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Mad March Staff Picks

Meander through the mass of manuscripts in these magnificent march staff picks

Playlist Tags: Off the Beaten Path genre: Non-Classifiable season: march

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The Midnight Library

A Novel

By Matt Haig
Narrated by: Carey Mulligan
Length: 8 hours 50 minutes

"A feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits."—The Washington Post 

New York Times bestseller | Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction | A Good Morning America Book Club Pick!

"Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could...
Read more »

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Sparks Like Stars

A Novel

By Nadia Hashimi
Narrated by: Mozhan Marno
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes

An Afghan American woman returns to Kabul to learn the truth about her family and the tragedy that destroyed their lives in this brilliant and compelling novel from the bestselling author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, The House Without Windows, and When the Moon Is Low.

Kabul, 1978: The daughter of a prominent family, Sitara Zamani lives a... Read more »

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The Other Bennet Sister

A Novel

By Janice Hadlow
Narrated by: Carla Mendonça
Length: 18 hours 9 minutes

The Other Bennet Sister

“True to Austen and thoroughly enjoyable The Other Bennet Sister follows Mary, the middle sister of Jane Austen's infamous family. Mary is the bookish one of the family and not interested in the frivolous social nuances of the times. She is sensitive and smart and interested in history, the natural world, and (gasp) not whom she should marry! Will she follow her heart, or the outlandish expectations of her mother and society? This is a coming-of-age story of a forward-thinking woman learning to accept herself and her passion. Don’t miss this if you are an Austen fan. Mendonca is a wonderful narrator.”

Bookworm of Edwards image Karin, Bookworm of Edwards
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Ring Shout

By P. Djeli Clark
Narrated by: Channie Waites
Length: 5 hours 36 minutes

Ring Shout

“The emotionally charged, wild ride of Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark was one I did not want to end. Clark pulled me into the life of Maryse and her band of monster hunters and held me hostage. With beautiful language, deep characters, and a fully immersive world, this story of vengeance and self-forgiveness unfolds. By the end, I was in tears. Ring Shout perfectly takes on a dark, violent history, but also an uncertain, terrifying future. Everyone needs to read Ring Shout.”

Cavalier House Books image Sophie Giroir, Cavalier House Books
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The Rib King

A Novel

By Ladee Hubbard
Narrated by: Korey Jackson & Adenrele Ojo
Length: 10 hours 8 minutes

“Ladee Hubbard’s voice is a welcome original.” —Mary Gaitskill

Upstairs, Downstairs meets Parasite: The acclaimed author of The Talented Ribkins deconstructs painful African American stereotypes and offers a fresh and searing critique on race, class, privilege, ambition, exploitation, and the seeds of rage in America in this intricately woven and... Read more »

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Eight Perfect Murders

A Novel

By Peter Swanson
Narrated by: Graham Halstead
Length: 8 hours 3 minutes

Eight Perfect Murders

“Peter Swanson is one of my favorite authors. His books just keep getting better. Eight Perfect Murders is my favorite so far. It opens introducing Malcolm, who is a widower and owner of a book store in Boston. An FBI agent enters one snowy day and introduces herself as Gwen and asks him if she can speak to him for a few minutes. Gwen says that she believes a recent murder is connected to a blog that Malcolm wrote several years ago. The post details eight mystery novels that stage the perfect murder. She hasn't read many and Mal is happy to give her a few from the list. They meet the next day and discuss each book and why the particular murder is perfect. They keep in touch and in days another murder happens. There is a multitude of hair-raising twists and turns. The story is well-crafted and oh so clever. Malcolm is the sole narrator and he is positively mesmerizing. I highly recommend this page-turner. The book narrator has a crisp voice and reads with his heart and soul.No doubt about it - Eight Perfect Murders will be on my top five best books of 2020.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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99 Percent Mine

A Novel

By Sally Thorne
Narrated by: Jayme Mattler
Length: 11 hours 23 minutes

Readers and critics alike raved over USA Today bestselling author Sally Thorne’s smash hit debut novel, The Hating Game—which sold in over 20 countries. Now she’s back with an unforgettable romantic comedy about a twin sister and brother struggling over an inheritance—and the sexy best friend who comes between them.

Crush: a strong and often... Read more »

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A Novel

By Elizabeth Wetmore
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell & Jenna Lamia
Length: 10 hours 20 minutes


“After listening to the first chapter of Elizabeth Wetmore's debut (which I guarantee you will RIP through), it is easy to expect the rest of the book to be either a thriller or a courtroom drama. You would be wrong in these assumptions, but far from disappointed. In February 1976 in Odessa, Texas, after the assault and rape of a fourteen-year-old Mexican girl at the hands of the town's high school golden boy, we the readers are introduced to a cast of strong and flawed women and are shown how this heinous crime rocks the small town they inhabit to its core. Through their eyes, we see the underbelly; our fingers are placed on the pulse of this small town. We see the nature of suburban life and the poison that seeps through the cracks of the American dream where bigotry and misogyny sweep across the landscape as ordinary at the dusty winds on the oil patches that blemish Odessa and the miles of hostile desert beyond. What is strength and where does it come from when justice is so hard to come by? I was hanging on to every word of Valentine as if Wetmore was wringing out the last drops of water from an old rag into my parched mouth. I listened and re-listened to each gorgeous sentence until it seared into my brain. This masterful debut, both tender and serrated, beautifully captures the spirit of the new and old west... it is not easily forgotten.”

BookBar image Conner, BookBar
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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

Shuggie Bain

By Douglas Stuart
Narrated by: Angus King
Length: 17 hours 30 minutes

Shuggie Bain

“Shuggie Bain is sad, but there’s so much more to it than that. Hugh “Shuggie” Bain is different—he’s gentle and polite and lonely, a poor boy growing up in 1980’s Glasgow. His glamorous mother, Agnes, is an alcoholic, but she embodies her dignity when she needs it most. In one notably humorous scene, she drunkenly collects her son from his good-for-nothing father, upon checking herself out of the psych ward, and breaks the windows of his house while neighborhood boys whoop and holler at her boldness. Shuggie runs to his savior and clings to her with unconditional love. Eventually, he and his mother pledge to be “brand new” upon moving back into the city—she’ll stop drinking and Shuggie will be “normal.” But no matter how many football statistics he memorizes, Shuggie will never be like other boys, and his mother will never stop drinking. Their relationship is beautiful and overflowing with love, deeply humanizing those who struggle with substance abuse. I’ll never forget Shuggie Bain.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

By Deesha Philyaw
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 4 hours 6 minutes

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“Having grown up in a Mississippi Southern Baptist church, it wasn't until I was a teenager that I saw the secret double lives of some of us. Rebelling against the submit to authority messages on Saturday night, but sitting pious and submissive come Sunday morning services was de rigueur. Deesha Philyaw's book The Secret Lives of Church Ladies gives voice to secret lives that I know for sure are lived and true. The need for acceptance, for absolution, for grace is ever-present in familiar relationships as well as those in the church. These short stories are divine.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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Infinite Country

A Novel

By Patricia Engel
Narrated by: Inés del Castillo
Length: TBA

“A knockout of a novel…we predict [Infinite Country] will be viewed as one of 2021’s best.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“An exquisitely told story of family, war, and migration, this is a novel our increasingly divided country wants and needs to read.” —R.O. Kwon, Electric Literature

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 from Esquire, O, The Oprah... Read more »

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The Hating Game

A Novel

By Sally Thorne
Narrated by: Katie Schorr
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

                       2) A person’s undoing

                       3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the... Read more »

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Book One in the Dune Chronicles

By Frank Herbert
Narrated by: Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Simon Vance & Ilyana Kadushin
Length: 21 hours 1 minutes

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, and Charlotte Rampling.

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man... Read more »

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The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

By Ijeoma Oluo
Narrated by: Ijeoma Oluo
Length: 10 hours

From the author of the New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, a subversive history of white male American identity.

What happens to a country that tells generation after generation of white men that they deserve power? What happens when success is defined by status over women and people of color, instead of by actual... Read more »

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Buddha's Brain

The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom

By Rick Hanson, Ph.D. & Richard Mendius, MD
Narrated by: Alan Bomar Jones
Length: 6 hours 58 minutes

The Buddha and other great teachers were born with brains built essentially like anyone else’s—and then they changed their brains in ways that changed the world.

Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of contemplative practice,... Read more »

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Made in China

A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America's Cheap Goods

By Amelia Pang
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 7 hours 3 minutes

Made in China

“This powerful story arises from an improbable source: a crude, hand-written note slipped into Halloween merchandise made in China, a note that leads Pang on a search for its author and introduces her to the nightmare life of Chinese prison labor, so-called re-education camps, the worst horrors of living in a police state, and lives destroyed just for being an independent thinker. The toll on individuals is foregrounded here and summons us to be humane to all.”

MainStreet BookEnds of Warner image Susan Thurin, MainStreet BookEnds of Warner
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Dare to Lead

Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

By Brené Brown
Narrated by: Brené Brown
Length: 8 hours 9 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  Brené Brown has taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong, and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers, and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.

Look for Brené Brown’s new podcast, Dare to...
Read more »

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Feasting Wild

In Search of the Last Untamed Food

By Gina Rae La Cerva
Narrated by: Jessica Gracie
Length: 10 hours 29 minutes

A writer and anthropologist searches for wild foods—and reveals what we lose in a world where wildness itself is misunderstood, commodified, and hotly pursued.

Two centuries ago, nearly half the North American diet was found in the wild. Today, so-called “wild foods” are becoming expensive commodities, served to the wealthy in top restaurants.... Read more »

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A Caraval Novel
Caraval: Book #1

By Stephanie Garber
Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
Length: 10 hours 18 minutes

"Actor Soler's lively narration swiftly draws listeners into the magical spectacle at the center of Garber's YA novel" — Publishers Weekly, best audiobooks of 2017

This program includes a bonus interview with the author.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval — Stephanie
Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter... Read more »

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By Alexandra Bracken
Narrated by: Fryda Wolff
Length: 15 hours 47 minutes

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love, and redemption. Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals. They are hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all... Read more »

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