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Emma's Picks

Emma's Picks

Emma happily re-joined Team Content fall of 2020 to help out behind the scenes in the digital sphere. She works remotely from Salt Lake City, Utah where she explores the mountains, creates art, and participates in many *virtual* boardgame nights with friends. Emma is always reading multiple books at a time across different genres to complement her daily moods. She also avidly listens to audiobooks (praise Libro.FM) while she works, snowboards, and cleans her sunny apartment. Emma is currently on a contemporary romance kick with a side project of actually reading all the books on her shelves.

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Mirrorland

By Carole Johnstone
Narrated by: Katie Leung
Length: 11 hours 38 minutes

Mirrorland

“You will tie yourself in knots trying to figure out what’s happening in Mirrorland, the story of two sisters growing up with different stories attached to the games they play, stories that take on a life of their own years later as buried memories come to the fore.”

Pete Mock image Pete Mock, McIntyre's Fine Books
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Velvet Was the Night

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Gisela Chípe
Length: 9 hours 51 minutes

Velvet Was the Night

“From the author of Mexican Gothic comes a classic noir with a side of romance based on the Mexican government’s suppression of dissent in the ’60s and ’70s and the involvement of the CIA and KGB.”

Rebecca Dowling image Rebecca Dowling, Hockessin Book Shelf
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The Last Cuentista

By Donna Barba Higuera
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 8 hours 33 minutes

If you enjoyed The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, then you’ll love The Last Cuentista.

“It’s 2061. Because of their scientific expertise, Petra’s parents have been chosen to accompany a trio of spaceships to colonize a new planet, leaving behind their home—and Petra’s beloved abuelita—in New Mexico just before a comet hits Earth. But even before their ship lifts off, things aren’t going according to plan. Amid the worrying events on the ship, Petra tells cuentos to bring comfort to those around her, to help her remember, to keep her culture alive; she longs to one day be a great storyteller like Lita. In an environment where diversity is eliminated, whatever the cost, Petra harnesses the power of stories and becomes a hero. This Newbery Award-winning, mystifying sci-fi adventure will empower children for years to come.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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Black Sun

Between Earth and Sky: Book #1

By Rebecca Roanhorse
Narrated by: Cara Gee, Nicole Lewis, Kaipo Schwab & Shaun Taylor-Corbett
Length: 12 hours 46 minutes

Black Sun

“A slow burn and long build up leads to a big pay off and leaves you wanting for more! I enjoyed this as an audiobook for the pronunciation of words and names as well as the multicast narration. It is perfect for those who love their fantasy based on mythology, enjoy Hero’s Journey and Chosen One story arcs, and like political intrigue and maneuvering. We are introduced to a full array of complex, morally gray characters whose lives are moving toward intersection on the day of Convergence. In particular, I liked the running theme showcasing how each main character faces loneliness and alienation based on their past, present place in the world, and the expectations placed upon them. The world building is detailed and imaginative without overtaking character development, and we are provided with a diverse cast of characters where queerness and being non-binary are matter of fact.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
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Every Tool's a Hammer

Life Is What You Make It

By Adam Savage
Narrated by: Adam Savage
Length: 7 hours 45 minutes

In this New York Times bestselling “imperative how-to for creativity” (Nick Offerman), Adam Savage—star of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters—shares his golden rules of creativity, from finding inspiration to following through and successfully making your idea a reality.

Every Tools a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration... Read more »

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Anxious People

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

Anxious People

“This book made me feel all the feels! It was sad, it was funny, it was hopeful, it was everything. The character development is incredible at revealing what’s inside each of the characters, and the way their stories link and interconnect is genius. It’s a story about sadness and hope and human connections. I couldn’t put it down and barreled to the end, but now I am sad it’s over. Anxious People is truly the best thing I’ve read in a long time!”

Lisa Driban image Lisa Driban, Hockessin Book Shelf
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Utopia Avenue

A Novel

By David Mitchell
Narrated by: Ralph Lister
Length: 25 hours 16 minutes

If you enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six, then you’ll love Utopia Avenue.

“Fans of David Mitchell will not be disappointed with his latest masterpiece! Ostensibly a novel about a band coming together in England in the late 1960s, Utopia Avenue is so much more! Mitchell goes deep into the backstories of the band members to explore grief, alcoholism, sexuality and schizophrenia (just to name a few) in his own unique style. Historical events, like Viet Nam protests and the proliferation of drug use, also make appearances giving the novel gravitas and authenticity. On a more light hearted note, cameos by actual artists are scattered within the novel to great effect: making small talk with David Bowie, meeting Brian Jones backstage, partying with Leonard Cohen and Janis Joplin, taking acid with Jerry Garcia. Utopia Avenue is a big story comprised of hundreds of little gems—a great read!”

Wellesley Books image Phyllis, Wellesley Books
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How to Become a Planet

By Nicole Melleby
Narrated by: Rachel Jacobs
Length: 6 hours 52 minutes

If you enjoyed My Jasper June, then you’ll love How to Become a Planet.

“When Pluto is diagnosed with depression and anxiety she feels like a completely different person; unable to complete simple tasks such as getting out of bed, unable to relate to her friends, unable to finish 7th grade. Pluto has a deep love of anything space related and frames her world and her experiences using space analogies. Why was Pluto a planet then suddenly not a planet anymore? Why does it feel like a black hole is consuming her world? This book is about friendship, persistence, and how mental illnesses affect families, but most importantly how it is okay to be different and okay to be unable to do some things. How to Become a Planet pulled at my heartstrings. This book is heavy at times, but I wish there had been a book like this when I was younger explaining depression and anxiety in an accessible way—letting me know I wasn’t alone in feeling a bit different. Definitely a must-listen for all.”

Content image Emma, Content
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The Binding

A Novel

By Bridget Collins
Narrated by: Carl Prekopp
Length: 15 hours 29 minutes

The Binding

“Imagine a world in which the wealthy learn not just from the work of naturalists and thinkers, but from their lives, and not just in memoir form, but as a complete, immediate experience of everything each author remembers. Imagine that, to create such books, the authors must give up those memories. Imagine that you are the child of good, honest country folk who have heard of people left gibbering and helpless if their stories are taken by less than perfect... binders. The very word gives your father chills. Not merely because of the rumors of minds lost: because out on the marsh, an old woman on the wrong side of religion will, if asked, remove memories, taking something from a struggling heart and stitching it between hard covers to be buried forever, lest damage to the book set the memories loose to overwhelm that heart again. You might never have imagined how glibly a person might wish to forget a summer fling. You might not know what it does to a family if a child willfully forgets her parent. You might lack the imagination for the cruelties forgetfulness can allow. But if you are a binder born, unable to bear a normal life because of a powerful empathy in you that gives you the power to remove thoughts from another person and place them in a book - if you are taken as an apprentice to a binder in a place where the trade is regarded with suspicion - if you are forced away to the city and into the employ of an unscrupulous binder who, against law and moral reason, sells the books of living people for readers' amusement - you can't bear to believe these people exist - but you must. Because one of them owns what you gave up to protect people, and another owns the freedom and happiness of one you wanted to protect. For everyone left longing for more at the end of Diane Setterfield's latest, anyone impatient between Geraldine Brooks' releases, anyone afraid you'll never fall in love again as hard as you fell in A. S. Byatt's "Possession" or Saramago's "History of the Siege of Lisbon", give Bridget Collins your hand and the richly talented Carl Prekopp your ear. "The Binding" is magical.”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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The Way of Kings

Book One of the Stormlight Archive
The Stormlight Archive: Book #1

By Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: Michael Kramer & Kate Reading
Length: 45 hours 29 minutes

The Way of Kings

“I have a love of hefty fantasy, partnered with a lack of the time usually needed to invest into the genre. The Way of Kings is the peak of everything that has made fantasy my go-to genre for enjoyment, and my ability to proclaim it as such lay directly with the audiobook. Reading and Kramer deliver the world with a clear poise, and give shape to the phenomenon Sanderson evokes within his description. A masterful novel by itself, The Way of Kings and its audiobook reading are perfect examples of literary mutualism.”

The Liberty Book Company image Rayne, The Liberty Book Company
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Cemetery Boys

By Aiden Thomas
Narrated by: Avi Roque
Length: 13 hours 47 minutes

Cemetery Boys

“"Listening to Cemetery Boys made me smile. A lot. Aiden Thomas presents a story of persistence, mystery, and finding one’s place in the world. Yadriel, a trans, teenage, latinx boy, lives in a family of brujos and brujas. After coming out as trans his family does not know where he fits within their traditions. With the help of his opinionated cousin Maritza, Yadriel completes the ceremony to become a brujo in secret and accidentally summons the wrong ghost: Julian, a high energy boy from his school. Yadriel, Julian and Maritza set out to solve the mystery of Julian’s death, and to release his spirit. Of course, to make things more awkward, Yadriel develops a crush on the spirit boy. What more could one ask for? Thomas creates a magical but real world highlighting family dynamics surrounding trans identity within a gendered society, the need to prove oneself, and the importance of connecting to family. This book may sound spooky, but instead the story is feel-good, heartwarming, and silly at times; it’s all about celebrating life and being who you are."”

Content image Emma, Content
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Act Your Age, Eve Brown

A Novel

By Talia Hibbert
Narrated by: Ione Butler
Length: 10 hours 51 minutes

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

“A satisfying conclusion to an absolutely delightful series! In the final installment of the trilogy, we follow the youngest Brown sister, Eve, a lovable hot mess who is looking to prove to her parents that she can get her life together. Her attempts to turn things around lead her to accidentally interview for as job as a chef at a bed and breakfast. The owner of the B&B, Jacob, is Eve’s polar opposite on paper, so they naturally get off to a bad start. It doesn’t help that Eve also hits him with her car! As the pair begin to learn more about each other, the sweetest romance blooms. Talia Hibbert proves once again that she knows how to write a romantic comedy!”

Cafe con Libros image Tyrinne Lewis, Cafe con Libros
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Shit, Actually

The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema

By Lindy West
Narrated by: Lindy West
Length: 7 hours 16 minutes

Shit, Actually

“Lindy West makes true observations about movies in ways that will make you laugh out loud, and cause you to re-think some of your 90s/00s favorite films! Her witty commentary is what we all NEED in this post 2020 world, even if you have not seen the films. It’s written by someone smart and hilarious who has strong opinions about things that don’t matter. The PERFECT road trip audiobook, listeners can come in and out without losing place in the book. ”

Content image Emma, Content
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A Deadly Education

A Novel
The Scholomance: Book #1

By Naomi Novik
Narrated by: Anisha Dadia
Length: 10 hours 58 minutes

A Deadly Education

“I loved this book so much. It's great both written and as an audio. Wry, irascible El is such a fantastic narrator who you can't help but to cheer for. Sets up nicely for book two without leaving the plot unfulfilled. ”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Gwendolyn, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
Length: 9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“A racial comedy of manners for the digital age, Such a Fun Age is a hilarious and cringe-inducing look at white people trying to do the right thing: badly, and for all the wrong reasons. Nicole Lewis's reading is a dazzling feat: expertly code-switching between the voice Emira uses with her friends, to the voice she uses with her boss, Alix, to the voice her boss's suburban black friend, Tamara, uses with Alix, to the voice Tamara uses with Emira. I don't think I would have enjoyed this book half as much without this effortlessly nuanced narration.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

If you enjoyed The Castle of Otranto, then you’ll love Mexican Gothic.

“If what you loved about "Northanger Abbey" was its sly twist on the gothic romance, you're going to love this new setting for an old gem. Set in 1950's Mexico, it follows a capable but callous young woman who agrees to check on a cousin in exchange for tuition for a master's degree, then begins to discover what inspired the cousin's apparent descent into madness. A wealthy and controlling old man, a manipulative new husband? Yes... and also something very unpleasant to do with mushrooms. Think "The Girl With All the Gifts" meets "Stranger Things", with a clever surprise of a romance--not a Sleeping Beauty story--it's Beauty and the Beast, and the Beast is not whom you'd expect!”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

A Sal and Gabi Novel: Book #1

By Carlos Hernandez
Narrated by: Anthony Rey Perez
Length: 9 hours 34 minutes

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

“This book was so much fun! The narrator captures the characters so well. I was laughing out loud at the ridiculous situations Sal and Gabi find themselves in, while feeling deeply when confronted with real issues such as friends with hard home lives and sick infants. I love the union of practical magic with science and the unknown. One of my favorite listens on Libro.fm!”

Content image Emma, Content
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Take a Hint, Dani Brown

A Novel
The Brown Sisters

By Talia Hibbert
Narrated by: Ione Butler
Length: 10 hours

Take a Hint, Dani Brown

Take a Hint, Dani Brown is a heartwarming romance that shines a light in dark times. Talia Hibbert normalizes quirks, coping mechanisms, and other human conditions that can get glossed over in a happily ever after. She makes it clear that verbalizing needs, sharing them with a loved one, and having them accepted is the true meaning of love. The depth of the characters and their struggles to come together are wonderfully balanced with charm, humor, and a large dollop of sarcasm. Take a Hint, Dani Brown is a delight.”

Copper Dog Books image Julie Karaganis, Copper Dog Books
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Deacon King Kong

A Novel

By James McBride
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
Length: 14 hours 5 minutes

Deacon King Kong

Deacon King Kong centers around an uncharacteristic event life in the projects in 1960's New York City. McBride’s highly energetic story encompasses a multitude of characters that circle the Five Ends Baptist Church, where his main character, Sportcoat, is a Deacon. Sportcoat is a hard-drinking, odd-job handyman that lost his wife two years ago (but continuously argues with her ghost), defies death multiple times, coaches a youth baseball team, and teaches Sunday School. The reader bounces around from character to character learning about the internal dynamics of the community; the mysteries, myths, and urban legends of the community and each individual’s take on shared events. The characters felt so real and the interactions often made me laugh out loud. The semi-chaotic writing style, jumping from one character’s perspective to another, was a bit challenging for me to get into at first, but soon the style clicked and I was swept away! And somehow, despite the chaos, everything ties up brilliantly at the end.”

Content image Emma, Content
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A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor

A Novel
The Carls: Book #2

By Hank Green
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh, Joe Hempel, Jesse Vilinsky, Nicole Lewis, Kevin R. Free, Hank Green, Robert Petkoff, Angelo Di Loreto, Oliver Wyman, Hillary Huber, P.J. Ochlan & Gabra Zackman
Length: 15 hours 45 minutes

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Who has the right to change the world forever? 

How will we live online? 
How do we find comfort in an increasingly isolated world?
 
The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While the robots were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction with only their presence. Part of their... Read more »

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