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Staff Pick Saturday Features

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My Jasper June

By Laurel Snyder
Narrated by: Imani Parks
Length: 8 hours 27 minutes

My Jasper June

“Laurel Snyder's latest middle grade novel is a pitch-perfect story of a girl dealing with loss, navigating friendship, and (re)learning to speak up for what she believes in. While it's not magical realism, suggestions of magic sparkle at the edges of the story--this theme parallels Leah's own coming of age in a world where she wants to believe in the fantastic but isn't so sure it still exists for her.”

Avid Bookshop image Janet, Avid Bookshop
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The House in the Cerulean Sea

By TJ Klune
Narrated by: Daniel Henning
Length: 12 hours 12 minutes

The House in the Cerulean Sea

“Escape with me to a wonderful world where magic and magical creatures exist. Linus Baker, a quiet and lonely man, finds an unexpected and challenging task as he's assigned by the government to report on an island where an orphanage with extremely classified magical children reside and a charming caretaker with many secrets. He encounters many unexpected things which make him question everything he thought he knew and believed about the world and himself. I recommend this to anyone who needs a little island getaway!”

Skylight Books image Lance, Skylight Books
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Parable of the Sower

Earthseed: Book #1

By Octavia E. Butler
Narrated by: Lynne Thigpen
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes

Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Octavia E. Butler paints a stunning portrait of an all-too-believable near future. As with Kindred and her other critically-acclaimed novels, Parable of the Sower skillfully combines startling visionary and socially realistic concepts. God is change. That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose... Read more »

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Kindred

By Octavia E. Butler
Narrated by: Kim Staunton
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

The first science fiction written by a Black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of Black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably... Read more »

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Wild Seed

Patternist: Book #1

By Octavia E. Butler
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 11 hours 9 minutes

DDoro knows no higher authority than himself. An ancient spirit with boundless powers, he possesses humans, killing without remorse as he jumps from body to body to sustain his own life. With a lonely eternity ahead of him, Doro breeds supernaturally gifted humans into empires that obey his every desire. He fears no one—until he meets Anyanwu. ... Read more »

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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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My Rainbow

By DeShanna Neal & Trinity Neal
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 7 minutes

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.

Warm morning sunlight and love fill the Neal home. And on one quiet day, playtime leads to an important realization:Trinity wants long hair... Read more »

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All Adults Here

A Novel

By Emma Straub
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Length: 11 hours 4 minutes

All Adults Here

“All Adults Here centers around Astrid Strick, a widow who lives in a tight-knit community where two of her three adult children also live. Although circumstances could present close, supportive ties among this family, the reality is that Astrid has difficulty connecting to any of her kids—her daughter is a mess and seems might never grow up; her oldest son strives to attain a certain confusing stature of his own making; and her youngest son, who lives in New York, appears to be in a mindless, wandering haze which permeates his own life as well as his daughter’s. The story takes off when the aforementioned granddaughter comes to live with Astrid after being involved in some type of squabble at her previous school. This new challenge, as well as a past friend getting unexpectedly run over by a bus, sets Astrid’s life romping forward, forcing her to examine her past mistakes and to proclaim her new love interest to her family. A series of touching, funny, sexy, and real revelations by a diverse cast of characters unfold as each one deals with their own case of growing pains.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Liz, Blue Willow Bookshop
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The Vacationers

By Emma Straub
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 6 hours 39 minutes

An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth... Read more »

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Fairest

A Memoir

By Meredith Talusan
Narrated by: Meredith Talusan
Length: 8 hours 46 minutes

Finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction
 
"Talusan sails past the conventions of trans and immigrant memoirs." --The New York Times Book Review

"A ball of light hurled into the dark undertow of migration and survival." --Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

A singular, beautifully written...
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First, Become Ashes

By K.M. Szpara
Narrated by: Aaron Landon, Avi Roque, Briggon Snow & Graham Halstead
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

K. M. Szpara follows his explosive debut novel Docile with First, Become Ashes, a fantastic standalone adventure that explores self-discovery after trauma and outgrowing abusive origins over the course of an American road trip.


The Fellowship raised Lark to kill monsters.
His partner betrayed them to the Feds.
But Lark knows his magic is real, and...

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Docile

By K.M. Szpara
Narrated by: Mark Sanderlin & Vikas Adam
Length: 16 hours 31 minutes

Docile

“People will often refer to a book as one that’s ‘unlike anything they’ve ever read before,’ but for maybe the first time in my reading life, I can honestly say that about K.M. Szpara’s Docile. This erotic speculative science fiction novel takes place in a frighteningly plausible future where people become ‘dociles’ — essentially indentured slaves working off debt — and explores themes of consent, capitalism, and the abuse cycle. A visceral reading experience that will challenge, confront, titillate, and disgust, Docile feels like a book we will be talking about for decades.”

Bookmarks image Caleb Masters, Bookmarks
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Filthy Animals

By Brandon Taylor
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free, Nicole Lewis & TL Thompson
Length: 7 hours 42 minutes

Filthy Animals

“These stories about human relationships range from those between lovers, friends, and family. How is it that Taylor can write so that we can see the interior crevices of these characters’ souls?”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop
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The GayBCs

By M.L. Webb
Narrated by: Daniel Henning
Length: 7 minutes

A playdate extravaganza transforms into a celebration of friendship, love, and identity as four friends sashay out of all the closets, dress up in a wardrobe fit for kings and queens, and discover the wonder of imagination. From A is for Ally to F is for Family to Q is for Queer, debut author M. L. Webb’s lively, inclusive poems delight in the... Read more »

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The Prophets

By Robert Jones, Jr.
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 14 hours 52 minutes

The Prophets

“This was quite the stunning debut - I loved the meta quality of the narration and the overall lyrical writing style. A powerful and commanding story! ”

Curious Iguana image Lauren, Curious Iguana
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King and the Dragonflies

By Kacen Callender
Narrated by: Ron Butler
Length: 5 hours 3 minutes

King and the Dragonflies

“Kingston (King) James and his parents are grieving the loss of Khalid-- King's older brother. When Khalid was alive and the two shared a bedroom, he would talk in his sleep, telling his younger brother stories about the universe and its magic. King continues to see Khalid in his dreams, and is convinced Khalid has transformed into a dragonfly. The Louisiana bayou provides the backdrop for both a colorful landscape and a tense, fearful place where racism festers. When King's former friend, Sandy, who is white, and the son of the racist police chief, goes missing, King ends up helping hide Sandy from his abusive father. Woven seamlessly into this wise story is King's slow awakening of his sexuality, brought to the fore by his renewed friendship with Sandy, who is known to be gay. Callender's writing is so authentic and their characters are so tenderly portrayed by Ron Butler's superb narration I mourned its conclusion. The whole package is a crowning achievement.”

Bear Pond Books image Jane, Bear Pond Books
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An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Narrated by: Laural Merlington
Length: 10 hours 18 minutes

Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the U.S. settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history.

Roxanne... Read more »

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With Teeth

A Novel

By Kristen Arnett
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

“A gripping read…Unabashedly queer, probing and unafraid…Exceedingly engaging.” –USA Today

“Sublimely weird, fluently paced, brazenly funny and gayer still, and it richly deserves to find readers.” –New York Times

From the author of the New York Times–bestselling sensation Mostly Dead Things: a surprising and moving story of two mothers, one...
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How to Become a Planet

By Nicole Melleby
Narrated by: Rachel Jacobs
Length: 6 hours 52 minutes

If you enjoyed My Jasper June, then you’ll love How to Become a Planet.

“When Pluto is diagnosed with depression and anxiety she feels like a completely different person; unable to complete simple tasks such as getting out of bed, unable to relate to her friends, unable to finish 7th grade. Pluto has a deep love of anything space related and frames her world and her experiences using space analogies. Why was Pluto a planet then suddenly not a planet anymore? Why does it feel like a black hole is consuming her world? This book is about friendship, persistence, and how mental illnesses affect families, but most importantly how it is okay to be different and okay to be unable to do some things. How to Become a Planet pulled at my heartstrings. This book is heavy at times, but I wish there had been a book like this when I was younger explaining depression and anxiety in an accessible way—letting me know I wasn’t alone in feeling a bit different. Definitely a must-listen for all.”

Content image Emma, Content
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This Is How It Always Is

A Novel

By Laurie Frankel
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
Length: 10 hours 59 minutes

The Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick

*Named one of the top 10 books of 2017 by People Magazine*

“It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think.” —Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies


This is how
a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.

This is how a family lives...

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