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Best of 2021

Best of 2021

An audiobook collection of Hudson's Best Books of 2021

Playlist Tags: Hudson Booksellers genre: Non-Classifiable

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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

“I was struck by just how much I loved this book for how it walks through grief not as a way to leave it behind, but as a way to remember its exact shape. I’m grateful for its funny, self-deprecating, and wise observations, and for its difficult beauty.”

Parnassus Books image Steve Haruch, Parnassus Books
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Afterparties

Stories

By Anthony Veasna So
Narrated by: Jason Sean
Length: 6 hours 56 minutes

If you enjoyed Swimming Back to Trout River, then you’ll love Afterparties.

“I enjoyed this book of short stories about the lives of Khmer refugees and their American born children in California’s central valley. Each story makes the reader feel like they are embedded in a particularly family--the tension between the American born children and their parents who escaped the genocide sets the backdrop to many, but the stories touch more broadly on trying to find one's path as an adult, how to define success, how to find love in both queer and heterosexual relationships. Anthony Veasna So died of a drug overdose before the book was published in 2021, so the brilliance of his work is bittersweet.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Amy, A Great Good Place for Books
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A Little Devil in America

Notes in Praise of Black Performance

By Hanif Abdurraqib
Narrated by: JD Jackson
Length: 9 hours 38 minutes

A Little Devil in America

“Hanif Abdurraqib's exploration of Black performance in America is a cultural keystone that is chillingly relevant. Whether discussing the fact that a knowing look or advice on a route from a cashier is a form of a living Green Book that still exists because there are places Black people are not safe, to the origin of the card game spades or the difference between showing out or showing off, at the heart A Little Devil in America circles back to the fact that Black Americans have been forced to survive in places there were not welcome. The section on Black funerals pierced my heart. This book needs to be read, taught, underlined and discussed.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel , Avid Bookshop
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The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven

By Nathaniel Ian Miller
Narrated by: Olafur Darri Olafsson
Length: 10 hours 52 minutes

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven

“Poor misanthropic Sven, his great Arctic adventures tend toward the bumbling and catastrophic, but he persists in his dream to be alone in the great north - only to find that the few friends (including a very shaggy dog) he has made in his travels are what he needs most. It's a lovely, wry and insightful novel, and Olafur Dari Olafsson's deep Nordic-accented voice was an inspired choice for a narrator!”

Island Books image Nancy, Island Books
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Cloud Cuckoo Land

A Novel

By Anthony Doerr
Narrated by: Marin Ireland & Simon Jones
Length: 14 hours 51 minutes

Cloud Cuckoo Land

“Spanning from the final days of Constantinople to the distant space-exploring future, this is about how stories resonant across space and time. I know that readers will emerge from its pages grateful: for our connections with each other, how great art outlasts all of us, how together we are all writing one big story, imperfect and hopeful.”

Rediscovered Books image Samantha, Rediscovered Books
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Exhalation

Stories

By Ted Chiang
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Dominic Hoffman, Amy Landon & Ted Chiang
Length: 11 hours 21 minutes

Exhalation

“WOW. My first experience with Ted Chiang absolutely blew me out of the water. Each story left me with wide eyes and a racing mind, running to my husband to read a passage so we could both be knocked over with wonder. Exhalation filled me with so many questions about our collective past, present, and future, I’ll be coming back to this book again and again trying to find the answers.”

Country Bookshelf image Kasey Kane, Country Bookshelf
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Harlem Shuffle

A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 10 hours 35 minutes

Harlem Shuffle

“Colson Whitehead's Harlem Shuffle is a historical fiction mystery set in 1960s Harlem. A furniture salesman playing both sides, Ray occasionally gets rid of his cousin Freddie's stolen goods. When Freddie involves him in a heist that goes south, Ray's life turns upside down. Harlem Shuffle. shows the changing landscape of Harlem with a side of gangsters, extortion, crooked cops, and the everyday struggle of a Black business owner. This book is suspenseful and funny but also examines race and power in the ways Whitehead writes so masterfully.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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Razorblade Tears

A Novel

By S. A. Cosby
Narrated by: Adam Lazarre-White
Length: 12 hours

Razorblade Tears

“At once gritty and graphic, tender and heart wrenching, Razorblade Tears is the story of two fathers hardened by life circumstances and their respective prejudices who seek vengeance against those who killed their gay sons. The audio was perfection. We NEED this novel to be on the big screen, with Denzel Washington playing Ike. ”

Main Street Books Davidson image Jessica, Main Street Books Davidson
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Bewilderment

A Novel

By Richard Powers
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 7 hours 50 minutes

Bewilderment

“An homage to the heartbreaking Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, this intimate story of a grieving father and his troubled son is an intelligent and touching story of tragedy and hope.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Genevieve, A Great Good Place for Books
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The Darkness Knows

A Novel

By Arnaldur Indridason
Narrated by: Sean Barrett
Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

"Fans of Nordic noir will enjoy this performance. For those new to the genre and looking for an easy start, Barrett offers an expert entry into a world of danger and intrigue." AudioFile Magazine

Retired detective Konrad returns to a haunting cold case in The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason, the "undisputed King of the Icelandic thriller."...

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Velvet Was the Night

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Gisela Chípe
Length: 9 hours 51 minutes

Velvet Was the Night

“A slow-moving crime noir set against the political backdrop of 1970’s Mexico City. The lives of a secretary and a hit man converge when an art student goes missing. Gisela Chipe did an excellent job maintaining the atmosphere throughout the narration. Utterly intriguing and cinematic.”

Phoenix Books image Sofie, Phoenix Books
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Iron Widow

Iron Widow: Book #1

By Xiran Jay Zhao
Narrated by: Rong Fu
Length: 12 hours 13 minutes

Iron Widow

“A young woman still reeling from the loss of her sister in a horribly unequal society based around defending themselves from an alien threat sets readers up for a whirlwind of an adventure as Zetian seeks both revenge and a way to keep other women from falling to the same fate her sister did. Power and privilege afforded to gender are both explored and taken advantage of in a world where women magic-users are named and judged based only on what they can add to their male partners, but the story is never as simple as it seems at first. The conclusions we reach are as dazzling and wondrous as the settings we visit!”

CoffeeTree Books image Eric, CoffeeTree Books
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Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 9 hours 53 minutes

Anxious People

“This book made me feel all the feels! It was sad, it was funny, it was hopeful, it was everything. The character development is incredible at revealing what’s inside each of the characters, and the way their stories link and interconnect is genius. It’s a story about sadness and hope and human connections. I couldn’t put it down and barreled to the end, but now I am sad it’s over. Anxious People is truly the best thing I’ve read in a long time!”

Lisa Driban image Lisa Driban, Hockessin Book Shelf
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Three Girls from Bronzeville

A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood

By Dawn Turner
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 11 hours 45 minutes

A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book
A Best Book of 2021 by BuzzFeed and Real Simple

An “unmissable” (Vogue), “exceptional” (The Washington Post), and “evocative” (Chicago Tribune) memoir about three Black girls from the storied Bronzeville section of Chicago that offers a penetrating exploration of race, opportunity, friendship,... Read more »

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The Antisocial Network

The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees

By Ben Mezrich
Narrated by: Fajer Al-Kaisi
Length: 7 hours 26 minutes

From one of our most innovative and celebrated authors, the definitive take on the wildest story of the year— the David-vs.-Goliath GameStop short squeeze, a tale of fortunes won and lost overnight that may end up changing Wall Street forever.

Bestselling author Ben Mezrich offers a gripping, beat-by-beat account of how a loosely affiliate group...

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A Promised Land

By Barack Obama
Narrated by: Barack Obama
Length: 29 hours 9 minutes

A Promised Land

“No one really needs my blurb to help sell this book, but I wanted to give it anyway, especially for the audiobook, narrated by Barack Obama himself. If you want to know his incredible knowledge and wisdom that guided him through major decisions, and also hear him drop a few F-bombs, you need to listen to this fantastically written book. ”

Quail Ridge Books image Amber, Quail Ridge Books
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Kitchen Confidential

Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

By Anthony Bourdain
Narrated by: Anthony Bourdain
Length: 8 hours 18 minutes

When Chef Anthony Bourdain wrote "Don't Eat Before You Read This" in The New Yorker, he spared no one's appetite, revealing what goes on behind the kitchen door. In Kitchen Confidential, he expanded the appetizer into a deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet that lays out his twenty-five years of sex, drugs, and haute cuisine.

From his... Read more »

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We Keep the Dead Close

A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence

By Becky Cooper
Narrated by: Becky Cooper
Length: 15 hours 46 minutes

We Keep the Dead Close

“As much a journey for the writer as it is for the reader, this book solves a murder but leaves us with many unanswered questions. We Keep the Dead Close challenges us to question our assumptions as well as the paths we use to arrive at those assumptions. Delving into the academic culture of Harvard, the misogyny of the 1960s, and the burgeoning women’s rights movement, the story follows several threads, all of which have a significant impact on the life of Jane Britton, whose story is told with empathy, compassion, and five decades of curiosity.”

Completely Booked image Camille Kovach, Completely Booked
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Small Things Like These

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022

By Claire Keegan
Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
Length: 1 hours 57 minutes

Small Things Like These

“What a gem. If fiction is a way to re write history, giving voice to the voiceless and overlooked, Clare Keegan has succeeded in telling of the a story of what can and did happen in a small Irish town. Set during the weeks leading up to Christmas, Small Things Like These is at once devastating and hopeful in its keen insight of the human heart as it can swell with joy, or chill with cruelty, This will be a book I sell perennially as the holidays come around in particular, and all through the year. We all need reminders what it feels like to listen to our loving instincts and do the right thing when it might be easier to turn away and get on with things. This is a lovely meditation on life and what happens when we if we don’t listen to our better angels. ”

Watermark Books image Sarah, Watermark Books
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Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

If you enjoyed The Castle of Otranto, then you’ll love Mexican Gothic.

“If what you loved about "Northanger Abbey" was its sly twist on the gothic romance, you're going to love this new setting for an old gem. Set in 1950's Mexico, it follows a capable but callous young woman who agrees to check on a cousin in exchange for tuition for a master's degree, then begins to discover what inspired the cousin's apparent descent into madness. A wealthy and controlling old man, a manipulative new husband? Yes... and also something very unpleasant to do with mushrooms. Think "The Girl With All the Gifts" meets "Stranger Things", with a clever surprise of a romance--not a Sleeping Beauty story--it's Beauty and the Beast, and the Beast is not whom you'd expect!”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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