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Books Set in Boston

The best books to listen to while visiting Boston and exploring its streets. Reading the City suggests some great audiobooks for your next trip.

Playlist Tags: mood: wanderlust topic: boston topic: new england

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The Bell Jar

By Sylvia Plath
Narrated by: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Length: 7 hours 24 minutes

The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath’s shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel of a woman falling into the grips of insanity, now available in an Olive Edition—a lower-priced small format edition with a hip and beautiful package design. A haunting American classic, The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant,... Read more »

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By Ann Patchett
Narrated by: Peter Francis James
Length: 9 hours 19 minutes

It’s a winter evening in Boston and the temperature has drastically dropped as a blizzard approaches the city. On this fateful night, Bernard Doyle plans to meet his two adopted sons, Tip the older, and more serious and Teddy, the affectionate dreamer, at a Harvard auditorium to hear a speech given by Jesse Jackson. Doyle, an Irish Catholic and... Read more »

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Gone, Baby, Gone

A Novel
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series: Book #4

By Dennis Lehane
Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
Length: 13 hours 35 minutes

“Powerful and raw, harrowing, and unsentimental.”

—Washington Post Book World


“Chilling, completely credible….[An] absolutely gripping story.”

—Chicago Tribune


“Mr. Lehane delivers big time.”
—Wall Street Journal


In Gone, Baby, Gone, the master of the new noir, New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island),... Read more »

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Love Story

By Erich Segal
Narrated by: Erich Segal
Length: 2 hours 28 minutes

“Funny, touching and infused with wonder, as all love stories should be.”—San Francisco Examiner

The iconic tale of love and loss that has touched the hearts of millions, Love Story has become one of the most adored novels of our time. It has sold more than twenty-one million copies worldwide and became a blockbuster film starring Ryan O'Neal and... Read more »

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Make Way for Ducklings

By Robert McCloskey
Narrated by: Melba Sibrel
Length: 10 minutes

Mrs. Mallard was sure that the pond in the Boston Public Gardens would be a perfect place for her and her eight ducklings to live.  The problem was how to get them there through the busy streets of Boston.  But with a little help from the Boston police, Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack arive safely at their new... Read more »

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The Sinner

A Rizzoli & Isles Novel
Rizzoli & Isles: Book #3

By Tess Gerritsen
Narrated by: Anna Fields
Length: 9 hours 6 minutes

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Surgeon and The Apprentice comes a chilling new novel of suspense featuring Boston medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles, on the deadly trail of an anonymous madman who’s committed an unholy crime.

Not even the icy temperatures of a typical New England winter can match the bone-chilling scene of... Read more »

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The Namesake

By Jhumpa Lahiri
Narrated by: Sarita Choudhury
Length: 10 hours 8 minutes

The Namesake follows the Ganguli family through its journey from Calcutta to Cambridge to the Boston suburbs. Ashima and Ashoke Ganguli arrive in America at the end of the 1960s, shortly after their arranged marriage in Calcutta, in order for Ashoke to finish his engineering degree at MIT. Ashoke is forward-thinking, ready to enter into... Read more »

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Unaccustomed Earth


By Jhumpa Lahiri
Narrated by: Sarita Choudhury & Ajay Naidu
Length: TBA

From the internationally bestselling, Pulitzer Prize—winning author, a superbly crafted new work of fiction: eight stories that take us from Cambridge and Seattle to India and Thailand.
In the stunning title story, Ruma, a young mother in a new city, is visited by her father, who carefully tends the earth of her garden, where he and his... Read more »

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On Beauty

By Zadie Smith
Narrated by: Peter Francis James
Length: 18 hours 46 minutes

In this loose retelling of Howard's End, Zadie Smith considers the big questions: 

Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful?

Set in New England mainly and London partly, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families—the Belseys and the Kippses—and a clutch of doomed... Read more »

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The Boston Girl

A Novel

By Anita Diamant
Narrated by: Linda Lavin
Length: 7 hours 38 minutes

2016 Audie Award Finalist for Best Female Narrator

New York Times bestseller!

An unforgettable novel about a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century, told “with humor and optimism…through the eyes of an irresistible heroine” (People)—from the acclaimed author of The Red Tent.

Anita Diamant’s “vivid, affectionate... Read more »

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle

A Novel

By George V. Higgins & Dennis Lehane
Narrated by: Mark Hammer
Length: 5 hours 39 minutes

George V. Higgins, the internationally-acclaimed grand master of crime fiction, returns to thrill listeners with this riveting tale of cops, robbers, and big city low life. An expertly crafted story of loyalty and betrayal, it is peppered with wonderfully authentic dialogue and seedy black market atmosphere. Eddie Coyle is a small-time gun... Read more »

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What I Talk about When I Talk about Running

A Memoir

By Haruki Murakami & Philip Gabriel
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Length: 4 hours 23 minutes

From the bestselling author of Kafka on the Shore comes this rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running and the integral impact both have made on his life. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers Murakami's four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. Settings range from... Read more »

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Interpreter of Maladies

By Jhumpa Lahiri
Narrated by: Matilda Novak
Length: 6 hours 15 minutes

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Navigating between the Indian traditions they've inherited and the baffling new world, the characters in Jhumpa Lahiri's elegant, touching stories seek love beyond the barriers of cultures and generations. In A Temporary Matter, published in the New Yorker, a young Indian-American couple faces the heartbreak of a... Read more »

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Infinite Jest

Part I With a Foreword by Dave Eggers

By David Foster Wallace
Narrated by: Sean Pratt
Length: 55 hours 9 minutes

A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how... Read more »

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A Novel

By Danzy Senna
Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 14 hours 48 minutes

Danzy Senna's Caucasia is now available for the first time in audio!

Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother, intellectuals and activists in the Civil Rights Movement in 1970s Boston. The sisters are so close that they speak their own language, yet Birdie, with her light skin and straight hair, is often mistaken for... Read more »

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Walden, and Civil Disobedience

By Henry David Thoreau
Narrated by: Rupert Degas
Length: 11 hours 41 minutes

In 1845 Henry David Thoreau, one of the principal New England Transcendentalists, left the small town of Concord for the country. Beside the lake of Walden he built himself a log cabin and returned to nature, to observe and reflect – while surviving on eight dollars a year. From this experience emerged Walden, one of the great classics of... Read more »

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