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Noelle Recommends

Playlist Tags: Oblong Books

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Klara and the Sun

A Novel

By Kazuo Ishiguro
Narrated by: Sura Siu
Length: 10 hours 16 minutes

Klara and the Sun

Klara and the Sun from Nobel-winner Kazuo Ishiguro is a radiant new novel about the bond between Klara, an Artificial Friend, and Josie, her human companion. The setting, a dystopian realm of genetic editing and stark class divisions, is not surprising given the author’s previous work, yet Ishiguro’s immense, unwavering portrayal of kindness is astonishing and revitalizing. Classic Ishiguro themes of loyalty, friendship, and sacrifice weave through the novel, but the thread of love runs deep, giving the book warmth and hope so that the earned twist feels more like a dawn than a sunset. Whether you’re returning to Ishiguro or discovering his voice for the first time, I’m excited for you. This is a chance to bask in the brilliance of one the greatest writers of our time.”

Books & Books image Caroline McGregor, Books & Books
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The Divines

A Novel

By Ellie Eaton
Narrated by: Imogen Church
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

With the emotional power of Normal People and the reflective haze of The Girls, a compulsively readable literary debut set in a secluded boarding school, exploring the intoxicating, destructive relationships between teenage girls. 

“The Divines is a cool, chilling and elegant novel.”—Sarah Perry, internationally bestselling author of The Essex... Read more »

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How Beautiful We Were

A Novel

By Imbolo Mbue
Narrated by: Lisa Renee Pitts, Prentice Onayemi, Janina Edwards, Dion Graham, JD Jackson & Allyson Johnson
Length: 14 hours 7 minutes

A fearless young woman from a small African village starts a revolution against an American oil company in this sweeping, inspiring novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers.

“A novel with the richness and power of a great contemporary fable, and a heroine for our time.”—Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, winner of... Read more »

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Actress

A Novel

By Anne Enright
Narrated by: Anne Enright
Length: 8 hours 3 minutes

Actress

“Author and narrator, Anne Enright, draws you in with her incredible voice and keeps you listening with her brilliant tale of an actress's life as seen through the eyes of her daughter. I found myself wanting to listen to this again as much for Enright's enchanting brogue as for her masterful storytelling.”

Wordsmith Bookshoppe image John, Wordsmith Bookshoppe
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How to Be an Antiracist

By Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by: Ibram X. Kendi
Length: 10 hours 43 minutes

How to Be an Antiracist

“Among the multi-faceted array of antiracist literature newly published in the last two years, Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be an Antiracist stands alone as a definitive source of history and socio-political critique, while offering a new paradigm of thought aimed at paving the way for correcting centuries of social injustice. Hearing this visionary and transformative work in Kendi’s own voice will no doubt bring it all straight into your heart, humanizing his ideas, and firmly setting you on your own path to doing the work of becoming an antiracist.”

Oblong Books image Noelle, Oblong Books
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The Library Book

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by: Susan Orlean
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

The Library Book

“There is no one better at investigating the fascinating stories hiding in plain sight than Susan Orlean. The vivid descriptions of the fire that engulfed the Los Angeles Central Library in 1986 are burnished by the meticulous research she did on the history of libraries and on the shocking event that resulted in the destruction and damage of over one million books. The mystery of who would start such a fire is woven between stories of eccentric librarians and the transformation of Los Angeles in the 20th century. From memories of the blissful hours spent in the library of her youth to the historical significance of these repositories of our past, Orlean has crafted a love letter to the importance of the written word and those who devote their lives to its preservation.”

Book Passage image Luisa Smith, Book Passage
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Inland

A Novel

By Téa Obreht 
Narrated by: Anna Chlumsky, Edoardo Ballerini & Euan Morton
Length: 13 hours 7 minutes

Inland

“Inland is a beautifully narrated by voices that are rarely heard in a story of the American west. Lurie, an immigrant from the middle east, and Nora, a pioneer wife struggling to survive, are both haunted by ghosts of their past. The dry arid desert provides a perfect backdrop for the events, relationships and challenges these two characters face. Obrect writes with dialogue present and past creating an almost dreamlike atmosphere in some places of the novel and nightmarish realism in others. This novel lays bare the struggles, relationships, personalities and conflicts that provided the foundation of the wild untamed west. This novel was epic, expansive, and completely nourishing of spirit.”

Avid Bookshop image Ellen, Avid Bookshop
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Beach Read

By Emily Henry
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hours 12 minutes

Beach Read

“What do you get when you cross a disillusioned romance author with a Hemingway wannabe? A compulsively readable book where you kind of hope for your train to be delayed so you can spend a few more minutes with January and Gus. These two, saddled with writer’s block, make a pact to write the other’s genre. Literary snobbery is (rightfully) called out, and the two begin to navigate a friendship outside of writing as they explore the other’s process. Reader, I loved it.”

Belmont Books image Audrey, Belmont Books
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Social Purpose Annual Report

Social Purpose Annual Report

As we look to the future as a Social Purpose Corporation, we’re committed to serving readers and independent bookstores. Read our 2020 Annual Report to see an overview of the year.

Read the Report

Deacon King Kong

A Novel

By James McBride
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
Length: 14 hours 5 minutes

Deacon King Kong

“It's been a while since I wanted to listen to an audiobook from the beginning right after I finished it. Deacon King Kong, narrated by Dominic Hoffman, is well-crafted storytelling with memorable characters and oddball humor that I just loved. It's also gritty and heartbreaking. What more can you ask of an engaging story when you are house-bound by a viral pandemic. Thank you, James McBride!”

Rediscovered Books image Becky, Rediscovered Books
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The Other Bennet Sister

A Novel

By Janice Hadlow
Narrated by: Carla Mendonça
Length: 18 hours 9 minutes

The Other Bennet Sister

“True to Austen and thoroughly enjoyable The Other Bennet Sister follows Mary, the middle sister of Jane Austen's infamous family. Mary is the bookish one of the family and not interested in the frivolous social nuances of the times. She is sensitive and smart and interested in history, the natural world, and (gasp) not whom she should marry! Will she follow her heart, or the outlandish expectations of her mother and society? This is a coming-of-age story of a forward-thinking woman learning to accept herself and her passion. Don’t miss this if you are an Austen fan. Mendonca is a wonderful narrator.”

Bookworm of Edwards image Karin, Bookworm of Edwards
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The Perfect Mother

A Novel

By Aimee Molloy
Narrated by: Cristin Milioti
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

The Perfect Mother

“Buckle up for a gripping read that had me up until 2:00 in the morning! Aimee Molloy taps into two of the deepest fears a mother can have: The ultimate fear of losing a child, and the secretive fear of losing her identity. As a new mother, this book spoke to me on every level. The insecurity, the worries, the panic, the judgment - you name it. Add a missing child, and all those feelings were multiplied by a thousand. Don't miss this captivating novel - it won't disappoint!”

Teresa Steele image Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books
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Sin Eater

A Novel

By Megan Campisi
Narrated by: Shiromi Arserio
Length: 9 hours

Sin Eater

“Part Elizabethan retelling, part dystopian fantasy, this is a story of finding the line between self preservation and sacrifice for the greater good, of claiming the power that hides in being powerless. A striking social commentary of both past and present, Sin Eater is sure to enrapture and unravel readers, as well as provoking a good deal of self reflection in the pursuit of supposed righteous morality. What does it mean to be free? Only you can choose that.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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Death in Her Hands

A Novel

By Ottessa Moshfegh
Narrated by: Ann Marie Lee
Length: 7 hours 50 minutes

Death in Her Hands

“Ottessa Moshfegh is a modern-day Camus. A woman finds a note in the woods that proclaims someone is dead. Murdered, in fact. She investigates between dog walks and early evening naps but soon facts, memories, and suppositions entwine and overlap until the simple act of asking a question can unravel the thread of an entire life. Ponderous, violent, forgetful, and deft, Death in Her Hands is a genre-bender that teases you into asking, Is this noir? Horror? A whacked-out farce? Or a sly literary trick? I’ll tell you what it is — absolutely brilliant.”

Chris Lee image Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company
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Hamnet

A novel

By Maggie O'Farrell
Narrated by: Ell Potter
Length: 12 hours 42 minutes

If you enjoyed Pope Joan, then you’ll love Hamnet.

“A wonderful imaginative tale of the family of one of England’s most famous writers – who is never named, but of course you know immediately who it is. O’Farrell has a beautiful style of language, with astute observations and lovely vivid descriptions and Daisy Donovan is the perfect narrator. At the core it is a story of shared grief and how each family member deals with loss but it is so much more – it captures Elizabethan times, all the sights, smells and nuances and the characters, especially Agnes and the twins are wonderful. Good if you liked Year of Wonders, Pope Joan or period pieces. Brilliant!”

Bookworm of Edwards image Karin, Bookworm of Edwards
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Tangerine

By Christine Mangan
Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik & Erin Mallon
Length: 9 hours 28 minutes

Tangerine

“Tangerine is a tightly woven psychological thriller set in 1950s Morocco. Are the characters, Alice and Lucy, best friends or lovers? Are they obsessed, depressed, or have either, or both, crossed the line into madness? I'm still trying to figure out the answers! Fans of Hitchcock will like this book. The two audio book readers were spot on for their parts which made listening to this book extra rich and fantastic!”

Content image Mryna, Content
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Tidelands

The Fairmile Series: Book #1

By Philippa Gregory
Narrated by: Louise Brealey
Length: 15 hours 29 minutes

Tidelands

“A lifelong fan of historical fiction, Tidelands captured the essence of the time period without the glamour of the palaces and opulence of the court. The relationships that Gregory portrays are deep, timid, wounded by society, yet infused with the hope of a happier life. You will fall in love with Alinor's fierce protection as a mother, dreamy essence as a lover, and refusal degraded as a woman. Tidelands surprised me at every turn and left me expectant for the next in the series.”

Buxton Books image Joanie, Buxton Books
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Things in Jars

A Novel

By Jess Kidd
Narrated by: Jacqueline Milne
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Things in Jars

“Set in Victorian England, Things in Jars feels like a Sherlock Holmes story, if Holmes had been a woman. You can’t help but love Bridie Devine, a strong-willed, chain-smoking woman who has clawed her way from life as an orphaned thief to a highly sought-after detective often consulted by Scotland Yard. Bridie’s newest case, though, is proving difficult and incredibly strange. Not only will it force her to confront someone from her past who she thought was dead, she’ll also team up with an actual ghost as she solves a fantastical crime. Highly imaginative, Things in Jars is a fun and immersive read.”

Bookmarks image Jamie Southern, Bookmarks
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Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda

The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

By F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, Jackson R. Bryer & Cathy W. Barks
Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain & Amy Landon
Length: 15 hours 15 minutes

Through his alcoholism and her mental illness, his career lows and her institutional confinement, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's devotion to each other endured for over twenty-two years. Now, for the first time, we have the story of their love in the couple's own letters. Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda consists of more than seventy-five percent... Read more »

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Just as I Am

A Memoir

By Cicely Tyson
Narrated by: Cicely Tyson, Viola Davis & Robin Miles
Length: 16 hours 8 minutes

“In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only exceeded as an actor, she has shaped the course of history.” –President Barack Obama, 2016 Presidential Medal of Honor ceremony

"Just As I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. Here, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been... Read more »

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Sylvia Plath

A Biography

By Linda Wagner-Martin
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 8 hours 36 minutes

Sylvia Plath is widely recognized as one of the outstanding poets of the twentieth century. When her Collected Poems was published it won the Pulitzer Prize. Her only published novel, The Bell Jar, has become a modern classic. Because Plath drew so heavily on her own life in both her poetry and her fiction, the outlines of her life are familiar... Read more »

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