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Delectable December Staff Picks

Dare to dance directly with drama with December’s Staff Picks.

Playlist Tags: Off the Beaten Path staff picks season: winter

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The Lying Life of Adults

By Elena Ferrante
Narrated by: Marisa Tomei
Length: 10 hours 21 minutes

The Lying Life of Adults

“Ferrante’s latest novel gives an insightful and intriguing look at the life of a budding Italian teenage girl, both internally and externally. I found Ferrante’s ability to delve into Giovanna’s psyche fascinating, especially since I’ve never parented a girl and don’t always feel like I understand them. Her sensitivity to the myriad of issues and the fragility of Giovanna’s relationships make for a marvelous read. Ferrante is a gifted writer, and this latest offering does not disappoint. I loved this story! Fabulous read!”

Page and Palette image Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette
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To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

By Christopher Paolini
Narrated by: Jennifer Hale
Length: 32 hours 29 minutes

"Narrator Jennifer Hale's outstanding performance brings this story of alien invasion to life...Hale's range of differentiation is masterly as she animates all the quirky characters Kira meets. From the rough, snarky slang of ex-military woman to the half-mad musings of a human "ship mind," every unique voice enhances the listening experience."...

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Don’t Move

By James S. Murray & Darren Wearmouth
Narrated by: James S. Murray
Length: 6 hours 30 minutes

From the authors of the bestselling Awakened trilogy

Megan Forrester has barely survived the unthinkable. Six months ago, she witnessed a horrific accident that killed her husband and son, and lives with the guilt of knowing she could have done more to save them. Now, Megan hopes to mend the pieces of her broken spirit by attending a local church...

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The Archer

By Paulo Coelho
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 49 minutes

From the #1 best-selling author of The Alchemist comes an inspiring story about a young man seeking wisdom from an elder, and the practical lessons imparted along the way. Includes stunning illustrations by Christoph Niemann.

“A novelist who writes in a universal language.” —The New York Times

In The Archer we meet Tetsuya, a man once famous for... Read more »

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Before the Coffee Gets Cold

A Novel

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

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

“There is a small cafe in Tokyo where you can travel through time. But there are rules. Rules that dissuade most of those who come to the cafe after hearing its legend. And there are regular customers who come with no intention of traveling through time.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a feel-good listen that tells the story of some of those cafe regulars whose minds are eventually changed by their lives’ circumstances. The reasons for their journeys are varied, but all are compelled by an unyielding desire to unite with a loved one in a different time. Kawaguchi has imagined a complex and wonderfully creative set of rules for time travel in the cafe, so much so that they become central to the story and character development. He smoothly reveals the hearts and lives of each of his characters against the backdrop of the time-travel rules and the mysterious yet legendary cafe.

There are lovers, sisters, mother and daughter, husband and wife, and a ghost. Uniting them all are love, sorrow, regret, redemption, and most of all, hope. This uplifting tale of human connections is especially worth the listen in our current time of pandemic and feelings of isolation.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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Written in the Stars

A Novel

By Alexandria Bellefleur
Narrated by: Lauren Sweet
Length: 11 hours 11 minutes

Written in the Stars

“This fake-dating, opposites-attract romance is simply perfect. A social media astrologer is set up with her new business partner’s actuary sister. While the date goes terribly, how helpful it would be for both of them to have a date for certain upcoming events. The two leads are wonderful, flawed women with their own baggage and hang-ups (hello, family drama!), and it’s a joy to watch them fall in love with each other in spite of everything.”

Astoria Bookshop image Lexi Beach, Astoria Bookshop
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The Good Lord Bird

A Novel

By James McBride
Narrated by: Michael Boatman
Length: 14 hours 34 minutes

Soon to be a Showtime limited series starring Ethan Hawke and Daveed Diggs

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction

From the bestselling author of Deacon King Kong (an Oprah Book Club pick) and The Color of Water comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.

... Read more »

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A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

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


“Made the mistake of listening to this book before going to sleep and subsequently spent an hour after turning off my phone staring at the shadows at the corners of my room as they morphed into bigfoot. Hauntingly written and beautifully performed.”

The Cupboard Maker Books image Sam, The Cupboard Maker Books
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane

A Novel

By Neil Gaiman
Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
Length: 6 hours 21 minutes

A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys.

This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real...

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Joe Biden

By Evan Osnos
Narrated by: Evan Osnos & David Remnick
Length: 4 hours 26 minutes

Joe Biden

“What a wonderful and insightful look into the man who is our next President. Honest and hopeful, this book is a must-listen for anyone wanting to know more about Joe Biden and what brought him to this day.”

Skylark Bookshop image Mary, Skylark Bookshop
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The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

By Katherine May
Narrated by: Rebecca Lee
Length: 6 hours 53 minutes

If you enjoyed Vesper Flights, then you’ll love Wintering.

“This was the perfect listen at the right time. Memoir, mythology, and meditations on an ever ignored fact that we must change our lifestyle in order to adapt to this sometimes brutal season. I will definitely come back to this one many times.”

The Yankee Bookshop image Nichole, The Yankee Bookshop
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By Matthew McConaughey
Narrated by: Matthew McConaughey
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Over one million copies sold! From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction
“Unflinchingly honest and remarkably candid, Matthew McConaughey’s book invites us to grapple with the... Read more »

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Inheritance Games

By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Length: 10 hours 44 minutes

Don't miss this New York Times bestselling "impossible to put down" (Buzzfeed) novel with deadly stakes, thrilling twists, and juicy secrets--perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when... Read more »

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City Spies

City Spies: Book #1

By James Ponti
Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 6 hours 50 minutes

A New York Times bestseller!
A GMA3 Summer Reading Squad Selection!
“Ingeniously plotted, and a grin-inducing delight.” —People
“Will keep young readers glued to the page…So when do I get the sequel?” —Beth McMullen, author of Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls

In this thrilling new series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award...
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By Brian Jacques
Narrated by: Brian Jacques & Full Cast
Length: 10 hours 40 minutes

When Redwall was published in 1987 it catapulted author Brian Jacques to international stardom. And small wonder! This enthralling tale is jam-packed with the things we long for in a great adventure: danger, laughter, hairbreadth escapes, tragedy, mystery, a touch of wonder, a truly despicable villain, and a hero we can take to heart.

That hero... Read more »

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Wings of Fire: The Winglets Quartet

Wings of Fire: Winglets: Book #1

By Tui T. Sutherland
Narrated by: Shannon McManus
Length: 4 hours 30 minutes

Everyone knows the legends . . . but does anyone know the truth? Fiercetooth, a NightWing obsessed with what could have -- and should have -- been. Deathbringer, desperate to prove himself as the next great NightWing assassin. Six-Claws, a loyal SandWing, who will soon find that loyalty comes with a price. Foeslayer the NightWing, a dragon in... Read more »

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