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Best Opening Lines

Best Opening Lines

Audiobooks that will hook you from the very first line.
“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.” - All Systems Red

Playlist Tags: topic: fiction fiction audience: adult

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All Systems Red

Murderbot Diaries: Book #1

By Martha Wells
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 3 hours 17 minutes

All Systems Red is the first tense science fiction adventure novella in Martha Wells' series The Murderbot Diaries. For fans of Westworld and Ex Machina. All Systems Red by Martha Wells begins The Murderbot Diaries, a new science fiction action and adventure series that tackles questions of the ethics of sentient robotics. It appeals to fans of... Read more »

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Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

By Min Jin Lee
Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
Length: 18 hours 15 minutes

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

“A father's gentle nature, a mother's sacrifice, a daughter's trust, and a son's determination are the cornerstones of this grand, multilayered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever-changing cultural landscape, from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self sacrifice, and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep-rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family's struggle that resonates with us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!”

Jennifer Steele image Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company
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The Princess Bride - Abridged

S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure (The "Good Parts" Version)

By William Goldman
Narrated by: Rob Reiner
Length: 2 hours 32 minutes

This adventure story has everything you could want: a handsome good guy, a pretty heroine, some bad guys, sword fighting, revenge, romance, and of course a happy ending, along with “rodents of unusual size.” Join Westley (the plucky farm boy), Buttercup (the beautiful young maiden), Inigo Montoya (the driven, embittered swordsman), Prince... Read more »

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The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities: Book #1

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“What did I just listen to and why did I like it so much? Part of falling in love with this book was the listening experience, to be certain. The narration was stellar. The production was on point. But the story... the story itself is sublime. N.K. Jemisin has written a love letter to New York City - but not the one in bright, bold letters on the silver screen - the real city, and the real people who inhabit it and call it home, even if only temporarily. And it was beyond my wildest dreams (and nightmares). "The City We Became" is so incredibly layered and nuanced - diving into discussions of racism and sexism and the fallacy of good vs evil. I wanted nothing more than to steep in its long chapters, and get to know its boroughs as intimately as Jemisin would allow - not mere stereotypes but fully fleshed and brilliant, blinding avatars. Witty, subversive, imaginative, unbelievable. Get on this wild ride.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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Lady Hotspur

By Tessa Gratton
Narrated by: Jessica Hayles
Length: 29 hours 3 minutes

"In a pleasing voice, Jessica Hayles narrates an epic tale set in the days when knights, magic, and royalty ruled the land." -- AudioFile Magazine

Tessa Gratton's Lady Hotspur is a sweeping, heart-stopping Shakespearean novel of betrayal and battlefields and destiny.

STRIKE FAST, LOVE HARD, LIVE FOREVER

This is the motto of the Lady Knights--sworn...

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Paradise

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 15 hours 17 minutes

"Rumors had been whispered for more than a year. Outrages that had been accumulating all along took shape as evidence. A mother was knocked down the stairs by her cold-eyed daughter. Four damaged infants were born in one family. Daughters refused to get out of bed. Brides disappeared on their honeymoons. Two brothers shot each other on New... Read more »

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The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book #2

By Douglas Adams
Narrated by: Martin Freeman
Length: 5 hours 46 minutes

Now celebrating the 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, soon to be a Hulu original series!

“Douglas Adams is a terrific satirist.”—The Washington Post Book World


Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons? Time for a cup of tea! Join the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his uncommon comrades in arms in their... Read more »

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Silver Sparrow

By Tayari Jones
Narrated by: Rosalyn Coleman-Williams & Heather Alicia Simms
Length: 10 hours 22 minutes

With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and two teenage girls caught in the middle.

Set in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families—the public one and the secret...

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The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern
Narrated by: Jim Dale
Length: 13 hours 38 minutes

The Night Circus

“Listening to The Night Circus is truly a magical experience. Narrated by Jim Dale–best known for being the voice of a certain child wizard–the listening experience was part nostalgia, part wonder. Be ready to be swept away to Victorian London and the romance of a century.”

Underbrush Book Club image Courtney, Underbrush Book Club
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The Vegetarian

A Novel

By Han Kang
Narrated by: Janet Song & Stephen Park
Length: 5 hours 13 minutes

WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE • “[Han] Kang viscerally explores the limits of what a human brain and body can endure, and the strange beauty that can be found in even the most extreme forms of renunciation.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Ferocious.”—The New York Times Book Review (Ten Best Books of the Year)
“Both terrifying and... Read more »

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

By Mark Haddon
Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
Length: 6 hours 3 minutes

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a... Read more »

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Ruby Dee
Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love...

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Ahab's Wife - Abridged

By Sena Jeter Naslund
Narrated by: Maryann Plunkett
Length: 6 hours 15 minutes

This is destined to be remembered as one of the most-recognized first sentences in literature -- along with "Call me Ishmael." And Una Spenser, the transcendent hero at the center of Ahab's Wife may well become every bit as memorable as Ahab.

Inspired by a brief passage, in Moby, Dick, Sena Jeter Naslund has created an entirely new universe -- an... Read more »

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Untamed Shore

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Maria Liatis
Length: 8 hours 1 minute

Renowned author Silvia Moreno-Garcia's first thriller, UNTAMED SHORE, is a coming-of-age story set in Mexico which quickly turns dark when a young woman meets three enigmatic tourists. Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to... Read more »

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The Secret History

By Donna Tartt
Narrated by: Donna Tartt
Length: 22 hours 3 minutes

A December 2022 Read With Jenna Book Club Pick • International Bestseller

“Enthralling. . . . A remarkably powerful novel.” —The New York Times

In this brilliant novel from Donna Tartt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Goldfinch, comes a richly textured and hypnotic story of golden youth corrupted by its own moral arrogance.

Richard Papen...

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Clap When You Land

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo & Melania-Luisa Marte
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes

Clap When You Land

“Put this book at the top of your listening list! Clap When You Land is a beautifully written and compellingly narrated story of two half-sisters who are unaware of each other's existence until their father dies in a plane crash. Elizabeth Acevedo not only writes with an exquisite voice, but she and Melania-Luisa Marte alternate narrating with voices that carry into the readers heart and soul. One of the best audio books I have listened to in a very long time.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Mary, Anderson's Bookshop
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Girl, Serpent, Thorn

By Melissa Bashardoust
Narrated by: Nikki Massoud
Length: 10 hours 6 minutes

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

“Not just another gratifying powerful girl story: an intensely imagined, emotionally realistic, absorbing adventure, packed with rich realizations about a woman's anger, a mother's love, a young person's desire to change the world. The author has tapped the Shanameh and Zoroastrian beliefs to build a unique fantasy world in which the main character can explore issues of power and value while testing the waters of affection. Amazing descriptions of rose gardens, hidden halls, moths, and Soraya's magical power/curse. Queer and POC positive (and not pedantic).”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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