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VBS Signature Reads Top 20

We hand sell a selection of great books, some consistently. Discovering gems and keeping them at the front of the store for easy browsing. Wouldn't you like to know about these outstanding titles? Here are the VBS Signature Reads Audiobooks Top 20.

Playlist Tags: The Vermont Book Shop genre: Non-Classifiable bookstore-created

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The Secret History

By Donna Tartt
Narrated by: Donna Tartt
Length: 22 hours 3 minutes

In this brilliant novel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donna Tartt gives us a richly textured and hypnotic story of golden youth corrupted by its own moral arrogance.

Richard Papen had never been to New England before his nineteenth year. Then he arrived at Hampeden College and quickly became seduced by the sweet, dark rhythms of campus life --...

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Into the Raging Sea

Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of the El Faro

By Rachel Slade
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
Length: 11 hours 36 minutes

“A Perfect Storm for a new generation, Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea is a masterful page-turning account of the El Faro's sinking.”
—Ben Mezrich, bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook

On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole,...

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News of the World

A Novel

By Paulette Jiles
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 6 hours 41 minutes

News of the World

News of the World may be slight in size but it's expansive in story, scenery and characters. I found myself cheering out loud for Captain Kidd and Johanna at times and crying at others. The narration by Grover Gardener greatly added to my enjoyment of this book. He did an amazing job of capturing the characters of Captain Kidd and Johanna.”

Content image Myrna, Content
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Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Length: 3 hours 35 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” • NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT
 
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal... Read more »

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When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi
Narrated by: Sunil Malhotra & Cassandra Campbell
Length: 5 hours 34 minutes

When Breath Becomes Air

“With a message both mournful and life-affirming, When Breath Becomes Air chronicles a young doctor's journey from literature student to promising neurosurgeon and finally to a patient in his own hospital after being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Always profound, never sentimental, this important book refuses to take refuge in platitudes, instead facing mortality with honesty and humility. Written in engaging prose and filled with penetrating insights, this story is relevant to everyone and will captivate fans of memoir, literature, philosophy, and popular science alike. Lyrical passages of great beauty and vulnerability are deftly balanced by bright, candid moments of joy and even humor. Come prepared with plenty of tissues; over and over again this exquisite book will break your heart.”

Carmen Tracey image Carmen Tracey, Loganberry Books
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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

If you enjoyed Uprooted, then you’ll love The Bear and the Nightingale.

“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.”

Ballast Book Co. image Kate, Ballast Book Co.
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Tiny Beautiful Things

Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

By Cheryl Strayed
Narrated by: Cheryl Strayed
Length: 9 hours 39 minutes

Tiny Beautiful Things

“Before she was known as the author of Wild, Cheryl Strayed was the anonymous Dear Sugar on The Rumpus website – an agony aunt of sorts, if agony aunts were endowed with ruthless compassion, profound honesty, and excellent prose. Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of these columns. After I listened to Dear Sugar, the podcast she shared with Steve Almond, I decided to give the audio of this a go. No regrets! It is moving and eloquent, and never predictable -- and the fact that she reads it herself means that her compassion comes through not only in her writing but in her voice.”

East City Bookshop image Claire, East City Bookshop
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Homegoing

A novel

By Yaa Gyasi
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
Length: 13 hours 10 minutes

Homegoing

“Homegoing is an epic narrative that is sure to become a treasured staple. Two sisters in Ghana are marked by fiery tragedy: one is married off to an English slave trader, and the other is sold to be a slave in America. The story follows their descendants generation by generation. Homegoing will break your heart over and over, impress you with the resilience of the human spirit and the amazing power of forgiveness, and leave you optimistic and in awe.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng
Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
Length: 11 hours 26 minutes

Little Fires Everywhere

“Little Fires Everywhere is a breathtaking novel about art, motherhood, and truth. Mia and her daughter, Pearl, move to the perfectly planned community of Shaker Heights as the last stop on their nomadic adventure, bringing some much-needed permanence to teenager Pearl's life. They both find friendship, but the connections they create with their landlord's family will soon change all of their lives. Impossible to put down or stop thinking about. A great read.”

Stef Schmidt image Stef Schmidt, Water Street Books
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Radio Free Vermont

A Fable of Resistance

By Bill McKibben
Narrated by: Danny Campbell
Length: 5 hours 53 minutes

 “We've got a long history of resistance in Vermont and this book is testimony to that fact.”
–Bernie Sanders

A book that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's debut novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.

 
As the host of Radio Free... Read more »

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Educated

A Memoir

By Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 9 minutes

Educated

“I loved this book! Tara Westover's memoir is the kind that sounds like it should be a novel—and this book reads like one in the best way—and I think I found myself gasping and covering my mouth about once per chapter. Westover describes her upbringing in a fundamentalist Mormon, survivalist, anti-government, anti-medicine family, enduring neglect and abuse and never attending school, in a way that still somehow manages to make her family members seem sympathetic despite their actions. She is honest about her early beliefs and conflicts and addresses her own lapses in memory throughout the book, and when she finally leaves home to go to college and beyond, you can't help but cheer for her. Julia Whelan does a fantastic job narrating the book, as well, giving each character a distinct personality, but in a way that isn't distracting to the story being told. Her voice is alternately innocent and chilling and gives an added depth to a fascinating story.”

Bank Square Books image Elissa, Bank Square Books
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White Fragility

Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

By Dr. Robin DiAngelo
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 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 »

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The Vorrh

The Vorrh Trilogy: Book #1

By Brian Catling
Narrated by: Allan Corduner
Length: 17 hours 18 minutes

Prepare to lose yourself in the heady, mythical expanse of The Vorrh, a daring debut that Alan Moore has called “a phosphorescent masterpiece” and “the current century's first landmark work of fantasy.” 

Next to the colonial town of Essenwald sits the Vorrh, a vast—perhaps endless—forest. It is a place of demons and angels, of warriors and... Read more »

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Circe

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

Circe

“This sweeping tale of the gods and heroes of Greek mythology as seen through the eyes of a minor goddess had me from the first chapter. I listened to this as an audiobook from our audio vendor, Libro.fm. The brilliant narrator was the 29-year-old Welsh film actress, Perdita Weeks.”

Changing Hands image Bob, Changing Hands
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H Is for Hawk

By Helen Macdonald
Narrated by: Helen Macdonald
Length: 11 hours 6 minutes

When Helen Macdonald’sfather died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experiencedfalconer captivated by hawks since childhood, she’d never before been temptedto train one of the most vicious predators: the goshawk. But in her grief, shesaw that the goshawk’s fierce and feral anger mirrored her own. Resolving topurchase and raise...

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The Overstory

By Richard Powers
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Length: 22 hours 58 minutes

The Overstory

“Do you love trees? Probably not as much as Richard Powers does! This books weaves together the converging stories of nine characters, but they really function as a means to probe the perspective of the trees themselves. With lyrical prose and amazing stories of naturalist history, this is an epic of environmental literature.”

Avid Bookshop image David, Avid Bookshop
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Braiding Sweetgrass

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

By Robin Wall Kimmerer
Narrated by: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Length: 16 hours 44 minutes

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our... Read more »

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On Trails: An Exploration

By Robert Moor
Narrated by: Jason Grasl
Length: 10 hours 36 minutes

From a brilliant new literary voice comes a groundbreaking exploration of how trails help us understand the world—from tiny ant trails to hiking paths that span continents, from interstate highways to the Internet.

In 2009, while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do... Read more »

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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

By Neil deGrasse Tyson
Narrated by: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Length: 3 hours 41 minutes

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and bestselling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth... Read more »

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