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Shelf Awareness 2017 Best Books of the Year
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Shelf Awareness 2017 Best Books of the Year

You'd think it would be difficult to narrow down the year's best books. And it was. We promise, though, that no Shelf Awareness staffers were injured in the making of this list, so enjoy! Shelf Awareness picks for Best Books of the Year include both Fiction and Non-Fiction audiobooks in no particular order.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

A Novel

By: Balli Kaur Jaswal
Narrated by: Meera Syal
Length: 10 hours 34 minutes

“Full of fun and Drama! The women in Erotic Stories for Punjabi Women shake up their community with their racy story writing - and solve a mystery! This book is full of surprises. I loved it. A delight! The narration of the audiobook was well done and greatly added to the story. Read more

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A Really Big Lunch

By: Jim Harrison
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Length: 8 hours 47 minutes

Jim Harrison’s legendary gourmandise is on full display in A Really Big Lunch. From the titular New Yorker piece about a French lunch that went to thirty-seven courses to pieces from Brick, Playboy, Kermit Lynch’s newsletter, and others, from the relationship between hunter and prey to the obscure language of wine reviews, A Really Big Lunch is... Read more

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Exit West

A Novel

By: Mohsin Hamid
Narrated by: Mohsin Hamid
Length: 4 hours 41 minutes

“Exit West will take your breath away as it magically weaves together a story of falling in love while the world falls apart. Spirited Nadia captures the heart of the thoughtful Saeed, but as their different paths in life converge, ordinary life gives way to the insults of war. Mohsin Hamid conveys the story of these young refugees with... Read more

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Ghost of the Innocent Man

A True Story of Trial and Redemption

By: Benjamin Rachlin
Narrated by: Ron Butler
Length: 12 hours 34 minutes

A gripping account of one man's long road to freedom that will forever change how we understand our criminal justice system.

During the last three decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of... Read more

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Sour Heart

Stories

By: Jenny Zhang
Narrated by: Greta Jung, Jenny Zhang, Kim Mai Guest, Nancy Wu, Emily Woo Zeller & Samantha Quan
Length: 9 hours 59 minutes

A sly debut story collection that conjures the experience of adolescence through the eyes of Chinese American girls growing up in New York City—for readers of Zadie Smith, Helen Oyeyemi, and Junot Díaz

A fresh new voice emerges with the arrival of Sour Heart, establishing Jenny Zhang as a frank and subversive interpreter of the immigrant... Read more

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Give a Girl a Knife

A Memoir

By: Amy Thielen
Narrated by: Amy Thielen
Length: 10 hours 9 minutes

A beautifully written food memoir chronicling one woman’s journey from her rural Midwestern hometown to the intoxicating world of New York City fine dining—and back again—in search of her culinary roots
 
Before Amy Thielen frantically plated rings of truffled potatoes in some of New York City’s finest kitchens—for chefs David Bouley, Daniel... Read more

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Hunger

A Memoir of (My) Body

By: Roxane Gay
Narrated by: Roxane Gay
Length: 5 hours 57 minutes

“Man oh man. Roxane Gay never fails to disappoint, even if she might disagree. This is a powerful, raw memoir, narrated by the author. Her truth is so relatable, and even when it’s not, Gay’s writing is empathetic. This audiobook was so engrossing, I actively looked for excuses to step away from what I was doing and listen to it. I highly... Read more

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Stay with Me

A novel

By: Ayobami Adebayo
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

A New York Times Notable Book
The New York Times’ Critics’ Top Books of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by San Francisco Chronicle, National Public Radio, The Economist, Buzzfeed, Paste Magazine, Southern Living, HelloGiggles, and Shelf Awareness
Huffington Post’s Best Feminist Books of the Year
The New York Post’s Most Thrilling and...
Read more

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Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

By: David Grann
Narrated by: Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee & Danny Campbell
Length: 9 hours 4 minutes

“The Osage Indians were the wealthiest people per capita in the 1920s - they were also getting murdered in diabolical schemes. This story touches on a range of topics, it is a lament for the mistreatment of the Native Americans, a sinister domestic thriller, a perplexing mystery set in the untamed west, a testament to a dying breed of wily... Read more

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The Bear and the Nightingale

A Novel

Winternight Trilogy: Book #1

By: Katherine Arden
Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
Length: 11 hours 47 minutes

“These two books have a very similar feel! I will often hear that one reminded someone of the other, and both are fantastic worlds with strong female leads. Read more

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No One Cares About Crazy People

The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America

By: Ron Powers
Narrated by: Ron Powers
Length: 14 hours 49 minutes

“In "No One Cares About Crazy People," Ron Powers explores the insidious treatment of the mentally ill throughout history and the social injustice perpetrated against their desperate families. Stigmatized by societies indifference towards the insane, Powers personal account of son Kevin’s slow descent into schizophrenia showcases the incredibly... Read more

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The Marsh King's Daughter

By: Karen Dionne
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Length: 9 hours 54 minutes

“After a childhood in the wilds of Northern Michigan, where her rugged, brutal father was the center of her world, Helena has made a new life with a family who doesn't know her past. Now she and her father are hunting each other and Helena must use all the skills he taught her to survive. Fascinating, dark, and disturbing, The Marsh King's... Read more

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The Year of the Comet

By: Sergei Lebedev
Narrated by: Daniel Gamburg
Length: 8 hours 55 minutes

An idyllic childhood takes a sinister turn. Rumors of a serial killer haunt the neighborhood, families pack up and leave town without a word of warning, and the country begins to unravel. Policemen stand by as protesters overtake the streets, knowing that the once awe-inspiring symbols of power they wear on their helmets have become devoid of... Read more

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The Lost City of the Monkey God

A True Story

By: Douglas Preston
Narrated by: Bill Mumy
Length: 10 hours 29 minutes

“This true account of the search for the fabled Ciudad Blanca in the remote rain forests of Honduras, is part archeology adventure, part history, and part treatise on pandemics of the past, present, and future. It reads like a novel, and is highly recommended for anyone who loves great narrative nonfiction like Devil in the White City, Shadow... Read more

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What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky

Stories

By: Lesley Nneka Arimah
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 5 hours 19 minutes

“Intense, haunting, and exquisitely rendered, the stories in Lesley Nneka Arimah's debut collection exist in a category of their own. They are individual worlds linked together by familiar themes - self-discovery, yearnings to love and be loved, generational divides, and the meanings of home and place - refashioned in a fresh, new light. Arimah... Read more

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You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

A Memoir

By: Sherman Alexie
Narrated by: Sherman Alexie
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie's bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family... Read more

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White Tears

A novel

By: Hari Kunzru
Narrated by: Lincoln Hoppe, Danny Campbell & Dominic Hoffman
Length: 10 hours 15 minutes

“An unsettling, grungy, gorgeous tale of white appropriations of black culture, legacy, and memory, of the harrowing effects of racism through the years, of a haunting that resonates through generations through a blues song that should have been stamped on vinyl, that maybe was but never was. This is a story of the costs of a lack of reparations,... Read more

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