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Staff Picks: Helen

Staff Picks: Helen

My favorite books all have one thing in common: craft. Quality craftsmanship is the #1 thing that I look for, be it fiction or non-fiction, adult or juvenile. These books are not always narrative driven, but often feature characters or concepts that captivate me. With that in mind, here is a list of some of the books that I swear by.

Playlist Tags: Frenchtown Bookshop genre: Non-Classifiable character development audience: craft lovers mood: tear jerker mood: thoughtful

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Animal

A Novel

By Lisa Taddeo
Narrated by: Emma Roberts
Length: 10 hours 47 minutes

Animal

“Much like Taddeo’s Three Women, this novel is not for the prudish or for people who like their women to be silent or demure. If you are looking for originality, sexiness, or fearlessness in your next read, this is the book for you. Grab the reins and be prepared for a ride!”

Left Bank Books image Shane Mullen, Left Bank Books
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Empire of Pain

The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

By Patrick Radden Keefe
Narrated by: Patrick Radden Keefe
Length: 18 hours 6 minutes

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE NOMINEE A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. From the prize-winning and bestselling author of... Read more »

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Sula

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 5 hours 46 minutes

From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner: Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. This brilliantly imagined novel brings us the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio.

Nel and Sula's devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the... Read more »

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The Goldfinch

A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

By Donna Tartt
Narrated by: David Pittu
Length: 32 hours 24 minutes

The Goldfinch

“The Goldfinch was always one of those books I was intimidated to start. It's so long! And sprawling! Was I really going to commit to thirty hours of a book about a painting? The answer is: I waited much too long to get to this truly incredible story, and if you--like me--are daunted by this book's length and scope, the audiobook is for you. Read by veteran stage actor David Pittu (and award winning audiobook narrator), I was rapt from the opening scene to the very last. The story follows Theo Decker from the day he loses his mother in a terrorist attack inside New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art through the rest of his youth. Theo is bounced through households, adrift without his mother, from the Upper East Side apartment of a wealthy schoolmate to his father's Las Vegas subdivision, always accompanied by the small, precious painting he took from the museum on the fateful day his mother died. It's an incredible coming of age tale, read by Pittu with humor and perfect dramatic timing. Despite the many hours I spent with this audiobook, I was sad when it was over. It is just that good.”

Books Are Magic image Liv, Books Are Magic
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The Heart's Invisible Furies

A Novel

By John Boyne
Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
Length: 21 hours 9 minutes

The Heart's Invisible Furies

“This is the novel John Boyne was born to write: A brilliant book of identity and redemption, both heartbreaking and humorous, intimate and expansive. Cyril Avery has been constantly reminded he doesn't belong, first by his adopted parents, then by the church and his country. As we follow him on his journey to acceptance, we are shown the cruelty of fate and the surprising kindness of ordinary people. Boyne perfectly constructs every story told, unveiling the humor and hypocrisy of humanity in each character and illuminating how the arc of Cyril's story is also the arc of modern times. An amazing feat from the first page to the last.”

Book Passage image Luisa Smith, Book Passage
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Dig

By A.S. King
Narrated by: A.S. King, Mike Chamberlain, Tonya Cornelisse & Kirby Heyborne
Length: 10 hours 19 minutes

Winner of the Michael L. Printz Medal

★“King’s narrative concerns are racism, patriarchy, colonialism, white privilege, and the ingrained systems that perpetuate them. . . . [Dig] will speak profoundly to a generation of young people who are waking up to the societal sins of the past and working toward a more equitable future.”—Horn Book, starred...
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Just Kids

By Patti Smith
Narrated by: Patti Smith
Length: 9 hours 50 minutes

In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the...

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Invisible Man

By Ralph Ellison
Narrated by: Joe Morton
Length: 18 hours 38 minutes

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Ralph Elllison's Invisible Man is a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of modern American Negro life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching--yet always with... Read more »

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Brain on Fire

My Month of Madness

By Susannah Cahalan
Narrated by: Susannah Cahalan
Length: 7 hours 21 minutes

INCLUDES A NEW AUDIO AFTERWORD!

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING CHLOË GRACE MORETZ

A “captivating” (The New York Times Book Review), award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is a powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.

When... Read more »

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

By Mark Haddon
Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
Length: 6 hours 3 minutes

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a... Read more »

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Furious Hours

Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

By Casey Cep
Narrated by: Hillary Huber
Length: 11 hours 15 minutes

Furious Hours

In Cold Blood and To Kill a Mockingbird kept me up reading all night as a teen, and I can now add Furious Hours to the list of couldn’t-put-it-down tomes. I was enthralled, educated, and awestruck by Casey Cep’s well-researched and masterfully written true-crime account of a rural minister, his lawyer, and his killer. Thankfully, Cep discovered and brought to light what surely could have been Harper Lee’s second bestseller. Now…off to get a good night’s rest!”

Viewpoint Books image Beth Stroh, Viewpoint Books
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In Cold Blood

By Truman Capote
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 14 hours 25 minutes

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The most famous true crime novel of all time "chills the blood and exercises the intelligence" (The New York Review of Books)and haunted its author long after he finished writing it.

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a...

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Tin Man

A Novel

By Sarah Winman
Narrated by: Sarah Winman
Length: 4 hours 33 minutes

Tin Man

“Saying I loved this book would almost feel like an understatement. The minute I started reading it I got pulled in and couldn't stop until I was done. With beautiful prose, Sarah Winman tells a warm and utterly heart-breaking story. Ellis and Michael are connected, seemingly by fate, at the moment in their lives when they both lose their mothers and need to feel connected to someone. And the connection they make is the one that lasts a lifetime, the one that gets them through, and can't be broken even with the years they spend apart not knowing what the other is doing. Told from both Elli's and Michael's perspective, Tin Man is a story of loss, pain, secrets and shattering loneliness. But above all it’s a story of love and friendship, the need we all feel, to be connected and to belong.”

Politics & Prose image Marija D., Politics & Prose
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The Radium Girls

The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

By Kate Moore
Narrated by: Angela Brazil
Length: 15 hours 52 minutes

1917. As a war raged across the world, young American women flocked to work, painting watches, clocks and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous—the girls themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in the dust from the paint. They were the radium girls.

As the... Read more »

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Cherry

A novel

By Nico Walker
Narrated by: Jeremy Bobb
Length: 8 hours 5 minutes

Cherry

Cherry is a book for our times, a bit like if Jim Carroll, Denis Johnson, and Tim O’Brien had conspired to break your heart. Walker’s writing is bare and essential, direct and unforgiving. Whether or not the reader has any sense of war, PTSD, or addiction, they will have a clearer one by the end of this blistering debut. I can’t wait for an encore.”

BookPeople image Mathew Clouser, BookPeople
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