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Book Nerd Native's 2019 Favorites

These were books I listened to in 2019 that really made an impact on my reading life, and became new favorites!

Playlist Tags: influencer-created topic: best of 2019

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I Am, I Am, I Am

Seventeen Brushes with Death

By Maggie O'Farrell
Narrated by: Daisy Donovan
Length: 5 hours 54 minutes

I Am, I Am, I Am

“Maggie O'Farrell's memoir left me breathless and heart-sore. There were times I literally had a fist to my own heart in sympathy. The encounters told according to each limb or organ is a genius device; it is as though each distinct part of her body had its own voice and wanted my sole attention. Even the spaces of years between each event were full of meaning and nuance. This is one of the most mesmerizing memoirs I have ever read. The breadth and scope of Maggie's 17 brushes with death left me gasping for air, and her strong voice is indelible: There is no victim here, and life is to be treasured but not treated too delicately.”

Northshire Bookstore image Maeve Noonan, Northshire Bookstore
Audiobook details

The Bookshop on the Corner

A Novel

By Jenny Colgan
Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
Length: 9 hours 13 minutes

Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Meg Donohue, Sophie... Read more »

Audiobook details

Red at the Bone

A Novel

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by: Jacqueline Woodson, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small & Bahni Turpin
Length: 3 hours 52 minutes

Red at the Bone

“ I thoroughly enjoyed the audio book, partially because Woodson’s writing is a joy to listen to, and partially because the different narrators helped keep the story straight. (I was talking to a co-worker who said she was having trouble with this one because she didn’t know which chapter was from which point of view — Woodson, unlike other writers, doesn’t do any favors by telling us at the outset who is narrating, instead making us do the work of figuring it out.) It was short, and to the point, and I liked listening to this one family’s story through the years.”

Watermark Books image Melissa, Watermark Books
Audiobook details

Red, White & Royal Blue

A Novel

By Casey McQuiston
Narrated by: Ramon de Ocampo
Length: 12 hours 15 minutes

Red, White & Royal Blue

“Fresh, irreverent, and funny, Red, White & Royal Blue is a delight and a treasure. With subtle jabs, Casey McQuiston pokes fun at both the public face of the British monarchy as well as the back-door politicking that dominates the U.S. political scene. The story follows the self-centered Alex Claremont-Diaz (America’s First Son) and his interactions with British Prince Henry of Wales. As hostility increases between two political scions forced into a sham friendship, we see the framework of political destiny and duty begin to fray. Little by little, hostility turns to something else entirely. This is a story about happiness — and, more importantly, honesty — for those who live their lives in the public eye.”

The Book Cellar image Todd Ketcham, The Book Cellar
Audiobook details

Sourdough

A Novel

By Robin Sloan
Narrated by: Thérèse Plummer
Length: 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 »

Audiobook details

Severance

A Novel

By Ling Ma
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 9 hours 53 minutes

Severance

“A disaffected young woman just scraping by in the big city. A rag-tag group of survivors on a journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape. These are familiar tropes in contemporary fiction (albeit not usually in the same novel). But with Ling Ma's steely-eyed, wry treatment, they grow into something far more complex. In an alternate 2011, Shen Fever, a global pandemic, causes "a fatal loss of consciousness" in those infected. "The Fevered" forget to eat or drink or sleep, but instead get caught in a seeming zombie-like loop of muscle memory: a housewife sets the table for dinner over and over again; a taxi driver drives around the city until he runs out of gas; a young woman tries on all of the clothes in her closet in an endless loop. This post-apocalyptic world is woven with flashbacks of pandemic-survivor Candace Chen's pre-apocalypse life in New York, where a job she doesn't even like becomes the anchor of her identity such that she will seemingly do anything in order to continue to do it, even after she's the last survivor at her company. The question that lingers: is the rote repetition of our lives the very essence of who we are? And how far will we go to preserve that facade of living? Severance is a beautifully spare and wryly funny novel, by a huge new talent. ”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
Audiobook details

The Simple Wild

A Novel

By K.A. Tucker
Narrated by: Rebekkah Ross
Length: 12 hours 33 minutes

City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker.

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled th Read more »e...
Audiobook details

Family Upstairs

A Novel

By Lisa Jewell
Narrated by: Tamaryn Payne, Bea Holland & Dominic Thorburn
Length: 9 hours 36 minutes

Family Upstairs

“This intriguing story combines classic mystery elements with touches of domestic suspense and all around creepiness. The audiobook uses three different narrators, which provides for a further immersive experience. The three different perspectives are intertwined in a unique way allowing us to watch as three different lives hurtle toward their intersection. Libby and Lucy’s experience in the present are shared through third person narration while Henry’s first person narrating provides his account of the past with an occasional interjection of his perspective of the events unfolding in the present. With a string of bread crumbs along the way, the climax is somewhat inevitable, but some assumptions you will probably make along the way are smashed as the final unexpected twists are revealed.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
Audiobook details

Reasons to Stay Alive

By Matt Haig
Narrated by: Matt Haig
Length: 4 hours 13 minutes

Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is his inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (now wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more fo Read more »r...
Audiobook details

The Bride Test

By Helen Hoang
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 10 hours

The Bride Test

“This follow-up to The Kiss Quotient is an incredibly diverse and fun story about Khai, Michael’s cousin from the previous novel. He is Vietnamese-American, autistic, and believes himself to be incapable of the emotions that matter. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed The Rosie Effect and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Hoang is making important waves, one sweet, sexy romance novel at a time.”

Books Around the Corner image Stephanie Csaszar, Books Around the Corner
Audiobook details

If, Then

A Novel

By Kate Hope Day
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Length: 8 hours 31 minutes

If, Then

“I devoured this book. Reading about these characters felt like stepping right into other lives, with all of the messiness of human striving and relationships. If, Then is a beautiful novel for this alone, but when each character begins to see visions they don’t understand, the book takes on a new sense of urgency. Driven by its characters and with a masterfully written thread of speculative fiction, If, Then is a moving look at how events large and small and the choices we make carve our unique lives out of the infinite number of possible lives that could have been.”

Literati Bookstore image Kelsey O'Rourke, Literati Bookstore
Audiobook details