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Second Star Staff Picks

Looking for an escape? Need some hands-free reading while you're taking care of the kids? Try these Second Star to the Right staff favorites on for size!

Playlist Tags: Second Star to the Right bookstore-created staff picks topic: favorites booksellerfavorites

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Peter Pan

By J.M. Barrie
Narrated by: Tim Curry
Length: 5 hours 40 minutes

TIM CURRY READS THE CLASSIC TALE!

"ALL CHILDREN, EXCEPT ONE, GROW UP."

And so begins the story of one of the most beloved characters in children's literature, Peter Pan. J.M. Barrie's classic tale, completely unabridged, features a boy who refuses to grow up, Tinker Bell the fairy, and the Darling children -- Wendy, John, and Michael. Their... Read more »

Audiobook details

Thornlight

By Claire Legrand
Narrated by: Billie Fulford-Brown
Length: 8 hours 42 minutes

Thornlight

“Claire has beautifully expanded this world (and magic system) into something even more fantastical than I could have imagined. I adored every single one of the characters and cameos from the old. I cherished the hints at romance between Thorn and Zaf (wlw!), so completely, beautifully innocent and wondrous. But most of all, I loved the lessons in self esteem, courage, and empathy, as each fought their own unseen battles. Thornlight is a testament to the different kinds of strength we each possess, especially those that are often disregarded as weakness. This is a story that's equally heartwarming and heartbreaking (though the kind of heartbreak that pushes you to keep fighting), the sum of its parts undeniably magical. Oh, and did I mention the sassy unicorns??? And Mazby the Grifflet?”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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The Echo Wife

By Sarah Gailey
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 8 hours 25 minutes

If you enjoyed Dark Matter, then you’ll love The Echo Wife.

“Upon first reading the publisher's marketing for this title my thoughts were, ‘That sounds really messed up...I want to read it.’ The events that unfold are filled with suspense, moments of horror, and bring to light the ever recurring question: What makes us human? Upon finishing this title my thoughts rang true to my expectations: ‘That was really messed up,’ but it is well worth the read.”

Paragraphs Bookstore image Maxwell, Paragraphs Bookstore
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Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Ruby Dee
Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love... Read more »

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Act Your Age, Eve Brown

A Novel

By Talia Hibbert
Narrated by: Ione Butler
Length: 10 hours 51 minutes

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

“I've never met a Talia Hibbert book I haven't absolutely loved and Act Your Age, Eve Brown is no different. Hibbert is a master at her craft, flawlessly weaving humor with romance that's perfectly matched by Ione Butler's performance as she brings the characters to life. If you're looking for a romance to listen to that will make you laugh the whole way through, look no further.”

Rediscovered Books image Dany, Rediscovered Books
Audiobook details

The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities Trilogy: Book #1

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“What did I just listen to and why did I like it so much? Part of falling in love with this book was the listening experience, to be certain. The narration was stellar. The production was on point. But the story... the story itself is sublime. N.K. Jemisin has written a love letter to New York City - but not the one in bright, bold letters on the silver screen - the real city, and the real people who inhabit it and call it home, even if only temporarily. And it was beyond my wildest dreams (and nightmares). The City We Became is so incredibly layered and nuanced - diving into discussions of racism and sexism and the fallacy of good vs evil. I wanted nothing more than to steep in its long chapters, and get to know its boroughs as intimately as Jemisin would allow - not mere stereotypes but fully fleshed and brilliant, blinding avatars. Witty, subversive, imaginative, unbelievable. Get on this wild ride.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
Audiobook details

The Book of Two Ways

A Novel

By Jodi Picoult
Narrated by: Patti Murin
Length: 15 hours 47 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a “powerful” (The Washington Post) novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MARIE CLAIRE

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant... Read more »

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Intimations

Six Essays

By Zadie Smith
Narrated by: Zadie Smith
Length: 1 hours 50 minutes

Intimations

“Zadie Smith’s slim but concentrated Intimations is just what I needed during a pandemic. Our current collective American reality is validated in her intelligent voice, and it’s comforting. She talks about the power writers have to create their own worlds. She talks about suffering—how it defies class and privilege—and how she experiences her own privilege. She talks about “the virus,” and about the virus of racism—how we’re willing to make societal changes to mitigate the spread of one, but not the other. And at the end, a love letter/gratitude list. Listen to the audiobook if you want to hear Zadie Smith sing (literally!).”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
Audiobook details

Social Purpose Annual Report

Social Purpose Annual Report

As we look to the future as a Social Purpose Corporation, we’re committed to serving readers and independent bookstores. Read our 2020 Annual Report to see an overview of the year.

Read the Report

Red, White & Royal Blue

A Novel

By Casey McQuiston
Narrated by: Ramon de Ocampo
Length: 12 hours 15 minutes

Red, White & Royal Blue

“ To everyone who started telling me to read this book a year ago, I’m sorry. You were right - I loved it, unequivocally. The romance was sweet and gentle and real. But the humor put it over the top for me. I needed to laugh like that, desperately. And I did, a lot. A whole lot. But I also cried - because this book is pure, wholesome, and hopeful, even when it dipped into the darker places (with so much grace). Red, White, & Royal Blue gave my heart wings, and I'm still soaring. So to everyone who's still hesitant, don't be me - get on this train ASAP.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
Audiobook details

Internment

By Samira Ahmed
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

Internment

“An emotionally charged, incredibly well written story of what it would be like if internment camps were brought back for this nation's Muslim citizens. Beautifully narrated, Internment is gripping and powerful, this is a must-listen for all ages.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Mary, Anderson's Bookshop
Audiobook details

Big Summer

A Novel

By Jennifer Weiner
Narrated by: Danielle Macdonald
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

Big Summer

“I have never read or listened to anything by Jennifer Weiner before, I thought would be a bit too fluffy for me. I was really surprised to find that I really enjoyed this audio. This story about friendship, loyalty, being comfortable with yourself and staying true to yourself, was very well written and I also really enjoyed the narration. I liked it even more once I got to the twist and realized there was a bit of a mystery thrown in! I very much enjoyed listening to this audio. I highly recommend this one to get your summer reading/listening started!!”

Gottwals Books image Julie, Gottwals Books
Audiobook details

The Vanishing Half

A Novel

By Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Length: 11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett definitely lives up to the glowing reviews it has been receiving. The story reveals an interesting perspective on this history of race in the United States, while also telling a universal story of difficult decisions that change the course of life forever. Bennett doesn't offer pretty bows to tie up her narrative, but a realistic portrait of what we will sacrifice on behalf of our futures.”

Leaves Book and Tea Shop image Tina, Leaves Book and Tea Shop
Audiobook details

Migrations

A Novel

By Charlotte McConaghy
Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik
Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

Migrations

“Set in a world that is possibly our near future, where animals, birds and fish have been driven to extinction by global warming and human consumption, Franny Stone is desperate to follow the last migration of Arctic terns as they head south from Greenland. She persuades the captain of a small fishing boat to take her on as a crew member, convincing him that the terns will lead them to the elusive fish he’s hunting. She must reject her own morals about fishing to follow the terns. And along the way, her past is uncovered and the crew put to risk; they themselves become the hunted. There is something haunting in this story, something unforgettable. This comes from the beauty of the language in opposition to the stark realities of a world where so much of what we love is simply gone. Franny speaks for many of us. What might we do to escape our past? And, more importantly, can we find a way to keep love alive in the face of tragedy?”

Loganberry Books image Sarah, Loganberry Books
Audiobook details

Dear Girl

By Aija Mayrock
Narrated by: Aija Mayrock
Length: 44 minutes

Dear Girl

“A book worth both listening to and buying in print. Loved being able to hear the poet read her own work as she speaks to girls of all ages about who they are and who they have the power to be.”

Leaves Book and Tea Shop image Tina, Leaves Book and Tea Shop
Audiobook details

Circe

By Madeline Miller
Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

Circe

“A bold retelling of the Circe episode from Homer's Odyssey that not only captures the interlocking pieces of Greek mythology, but also gives each god, titan, and Grecian a pulsing complexity. Both Circe the book and the character are quiet, sensual and--at times--freewheeling, adventurous, and devastating. Perdita Week's performance here is multi-layered and captivating. The voices she chooses to portray each character captures the unfolding drama and humor beautify.”

Avid Bookshop image Luis, Avid Bookshop
Audiobook details

Take a Hint, Dani Brown

A Novel
The Brown Sisters

By Talia Hibbert
Narrated by: Ione Butler
Length: 10 hours

Take a Hint, Dani Brown

“Le swoon. I feel so healed. This book is pure and wonderful and and hilarious and utterly charming. Talia Hibbert has made a fake-dating trope convert out of me - her execution was just that perfect. Dani Brown is the career-focused nerd so many women have been told not to be and I felt so seen in her struggles to balance her needs in a relationship. Zafir Ansari is one of the kindest souls and his mental health and grief struggles were all too relatable. Add a dash of smash the patriarchy, all the sarcasm, and a hint of steam and I do believe you have a perfect concoction to escape the 2020 madness.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
Audiobook details

American Street

By Ibi Zoboi
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 8 hours 34 minutes

A National Book Award Finalist with five starred reviews!

A New York Times Notable Book * Publishers Weekly Flying Start * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * ALA Booklist Editors' Choice of 2017 (Top of the List winner) * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * BookPage Best YA Book of the Year

American... Read more »

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The Dutch House

A Novel

By Ann Patchett
Narrated by: Tom Hanks
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes

The Dutch House

“Meeting the Conroy family and stepping into their elaborate Dutch house—part museum, part home, with all its secrets and charm, comfort and sadness—enthralled me as the mystery unfolded like a gentle call to arms. From poverty to wealth and from wealth to poverty, we see through Danny’s eyes the struggle to hold the family together against grief, greed, and the heartbreak of losing all that once bound them. Patchett paints a masterpiece here; there’s no looking away. It lingers in your imagination long after the story has been told.”

Valley Bookseller image Diane McGuire, Valley Bookseller
Audiobook details

Sawkill Girls

By Claire Legrand
Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo
Length: 12 hours 57 minutes

Sawkill Girls

“With exception to the first part of high school (because vampires), I do not read horror. But Sawkill Girls had me in fits of hysterical laughter as often, if not more so, than it had me on the edge of my seat. Legrand crafts each and every character with incredible finesse, much like an ogre or onion with all their dichotomous layers. Good and bad, weak and strong, self-sacrificing and selfish... human. She gets at the heart of what it is to be a girl - the expectations placed upon us by ourselves as often as others, the necessity we feel to hold up the world, and how powerful (and terrifying) it can be to be powerless. Never have I read a greater call to smash the patriarchy than Sawkill Girls. Never has horror been so utterly enticing. Read this book.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
Audiobook details

Honor Among Thieves

By Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo & Adam Lazarre-White
Length: 12 hours 33 minutes

Meet your new favorite kickass heroine in this daring YA series by New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre, a thrilling yet romantic futuristic adventure perfect for fans of Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You.

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life... Read more »

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