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Robert Jones, Jr.'s Top Five Favorite Audiobooks

A list of five audiobooks that move me and help me feel immersed in the world being narrated.

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Sula

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 5 hours 46 minutes

Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio.

“Extravagantly beautiful. . . .  A howl of love and rage, playful and funny as well as hard and... Read more »

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Mama Day

By Gloria Naylor
Narrated by: Unknown
Length: 11 hours 52 minutes

Miranda Day, known as Mama Day, is the elderly matriarch of Willow Springs, a small sea island off the southeast coast of the United States. Mama Day finds herself pitted in mortal combat with dark forces that threaten the body and soul of her beloved great-niece, Cocoa, who has gone "mainside" and married an urban northerner. Mama Day will... Read more »

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Parable of the Sower

Earthseed: Book #1

By Octavia E. Butler
Narrated by: Lynne Thigpen
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes

Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Octavia E. Butler paints a stunning portrait of an all-too-believable near future. As with Kindred and her other critically-acclaimed novels, Parable of the Sower skillfully combines startling visionary and socially realistic concepts. God is change. That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose... Read more »

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Heavy

An American Memoir

By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“"I wanted to write a lie," Kiese Laymon says in the opening pages of his brutal, beautiful memoir, Heavy. The book is written in the second person, addressed to his mother, with whom Laymon shares a turbulent, intimate relationship. She feeds his mind with books, but critiques the way Laymon feeds his body as he struggles with his weight. She is his best friend, yet demands excellence through regular beatings. And yet, Laymon's complicated love for his mother is absolute. It is palpable in his voice as he reads the words he wrote for his mother, as he tells you his story of being a black boy, a black man, in Mississippi and America. This is a book that will knock you flat on your back. This is a book that will make you sob in the grocery store. Laymon had me captivated from the very first word he spoke. It was a privilege to listen.”

Square Books image Maggie, Square Books
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Go Tell It on the Mountain

By James Baldwin
Narrated by: Adam Lazarre-White
Length: 8 hours 44 minutes

James Baldwin’s stunning first novel is now an American classic. With startling realism that brings Harlem and the black experience vividly to life, this is a work that touches the heart with emotion while it stimulates the mind with its narrative style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism in America. Moving through time from the rural... Read more »

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