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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.

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Freshwater

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Akwaeke Emezi
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side." Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of... Read more »

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Red Clocks

A Novel

By Leni Zumas
Narrated by: Karissa Vacker
Length: 9 hours 5 minutes

Red Clocks

“I never understood what it meant for someone's writing to be 'lyrical' until I picked up Red Clocks. With beautiful prose, Leni Zumas tells the story of a young girl seeking an abortion in a world where abortion is illegal and dangerous; a woman on the quest to have children when in-vitro fertilization is illegal and folks aren't allowed to adopt without a partner; a woman in a dead-end marriage desperate to escape from her husband and children; and a woman considered a witch by most who provides homeopathic reproductive healthcare, including illegal abortions. Zumas beautifully weaves these stories together and gives each individual a strong and unique voice, while also maintaining suspended disbelief. These characters felt real and this world felt possible. I suspect this will be one of the best books published in 2018.”

BookPeople image Hanna Foster, BookPeople
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The Ruin

A Novel

By Dervla McTiernan
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes

The Ruin

“In a thrilling debut police procedural, Dervla McTiernan's The Ruin introduces readers to honest and likeable Cormac Reilly, a 20 year veteran detective recently relocated to Galway, Ireland trying to figure out where he fits in at his new police station. Tasked with closing cold case files, Reilly's investigation of a case from his rookie days soon intersects with the current case of an apparent suicide that proves to be much more than it appears. With a detailed setting that allows visualization of the unfolding plot, McTiernan has introduced readers to a mystery that has intriguing characters and tense, suspenseful plot twists The Ruin will compel readers to keep turning the pages until they reach the satisfying conclusion that will leave them impatiently waiting for the next installment in this promising series.”

The Bookworm image Betsy Von Kerens, The Bookworm
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The Best of Us

A Memoir

By Joyce Maynard
Narrated by: Joyce Maynard
Length: 12 hours 35 minutes

In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questions and gave real answers; he loved to see Joyce shine, both in and out of the spotlight; and he didn't mind the mess she made in the kitchen. He... Read more »

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Guidebook to Relative Strangers

Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History

By Camille T. Dungy
Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
Length: 6 hours 24 minutes

As a working mother whose livelihood as a poet-lecturer depended on travel, Camille T. Dungy crisscrossed America with her infant, then a toddler. As they travel, Dungy is intensely aware of how they are seen, not just as mother and child but as black females. With a poet's eye, she celebrates the particular in the universal, such as a child's... Read more »

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It's All Relative

Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree

By A. J. Jacobs
Narrated by: A. J. Jacobs
Length: 8 hours 3 minutes

It's All Relative

“For anyone interested in climbing their own family tree, A.J. Jacobs' It's All Relative offers a lighthearted crash course into the addictive world of genealogy. Inspired by the record-breaking get-togethers of the Lilly clan and heartened by the theory that we're all related, Jacobs embarks on a quest to hold the world's largest family reunion. As Jacobs juggles the mechanics of such a massive undertaking, he interviews well-known researchers in the field, discovers famous 'cousins,' and considers some of the ethical issues of diving into an ancestor's past. An enjoyable introduction to genealogy and the living family tree.”

Molly Gillespie image Molly Gillespie, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
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This Is What Happened

By Mick Herron
Narrated by: Steven Crossley
Length: 7 hours 28 minutes

From CWA Gold Dagger winner Mick Herron comes a shocking, twisted novel of psychological suspense about one woman's attempt to be better than ordinary Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes is someone you would never look at twice. Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in the huge city of London, with no family but an estranged sister, no boyfriend... Read more »

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The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

A Novel in Clues

By Nova Jacobs
Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes

The Family Fang meets The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry in this literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down-and protect-before others can get their hands on it.Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of... Read more »

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The Widows of Malabar Hill

Perveen Mistry Mysteries: Book #1

By Sujata Massey
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 14 hours 34 minutes

The Widows of Malabar Hill

“I loved this novel! Sujata Massey is a strong, confident storyteller and this captivating mystery, set in 1920s Bombay, features superb world-building, a riveting plot, and great characters. Perveen Mistry is a richly written protagonist: By turns confident and conflicted, she strives to do the right thing and is more than capable of getting herself out of trouble. Highly recommended for a fresh take on the mystery genre.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Stuart, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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The Wife Between Us

A Novel

By Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 11 hours 13 minutes

The Wife Between Us

“Oh. My. God! For readers looking for a book that has an absorbing and unique plot line, intriguing but flawed characters, and commands attention until the end of the story, The Wife Between Us is perfect! Vanessa is suffering from a recent divorce when she learns that her ex will soon marry again. She simply cannot allow this to happen. Why? This amazing story gallops along at breakneck speed and its ending will smack you between the eyes and take your breath away. These authors are destined to become trailblazers in the genre of psychological suspense books.”

Nancy Simpson-Brice image Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault
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George and Lizzie

A Novel

By Nancy Pearl
Narrated by: Nancy Pearl
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes

George and Lizzie

“I don't know Nancy Pearl, but I imagine the beloved librarian turned national book commentator would be too modest to recommend her debut for your reading list, so I'll do it for her. Pearl has written an intelligent, character-driven page-turner that asks important questions about honesty and forgiveness and examines how conscious choices and behaviors strengthen us and our relationships. Raised by brilliant but emotionally detached psychologist parents, Lizzie faces ongoing and often humorous internal battles that ultimately lead to a crossroads in her marriage to George. You may examine your own relationships as you read this witty, kindhearted story. Pearl clearly seems to love the characters she has created. You'll fall for them, too.”

Village Books image Mary Vermillion, Village Books
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Heart Spring Mountain

A Novel

By Robin MacArthur
Narrated by: Suzanne Elise Freeman
Length: 9 hours 3 minutes

Heart Spring Mountain

“Following her splendid 2016 short story collection, Half Wild (an Indies Introduce selection), Robin MacArthur's first novel revisits rural Vermont and uses a mixture of lyrical and earthy prose to explore three generations of a family riddled by secrets and burdens of the past. This area of the country, previously overlooked by literature, proves to be rich ground that, while isolated, cannot avoid intrusions from the outside world in the form of man-made and natural disasters. The focus is on an extended family that can trace its roots back to Puritan ancestors but struggles against poverty, the unforgiving environment, and the lure of drugs. Heart Spring Mountain will introduce you to a host of memorable characters engaged in human folly and saved by redemptive love.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Joe Strebel, Anderson's Bookshop
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Home Fire

A Novel

By Kamila Shamsie
Narrated by: Tania Rodrigues
Length: 7 hours 53 minutes

Home Fire

“One finishes reading Kamila Shamsie's extraordinary Home Fire completely stunned. She has written a brilliant story about two families who share geography and become linked by fate - one that has known exile, death, and family mystery, and another that has adapted to the so-called mainstream. Family, religion, the politics of media, various forms of seduction, and present-day devices all bring themselves to bear in utterly telling form. The U.S., London, Karachi, Syria, and Istanbul all figure into this book, which is of this time and age and beyond. One of the finest writers at work in English today, Kamila Shamsie has written her most heartbreaking, beautiful, necessary book yet.”

The Elliott Bay Book Company image Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company
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The City of Brass

A Novel

By S. A. Chakraborty
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 20 hours 1 minute

The City of Brass

“S.A. Chakraborty introduces a fantasy set in the Middle East that thrusts us into the magical world of Daevabad. The City of Brass follows, in parallel, Nahri, a con artist and naturally gifted healer, and Ali, prince of Daevabad and fiercely trained soldier. Nahri and Ali find themselves learning new lessons on how to survive changing environments and difficult challenges, while trying to figure out the complexities of their lives. I found myself turning page after page, following Nahri's and Ali's story while deciphering the fantastic terminology and the world that is Daevabad. The City of Brass is a wonderfully written, mystical adventure that keeps you guessing about what will happen next.”

Literati Bookstore image Barry Nelipowitz, Literati Bookstore
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Spoonbenders

A novel

By Daryl Gregory
Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
Length: 14 hours 1 minute

Spoonbenders

“The Amazing Telemachus Family is unlike any other. Patriarch Teddy is a con man whose adult children possess remarkable psychic gifts (telekinesis, lie detection, and clairvoyance), but the loss of their mother leaves the entire family reeling. Though the Telemachus crew's misadventures attract the attention of everyone from the CIA to a scary local crime boss, Teddy and his children are more threatened by their own emotional damage and sketchy past than anything else. Gregory's characters are sharply drawn and lovable, and he tells their story in a way that's wise, warm, and entertaining throughout. With a strong sense of humor and an amazing climax, this is the kind of novel that's an absolute blast to read.”

Erika VanDam image Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks
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Year One

Chronicles of The One: Book #1

By Nora Roberts
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 20 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER (December 2017)

A stunning novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts—Year One is an epic of hope and horror, chaos and magick, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives…

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread... Read more »

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The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Narrated by: Robbie Daymond
Length: 11 hours 48 minutes

“Friendships, family, grief, joy, rage, faith, doubt, poetry, and love—this complex and sensitive book has room for every aspect of growing up!”—Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor–Winning author of The Surrender Tree 


Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But... Read more »

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No Saints in Kansas

By Amy Brashear
Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
Length: 8 hours 8 minutes

A gripping reimagining of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and the brutal murders that inspired it November is usually quiet in Holcomb, Kansas, but in 1959, the town is shattered by the quadruple murder of the Clutter family. Suspicion falls on Nancy Clutter's boyfriend, Bobby Rupp, the last one to see them alive. New Yorker Carly Fleming, new to... Read more »

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They Both Die at the End

By Adam Silvera
Narrated by: Michael Crouch, Robbie Daymond & Bahni Turpin
Length: 8 hours 29 minutes

Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

New York Times bestseller * 4 starred reviews * A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * A Kirkus Best Book of the Year * A Booklist... Read more »

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