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2019 Indies Choice Award Finalists

2019 Indies Choice Award Finalists

The Indies Choice Awards celebrate the books that independent bookstores around the country are championing. This year’s finalists for Book of the Year – Adult Fiction, Book of the Year – Adult Nonfiction, Book of the Year – Adult Debut, Book of the Year – Young Adult, E.B. White Read-Aloud Award – Middle Reader and Audiobook of the Year.

Playlist Tags: awards: indies choice awards topic: best of 2019

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Circe

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

Circe

“This remarkable journey into mythology brings the ancient gods directly and viscerally into the present. Circe is a perfect mashup of elegant language, glorious storytelling, and exquisitely modern sensibilities. Miller's telling left me awed and moved by Circe and her story, all while wishing I could invite her over for a glass of wine on the porch. How this amazing author so perfectly melds the human and the divine, creating a story both immediate and epic, is dazzling.”

Beth Albrecht image Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore
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There There

A novel

By Tommy Orange
Narrated by: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo & Kyla Garcia
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

There There

“Heartbreaking and necessary, this book is raw, powerful, and storytelling at its finest. It's a woven tapestry of the urban Indian experience as few outside these communities have seen it. Vignettes follow 12 people through time and space as they make their way to the Big Oakland Powwow. Each person has their own struggles with identity, life, the powwow; with living, loving, addiction, and employment; with heart and soul and happiness and everything else that makes up the complicated human story, but most especially the complex Indian experience in America. This debut novel was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction. ”

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
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Kill the Farm Boy

The Tales of Pell
The Tales of Pell: Book #1

By Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. Dawson
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Length: 12 hours 38 minutes

Kill the Farm Boy

“Wildly unpredictable, tremendously goofy, and brilliantly inventive, Kill the Farm Boy is a laugh-out-loud fantasy trope extravaganza. A talking goat, a fierce warrior, a bumbling rogue, a wannabe dark wizard, and an enchanted bard set out on a quest full of adventure, mishaps, and lots of cheese. I can’t count the number of times I giggled, snorted, and chuckled at a clever quip or ludicrous joke. Fans of Monty Python and Robin Hood: Men in Tights will definitely find Kill the Farm Boy to their liking.”

Square Books image Sami Thomason, Square Books
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Free audiobook with membership

For a limited time, when you sign up for a new monthly membership with code CHOOSEINDIE, we’ll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you’ll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start.

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Once Upon a River

A Novel

By Diane Setterfield
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
Length: 16 hours 27 minutes

Once Upon a River

“Time to settle down for a story. It begins, as good stories should, with the rescue of a pair of strangers on a winter night. Though all is not as it seems in Diane Setterfield’s latest, as Once Upon a River quickly delves into a mystery. The young girl was dead when she was pulled from the river, but hours later she begins to breathe. As the story of her revival spreads, more than one member of the village feels mysteriously drawn to her. Could she be their missing child, estranged granddaughter, long-lost sister? Setterfield’s work is the closest an adult can come to settling down for story time, and Once Upon a River has the same magic, timeless, and cozy charm of a tale that has been told through the ages. Simply lovely.”

Molly Gillespie image Molly Gillespie, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
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The Secrets Between Us

A Novel

By Thrity Umrigar
Narrated by: Sneha Mathan
Length: 11 hours 55 minutes

The Secrets Between Us

“This wonderful novel loosely a sequel to The Spaces Between Us—is the rich, moving story of an amazing friendship, one that would never have occurred under the old restrictions of India and in the new India feels its tentative way. The lives of Bhima and Parvati are ones of unbelievable poverty and struggle, but the dignity and richness their friendship manifests took my breath away. A bit Dickensian in the best ways, this novel had me in tears several times. These women are two I will not soon forget.”

Third Place Books image Michael Coy, Third Place Books
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Educated

A Memoir

By Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 9 minutes

Educated

“I loved this book! Tara Westover's memoir is the kind that sounds like it should be a novel—and this book reads like one in the best way—and I think I found myself gasping and covering my mouth about once per chapter. Westover describes her upbringing in a fundamentalist Mormon, survivalist, anti-government, anti-medicine family, enduring neglect and abuse and never attending school, in a way that still somehow manages to make her family members seem sympathetic despite their actions. She is honest about her early beliefs and conflicts and addresses her own lapses in memory throughout the book, and when she finally leaves home to go to college and beyond, you can't help but cheer for her. Julia Whelan does a fantastic job narrating the book, as well, giving each character a distinct personality, but in a way that isn't distracting to the story being told. Her voice is alternately innocent and chilling and gives an added depth to a fascinating story.”

Bank Square Books image Elissa, Bank Square Books
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An American Marriage

A Novel

By Tayari Jones
Narrated by: Sean Crisden & Eisa Davis
Length: 8 hours 59 minutes

An American Marriage

“Tayari Jones comes in fierce with An American Marriage. Delving into the lives of the newly married Roy and Celestial, this is a novel that pulls no punches from beginning to end. I won't ruin the surprise, but they're hit with a harrowing event that will define not only their relationship, but each of their lives, forever. Writing with an intensity and pace worthy of Donna Tartt, Jones yanks us into her characters' lives with a grip that never lets up. I cannot wait to put this in people's hands!”

Angela Spring image Angela Spring, Duende District
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Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 3 hours 21 minutes

Convenience Store Woman

“Keiko loves rules. Having worked a part-time job in a Japanese convenience store for 18 years, she loves having a corporate script to recite, sales goals to reach, and a list of tasks to complete. What she doesn't love - or even understand - are the more complicated rules of society at large. She doesn't want a husband, or children, or a real job. What she does want is a satisfactory answer to the endless personal questions that will allow her to be left alone. Convenience Store Woman is a quirky and hilarious look at society and its misfits, and what happens when we try to bend ourselves to the needs of others.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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The Overstory

By Richard Powers
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Length: 22 hours 58 minutes

If you enjoyed Finding the Mother Tree, then you’ll love The Overstory.

The Overstory is a difficult novel to encapsulate in a sentence or two. It is an epic novel of interconnected stories that all revolve in one way or another to trees and our kinship with the natural world. I listened to this over a few months and found it captivating, especially the sections of the stories that deal with the non-violent direct action to protect the old growth trees of the Pacific Northwest and the rise of the Earth Liberation Front. Those watching the developments around the protests against the logging of old growth forests at Fairy Creek or interested in the emerging science around forest ecology and communication among trees, will find much food for thought in this beautiful novel.”

Turning the Tide Bookstore image Peter, Turning the Tide Bookstore
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Tin Man

A Novel

By Sarah Winman
Narrated by: Sarah Winman
Length: 4 hours 33 minutes

Tin Man

“Michael loves Ellis, Ellis loves Annie, and Annie loves them both. Yet Sarah Winman's blistering novel Tin Man is anything but the usual love triangle. Instead, Winman asks us to consider what remains of love after its object is gone. She crowds this spare little book, set in London, Oxford, and the south of France, with vivid portraits of loss and mourning. At once terse and expansive, Tin Man is a firework flashing in the night - gone too soon but burned forever into the reader's memory.”

Next Chapter Booksellers image David Enyeart, Next Chapter Booksellers
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Waiting for Eden

A novel

By Elliot Ackerman
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 3 hours 26 minutes

Waiting for Eden

“I was completely captivated by this intensely emotional yet compact novel. Both of Ackerman’s previous novels were acclaimed by readers and critics alike, but Waiting for Eden proves something more. In less than 200 pages, the intersecting lives of three people and the consequences of their choices are revealed in an astounding manner. It’s a love story, a ghost story, a horror story, a war story, and, ultimately, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. I don’t want to tell you much more as I don’t want to spoil it, but urge you to read this powerful and important work of literature.”

Square Books image Cody Morrison, Square Books
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All You Can Ever Know

A Memoir

By Nicole Chung
Narrated by: Janet Song
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

All You Can Ever Know

“Nicole Chung’s memoir is a moving account of a young woman’s gradually evolving understanding of family and of herself as she uncovers the truth about the circumstances behind her adoption. Refusing the false dichotomy of adoption as inherently positive or negative, she reminds us that adoption is a fact and that it’s always complicated. This is an extraordinary account, told with candor and empathy. Though the transracial adoption of Asian Americans into white families and communities is common, few books have been written from the perspective of the adoptee. Chung has much to teach us, and readers approaching this book with a heart as open as hers will find much to nourish them here.”

The Elliott Bay Book Company image Karen Maeda Allman , The Elliott Bay Book Company
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Heartland

A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

By Sarah Smarsh
Narrated by: Sarah Smarsh
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes

Heartland

“A classic is born! Sarah Smarsh takes us on a five-generation trek through the hardscrabble life of her Kansas childhood in the ’80s and ’90s. Just as J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed addressed the uncomfortable topic of poverty in this country, Heartland successfully gives the reader an in-depth look at impoverishment in the bread basket of America. She writes with a crystal-clear and objective voice, never giving in to self-pity or malevolence. Indeed, tongue-in-cheek humor and tenderness often shine through. This book is a must-read, a milestone in the life of our country.”

Nancy Simpson-Brice image Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault
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Heavy

An American Memoir

By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“Telling the truth has always been a radical and political act, but Kiese Laymon writes in Heavy with a rare, vulnerable unity of personal urgency and political clarity. This is a story about how our country’s lies and thefts weigh heavily on the hearts and souls of its black mothers and sons. About how dishonesty about white supremacy, money, sex, and violence threads through our most intimate relationships and causes us to become strangers to ourselves. If Heavy is about lies, it is also fundamentally about the redemptive power of truth, stories, language, and joy. If there’s a way out of the loneliness of being human in a country that does not value or support humanity, Laymon suggests, it is in the connection we find in the words we toss to one another, like lifelines, like laughter.”

Charis Books & More image E.R. Anderson, Charis Books & More
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The Library Book

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by: Susan Orlean
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

The Library Book

“On the day I turned 2, Chernobyl was struck by disaster. Three days later, hidden among the news and chaos, the Los Angeles Public Library was in flames. Two thousand degrees, more than a million books destroyed or damaged, and the source of the fire unknown. Susan Orlean centers her book on the fire and then moves outward to include librarians past and present, the role of a library in a community, and our own relationships with books. Like Orlean’s other books, there is some crime, some travelling, fascinating people, and an amazing tangle of details. ”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Rachel, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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The Recovering

Intoxication and Its Aftermath

By Leslie Jamison
Narrated by: Leslie Jamison
Length: 16 hours 6 minutes

The Recovering

“I've loved everything Leslie Jamison's written, but best of all so far is The Recovering, a memoir/history/criticism-hybrid that takes addiction and recovery as its subject. Every time I sat down with this book, I felt like I was in the company of my smartest friend, someone who knew all the right words for life's greatest pleasures and pains. Her book moves fluidly from personal remembrances to perfectly synthesized research into how and why people (herself and artists and others) elect to warp their consciousness with substances. The Recovering is a thorough and thoughtful look at many of our worst and some of our best tendencies, and Jamison's continually compelling style makes it a delight to read.”

Bank Square Books image John Francisconi, Bank Square Books
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Black Friday

Maggie O'Dell Series: Book #7

By Alex Kava
Narrated by: Tanya Eby
Length: 7 hours 39 minutes

On the busiest shopping day of the year, some idealistic college students believe they’re about to carry out an elaborate media stunt at the largest mall in America. They think the jamming devices in their backpacks will disrupt stores’ computer systems, causing delays and chaos. What they don’t realize is that instead of jamming devices, their... Read more »

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My Sister, the Serial Killer

A Novel

By Oyinkan Braithwaite
Narrated by: Adepero Oduye
Length: 4 hours 14 minutes

My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer is one of the best books to come along in quite a while — fast, funny, and completely engrossing. Oyinkan Braithwaite offers up a tale of Nigerian sisters Ayoola, a beautiful and sociopathic serial killer who destroys boyfriends, aware that all they ever want her for is her appearance, and Korede, a nurse whose average looks leave her continually passed up in preference for Ayoola. Still, taciturn and devoted Korede works hard to cover up her charming sister’s crimes. What will happen when they both fall for the same guy? At once a page-turner and a perversely righteous tale about the emptiness of physical beauty and the superficiality of being charmed by it, My Sister, the Serial Killer is entertaining, provoking, and utterly fascinating!”

Bookbug image Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug
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Only Killers and Thieves

A Novel

By Paul Howarth
Narrated by: David Linski
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Only Killers and Thieves

“An unforgettable first line propels this debut novel about two brothers on the Australian frontier who are drawn into a world of conflict and revenge that tests their beliefs and morals to the ultimate degree. The age-old conflict between settlers and indigenous people is played out on the southern continent much as it was in the American West and Russian East. As the brothers become deeply embroiled, they enter a savage and unforgiving landscape, both physically and culturally, and it becomes the ultimate test of their growth and humanity. This is a work that is as unrelenting as the world it describes and will long linger with the reader.”

Square Books image Bill Cusumano, Square Books
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The Line Becomes a River

Dispatches from the Border

By Francisco Cantú
Narrated by: Francisco Cantú
Length: 6 hours 29 minutes

The Line Becomes a River

“The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu is part memoir of a border patrolman, part history of the US-Mexican border and part reflections on what it means to be human. Cantu gives us a real behind the scenes look at the dichotomy of border crossings: vicious drug dealers contrast sharply with desperate individuals who fork over life savings to escape persecution or be reunited with family. Cantu takes the job to gain practical knowledge after completing college but the grind and lack of humanity he witnesses takes a toll. After leaving border patrol, Cantu becomes embroiled in a personal border case and sheds even more insights on the plight of individuals trying to immigrate to the United States. Timely and thoughtful!”

Wellesley Books image Phyllis, Wellesley Books
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