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Book Nerd Native's 2020 Favorites

All of my favorite audiobooks from 2020 so far (I listen to a lot of audiobooks)!

Playlist Tags: genre: Fiction & Literature influencer-created topic: best of 2020

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 11 hours 40 minutes

The Hate U Give

“This bestselling, powerful young adult novel about social justice and one teen girl's effort to fight for what is right, will leave you breathless. The narration by Bahni Turpin is hands down the best I've ever heard. This is such an important book it should be required reading for life in general. Or listening. Definitely listening.”

Tattered Cover image Kristen, Tattered Cover
Audiobook details

Here for It

Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays

By R. Eric Thomas
Narrated by: R. Eric Thomas
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • From the creator of Elle’s “Eric Reads the News,” a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.

“Pop culture–obsessed, Sedaris-level... Read more »

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Devolution

A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

By Max Brooks
Narrated by: Judy Greer, Kai Ryssdal, Max Brooks, Jeff Daniels, Nathan Fillion, Mira Furlan, Terry Gross, Kimberly Guerrero, Kate Mulgrew & Steven Weber
Length: 9 hours 49 minutes

Devolution

“When I heard Brooks y’all about his research process, how he describes his process, and why Devolution despite it being about a “Bigfoot” attack had so much relevance, I was sold. And, as my instincts predicted, I was totally hooked, and fast! Then I realized that Brooks writes about these futuristic horror-ish survival adventures, in a way that drives you forward like the plot of a good thriller. His irony is excellent, and his vivid descriptions are clear, non-flowery and absolutely relevant to the plot. And this is the part that I also like so much...I naturally start thinking: “how would I handle this? “Wow, these mistakes are completely plausible.” How do you avoid mistakes like this?” “I can’t wait to see how these pieces of information come together. I know this important but now I have to know why.” And “This is such a smart book in the pure and enjoyable sense of the word.” I will gladly take the genre jump when the next Max Brooks appear on the horizon. Especially now that I’ve discovered that audio Brooks is even more outstanding than I could have hoped! Be careful...if you listen in the car, you’ll start hoping for traffic.”

Buxton Books image Laura, Buxton Books
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The Year of the Witching

By Alexis Henderson
Narrated by: Brianna Colette
Length: 11 hours 37 minutes

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.
 
In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so... Read more »

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Caste (Oprah's Book Club)

The Origins of Our Discontents

By Isabel Wilkerson
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 14 hours 25 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLIST • “An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that... Read more »

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The House in the Cerulean Sea

By TJ Klune
Narrated by: Daniel Henning
Length: 12 hours 12 minutes

The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea is a heart-swelling wave of sweetness and hope. Mild-mannered government caseworker Linus Baker is sent on a secret assignment to an island orphanage he’s never even heard of. The astonishing inhabitants he gets to know there will change his life and make him reassess everything he thought he knew. This book will leave you believing in the good in everyone — even those society has given up on — and contemplating how huge changes have to start somewhere.”

Phinney Books image Haley Stocking, Phinney Books
Audiobook details

FantasticLand

A Novel

By Mike Bockoven
Narrated by: Angela Dawe & Luke Daniels
Length: 10 hours 1 minutes

Since the 1970s, FantasticLand has been the theme park where ““Fun is Guaranteed!” But when a hurricane ravages the Florida coast and isolates the park, the employees find it anything but fun. Five weeks later, the authorities who rescue the survivors encounter a scene of horror. Photos soon emerge online of heads on spikes outside of rides and... Read more »

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Anxious People

A Novel

By Fredrik Backman
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 9 hours 53 minutes

Anxious People

“At its simplest, we could just say this is a story about the human condition. Backman’s wry and deceptively simple storytelling provides us an exquisite and astute study of the little complexities that fills our lives with joy and pain. Through his rich story exploring second chances, missed opportunities, and unintended consequences, he captures the essence of what it means to be human and the complexities of navigating relationships with each other by exploring what we say and do not say to one another. The audio version is absolutely spectacular. The narrator brings each character to life with unique and spot-on personalities that I cannot imagine creating myself in my head. Her delivery of the dialogue and story is spot on and kept me laughing throughout.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
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The Undocumented Americans

A Homecoming

By Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Narrated by: Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Length: 4 hours 53 minutes

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.

“Karla’s book sheds light on people’s personal experiences and allows their stories to be told and their voices to be... Read more »

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Long Bright River

A Novel

By Liz Moore
Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
Length: 13 hours 18 minutes

Long Bright River

“This story’s power comes not just from its beautiful writing but the reality of its characters and the incisive nature of its setting. Liz Moore has created a masterpiece that exposes the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia, highlighting the vulnerability of its victims and the sheer scope of suffering it causes. From the first page, when the murder mystery begins, readers will suffer and rejoice with the novel’s oh-so-human characters. The power of this story is a fire that will linger for a long time.”

Hilary Kotecki image Hilary Kotecki, The Doylestown & Lahaska Bookshops
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Me and White Supremacy

Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor

By Layla F. Saad
Narrated by: Layla F. Saad
Length: 5 hours 19 minutes

Me and White Supremacy

“Want to learn how to be a good ancestor? Need to address your privilege and feel uncomfortable about talking about racism? You need to read and work through Me and White Supremacy.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

By Grady Hendrix
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 13 hours 48 minutes

Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a real monster.

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her ambitious husband is too busy to... Read more »

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If You Want to Make God Laugh

By Bianca Marais
Narrated by: Bianca Amato, Bahni Turpin & Katharine Lee McEwan
Length: 12 hours 38 minutes

From the author of the beloved Hum If You Don't Know the Words comes a rich, unforgettable story of three unique women in post-Apartheid South Africa who are brought together in their darkest time and discover the ways that love can transcend the strictest of boundaries.

In a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, seventeen-year-old... Read more »

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Oona Out of Order

A Novel

By Margarita Montimore
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Oona Out of Order

“Imagine quantum leaping throughout your own life and trying to cobble together a life one year at a time. Oona leaps every New Year's Eve at midnight and never knows when she is going to wake up. As if that is not traumatic enough, she has no idea what has happened the previous year (and leaves herself letters, notes, and cryptic clues to fill in the gaps). "Oona out of Order" is smart, funny, poignant, and just a little wacky! What a pleasure to listen too and follow Oona travel through time!”

Rediscovered Books image Rebecca, Rediscovered Books
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Well Met

By Jen DeLuca
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 9 hours 45 minutes

All's faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting... Read more »

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Over the Top

By Jonathan Van Ness
Narrated by: Jonathan Van Ness
Length: 5 hours 50 minutes

Over The Top [is] a lightning bolt – devastating and stirring … generous and frank.’ The Guardian

Who gave Jonathan Van Ness permission to be the radiant human he is today? No one, honey.

The truth is, it hasn’t always been gorgeous for this beacon of positivity and joy.

Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s... Read more »

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How We Fight For Our Lives

By Saeed Jones
Narrated by: Saeed Jones
Length: 5 hours 34 minutes

How We Fight For Our Lives

“This memoir by black and gay poet Saeed Jones is a visceral coming of age and coming out story. Growing up as an only child to his single mother in Texas and spending summers with his evangelical grandmother in Memphis, Jones struggles to come to terms with his sexuality, to come out of the closet, and to love himself. He wrestles with his fractured identity, learning what it means to be gay in the black community, to be black in the gay community, and to realize that either one on its own is enough to get you killed in a straight, white world. There are passages that will bruise and choke you, but ultimately both Jones and the reader come out of the book all the better for it.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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Real Life

A Novel

By Brandon Taylor
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

A FINALIST FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE

AND THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE JOHN LEONARD PRIZE

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE


“A blistering coming of age story” —O: The Oprah Magazine


Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, New York Public Library, Vanity Fair, Elle, NPR, The Guardian, The Paris Review, Harper's... Read more »

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The Lager Queen of Minnesota

A Novel

By J. Ryan Stradal
Narrated by: Judith Ivey
Length: 11 hours 12 minutes

The Lager Queen of Minnesota

“Stradal brings the heart here with characters you will really enjoy. They face the future with difficulty, courage and bravery. The story of the three determined women using what they know, baking pies and making beer, help them succeed. P.S. You don’t have to like pies or beer to savor this book.”

HearthFire Books and Treats image Mollie, HearthFire Books and Treats
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Mistborn

The Final Empire
Mistborn: Book #1

By Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: Michael Kramer
Length: 24 hours 39 minutes

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, the Mistborn series is a heist story of political intrigue and magical, martial-arts action.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned... Read more »

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