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Holiday 2020 Staff Picks

Holiday 2020 Staff Picks

Here's our staff picks for 2020

Playlist Tags: The Wise Owl Books and Music mood: cabin fever topic: staff picks season: winter

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Lot Six

A Memoir

By David Adjmi
Narrated by: Micky Shiloah
Length: 12 hours 6 minutes

“David Adjmi has written one of the great American memoirs, a heartbreaking, hilarious story of what it means to make things up, including yourself. A wild tale of lack and lies, galling humiliations and majestic reinventions, this touching, coruscating joy of a book is an answer to that perennial question: how should a person be?” — Olivia...

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Black Sun

Between Earth and Sky: Book #1

By Rebecca Roanhorse
Narrated by: Cara Gee, Nicole Lewis, Kaipo Schwab & Shaun Taylor-Corbett
Length: 12 hours 46 minutes

Black Sun

“October, the month to read mysteries, horror, and suspense... but how about a fantasy novel with a little bit of all of the above? That is definitely my preference and New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, Rebecca Roanhorse, wrote just the right book. If you are a fan of fantasy you shouldn't let this one pass. It has a great and original storyline, compelling characters, and the world building was done really well. It is also a great read for this time of the year if horror is not something you can stomach but you still want a book with an edge this Halloween.”

Inklings Bookshop image Anne, Inklings Bookshop
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Before the Coffee Gets Cold

A Novel

By Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Narrated by: Arina Ii
Length: 6 hours 52 minutes

If you enjoyed The Cat Who Saved Books, then you’ll love Before the Coffee Gets Cold.

“What if you could go back in time, and all it took was the price of a cup of coffee? Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a fun and touching speculative tale revolving around an innocuous café that not only offers friendly service and delicious homemade butter, but an unamusing way to revisit the past; the only caveat is that you must finish your coffee before it gets cold…or else. Originally published in Japanese, this English translation retains most of the cultural charm from the original text, offering Fantasy Island vibes in an indoor setting. From its revolving cast of characters who seek the rumors of a café that can transport them back in time, to its Japanese flavor, Before the Coffee Gets Cold simply hits the spot.”

Mysterious Galaxy Books image Nicholas, Mysterious Galaxy Books
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Legendborn

The Legendborn Cycle

By Tracy Deonn
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Length: 18 hours 54 minutes

Legendborn

“Tracy Deonn expertly takes Arthurian myth and weaves them into the modern day in Legendborn with magic, secret societies, and high stakes action. Whether you are familiar with those myths or not doesn't even matter. Either way you'll quickly be captivated by her writing, world building, and compelling characters - all paired with an excellent narrator. But this isn't just an addictingly good fantasy. It's also a commentary on the systemic racism in this country, and how colonial practices directly influence oppression faced by Black people in the United States today. The end result is a must listen that will leave you hungry for the story to continue and rooting for Bree to come out on top. ”

Rediscovered Books image Dany, Rediscovered Books
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Plain Bad Heroines

A Novel

By Emily M. Danforth
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 19 hours 27 minutes

Plain Bad Heroines

“This one's a stunner. Emily Danforth writes so compellingly, that even for its slow pacing, Plain Bad Heroines is impossible to put down. This is so much more than horror - a queer, coming-of-age, love story, history rewritten to include those it should never have erased - so atmospheric and character-driven, I found it difficult to find myself afraid, only undeniably intrigued. I giggled hysterically. I shook my fists at the patriarchy (because of course I did). Reader, I'd dive right back in again, even at the risk of yellow jackets following me back out.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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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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Cemetery Boys

By Aiden Thomas
Narrated by: Avi Roque
Length: 13 hours 47 minutes

Cemetery Boys

“"Listening to Cemetery Boys made me smile. A lot. Aiden Thomas presents a story of persistence, mystery, and finding one’s place in the world. Yadriel, a trans, teenage, latinx boy, lives in a family of brujos and brujas. After coming out as trans his family does not know where he fits within their traditions. With the help of his opinionated cousin Maritza, Yadriel completes the ceremony to become a brujo in secret and accidentally summons the wrong ghost: Julian, a high energy boy from his school. Yadriel, Julian and Maritza set out to solve the mystery of Julian’s death, and to release his spirit. Of course, to make things more awkward, Yadriel develops a crush on the spirit boy. What more could one ask for? Thomas creates a magical but real world highlighting family dynamics surrounding trans identity within a gendered society, the need to prove oneself, and the importance of connecting to family. This book may sound spooky, but instead the story is feel-good, heartwarming, and silly at times; it’s all about celebrating life and being who you are."”

Content image Emma, Content
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