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Astoria Bookshop Staff Picks - Fiction

Astoria Bookshop Staff Picks - Fiction

These are our fiction staff picks from years past!

Playlist Tags: Astoria Bookshop

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Speak No Evil

A Novel

By Uzodinma Iweala
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi & Julia Whelan
Length: 6 hours 21 minutes

Speak No Evil

“'This is who I am.' 'This is what happened to me.' These are the simplest of expressions, yet the ability to speak them fully is a privilege not shared by the teenaged protagonists of this novel. Nigerian immigrant and Harvard-accepted aspiring doctor Niru is not able to tell his conservative religious parents that he is gay. The daughter of D.C.'s political elite, Meredith is not able to tell the world what really happened in an alley outside a bar on a hot spring night. Speak No Evil describes how loving relationships are strained, how trust is shattered, and how bodies can be broken when the truth is silenced. This heartbreakingly beautiful story will stay with you for a long time.”

Literati Bookstore image Jill Zimmerman, Literati Bookstore
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Alice Isn't Dead

A Novel

By Joseph Fink
Narrated by: Jasika Nicole
Length: 8 hours 43 minutes

Alice Isn't Dead

“If you’ve ever driven Highway 5 late at night, you know there is something ethereal about the long stretch of road when it is blanketed with stars. Joseph Fink evokes the same feeling in his newest novel, Alice Isn’t Dead. After the supposed death of her wife, Keisha—certain Alice is still alive—abandons her life to become a trucker and search for the missing Alice, and runs afoul of a sinister and horrifying organization. Strange and glorious, this book will leave you changed.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Ivy, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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The Immortalists

By Chloe Benjamin
Narrated by: Maggie Hoffman
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

The Immortalists

“In 1969, four siblings visit a fortune teller, who tells each child the date of their death. We follow the Gold siblings both separately and together over the next four decades and see how these revelations affect their choices, their behavior, and their relationships with one another. Apart from raising the obvious question (would you want to know the date of your death?), Benjamin brilliantly explores how family members can be both close to and distant from one another, and ponders the point at which our actions cease to matter and fate steps in. I LOVED The Immortalists, and if there's any justice in bookselling, this book will find the massive audience it so deserves.”

RoscoeBooks image Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks
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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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Killing Commendatore

A novel

By Haruki Murakami
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Length: 28 hours 24 minutes

Killing Commendatore

“Part ghost story, part fairy tale, wholly human, Haruki Murakami’s new novel is a quiet burn of redemption and rebirth and the stories that cannot be told. An unnamed artist is asked by a faceless man to paint his portrait, a culmination of 9 months lost in art and music, loss and sex, the memories of love and empathy of men. Once you accept the impossible, you can only find yourself enthralled upon a mountain, listening for a bell, ruminating on what is left behind.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jocelyn, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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Fruit of the Drunken Tree

A Novel

By Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Narrated by: Marisol Ramirez, Almarie Guerra & Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes

Fruit of the Drunken Tree

Fruit of the Drunken Tree made me cry at the airport. I was impressed by the small kingdom of women Contreras builds, with violence always threatening to creep in, all seen through the eyes of Chula, the youngest daughter. Contreras made her perspective believably cloistered while masterfully writing all the people around Chula in ways that made them feel real. Also masterful was the way Contreras used Petrona’s narrative throughout and the restraint she showed in dipping into her thoughts; she always left me wanting more. What Contreras chooses not to write has as big an effect as what she does. This novel is a dynamic exploration of what is known and, sometimes willfully, what is left unknown.”

Literati Bookstore image Lillian Li, Literati Bookstore
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There There

A novel

By Tommy Orange
Narrated by: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo & Kyla Garcia
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

There There

“Heartbreaking and necessary, this book is raw, powerful, and storytelling at its finest. It's a woven tapestry of the urban Indian experience as few outside these communities have seen it. Vignettes follow 12 people through time and space as they make their way to the Big Oakland Powwow. Each person has their own struggles with identity, life, the powwow; with living, loving, addiction, and employment; with heart and soul and happiness and everything else that makes up the complicated human story, but most especially the complex Indian experience in America. This debut novel was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction. ”

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
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Give Me Your Hand

By Megan Abbott
Narrated by: Chloe Cannon
Length: 11 hours 2 minutes

Give Me Your Hand

“This was an oddly addicting and hypnotizing listen. It's so character driven about female friendships and competition (bc sometimes, competition pushes us to be better). The narrator was fantastic. She hooked me in with her telling and I just wanted Kit to succeed. This is my first Megan Abbott book but I suspect it won't be my last.”

Belmont Books image Audrey, Belmont Books
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Circe

By Madeline Miller
Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

Circe

“Miller expands on the story Circe, a little-known figure in Greek mythology to create an insightful portrayal of humanity. This is some of the most beautiful writing I've ever experienced. As a society, we are flooded with tales of ordinary to extraordinary, of the special, chosen hero. But what about the power of the ordinary? And of choice? Perhaps a strong will can best even the gods of Olympus.”

Oblong Books image Lafe, Oblong Books
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The Death of Mrs. Westaway

By Ruth Ware
Narrated by: Imogen Church
Length: 14 hours 14 minutes

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

“Does Ruth Ware keep getting better and better? Yes, she does. A down-on-her-luck protagonist, a too-good-to-be-true inheritance, and a creepy old mansion combine for a deliciously suspenseful tale. The plucky heroine, Hal, believes she’s mistakenly been identified as an heir to a great estate, but she decides to play along in the hopes of scamming a couple thousand pounds out of the situation. Once she’s arrived at the reading of the will, she quickly realizes that she is in way over her head. This is a deceptive and suspense-riddled thrill ride!”

Battenkill Books image Connie Brooks, Battenkill Books
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An American Marriage

A Novel

By Tayari Jones
Narrated by: Sean Crisden & Eisa Davis
Length: 8 hours 59 minutes

An American Marriage

“Tayari Jones comes in fierce with An American Marriage. Delving into the lives of the newly married Roy and Celestial, this is a novel that pulls no punches from beginning to end. I won't ruin the surprise, but they're hit with a harrowing event that will define not only their relationship, but each of their lives, forever. Writing with an intensity and pace worthy of Donna Tartt, Jones yanks us into her characters' lives with a grip that never lets up. I cannot wait to put this in people's hands!”

Angela Spring image Angela Spring, Duende District
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Space Opera

By Catherynne M. Valente
Narrated by: Heath Miller
Length: 9 hours 45 minutes

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision in an over-the-top galactic science fiction spectacle from bestselling author Catherynne Valente where sentient races compete for glory in a universe-wide musical contest—where the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and... Read more »

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Freshwater

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Akwaeke Emezi
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side." Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of... Read more »

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The Kiss Quotient

A Novel

By Helen Hoang
Narrated by: Carly Robins
Length: 9 hours 36 minutes

The Kiss Quotient

“While looking at the cover of this book you may assume it is going be a light-hearted romance- well, you would be wrong. This book is powerful, sexy, and not to be underestimated. I loved every second of this book because it was so different from anything I have ever known. I read it in one sitting, while telling everyone that tried to talk to me to go away. I was so enthralled by both of the character's life struggles and how they were able to overcome them without each other. Their love did not conquer all- they had to learn to be better versions of themselves first before they could be there for each other. If you're looking for a hot but meaningful romance (yes, they exist!), then you've found it. ”

Anderson's Bookshop image Katrina, Anderson's Bookshop
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She Would Be King

A Novel

By Wayétu Moore
Narrated by: Wayétu Moore
Length: 9 hours 38 minutes

She Would Be King

“The beauty, pain, and personality of Wayétu Moore’s epic trans-Atlantic story could only be expressed with magic. Moore follows her protagonists from before their births through their lives in the early days of Liberia. Combining folklore, African religions, history, and family narratives, Moore’s beautiful writing brings to life the struggles of justice, slavery, and belonging in this complex, nigh-on-miraculous novel.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Clara, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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Friday Black

By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Narrated by: Corey Allen & Carra Patterson
Length: 7 hours 8 minutes

Friday Black

“What a breathtaking collection. These stories are so artfully crafted and imaginatively constructed that at first blush they carry the same satisfaction as the best social satire out there and all the respect that goes along with the label; this collection, however, commands that and more. It is wrenching in its acute, precise indictment of white culture and its guardians, all the while offering language that is playfully impish in its originality. Adjei-Brenyah has an innate ability to create worlds that are familiar and distant and that feel like a privilege to be able to glimpse. This is not to be missed.”

Christen Thompson image Christen Thompson, Itinerant Literate Books
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The Witch Elm

A Novel

By Tana French
Narrated by: Paul Nugent
Length: 22 hours 6 minutes

The Witch Elm

“A burglary gone awry, a near-perfect life destroyed, a mind torn. Toby is caring for his dying uncle and finding himself again. When a skull is found in the wych elm, it seems that a decades-old murder may tear apart a family and Toby himself, as he tries to piece together what happened—and what he might have done. A haunting novel portrayed by a narrator unreliable to himself.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jocelyn, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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