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Kimi's 2021 Favorites

Kimi's 2021 Favorites

Here are some of Kimi's favorite audiobook she listened to in 2021!

Playlist Tags: Buttonwood Books and Toys genre: Non-Classifiable

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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

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

“This is the best book I’ve read this year. An ambitious debut novel tracing the history of one family against the backdrop of American history and showing the stories that are remembered and the ones that are forgotten.”

Main Point Books image Benedict Tanter, Main Point Books
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Songs in Ursa Major

A novel

By Emma Brodie
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 10 hours 45 minutes

Songs in Ursa Major

Songs in Ursa Major is the perfect summer book recommendation. It should be read with music right out of Laurel Canyon playing in the background.”

{pages} a bookstore image Linda McLoughlin Figel, {pages} a bookstore
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The Rose Code

A Novel

By Kate Quinn
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 16 hours 1 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
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Special offer

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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Sparks Like Stars

A Novel

By Nadia Hashimi
Narrated by: Mozhan Marno
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes

“Suspenseful…emotionally compelling. I found myself eagerly following in a way I hadn’t remembered for a long time, impatient for the next twist and turn of the story."—NPR

An Afghan American woman returns to Kabul to learn the truth about her family and the tragedy that destroyed their lives in this brilliant and compelling novel from the...

Read more »

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The Arsonists' City

By Hala Alyan
Narrated by: Leila Buck
Length: 19 hours 34 minutes

A rich family story, a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home. The Nasr family is spread across the globe—Beirut, Brooklyn, Austin, the California desert. A Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three American children: all have lived a life of... Read more »

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Taste

My Life Through Food

By Stanley Tucci
Narrated by: Stanley Tucci
Length: 6 hours 50 minutes

Taste

Taste is a perfect blend of food nerdiness and family memoir all tossed together with wonderful recipes, history, hardship, and a whole lot of love. I liked Tucci before I read this book. I absolutely adore him now (especially after hearing Tucci read the audio version on Libro.fm!)”

Content image Myrna, Content
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Finding Freedom

A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch

By Erin French
Narrated by: Erin French
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes

If you enjoyed Know My Name, then you’ll love Finding Freedom.

“Erin French's memoir is so impressive, highly engrossing, and also so tough to read. She brings us through her life, all the highest peaks and deepest valleys and emphasizes the tremendous effort she has made to come back from each low point. I often listened to French's narration with bated breath, shocked at how much she has overcome in such a relatively short period of time. French's personal story also made me think about our country as a whole and how bad it is at mental health and believing women. It just deeply affronted me that a story like French's is even possible in the 21st century; we have so far to go. Though moments of this book are tough, French's resilience is truly inspiring. You can't help cry for her when things go wrong and root for her when she fights her way back. This memoir, like many that are narrated by their own authors, is in its best form with the audiobook edition. French's voice is raw and truthful and makes you feel this story down to your bones. I highly recommend this to everyone. A story of resilience, Finding Freedom leaves you with much needed hope and light despite it's occasional darkness and an underdog to root for through it all.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The Queens of Animation

The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History

By Nathalia Holt
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 11 hours 37 minutes

From the bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls, the untold, "richly detailed" story of the women of Walt Disney Studios, who shaped the iconic films that have enthralled generations (Margot Lee Shetterly, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Figures).

From Snow White to Moana, from Pinocchio to Frozen, the animated films of Walt... Read more »

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The Widows of Malabar Hill

Perveen Mistry Mysteries: Book #1

By Sujata Massey
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 14 hours 34 minutes

The Widows of Malabar Hill

“Inspired by a real person, Perveen Mistry, one of the first female lawyers in 1920s India, this second book in the series again follows a storyline where the mystery can ONLY be solved by a woman because the women in the household live in full purdah (strict seclusion, no men). So many fascinating details about the 1920s, India's legal system, and most importantly, the myriad different cultures, customs, and ethnic groups that make up India's complex society.”

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
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How High We Go in the Dark

A Novel

By Sequoia Nagamatsu
Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Brian Nishii, Keisuke Hoashi, MacLeod Andrews, Jeanne Sakata, Greg Watanabe, Kurt Kanazawa, Matthew Bridges, Kotaro Watanabe, Brianna Ishibashi, Joe Knezevich, Micky Shiloah, Stephanie Komure & Jason Culp
Length: 9 hours 20 minutes

If you enjoyed Station Eleven (Television Tie-in), then you’ll love How High We Go in the Dark.

“An astounding first novel, Sequoia Nagamatsu's How High We Go In The Dark is without a doubt going to be a major event in 2022's speculative fiction. It begins with a virus thawed by an Arctic exploration team, and branches out its far-reaching and long-lasting consequences. It will be a hard read right now for people recently dealing with the losses of our current pandemic, but for that reason it's also an important book. Read it when you're ready to think about hope again.”

Main Street Books Monroe image Emily, Main Street Books Monroe
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The House in the Cerulean Sea

By TJ Klune
Narrated by: Daniel Henning
Length: 12 hours 12 minutes

The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea is a heart-swelling wave of sweetness and hope. Mild-mannered government caseworker Linus Baker is sent on a secret assignment to an island orphanage he’s never even heard of. The astonishing inhabitants he gets to know there will change his life and make him reassess everything he thought he knew. This book will leave you believing in the good in everyone — even those society has given up on — and contemplating how huge changes have to start somewhere.”

Phinney Books image Haley Stocking, Phinney Books
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Last Night at the Telegraph Club

By Malinda Lo
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

“This coming of age story about a young woman growing up queer in 1950s Chinatown, San Francisco, was brilliant. I loved the rich historical detail, believable characters, exploration of intersectional identities, romance, and sense of place, made even stronger by the excellent narration. Best book I've read in quite some time and highly recommended for adults or teens!”

Turning the Tide Bookstore image Tracey, Turning the Tide Bookstore
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Beautiful World, Where Are You

A Novel

By Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 10 hours 3 minutes

If you enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, then you’ll love Beautiful World, Where Are You.

“I think I've found my preferred format of Rooney—the audiobook. Aoife McMahon narrates all three of Rooney's works and is super consistent. She makes every book unique and her voice is super compelling. Rooney's characters always frustrate me but there is something about her writing and her imperfect characters that hooks me every time. Alice and Eileen are two best friends who are each embarking on different relationships and are at different points of their personal and romantic lives. I had a hard time telling them apart at first (the downside of a single narrator on a multi-perspective book) but once I got them straight, I quite enjoyed this novel the touches on their lives on the brink of the pandemic. Like all of Rooney's twenty-something main characters, you want to slap them sometimes... or all the time but that's kind of why I like it? Perhaps these books aren't for everyone but I highly encourage you to try them in different formats and maybe you too will learn to like Rooney's writing as it shines in audiobook format!”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Apples Never Fall

By Liane Moriarty
Narrated by: Caroline Lee
Length: 18 hours 3 minutes

Apples Never Fall

“If you like competition and a little family drama this book is for you! When their mother goes missing, the 4 Delaney children are forced to except their father may not have been the loving husband they thought he was. Or perhaps could their mother have gone crazy!”

Cherry Street Books image Emily, Cherry Street Books
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Mary Jane

A Novel

By Jessica Anya Blau
Narrated by: Caitlin Kinnunen
Length: 9 hours 44 minutes

Mary Jane

“This is one of my favorite audiobooks EVER! The brilliant narrating brings the reader right into this 1970s coming-of-age, rock star story of a young woman who has lived a sheltered, Leave-It-To-Beaver life. One summer, she is asked to be the nanny for a neighborhood doctor and his wife. What transpires will change everything for Mary Jane.”

Skylark Bookshop image Mary, Skylark Bookshop
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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

By Dawnie Walton
Narrated by: Janina Edwards, Bahni Turpin, James Langton, André De Shields, Dennis Boutsikaris, Steve West, Gabra Zackman & full cast
Length: 13 hours 16 minutes

If you enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six, then you’ll love The Final Revival of Opal & Nev.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev absolutely shines in its full cast audio production. Organized as a series of interviews interspersed with editor notes, this book reads like a documentary-style non-fiction book but is actually FICTION which blows my mind. I felt like I read this book in its true format. The audiobook narration was SPOT ON with the full cast coming together to give so much life and personality to this cast of characters. I felt like I was listening to an in-depth podcast and with the mentioning of real life musicians and stars, I had to do a double take and make sure this book wasn't rooted in fact. Walton's Opal Jewel was someone I wish existed in real life. I could see her inspiration in all the Black female stars of the era but Opal was also a force of her own and had so much depth and life. I also really enjoyed her best friend and stylist Virgil (narrated by the indomitable Andre de Shields). This book not only tackled the pure drama of the rock and roll scene but also racial and gender issues of the era. This book is great for any music or rock and roll fan as well as fans of Daisy Jones and the Six. And do yourself a favor and devour this beauty as an audiobook!!”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

A Novel

By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated by: Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan & Robin Miles
Length: 12 hours 10 minutes

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“Steeped in the glory of Hollywood when marriages were made for reasons other than love and could be slipped on and off like a fine dinner jacket, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of lives full of hunger, self-pity, jealousy, and rage, as well as lost love. This is a story that could have been pulled from the pages of fan magazines of the '50s. It's so entertainingly real that you will be wondering why you can't remember the great star Evelyn Hugo and the movies she made famous. Read for pure pleasure, and you'll be tempted to play the game of, 'Who is this about, really?' What fun!”

Linda Bond image Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore
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While We Were Dating

By Jasmine Guillory
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 10 hours 21 minutes

An instant New York Times bestseller!

One of TIME Magazine's 100 Must-Reads of 2021!

Two people realize that it’s no longer an act when they veer off-script in this sizzling romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory.


Ben Stephens has never bothered with serious relationships. He has plenty of casual dates to keep him... Read more »

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Act Your Age, Eve Brown

A Novel

By Talia Hibbert
Narrated by: Ione Butler
Length: 10 hours 51 minutes

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

“I've never met a Talia Hibbert book I haven't absolutely loved and Act Your Age, Eve Brown is no different. Hibbert is a master at her craft, flawlessly weaving humor with romance that's perfectly matched by Ione Butler's performance as she brings the characters to life. If you're looking for a romance to listen to that will make you laugh the whole way through, look no further.”

Rediscovered Books image Dany, Rediscovered Books
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Honey Girl

A Novel

By Morgan Rogers
Narrated by: York Whitaker
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes

Honey Girl

“For the star girls, the earth girls, the lonely creatures, the girls who have to fight for their place in the world, the girls with flowers in their hair and the ones who love them - this book’s for you. A tender and intimate coming of age-romance that emphasizes self love and found families—Honey Girl is a soothing balm brought to life by York Whitaker's lovely narration.”

Wellesley Books image Cassie, Wellesley Books
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