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Sultry September Staff Picks

Sultry September Staff Picks

Slip these sultry specimens in your satchel of "to-reads!" Check out the rest of our staff pics at

Playlist Tags: Off the Beaten Path genre: Non-Classifiable audience: fantasy-lovers adult fiction fall reads science-fiction romance juvenile fiction

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Cloud Cuckoo Land

A Novel

By Anthony Doerr
Narrated by: Marin Ireland & Simon Jones
Length: 14 hours 51 minutes

Cloud Cuckoo Land

“From the author of the much loved All The Light We Cannot See comes a very different and imaginative story. Doerr writes of the longevity of books and libraries and how they endure through time. Spanning from 15th century Constantinople, to present day Idaho (where he lives), to a 22nd century spaceship, one wonders how these settings and characters could possibly intersect. But, they do in surprising ways. This is my favorite book of the year. Enjoy!”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Melanie, Bookstore1Sarasota
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Great Circle

A novel

By Maggie Shipstead
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell & Alex McKenna
Length: 25 hours 16 minutes

Great Circle

“Like so many big, statement-making novels, Maggie Shipstead's Great Circle is an inviting, ambitious, and commodious work. But unlike so many of them, Great Circle makes the statement without dragging across its page count. It gallops, in fact, in its telling of Marian Graves's triumphant and ill-fated trek across the globe and of the Hollywood starlet, decades later, charged with playing her on screen. And it does so with verve and an infectious volley of voice that I couldn't get out of my head. It's the kind of story you wish would never end. Great Circle is as heart-aching as it is profound in what it says about life's great journeys, our shared histories, and freedom!”

BookPeople image Uriel, BookPeople
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What We Carry

By Kalyn Fogarty
Narrated by: Käthe Mazur, Xe Sands & Holter Graham
Length: 10 hours 58 minutes

Cassidy Morgan's life has always followed a carefully laid track: top education, fulfilling career, and marriage to the love of her life. The next logical step was starting a family. But when a late-term miscarriage threatens to derail everything she's worked so hard for, she finds herself questioning her identity, particularly what it means to... Read more »

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Station Eleven

A novel

By Emily St. John Mandel
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

2014 National Book Award Finalist

A New York Times Bestseller

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for... Read more »

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A Slow Fire Burning

A Novel

By Paula Hawkins
Narrated by: Rosamund Pike
Length: 9 hours 19 minutes

A Slow Fire Burning

A Slow Fire Burning is full of clever twists, furnishes you with a steady stream of possible clues to keep your brain working, and tells each character's story in a way that I found deeply satisfying. It pushed all the right buttons for me for both a good British mystery and a good psychological thriller, and I especially loved spending a couple of days in its picturesque setting along the Regent's Canal in London.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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Hollow Kingdom

By Kira Jane Buxton
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 10 hours 10 minutes

Hollow Kingdom

“This is the zombie apocalypse like you’ve never seen it before! Things go sideways when S.T. the crow’s human, Big Jim, loses an eyeball. Jim’s worsening condition propels S.T. to leave the safety of domestic life, along with the simple, slobbering bloodhound, Dennis. Together they roam the ruins of Seattle, searching for purpose in this new, Cheeto-less world. While Hollow Kingdom mostly follows the foul-mouthed, human-loving crow, Buxton also takes the occasional detour to see how other animals are coping around the world. Not only is our corvid companion a profane delight, she also manages to effortlessly capture the aloof arrogance of a cat, the wise cadence of an elephant, and even the eternal serenity of trees. Hilarious and at times surprisingly poignant, Hollow Kingdom is a must-read for anyone with a sense of humor as black as a crow’s wing.”

Mysterious Galaxy Books image Darcy, Mysterious Galaxy Books
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Fault Lines

A Novel

By Emily Itami
Narrated by: Lydia Wilson
Length: 5 hours 22 minutes

Fault Lines

“Emily Itami has given us an incredibly engaging, hilarious, and relatable narrator in Mizuki as she navigates the fault lines in her marriage, in her past, and within herself.”

Itinerant Literate Books image Danielle Raub, Itinerant Literate Books
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The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

An Oprah’s Book Club Novel

By Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo, Karen Chilton & Prentice Onayemi
Length: 29 hours 48 minutes

If you enjoyed The Underground Railroad (Television Tie-in), then you’ll love The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois.

“At 29 hours this one might seem like quite a commitment, but after traveling the century with them, you’ll deeply miss the echoes of the voices of Ailey and Belle and even good old Uncle Root.”

The Country Bookshop image Angie, The Country Bookshop
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Lightning Strike

Cork O'Connor Mysteries: Book #18

By William Kent Krueger
Narrated by: David Chandler
Length: 11 hours 37 minutes

If you enjoyed Gilead (Oprah's Book Club), then you’ll love Lightning Strike.

“Easily one of the best books I've read this year. Krueger effortlessly weaves lilting language, thought-provoking issues, and an extremely compelling mystery into a historical, small-town setting. A young boy follows in his father footsteps as he searches for 'crumbs' to help solve a crime and discovers some much larger truths along the way. The characters are unforgettable, the story is suspenseful, and the writing is beautiful. Especially for readers who enjoy murder mysteries, coming of age stories, Native American stories, and well-written fiction. It is almost Southern Gothic, but maybe not quite dark or southern enough. Some of the theological threads remind me a bit of Marilynne Robinson as well. ”

The Snail on the Wall image Angela, The Snail on the Wall
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Persephone Station

By Stina Leicht
Narrated by: Maria Liatis
Length: 11 hours 55 minutes

Persephone Station

“On a backwater planet, in a highly suspect bar, in a backroom, a group of morally dubious but altruistic mercenaries find themselves caught up in something much bigger than themselves. Swept up in company politics, a truly intelligent AI’s agenda, and the mysteries of Persephone Station itself, Angel and her crew of mercs must now figure out what the hell they got into with this most recent job. This is a book for folks who love a heist and multiple angles spinning into one another. Leicht’s writing kept my attention through every twist and turn this story took. I loved all of the characters, even the evil ones. If a queer space opera with a heist sounds good to you, then read this book. Even if it just sounds ok to you, read this book.”

Off the Beaten Path Bookstore image Izzy, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore
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A Novel

By Jennifer Saint
Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik
Length: 11 hours 59 minutes


“Satisfying the need for more Greek/Roman transformational myths from much-needed other viewpoints, Jennifer Saint delivers tales of Ariadne and her sister Phaedra’s life on Crete and beyond. Less heroic yarn and more character inquisitiveness — a refreshing addition.”

Edmonds Bookshop image Michelle Bear, Edmonds Bookshop
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The Program

By Suzanne Young
Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
Length: 10 hours 56 minutes

In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” (Kirkus Reviews), true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment.... Read more »

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The Last Wish

Introducing the Witcher
The Witcher: Book #1

By Andrzej Sapkowski
Narrated by: Peter Kenny
Length: 10 hours 17 minutes

Geralt the Witcher—revered and hated—holds the line against the monsters plaguing humanity in this collection of adventures, the first chapter in Andrzej Sapkowski’s groundbreaking epic fantasy series that inspired the hit Netflix show and the blockbuster video games.

Geralt is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a... Read more »

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Light From Uncommon Stars

By Ryka Aoki
Narrated by: Cindy Kay
Length: 13 hours 13 minutes

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in Ryka Aoki's Light From Uncommon Stars, a defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other...

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The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

A Novel

By Zoraida Córdova
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 10 hours 57 minutes

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

“This story sparkles and enchants! It’s a rich and layered multigeneration saga featuring strong women and a mystery veiled in magical realism that will tease and feed your imagination.”

University Book Store image Grace Rajendran, University Book Store
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The Bones of Ruin

By Sarah Raughley
Narrated by: Ione Butler
Length: 17 hours 16 minutes

An African tightrope walker who can’t die gets embroiled in a secret society’s deadly gladiatorial tournament in this thrilling historical fantasy set in an alternate 1880s London, perfect for fans of The Last Magician and The Gilded Wolves.

As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a... Read more »

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School of Fear

School of Fear: Book #1

By Gitty Daneshvari
Narrated by: Emma Walton Hamilton
Length: 5 hours 40 minutes

Everyone is afraid of something...

Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs, especially spiders.

Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying.
Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces.

Garrison Feldman is terrified of deep water.
With very few options left, the parents of these four twelve year-olds send them to the highly elusive and... Read more »

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Beasts and Beauty

Dangerous Tales

By Soman Chainani
Narrated by: Polly Lee
Length: 6 hours 7 minutes

You think you know these stories, don’t you?

You are wrong.

You don’t know them at all.

Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that free hearts long kept tame, truths that explore life . . . and death.

A prince has a...

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

And Other Lessons from the Crematory

By Caitlin Doughty
Narrated by: Caitlin Doughty
Length: 7 hours 44 minutes

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty - a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre - took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life's work. With an original voice that combines fearless curiosity and mordant wit, Caitlin tells an unusual coming-of-age story... Read more »

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By Rebecca Skloot
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell & Bahni Turpin
Length: 12 hours 30 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The story of modern medicine and bioethics—and, indeed, race relations—is refracted beautifully, and movingly.”—Entertainment Weekly


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