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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:

$38.50 USD

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Washington Black

A novel
By Esi Edugyan
Narrated by Dion Graham /  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
Price:

$31.50 USD

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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 »

Price:

$20.69 USD

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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

“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
Price:

$24.50 USD

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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

One of President Barack Obama’s favorite 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... Read More »

Price:

$28.00 USD

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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

If you enjoyed A Really Good Day, then you’ll love How to Change Your Mind.

“Take an over-medicated, moody, middle-aged mother of four, add a month of experimental microdosing with LSD and it makes for A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman. This mesmerizing memoir of mental exploration tackles the taboo topic of drug use in our society, the frightening rise of prescription pills and the devastating addictions developing during the War on Drugs. A rollicking ride through the realm of self-realization, Waldman’s creative quest for sanity is painfully honest, hysterically funny and deeply human. I loved it!”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
Price:

$31.50 USD

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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 »

Price:

$26.39 USD

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Educated

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

Educated

“This memoir is unlike anything I've ever read, yet I fear that there are others who were raised in circumstances like Tara Westover. Westover documents her childhood devoid of education beyond the family's radical, extreme, doomsday religion with chilling detail as if investigating herself as a case study will help explain how she escaped. Highly recommend.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
Price:

$31.50 USD

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Frederick Douglass

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

Named one of the best books of 2018 by The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and Smithsonian Magazine.​

“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... Read More »

Price:

$45.99 USD

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