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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.

The Great Believers

By Rebecca Makkai
Narrated by Michael Crouch /  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
Price:

$33.00

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Washington Black

A novel
By Esi Edugyan
Narrated by Dion Graham /  12 hours 18 minutes

Washington Black

“From sweltering Barbados to London streets, Arctic ice to Moroccan heat, skies above to depths below, fear to love and back again, again, again. Esi Edugyan’s epic new historical novel follows the young Washington Black from the unrelenting brutality of slavery to the edges of the world as he searches for freedom, finding the complexities of the world, of the heart, and of humanity. A journey that vividly lingers long after turning the last page.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jocelyn, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$27.00

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Asymmetry

A Novel
By Lisa Halliday
Narrated by Candace Thaxton, Arthur Morey, Fiona Hardingham & Aden Hakimi /  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

“Asymmetry is extraordinary...Halliday has written, somehow all at once, a transgressive roman a... Read More »

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$20.69

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There There

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

There There

“There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read.”

Changing Hands image Heather Weldon, Changing Hands
Price:

$21.00

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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 /  10 hours 24 minutes

New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018

A New York Times Notable Book

A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country's history.


In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in... Read More »

Price:

$24.00

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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 /  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
Price:

$22.50

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Small Fry

A Memoir
By Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Narrated by Eileen Stevens /  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... Read More »

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$26.39

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Educated

A Memoir
By Tara Westover
Narrated by Julia Whelan /  12 hours 9 minutes

Educated

“Tara Westover is barely 30; could she really write a necessary and timely memoir already? Absolutely. Raised largely 'off the grid' in rural Idaho - without school, doctor visits, a birth certificate, or even a family consensus on the date of her birth - Tara nevertheless decides she wants to go to college. This is a story in two parts: First, Tara's childhood working in a dangerous scrapyard alongside her six siblings, her survivalist father, and her mother, a conflicted but talented midwife and healer, while fearing Y2K and the influence of the secular world; then, her departure from her mountain home to receive an education. Both halves of her story are equally fascinating. Educated is a testament to Tara's brilliance and tenacity, a bittersweet rendering of how family relationships can be cruel or life-saving, and a truly great read from the first page to the last.”

East City Bookshop image Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop
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$27.00

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Frederick Douglass

Prophet of Freedom
By David W. Blight
Narrated by Prentice Onayemi /  36 hours 56 minutes

A NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, and TIME TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR

The definitive, dramatic biography 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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$45.99

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