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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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Sin Eater

A Novel
By Megan Campisi
Narrated by Shiromi Arserio /  9 hours

Sin Eater

“Sin Eater takes a little-known historical role and expands it in this imaginative novel set in an alternate Elizabethan England. For stealing a loaf of bread, teenage orphan May is forced to become a sin eater—shackled with a metal collar proclaiming her status to all she meets and with a black "S" tattooed on her tongue. Shunned by society, sin eaters must only speak to the dying, who tell them their sins. Each sin corresponds with a food item—raisins for adultery, mustard seeds for lies, etc. By eating the "sins," the sin eater takes them on as their own, releasing the dead person's soul. At first distraught from the isolation and contempt her new lot in life brings, May gradually realizes that it isn't without its benefits. One of those benefits is access to the court of Queen Bethany (a thinly veiled Queen Elizabeth I), where courtesans are being murdered and accusations of witchcraft are flying. Fans of Uprooted, Spinning Silver, and Godshot will find similar themes in this fast-paced, high-stakes adventure.”

Phinney Books image Haley, Phinney Books
Price:

$22.99 USD

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The Honey-Don't List

By Christina Lauren
Narrated by Patti Murin & Jon Root /  7 hours 29 minutes

The Honey-Don't List

“A famous rom-com duo takes on HGTV in their latest surefire hit. Underpaid and overworked assistants Carey and James didn’t intend to be in charge of keeping together a reality TV couple’s marriage, but here they are. They also didn’t intend to fall for each other, but as they try to fix the crumbling marriage of Melissa and Rusty Tripp, they find common ground. Equal parts sweet and steamy, with a story about finding your spine and self-worth.”

Square Books image Sami Thomason, Square Books
Price:

$20.69 USD

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The Roxy Letters

By Mary Pauline Lowry
Narrated by Jayme Mattler /  9 hours 39 minutes

The Roxy Letters

“Move over Bridget Jones, Roxy is here to stay! Thank goddess! I loved every sentence of The Roxy Letters; I found myself laughing out loud at some of her wacky antics. I also loved the quirky cast of characters that danced across the pages, and I think Roxy is the perfect antihero for the new millennium. I can’t wait to see where Mary Pauline Lowry’s career is headed!”

A Great Good Place for Books image Kathleen Caldwell, A Great Good Place for Books
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities Trilogy: Book #1
By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by Robin Miles /  16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“I love N.K. Jemisin’s books, I love New York City, and I love this book about the soul and personification of New York. The City We Became might just be my favorite book to be published in 2020. This story is filled with tension, humor, and great characters, with a guest appearance near and dear to me. While this book is the beginning of a trilogy, it is completely satisfying as a stand-alone novel. Read it and be happy.”

Powell's Books image Doug Chase, Powell's Books
Price:

$29.88 USD

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Darling Rose Gold

By Stephanie Wrobel
Narrated by Megan Dodds & Jill Winternitz /  10 hours 17 minutes

Darling Rose Gold

“Rose Gold’s mother is being released from prison and has asked her daughter for temporary shelter. Despite having been the target of her mother’s abuse, Rose Gold decides to give it a try. Has she really forgiven her mother for past crimes? This is a roller coaster of a story! Loved it!”

Marcia Vanderford image Marcia Vanderford, Vanderford's Books & Office Products
Price:

$28.00 USD

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The Prettiest Star

By Carter Sickels
Narrated by Charlie Thurston & Tiffany Morgan /  10 hours 21 minutes

The Prettiest Star

“This beautiful, elegiac novel tells the story of the last homecoming to rural Ohio for Brian, who is dying of AIDS at the height of the 1980s epidemic. Told with empathy and heart, complemented by a pitch-perfect sense of time and place, The Prettiest Star is a deeply affecting story about what it means to understand each other and where we come from, even when our lives have taken us light years away.”

Ashley Warlick image Ashley Warlick, M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers
Price:

$28.74 USD

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My Dark Vanessa

A Novel
By Kate Elizabeth Russell
Narrated by Grace Gummer /  15 hours 36 minutes

My Dark Vanessa

“In this gripping debut novel, a teenage girl falls into an affair with her English teacher, who is 30 years her senior. The voice of Vanessa, the narrator, is unparalleled in its honesty, and her emotions are fiercely conveyed with unrelenting realness. This novel is a timely and important read, sometimes difficult, but ultimately an unforgettable experience. You will be left astonished and transformed. Vanessa is formidable and so is her story; you won’t be able to put down this powerhouse of a novel.”

Luisa Barbano image Luisa Barbano, Oblong Books & Music
Price:

$34.49 USD

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A Good Neighborhood

A Novel
By Therese Anne Fowler
Narrated by Ella Turenne /  10 hours 38 minutes

A Good Neighborhood

“This moving story, expertly narrated by Adenrele Ojo, is told from the points of view of several main characters, and intermittently by omnipotent unnamed neighbors, after a new family moves into a “good” North Carolina neighborhood. Conflicts arise over the health of an ailing oak tree and a budding romance between two star-crossed teens. Although the story contains alleged and real crimes, and there are perpetrators and victims, it’s the lines between miscommunication and outright lies, latent and blatant racism, bad decisions and criminal acts, and hope and futility that drive the plot. The message for all of us good people: we all can and MUST do better. A Good Neighborhood will appeal to older teens and adults interested in contemporary issues with a twist of a Shakespearian tragedy.”

Rediscovered Books image Becky, Rediscovered Books
Price:

$31.04 USD

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Saint X

A Novel
By Alexis Schaitkin
Narrated by Dana Dae, Ella Turenne, Prentice Onayemi, Ryan Vincent Anderson, Alex Hyde-White, Bailey Carr, Kate Orsini, Melinda Wade, Tristan Wright, Josh Petersdorf, Dave Fennoy, Dean Gallagher, Denise Nelson & Ron Butler /  12 hours 25 minutes

Saint X

“A family vacation to a Caribbean island goes terribly wrong and the tragedy casts a pall over the life of Claire, who is only seven years old when this mesmerizing novel begins. We follow Claire into adulthood and along her pursuit of truth and resolution, while her life becomes increasingly affected by her obsessive search for the answers to the mystery that occurred on Saint X. You will not be able to put down this startlingly accomplished novel, and it will sneak into your dreams! I envy anyone who has it to look forward to.”

Tova Beiser image Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore
Price:

$31.04 USD

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In Five Years

A Novel
By Rebecca Serle
Narrated by Megan Hilty /  6 hours 44 minutes

In Five Years

“Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years has so many of the things I want in a terrific novel: a twisty plot that leaves me guessing; radically unexpected developments; settings that I can see, smell, and taste; and probably the thing that Serle does best — an introduction to characters I’ll grow to care about and shed tears with. That last one? The tear thing? In Five Years had me weeping for the last part of a coast-to-coast flight, prompting the flight attendant to hand me a drink because, she said, it looked like I needed one. I loved this book and can’t wait to offer it to readers.”

Brookline Booksmith image Nick Petrulakis, Brookline Booksmith
Price:

$20.69 USD

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Docile

By K.M. Szpara
Narrated by Mark Sanderlin & Vikas Adam /  16 hours 31 minutes

Docile

“People will often refer to a book as one that’s ‘unlike anything they’ve ever read before,’ but for maybe the first time in my reading life, I can honestly say that about K.M. Szpara’s Docile. This erotic speculative science fiction novel takes place in a frighteningly plausible future where people become ‘dociles’ — essentially indentured slaves working off debt — and explores themes of consent, capitalism, and the abuse cycle. A visceral reading experience that will challenge, confront, titillate, and disgust, Docile feels like a book we will be talking about for decades.”

Bookmarks image Caleb Masters, Bookmarks
Price:

$37.94 USD

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Apeirogon: A Novel

A Novel
By Colum McCann
Narrated by Colum McCann /  15 hours 19 minutes

Apeirogon: A Novel

“This is a towering, breathtaking, sweeping work of poetic and technical brilliance. Although much of Apeirogon resides in the current and past state of Israeli-Palestinian relations, the novel demonstrates how each person, each story, in this ultimately small section of the world represents but one point of an infinitely sided shape — how between all of us, even those locked in seemingly irreconcilable conflict, there pulses a vital connectivity, a path to understanding, forgiveness, and compassion.”

Flyleaf Books image Ben Newgard, Flyleaf Books
Price:

$35.00 USD

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This Town Sleeps

A Novel
By Dennis E. Staples
Narrated by Kaipo Schwab /  5 hours 3 minutes

This Town Sleeps

This Town Sleeps, set on an Ojibwe reservation in northern Minnesota, is not an elegiac or idyllic work but rather a direct, unblinking, poetic novel that draws the reader inexorably into the gray areas of the hearts of those in this story. A queer coming-of-age story bound up in a town mystery, this tale of Marion Lafournier, a young gay Ojibwe man, is a compelling debut. Dennis E. Staples is an author whose voice and storytelling will be appreciated in so many ways for years to come.”

BookPeople image Christine Havens, BookPeople
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Eight Perfect Murders

A Novel
By Peter Swanson
Narrated by Graham Halstead /  8 hours 3 minutes

Eight Perfect Murders

“Peter Swanson is one of my favorite authors. His books just keep getting better. Eight Perfect Murders is my favorite so far. It opens introducing Malcolm, who is a widower and owner of a book store in Boston. An FBI agent enters one snowy day and introduces herself as Gwen and asks him if she can speak to him for a few minutes. Gwen says that she believes a recent murder is connected to a blog that Malcolm wrote several years ago. The post details eight mystery novels that stage the perfect murder. She hasn't read many and Mal is happy to give her a few from the list. They meet the next day and discuss each book and why the particular murder is perfect. They keep in touch and in days another murder happens. There is a multitude of hair-raising twists and turns. The story is well-crafted and oh so clever. Malcolm is the sole narrator and he is positively mesmerizing. I highly recommend this page-turner. The book narrator has a crisp voice and reads with his heart and soul.No doubt about it - Eight Perfect Murders will be on my top five best books of 2020.”

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

$27.59 USD

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We Ride Upon Sticks

A Novel
By Quan Barry
Narrated by Isabel Keating /  14 hours 44 minutes

We Ride Upon Sticks

“This is such a fun romp! It has everything you could possibly want in a book: field hockey, witches, and ’80s bangs that have literally taken on a life of their own. Set in Salem in the 1980s, we follow a group of high school field hockey players as they struggle with their new dark powers and attempt to end their losing streak. One of the strangest, most satisfying books I have read in a long time!”

Hillary Smith image Hillary Smith, Copperfield's Books Calistoga
Price:

$31.50 USD

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Greenwood

A Novel
By Michael Christie
Narrated by Kimberly Farr /  18 hours 47 minutes

Greenwood

“Family bonds can be tenuous and mysterious. Greenwood by Michael Christie explores those bonds through four generations spanning the century from 1934 to 2034. Christie paints characters troubled by the world around them and by demons within themselves. But almost every one of these characters also lives with deep hope and convictions. Selflessness and selfishness exist in equal measure in the novel, with most characters acting out of both and a few consistently exhibiting one over the other. Among the selfless, Everett Greenwood takes the prize. He sacrifices again and again for those he loves, and becomes my favorite character for this and for his strength and depth of love. All Christie’s characters are complex and expertly developed. Don’t miss this well-crafted story of family, love, sacrifice, and secrets.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
Price:

$38.50 USD

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Deacon King Kong

A Novel
By James McBride
Narrated by Dominic Hoffman /  14 hours 5 minutes

Deacon King Kong

“ James McBride has written a masterpiece with Deacon King Kong. The writing is a tapestry of story lines woven together with the skill of a master craftsman. The narrating is in a class by itself. This is absolutely the perfect book to lose yourself in. Straight up 10!”

Anderson's Bookshop image Mary, Anderson's Bookshop
Price:

$31.50 USD

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Undercover Bromance

Bromance Book Club: Book #2
By Lyssa Kay Adams
Narrated by Andrew Eiden /  9 hours 7 minutes

Undercover Bromance

“Steamy, spicy, and tender, if this book were a gourmet meal it would be worth a thousand bucks for sure. Lyssa Kay Adams has outdone herself; her sophomore novel in the Bromance Book Club collection is even better than her debut. Liv is a firecracker, taking nothing from nobody. Mack is a big softie with a heart of gold. When they team up to take down a famous and powerful chef with a history of abusing women, there is nothing these two won’t risk — including their hearts. Please read this lovely romance; you will not regret it and it will make you a better person. And if you are a man, this should be required reading — study up, dudes.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Sam Butler, Bright Side Bookshop
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Recollections of My Nonexistence

A Memoir
By Rebecca Solnit
Narrated by Rebecca Solnit /  6 hours 41 minutes

Recollections of My Nonexistence

“Over Rebecca Solnit’s 30 years of writing, readers like me have fallen in love with her seismic, world-shifting essays, and I was not disappointed by this memoir, her first longform writing in seven years. True to her form, this is a memoir not necessarily of the events of Solnit’s coming of age, but rather the greater influences in her development as a feminist, an activist, and a writer in 1980’s San Francisco. In these pages, Solnit describes the formation of her own powerful voice while interrogating the culture that routinely silences women through violence and disregard. By sharing these formative years, Solnit is sure to inspire and vindicate generations of women of all ages and offer much-needed encouragement to people of all genders to invest in voices long suppressed.”

Underground Books image Megan Bell, Underground Books
Price:

$24.50 USD

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Oona Out of Order

A Novel
By Margarita Montimore
Narrated by Brittany Pressley /  11 hours 29 minutes

Oona Out of Order

“Oona Lockhart has been cursed (or blessed) with a magical wrinkle in time that has her leaping forward and back through the years. Inside she is aging chronologically, but on the outside, Oona is sometimes 51, 30, or 26 years old. A life lived out of order, however, can be just as valid as a life lived forward. Surprising, bittersweet, and filled with love, Oona discovers both the wisdom of age and the spontaneity of youth. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be the most enchanted reading experience of 2020.”

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

$31.04 USD

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