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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.

Circe

By Madeline Miller
Narrated by Perdita Weeks /  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
Price:

$29.88 USD

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There There

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

There There

“A stunning debut novel by an original voice. Twelve characters of Native American descent, interrelated by birth or chance, struggle with the competing forces of cultural history and modern urban existence. Their stories build separately before colliding powerfully in the book’s final pages at The Big Oakland Powwow. I was riveted.”

Parnassus Books image Keltie, Parnassus Books
Price:

$24.50 USD

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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 /  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
Price:

$35.00 USD

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Once Upon a River

A Novel
By Diane Setterfield & Juliet Stevenson
Narrated by Juliet Stevenson /  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
Price:

$28.74 USD

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The Secrets Between Us

A Novel
By Thrity Umrigar
Narrated by Sneha Mathan /  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
Price:

$31.04 USD

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Educated

A Memoir
By Tara Westover
Narrated by Julia Whelan /  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
Price:

$31.50 USD

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An American Marriage

A Novel
By Tayari Jones
Narrated by Sean Crisden & Eisa Davis /  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
Price:

$34.49 USD

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Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata & Ginny Tapley Takemori
Narrated by Nancy Wu /  3 hours 21 minutes

Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world. So when she takes a job in a convenience store while at the university, they are delighted. For her part, she finds a predictable world in the convenience store, mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the... Read More »

Price:

$19.49 USD

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The Overstory

By Richard Powers
Narrated by Suzanne Toren /  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
Price:

$29.99 USD

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Tin Man

A Novel
By Sarah Winman
Narrated by Sarah Winman /  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
Price:

$21.00 USD

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Waiting for Eden

A novel
By Elliot Ackerman
Narrated by MacLeod Andrews /  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
Price:

$14.00 USD

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All You Can Ever Know

A Memoir
By Nicole Chung
Narrated by Janet Song /  6 hours 42 minutes

All You Can Ever Know

“Nicole Chung’s clear and introspective memoir brings new light to the search for identity and navigating both the past and the future when surrounded by the complexity of those who love you. As a transracial adoptee, the incongruity of growing up happy yet uncomfortably different leads her to search out the truth about her birth parents when she is on the brink of becoming a parent herself. This unique, difficult, and often surprising journey considers what one needs most in the world to belong.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Melinda, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$22.99 USD

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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 /  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
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Heavy

An American Memoir
By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by Kiese Laymon /  6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“An incredibly generous, tender, and searingly honest book. Kiese Laymon is hands down one of the most talented American writers publishing right now. HEAVY overflows with deep love and deep pain. Laymon holds up a mirror to the US past, present - "We did not have to be this way. We will not ever have to be this way." I'm going back to read everything Laymon has ever written. {I listened to the audio book (highly recommend - it's read by the author).}”

A Room Of One's Own Bookstore image Alex Neff, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
Price:

$20.69 USD

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The Library Book

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by Susan Orlean /  12 hours 8 minutes

The Library Book

“There is no one better at investigating the fascinating stories hiding in plain sight than Susan Orlean. The vivid descriptions of the fire that engulfed the Los Angeles Central Library in 1986 are burnished by the meticulous research she did on the history of libraries and on the shocking event that resulted in the destruction and damage of over one million books. The mystery of who would start such a fire is woven between stories of eccentric librarians and the transformation of Los Angeles in the 20th century. From memories of the blissful hours spent in the library of her youth to the historical significance of these repositories of our past, Orlean has crafted a love letter to the importance of the written word and those who devote their lives to its preservation.”

Book Passage image Luisa Smith, Book Passage
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Recovering

Intoxication and Its Aftermath
By Leslie Jamison
Narrated by Leslie Jamison /  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
Price:

$31.03 USD

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My Sister, the Serial Killer

A Novel
By Oyinkan Braithwaite
Narrated by Adepero Oduye /  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
Price:

$21.00 USD

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Only Killers and Thieves

A Novel
By Paul Howarth
Narrated by David Linski /  11 hours 29 minutes

Only Killers and Thieves

“An absolutely vicious debut novel, “Only Killers and Thieves,” by Paul Howarth is a dark and violent coming-of-age story of the McBride brothers, Billy and Tommy, set in the late 1880’s Australian Outback. After discovering the slaughter of their family, the McBride boys, one eager, one reluctant, join with local land baron, Joseph Sullivan to hunt down and massacre the Aboriginals responsible. During their brutal battle for vengeance, the brothers are soon forced to choose between right and wrong, power or weakness and a future of servitude working for Sullivan to pay off their father’s debt. Their loyalty torn apart, Tommy deserts the hunt, desperate to seek the truth of his parent’s murder. Will Tommy find the strength to exact the revenge he initially didn’t seek, or will he cave to the seductive sirens calling from Sullivan’s camp?”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Line Becomes a River

Dispatches from the Border
By Francisco Cantú
Narrated by Francisco Cantú /  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
Price:

$24.50 USD

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A Novel
By Heather Morris
Narrated by Richard Armitage /  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
Price:

$24.14 USD

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