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Reading Group Indie Next

This Reading Group playlist list is made up of bookseller favorites that are ideal for special reading group nights.

Scribe

A Novel
By Alyson Hagy
Narrated by Shannon McManus /  5 hours 33 minutes

Scribe

Scribe is a novel about dystopian Appalachia following the Civil War, a place ravaged by sickness and divvied up by the brute strength of men and their ability to defeat any invaders. If that doesn’t pique your interest, its main character is a complicated woman with a highly valued skill: the ability to write. In the wake of war and widespread fever, she sustains herself by creating paper and ink and writing the most heartbreakingly poetic letters to help others declare their triumphs and sins. After getting a special request from an unusual passerby, she finds herself in danger and must flee the once-beautiful but now brutal farmland she’s always called home. Scribe is as deeply imaginative as it is viscerally emotional, and Alyson Hagy’s ability to temper darkness with light makes it a spellbinding novel.”

Raven Book Store image Morgan McComb, Raven Book Store
Price:

$28.74

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The Rules of Magic

A Novel
By Alice Hoffman
Narrated by Marin Ireland /  10 hours 58 minutes

The Rules of Magic

“In a dazzling, emotive prequel to her bestselling novel Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman brings the reader back into the world of the Owens family. The Rules of Magic takes us back two generations with practical Franny, who must learn how to love; sensitive Jet, who must learn how to persevere; and restless Vincent, who must learn how to be happy. Hoffman's writing is frank, tender, vivid, and elusive all at once. Full of sorrow and beauty and courage, The Rules of Magic is a delicious, satisfying read.”

Heather Herbaugh image Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi's Books
Price:

$28.74

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The End We Start From

By Megan Hunter
Narrated by Louise Brealey /  2 hours 2 minutes

The End We Start From heralds the arrival of Megan Hunter, a dazzling and unique literary talent. Hunter's debut is a searing original, a modern-day parable of rebirth and renewal, of maternal bonds, and the instinct to survive and thrive in the absence of all that's familiar.As London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her... Read More »

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$17.19

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Future Home of the Living God

A Novel
By Louise Erdrich
Narrated by Louise Erdrich /  10 hours 43 minutes

Future Home of the Living God

“Powerful, prophetic, and absolutely pertinent to our times, Louise Erdrich's new novel, Future Home of the Living God, is a horrifying, haunting story about the lengths the government will go to control women's reproductive rights and ensure the success of mankind as we know it. Riveting, repulsive, and revealing at the same time, Erdrich captures the essence of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and spins a new twist sure to tantalize and terrorize readers' thoughts and play on their fears. Once again, Erdrich challenges societal constraints and conceives a novel guaranteed to leave you guessing. I highly recommend it!”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Price:

$28.74

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The Dark Net

By Benjamin Percy
Narrated by David Chandler /  11 hours 3 minutes

Hell on earth is only one click of a mouse away in acclaimed writer Benjamin Percy's terrifying new horror novel The Dark Net is real. An anonymous and often criminal arena that exists in the secret, far reaches of the Web, some use it to manage Bitcoins, pirate movies and music, or traffic in drugs and stolen goods. And now, an ancient darkness... Read More »

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$29.99

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The Readymade Thief

By Augustus Rose
Narrated by Emily Rankin /  14 hours 24 minutes

The Readymade Thief

“Much to the chagrin of my household, once I started this book I refused to put it down. I let my children fend for themselves while I walked along the Philly streets with Lee and Tomi, solving the age-old puzzle in the midst of which 17-year-old Lee has found herself. She has many of the same struggles and life choices to make as high school seniors across the country, but with a mysterious conspiracy thrown in. I love a book that is both well-written and completely absorbing. This is a great read for vacation, for a long plane ride, or for an escape while in the comfort of your own home.”

Bookbug image Jessica Fowle, Bookbug
Price:

$27.00

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A Kind of Freedom

A Novel
By Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Narrated by Kevin Kenerly, Bahni Turpin & Adenrele Ojo /  8 hours 12 minutes

Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. Her family inhabits the upper echelon of black society, and when she falls for no-name Renard, she is forced to choose between her life of privilege and the man she loves.In 1982, Evelyn’s daughter Jackie is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent... Read More »

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$22.94

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The Story of Arthur Truluv

A Novel
By Elizabeth Berg
Narrated by Elizabeth Berg /  6 hours 53 minutes

A life-affirming novel about an unforgettable character, a wise and loving man whose humor and unconditional love create for himself and others second chances at happiness. Three people find their way back from loss and loneliness to a different kind of belonging, in this deeply moving novel. Arthur, an old widower struggling to overcome his... Read More »

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$24.99

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The Ninth Hour

A Novel
Kushiel's Legacy: Book #47
By Alice McDermott
Narrated by Euan Morton /  8 hours 7 minutes

The Ninth Hour

“Alice McDermott's dazzling The Ninth Hour turns on the contradictions that confound our need to reconcile with mortality. The empathetic characters, at once agents and benefactors of Christian charity, grow to realize not just the grace but also the hubris of their faith. A stunning work of generational storytelling, The Ninth Hour is compulsively readable and deeply thought-provoking. McDermott is a master artisan of humanity.”

Interabang Books image Lori Feathers, Interabang Books
Price:

$22.99

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Five-Carat Soul

By James McBride
Narrated by Arthur Morey, Nile Bullock, Prentice Onayemi & Dominic Hoffman /  8 hours 33 minutes

Five-Carat Soul

“Sometimes after I've read a great book by an author, I judge. When I picked up a copy of James McBride's new collection of stories, Five-Carat Soul, I was prepared to be disappointed; how could he top The Good Lord Bird? Was I ever surprised, in the best way possible! These stories have all the magnificent qualities of his National Book Award-winning novel: quirky, poignant, and hilarious characters amid myriad situations in life, and humanity at its most human presented in beautiful writing. A couple of multi-story combinations read like novellas, and satisfied my craving to know more about the most interesting of the characters. McBride has set the bar high once again.”

Quail Ridge Books image Mamie Potter, Quail Ridge Books
Price:

$21.00

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American Wolf

A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West
By Nate Blakeslee
Narrated by Mark Bramhall & Nate Blakeslee /  9 hours 12 minutes

American Wolf

“American Wolf is one of the finest pieces of non-fiction I have come across in years; but Mark Bramhall's telling of this incredible story makes it completely unforgettable. A true American tale of resilience and survival, this book remains my top non-fiction recommendation and favorite audio book of all time.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Mary O'Malley, Anderson's Bookshop
Price:

$24.00

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Code Girls

The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II
By Liza Mundy
Narrated by Erin Bennett /  14 hours 4 minutes

Code Girls

“There is so much arguing these days over the existence of women in STEM fields and whether they should be allowed to be there. 'Oh honey,' says Code Girls, wrapping an arm around your shoulder, 'we never left.' In riveting prose, Mundy shows the presence of these women from the very beginning -and then how they were almost forcibly forgotten after the war was over. Women who once had only a life of school-teaching to look forward to (even with a PhD) became people who saved lives and sunk ships. This book exists to remind us that women have always been in these stories, even if they're not shown.”

Water Street Bookstore image Alice Ahn, Water Street Bookstore
Price:

$10.00

Retail Price: $29.89

Discount: 67%

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Spineless

The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone
By Juli Berwald
Narrated by Juli Berwald /  10 hours 16 minutes

Spineless

“Reading Spineless made me think of Nabokov's butterflies: The subject is distant to the extent that it feels almost extraterrestrial, but the author's passion is contagious. The complexity, the evolution, and the mystery of the organism grows on you, and, suddenly, you're excited about? well, jellyfish! Spineless gives climate change a story, and with it some much needed empathy.”

Sarah Reif image Sarah Reif, Kramerbooks
Price:

$24.00

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The Stowaway

A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
By Laurie Gwen Shapiro
Narrated by Jacques Roy /  6 hours 27 minutes

The Stowaway

“The story of Billy Gawronski, the young man who repeatedly tried to join Richard Byrd's Antarctic expedition, reads like an adventure novel. The reality of his life is beyond the realm of the wildest imagination. Shapiro brings this resilient and resourceful man to life against the changing world of the Roaring Twenties, and his story perfectly reflects a world undergoing vast change. Combining narrative, science, and portraits of outsized personalities, Shapiro treats the reader to a story that is not only relevant but a total joy.”

Square Books image Bill Cusumano, Square Books
Price:

$20.69

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The Half-Drowned King

A Novel
By Linnea Hartsuyker
Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies /  15 hours 33 minutes

The Half-Drowned King

“A fast-paced and harrowing saga of a sibling pair, both trying to do what is right for the other while navigating the physical and political terrain around them. Ragnvald and his sister, Svanhild, are our protagonists, and the book contains alternating chapters about each of their adventures. One fights a war on the battlefield while the other fights a war in the bedroom, and, fighting internal conflicts, each grows into adulthood quickly in this harsh environment. Rich with battles, love stories, and the breathtaking landscapes of Norway, The Half-Drowned King is a must-read for fans of literary fiction, adventure tales, and well-paced storytelling.”

The Bookloft image Giovanni Boivin, The Bookloft
Price:

$32.19

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The Hidden Light of Northern Fires

A Novel
By Daren Wang
Narrated by Robin Miles /  11 hours 29 minutes

The Hidden Light of Northern Fires

“In The Hidden Light of Northern Fires, a town on the Underground Railroad secedes from the Union after it becomes fractured by the politics of the American Civil War. As a huge geek on the subject, I'm often skeptical of historical fiction relating to it. While Wang's tale benefits from being based on truth, that is a moot point. His well-developed, very real characters and masterful writing are all that's needed for an incredible debut. Though a novel of the home front, it is nonetheless a war novel focusing on how conflict brings out the best and worst in people. It is one of the best works of historical fiction on the Civil War that I've ever read, and perhaps even that exists.”

Fountain Bookstore image Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore
Price:

$31.04

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Love and Other Consolation Prizes

A Novel
By Jamie Ford
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller & Jamie Ford /  11 hours 28 minutes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes

“Jamie Ford has written another fabulous story. In Love and Other Consolation Prizes, a child is raffled off as a prize at a world's fair in Seattle in 1909. Based on a real-life raffle, this story is about Ernest Young, a Chinese orphan refugee who is won by the owner of The Tenderloin, a brothel where he becomes the house boy and lives a life with enough food to eat and hope for the future. During the Seattle World's Fair of 1962, Ernest reminisces about all of the life he lived between the two fairs.”

The Country Bookshop image Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop
Price:

$27.00

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The Prague Sonata

By Bradford Morrow
Narrated by Christina Delaine /  18 hours 45 minutes

In the early days of the new millennium, pages of a worn and weathered original sonata manuscript—the gift of a Czech immigrant living out her final days in Queens—come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. To Meta's eye, it appears to be an authentic eighteenth-century work;... Read More »

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$40.24

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A Novel
By Heather Morris
Narrated by Richard Armitage /  7 hours 25 minutes

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

“Just, wow. By the time I got to this novel I had forgotten it was based on true events! The story is overwhelming, all the more for it's truth. All of the turns that seemed so confusing to me, I learned, are a result of Heather Morris' careful and accurate telling of memories born in chaos. Lale and Gita are truly magical. Make sure you follow through to the VERY end!”

Innisfree Bookshop image Casey, Innisfree Bookshop
Price:

$24.14

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Everything Here Is Beautiful

By Mira T. Lee
Narrated by Cassandra Campbell & Various /  13 hours 17 minutes

Everything Here Is Beautiful

“Everything Here Is Beautiful is a remarkable debut about two sisters and the strength of their bond. At the heart of this story is Lucia - a sister, mother, and woman who struggles with mental illness. Told from alternating points of view, Mira T. Lee gives an honest and emotional look at living with mental illness and its impact on not only your own life but the lives of those you love most. Captivating doesn't begin to cover this novel. You will find me eagerly waiting on the edge of my seat for the next book by this talented author.”

Copperfield's Books image Kaitlin Smith, Copperfield's Books
Price:

$27.00

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