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February's Bookseller Picks

February's Bookseller Picks

Libro.fm offers recommendations from real people: the dedicated indie booksellers working in our 1,600+ partner bookstores! Below, find the audiobooks that booksellers are loving this month!

Playlist Tags: topic: nonfiction topic: fiction topic: bookstores

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What the Fireflies Knew

A Novel

By Kai Harris
Narrated by: Zenzi Williams
Length: 8 hours 35 minutes

What the Fireflies Knew

What the Fireflies Knew is a fantastic, powerful debut that tackles difficult themes with empathy and respect. KB's voice is funny and heartbreaking. I expect this to be taught in schools someday alongside Toni Morrison.”

Busboys and Poets Books image Ellie Eaton, Busboys and Poets Books
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African Town

By Charles Waters & Irene Latham
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Ronald Peet, Andrew Eiden, Cary Hite, Sean Patrick Hopkins, Sandra Okuboyejo, Soneela Nankani, Nene Nwoko, Michael Obiora, Prentice Onayemi, Mark Sanderlin, Mirron Willis & Patrick Zeller
Length: 6 hours 50 minutes

Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse.

In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda.... Read more »

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The Violin Conspiracy

By Brendan Slocumb
Narrated by: JD Jackson & Brendan Slocumb
Length: 12 hours 4 minutes

The Violin Conspiracy

“One of my new favorite novels. The book tells Ray's story, a young Black man who just wants to play his violin in a world set to see him fail. You’ll root for Ray, get angry on his behalf, cry with him, and triumph with him.”

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews image Laney Sheehan, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews
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Vinyl Moon

By Mahogany L. Browne
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 4 hours 57 minutes

Vinyl Moon

“Bahni Turpin's narration of Mahogany L. Browne's Vinyl Moon was spectacular. The story and the performance pulled me into the protagonist, Angel's, world and kept me engaged there as she navigated a new school and city in her junior year of high school....I highly recommend this listen for anyone who needs to see that we're not defined by what's happened in the past, and that we deserve and are capable of good things regardless of what we've been through. Let Turpin's narration sweep you up in the warmth that Angel and her peers deserve.”

Pocket Books Shop image Julie, Pocket Books Shop
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Don't Cry for Me

A Novel

By Daniel Black
Narrated by: Daniel Black
Length: 7 hours 27 minutes

Don't Cry for Me

“This book blew me away. Through intimate letters to his son, Jacob reconciles with the man he could have been. Daniel Black creates a stunning work on ancestral heritage, history, family, and the legacy of being a Black man in America.”

Curious Iguana image Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana
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You Got Anything Stronger?

Stories

By Gabrielle Union
Narrated by: Gabrielle Union
Length: 8 hours 8 minutes

“Funny, tender, and so good.” —Mindy Kaling, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Why Not Me?

Remember when we hit it off so well that we decided We’re Going to Need More Wine? Well, this time you and I are going to turn to our friend the bartender and ask, You Got Anything Stronger? I promise to continue to make you laugh, but with this...

Read more »

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His Truth Is Marching On

John Lewis and the Power of Hope

By Jon Meacham
Narrated by: JD Jackson & Jon Meacham
Length: 10 hours

His Truth Is Marching On

“Meacham's latest is a fascinating deep dive on John Lewis's formative years getting into good trouble as a civil rights activist in the 1960s. Anecdotes are pulled from both historical documentation and directly from interviews with Lewis himself. Narrator JD Jackson does a fantastic job, adding cadence for different speakers without a hint of caricature. Lewis's strong sense of justice and freedom, most often driven by faith, are on full display in this must-listen.”

Quail Ridge Books image Amber, Quail Ridge Books
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The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

An Oprah’s Book Club Novel

By Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo, Karen Chilton & Prentice Onayemi
Length: 29 hours 48 minutes

If you enjoyed The Underground Railroad (Television Tie-in), then you’ll love The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois.

“At 29 hours this one might seem like quite a commitment, but after traveling the century with them, you’ll deeply miss the echoes of the voices of Ailey and Belle and even good old Uncle Root.”

The Country Bookshop image Angie, The Country Bookshop
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Island Queen

A Novel

By Vanessa Riley
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 21 hours 15 minutes

Island Queen

“Both sweeping and intimate, beautiful and painful, this novel based on the life of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas is exquisite. Riley’s research is palpable in the detail of each chapter, and readers will find themselves compulsively turning the pages until the end.”

East City Bookshop image Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop
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The Prophets

By Robert Jones, Jr.
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 14 hours 52 minutes

The Prophets

“I am at a loss for words. How can I even begin to describe the breathtaking language Robert Jones, Jr. has gifted us in his debut novel, The Prophets? How can I begin to explain how he achieves a feat so marvelous it almost seems impossible? Well, that’s the key word: almost. From his innovative restructuring of the Bible through the lens of America’s history with slavery to characters that leap off the page with colorful grace and dignity, Jones masterfully weaves a narrative that serves as a warning from the past, a prophecy for the future, and a testament to the present. His writing defies all great American novels that have come before, and in doing so becomes one of the greatest I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I can’t wait for everyone to be as spellbound by this book as I am; it will stay with me forever.”

Flyleaf Books image Gage Tarlton, Flyleaf Books
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Skye Falling

A Novel

By Mia McKenzie
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 11 hours 38 minutes

Skye Falling

“I absolutely loved this debut novel by Mia McKenzie, featuring Skye, a Black queer 30-something woman returning to her hometown (Philly). Skye is an inconsiderate, commitment-phobe with an utterly relate-able knack for running away from her problems and re-writing history. Some might say she's unlikeable but I'll admit I was easily disarmed by her scorching wit and endearing charm. With a great cast of supporting characters, Skye Falling was a laugh out loud funny tale of a woman forced to hold herself accountable, rethink her "always on the go" lifestyle and maybe fall in love in the process.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Zinna, A Great Good Place for Books
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The 1619 Project

A New Origin Story

By Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman & Jake Silverstein
Narrated by: Nikole Hannah-Jones & Full Cast
Length: 18 hours 56 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Marie Claire
 
In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of... Read more »

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Harlem Shuffle

A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 10 hours 35 minutes

Harlem Shuffle

“A love letter to 1960s Harlem that’s also a heist novel, a family saga, and so much more. Colson Whitehead proves once again that he’s always at the top of his game!”

Copper Dog Books image Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books
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Within These Wicked Walls

A Novel

By Lauren Blackwood
Narrated by: Nneka Okoye
Length: 8 hours 53 minutes

Within These Wicked Walls

“The blend of magic and realism is fun and the heavy romance is a delight. Blackwood's skill at combining our reality, for instance, a religion with God (He) and all its accoutrements, slavery, and abuse, with a fantastical magical system involving amulets, evil spirits, blood-mad hyenas, and clay people, is well done. A well crafted homage to Jane Eyre.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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My Monticello

Fiction

By Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Narrated by: Aja Naomi King, January LaVoy, Landon Woodson, LeVar Burton, Ngozi Anyanwu & Tomiwa Edun
Length: 7 hours 35 minutes

My Monticello

“A dynamic, and timely, debut by a new voice in fiction, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson. This collection is comprised of five short stories and one novella all set in the state of Virginia. As you read these stories, you will experience, and feel, the gamut of human emotion as the voices and themes in each are different. The author explores race, identity, and an imagining of the future in the novella "My Monticello". Thought-provoking.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Melanie, Bookstore1Sarasota
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Son of the Storm

The Nameless Republic: Book #1

By Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Narrated by: Korey Jackson
Length: 17 hours 45 minutes

From one of the most exciting new storytellers in epic fantasy, Son of the Storm is a sweeping tale of violent conquest and forgotten magic set in a world inspired by the pre-colonial empires of West Africa.

"Everything I love in a fantasy novel. Damn good stuff!" —Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings

In the ancient. city of Bassa, Danso is a... Read more »

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Sankofa

A Novel

By Chibundu Onuzo
Narrated by: Sara Powell
Length: 9 hours 2 minutes

Sankofa

“After her mother’s death, Anna finds a diary among her possessions. The diary of Anna’s father, a man she has never known and her mother has told her little about. As Anna reads the diary of the young man who fell in love with her mother, she begins to feel that she knows him and is understandably curious to learn what happened to him. At a crossroads in her life anyway, she decides to head to his home-country in Africa to look for him. With many surprises along the way, her journey leads to finding her father and also begins the journey to finding herself. This is an excellent story of self-discovery, family relationships, and racial issues.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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Black Nerd Problems

Essays

By William Evans & Omar Holmon
Narrated by: William Evans & Omar Holmon
Length: 7 hours 53 minutes

If you enjoyed A Little Devil in America, then you’ll love Black Nerd Problems.

“Searingly incisive, emotionally honest, LOL funny, and delivered with intense and sincere passion. Evans and Holmon thoughtfully explore issues of representation and stereotypes in forms of entertainment that often either get disregarded or receive a free pass. Even if you don’t know your X-Men from your X-Box, you’ll find plenty of food for thought here.”

Narberth Bookshop image Kevin, Narberth Bookshop
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Blood Like Magic

Blood Like Magic

By Liselle Sambury
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Length: 16 hours 14 minutes

Blood Like Magic

“What a phenomenal book!! This book takes place in the year 2049 but doesn't have a super futuristic-ky feel to it. It's a very plausible future, where tech has obviously advanced, but they still have Google, so it's not too far-fetched. I love the vast diversity in the book. The author, while seamlessly fitting in trans/gay/straight//cis characters into their story, also highlights the struggles some of the characters face in our current reality, such as misgendering for trans people. There are many current social issues that are touched on in this book, and the author does that with grace and poise. The audiobook version begins with trigger warnings, which was very helpful to know what was coming your way. The characters were relatable (even while being witches!) and likable. The story was fun and engaging and kept me hooked from the beginning. The messages from the author were clear and precise and timely for the current status of our world. All in all an overwhelmingly solid debut.”

The Book Worm Bookstore image Sarah, The Book Worm Bookstore
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