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The Indie Next List

With new audiobooks added each month, the Indie Next List is drawn from bookseller-recommended favorite handsells and epitomizes the heart and soul of passionate bookselling. Independent booksellers are and have always been discoverers of the next big thing, the next great read, the next bestseller, and the next undiscovered gem. The audiobook titles below have recently appeared on the list.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

A Novel
By Christy Lefteri
Narrated by Art Malik /  8 hours 42 minutes

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

“Provocative and intense, this harrowing story of Syrian war refugees will take you on an emotional journey. This book took me well beyond the headlines and touched my soul. Perhaps its greatest strength is Lefteri’s ability to make this unquestionably horrific reality accessible. You will feel an aching need to turn the page, and then you’ll need to share this novel with others. I look forward to putting it into the hands of many readers — we need to see beyond the headlines.”

Let's Play Books Bookstore image Kirsten Hess, Let's Play Books Bookstore
Price:

$24.50 USD

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The Secrets We Kept

A novel
By Lara Prescott
Narrated by Carlotta Brentan, Cynthia Farrell, Mozhan Marnò & Various /  10 hours 55 minutes

The Secrets We Kept

“This perfect historical novel is made of the most alluring ingredients. First, a divine and doomed love affair between Russian author Boris Pasternak and his muse and secretary, Olga Ivinskaya, a woman immortalized in Pasternak’s epic novel Doctor Zhivago, which was banned in Russia for more than 30 years. Second, two American women typists working for CIA and their forbidden love story in the midst of the Cold War and the witch hunt against homosexuals. Lara Prescott brilliantly portrays how a timeless novel like Doctor Zhivago can change course of history. After I finished reading The Secrets We Kept, I pressed the book against my chest, as if I could hear the lovers’ hearts still beating.”

Aggie Zivaljevic image Aggie Zivaljevic, Kepler's Books
Price:

$31.50 USD

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The Chestnut Man

A Novel
By Soren Sveistrup
Narrated by Peter Noble /  15 hours 8 minutes

The Chestnut Man

“This is the thriller of the year! From the creator of the Scandinavian mini-series The Killing, The Chestnut Man is an unbelievably fast-paced and exciting page-turner. I literally had trouble putting it down so I could go to sleep! A serial killer is on the loose, a cold case kidnapping is brought back to life, and a politician is attacked from all sides. This is the kind of book Thomas Harris would write, and it’s one of the best-plotted mysteries in a long time. What a wonderful group of vivid characters and what a ride! Whew!”

An Unlikely Story image William Carl, An Unlikely Story
Price:

$34.49 USD

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Dominicana

A Novel
By Angie Cruz
Narrated by Coral Peña /  10 hours 12 minutes

Dominicana

“This is a book that will stay with you. It’s a story about a 15 Year old Dominican girl, who is married off to a man twice her age bc he can bring her to the United States. Ana, has no control over her situation, and comes to the US, speaking no English, knowing nothing about her new country. Isolated in their apartment, missing her siblings and pressured by her mother to send home money, Ana struggles to find her way. She’s torn between family loyalty and finding her own happiness. Ultimately, it’s Ana who has to determine her own agency. What makes this especially interesting is that it’s set in Washington Heights in the 1960s, with the civil rights movement in the background. Yet, that’s all the impact it has, momentous occasions are just background and Ana’s experience is front and center.”

Belmont Books image Audrey, Belmont Books
Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January

By Alix E. Harrow
Narrated by January LaVoy /  12 hours 20 minutes

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

“This is the type of book that you can totally immerse yourself in, and when you reemerge, the world will feel like it has more magic and possibility than it did before. It is best read on a wet and dreary day, with lots of blankets around and a kettle full of tea. When you are finished, you will remember it like an old friend, as if you took an amazing adventure together. Which of course, you have.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Amy, Bright Side Bookshop
Price:

$29.88 USD

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The Whisper Man

A Novel
By Alex North
Narrated by Christopher Eccleston /  9 hours 38 minutes

The Whisper Man

“A creepy, sinister, can’t-put-it-down story of a town that survives and then relives the crimes of a child serial killer. For those who love psychological thrillers (with the absence of gore but plenty of plot twists and turns), The Whisper Man is a grand ride into the minds of those who kill and those who are victims. You’ll find yourself looking over your shoulder when reading this book. Don’t stand too close to an open window...”

Maria’s Bookshop image Helen Gregory, Maria’s Bookshop
Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Ungrateful Refugee

What Immigrants Never Tell You
By Dina Nayeri
Narrated by Dina Nayeri /  10 hours 33 minutes

The Ungrateful Refugee

“At a time when some people aim to terrify us with stories about the intentions of those who seek our help, this book brings a timely voice to illustrate what drives people to endure monumental hardships in order to have a chance to reach safety. An engrossing and powerful book that reveals an infrequently heard perspective on the concept of charity, giving, and receiving, The Ungrateful Refugee makes us look at ourselves and our actions as well as those who receive our acts of ‘kindness.’”

Becky Garcia image Becky Garcia, Malvern Books
Price:

$24.99 USD

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After the Flood

A Novel
By Kassandra Montag
Narrated by Hillary Huber /  12 hours 59 minutes

After the Flood

“A gripping story of one mother’s harrowing journey to survive a flooded earth and save her daughters from the dangers that surround them. Life after the great flood is treacherous, and lethal groups of raiders steal food, medicine, and children, killing those who would stand in their way. With flawed, relatable characters, After the Flood is a real thought-provoker. It demands you ask yourself: What would I do to survive? This passionate tale of survival and determination is not one to miss.”

Kelli O'Malley image Kelli O'Malley, Boswell Book Company
Price:

$34.49 USD

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Bloomland

By John Englehardt
Narrated by Charlie Thurston /  6 hours 42 minutes

Bloomland

“Englehardt’s stunning debut is not for the faint of heart; within the first few pages, a shooting occurs in the library of a fictional southern college. But the story is less about this horrific event than it is about the period leading up to it, and what happens to three different people — a student, a professor, and the shooter himself — in the aftermath. In prose that is vivid, specific, and wildly original, Englehardt shows how grief, disillusionment, and, in some cases, resilience take his characters’ lives in surprising directions. This is SO good.”

RoscoeBooks image Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?

A Novel
By Brock Clarke
Narrated by Peter Berkrot /  7 hours 47 minutes

Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe?

“Brock Clarke is a genius. His writing is consistently brilliant and stylish, which makes the quiet moments of human understanding even more striking. I LOVE this book — it is unexpected (like all his work — how can that be?), surprising, and profoundly moving. Fans of Jim Shepard and George Saunders will love Clarke and his new book about a middle-aged man whose discovery of a secret aunt (is she a spy? a fake? his mom? crazy?) leads him across Europe in pursuit of... well, he isn’t quite sure yet. I laughed out loud, I chortled, I snickered quietly, I gasped. I can see putting this book into the hands of fans of Less by Andrew Sean Greer and Where’d You Go Bernadette— readers who like to be surprised.”

Newtonville Books image Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Tidelands

The Fairmile Series: Book #1
By Philippa Gregory
Narrated by Louise Brealey /  15 hours 29 minutes

Tidelands

“Philippa Gregory never fails to create beautifully written stories that suck you in and transport you back to the time and place the book is set. As always, her latest novel, Tidelands, is obviously thoroughly researched, with many historical facts sprinkled throughout. I highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction.”

Lisa Smegal image Lisa Smegal, Rivendell Bookstore
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Nickel Boys

A Novel
By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by JD Jackson & Colson Whitehead /  6 hours 45 minutes

The Nickel Boys

“Well written and informative book based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for over one hundred years. The novel is rich in detail and plot twists and has a surprise gut wrenching ending. ”

HearthFire Books and Treats image Mollie, HearthFire Books and Treats
Price:

$24.50 USD

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Hollow Kingdom

By Kira Jane Buxton
Narrated by Robert Petkoff /  10 hours 10 minutes

Hollow Kingdom

“This is the zombie apocalypse like you’ve never seen it before! Things go sideways when S.T. the crow’s human, Big Jim, loses an eyeball. Jim’s worsening condition propels S.T. to leave the safety of domestic life, along with the simple, slobbering bloodhound, Dennis. Together they roam the ruins of Seattle, searching for purpose in this new, Cheeto-less world. While Hollow Kingdom mostly follows the foul-mouthed, human-loving crow, Buxton also takes the occasional detour to see how other animals are coping around the world. Not only is our corvid companion a profane delight, she also manages to effortlessly capture the aloof arrogance of a cat, the wise cadence of an elephant, and even the eternal serenity of trees. Hilarious and at times surprisingly poignant, Hollow Kingdom is a must-read for anyone with a sense of humor as black as a crow’s wing.”

Mysterious Galaxy Books image Darcy, Mysterious Galaxy Books
Price:

$29.88 USD

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Never Have I Ever

A Novel
By Joshilyn Jackson
Narrated by Joshilyn Jackson /  12 hours 55 minutes

Never Have I Ever

“When I saw the Joshilyn Jackson had written a thriller I wasn't sure what to think. But her step into this new genre was done so well it kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't stop listening.”

Gottwals Books image Christy, Gottwals Books
Price:

$34.49 USD

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The Lager Queen of Minnesota

A Novel
By J. Ryan Stradal
Narrated by Judith Ivey /  11 hours 12 minutes

The Lager Queen of Minnesota

“A Minnesota family grounded in farming, beer, and award-winning pies is split for decades when one of two sisters inherits the farm. Helen and Edith — whose stories author J. Ryan Stradal effectively weaves together — stop speaking, while one’s fortunes soar and the other’s plummet. When a woman of the next generation has a chance at success, she may also reunite the Calder family. Stradal brings the heartland to the page with warmth, humor, and plenty of hops-inspired lore.”

Book Passage image Cheryl McKeon, Book Passage
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Things You Save in a Fire

A Novel
By Katherine Center
Narrated by Therese Plummer /  9 hours 36 minutes

Things You Save in a Fire

“There is something so comforting about reading Katherine Center’s books. Strong women who want to lead their lives, who get thrown a curveball. Here, Cassie, a Texas talented firefighter and EMT, moves to the north shore area of Massachusetts, to help her mother who has vision problems. Despite her exceptional physical fitness, job skills and initiative, she has to prove herself, time and time again. And she has to train a likable rookie. Not only is this so readable, the narration of the audiobook is fantastic. And a pretty good job of Boston accents.”

Belmont Books image Audrey, Belmont Books
Price:

$31.04 USD

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Turbulence

A Novel
By David Szalay
Narrated by Gabra Zackman /  2 hours 29 minutes

Turbulence

“I was immediately swept into Turbulence by David Szalay, a short novel that is really a collection of interconnected vignettes. From one character to the next, our perception is constantly shifting and constantly challenged. Each character is satisfyingly complex and interesting, which, in combination with the brevity of each chapter, really makes it difficult to put the book down. As the characters fly all across the world, bumping into each other in various ways, we are taken out of our ourselves and reminded that an airplane full of strangers is really an airplane full of stories.”

BookTowne image Jenna Schenk, BookTowne
Price:

$17.24 USD

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The Turn of the Key

By Ruth Ware
Narrated by Imogen Church /  12 hours 13 minutes

The Turn of the Key

“Ruth Ware is back and at her dazzling best with The Turn of the Key. This arresting tribute to Henry James set in modern-day remote Scotland posts a nanny in a ‘smart house’ with several recalcitrant children and a garden full of poisonous plants. Who do you trust when everyone seems to be hiding something? Readers will be reading with all the lights on as they race to the climactic ending to see just who is minding who in this engaging summer thriller.”

Excelsior Bay Books image Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Wedding Party

By Jasmine Guillory
Narrated by Janina Edwards /  9 hours 15 minutes

The Wedding Party

“Maddie hates Theo’s snooty attitude. Theo hates Maddie’s snide comments. Alexa is their best friend, and they’re both in her wedding party. Neither knows how they’re going to deal with each other’s presence in the months to come, but as things might, their resentment turns to lust, and possibly something more. There’s one main rule: Alexa must never find out about their secret trysts. Playful, sexy, and sweet, The Wedding Party is another romantic bullseye hit from Guillory.”

University Book Store image Andrew King, University Book Store
Price:

$24.50 USD

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Inland

A Novel
By Téa Obreht 
Narrated by Anna Chlumsky, Edoardo Ballerini & Euan Morton /  13 hours 7 minutes

Inland

“Inland is a beautifully narrated by voices that are rarely heard in a story of the American west. Lurie, an immigrant from the middle east, and Nora, a pioneer wife struggling to survive, are both haunted by ghosts of their past. The dry arid desert provides a perfect backdrop for the events, relationships and challenges these two characters face. Obrect writes with dialogue present and past creating an almost dreamlike atmosphere in some places of the novel and nightmarish realism in others. This novel lays bare the struggles, relationships, personalities and conflicts that provided the foundation of the wild untamed west. This novel was epic, expansive, and completely nourishing of spirit.”

Avid Bookshop image Ellen, Avid Bookshop
Price:

$31.50 USD

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