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2019 Indies Choice Award Finalists

2019 Indies Choice Award Finalists

The Indies Choice Awards celebrate the books that independent bookstores around the country are championing. This year’s finalists for Book of the Year – Adult Fiction, Book of the Year – Adult Nonfiction, Book of the Year – Adult Debut, Book of the Year – Young Adult, E.B. White Read-Aloud Award – Middle Reader and Audiobook of the Year.

Playlist Tags: awards: indies choice awards topic: best of 2019

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Circe

By Madeline Miller
Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

Circe

“Miller expands on the story Circe, a little-known figure in Greek mythology to create an insightful portrayal of humanity. This is some of the most beautiful writing I've ever experienced. As a society, we are flooded with tales of ordinary to extraordinary, of the special, chosen hero. But what about the power of the ordinary? And of choice? Perhaps a strong will can best even the gods of Olympus.”

Oblong Books image Lafe, Oblong Books
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There There

A novel

By Tommy Orange
Narrated by: Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo & Kyla Garcia
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

There There

“Heartbreaking and necessary, this book is raw, powerful, and storytelling at its finest. It's a woven tapestry of the urban Indian experience as few outside these communities have seen it. Vignettes follow 12 people through time and space as they make their way to the Big Oakland Powwow. Each person has their own struggles with identity, life, the powwow; with living, loving, addiction, and employment; with heart and soul and happiness and everything else that makes up the complicated human story, but most especially the complex Indian experience in America. This debut novel was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction. ”

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
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Kill the Farm Boy

The Tales of Pell
The Tales of Pell: Book #1

By Kevin Hearne & Delilah S. Dawson
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Length: 12 hours 38 minutes

Kill the Farm Boy

“This audiobook could not possibly be any better! The book is witty, wry and everything I didn't know I wanted in a fun, fast paced novel. The reader has a delightful voice and easily slips from cadence to cadence, giving each character a distinct inflection and making it easy to follow the dialogue even when groups are conversing. I cannot wait to pick up the next book by these enchanting authors!”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
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Free audiobook with membership

For a limited time, when you sign up for a new monthly membership with code CHOOSEINDIE, we’ll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you’ll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start.

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Once Upon a River

A Novel

By Diane Setterfield
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
Length: 16 hours 27 minutes

Once Upon a River

“Time to settle down for a story. It begins, as good stories should, with the rescue of a pair of strangers on a winter night. Though all is not as it seems in Diane Setterfield’s latest, as Once Upon a River quickly delves into a mystery. The young girl was dead when she was pulled from the river, but hours later she begins to breathe. As the story of her revival spreads, more than one member of the village feels mysteriously drawn to her. Could she be their missing child, estranged granddaughter, long-lost sister? Setterfield’s work is the closest an adult can come to settling down for story time, and Once Upon a River has the same magic, timeless, and cozy charm of a tale that has been told through the ages. Simply lovely.”

Molly Gillespie image Molly Gillespie, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
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The Secrets Between Us

A Novel

By Thrity Umrigar
Narrated by: Sneha Mathan
Length: 11 hours 55 minutes

The Secrets Between Us

“This wonderful novel loosely a sequel to The Spaces Between Us—is the rich, moving story of an amazing friendship, one that would never have occurred under the old restrictions of India and in the new India feels its tentative way. The lives of Bhima and Parvati are ones of unbelievable poverty and struggle, but the dignity and richness their friendship manifests took my breath away. A bit Dickensian in the best ways, this novel had me in tears several times. These women are two I will not soon forget.”

Third Place Books image Michael Coy, Third Place Books
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Educated

A Memoir

By Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 9 minutes

Educated

“I loved this book! Tara Westover's memoir is the kind that sounds like it should be a novel—and this book reads like one in the best way—and I think I found myself gasping and covering my mouth about once per chapter. Westover describes her upbringing in a fundamentalist Mormon, survivalist, anti-government, anti-medicine family, enduring neglect and abuse and never attending school, in a way that still somehow manages to make her family members seem sympathetic despite their actions. She is honest about her early beliefs and conflicts and addresses her own lapses in memory throughout the book, and when she finally leaves home to go to college and beyond, you can't help but cheer for her. Julia Whelan does a fantastic job narrating the book, as well, giving each character a distinct personality, but in a way that isn't distracting to the story being told. Her voice is alternately innocent and chilling and gives an added depth to a fascinating story.”

Bank Square Books image Elissa, Bank Square Books
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An American Marriage

A Novel

By Tayari Jones
Narrated by: Sean Crisden & Eisa Davis
Length: 8 hours 59 minutes

An American Marriage

“Tayari Jones comes in fierce with An American Marriage. Delving into the lives of the newly married Roy and Celestial, this is a novel that pulls no punches from beginning to end. I won't ruin the surprise, but they're hit with a harrowing event that will define not only their relationship, but each of their lives, forever. Writing with an intensity and pace worthy of Donna Tartt, Jones yanks us into her characters' lives with a grip that never lets up. I cannot wait to put this in people's hands!”

Angela Spring image Angela Spring, Duende District
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Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 3 hours 21 minutes

Convenience Store Woman

“Keiko loves rules. Having worked a part-time job in a Japanese convenience store for 18 years, she loves having a corporate script to recite, sales goals to reach, and a list of tasks to complete. What she doesn't love - or even understand - are the more complicated rules of society at large. She doesn't want a husband, or children, or a real job. What she does want is a satisfactory answer to the endless personal questions that will allow her to be left alone. Convenience Store Woman is a quirky and hilarious look at society and its misfits, and what happens when we try to bend ourselves to the needs of others.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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The Overstory

By Richard Powers
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Length: 22 hours 58 minutes

The Overstory

“Do you love trees? Probably not as much as Richard Powers does! This books weaves together the converging stories of nine characters, but they really function as a means to probe the perspective of the trees themselves. With lyrical prose and amazing stories of naturalist history, this is an epic of environmental literature.”

Avid Bookshop image David, Avid Bookshop
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Tin Man

A Novel

By Sarah Winman
Narrated by: Sarah Winman
Length: 4 hours 33 minutes

Tin Man

“Saying I loved this book would almost feel like an understatement. The minute I started reading it I got pulled in and couldn't stop until I was done. With beautiful prose, Sarah Winman tells a warm and utterly heart-breaking story. Ellis and Michael are connected, seemingly by fate, at the moment in their lives when they both lose their mothers and need to feel connected to someone. And the connection they make is the one that lasts a lifetime, the one that gets them through, and can't be broken even with the years they spend apart not knowing what the other is doing. Told from both Elli's and Michael's perspective, Tin Man is a story of loss, pain, secrets and shattering loneliness. But above all it’s a story of love and friendship, the need we all feel, to be connected and to belong.”

Politics & Prose image Marija D., Politics & Prose
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Waiting for Eden

A novel

By Elliot Ackerman
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 3 hours 26 minutes

Waiting for Eden

“I was completely captivated by this intensely emotional yet compact novel. Both of Ackerman’s previous novels were acclaimed by readers and critics alike, but Waiting for Eden proves something more. In less than 200 pages, the intersecting lives of three people and the consequences of their choices are revealed in an astounding manner. It’s a love story, a ghost story, a horror story, a war story, and, ultimately, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. I don’t want to tell you much more as I don’t want to spoil it, but urge you to read this powerful and important work of literature.”

Square Books image Cody Morrison, Square Books
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All You Can Ever Know

A Memoir

By Nicole Chung
Narrated by: Janet Song
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

All You Can Ever Know

“Nicole Chung’s clear and introspective memoir brings new light to the search for identity and navigating both the past and the future when surrounded by the complexity of those who love you. As a transracial adoptee, the incongruity of growing up happy yet uncomfortably different leads her to search out the truth about her birth parents when she is on the brink of becoming a parent herself. This unique, difficult, and often surprising journey considers what one needs most in the world to belong.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Melinda, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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Heartland

A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

By Sarah Smarsh
Narrated by: Sarah Smarsh
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes

Heartland

“A classic is born! Sarah Smarsh takes us on a five-generation trek through the hardscrabble life of her Kansas childhood in the ’80s and ’90s. Just as J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed addressed the uncomfortable topic of poverty in this country, Heartland successfully gives the reader an in-depth look at impoverishment in the bread basket of America. She writes with a crystal-clear and objective voice, never giving in to self-pity or malevolence. Indeed, tongue-in-cheek humor and tenderness often shine through. This book is a must-read, a milestone in the life of our country.”

Nancy Simpson-Brice image Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault
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Heavy

An American Memoir

By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“"I wanted to write a lie," Kiese Laymon says in the opening pages of his brutal, beautiful memoir, Heavy. The book is written in the second person, addressed to his mother, with whom Laymon shares a turbulent, intimate relationship. She feeds his mind with books, but critiques the way Laymon feeds his body as he struggles with his weight. She is his best friend, yet demands excellence through regular beatings. And yet, Laymon's complicated love for his mother is absolute. It is palpable in his voice as he reads the words he wrote for his mother, as he tells you his story of being a black boy, a black man, in Mississippi and America. This is a book that will knock you flat on your back. This is a book that will make you sob in the grocery store. Laymon had me captivated from the very first word he spoke. It was a privilege to listen.”

Square Books image Maggie, Square Books
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The Library Book

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by: Susan Orlean
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

The Library Book

“The Library Book by Susan Orleans is ostensibly about the Central Los Angeles library fire in 1986 but it is SO much more! Orleans' incredibly well researched and yet personal history and commentary on the public library system in the United States is fascinating on many levels. The mystery surrounding the fire is a story unto itself with an interesting cast of characters including the man who was accused but never convicted of arson. In addition, the personalities of the librarians and administrators of the LA library system are varied and incredibly colorful. Finally, Orleans examines the ever-changing roles of public libraries and how information dissemination and services for the homeless are some of the greatest challenges facing libraries today. I listened to this book on LIBRO and hearing Susan Orleans read was a joy! Really a terrific read for anyone interested in books, libraries, social justice, architecture and even crime drama!”

Wellesley Books image Phyllis, Wellesley Books
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The Recovering

Intoxication and Its Aftermath

By Leslie Jamison
Narrated by: Leslie Jamison
Length: 16 hours 6 minutes

The Recovering

“I've loved everything Leslie Jamison's written, but best of all so far is The Recovering, a memoir/history/criticism-hybrid that takes addiction and recovery as its subject. Every time I sat down with this book, I felt like I was in the company of my smartest friend, someone who knew all the right words for life's greatest pleasures and pains. Her book moves fluidly from personal remembrances to perfectly synthesized research into how and why people (herself and artists and others) elect to warp their consciousness with substances. The Recovering is a thorough and thoughtful look at many of our worst and some of our best tendencies, and Jamison's continually compelling style makes it a delight to read.”

Bank Square Books image John Francisconi, Bank Square Books
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Black Friday

Maggie O'Dell Series: Book #7

By Alex Kava
Narrated by: Tanya Eby
Length: 7 hours 39 minutes

On the busiest shopping day of the year, some idealistic college students believe they’re about to carry out an elaborate media stunt at the largest mall in America. They think the jamming devices in their backpacks will disrupt stores’ computer systems, causing delays and chaos. What they don’t realize is that instead of jamming devices, their... Read more »

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My Sister, the Serial Killer

A Novel

By Oyinkan Braithwaite
Narrated by: Adepero Oduye
Length: 4 hours 14 minutes

My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer is one of the best books to come along in quite a while — fast, funny, and completely engrossing. Oyinkan Braithwaite offers up a tale of Nigerian sisters Ayoola, a beautiful and sociopathic serial killer who destroys boyfriends, aware that all they ever want her for is her appearance, and Korede, a nurse whose average looks leave her continually passed up in preference for Ayoola. Still, taciturn and devoted Korede works hard to cover up her charming sister’s crimes. What will happen when they both fall for the same guy? At once a page-turner and a perversely righteous tale about the emptiness of physical beauty and the superficiality of being charmed by it, My Sister, the Serial Killer is entertaining, provoking, and utterly fascinating!”

Bookbug image Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug
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Only Killers and Thieves

A Novel

By Paul Howarth
Narrated by: David Linski
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Only Killers and Thieves

“An absolutely vicious debut novel, “Only Killers and Thieves,” by Paul Howarth is a dark and violent coming-of-age story of the McBride brothers, Billy and Tommy, set in the late 1880’s Australian Outback. After discovering the slaughter of their family, the McBride boys, one eager, one reluctant, join with local land baron, Joseph Sullivan to hunt down and massacre the Aboriginals responsible. During their brutal battle for vengeance, the brothers are soon forced to choose between right and wrong, power or weakness and a future of servitude working for Sullivan to pay off their father’s debt. Their loyalty torn apart, Tommy deserts the hunt, desperate to seek the truth of his parent’s murder. Will Tommy find the strength to exact the revenge he initially didn’t seek, or will he cave to the seductive sirens calling from Sullivan’s camp?”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
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The Line Becomes a River

Dispatches from the Border

By Francisco Cantú
Narrated by: Francisco Cantú
Length: 6 hours 29 minutes

The Line Becomes a River

“Cantu personalizes the U.S.-Mexican border and all of its complexity in a way I've never seen. His writing is beautiful, with haunting and detailed descriptions of the desert, the immigrants, the cartels, and his own fears about violence and identity confusion. The criminalization of searching for a better life and the dehumanization of the process is looked at from several angles, and his journalistic approach does not make judgments, but clearly tells the facts. A great new writer to follow.”

Bookworks image Pat Marsello, Bookworks
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