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Staff Picks for Adults

Staff Picks for Adults

The Wild Rumpus staff's favorite audiobooks for adults, including fiction and non-fiction. (Organized from newest to oldest publication date.)

Playlist Tags: Wild Rumpus Books genre: Fiction

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The City of Good Death

By Priyanka Champaneri
Narrated by: Manish Dongardive
Length: 14 hours 56 minutes

Winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Priyanka Champaneri’s transcendent debut novel brings us inside India’s holy city of Banaras, where the manager of a death hostel shepherds the dying who seek the release of a good death, while his own past refuses to let him go.

Banaras, Varanasi, Kashi: India’s holy city on the banks...

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How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

A Novel

By Cherie Jones
Narrated by: Danielle Vitalis
Length: 8 hours 41 minutes

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

“I could listen to this narrator on Libro.fm read the dictionary and still be mesmerized. This is an emotional story of multi-generational abuse, suffered from class and race differences, and at the hands of loved ones. It paints an intimate portrayal of all the people on Baxter's Beach, tourists and residents alike. ”

Bright Side Bookshop image Amy, Bright Side Bookshop
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Kill the Mall

By Pasha Malla
Narrated by: Anand Rajaram
Length: 6 hours 51 minutes

Kill the Mall

“Absurdist horror akin to Welcome to Night Vale, a Wonderlandian descent into madness, a sentient hair creature, and a never-ending mall. This book is wild and fun and a little bit terrifying.”

Gibson's Bookstore image Ryan, Gibson's Bookstore
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A Promised Land

By Barack Obama
Narrated by: Barack Obama
Length: 29 hours 9 minutes

A Promised Land

“No one really needs my blurb to help sell this book, but I wanted to give it anyway, especially for the audiobook, narrated by Barack Obama himself. If you want to know his incredible knowledge and wisdom that guided him through major decisions, and also hear him drop a few F-bombs, you need to listen to this fantastically written book. ”

Quail Ridge Books image Amber, Quail Ridge Books
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The Best of Me

By David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
Length: 13 hours 8 minutes

The Best of Me

“As if there is anything greater than a new David Sedaris, it's listening to David Sedaris read the new David Sedaris. This self-edited collection of essays from his prolific 25-year career is exactly what we need to boost the morale of 2020 and remind ourselves what a crazy world we've always lived in when viewed through Sedaris's keen observational eye and told with his unique & irreverent voice. The Best of Me is perfect for both long-time fans or those reading Sedaris for the first time and the audio read by the author means no nuance is left behind.”

Literally Speaking image Jessica, Literally Speaking
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Memorial

A Novel

By Bryan Washington
Narrated by: Bryan Washington & Akie Kotabe
Length: 8 hours 19 minutes

Memorial

“This quiet character driven novel truly illustrates the complexities of relationships. From friends, lovers, parents and acquaintances, and how one presents themselves differently in each setting. I listened to this and it was just beautifully narrated by the author and Akie Kotabe and you are instantly transported to Texas and Japan in both Mike and Benson's world. ”

Belmont Books image Audrey, Belmont Books
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Leave the World Behind

A Novel

By Rumaan Alam
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 7 hours 26 minutes

Leave the World Behind

“I tore through LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND, a breath-taking stunner that slyly becomes a heart-thumping thriller. Alam examines race, class, and family relationships subtly and this is where his storytelling shines. 5 of 5 stars!”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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Transcendent Kingdom

A novel

By Yaa Gyasi
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 8 hours 40 minutes

Transcendent Kingdom

“Gifty immigrated from Ghana, grew up in Alabama, and is working on a PhD in neuroscience at Stanford, where she experiments with mice. She has always felt she wasn’t cool enough or white enough, and tries to prove her value through her brilliance. She tells her raw and powerful story of racism, addiction, mental illness, and especially faith and prayer, all while trying hard to mend a complicated relationship with her mother. This second novel from the author of the award-winning novel Homegoing is compelling and so, so beautifully written.”

Wellesley Books image Sally Weitzen, Wellesley Books
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Tender is the Flesh

By Agustina Bazterrica
Narrated by: Joseph Balderrama
Length: 6 hours 43 minutes

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans—though no one calls them that anymore.

His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made... Read more »

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The Death of Vivek Oji

A Novel

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Yetide Badaki & Chukwudi Iwuji
Length: 7 hours 38 minutes

If you enjoyed Homegoing, then you’ll love The Death of Vivek Oji.

“I am fairly new to audiobooks because I've found myself to be incredibly picky when it comes to narration. That being said, I couldn't have picked a better book to listen to. Not only is this a beautiful and important story, but the narrators are nothing short of brilliant. I still think about this one often and highly recommend!”

The Yankee Bookshop image Nichole, The Yankee Bookshop
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The Hollow Ones

By Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 9 hours 16 minutes

A horrific crime that defies explanation, a rookie FBI agent in uncharted territory, and an extraordinary hero for the ages: an investigation spirals out of control in this heart-pounding thriller.
Odessa Hardwicke's life is derailed when she's forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly,... Read more »

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The Ghost in the House

By Sara O'Leary
Narrated by: Athena Karkanis
Length: 4 hours 21 minutes

What if a ghost were haunting your house? What if you were the ghost?
 
Everything in Fay's life is perfect--living in the house she dreamed of as a child, married to a man she loves, and planning her life as an artist. Her life seems full of possibility. Then, late one night, Fay realizes that something has gone wrong.
 
Things have altered in... Read more »

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Notes on a Silencing

A Memoir

By Lacy Crawford
Narrated by: Lacy Crawford
Length: 11 hours 5 minutes

A "powerful and scary and important and true" memoir of a young woman's struggle to regain her sense of self after trauma, and the efforts by a powerful New England boarding school to silence her—at any cost (Sally Mann, author of Hold Still).

Shortlisted for the 2022 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

When Notes on a Silencing hit... Read more »

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Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

Mexican Gothic

“Best book I have read this year. An amazing, gripping tale of a young woman in a strange old house. It's an epic ghost story mixed with some element for "Girl with all the Gifts." Compelling characters and a twist ending that will have you in the edge of your seat until the very end. 10/10 would recommend. ”

Leaves Book and Tea Shop image Tiffany, Leaves Book and Tea Shop
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The Power of Ritual

Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices

By Casper ter Kuile
Narrated by: Casper ter Kuile
Length: 5 hours 54 minutes

Casper ter Kuile, a Harvard Divinity School fellow and cohost of the popular Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, explores how we can nourish our souls by transforming common, everyday practices—yoga, reading, walking the dog—into sacred rituals that can heal our crisis of social isolation and struggle to find purpose—a message we need more...

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For a limited time, when you sign up for a new monthly membership with code CHOOSEINDIE, we’ll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you’ll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start.

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Saving Ruby King

A Novel

By Catherine Adel West
Narrated by: Kim Staunton, Imani Parks, Ron Butler, Adam Lazarre-White, Lloyd Roberson II & Terra Strong Lyons
Length: 10 hours 14 minutes

Saving Ruby King

“Saving Ruby King is a slow burn—a richly woven three-generation history of two families on the south side of Chicago, bound forever by trauma and religion. A tragic murder in the present unearths secret wrongdoings of the past. Intergenerational trauma is a primary focus, and the given circumstances allow readers to both hate and empathize with nearly all of the main characters. The full cast—including the omniscient church building—narrates the audiobook beautifully. Readers will learn that the bonds of true friendship can withstand anything. Trigger warnings: domestic violence, incest, rape.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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Devolution

A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

By Max Brooks
Narrated by: Judy Greer, Max Brooks, Jeff Daniels, Nathan Fillion, Mira Furlan, Terry Gross, Kimberly Guerrero, Kate Mulgrew, Kai Ryssdal & Steven Weber
Length: 9 hours 49 minutes

Devolution

“I think my favorite part of this book was the interviews that would cut in between each chapter of the book to give more details on the "history" or "events" of the story. I felt like I was listening to NPR or reading from a non-fiction field guide. It's incredibly original, humorous, and terrifying. ”

Country Bookshelf image Kaycee, Country Bookshelf
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A Burning

A novel

By Megha Majumdar
Narrated by: Vikas Adam, Priya Ayyar, Deepti Gupta, Ulka Simone Mohanty, Soneela Nankani & Neil Shah
Length: 7 hours 21 minutes

A Burning

“Wonderfully read by a full cast, Megha Majumdar’s A Burning is especially relevant in the age of highly-politicized social media and government extremism.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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The Vanishing Half

A Novel

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

The Vanishing Half

“Brit Bennett’s second novel broke my heart. She doesn’t shy away from the sadness inherent in each character’s life, yet she left me feeling better for having met all of them. I read The Vanishing Half with a sense of hope, despite my dread that terrible things might befall the characters. Desiree and Stella’s story unfolds with a deft delicateness in a book that is astonishingly accomplished and sweeping, and yet so very intimate.”

Women & Children First image Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First
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Almond

A Novel

By Won-pyung Sohn
Narrated by: Greg Chun
Length: 4 hours 51 minutes

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. 

One of the monsters is me.

Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and...

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