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Reading is Magical's Favorite Audiobooks of 2019

I listened to a LOT of audiobooks this year and these were my top eleven of 2019! (I couldn't narrow it down to just ten)

With the Fire on High

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo /  7 hours 26 minutes

With the Fire on High

“I finished listening to this entire book in one night. It is so real and tender and fierce all at the same time. A teen mother struggling to be a good mom, a good kid, and make her own dreams come true at the same time. This book shows us how a seemingly dysfunctional family can conquer anything that is thrown at them to live happy lives.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Amy, Bright Side Bookshop
Price:

$24.14 USD

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The Ensemble

A Novel
By Aja Gabel
Narrated by Rebecca Lowman /  11 hours 36 minutes

The Ensemble

“My goodness, I love the quartet of flawed and wonderful characters Aja Gabel brings to life. I felt the heartbreak and triumph each time the ensemble performed. The Ensemble captures everything from the relentless rehearsals to the particular hand injuries musicians worry over to the conflict within the group. Henry, Daniel, Jana, and Britt are each characters unto themselves, but together they create a fifth character: the quartet itself. An inventive novel about the lives of musicians and the world they inhabit, full of tension, ambition, confusion, and loyalty. The Ensemble is a remarkable achievement.”

Watermark Books image Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Frankly in Love

By David Yoon
Narrated by Raymond J. Lee /  10 hours 10 minutes

Frankly in Love

“Frankly in Love is a breathtaking, sit-on-the-floor-sobbing, smile-till-your-face-hurts whirlwind of a novel. David Yoon’s writing is extraordinary: carefree and playful, yet deep and resonating. Embedded throughout are gems that encapsulate the humanity of being young, being in love, and discovering who you are and who you aren’t. Not only is this a compelling and engrossing story of love and growing up, it powerfully hits many notes regarding race, family, and biases. I know this will be a book that will continue to resonate with me for a long time, and I can’t wait to share it so that it will stick in other readers’ hearts, too.””

Belmont Books image Tildy, Belmont Books
Price:

$35.00 USD

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The Boys in the Boat

Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
By Daniel James Brown
Narrated by Edward Herrmann /  14 hours 24 minutes

The Boys in the Boat

“Determined to beat the odds, nine working-class boys from the University of Washington's rowing team overcome a depressive beginning to defeat the world at Hitler's 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Underdogs from day one, fighting poverty and privilege along the way, this crew shocks all with their unbelievable come-from-behind effort to become gold medalists. Filled with details of a post-Depression and a pre-WWII era, this is the inspiring tale of a team winning the hearts of a nation while achieving their lifelong dream. Read by Edward Herrman, "The Boys in the Boat" is a must-listen for all non-fiction fans.”

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

$33.60 USD

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The Fifth Season

The Broken Earth: Book #1
By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by Robin Miles /  15 hours 27 minutes

The Fifth Season

“The Fifth Season is an amazing, dark, and gripping work that will hook you from the first sentence. I cannot express to you how much this book stunned me. Robin's narration is well paced and engaging. While I wish this was a book for everyone to listen to, it isn't; destruction, trauma, and rage follow the women and girls who tell their stories. This book is about the end of the world, that you actually don't want to stop reading.”

Once Upon A Time image Jessica, Once Upon A Time
Price:

$28.73 USD

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Heavy

An American Memoir
By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by Kiese Laymon /  6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“Telling the truth has always been a radical and political act, but Kiese Laymon writes in Heavy with a rare, vulnerable unity of personal urgency and political clarity. This is a story about how our country’s lies and thefts weigh heavily on the hearts and souls of its black mothers and sons. About how dishonesty about white supremacy, money, sex, and violence threads through our most intimate relationships and causes us to become strangers to ourselves. If Heavy is about lies, it is also fundamentally about the redemptive power of truth, stories, language, and joy. If there’s a way out of the loneliness of being human in a country that does not value or support humanity, Laymon suggests, it is in the connection we find in the words we toss to one another, like lifelines, like laughter.”

Charis Books & More image E.R. Anderson, Charis Books & More
Price:

$20.69 USD

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How We Fight For Our Lives

By Saeed Jones
Narrated by Saeed Jones /  5 hours 34 minutes

How We Fight For Our Lives

“Saeed doesn't hold back any details, and his chapters often read like biographical poetry. This book is a window into a different life, and a different soul. It also makes a great listen.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Amy, Bright Side Bookshop
Price:

$20.69 USD

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Hollow Kingdom

By Kira Jane Buxton
Narrated by Robert Petkoff /  10 hours 10 minutes

Hollow Kingdom

“This is the zombie apocalypse like you’ve never seen it before! Things go sideways when S.T. the crow’s human, Big Jim, loses an eyeball. Jim’s worsening condition propels S.T. to leave the safety of domestic life, along with the simple, slobbering bloodhound, Dennis. Together they roam the ruins of Seattle, searching for purpose in this new, Cheeto-less world. While Hollow Kingdom mostly follows the foul-mouthed, human-loving crow, Buxton also takes the occasional detour to see how other animals are coping around the world. Not only is our corvid companion a profane delight, she also manages to effortlessly capture the aloof arrogance of a cat, the wise cadence of an elephant, and even the eternal serenity of trees. Hilarious and at times surprisingly poignant, Hollow Kingdom is a must-read for anyone with a sense of humor as black as a crow’s wing.”

Mysterious Galaxy Books image Darcy, Mysterious Galaxy Books
Price:

$29.88 USD

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A Duke by Default

Reluctant Royals
By Alyssa Cole
Narrated by Karen Chilton /  12 hours 25 minutes

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and-most importantly-herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she's capable of. And it turns out that she excels at aggravating her gruff silver-fox boss...when... Read More »

Price:

$24.99 USD

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City of Girls

A Novel
By Elizabeth Gilbert
Narrated by Blair Brown /  15 hours 7 minutes

City of Girls

“City of Girls is the perfect read when you're looking for something that's not too heavy, yet engaging and entertaining. I loved the motley crew of perfectly flawed characters, unapologetic in their vices and dramas. And how refreshing it was to read about women, especially 1940s women, who were open in their sexuality and, dare I say, actually enjoyed sex! With multiple partners! How scandalous! Elizabeth Gilbert (who is a ray of sunshine in real life) has created something unique and heartwarming with her third fictional title. And if you're like me who finds audio fiction really hit or miss depending on the narrator, you'll be happy the hear that Blair Brown does a beautiful job of it.”

Powell's Books image Michelle, Powell's Books
Price:

$35.00 USD

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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

A Novel
By Ocean Vuong
Narrated by Ocean Vuong /  7 hours 18 minutes

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

“Alright 2019, this is the novel to beat. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is the rare novel that makes you experience reading in a slightly different way and shows you that, no matter how many books you’ve read, something new and uniquely beautiful can still be found. The novel takes the form of a letter written by the main character, Little Dog, to his mother — an immigrant from Vietnam who cannot read. The power of Vuong’s poetic writing shimmers with every paragraph, and each phrase is a carefully considered, emotional journey. Grappling with themes of identity, sexuality, addiction, violence, and finding your place in a world where you feel you don’t belong, this book already feels like a modern classic, destined to be read and talked about for years to come.”

Bookmarks image Caleb Masters, Bookmarks
Price:

$24.50 USD

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These Audiobooks Give 100% of Proceeds to Local Bookstores Browse Now