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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.

How We Fight For Our Lives

By Saeed Jones
Narrated by Saeed Jones /  5 hours 34 minutes

How We Fight For Our Lives

“Saeed Jones is supremely talented, so I expected his memoir to be great. I did NOT expect, however, to be left immobile in my chair after reading that final paragraph, processing the beauty of his words and those indelible sentences he’s generous enough to share with us. How We Fight for Our Lives is a moving and intimate portrait of the writer growing up as a young, gay black man and trying to understand the complex realities of his identity. We also gain insight to Jones’ relationship with his mother, a story that left me in pieces by the end. How We Fight for Our Lives is raw, difficult, and truthful, and completely stuffed with love.”

BookPeople image Eugenia Vela, BookPeople
Price:

$20.69 USD

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Opioid, Indiana

By Brian Allen Carr
Narrated by Shawn Compton /  4 hours 13 minutes

Opioid, Indiana

“You’ll read this book in one breathless sitting, but the story will stay with you. Riggle, the 17-year-old orphaned protagonist, is exactly what we all need. He’s on a deadline but out of cell phone data to search for answers. Toggling between his memory and the present, he must discern for himself what he feels, how he will survive, and how he will process his grief; in so doing, he is able to better empathize with everyone he encounters. Riggle is also very funny and filled with all of the wonderful contradictions that make us human. Opioid, Indiana is vulnerable and unflinching. It’s a beautiful, original story.”

Wild Geese Bookshop image Tiffany Lauderdale Phillips, Wild Geese Bookshop
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Full Throttle

Stories
By Joe Hill
Narrated by Zachary Quinto, Wil Wheaton, Kate Mulgrew, Neil Gaiman, Ashleigh Cummings, Joe Hill, Laysla De Oliveira, Nate Corddry, Connor Jessup, Stephen Lang & George Guidall /  15 hours 45 minutes

Full Throttle

“What a ride! This book of stories (two written with Stephen King) is a fast ride through Hill’s considerable imagination. He takes us through 13 stories of suspense, from the back of a motorcycle and outrunning a murderous semi-truck driver to an American sea monster, then on to a young girl who befriends a machine, and ending with, well, the end of the world. His stories are reminiscent of a certain well-known horror writer, but are clearly his own brand of terror. I enjoyed each of them and wished that some might morph into full-length books because it was hard to let them go. I always look forward to Hill’s books, and this one did not disappoint.”

Sarah Harmuth Letke image Sarah Harmuth Letke, Redbery Books
Price:

$34.49 USD

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Grand Union

Stories
By Zadie Smith
Narrated by Zadie Smith & Doc Brown /  6 hours 5 minutes

Grand Union

“Whether she’s telling a very short story about a mother and daughter discussing animal cruelty while on vacation or a longer story about a trio of celebrities on a road trip to escape New York, Grand Union shows that Zadie Smith is as adept with short fiction as she is with the novel. For a form of literature that always seems to enhance the faults of lesser writers, short stories, for Smith, seem only to make her shine brighter than ever.”

Bennard Fajardo image Bennard Fajardo, Politics and Prose Bookstore
Price:

$21.00 USD

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This Tender Land

By William Kent Krueger
Narrated by Scott Brick /  14 hours 19 minutes

This Tender Land

“Historical fiction in the hands of a genius storyteller. A band of vagabond children on an epic journey to find their way during the great depression. Their search for home, for peace, for family, for identity is one of the most beautiful stories I have read in a very long time. This is Mark Twain meets Dickens, and then some. Extensively researched and eloquently told, this is storytelling at its finest. Yes, I used the word “storytelling” twice. But there is no better example of this beautiful art form. The only thing missing is a crackling fire and a creaking rocker, as this tale unfolds. “Lucky us”, as Mose would say.”

Watermark Books image Robin, Watermark Books
Price:

$28.74 USD

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Gideon the Ninth

By Tamsyn Muir
Narrated by Moira Quirk /  16 hours 49 minutes

Gideon the Ninth

“This is everything I wanted in a book and more. Gideon is likable but flawed, Harrow is horrible and unforgettable, and the prose occasionally turns hauntingly beautiful. The narration helps make a complex world become real and the characters friends you may or may not want to invite over to dinner. It depends on whether your folks are there.”

Page 158 Books image Jenny, Page 158 Books
Price:

$34.49 USD

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Cold Storage

A Novel
By David Koepp
Narrated by Rupert Friend /  8 hours 6 minutes

Cold Storage

“Meet Cordyceps Novus, a highly adaptable fungus that just wants one thing: to take over the world. After being contained underground for 40 years, conditions are finally perfect for a comeback. Several floors above, two young night-shift security guards decide to track down the source of the mysterious alarm below. David Koepp’s debut novel is both terrifying and humorous — a thrilling combination. After getting an inside look at the growth and spread of this fungus, I will never look at a mushroom the same way again.”

The Country Bookshop image Mary Salazar, The Country Bookshop
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Long Call

The Two Rivers Series: Book #1
By Ann Cleeves
Narrated by Ben Aldridge /  10 hours 15 minutes

The Long Call

“I absolutely loved The Long Call. In this new mystery, Ann Cleeves introduces us to Inspector Matthew Venn, who embodies his diagram namesake as a character caught between his past and his future. A murder on a beach in Venn’s hometown on the English coast leads to a kidnapping, and as the pacing picks up, the suspects get ever closer to Venn’s personal life. An expertly plotted mystery that will keep readers guessing until the final pages.”

Keith Vient image Keith Vient, Politics and Prose Bookstore
Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Dearly Beloved

A Novel
By Cara Wall
Narrated by Kathy Keane /  10 hours 50 minutes

The Dearly Beloved

The Dearly Beloved follows two couples as the men navigate the social and personal turbulence of leading a New York City congregation while the women struggle to find their places and define their relationship to each other. This novel grabs you and brings you in deep right from the start. Through decades of war and protest, success and failure, love and loss, we grow to care about each of these complex characters. Along the way, we also get a glimpse into 1960s New York City and the ways place can so irrevocably impact lives. This is a book that will resonate long after you put it down.”

Buffalo Street Books image Lisa Swayze, Buffalo Street Books
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Last Train to London

A Novel
By Meg Waite Clayton
Narrated by John Lee /  11 hours 55 minutes

The Last Train to London

“Based on a real heroine of the Dutch resistance and scrupulously researched, The Last Train to London brings to vivid life the extraordinary bravery of one fiercely dedicated childless woman who is attempting to save the lives of literally thousands of innocent children as Hitler marshals his forces across Europe. By writing the Kindertransport story as a novel, Meg Waite Clayton captures the humanity of the young victims and the inhumanity of those who were ‘just following orders’ more than any biography could. A memorable addition to the literature of World War II and one that is eerily relevant to present-day migrant struggles the world over.”

Marion Abbott image Marion Abbott, Mrs. Dalloway's Literary & Garden Arts
Price:

$31.04 USD

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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, Saskia Maarleveld, Jonathan Davis, David Pittu & James Fouhey /  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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