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Booknotes - Summer 2019

Booknotes - Summer 2019

Booknotes, the literary review of The Elliott Bay Book Company, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published and forthcoming books that we're excited to share with you.

Playlist Tags: The Elliott Bay Book Company bookstore-created season: summer

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Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

By David Epstein
Narrated by: Will Damron
Length: 10 hours 46 minutes

The #1 New York Times bestseller that has all America talking: as seen/heard on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Rich Roll, and more.

“The most important business—and parenting—book of the year.” —Forbes

“Urgent and important. . . an essential read for bosses, parents, coaches, and anyone who... Read more »

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The Guest Book

A Novel

By Sarah Blake
Narrated by: Orlagh Cassidy
Length: 16 hours 42 minutes

The Guest Book

“The Guest Book is an exquisitely written multi-generational novel about the Milton family. They are a family of wealth and privilege. Through the generations, the money dwindles away and the last generation is faced with the only option of selling it. The house sits on its own island and holds many secrets from the past generations. The characters are multi-dimensional and the relationships are complex. The narration of this book is pitch-perfect. The reader has a graceful, soothing voice that carries a tone of good breeding. Although I am glad that I listened to this book, I often found myself wishing that I could highlight some phrases and beautifully constructed sentences. This book was a delight to my ears. Sarah Blake is an extremely gifted writer. I look forward to reading many more of her books in the future. ”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Furious Hours

Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

By Casey Cep
Narrated by: Hillary Huber
Length: 11 hours 15 minutes

Furious Hours

In Cold Blood and To Kill a Mockingbird kept me up reading all night as a teen, and I can now add Furious Hours to the list of couldn’t-put-it-down tomes. I was enthralled, educated, and awestruck by Casey Cep’s well-researched and masterfully written true-crime account of a rural minister, his lawyer, and his killer. Thankfully, Cep discovered and brought to light what surely could have been Harper Lee’s second bestseller. Now…off to get a good night’s rest!”

Viewpoint Books image Beth Stroh, Viewpoint Books
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Special offer

Free audiobook with membership

For a limited time, when you sign up for a new monthly membership with code CHOOSEINDIE, we’ll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you’ll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start.

Claim special offer

Orange World and Other Stories

By Karen Russell
Narrated by: Various
Length: 8 hours 37 minutes

From the Pulitzer Finalist and universally beloved author of the New York Times best sellers Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove, a stunning new collection of short fiction that showcases Karen Russell’s extraordinary, irresistible gifts of language and imagination.
 
Karen Russell’s comedic genius and mesmerizing talent for creating... Read more »

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Exhalation

Stories

By Ted Chiang
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Dominic Hoffman, Amy Landon & Ted Chiang
Length: 11 hours 21 minutes

Exhalation

“WOW. My first experience with Ted Chiang absolutely blew me out of the water. Each story left me with wide eyes and a racing mind, running to my husband to read a passage so we could both be knocked over with wonder. Exhalation filled me with so many questions about our collective past, present, and future, I’ll be coming back to this book again and again trying to find the answers.”

Country Bookshelf image Kasey Kane, Country Bookshelf
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Eat Like a Fish

My Adventures as a Fisherman Turned Restorative Ocean Farmer

By Bren Smith
Narrated by: Bren Smith
Length: 7 hours 43 minutes

Part memoir, part manifesto, in Eat Like a Fish Bren Smith—a former commercial fisherman turned restorative ocean farmer—shares a bold new vision for the future of food: seaweed.

Through tales that span from his childhood in Newfoundland to his early years on the high seas aboard commercial fishing trawlers, from pioneering new forms of ocean... Read more »

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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

A Novel

By Ocean Vuong
Narrated by: Ocean Vuong
Length: 7 hours 18 minutes

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

“My words can't do justice to how beautiful the language is in this book. Listening to the author read it was so raw and engaging. This book was emotionally painful in a lot of parts but just touched me on so many levels. Definitely the best book that I've listened to (and read) so far this year.”

Tattered Cover image Suzie, Tattered Cover
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Three Women

By Lisa Taddeo
Narrated by: Tara Lynne Barr, Marin Ireland, Mena Suvari & Lisa Taddeo
Length: 11 hours 24 minutes

If you enjoyed Bad Behavior, then you’ll love Three Women.

Three Women is simultaneously a wonder and a horror, inviting us as readers into the lives of three strangers and asking us for compassion and understanding where we might not feel comfortable doing so. Wonderfully voiced by three equally talented narrators, If you love delving into societal grey areas that force us to examine our biases, highly recommend this emotional roller coaster.”

Folio Books image Isaiah, Folio Books
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The Need

By Helen Phillips
Narrated by: Alex Allwine
Length: 6 hours 19 minutes

The Need

“THE NEED is a thriller about the sheer emotional and physical intensity of mothering and perhaps a rip in the time space continuum. Phillips is a gifted lyrical creator of worlds. Not for the faint of heart and wonderfully absorbing.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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Turbulence

A Novel

By David Szalay
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
Length: 2 hours 29 minutes

Turbulence

“I was immediately swept into Turbulence by David Szalay, a short novel that is really a collection of interconnected vignettes. From one character to the next, our perception is constantly shifting and constantly challenged. Each character is satisfyingly complex and interesting, which, in combination with the brevity of each chapter, really makes it difficult to put the book down. As the characters fly all across the world, bumping into each other in various ways, we are taken out of our ourselves and reminded that an airplane full of strangers is really an airplane full of stories.”

BookTowne image Jenna Schenk, BookTowne
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Magic for Liars

A Novel

By Sarah Gailey
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 9 hours 7 minutes

Magic for Liars

“Private Detective Ivy Gamble is hired to investigate a gruesome death at Osthorne Academy for Young Mages. Ivy has no magic and has more experience investigating insurance fraud cases than she has in solving murders. Now she has the chance to show off her detective skills at the same school her estranged magical twin sister teaches at...but will her relationship with her sister cause problems for the case? What at first seems to be another teenage wizard school drama instantly becomes an intriguing mystery that combines the best of urban fantasy with classic noir elements. I was immediately pulled to the protagonist, Ivy Gamble, and her complicated history she has with the magical world (and her sister). Who is the killer, one of the victim's fellow teachers or one of her hormone-crazed students? Can Ivy solve the case without knowing any magic at all? And how is Ivy supposed to sift through the lies surrounding Osthorne Academy when she can't even be truthful to herself?”

New Story Community Books image Shannyn, New Story Community Books
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The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: JD Jackson & Colson Whitehead
Length: 6 hours 45 minutes

The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

“This is the story of boys at a reform school in Florida in the 1960s. Based on the true story of the Dozier School for Boys, and the atrocities that took place there. This isn’t for the faint of heart; the cruelty and violence are terrible. However, Whitehead is a master novelist. The haunting beauty of his prose makes this a must-read. The narrator is split between 2 main characters, Elwood and Turner, and it is through their eyes that we meet the authorities at Nickel, like Spencer, Earl and Hennepin, all terrifying in their own way. And we meet the other boys, like Griff and Harper, each warped by the horrors they see. And each one has a story which Whitehead sometimes delves into, creating complex characters whose actions make sense for who they are. Whitehead elegantly moves the reader from Elwood’s early pre-Nickel days to events, past and present, at the school and into the future where archeologists and reporters have finally uncovered the truth. Beautifully written. Wonderfully read by JD Jackson. Highly recommended.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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I Like to Watch

Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution

By Emily Nussbaum
Narrated by: Emily Nussbaum
Length: 13 hours 42 minutes

From The New Yorker’s fiercely original, Pulitzer Prize-winning culture critic, a provocative collection of new and previously published essays arguing that we are what we watch.

“Emily Nussbaum is the perfect critic—smart, engaging, funny, generous, and insightful.”—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon


NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF... Read more »

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The Vagabonds

The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison's Ten-Year Road Trip

By Jeff Guinn
Narrated by: Josh Hamilton
Length: 9 hours 34 minutes

A “fascinating slice of rarely considered American history” (Booklist)—the story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison—whose annual summer sojourns introduced the road trip to our culture and made the automobile an essential part of modern life.

In 1914 Henry Ford and naturalist John Burroughs visited Thomas Edison in Florida and toured the Everglades.... Read more »

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Stay and Fight

A Novel

By Madeline ffitch
Narrated by: Bailey Carr & Sophie Amoss
Length: 12 hours 44 minutes

Stay and Fight

“From the first page of this debut novel set deep in Appalachia, we know that Stay and Fight is aptly named, for the way it explores the constant struggle of its characters to stay where they are while fighting for a better existence. ffitch expertly shows us the romantic, albeit brutally raw, reality of living off the grid (on one’s own terms, most importantly), a feat she somehow accomplishes in the most modestly ambitious way. Stay and Fight is fantastic.”

Community Bookstore image Caridad Cole, Community Bookstore
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