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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.

Red at the Bone

A Novel
By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by Jacqueline Woodson & Various /  3 hours 52 minutes

Red at the Bone

“Although you can read Jacqueline Woodson’s newest novel over the course of one evening, there is nothing breezy about the richness of its story, nothing short about the depth of its characters, nothing quick about the way this book stays with you after you finish reading. Told through five distinct voices, Red at the Bone tracks an African-American family through time and place as an unexpected pregnancy upends and reshapes family and class expectations as well as individual trajectories. Ultimately, the novel is about legacy in every sense of the word. And since Woodson’s writing packs the emotional punch of an epic in a novella number of pages, the legacy of her book is to be read over and over and over again.”

Kelly Brown image Kelly Brown, Magic City Books
Price:

$21.00 USD

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The Dutch House

A Novel
By Ann Patchett
Narrated by Tom Hanks /  9 hours 52 minutes

The Dutch House

“The Dutch House is an engrossing story that spans over 50 years. It is about a house and the memories that it holds. The story revolves around Danny and Maeve, a brother and sister who love each other deeply - more than any other person including Danny's wife. They share a sad childhood in which their Mother disappears with very little explanation. They are brought up by their distant father who loves their home, The Dutch House, more than his children or his second wife. When he dies suddenly in his 50's, the second wife takes everything and throws Danny and Maeve out of the house. The siblings manage and continue to be each other's lifeline. I enjoyed this book tremendously and developed great affection for the siblings, even with their complex, dysfunctional dynamics. An added bonus: Tom Hanks reads the story with plenty of heart and soul.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Price:

$31.04 USD

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Ninth House

By Leigh Bardugo
Narrated by Lauren Fortgang & Michael David Axtell /  16 hours 21 minutes

Ninth House

“Queen Leigh’s first foray into adult fantasy is a sensational success! One of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a long while, Ninth House contains Yale secret societies, ghosts, magic, morally gray characters, and murder. Bardugo balances dual timelines with intricate precision, and the history and world-building of her fantastical New Haven is superb. I couldn’t put this book down; I had to know what was going to happen next. I savored every moment reading this novel, and I am jealous of readers who get to experience it for the first time!”

Page 1 Books image Isabella Ogbolumani, Page 1 Books
Price:

$37.94 USD

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Olive, Again

A Novel
By Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by Kimberly Farr /  12 hours 14 minutes

Olive, Again

“Thank goodness Elizabeth Strout decided to return for another round with one of the most beloved, maddening, confounding, and compelling characters I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Readers will delight in the fact that Olive, while forging new relationships and puzzling over long-existing ones, remains the crazy, complicated family member you just can’tquit. Add in spareyet beautifully rendered prose about the rugged, breathtaking state of Maine and you’ve got a gem of a book, one that leaves you rooting for Olive, despite her numerous shortcomings, as she stumbles through love, friendship, loss, and what it means to growold. Strout, through Olive, reminds us that it’s a messy business being human, but it’s a privilege to be along for the ride.”

Barrett Bookstore image Page Berger, Barrett Bookstore
Price:

$31.50 USD

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The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

A Novel
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by Joe Morton /  14 hours 14 minutes

The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

“Ta-Nehisi Coates understands something big and he understands it better than anyone else right now. The Water Dancer led me on a journey up and down the landscape of American slavery with a narrative that feels like The Book of Exodus meets, well, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Over 400 pages I have cried, I have laughed, I have been educated, and I have been enlightened. Coates writes with an honesty that can only come from a sublime, even spiritual, understanding of the souls of the white man and the black man in America. Written with poignancy and humanity, The Water Dancer left me stunned but clear-headed, like I had just been woken up from a deep, dream-filled sleep.”

Norris Rettiger image Norris Rettiger, Lemuria Bookstore
Price:

$31.50 USD

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The World That We Knew

A Novel
By Alice Hoffman
Narrated by Judith Light /  10 hours 8 minutes

The World That We Knew

“Alice Hoffman, author of numerous novels—The Dovekeepers, The Marriage of Opposites, and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, among others—does her magic again with The World That We Knew. This is a story of great love and loss, a story of strong characters who, with heartfelt courage, save others by risking their own lives. The reader is taken on a journey of the world that once was—of memories of a past tainted by hatred during WWII. Alice Hoffman’s writing is passionate, poetic, and profound. This novel captivated me from the start and left me spellbound. A must-read!”

Bunch of Grapes Bookstore image Mollie Loughlin, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore
Price:

$27.59 USD

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Celestial Bodies

By Jokha Alharthi & Marilyn Booth
Narrated by Laurence Bouvard /  8 hours 3 minutes

Celestial Bodies

“In this gripping family saga, author Jokha Alharthi—the first female Omani writer to be translated into English—involves you deeply in the personal drama of her characters and in the extended family system, which includes former servants and masters, while also somehow telling the modern history of the country of Oman. I was immediately enthralled by the power and clarity of Alharthi’s book, which won the 2019 Man Booker International Prize and is the first book written in Arabic to win it. Don’t miss the opportunity to let this important new book sweep you away!”

Skylight Books image Arlo Klahr, Skylight Books
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Imaginary Friend

By Stephen Chbosky
Narrated by Christine Lakin /  24 hours 31 minutes

Imaginary Friend

Imaginary Friend has, in my humble opinion, already earned its spot on the top shelf of classic horror novels. Reminiscent of Stephen King’s It and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, it is one of the most compulsively terrifying, eerily uncanny novels of our time. Once you pick up this book, you won’t put it down until you’ve devoured it whole (or, should I say, it has devoured you), and once finished, you will feel the dangerous urge to turn to the first page and start all over again. It is an utterly original masterpiece of fear. Thank you, Stephen Chbosky, for the lost sleep and the goosebumps! Signed, a hard-to-scare horror fanatic.”

The River's End Bookstore image Tianna Moxley, The River's End Bookstore
Price:

$31.03 USD

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A Cosmology of Monsters

A Novel
By Shaun Hamill
Narrated by Sean Patrick Hopkins /  10 hours 47 minutes

A Cosmology of Monsters

“When is the last time a horror novel was both scary and charming? A Cosmology of Monsters is that book! Riffing on themes from H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury, Hamill weaves a complex tale of lost cities, haunted Halloween attractions, and doorways to other worlds. I really enjoyed this literary horror story, which starts out as a love story (don’t ALL good horror tales?) and grows progressively creepier. The book posits the questions: Who are the real monsters, and why do we love to be scared? Truly an uber-creepy yet delightful homage. I loved it.”

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

$28.00 USD

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The Butterfly Girl

A Novel
By Rene Denfeld
Narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan /  7 hours 33 minutes

The Butterfly Girl

“Rene Denfeld has done it again: written a mystery that sucks you in and thoroughly absorbs you until you’re done. We pick up the story with Naomi Cottle, who has been searching for the sister she left behind when she escaped the clutches of their childhood kidnapper. Haunted by guilt, her search leads her back to her hometown, where a number of young girls have been murdered. By chance or by fate, she encounters Celia, a 12-year-old girl living on the streets who may be the key to everything—including finding her sister and a rapacious killer. Heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and utterly unputdownable, this really should be the gold standard for mysteries.”

East City Bookshop image Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Topeka School

A Novel
By Ben Lerner
Narrated by Nancy Linari, Peter Berkrot & Tristan Wright /  10 hours 34 minutes

The Topeka School

“It’s the late ’90s in Topeka, and high school senior Adam Gordon is partying, going to school, and preparing for a national speech and debate competition—living a life he expects to reflect back upon with irony and detachment in some urbane, imaginary future. Lerner shifts between perspectives, stealing stylistic bits from autofiction and documentary; he reinvents the way narrative can place the moments of our lives in the context of history, both global and hyper-local, exploring how history inflicts trauma onto us and how we, in turn, inflict that trauma back onto history. And he does all this while toying with language and the spaces where it breaks down as we attempt to self-define. Simply put, The Topeka School is a work of genius.”

Chris Lee image Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company
Price:

$31.04 USD

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Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts

By Kate Racculia
Narrated by Lauren Fortgang /  14 hours 5 minutes

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts

“Tuesday Mooney is smart, intrepid, and just a little bit lost—even 20 years after her best friend disappears without a trace. A prospect researcher by trade, she dives in deep when a strange and reclusive billionaire dies and leaves puzzles throughout the city in an elaborate treasure hunt. While this fun and affecting book could have won me over just by being a romp, there is more here. Tuesday and her compatriots are all forced to confront the traumas that have stunted their lives and find new strength in their relationships. I couldn’t have asked for more!”

Main Point Books image Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books
Price:

$26.00 USD

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The Giver of Stars

A Novel
By Jojo Moyes
Narrated by Julia Whelan /  13 hours 52 minutes

The Giver of Stars

“In the late 1930s, the Works Progress Administration developed a number of projects intended to provide employment opportunities for unemployed artists, writers, and craftsmen. One of those projects was the Pack Horse Library Initiative, in which mounted horsewomen picked their way along snowy hillsides and through muddy creeks with a simple goal: to deliver reading material to Kentucky’s isolated mountain communities. In The Giver of Stars, Moyes has brought to life the amazing, funny, adventurous stories of a few of these trailblazing women. Historical fiction lovers will devour this story of a little-known piece of U.S. history.”

The Country Bookshop image Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop
Price:

$31.50 USD

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Toil & Trouble

A Memoir
By Augusten Burroughs
Narrated by Augusten Burroughs, Gabra Zackman, Robin Miles & Anne Bobby /  12 hours 10 minutes

Toil & Trouble

“Augusten Burroughs never ceases to amaze his readers with his honest stories, and Toil & Trouble won’t disappoint his fans! A gift shared with his mother, witchcraft has been passed down his family tree and has guided his life. Moving from the city life to the wilds of Connecticut, Burroughs’ gift guides him and husband Christopher to the right place at the right time—and saves them with a little premonition! You are invited (perhaps welcomed?) to be skeptical, but once you finish the book you might just wonder why you ever were.”

Books on the Square image Jennifer Kandarian, Books on the Square
Price:

$31.04 USD

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No Judgments

A Novel
By Meg Cabot
Narrated by Piper Goodeve /  8 hours 44 minutes

No Judgments

“Cabot delights again in this one-off romance about finding compassion for other people and for animals in the midst of natural disaster. Light and fun, this book is a joy to read, full of well-crafted prose, engaging characters, and a plot perfect for the times. Cabot’s fabulous escape into the written word will leave you with that warm fuzzy feeling and also some knowledge on how to prepare for a hurricane.”

Where the Sidewalk Ends image Kendolyn Roe, Where the Sidewalk Ends
Price:

$27.59 USD

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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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