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The 10 Best Books of 2018

The editors of The Times Book Review choose the best fiction and nonfiction titles this year.

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The Great Believers

By Rebecca Makkai
Narrated by: Michael Crouch
Length: 18 hours 16 minutes

The Great Believers

“This flawlessly written and lovingly told story weaves the immediate toll AIDS took on the Chicago gay community in the 80's with the longterm impact on survivors and their families. Makkai threads it all compellingly together with art world intrigue and institutional drama. I don't want to diminish it in any way with comparisons, but The Great Believers brought to my mind several of my favorite contemporary novels: A Little Life, Three Junes, and The Goldfinch. Rebecca Makkai, in my opinion, has launched herself into a whole new category of literary achievement with this, her third novel.”

The Vermont Book Shop image Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop
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Washington Black

A novel

By Esi Edugyan
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 12 hours 18 minutes

Washington Black

“Epic in scope, ranging from a brutal slave plantation in Barbados to scenes in the Arctic, antebellum America, and London, plus a thoughtful denouement in the Moroccan desert, Edugyan’s novel explores the complex relationship between slave and master, the hubris of good intentions, and the tense life of a runaway in constant flight with a Javert on his tail. What results is a compulsive page-turner blessed with effortless prose. Highly recommended.”

Matthew Lage image Matthew Lage, Iowa Book
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Asymmetry

A Novel

By Lisa Halliday
Narrated by: Candace Thaxton, Arthur Morey, Fiona Hardingham & Aden Hakimi
Length: 8 hours 2 minutes

A TIME and NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BOOK of the YEAR * New York Times Notable Book and Times Critic’s Top Book of 2018

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2018 BY * Elle * Bustle * Kirkus Reviews * Lit Hub* NPR * O, The Oprah Magazine * Shelf Awareness

The bestselling and critically acclaimed debut novel by Lisa Halliday, hailed as “extraordinary” by The... Read more »
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There There

A novel

By Tommy Orange
Narrated by: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo & Kyla Garcia
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

There There

“A stunning debut novel by an original voice. Twelve characters of Native American descent, interrelated by birth or chance, struggle with the competing forces of cultural history and modern urban existence. Their stories build separately before colliding powerfully in the book’s final pages at The Big Oakland Powwow. I was riveted.”

Parnassus Books image Keltie, Parnassus Books
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American Prison

A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment

By Shane Bauer
Narrated by: James Fouhey & Shane Bauer
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes

An enraging, necessary look at the private prison system, and a convincing clarion call for prison reform.” —NPR.org

New York Times Book Review
 10 Best Books of 2018 * One of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2018 * 
Winner of the 2019 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize * Winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism *...
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How to Change Your Mind

What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

By Michael Pollan
Narrated by: Michael Pollan
Length: 13 hours 34 minutes

How to Change Your Mind

“Pollan brings his humor, lyricism, and love for deep research to the admittedly taboo field of psychedelics. This book is an exhaustive exploration of these mysterious substances, in which he balances skepticism of the culture that surrounds them with optimism for their potential therapeutic use.”

Parnassus Books image Kevin, Parnassus Books
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Small Fry

By Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Narrated by: Eileen Stevens
Length: 12 hours

A frank, smart, and captivating memoir by the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents-artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs-Lisa Brennan-Jobs' childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she...

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Educated

A Memoir

By Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 9 minutes

Educated

“Raised by Mormon fundamentalists, mistrustful of the medical community while having never stepped foot in a classroom setting, Tara Westover's memoir, "Educated" is excruciatingly painful at times. From witnessing devastating destruction deep in the woods of Idaho to enduring an abusive bi-polar brother to becoming ostracized by her survivalist parents for her beliefs, Tara's tale of self-discovery will totally bring you to tears. Torrents of them. For fans of "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls and "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance, except much more dysfunctional, "Educated" will leave you thanking your lucky stars you weren't raised a Westover. Read by Julia Whelan, this audiobook is perfect for recent graduates, educators and everyone concerned about the state of our country. I highly recommend!”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
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Frederick Douglass

Prophet of Freedom

By David W. Blight
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
Length: 36 hours 56 minutes

**Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History**

“Extraordinary…a great American biography” (The New Yorker) of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.

As a young man Frederick Douglass... Read more »
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