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Best Books of 2021

Best Books of 2021

Powell's booksellers recommend the best books of the year

Playlist Tags: Powell's Books best of 2021

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The Shadow of the Gods

The Bloodsworn Trilogy: Book #1

By John Gwynne
Narrated by: Colin Mace
Length: 18 hours 14 minutes

The Shadow of the Gods

“John Gwynne has written a brutal, expertly crafted Norse-inspired tale of adventure, sacrifice, blood, and vengeance. The storytelling brings to life a sweeping, compelling world build in the shadows and ruins of dead gods. The characters are gritty and realistic–their emotions are felt with every action and every word. With non-stop action, treacherous paths, and cruel monsters–this book is a MUST-READ for any fantasy lover.”

The Well-Read Moose image Anna, The Well-Read Moose
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Seven Days in June

By Tia Williams
Narrated by: Mela Lee
Length: 10 hours 32 minutes

Seven Days in June

“Fans of second chances and epic teenage love will fall hard for this book. There is just so much feeling and feelings. Chemistry just crackles off the page.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Zinna, A Great Good Place for Books
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Seek You

A Journey Through American Loneliness

By Kristen Radtke
Narrated by: Kristen Radtke
Length: 1 hours 58 minutes

Seek You

“In Seek You, Kristen Radtke approaches the epidemic of American loneliness from a variety of angles. A thoughtful exploration of a complex problem that offers understanding, not easy answers.”

Powell's Books image Keith Mosman, Powell's Books
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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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A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Monk & Robot: Book #1

By Becky Chambers
Narrated by: Em Grosland
Length: 4 hours 8 minutes

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

“Never have we needed Becky Chambers' "hopepunk," sci-fi self-care visions of the future more than now. Part hilarious odd-couple road-trip, part soulful parable for a lost and battered world, A Psalm for the Wild-Built brings all the warmth, comfort, and elusive wisdom of a steaming mug of tea poured by someone who loves you. Take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and drink it all in.”

Underground Books image Megan, Underground Books
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Noor

By Nnedi Okorafor
Narrated by: Délé Ogundiran
Length: 7 hours 10 minutes

From Africanfuturist luminary Okorafor comes a new science fiction novel of intense action and thoughtful rumination on biotechnology, destiny, and humanity in a near-future Nigeria.

Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt . . . natural, and that's... Read more »

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A Master of Djinn

Dead Djinn Universe: Book #1

By P. Djèlí Clark
Narrated by: Suehyla El-Attar
Length: 15 hours 37 minutes

A Master of Djinn

“Fatma el-Sha’arawi is one of the most talented agents in Ciaro’s Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. Though it is 1912, she has worked her way up the male-dominated agency with a combination of raw magical talent, wit, and force of will. When a room of men burnt to a crisp with no sign of fire shows up, Fatma is put on the case. As she digs deeper and deeper, she is thrown into a world of old religion, angels, djinn, and a mysterious masked figure claiming to be an ancient mystic. This is an excellent steampunk who-done-it. I was fully onboard through all the twists and turns this story took. A Master of Djinn is an excellent book for this summer.”

Off the Beaten Path image Izzy, Off the Beaten Path
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The Letters of Shirley Jackson

By Shirley Jackson
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter, Gary Bennett & Linda Jones
Length: 18 hours 57 minutes

A bewitchingly brilliant collection of never-before-published letters from the renowned author of “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House

i must stop writing letters and get to writing a novel.

Shirley Jackson is one of the most important American authors of the last hundred years and among our greatest chroniclers of the female experience.... Read more »

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Fugitive Telemetry

Murderbot Diaries: Book #6

By Martha Wells
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 4 hours 24 minutes

No, I didn't kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn't dump the body in the station mall. When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because... Read more »

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For the Wolf

The Wilderwood: Book #1

By Hannah Whitten
Narrated by: Inés del Castillo
Length: 13 hours 40 minutes

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark, sweeping debut fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn't the only danger lurking in the... Read more »

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The Final Girl Support Group

By Grady Hendrix
Narrated by: Adrienne King
Length: 13 hours 49 minutes

The Final Girl Support Group

“Lynnette has been going to the same support group for years — only this isn't a normal support group. It’s a secret group for final girls. This is a fast-paced and shocking thriller that I couldn't put down!”

Gramercy Books image Katie Cerqua, Gramercy Books
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A Desolation Called Peace

Teixcalaan: Book #2

By Arkady Martine
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 17 hours 32 minutes

"[An] all around brilliant space opera, I absolutely love it."—Ann Leckie, on A Memory Called Empire

A Desolation Called Peace is the spectacular space opera sequel to Arkady Martine's genre-reinventing, Hugo Award-winning debut, A Memory Called Empire.

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no...

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The Dreamer Trilogy #2

The Dreamer Trilogy

By Maggie Stiefvater
Narrated by: Will Patton
Length: 10 hours 44 minutes

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Raven Boys, a mesmerizing story of dreams and desires, death and destiny.

Something is happening to the source of the dreamers' power. It is blocked. Diminished. Weak. If it goes away entirely, what will happen to the dreamers and those who depend on them?

Ronan Lynch isn't planning to...

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Happily Ever Afters

By Elise Bryant
Narrated by: Jordan Cobb
Length: 10 hours 18 minutes

Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life....

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Small Favors

By Erin A. Craig
Narrated by: Rachel Music
Length: 14 hours 21 minutes

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the critically-acclaimed author of House of Salt and Sorrows comes a mesmerizing and chilling fairy-talesque novel about Ellerie Downing, a young woman in a small town with monsters lurking in the trees and dark desires hidden in the shadows—in Amity Falls, nothing is more dangerous than a wish come... Read more »

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Vespertine

By Margaret Rogerson
Narrated by: Caitlin Davies
Length: 12 hours 6 minutes

An international bestseller!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a thrilling, “dark coming-of-age adventure” (Culturess) about a teen girl with mythic abilities who must defend her world against restless spirits of the dead.

The spirits of the dead do not rest.

Artemisia is training... Read more »

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Firekeeper's Daughter

By Angeline Boulley
Narrated by: Isabella Star LaBlanc
Length: 14 hours 13 minutes

Firekeeper's Daughter

“LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book on Libro.fm, as an audiobook. To hear the Ojibwe words spoken is a treat not to be missed. Great reader in Isabella Star Lablanc!”

Ballast Book Co. image Suzanne, Ballast Book Co.
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A Chorus Rises

A Song Below Water novel

By Bethany C. Morrow
Narrated by: Cherise Boothe & Eboni Flowers
Length: 10 hours 1 minutes

"Narrator Eboni Flowers creates the perfect voice for the charismatic Naema in this thoughtful story meshing magic and media." -- AudioFile Magazine

THE LATEST NOVEL FROM YA SENSATION BETHANY C. MORROW

Meet Naema Bradshaw: a beautiful Eloko, once Portland-famous, now infamous, as she navigates a personal and public reckoning where confronting the...

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Little Thieves

By Margaret Owen
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 13 hours 59 minutes

Little Thieves

“Vanja wants just one thing. She wants enough money to escape the life of servitude her godmothers, Death and Fortune have promised her. She has stolen many things, jewelry, clothes, money, and the identity of her former lady, the Princess Giselle. Cursed by a low god, Vanja only has a fortnight to return what she’s stolen before the jewels growing on her body will take over and kill her...a lifetime of isolation, Vanja knows that she’s the only person she can count on. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows, this Bavarian-inspired fantasy is a delightful adventure with found family, thrilling mysteries, and is full of heart. Maybe Vanja wants more than one thing, after all.”

Wellesley Books image Cassie, Wellesley Books
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Pity Party

By Kathleen Lane
Narrated by: Taylor Meskimen, Kamali Minter, Tessa Netting & Scott Takeda
Length: 2 hours 52 minutes

Discover an "absurd, funny, and thought-provoking" book perfect for "anyone who has ever felt socially awkward or inadequate" (Louis Sachar, author of Holes and the Wayside School series).
Dear weird toes, crooked nose, stressed out, left out, freaked out

Dear missing parts, broken hearts, picked-on, passed up, misunderstood,

Dear everyone, you... Read more »

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The Shape of Thunder

By Jasmine Warga
Narrated by: Reena Dutt & Jennifer Jill Araya
Length: 7 hours 9 minutes

An extraordinary new novel from Jasmine Warga, Newbery Honor–winning author of Other Words for Home, about loss and healing—and how friendship can be magical.

Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year.

Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her...

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