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Pronounced!—For Your Enhanced Enjoyment

Pronounced!—For Your Enhanced Enjoyment

A recommended listening list for you to better absorb a culturally relevant story, where accents and foreign language vocabulary are pronounced with authenticity! #BetterThanTheBook

Playlist Tags: Bookish Chicago genre: Fiction culturally diverse characters culture own voices topic: international

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Last Gate of the Emperor

By Kwame Mbalia & Prince Joel Makonnen
Narrated by: Prince Araya Mengesha
Length: 6 hours 22 minutes

From Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel David Makonnen comes an Afrofuturist adventure about a mythical Ethiopian empire. Sci-fi and fantasy combine in this epic journey to the stars.

Yared Heywat lives an isolated life in Addis Prime -- a hardscrabble city with rundown tech, lots of rules, and not much to do. His worrywart Uncle Moti and bionic...

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Interior Chinatown

A Novel

By Charles Yu
Narrated by: Joel de la Fuente
Length: 4 hours 20 minutes

Interior Chinatown

“We all make choices throughout our lives, choosing different paths to follow, different roles to play. But who selects the options we choose from? Interior Chinatown is like a rapier taken to stereotypes that inhabit society's attitudes towards Asian Americans. The main character, Willis Wu, is a minor actor in an ongoing cop drama who wants to be more than a generic Asian male in the background, maybe even someday becoming "Kung Fu Guy". The novel bounces back and forth between the script Wu is inhabiting and an interior monologue . And one of the strengths of this book, for the reader, is how thin the line sometimes feels between these stereotypical roles that Willis is acting, and the ridiculousness of the particular situation. Interior Chinatown is a brilliant novel, one that challenged this reader in the best possible ways”

Green Apple Books image Martin, Green Apple Books
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Infinite Country

A Novel

By Patricia Engel
Narrated by: Inés del Castillo
Length: 4 hours 57 minutes

Infinite Country

“Patricia Engel’s new book is a true gem, a family story in which each voice is equally interesting and dynamic as well as a great examination on the brutish nature of the U.S. government and citizens toward people traveling stateside to start a new life. Your heart breaks and mends and breaks all over again for this family. In less than 200 pages, Engel works magic.”

Malaprop's Bookstore image James Harrod, Malaprop's Bookstore
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Ordinary Girls

A Memoir

By Jaquira Diaz
Narrated by: Almarie Guerra
Length: 10 hours 8 minutes

Ordinary Girls

“Too often, those of us who grow up below the federal poverty line spend the rest of our lives erasing ourselves. If we manage to migrate out of poverty, we do so at a cost. The gatekeepers of academia, and of literature, often only want to hear our stories if we make a spectacle of our people, or if we tell our stories in the language of the elite at the expense of our own voices. I think this is one of the most powerful things about Ordinary Girls. Díaz tells her sad and beautiful stories in her own voice, a voice that still holds the people and the places that made her. What a gift. Growing up poor means that we are taught, every day and in a million tiny ways, that our families are wrong, our speech is ugly, our stories shameful. This is oppression and Díaz banishes it with beauty, love, honesty, and insight. Ordinary Girls is a book that makes me feel less alone in this world.”

Klindt's Booksellers image Tina Ontiveros, Klindt's Booksellers
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A Pho Love Story

By Loan Le
Narrated by: Ryan Do & Vyvy Nguyen
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes

“Will leave readers swooning.” —PopSugar

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d... Read more »

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The Poet X

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo
Length: 3 hours 30 minutes

The Poet X

“The Poet X is written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo. It is a novel made up of poems by a teenager, Xiomara Batista, growing up in Harlem. Acevedo's narration is wonderful and brings the story to life. Xiomara's dad is MIA even though he lives at home; her mother is extremely religious and pushes her faith onto her daughter; her twin brother is quiet and also working through his own feelings; she starts her first relationship with a guy; and all the time Xiomara is told what she can and cannot do, gets accosted by men, has to defend herself because no one else will, is questioning God and has no one to open up to. She releases her pent of feelings in a notebook. It isn't until her new English teacher introduces her to spoken poetry that she realizes that is what she is meant to be: a poet. This is a lovely story of a young, misunderstood girl, coming of age and showing the world that she is worth it. Great for adults who enjoyed Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and extremely relevant literature for the #metoo movement.”

M. Judson Booksellers image Kelly, M. Judson Booksellers
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Darius the Great Is Not Okay

By Adib Khorram
Narrated by: Michael Levi Harris
Length: 7 hours 33 minutes

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

“Darius is struggling. He doesn't fit in at school. He has trouble making friends. He's bullied. And to top that off, he's plagued by horribly negative thoughts including the very painful feeling that his father doesn't like him and wishes to replace him with his younger sister. Darius, indeed, is not okay. Everything changes when Darius meets Sohrab, while visiting relatives in Iran. Sohrab is generous and caring, helping Darius to see many things and even himself in a new light. I was truly moved to tears by this incredibly rare depiction of a tender and loving friendship between two adolescent male teens. An honest and accessible read for those wanting to understand teens struggling with clinically diagnosed depression.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Zinna, A Great Good Place for Books
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Firekeeper's Daughter

By Angeline Boulley
Narrated by: Isabella Star LaBlanc
Length: 14 hours 13 minutes

If you enjoyed There There, then you’ll love Firekeeper's Daughter.

Firekeeper's Daughter is a wonder! We so rarely hear YA through an Indigenous people's voice and this book does it so very well. Main character Daunis Lorenzo Fontaine lives a fine line between her white French Canadian mother and her Ojibwe father in a complicated family dynamic. She is smart, hockey talented, driven, and tenacious as she navigates the murder of her best friend Lily, rampant drug culture, and the journey to find herself. Angeline Boulley seamlessly incorporates the Ojbiwe language and lifeways that both inform and educate the reader in this amazing story that will stay with me long after I have moved onto other books. A MUST-read (or listen)!”

Rediscovered Books image Rebecca, Rediscovered Books
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