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Reading Women Award 2018

The fiction and nonfiction shortlist for the 2018 Reading Women Award!

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Educated

A Memoir

By Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 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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I Am, I Am, I Am

Seventeen Brushes with Death

By Maggie O'Farrell
Narrated by: Daisy Donovan
Length: 5 hours 54 minutes

I Am, I Am, I Am

“Maggie O'Farrell's memoir left me breathless and heart-sore. There were times I literally had a fist to my own heart in sympathy. The encounters told according to each limb or organ is a genius device; it is as though each distinct part of her body had its own voice and wanted my sole attention. Even the spaces of years between each event were full of meaning and nuance. This is one of the most mesmerizing memoirs I have ever read. The breadth and scope of Maggie's 17 brushes with death left me gasping for air, and her strong voice is indelible: There is no victim here, and life is to be treasured but not treated too delicately.”

Northshire Bookstore image Maeve Noonan, Northshire Bookstore
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Monsoon Mansion

A Memoir

By Cinelle Barnes
Narrated by: Cinelle Barnes
Length: 9 hours 1 minutes

Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world, Monsoon Mansion is a harrowing yet triumphant coming-of-age memoir exploring the dark, troubled waters of a family’s rise and fall from grace in the Philippines. It would take a young warrior to survive it.

Cinelle Barnes was barely... Read more »

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All You Can Ever Know

A Memoir

By Nicole Chung
Narrated by: Janet Song
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

All You Can Ever Know

“Nicole Chung’s memoir is a moving account of a young woman’s gradually evolving understanding of family and of herself as she uncovers the truth about the circumstances behind her adoption. Refusing the false dichotomy of adoption as inherently positive or negative, she reminds us that adoption is a fact and that it’s always complicated. This is an extraordinary account, told with candor and empathy. Though the transracial adoption of Asian Americans into white families and communities is common, few books have been written from the perspective of the adoptee. Chung has much to teach us, and readers approaching this book with a heart as open as hers will find much to nourish them here.”

The Elliott Bay Book Company image Karen Maeda Allman , The Elliott Bay Book Company
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Heart Berries

A Memoir

By Terese Marie Mailhot, Sherman Alexie & Joan Naviyuk Kane
Narrated by: Rainy Fields
Length: 3 hours 45 minutes

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a... Read more »

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Old in Art School

A Memoir of Starting Over

By Nell Painter
Narrated by: Nell Painter
Length: 11 hours

Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school―in her sixties―to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. In Old in Art School, she travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves,... Read more »

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A Place for Us

A Novel

By Fatima Farheen Mirza
Narrated by: Deepti Gupta & Sunil Malhotra
Length: 16 hours 38 minutes

A Place for Us

“Mirza evokes with equal skill and nuance the first- and second-generation immigrant experience and the universal themes of family unity and discord. In A Place for Us, she captures the complicated dynamics of one family’s relationships with each other with astonishing insight. I found it tremendously moving in a way that only the most authentic stories and voices can be. The last 70 pages buckled my knees. How can a story about characters so outside my own life experience be so hauntingly familiar?  ”

Northshire Bookstore image Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore
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If You Leave Me

A Novel

By Crystal Hana Kim
Narrated by: Greta Jung & Keong Sim
Length: 12 hours 3 minutes

If You Leave Me

“Set in the time of North Korea's invasion of the south, Haemi Lee, a 16-year-old girl is forced to be the pillar of support for her mother and brother. The one thing she finds happiness in is her friendship with Kyunghwan. This novel captures the essence of how seemingly simple decisions can mold the trajectory of not only our existence, but the generations after us. This novel is not only epic in scope, but relentless in its grip on your heart.”

East City Bookshop image Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop
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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

Everyone Knows You Go Home

By Natalia Sylvester
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 10 hours 37 minutes

Everyone Knows You Go Home is prescient, tackling issues of family division, the arduous journey of crossing from one country into the next, and the sacrifices we make in exchange for a better future.” —Houston Chronicle

The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he’s already dead—an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day.... Read more »

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Fruit of the Drunken Tree

A Novel

By Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Narrated by: Marisol Ramirez, Almarie Guerra & Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes

Fruit of the Drunken Tree

Fruit of the Drunken Tree made me cry at the airport. I was impressed by the small kingdom of women Contreras builds, with violence always threatening to creep in, all seen through the eyes of Chula, the youngest daughter. Contreras made her perspective believably cloistered while masterfully writing all the people around Chula in ways that made them feel real. Also masterful was the way Contreras used Petrona’s narrative throughout and the restraint she showed in dipping into her thoughts; she always left me wanting more. What Contreras chooses not to write has as big an effect as what she does. This novel is a dynamic exploration of what is known and, sometimes willfully, what is left unknown.”

Literati Bookstore image Lillian Li, Literati Bookstore
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All the Names They Used for God

Stories

By Anjali Sachdeva
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Zainab Jah, Will Damron, Jorjeana Marie & MacLeod Andrews
Length: 7 hours 16 minutes

For fans of Dave Eggers and Kelly Link, an exhilarating collection of stories that explores the mysterious, often dangerous forces that shape our lives—from censorship and terrorism to technology and online dating.

Spanning centuries, continents, and a diverse set of characters, these alluringly strange stories are united by each character’s... Read more »

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