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Powell's Staff Picks

From fiction to nonfiction, from adult titles to kids' picks, from hot new releases to under-the-radar gems, these are the books we're talking about now at Powell's Books.

Lincoln in the Bardo

A Novel
By George Saunders
Narrated by Various, George Saunders, Nick Offerman & David Sedaris /  7 hours 24 minutes

Lincoln in the Bardo

“Saunders' first novel has a steep entry curve. It's not a novel that reveals itself quickly and easily, but if you give it your attention, if you burrow deep into the book, you'll be eminently rewarded. There is a richness and depth of humanity here. There is the strange and wonderful. There is love and grief and mystery all brought together in the story of Abraham Lincoln's dead son, the Civil War, and what may happen to us all after we leave the mortal coil. It's a beautiful and moving book that will stay with you for a long, long while.”

University Book Store image Jason Vanhee, University Book Store
Price:

$21.00

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The Soul of an Octopus

A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
By Sy Montgomery
Narrated by Sy Montgomery /  9 hours 10 minutes

In this astonishing book from the author of the best selling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. Read More »

Price:

$28.74

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Norse Mythology

By Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Neil Gaiman /  6 hours 29 minutes

Introducing an instant classic--master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse... Read More »

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$24.14

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Hillbilly Elegy

A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
By J. D. Vance
Narrated by J. D. Vance /  6 hours 49 minutes

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a... Read More »

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$25.29

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Commonwealth

By Ann Patchett
Narrated by Hope Davis /  10 hours 33 minutes

Commonwealth

“Patchett leaves behind the exotic locales and intricate plots of State of Wonder and Bel Canto for an even darker and more difficult place to navigate -- the interior of a blended family over the course of several decades. While more domestic than many of her previous novels, Commonwealth offers plenty of intrigue and surprises as Patchett explores the interaction of a group of children forced into each other's lives because of their parents' impulsive choices. With keen insight, tears of both sorrow and joy, and some real -- if dark -- humor, Patchett pulls readers into this complex family's world, and we are eager for every detail.”

Arcadia Books image John Christensen, Arcadia Books
Price:

$31.04

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Hidden Figures

The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
By Margot Lee Shetterly
Narrated by Robin Miles /  10 hours 47 minutes

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the... Read More »

Price:

$31.04

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Moonglow

A Novel
By Michael Chabon
Narrated by George Newbern /  14 hours 41 minutes

Moonglow

“The intersection of world history and family history, the interplay of memory and imagination, a tangle of humor and grief, and the blurred and shifting line that separates sanity and madness all come into play in this stunning book. In the months before his death, Chabon's grandfather revealed much of his life to his grandson. On that foundation, Chabon has built a novel filled with family stories, World War II episodes -- including an appearance by Wernher von Braun -- an obsession with rocketry, and a vividly realized, against-all-odds love story. While all the characters are richly developed, the narrator's grandfather -- the brave, eccentric, anger-fueled, and deeply loving center of this novel -- will remain with readers forever.”

The River's End Bookstore image Banna Rubinow, The River's End Bookstore
Price:

$34.49

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Homegoing

A novel
By Yaa Gyasi
Narrated by Dominic Hoffman /  13 hours 10 minutes

Homegoing

“Homegoing is an epic narrative that is sure to become a treasured staple. Two sisters in Ghana are marked by fiery tragedy: one is married off to an English slave trader, and the other is sold to be a slave in America. The story follows their descendants generation by generation. Homegoing will break your heart over and over, impress you with the resilience of the human spirit and the amazing power of forgiveness, and leave you optimistic and in awe.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$27.00

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The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club)

A Novel
By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by Bahni Turpin /  10 hours 43 minutes

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially... Read More »

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$24.00

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The Mothers

A Novel
By Brit Bennett
Narrated by Adenrele Ojo /  9 hours 54 minutes

The Mothers

“The 'mothers' of this book's title refers to the gaggle of elderly churchgoing women who comment on the congregation around them, especially the trio of Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey. But The Mothers is about more than that -- it refers to the concept of motherhood, whether biological, lost, aborted, adoptive, or conflicted. The three young people at the heart of this story are all flawed, but their portrayals are realistic and they are easy for readers to support. This is a book about salvation -- not the spiritual salvation that the gossiping, but well-intentioned mothers seek, but the kind that comes with self-acceptance and growth. The Mothers is an honest, modern, and triumphant book.”

Women & Children First image Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First
Price:

$24.00

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Milk and Honey

By Rupi Kaur
Narrated by Rupi Kaur /  1 hour 6 minutes

Now on audio! Rupi Kaur reads milk and honey, her New York Times bestselling collection of poetry and prose about survival, the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey... Read More »

Price:

$11.49

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Born to Run

By Bruce Springsteen
Narrated by Bruce Springsteen /  18 hours 12 minutes

Winner of the 2018 Audie Award for Best Autobiography

2018 GRAMMY AWARD NOMINEE for BEST SPOKEN WORD or NON-MUSICAL ALBUM

“Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to... Read More »

Price:

$34.49

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Scrappy Little Nobody

By Anna Kendrick
Narrated by Anna Kendrick /  6 hours

Scrappy Little Nobody

“Scrappy Little Nobody is less outsider-looking-in as it is insider-looking-out. Kendrick's anecdotes, experiences, and her initiation as a working youth breaking into Hollywood reflect her social awkwardness and self-deprecation as the product of a blue-collar family and a dogged work ethic. Humble and hilarious, Kendrick's lack of the knack for celebrity life allows for an unapologetic 'so-it-goes,' bluntness that makes her book relatable and heartwarmingly familiar. Never too funny to not be serious and never too serious to not be personable, Scrappy Little Nobody is filled with genuine thoughtfulness, a life's worth of intelligence, and Kendrick's impossible charm.”

Rediscovered Books image Nolan Fellows, Rediscovered Books
Price:

$20.69

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Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by Ta-Nehisi Coates /  3 hours 35 minutes

Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS...
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$21.00

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M Train

By Patti Smith
Narrated by Patti Smith /  6 hours 31 minutes

National Best Seller

From the National Book Award–winning author of Just Kids: an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as “a roadmap to my life.”

M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes... Read More »

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$21.00

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The Girls

A Novel
By Emma Cline
Narrated by Cady McClain /  9 hours 44 minutes

The Girls

“Evie Boyd is a lonely 14-year-old adjusting to her parents' recent divorce and an emotional break with her childhood best friend. She encounters a wild and enchanting group of girls and is immediately drawn into their world of reckless abandon. Seduced by their thrilling, cult-like family hidden in the California hills, Evie finds herself pulled into events that will lead to unspeakable violence. Cline's captivating prose strips bare the deep desires and vulnerability of teenage Evie as she struggles for acceptance. The Girls is an enthralling and haunting novel that will linger with readers long after the last page.”

Tarah Jennings image Tarah Jennings, Mitzi's Main Street Books
Price:

$24.00

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All the Light We Cannot See

A Novel
By Anthony Doerr
Narrated by Zach Appelman /  16 hours 2 minutes

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris... Read More »

Price:

$27.59

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My Name Is Lucy Barton

A Novel
By Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by Kimberly Farr /  4 hours 11 minutes

My Name Is Lucy Barton

“Strout has the incredible ability to take ordinary, even mundane situations and use them to make acute observations on the human condition. A mother's visit to her daughter in the hospital becomes the vehicle for an astute examination of daily needs, desires, yearnings, wishes, and dreams that become so much of the remembered experience. Using spare, precise, but beautiful language, she has produced another masterpiece in a growing list of impressive work.”

Square Books image Bill Cusumano, Square Books
Price:

$18.00

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4 3 2 1

A Novel
By Paul Auster
Narrated by Paul Auster /  36 hours 53 minutes

4 3 2 1

“I celebrate whenever there's something new by Paul Auster. I wasn't prepared, though, for just how moved, awed, and astonished I found myself while immersed in his inventive and grand novel 4 3 2 1. About a life lived fully, about possibility in love and finding a path to take that's the right one, this is a large novel in all respects, but, most importantly, in spirit. In its writing, Paul Auster has created nothing short of a masterpiece.”

Books & Books image Mitchell Kaplan, Books & Books
Price:

$57.49

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Furiously Happy

A Funny Book About Horrible Things
By Jenny Lawson
Narrated by Jenny Lawson /  8 hours 19 minutes

In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.

But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

As Jenny says:

"Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an... Read More »

Price:

$22.99

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