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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: topic: best of 2019 awards: indies choice awards

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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
Audiobook details

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

“There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read.”

Changing Hands image Heather Weldon, Changing Hands
Audiobook details

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

“This audiobook could not possibly be any better! The book is witty, wry and everything I didn't know I wanted in a fun, fast paced novel. The reader has a delightful voice and easily slips from cadence to cadence, giving each character a distinct inflection and making it easy to follow the dialogue even when groups are conversing. I cannot wait to pick up the next book by these enchanting authors!”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
Audiobook details

Once Upon a River

A Novel

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

If you enjoyed The Snow Child, then you’ll love Once Upon a River.

“If Dickens wrote suspense this would be it. I enjoyed this meandering tale that is a bit folktale a bit fairytale. A wonderful set of characters, some with hearts that are true as gold. Themes of guilt and many secrets prevail as well as hope and the love for a child. Although the tale flows like the Thames (which has a huge part) there is the undercurrent that “something is going to happen”. This is a story for storytellers. Good if you liked Snow Child and 10,000 Doors of January. The audio is excellent!”

Bookworm of Edwards image Karin, Bookworm of Edwards
Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

Educated

A Memoir

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

Educated

“Tara Westover is barely 30; could she really write a necessary and timely memoir already? Absolutely. Raised largely 'off the grid' in rural Idaho - without school, doctor visits, a birth certificate, or even a family consensus on the date of her birth - Tara nevertheless decides she wants to go to college. This is a story in two parts: First, Tara's childhood working in a dangerous scrapyard alongside her six siblings, her survivalist father, and her mother, a conflicted but talented midwife and healer, while fearing Y2K and the influence of the secular world; then, her departure from her mountain home to receive an education. Both halves of her story are equally fascinating. Educated is a testament to Tara's brilliance and tenacity, a bittersweet rendering of how family relationships can be cruel or life-saving, and a truly great read from the first page to the last.”

East City Bookshop image Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop
Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata & Ginny Tapley Takemori
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
Audiobook details

The Overstory

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

The Overstory

“Do you love trees? Probably not as much as Richard Powers does! This books weaves together the converging stories of nine characters, but they really function as a means to probe the perspective of the trees themselves. With lyrical prose and amazing stories of naturalist history, this is an epic of environmental literature.”

Avid Bookshop image David, Avid Bookshop
Audiobook details

Tin Man

A Novel

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

Tin Man

“This is a book that has solidified a place in my heart forever, and has marked a permanent place for Winman on my favorite authors list. Half told through Ellis' careful, delicate (one might even say "tinned") narrative, and half through Michael's hearty, full voice, this novel follows the beautiful, dynamic relationship between the two boys from their youth into adulthood, and the physical and psychological gravity they each have on the other. Expertly narrated by the novel's own Sarah Winman, this book is resonant and still shakes my heart to think about to this day. Don't be fooled by its brevity; it will leave you breathless.”

Loganberry Books image Margy, Loganberry Books
Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

Heavy

An American Memoir

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

Heavy

“"I wanted to write a lie," Kiese Laymon says in the opening pages of his brutal, beautiful memoir, Heavy. The book is written in the second person, addressed to his mother, with whom Laymon shares a turbulent, intimate relationship. She feeds his mind with books, but critiques the way Laymon feeds his body as he struggles with his weight. She is his best friend, yet demands excellence through regular beatings. And yet, Laymon's complicated love for his mother is absolute. It is palpable in his voice as he reads the words he wrote for his mother, as he tells you his story of being a black boy, a black man, in Mississippi and America. This is a book that will knock you flat on your back. This is a book that will make you sob in the grocery store. Laymon had me captivated from the very first word he spoke. It was a privilege to listen.”

Square Books image Maggie, Square Books
Audiobook details

The Library Book

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

The Library Book

“The Library Book by Susan Orleans is ostensibly about the Central Los Angeles library fire in 1986 but it is SO much more! Orleans' incredibly well researched and yet personal history and commentary on the public library system in the United States is fascinating on many levels. The mystery surrounding the fire is a story unto itself with an interesting cast of characters including the man who was accused but never convicted of arson. In addition, the personalities of the librarians and administrators of the LA library system are varied and incredibly colorful. Finally, Orleans examines the ever-changing roles of public libraries and how information dissemination and services for the homeless are some of the greatest challenges facing libraries today. I listened to this book on LIBRO and hearing Susan Orleans read was a joy! Really a terrific read for anyone interested in books, libraries, social justice, architecture and even crime drama!”

Wellesley Books image Phyllis, Wellesley Books
Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

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
Audiobook details

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

“Cantu personalizes the U.S.-Mexican border and all of its complexity in a way I've never seen. His writing is beautiful, with haunting and detailed descriptions of the desert, the immigrants, the cartels, and his own fears about violence and identity confusion. The criminalization of searching for a better life and the dehumanization of the process is looked at from several angles, and his journalistic approach does not make judgments, but clearly tells the facts. A great new writer to follow.”

Bookworks image Pat Marsello, Bookworks
Audiobook details

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A Novel

By Heather Morris
Narrated by: Richard Armitage
Length: 7 hours 25 minutes

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

“What a great easy read. We just finished it in our store book club and everyone enjoyed it. It’s a different perspective of the consentration camps from a survivors view. It shows humanity in survival mode and yet these two survivors still manage to find love in such a dark place.”

The Book Center image Danielle, The Book Center
Audiobook details

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