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Brilliant Books' 2018 Fall Staff Favorites

Brilliant Books' 2018 Fall Staff Favorites

Each of these titles is personally recommended by one of our Brilliant Booksellers. The list features both newly published and older books and draws from a wide array of writers, styles, and genres; for favorites only available in print, check out our website!

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Melmoth

A Novel

By Sarah Perry
Narrated by: Jan Cramer
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

Melmoth

Melmoth is evocative and atmospheric, the perfect book for a chilly night and the turning of the seasons. Through diaries, letters, and narration, we are introduced to the legendary Melmoth, who is cursed to wander the world alone and watch humans destroy themselves over and over. This quintessential gothic tale is set against the vivid backdrop of winter in Prague and populated by fully realized supporting characters and a protagonist with a hell of a secret. Melmoth, eternal witness to humanity at both its most banal and its most depraved, will haunt me.”

Chelsea Bauer image Chelsea Bauer, Union Avenue Books
Audiobook details

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

A Novel

By Imogen Hermes Gowar
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
Length: 17 hours 18 minutes

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

“This book was a pure delight from beginning to end. High-class escorts, nouveau riche merchants, madams, back-stabbings, broken hearts, mended hearts, parties, an angry mob, pining, mermaids: what more could you ask from a historical novel taking place in the late 18th century? The characters are so well-rounded I found myself cringing for them in their embarrassment and cheering for them in their triumph. The writing is so atmospheric it feels absolutely authentic. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much as I enjoyed reading this one. The only way to describe this book is as an absolute romp.”

Chelsea Bauer image Chelsea Bauer, Union Avenue Books
Audiobook details

Unsheltered

A Novel

By Barbara Kingsolver
Narrated by: Barbara Kingsolver
Length: 16 hours 38 minutes

Unsheltered

“A new Barbara Kingsolver novel is always a gift but this time her fictional journey feels even more powerful as she asks, “Can history help us navigate an impossible-looking future?” Unsheltered tells the stories of two families from different centuries living under the same roof, reeling from turbulence on both a national and a familial scale. Shelter is a basic survival need, but Kingsolver, being the literary artist she is, uses her characters to consider how we use physical, intellectual, and emotional shelters to navigate such troubles. The storms of life will surely rage but shelters can save our lives.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Casey & Jenny, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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Give People Money

How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World

By Annie Lowrey
Narrated by: Annie Lowrey
Length: 7 hours 11 minutes

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Shortlisted for the 2018 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

A brilliantly reported, global look at universal basic income—a stipend given to every citizen—and why it might be necessary in an age of rising inequality, persistent poverty, and dazzling technology.

 
Imagine if every month... Read more »

Audiobook details

Little

A Novel

By Edward Carey
Narrated by: Jayne Entwistle
Length: 14 hours 14 minutes

Little

“I am astounded. I am charmed. I am awaiting the manifestation of pure joy this enchanting book will be for the ages. Anne Marie Grosholtz is as tall as the human heart but her outlook is to the moon. Orphaned at a young age, this child is apprenticed to a physician whose wax modeling lends a twist of the macabre and is a precursor to Marie’s wondrous involvement with French royalty, a revolution, and museums. Complete with elucidating illustrations, Little is a bold imagining of Madame Tussaud. To be clear, I love it! I love it! I love it!”

Jeanette Creager image Jeanette Creager, Mitzi's Books
Audiobook details

Dune

Book One in the Dune Chronicles
Dune

By Frank Herbert
Narrated by: Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Simon Vance, Ilyana Kadushin, Byron Jennings, David R. Gordon, Jason Culp, Kent Broadhurst, Oliver Wyman, Patricia Kilgarriff & Scott Sowers
Length: 21 hours 1 minutes

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, and Charlotte Rampling.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man...

Read more »

Audiobook details

The Mere Wife

A Novel

By Maria Dahvana Headley
Narrated by: Susan Bennett
Length: 8 hours 57 minutes

"Susan Bennett masterfully narrates a stunning retelling of Beowulf that confronts all manner of monsters...Powerful, upsetting, and unforgettable, Bennett's narration is staggeringly potent." — AudioFile Magazine

New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley presents a modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf, set in American...

Read more »

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Improvement

A Novel

By Joan Silber
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Adenrele Ojo, Hillary Huber, R. C. Bray, Ramiz Monsef, Kate Reading & various narrators
Length: 6 hours 2 minutes

One of our most gifted writers of fiction returns with a bold and piercing novel about a young single mother living in New York, her eccentric aunt, and the decisions they make that have unexpected implications for the world around them.Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn't perfect; yet she sees him through a three-month stint at Riker's... Read more »

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Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 3 hours 21 minutes

Convenience Store Woman

“Keiko loves rules. Having worked a part-time job in a Japanese convenience store for 18 years, she loves having a corporate script to recite, sales goals to reach, and a list of tasks to complete. What she doesn't love - or even understand - are the more complicated rules of society at large. She doesn't want a husband, or children, or a real job. What she does want is a satisfactory answer to the endless personal questions that will allow her to be left alone. Convenience Store Woman is a quirky and hilarious look at society and its misfits, and what happens when we try to bend ourselves to the needs of others.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories

By Kelly Barnhill
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 7 hours 32 minutes

From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Kelly Barnhill comes a stunning collection of nine stories teeming with uncanny characters whose lives unfold in worlds at once strikingly human and eerily original.

When Mrs. Sorensen's husband dies, she rekindles a long-dormant love with an unsuitable mate in "Mrs. Sorensen and the... Read more »

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A Ladder to the Sky

A Novel

By John Boyne
Narrated by: Richard E. Grant, Richard Cordery, Nina Sosanya & Laurence Kennedy
Length: 11 hours 32 minutes

A Ladder to the Sky

“Maurice Swift is a man you won’t soon forget: handsome and charming, but above all else ambitious. He dreams of being the greatest writer of his generation and has no qualms about using the people in his orbit and conning his way to the top of his field. John Boyne has given us a truly memorable character in Maurice, but more than that, he’s given us a novel with an ingenious structure and terrific dialogue that entertains the larger question of who can ever really own a story. This is a fantastic, thoughtful tale that even in its darkest moments is a thrill to read.”

RoscoeBooks image Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks
Audiobook details
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