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_shelflove_'s 2020 Shelf-Growth Playlist

Memoirs/non-fiction and #ownvoices fiction selections that will help me grow as a reader and as a person. This playlist includes new releases and backlist titles that pull on the heartstrings and evoke empathy by finding common ground between reader and narrator or by exploring social issues and epidemics in the U.S. and abroad.

Playlist Tags: influencer-created

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Hunger

A Memoir of (My) Body
By Roxane Gay
Narrated by Roxane Gay /  5 hours 57 minutes

Hunger

“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 recommend listening to or reading this book—for EVERYONE. This will challenge how you look at fat people, and women especially, and if you’re like me, how you look at yourself. Do yourself a favor and read this book.”

Belmont Books image Tildy, Belmont Books
Price:

$6.89 USD

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas
Narrated by Bahni Turpin /  11 hours 40 minutes

The Hate U Give

“This bestselling, powerful young adult novel about social justice and one teen girl's effort to fight for what is right, will leave you breathless. The narration by Bahni Turpin is hands down the best I've ever heard. This is such an important book it should be required reading for life in general. Or listening. Definitely listening.”

Tattered Cover image Kristen, Tattered Cover
Price:

$29.89 USD

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The Affairs of the Falcóns

A Novel
By Melissa Rivero
Narrated by Frankie Corzo /  8 hours 34 minutes

A stunning debut novel about a young undocumented Peruvian woman fighting to keep her family afloat in New York City.

Ana Falcón, along with her husband Lucho and their two young children, has fled the economic and political strife of Peru for a chance at a new life in New York City in the 1990s. Being undocumented, however, has significantly... Read More »

Price:

$27.59 USD

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Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick

Stories from the Harlem Renaissance
By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by Aunjanue Ellis /  8 hours 57 minutes

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick

“Zora Neale Hurston’s (Their Eyes Were Watching God, Barracoon) body of work continues to grow and impress. In Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, 21 short stories, including several “lost” pieces depicting the Great Migration to northern cities and Harlem’s educated New Negro middle class, offer an updated perspective of Hurston’s Harlem Renaissance-era cultural commentary. These stories, written in the 1920s and 30s, explore toxic masculinity and women’s agency, urban vs. rural class representations, colorism/shadeism, identity politics, and the intersectionality of race, class, age, and gender in a way that remains relevant today. And, by using humor, folklore, and her unique combination of delicate prose and vernacular speech, Hurston also has written thoroughly engaging slices-of-life, always centering Black characters, from a very specific time period. To fully appreciate Hurston’s stories, Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) recommends in her foreword, “reading this work aloud, enjoying the feel of the words in your mouth, and the sound of English tightened and strummed like the strings of a banjo.””

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
Price:

$31.04 USD

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Children of the Land

By Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
Narrated by Tim Andres Pabon /  10 hours 6 minutes

An Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated Book of 2020

This unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet about growing up undocumented in the United States recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man’s attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence. 

“You were not a... Read More »

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$31.04 USD

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Becoming

By Michelle Obama
Narrated by Michelle Obama /  19 hours 1 minute

Becoming

“I adore our former president and I miss him. Yet I cannot help but be ecstatic that Michelle is coming out with a book about her own life so that I can learn more about this powerful, intelligent, and singularly awesome woman. Barack would be the first to say that his wife is a superstar, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Becoming to read about her in her own words.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jax, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$35.00 USD

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Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by Nicole Lewis /  9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“What a beautifully rich and nuanced book! Emira, a mid-twenties educated but slightly driftless woman is working 2 part time jobs still trying to find her passion. She find joy in her part time babysitting job, finding her three year old charge a delightfully odd little person who keeps her interested. But things turn complicated when she is asked to take her charge to the local grocery store late at night and is accosted by the store security guard and a "well meaning" patron. Accused of kidnapping and unable to leave Emira holds her dignity and stands up for herself as another patron films the incident. Emira wants nothing more than to put the incident behind her but those closest to her have other ideas of what is best for her. This novel packs an emotional punch, making us question our own motives and wondering if we really have our loved ones best interests at heart. A perfect book group pick for those who like to focus on character driven stories.”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
Price:

$28.00 USD

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She Said

Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
By Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey
Narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey /  9 hours 52 minutes

From the Pulitzer-prize winning reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment and abuse for the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the thrilling untold story of their investigation and its consequences for the #MeToo movement

On October 5, 2017, the New York Times published an article by Jodi Kantor and Megan... Read More »

Price:

$28.00 USD

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A Long Petal of the Sea

A Novel
By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor & Amanda Hopkinson
Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini /  9 hours 46 minutes

A Long Petal of the Sea

“In this quietly compelling novel, Isabel Allende deftly brings us into the world of the Spanish Civil War and Chilean Revolution, elegantly weaving characters' stories together to produce a stunning tapestry of love, heartbreak, loyalty, and politics. Follow war doctor Victor and accomplished pianist Roser as they struggle down a path that is constantly blocked with great challenges. Though many despair, there is always a way through, and you may find support in places you least expect.”

Rediscovered Books image Kalli, Rediscovered Books
Price:

$28.00 USD

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The Girl with the Louding Voice

A Novel
By Abi Daré
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh /  12 hours 6 minutes

The Girl with the Louding Voice

“This year is overflowing with phenomenal debuts — including this one from Abi Daré. It tells the story of Adunni, a young girl in Nigeria whose dreams and ambition focus in on one thing: education. In a city where girls like her are looked down upon and considered unworthy, she comes to find that change can begin with even the smallest of voices. This story is the kind that makes you itch: you’ll ache for Adunni, bristle at the people who treat her so unjustly, and yearn for her to succeed. This is a stunning, important, and fascinating first novel.”

Lindsay Howard image Lindsay Howard, Lark and Owl Booksellers
Price:

$31.50 USD

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White Fragility

Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
By Robin DiAngelo & Michael Eric Dyson
Narrated by Amy Landon /  6 hours 20 minutes

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white... Read More »

Price:

$20.00 USD

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Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered

The Definitive How-To Guide
By Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark
Narrated by Georgia Hardstark, Karen Kilgariff & Paul Giamatti /  6 hours 30 minutes

Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered

“I discovered MFM immediately after the book was released. I listened to the first episode and knew right away that I needed to read the book. Karen & Georgia's easy, casual friendship and dark humor were right up my alley. I quickly finished the book (which I found both touching and hilarious) and kept working my way through old episodes of the podcast. While I enjoyed the book, I realized that I had become so accustomed to listening to the podcast, I actually wanted to re-read the book, this time in audio form (a format that I do not usually dabble in.) Getting to hear the book material straight from the authors' mouths was delightful and just felt right after becoming so familiar with their other audio work.”

A Likely Story image Leslie, A Likely Story
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Dominicana

A Novel
By Angie Cruz
Narrated by Coral Peña /  10 hours 12 minutes

Dominicana

“Angie Cruz is a beautiful writer with a powerful voice, and readers of Julia Alvarez and Sandra Cisneros will greatly enjoy this book! Dominicana is a riveting story about family, womanhood, and what it means to be an immigrant. Ana Cancion, who’s only 15, leaves her home behind for a new life in New York City with her soon-to-be husband, Juan Ruiz. Big lights, tall buildings, and a bright future constitute the promise of a new beginning. However, upon Ana’s arrival, her fate untangles into something unexpected. It’ll be really hard to forget these characters and the realness in their heartache. Throughout these pages, I fell in and out of love, I laughed, I cried, and I was deeply moved.”

Books & Books image Cristina Lebron, Books & Books
Price:

$31.04 USD

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The Sun Does Shine

How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection)
By Anthony Ray Hinton, Lara Love Hardin & Bryan Stevenson
Narrated by Bryan Stevenson & Kevin R. Free /  9 hours 11 minutes

Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection

A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.

“An amazing and heartwarming story, it restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity.”
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was... Read More »

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$31.04 USD

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The Glass Castle

A Memoir
By Jeannette Walls
Narrated by Jeannette Walls /  10 hours 25 minutes

Now a major motion picture from Lionsgate starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts.

MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST
The perennially bestselling, extraordinary, one-of-a-kind, “nothing short of spectacular” (Entertainment Weekly) memoir from one of the world’s most gifted storytellers.

The Glass Castle is... Read More »

Price:

$27.54 USD

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Americanah

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Narrated by Adjoa Andoh /  17 hours 29 minutes

From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military... Read More »

Price:

$34.49 USD

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Dopesick

Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
By Beth Macy
Narrated by Beth Macy /  10 hours 16 minutes

Dopesick

“A heartfelt narrative filled personal anecdotes and horrifying statistics, Macy gives the reader an encompassing view of the opioid epidemic. Macy is a terrific writer and her reading of the book for audio conveys the sense of devastation for the addicts and their families.”

Bartleby's Books image Maria, Bartleby's Books
Price:

$29.88 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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From Scratch

A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home
By Tembi Locke
Narrated by Tembi Locke /  10 hours 17 minutes

From Scratch

“I just finished wiping away my last tear as I close the curtain on From Scratch, a brilliant, compelling memoir. Tembi Locke lost her larger-than-life Italian chef husband at an early age to cancer. The book is a love letter to him as well as to enchanting Sicily and its aromatic, tantalizing food. But more than anything, it is the most memorable and thoughtful gift that her daughter will ever receive. I highly recommend the audio version which is read by the author. From Scratch is one of the best memoirs that I have ever read and one of my top five best books that I read this Summer.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Price:

$27.59 USD

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The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club)

A Novel
By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by Bahni Turpin /  10 hours 43 minutes

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially... Read More »

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$28.00 USD

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