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Cheri's Staff Picks

Cheri reads a lot. Here are books she likes just a little bit more than all the others she has read.

Playlist Tags: The Bookloft bookstore-created staff picks

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Unthinkable

An Extraordinary Journey Through the World's Strangest Brains

By Helen Thomson
Narrated by: Helen Thomson
Length: 7 hours 19 minutes

A prizewinning journalist with a background in neuroscience, Helen Thomson spent years tracking down people who live with the world's most extraordinary neurological disorders—like a man who tried to break his back because his legs no longer felt like his own, and another who believed that he was dead for nine years. Not content to simply read... Read more »

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The Places That Scare You

A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
Shambhala

By Pema Chödrön
Narrated by: Joanna Rotte
Length: 4 hours 27 minutes

We always have a choice, Pema Chödrön teaches: We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. Here Pema provides the tools to deal with the problems and difficulties that life throws our way. This wisdom is always available to us, she teaches,... Read more »

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Almost Everything

Notes on Hope

By Anne Lamott
Narrated by: Anne Lamott
Length: 3 hours 39 minutes

Almost Everything

“How does she do it? How does Anne Lamott capture the tension of mystery and truth in a way that makes you want to follow her anywhere and believe everything? If you opened this book to any random page you’d find something you’d feel compelled to read aloud to the stranger at the next table. Her familiar writing style spreads a blanket in the sun, lays out trinkets for you to consider, then gathers up the corners, ties it to a stick, sets it on your shoulder, and nudges you to walk on with hope.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jenny, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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You Were There Too

By Colleen Oakley
Narrated by: Sophie Amoss & Dan Bittner
Length: 10 hours 51 minutes

You Were There Too

“This book had me from the prologue, when its main character, Mia, wakes up in the midst of some sort of catastrophe, pinned down by a man she won’t name but seems to know. The whole novel is, to use Mia’s words, ‘an incomplete jigsaw puzzle.’ I wanted to race through it to fit the pieces together, yet I wanted to read the story slowly as I got to know and care about every character. I absolutely loved this novel and can’t wait to share it with readers ready to cozy up to a great story this winter!”

The Snail on the Wall image Lady Smith, The Snail on the Wall
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Verge

Stories

By Lidia Yuknavitch
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews, Sophie Amoss, Michael Crouch, Renata Friedman, Ilyana Kadushin, Dani Martineck & Brittany Pressley
Length: 4 hours 36 minutes

Verge

“A powerful and visceral collection from one of today’s most unique voices that will take you out of your comfort zone. Yuknavitch focuses on the subject of the body: bodies trying to find comfort, bodies trying to become whole, bodies destroyed, bodies as an object, how they are connected to one another, how they can be broken, and how much they are worth. To dive into this collection is to let a cinderblock tied to your leg drag you down into unknown watery depths and instead of trying to loosen the knot, holding tight and letting the waters consume you.”

Books Are Magic image Anthony Piacentini, Books Are Magic
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Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe

A Novel

By Heather Webber
Narrated by: Bethany Lind, Nicholas Techosky & Stephanie Willis
Length: 11 hours 46 minutes

"Listeners will be transported to the small Southern town of Wicklow by the drawls and laid-back pacing of the narrators...This is a beautiful story of family, love, and forgiveness." - AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner

Heather Webber's Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe is a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and... Read more »

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The Fact of a Body

A Murder and a Memoir

By Alex Marzano-Lesnevich
Narrated by: Alex Marzano-Lesnevich
Length: 10 hours 37 minutes

The Fact of a Body

“Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich didn't set out to investigate murder of six-year-old Jeremy Guillory in Louisiana; it was the case she happened upon as a young law school intern in 1992. In a fascinating twist, this becomes not only the true story of a heinous crime for which the perpetrator is in prison, but also of the investigation that unlocks the author's memories of her own youth, a childhood in which she and her sisters were repeatedly sexually abused by their maternal grandfather. As Marzano-Lesnevich moves backward and forward in time between the young man who killed Jeremy and her own life, the reader is swept along on a current of dismay and awe: dismay that human beings can do these things to each other, and awe that the author could face such demons and move on. I've never read another book like this.”

Anne Holman image Anne Holman, The King's English
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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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Social Purpose Annual Report

Social Purpose Annual Report

As we look to the future as a Social Purpose Corporation, we’re committed to serving readers and independent bookstores. Read our 2020 Annual Report to see an overview of the year.

Read the Report

Arrowood

An Arrowood Mystery
An Arrowood Mystery: Book #1

By Mick Finlay
Narrated by: Malk Williams
Length: 9 hours 29 minutes

1895 

London is scared. A killer haunts the city's streets; the poor are hungry; crime bosses are taking control; the police force is stretched to the breaking point. 

The rich turn to Sherlock Holmes, but the celebrated private detective rarely visits the densely populated streets of South London, where the crimes are sleazier and the people are... Read more »

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My Best Friend's Exorcism

A Novel

By Grady Hendrix
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes

A heartwarming story of friendship and demonic possessionThe year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since the fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act … different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s... Read more »

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Things in Jars

A Novel

By Jess Kidd
Narrated by: Jacqueline Milne
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Things in Jars

“Set in Victorian England, Things in Jars feels like a Sherlock Holmes story, if Holmes had been a woman. You can’t help but love Bridie Devine, a strong-willed, chain-smoking woman who has clawed her way from life as an orphaned thief to a highly sought-after detective often consulted by Scotland Yard. Bridie’s newest case, though, is proving difficult and incredibly strange. Not only will it force her to confront someone from her past who she thought was dead, she’ll also team up with an actual ghost as she solves a fantastical crime. Highly imaginative, Things in Jars is a fun and immersive read.”

Bookmarks image Jamie Southern, Bookmarks
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Hollow Kingdom

By Kira Jane Buxton
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 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
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Little Weirds

By Jenny Slate
Narrated by: Jenny Slate
Length: 4 hours 19 minutes

Little Weirds

Little Weirds, a collection of essays by actress and comedian Jenny Slate, is pure magic—a joyous, thoughtful, and deeply gorgeous peek into the soul of an extremely bright and unique individual. Jenny’s mastery of the English language, the way she arranges words to tell a story, the vulnerability with which she does it, and the purity of her heart is so astounding at times that reading a paragraph once or twice is simply not enough. Little Weirds cuts deeply into what it means to be a woman here on this earth. It is about friendship and growth and learning to love ourselves in all of our tender and wild strangeness.”

BookTowne image Jenna Schenk, BookTowne
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In the Dream House

A Memoir

By Carmen Maria Machado
Narrated by: Carmen Maria Machado
Length: 5 hours 28 minutes

In the Dream House

“Brilliant and brave, Carmen Maria Machado's memoir does not shy away from pain, but examines it with a scientist's precision and a poet's imagination. Machado examines how relationships can become toxic from personal understanding. This book reads like a collection of cohesive essays where each chapter is a new lens. This book will change your understanding of memoir. Read by the author, which is especially special and important for this book.”

Oblong Books image Lafe, Oblong Books
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Follow Me To Ground

A Novel

By Sue Rainsford
Narrated by: Amy Finegan, Adam Sims, Francine Brody, Kate Handford, Crystal Clarke & Jamael Westman
Length: 4 hours 21 minutes

One of Literary Hub’s Favorite Books of the Year

“Seethingly assured…like all the best horror, [Follow Me to Ground] is an impressive balancing act between judicious withholding and unnerving reveals.” —The Guardian

A “legitimately frightening” (The New York Times Book Review) debut novel about an otherworldly young woman, her father, and her... Read more »

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A Winter's Promise

Mirror Visitor

By Christelle Dabos
Narrated by: Emma Fenney
Length: 14 hours 43 minutes

Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima, and, what’s more, she possesses the ability to travel through mirrors, a skill passed down to her from previous generations. Her idyllic life is disrupted, however, when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, a... Read more »

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Travel Light, Move Fast

By Alexandra Fuller
Narrated by: Alexandra Fuller
Length: 7 hours 23 minutes

From bestselling author Alexandra Fuller, the utterly original story of her father, Tim Fuller, and a deeply felt tribute to a life well lived Six months before he died in Budapest, Tim Fuller turned to his daughter: "Let me tell you the secret to life right now, in case I suddenly give up the ghost. You wouldn't want me taking all this wisdom... Read more »

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

By Abbi Waxman
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Length: 9 hours 3 minutes

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

“What a joyous, charming, funny and beautiful celebration of books and the people who love them. There is so much detail in both the wonderful, wide-ranging cast of characters and in the setting. Quirky in the very best sense of the word. I will certainly return to the world of Nina Hill again and again.”

Leah Koch image Leah Koch, The Ripped Bodice
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The Saturday Night Ghost Club

A Novel

By Craig Davidson
Narrated by: Corey Brill
Length: 5 hours 41 minutes

The Saturday Night Ghost Club

“Good ghost stories are never really about ghosts. They are about memories, lessons learned, unfinished business, broken promises, potential unfulfilled, unthinkable tragedy, and everything that happened before we came on the scene. The Saturday Night Ghost Club is about all of these things and more. A heaping scoop of ’80s nostalgia provides a solid and comfortable backdrop for the story of a kid growing up and learning that adults (even familiar loved ones) have complicated lives and histories of their own.”

Inkwood Books NJ image Jen Richter, Inkwood Books NJ
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The Poison Thread

A Novel

By Laura Purcell
Narrated by: Jayne Entwistle & Elizabeth Knowelden
Length: 12 hours 53 minutes

"[An] uncanny Gothic mystery... Satisfying."New York Times Book Review

"A romping read with a deliciously dark conceit at its center... Reminded me of Alias Grace."—Kiran Millwood Hargrave


From the author of The Silent Companions, a thrilling Victorian gothic horror story about a young seamstress who claims her needle and thread have the power to...
Read more »

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