 pages in!”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Audiobook details

A People's History of the United States

By Howard Zinn
Narrated by: Jeff Zinn
Length: 34 hours 9 minutes

"A wonderful, splendid book--a book that should be ready by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future." --Howard Fast

For much of his life, historian Howard Zinn chronicled American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version taught in schools -- with...

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Audiobook details

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

A Novel

By Sara Collins
Narrated by: Sara Collins & Roy McMillan
Length: 12 hours 13 minutes

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

“Drawing on her experiences of growing up in the Cayman Islands, attending university in London, and practicing law, outstanding debut author Sara Collins has drawn a character one will not soon forget. Told with evocative language, Frannie Langton’s confession is a life story not to be missed. Raised on a sugar plantation in Jamaica, then transported to a life of servitude in London, Frannie lives a life of twists and turns of love and betrayal that will both shock and intrigue you. I was as tense as she was waiting for the verdict to be handed down. Thank you, Sara Collins!”

Booked image Mary Mollman, Booked
Audiobook details

By Way of Sorrow

By Robyn Gigl
Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes

In a fresh and riveting thriller debut, Robyn Gigl introduces Erin McCabe, a New Jersey criminal defense attorney doing her best to live a quiet life in the wake of profound personal change—until a newsworthy case puts both her career and safety in jeopardy … Erin McCabe has been referred the biggest case of her career. Four months ago, William... Read more »
Audiobook details

Starfish

By Lisa Fipps
Narrated by: Jenna Lamia
Length: 3 hours 27 minutes

Ellie is tired of being fat-shamed and does something about it in this poignant debut novel-in-verse.

Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she's been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules—like "no making waves," "avoid eating in public," and "don't move so... Read more »
Audiobook details

Circe

By Madeline Miller
Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

Circe

“This sweeping tale of the gods and heroes of Greek mythology as seen through the eyes of a minor goddess had me from the first chapter. I listened to this as an audiobook from our audio vendor, Libro.fm. The brilliant narrator was the 29-year-old Welsh film actress, Perdita Weeks.”

Changing Hands image Bob, Changing Hands
Audiobook details