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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!

Playlist Tags: topic: indie next new releases

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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
Audiobook details

What Could Be Saved

A Novel

By Liese O'Halloran Schwarz
Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 15 hours 35 minutes

What Could Be Saved

“Wow. What a riveting read! Part family saga, part mystery, What Could Be Saved is just extraordinary. It is a moving, powerful story of loss and regret, loyalty and redemption. Schwarz’s crisp, lyrical prose lays bare the emotional journey of each member of this unforgettable family. These beautifully drawn, tragically flawed characters will remain with me long after turning the last page.”

Page and Palette image Anderson McKean, Page and Palette
Audiobook details

The House on Vesper Sands

By Paraic O'Donnell
Narrated by: Charles Armstrong
Length: 10 hours 20 minutes

The House on Vesper Sands

“Paraic O’Donnell leavens the dark foreboding of a truly sinister, otherworldly mystery with distinctively clever storytelling and a decidedly marvelous cast of characters. You are in the best of hands with Inspector Cutter and Gideon Bliss on the case, along with the intrepid and resourceful reporter Octavia Hillingdon. Beautifully done!”

Wellesley Books image Peter Sherman, Wellesley Books
Audiobook details

The Push

A Novel

By Ashley Audrain
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 8 hours 37 minutes

The Push

“I read Ashley Audrain’s debut, The Push, in two days because I literally couldn’t stop. What does it mean to be a good mother? What if you don’t emotionally connect with your child? How much emotional trauma is passed down from mothers to daughters? The Push examines four generations of females as well as the ways having children impacts one marriage. I loved this book.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop
Audiobook details

Better Luck Next Time

A Novel

By Julia Claiborne Johnson
Narrated by: David Aaron Baker
Length: 8 hours 25 minutes

"Do you want to read something funny?  Let’s say, a novel set at a divorce ranch in Reno in the 1930s?  A book with memorably eccentric characters, sparkling dialogue, a satisfying plot twist, and some romance and sex?  A feel-good literary comedy/western?  Here it is, then, the book you've been looking for: Julia Claiborne Johnson’s Better Luck... Read more »

Audiobook details

The Fortunate Ones

By Ed Tarkington
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 7 hours 43 minutes

The Fortunate Ones

“Ed Tarkington is the mastermind behind this tender tale of love and betrayal, politics and social divide. A teenage boy growing up with a single mom in a low-income area of Nashville receives a mysterious scholarship offer to attend an elite private school for boys. Charlie Boykin is now in the midst of the children of billionaires and socialites, and the trajectory of his life is altered forever. The reader is left to ask, ‘Was it all worth it?’ This is a character-driven novel with a storyline as opulent as the mansions within.”

The Country Bookshop image Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop
Audiobook details

The Center of Everything

A Novel

By Jamie Harrison
Narrated by: Jane Oppenheimer
Length: 9 hours 56 minutes

The Center of Everything

“This is a story about family, about history, and about love. The characters are like you and me; their stories are intertwined just as ours are, with a past and a hoped-for future. Author Jamie Harrison wields a mighty pen with precision and care, peopling her book with a myriad of interesting characters living believable lives. Her narrative is insightful and moving, and she has that rare gift of making a fictional story sound like the real thing.”

Auntie's Bookstore image Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore
Audiobook details

The Wife Upstairs

A Novel

By Rachel Hawkins
Narrated by: Emily Shaffer, Kirby Heyborne & Lauren Fortgang
Length: 8 hours 39 minutes

If you enjoyed Jane Eyre, then you’ll love The Wife Upstairs.

“A contemporary twist on Jane Eyre, The Wife Upstairs is a thriller with more than one unreliable narrator. I loved that this book is set in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and that I knew of many of the places mentioned in the book.”

Bookmarks image Jamie, Bookmarks
Audiobook details

When you shop at your local bookstore, you are directly supporting and enriching your own community with your purchases—and your tax dollars.

Join the movement and #ShopLocalBookstores.

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The Liar's Dictionary

A Novel

By Eley Williams
Narrated by: Kristen Atherton & Jon Glover
Length: 7 hours 55 minutes

The Liar's Dictionary

The Liar’s Dictionary is an enormously charming novel about putting the world into words. Its two logophilic heroes, separated by a century, are unforgettable characters; I loved spending time with these word-curious creations. You’ll be utterly transported by this playful and seriously funny book.”

John Francisconi image John Francisconi, McNally Jackson City Point
Audiobook details

You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey

Crazy Stories about Racism

By Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
Narrated by: Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
Length: 5 hours 21 minutes

You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey

“I didn’t think it was possible to combine education and humor so effectively in a book about racism, but Ruffin and Lamar proved me wrong. This incredibly well-structured, digestible, challenging, and engaging book opened my eyes to the many ways racism can permeate every interaction in Black people’s lives. The way the sisters play off each other and how Ruffin reflects on Lamar’s experience in contrast to her own make the book especially accessible. A must-read!”

A Seat at the Table Books image Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table Books
Audiobook details

Hades, Argentina

A Novel

By Daniel Loedel
Narrated by: Christian Barillas
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes

Hades, Argentina

“Tender and politically evocative, Hades, Argentina is a beautiful portrait of grief and reflection. Loedel has created a breathtaking debut that examines the complexities of love and the way our memories betray us. This book will stay with me for a long time.”

Deep Vellum Books image Cristina Rodriguez, Deep Vellum Books
Audiobook details

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life

By George Saunders
Narrated by: George Saunders, Phylicia Rashad, Nick Offerman, Glenn Close, Keith David, Rainn Wilson, BD Wong & Renée Elise Goldsberry
Length: 14 hours 43 minutes

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

“In this literal master class on literature and writing, Saunders earnestly yet playfully dissects 19th-century Russian short stories to discover how they exude life to this very day, while highlighting methods any aspiring writer can employ. The huge bonus: reading the wondrous stories themselves, and experiencing Tolstoy’s authority, Chekhov’s humanity, and the joy and glory of Gogol.”

Northshire Bookstore image Mike Hare, Northshire Bookstore
Audiobook details

Across the Green Grass Fields

Wayward Children: Book #6

By Seanan McGuire
Narrated by: Annamarie Carlson
Length: 4 hours 3 minutes

Across the Green Grass Fields

“If you’ve ever wondered if an adult book could be written to be accessible to not just young adult but middle grade readers, too, wonder no longer: The book of your dreams is here. Across the Green Grass Fields is a wonderful coming-of-age story that has all the mandatory trappings: bullying, parental oversight, unicorns, evil queens, and an intersex main character. It’s like Tanith Lee rewriting Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. This standalone novella is a wonderful entrance to the Hooflands, and I can’t wait to double back and read more.”

Copperfish Books image Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books
Audiobook details

The Children's Blizzard

A Novel

By Melanie Benjamin
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 11 hours 25 minutes

The Children's Blizzard

“Melanie Benjamin is at her best in this historical fiction account of the terrifying blizzard of 1888. It seemingly came out of nowhere and caught the residents of the Midwest by surprise, especially the children and teachers who were preparing to go home for the day. Benjamin looks at the lives of two sisters — both teachers at different schools — and how their decisions that day meant life or death for their students. I spent several late nights on this one!”

Fiction Addiction image Linda Hodges, Fiction Addiction
Audiobook details

Black Buck

By Mateo Askaripour
Narrated by: Zeno Robinson
Length: 11 hours 12 minutes

Black Buck

“Perhaps I have a different perspective on this book because I have a younger brother who is a Black, 20-something man in sales, but this book presents an evocative, honest, complex portrait of being a BIPOC person in a white-dominant workplace (albeit one that is high-powered, sales-driven, and New York City-based). This is a book that allows a reader to be seen if this is their experience, but also for a reader to learn about a different reality if this is not their own. Black Buck is a tightly woven, contemporary debut from an author to watch.”

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe Fabian, River Dog Book Co.
Audiobook details

Our Darkest Night

A Novel of Italy and the Second World War

By Jennifer Robson
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Length: 9 hours 56 minutes

Our Darkest Night

“This is a love story...until it isn’t. This is a war story...until it isn’t. This is a story about surviving the worst of humanity then finding humanity. Set in Italy, this is WWII fiction writing at its finest. Prepare it to be pulled into this heart-wrenching saga. So much for book clubs to discuss. So much for readers to enjoy. If you loved the depth of research in The Gown, you will love Our Darkest Night.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Carolyn Roys, Anderson's Bookshop
Audiobook details

A Crooked Tree

A Novel

By Una Mannion
Narrated by: Sophie Amoss
Length: 8 hours 51 minutes

A Crooked Tree

A Crooked Tree is the delicately woven story of a single mother’s bad decision to kick one of her children out of the car miles from home, and how that decision affects an entire network of friends and neighbors throughout the summer. Gorgeously told and intricately written, this hardly seems the work of a debut novelist; Una Mannion will be one to watch, and A Crooked Tree already has me anticipating her next book!”

Skylark Bookshop image Mary O'Malley, Skylark Bookshop
Audiobook details

Wintering

The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

By Katherine May
Narrated by: Rebecca Lee, Cassandra Campbell & Holly Linneman
Length: 6 hours 53 minutes

Wintering

“When Katherine May set out to write her book, Wintering, she could not have foreseen that it would be published in the middle of a pandemic, nor that it would be so beautifully suited to our current circumstances. Wintering is the author's account of how she made it through unforeseen difficult times and depression (emotional winters). Gentle, understanding, hopeful, and empathetic, this is a book you will listen to and then want to buy a copy of, just so you can have it nearby for difficult times.”

Skylark Bookshop image Mary, Skylark Bookshop
Audiobook details

The Burning God

By R. F. Kuang
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 23 hours 46 minutes

The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.

After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang... Read more »

Audiobook details

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

A Novel

By Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Narrated by: Arina Ii
Length: 6 hours 52 minutes

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

“There is a small cafe in Tokyo where you can travel through time. But there are rules. Rules that dissuade most of those who come to the cafe after hearing its legend. And there are regular customers who come with no intention of traveling through time.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a feel-good listen that tells the story of some of those cafe regulars whose minds are eventually changed by their lives’ circumstances. The reasons for their journeys are varied, but all are compelled by an unyielding desire to unite with a loved one in a different time. Kawaguchi has imagined a complex and wonderfully creative set of rules for time travel in the cafe, so much so that they become central to the story and character development. He smoothly reveals the hearts and lives of each of his characters against the backdrop of the time-travel rules and the mysterious yet legendary cafe.

There are lovers, sisters, mother and daughter, husband and wife, and a ghost. Uniting them all are love, sorrow, regret, redemption, and most of all, hope. This uplifting tale of human connections is especially worth the listen in our current time of pandemic and feelings of isolation.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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