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Our Top 10 Books of 2021

Our Top 10 Books of 2021

We asked the booksellers at all three of our locations for their favorite books of 2021. These are the top 10 books that made it onto the majority of those lists.

Playlist Tags: Third Place Books bestselling

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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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My Monticello

Fiction

By Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Narrated by: Aja Naomi King, January LaVoy, Landon Woodson, LeVar Burton, Ngozi Anyanwu & Tomiwa Edun
Length: 7 hours 35 minutes

My Monticello

“A dynamic, and timely, debut by a new voice in fiction, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson. This collection is comprised of five short stories and one novella all set in the state of Virginia. As you read these stories, you will experience, and feel, the gamut of human emotion as the voices and themes in each are different. The author explores race, identity, and an imagining of the future in the novella "My Monticello". Thought-provoking.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Melanie, Bookstore1Sarasota
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People We Meet on Vacation

By Emily Henry
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hours 46 minutes

People We Meet on Vacation

“What fun! This delightful book should be in every beach bag this summer. A hilariously comedic rom-com with memorable characters, set in varied vacation spots in various years. I enjoyed the changing timeline and seeing the relationship as it grew through the years.”

Monkey and Dog Books image Shelley Lowe, Monkey and Dog Books
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No One Is Talking About This

A Novel

By Patricia Lockwood
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 4 hours 43 minutes

No One Is Talking About This

“This compact novel captures the life of a social media influencer in such a stunning way—I listened to this book with my jaw on the floor. Incredible (though if you've never opened Instagram or Twitter, this might not be for you).”

Oblong Books image Suzanna, Oblong Books
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Little Thieves

Little Thieves: Book #1

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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Crying in H Mart

A Memoir

By Michelle Zauner
Narrated by: Michelle Zauner
Length: 7 hours 22 minutes

Crying in H Mart

“This is a beautiful memoir and it totally lives up to the hype! Zauner offers an honest account of her struggle with her Korean American upbringing and her relationship with her dying mother, and what the loss of her meant in the end. The shared experience of cooking and enjoying Korean food was central to their relationship, and her vivid descriptions of the dishes prepared and savored throughout the story will make your mouth water. It’s both a heartwarming and heart-wrenching story about making meaning from culture and familial relationships, and creating an identity while still respecting one’s roots. ”

Water Street Bookstore image Alden, Water Street Bookstore
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Four Thousand Weeks

Time Management for Mortals

By Oliver Burkeman
Narrated by: Oliver Burkeman
Length: 5 hours 53 minutes

Four Thousand Weeks

“Burkeman’s title emphasizes that if we make it to 80 years of age, we live roughly four thousand weeks. That intro alone sounds pretty sobering, but Burkeman takes us through philosophers’ and scientists’ wisdom across centuries with conclusions that are very optimistic. Burke reassures us with stories such as the American who in 1969 went through a brutal orientation to become a Zen Buddhist with secrets to feeling at peace by merely stopping avoidance to the obvious, diving in to reclaim control of our lives.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Roxanne, Bookstore1Sarasota
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She Who Became the Sun

The Radiant Emperor Duology: Book #1

By Shelley Parker-Chan
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
Length: 14 hours 36 minutes

If you enjoyed The Song of Achilles, then you’ll love She Who Became the Sun.

“Can you switch your fate with another’s? Can you seize the opportunity to become great when everything in the world is hell-bent on making you nothing? Zhu’s destiny was nothingness, a destiny that terrifies her. When her brother dies, she decides to take his destiny. Thus begins her journey through monasteries, cities, and wars. She encounters a Eunuch general who struggles with his identity and desire for revenge, a monk who bends the rules to survive, a woman whose strength is in her vulnerability, and a whole cast of amazing characters. This retelling of the establishment of the Ming Dynasty is exquisitely told. It has everything I love in a fantasy adventure: a trickster monk, a tortured warrior, fate, and lil’ bit of magic.”

Off the Beaten Path image Izzy, Off the Beaten Path
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Cultish

The Language of Fanaticism

By Amanda Montell
Narrated by: Ann Marie Gideon
Length: 8 hours 21 minutes

If you enjoyed Don't Call it a Cult, then you’ll love Cultish.

“Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on Libro.fm. Entertaining, informative, and a must-read (listen to) for anyone interested in Cults, MLMs, Fitness, the English language... etc.”

Good Neighbor Bookstore image Bob, Good Neighbor Bookstore
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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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