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BookBar's Staff Favorites

If you're looking for some audiobook recommendations to listen to, here's some of our staff's favorites.

Playlist Tags: BookBar bookstore-created staff picks

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Commonwealth

By Ann Patchett
Narrated by Hope Davis /  10 hours 33 minutes

Commonwealth

“Patchett leaves behind the exotic locales and intricate plots of State of Wonder and Bel Canto for an even darker and more difficult place to navigate -- the interior of a blended family over the course of several decades. While more domestic than many of her previous novels, Commonwealth offers plenty of intrigue and surprises as Patchett explores the interaction of a group of children forced into each other's lives because of their parents' impulsive choices. With keen insight, tears of both sorrow and joy, and some real -- if dark -- humor, Patchett pulls readers into this complex family's world, and we are eager for every detail.”

Arcadia Books image John Christensen, Arcadia Books
Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Montague Siblings: Book #1
By Mackenzi Lee
Narrated by Christian Coulson /  10 hours 47 minutes

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee was truly a pleasure to hear! A deliciously dry sense of humor pervades this tale of English landed gentry making a tour of the Continent in the 1800s. However, this is no ordinary tour and these no ordinary lords. Unrequited love among the two male protagonists, a racial twist, parental abuse, maladies with no cures and more pervade this fast paced, adventurous novel complete with highwaymen, dukes, alchemy and pirates (sort of). Impossible to stop listening and extremely entertaining!”

Wellesley Books image Phyllis, Wellesley Books
Price:

$28.74 USD

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The Poppy War

A Novel
The Poppy War
By R. F. Kuang
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller /  18 hours 57 minutes

An AudioFile Magazine Best Audiobook of 2018!

A Library Journal, Paste Magazine, and ENTROPY Best Books of 2018 pick!

Washington Post "5 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel of 2018" pick!

A Bustle "30 Best Fiction Books of 2018" pick!

“I have no doubt this will end up being the best fantasy debut of the year [...] I have absolutely no doubt... Read more »

Price:

$42.54 USD

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown

A Novel
The Brown Sisters: Book #1
By Talia Hibbert
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh /  10 hours 17 minutes

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

“This is a beautifully inclusive novel that made me cry and laugh harder than I’d like too. Chloe and Red were amazing characters that I didn’t want to leave when the story ended. I can’t get over Chloe being a larger lady and the story not focusing on that. I was bracing myself so many times for her to feel sad about her weight or talk about how much she might eat to de-stress herself but the story never gave me that, and I appreciated it so much. She was fine with her appearance and it’s that type of attitude and writing that made me love Chloe even more. I also loved how determined Chloe was to not let her disability take over her life. It’s important to me to see stories like this getting written because representation is huge as a bookseller. I believe everyone deserves to be seen and this was a pure gem.”

Penn Book Center image Macey, Penn Book Center
Price:

$31.04 USD

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Nothing to See Here

By Kevin Wilson
Narrated by Marin Ireland /  6 hours 40 minutes

Nothing to See Here

“Absolutely loved this book, I listened to it on Libro.fm. Quirky, entertaining, smart, and funny. I could not put it down. I can not wait to put this book into hands of readers I know will love it as much as I did. Thank you Kevin Wilson for giving the weird and wonderful a voice! And thank you to Marin Ireland for doing an excellent job with the southern accent! ”

E. Shaver, bookseller image Jessica, E. Shaver, bookseller
Price:

$24.14 USD

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Tell Me A Story

My Life with Pat Conroy
By Cassandra King Conroy
Narrated by Susan Bennett /  13 hours 2 minutes

Bestselling author Cassandra King Conroy considers her life and the man she shared it with, paying tribute to her husband, Pat Conroy, the legendary figures of modern Southern literature.

Cassandra King was leading a quiet life as a professor, divorced “Sunday wife” of a preacher, and debut novelist when she met Pat Conroy.

Their friendship... Read more »

Price:

$34.49 USD

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The Best at It

By Maulik Pancholy
Narrated by Maulik Pancholy /  6 hours 22 minutes

Stonewall Honor Book!

From award-winning actor Maulik Pancholy comes a hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own. One of Time Out's “LGBTQ+ books for kids to read during Pride Month”, this is perfect for fans of Tim Federle’s Nate series.

Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small... Read more »

Price:

$24.14 USD

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The Dutch House

A Novel
By Ann Patchett
Narrated by Tom Hanks /  9 hours 52 minutes

The Dutch House

“You can sign me up for any book that is narrated by Tom Hanks. His voice is so incredibly soothing that I could have fallen asleep listening to it. But that would be a mistake. The Dutch House is the evil stepmother story you never knew you needed, and so much more. Though it may be my first read by Ann Patchett, it certainly won't be my last. She writes so lyrically, lending this family epic extra heart and a whole lot of beauty. Though it centers on incredible hardship and grief, I laughed (sometimes at the preposterousness of the situation or commentary) as often as I cried. Patchett made me care, deeply, about her characters, especially Maeve. A timely commentary on how family values influence our choices, the value of forgiveness, and the importance of asserting our own individuality, The Dutch House is a must-listen.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
Price:

$31.04 USD

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From the Desk of Zoe Washington

By Janae Marks
Narrated by Bahni Turpin /  6 hours 9 minutes

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

“Zoe loves to bake. She wants to be a professional pastry chef when she grows up, and her mom landed her an internship at a local bakery this summer! But when she receives a letter from her birth father in prison on her 12th birthday, everything changes. Marcus sounds very nice in his letter, but he's in jail for murder. Zoe's not sure at first, but as she writes back and forth with Marcus (secretly—her mom would never allow it), she sees that he's really a good person. Could innocent people go to prison? With friendship challenges, cupcake creations, and a fight for justice—not to mention Bahni Turpin's peppy narration—From the Desk of Zoe Washington is an absolute delight to listen to.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
Price:

$24.14 USD

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Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng
Narrated by Jennifer Lim /  11 hours 26 minutes

If you enjoyed We All Love the Beautiful Girls, then you’ll love Little Fires Everywhere.

“Readers who enjoyed the run away hit Little Fires Everywhere will devour this new, slightly edgier fiction release, We All Love the Beautiful Girls.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Katie, Anderson's Bookshop
Price:

$28.00 USD

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A Cosmology of Monsters

A Novel
By Shaun Hamill
Narrated by Sean Patrick Hopkins /  10 hours 47 minutes

A Cosmology of Monsters

“When is the last time a horror novel was both scary and charming? A Cosmology of Monsters is that book! Riffing on themes from H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury, Hamill weaves a complex tale of lost cities, haunted Halloween attractions, and doorways to other worlds. I really enjoyed this literary horror story, which starts out as a love story (don’t ALL good horror tales?) and grows progressively creepier. The book posits the questions: Who are the real monsters, and why do we love to be scared? Truly an uber-creepy yet delightful homage. I loved it.”

An Unlikely Story image William Carl, An Unlikely Story
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Nessie Quest

By Melissa Savage
Narrated by Rachel L. Jacobs & Melissa Savage /  9 hours 30 minutes

Fans of Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe and Melissa Savage's own Lemons will devour this voice-driven novel packed with humor and heart about two friends who head off on an adventure to find the Loch Ness Monster.

Ada Ru finally thought her parents were going to agree to a Fitzhugh family vacation in Disney World the summer before sixth... Read more »

Price:

$35.00 USD

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Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered

The Definitive How-To Guide
By Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark
Narrated by Georgia Hardstark, Karen Kilgariff & Paul Giamatti /  6 hours 30 minutes

Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered

“Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark bring the breeziness of their popular podcast My Favorite Murder to print in this collection of life hacks and true confessions. Alternately hilarious and wise, the two play off each other with the abandon of old college buddies. Fans of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck will find much to enjoy here. While the book will leave you in stitches, the advice the pair doles out is solid and bankable. The book should be in every college freshman’s backpack as they leave for school.”

Mac's Back-Books image Grace Harper, Mac's Back-Books
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Sourdough

A Novel
By Robin Sloan
Narrated by Therese Plummer /  6 hours 47 minutes

"Robin Sloan's second novel is an entertaining concoction of probiotic and high-tech ingredients...This is a funny, effervescent book told in the first person and given full range by Therese Plummer, whose youthful voice captures the matter-of-fact nature of Lois's unjaded, scientific temperament and the dizzying ups and downs of her spirits." —... Read more »

Price:

$22.99 USD

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Heavy

An American Memoir
By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by Kiese Laymon /  6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“Telling the truth has always been a radical and political act, but Kiese Laymon writes in Heavy with a rare, vulnerable unity of personal urgency and political clarity. This is a story about how our country’s lies and thefts weigh heavily on the hearts and souls of its black mothers and sons. About how dishonesty about white supremacy, money, sex, and violence threads through our most intimate relationships and causes us to become strangers to ourselves. If Heavy is about lies, it is also fundamentally about the redemptive power of truth, stories, language, and joy. If there’s a way out of the loneliness of being human in a country that does not value or support humanity, Laymon suggests, it is in the connection we find in the words we toss to one another, like lifelines, like laughter.”

Charis Books & More image E.R. Anderson, Charis Books & More
Price:

$20.69 USD

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The Only Plane in the Sky

An Oral History of September 11, 2001
By Holter Graham & Garrett M. Graff
Narrated by A Full 45-Person Cast /  15 hours 54 minutes

The Only Plane in the Sky

“Today I had a day off and listened to Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff on Libro.fm. I was in tears after the first 30 minutes. Has it really been 18 years since 9-11-01? It seems like it happened yesterday since it's still all so raw. I listened to the whole book nonstop until I was finished today. The style of the book reminds me of one of my favorite authors Studs Terkel. Let the people tell their own stories and the overall heart of the story will be told clearly and honestly. This will be a great gift suggestion for book buyers looking for the perfect gift for fathers, history bluffs, anyone that lived through those very tough days surrounding 9-11-01. Never forget!”

Tattered Cover image Suzie, Tattered Cover
Price:

$34.49 USD

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When We Were Vikings

By Andrew David MacDonald
Narrated by Phoebe Strole /  10 hours 14 minutes

When We Were Vikings

“I listened to this as an audiobook. I loved it! The author presented his characters with such realism, sensitivity and humor. Zelda was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. She has a passion for all that is Viking. She is courageous and smart. Zelda is coming of age and realizing just how powerful she is!”

Rediscovered Books image Jane, Rediscovered Books
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

A Novel
By Kim Michele Richardson
Narrated by Katie Schorr /  9 hours 25 minutes

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

“Based on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project which operated in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1930s and 40s, and inspired by the real life “blue people” of Kentucky (a family with a recessive gene that led to methemoglobinemia, a medical condition that turned skin blue), this historical fiction novel follows the life of Cussy Mary Carter - outcast for her blue skin, determined pack horse librarian. Written by a proud Kentuckian, everything from the dialect to the flora and fauna to the family dynamics is fiercely evocative of a time and place still visible today. ”

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
Price:

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

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Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother

Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker
By Barry Sonnenfeld
Narrated by Barry Sonnenfeld /  10 hours 6 minutes

Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother

“There are memoirs and there are memories and then there are oy vey! memoirs. BARRY SONNENFELD, CALL YOUR MOTHER is the most delightfully hilarious novel that Barry Sonnenfeld wrote about growing up and becoming world renowned a film director (Adams Family, Men in Black, Get Shorty...) . His career choice was basically an accident due to his Jewish mother demanding he stay at home for college and just attend NYU film school. Thank goodness she did. We have all thoroughly enjoyed his movies, now we get a peek inside his brain, to enjoy his life story. His porn chapter is beyond compare the most outrageous piece of writing you've ever laid your eyes on. But, I recommend listening to it on Libro.fm, where you get to hear Barry reading his own life story. This is the perfect book to read during any pandemic!”

BookBar image Marilyn, BookBar
Price:

$29.88 USD

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Hollow Kingdom

By Kira Jane Buxton
Narrated by Robert Petkoff /  10 hours 10 minutes

Hollow Kingdom

“You wouldn't think a foul-mouthed, wise-cracking crow named S. T. (short for Shit Turd) would be a great companion at the end of the world, but honestly? I couldn't imagine another living being to spend the apocalypse with. Buxton amazingly captures the natural world as the humans have devolved into zombie-like creatures, and given us the narrator we deserve. On top of that, Robert Petkoff is the absolute perfect reader to take us on this journey. Side-splittingly hilarious as well as a thoughtful warning against technology, this unique book is one readers (or listeners!) won't be able to put down. ”

Watermark Books image Melissa, Watermark Books
Price:

$29.88 USD

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