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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 Guest Book

A Novel
By Sarah Blake
Narrated by Orlagh Cassidy /  16 hours 42 minutes

The Guest Book

“I began The Guest Book expecting an excellent family saga set, in part, on an island in Maine. The magic of the family home is palpable as three generations build loyalty, identity, and memories there. But what I read was far, far more. This is a history of our country’s evolution through matters of race, class, and politics, and it relates compellingly to our current struggles with those topics as the characters grapple with the underpinnings of privilege, familial love, and morality. Sarah Blake has written a stunning and complex novel that lingers in your mind long after the last page.”

Brookline Booksmith image Dana Brigham, Brookline Booksmith
Price:

$37.94 USD

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Normal People

A Novel
By Sally Rooney
Narrated by Aoife McMahon /  7 hours 34 minutes

Normal People

“What a treat to discover Sally Rooney! This novel stands out shining from the current onslaught of mediocre prose and less-than-suspenseful thriller plots. Normal People is the story of a relationship between two high school classmates in a small town in Ireland, and how it changes over time, through their last year of college in Dublin. Rooney’s spare and brilliant writing illuminates her insight and makes the unfolding of these two personalities completely compelling.”

Georgiana Dix Blomberg image Georgiana Dix Blomberg, Magnolia's Bookstore
Price:

$24.50 USD

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The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna

A Novel
By Juliet Grames
Narrated by Lisa Flanagan /  16 hours 57 minutes

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna

“Stella Fortuna: With a name like this, she should not be subjected to so many near-death accidents. Is she unlucky or cursed? Juliet Grames does a masterful job of parsing out Stella’s story, from growing up in an isolated mountain village to immigrating to America and navigating the perils of a patriarchal society along the way. This story explores familial bonds, discontentment, betrayal, and the damage of keeping secrets. Readers, get comfortable because you will not want to put this book down. I loved Stella.”

The Hickory Stick Bookshop image Patricia Moody, The Hickory Stick Bookshop
Price:

$42.54 USD

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Rough Magic

Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race
By Lara Prior-Palmer
Narrated by Henrietta Meire /  7 hours 37 minutes

Rough Magic

“Lara Prior-Palmer’s journey in the Mongol Derby is one of excitement, pain, and profound inner dialogue. There was not a moment in this fast-paced memoir where my attention wavered. Prior-Palmer weaves a coming-of-age tale with expert grace and worldly knowledge alongside an intensely riveting competition against herself and the land. Rough Magic is a fantastically written and introspective memoir worthy of great praise.”

Skylark Bookshop image Travis McGuire, Skylark Bookshop
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Lanny

By Max Porter
Narrated by Annie Aldington, Clare Corbett, David Timson & Jot Davies /  4 hours 34 minutes

Lanny

“The genius of Max Porter is that he can write a village in its entirety—a mother’s love for her son, a brilliant artist’s loneliness, a young boy’s whimsical adventures, a mythological creature’s inner monologue, a whole village worth of secrets and wishes and terrible thoughts—and make it into a bizarre but highly enjoyable little novel. You’ll find yourself thrilled by the dark humor Porter captures in his story of one village and its characters, both real and mythologized, as Lanny follows the eponymous young boy and the lives he impacts around him.”

BookBar image Erin Mazza, BookBar
Price:

$31.61 USD

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Furious Hours

Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
By Casey Cep
Narrated by Hillary Huber /  11 hours 15 minutes

Furious Hours

In Cold Blood and To Kill a Mockingbird kept me up reading all night as a teen, and I can now add Furious Hours to the list of couldn’t-put-it-down tomes. I was enthralled, educated, and awestruck by Casey Cep’s well-researched and masterfully written true-crime account of a rural minister, his lawyer, and his killer. Thankfully, Cep discovered and brought to light what surely could have been Harper Lee’s second bestseller. Now…off to get a good night’s rest!”

Viewpoint Books image Beth Stroh, Viewpoint Books
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Out East

Memoir of a Montauk Summer
By John Glynn
Narrated by Michael Crouch /  6 hours 57 minutes

Out East

“I absolutely loved Out East. It kept me up until 2:30 in the morning because I needed to read one more scene, one more chapter, to find out what happened with all of the characters. As I read, I was able to put myself into the Hive along with the rest of the housemates. The sensory details—music, food, descriptions of the people who populate Montauk—allowed me to step into this world as if I were a housemate myself. The emotional experience, too, was vivid and relatable, and brought me back to my own roller-coaster experiences of first love, longing, and heartache.”

Buffalo Street Books image Chris Klim, Buffalo Street Books
Price:

$28.73 USD

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

A Novel
By Kim Michele Richardson
Narrated by Katie Schorr /  9 hours 25 minutes

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

“I loved this wonderful story about Cussy Mary, a pack horse librarian in eastern Kentucky in the 1930s and one of the last of the blue-skinned people of that area. As Cussy faces pressure to marry and difficulties maintaining her arduous book route through twisty and dangerous mountain passes, she earns the respect of the mountain people she serves so faithfully. Beautifully written and heartbreaking at times, this is a story I will never forget.”

The Little Bookshop image Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop
Price:

$22.94 USD

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Courting Mr. Lincoln

A Novel
By Louis Bayard
Narrated by Tavia Gilbert & Robert Fass /  13 hours 27 minutes

Courting Mr. Lincoln

“This is a beautifully rendered, historically compelling exploration of the idea that the powerful and unseen gravitational force acting on what we know to have been a complicated courtship between Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd was Lincoln’s ambiguous friendship with Joshua Speed. Bayard’s complex characters live believably on these pages, reminding us that love is not—and never has been, even for the iconic figures of history—a this-or-that thing, but instead takes on many forms, depending on its circumstances. A great book club selection!”

Bookends & Beginnings image Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings
Price:

$28.74 USD

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Southern Lady Code

Essays
By Helen Ellis
Narrated by Helen Ellis /  3 hours 10 minutes

Southern Lady Code

“SOUTHERN LADY CODE is Southern Lady Code for the perfect essay collection. It's sharper than a shattered Christmas ornament, but an ornament with a sense of humor. You might cut yourself, but you'll laugh about it. Would I give just about anything to spend a Friday night at her apartment, drinking and puzzling? Why, yes. Yes, I would.”

Avid Bookshop image Tyler Goodson, Avid Bookshop
Price:

$21.00 USD

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Rules for Visiting

A Novel
By Jessica Francis Kane
Narrated by Emily Rankin /  6 hours 33 minutes

Rules for Visiting

“A skillful writer can show how things that seem unrelated are actually intertwined. In this way, Kane quietly reminds us that friendships and plants may be deeply rooted but need tending to bloom completely, that words matter, that going back to their roots may change how we think about what we say, and that a quiet life can be a full one. This gentle book grows on you (the puns just keep coming), but it is a refreshing change from the stresses of our digital age or the angst of so many recent books about contemporary life. Entertaining and erudite, I highly recommend this book.”

Ann Carlson image Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books
Price:

$24.50 USD

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Disappearing Earth

A novel
By Julia Phillips
Narrated by Ilyana Kadushin /  11 hours 15 minutes

Disappearing Earth

“Julia Phillips is an author to watch. She beautifully transports us to a region of the world that I had never heard of and now can’t stop thinking about. The stories of the women there—their family dynamics, their hopes and fears, the economic and cultural divide of various communities—tell a moving story about this place in a moment in time, but ultimately about the universal struggle of women living with the expectations placed on them. A remarkable debut.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Casey Coonerty, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$28.00 USD

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The Bride Test

By Helen Hoang
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller /  10 hours

The Bride Test

“This follow-up to The Kiss Quotient is an incredibly diverse and fun story about Khai, Michael’s cousin from the previous novel. He is Vietnamese-American, autistic, and believes himself to be incapable of the emotions that matter. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed The Rosie Effect and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Hoang is making important waves, one sweet, sexy romance novel at a time.”

Books Around the Corner image Stephanie Csaszar, Books Around the Corner
Price:

$24.99 USD

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Cape May

A Novel
By Chip Cheek
Narrated by George Newbern /  7 hours 34 minutes

Cape May

“This book is extraordinary. In a small, empty beachside town after the season ends, a couple on their ill-planned honeymoon, slowly awakening to all the ways they can disappoint each other, stumble across a Gatsby-ish household of worldly beautiful people who embrace them wholeheartedly. The days pass in a glorious gin-soaked daze; erotic tension charges every encounter. Chip writes like James Salter, with a sense of a humor and a fuller appreciation and understanding of female desire. Moving, so gorgeous, and absolutely brilliant.”

Newtonville Books image Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Once More We Saw Stars

A Memoir
By Jayson Greene
Narrated by Jayson Greene /  7 hours

Once More We Saw Stars

“Some memoirs transcend the author’s experience and become universal—I always thought of those as the good ones. Then I read Jayson Greene’s memoir of loss and grief and was forced to confront the fullness of his individual humanity in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Grief is distinctly personal and Greene’s story of the death of his two-year-old child is simply unfathomable to me, yet his honesty and willingness to sit in the fearfulness of this new life resonated deeply. Once More We Saw Stars is a wonderfully written memoir that connects on the most basic human level.”

Cavalier House Books image Michelle Cavalier, Cavalier House Books
Price:

$24.50 USD

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Miracle Creek

A Novel
By Angie Kim
Narrated by Jennifer Lim /  14 hours 4 minutes

Miracle Creek

Miracle Creek is a courtroom drama with impeccable pacing, an original plot, and stellar writing. It’s also a remarkably empathetic book, exploring the ripple effects of causality and the urgent need to do right by each other in big and small ways, recognizing that even the best of us will fail once in a while. It is a lovely reminder that even when doing the right thing feels like swimming upstream, we never know what harm may be prevented and what good might come from our actions. Agreat read that deserves broad success.”

Hudson Booksellers image Sara Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers
Price:

$31.04 USD

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Exhalation

Stories
By Ted Chiang
Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini, Dominic Hoffman, Amy Landon & Ted Chiang /  11 hours 21 minutes

Exhalation

“WOW. My first experience with Ted Chiang absolutely blew me out of the water. Each story left me with wide eyes and a racing mind, running to my husband to read a passage so we could both be knocked over with wonder. Exhalation filled me with so many questions about our collective past, present, and future, I’ll be coming back to this book again and again trying to find the answers.”

Country Bookshelf image Kasey Kane, Country Bookshelf
Price:

$31.50 USD

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The Binding

A Novel
By Bridget Collins
Narrated by Carl Prekopp /  15 hours 29 minutes

The Binding

“Imagine a world in which the wealthy learn not just from the work of naturalists and thinkers, but from their lives, and not just in memoir form, but as a complete, immediate experience of everything each author remembers. Imagine that, to create such books, the authors must give up those memories. Imagine that you are the child of good, honest country folk who have heard of people left gibbering and helpless if their stories are taken by less than perfect... binders. The very word gives your father chills. Not merely because of the rumors of minds lost: because out on the marsh, an old woman on the wrong side of religion will, if asked, remove memories, taking something from a struggling heart and stitching it between hard covers to be buried forever, lest damage to the book set the memories loose to overwhelm that heart again. You might never have imagined how glibly a person might wish to forget a summer fling. You might not know what it does to a family if a child willfully forgets her parent. You might lack the imagination for the cruelties forgetfulness can allow. But if you are a binder born, unable to bear a normal life because of a powerful empathy in you that gives you the power to remove thoughts from another person and place them in a book - if you are taken as an apprentice to a binder in a place where the trade is regarded with suspicion - if you are forced away to the city and into the employ of an unscrupulous binder who, against law and moral reason, sells the books of living people for readers' amusement - you can't bear to believe these people exist - but you must. Because one of them owns what you gave up to protect people, and another owns the freedom and happiness of one you wanted to protect. For everyone left longing for more at the end of Diane Setterfield's latest, anyone impatient between Geraldine Brooks' releases, anyone afraid you'll never fall in love again as hard as you fell in A. S. Byatt's "Possession" or Saramago's "History of the Siege of Lisbon", give Bridget Collins your hand and the richly talented Carl Prekopp your ear. "The Binding" is magical.”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
Price:

$34.49 USD

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I Miss You When I Blink

Essays
By Mary Laura Philpott
Narrated by Mary Laura Philpott /  6 hours 5 minutes

I Miss You When I Blink

“Mary Laura Philpott writes about today’s American woman in her marvelously frank and witty book of essays, I Miss You When I Blink. Women of all ages will nod their heads when reading about the decision to have babies (or not), the pitfalls of volunteering, the difficulty of getting a cat out from under the bed, the reward of crossing things off ‘the list,’ the challenge of finding time for relaxation, and, above all, the acceleration of time as we age. Philpott shares pivotal moments from her life in such a relatable way that, through both laughter and tears, readers will exclaim, ‘Yes, yes, this is ME!’ Don’t miss this gem!”

Vault Books and Brew image Nancy Simpson-Brice, Vault Books and Brew
Price:

$20.69 USD

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Women Talking

By Miriam Toews
Narrated by Matthew Edison /  5 hours 57 minutes

Women Talking

Women Talking is an eloquent exploration of how a group mind coalesces — as a kind of vision that comes in fits and starts, arguments and digression — to finally arrive at a decision. Or, read another way, it’s a compelling examination of the opposing voices in our own heads as we wrestle with impossible choices between the known and the unknown. What’s most compelling about Toews’ novel is its lack of sensationalism and how it shows real people struggling through the aftermath of devastating violence. Grounded in a religious culture where suffering and obedience are an expectation, these women grapple with uneasy answers to what’s best for themselves and their children. Women Talking is the quiet, startling story of coming to terms with how, or if, we save ourselves.”

Scuppernong Books image Steve Mitchell, Scuppernong Books
Price:

$18.39 USD

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