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Bookseller Arianna's Picks

Bookseller Arianna's Picks

Our marketing manager (and audiobook aficionado) Arianna's favorite listens.

Playlist Tags: P&T Knitwear topic: non-fiction indie publishers mood: immersive topic: memoir topic: scifi topic: staff picks mood: spooky

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Sleep Donation

By Karen Russell
Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
Length: 4 hours 16 minutes

A haunting novella from the uncannily imaginative author of the national bestsellers Swamplandia! and Orange World: the story of a deadly insomnia epidemic and the lengths one woman will go to to fight it.

Trish Edgewater is the Slumber Corps' top recruiter. On the phone, at a specially organized Sleep Drive, even in a supermarket parking lot:... Read more »

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Empire of Pain

The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

By Patrick Radden Keefe
Narrated by: Patrick Radden Keefe
Length: 18 hours 6 minutes

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEARNEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. From the prize-winning and bestselling author of Say Nothing, as featured in the HBO... Read more »

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Wayward

A novel

By Dana Spiotta
Narrated by: Susan Bennett
Length: 9 hours 12 minutes

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • A “furious and addictive new novel” (The New York Times) about mothers and daughters, and one woman's midlife reckoning as she flees her suburban life.

A virtuosic, singular and very funny portrait of a woman seeking sanity and purpose in a world gone mad.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Riddled with...
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Brood

A Novel

By Jackie Polzin
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Length: 4 hours 50 minutes

Brood

“Over the course of a year, told in a collection of snapshots, Brood shows the life of a woman grieving by doing anything but. She gives herself purpose by taking care of a small flock of chickens, as well as finding small but kind, funny, or wry ways of interacting with her neighbors, eccentric mother-in-law, and caring husband, Percy. There are plenty of clever and funny moments from scene to scene (not to mention the odd and interesting analyses of a chicken’s life and point of view), but the beauty in this book lies in the narrator’s acceptance of the everyday, and of all the things — bad, good, but mostly in-between — that come therein.”

Oxford Exchange image Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange
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How the Word Is Passed

A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

By Clint Smith
Narrated by: Clint Smith
Length: 10 hours 7 minutes

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller

Longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction


Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central...

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Hot Stew

By Fiona Mozley
Narrated by: Nneka Okoye
Length: 9 hours 47 minutes

Hot Stew

“A young millionaire wants to turn an old Soho brothel into luxury condos, but the tenants aren’t going to leave without a fight. A riveting tale about wealth, class, gentrification, power, and gender, this story shows readers just how unjust the world can be. A 2021 must-read!”

Flyleaf Books image Jennie Minor, Flyleaf Books
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Catherine House

A Novel

By Elisabeth Thomas
Narrated by: Inés del Castillo
Length: 11 hours 27 minutes

Catherine House

“Getting into Catherine House is the key to success. Spend three years here completely removed from the outside world, separate yourself from your life before Catherine House, and when the three years are over, you’ll be unstoppable. That’s the premise for this evocative and gripping gothic novel. Elisabeth Thomas’ ability to create at once an elusive yet highly practical world makes her a stunning new literary voice. Inspired by secret societies, scientific experimentation, and the mysteriousness of finding ourselves, Catherine House is sure to haunt readers.”

The Novel Neighbor image Stephanie Skees, The Novel Neighbor
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Strange Beasts of China

By Yan Ge
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 7 hours 56 minutes

Strange Beasts of China

“I'm haunted by this lovely work of magical realism, set in a fictional city in China where "beasts" intermingle with humanity. The beasts are human-like, only differing from humans in small, but significant, ways. Through a series of episodic stories that seems disjointed at first, but eventually form a cohesive whole, Yan Ge presents us with a novelist narrator who leads the reader through the strange, beautiful city and introduces us to the various beasts who inhabit it. I'm not sure what I was expecting from Strange Beasts of China, but its ethereal prose and unfamiliar beauty made it unlike anything I've ever read before.”

Inklings Bookshop image Emily, Inklings Bookshop
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Surviving the White Gaze

A Memoir

By Rebecca Carroll
Narrated by: Rebecca Carroll
Length: 7 hours 28 minutes

A stirring and powerful memoir from black cultural critic Rebecca Carroll recounting her painful struggle to overcome a completely white childhood in order to forge her identity as a black woman in America.

Rebecca Carroll grew up the only black person in her rural New Hampshire town. Adopted at birth by artistic parents who believed in peace,... Read more »

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The Index of Self-Destructive Acts

A Novel

By Christopher Beha
Narrated by: Jim Frangione
Length: 16 hours 26 minutes

A novel about belief—in a game, a job, a way of life, a family—and the unexpected ways we rely on each other when our most important realities crumble

The day Sam Waxworth arrives in New York to write for The Interviewer, a street-corner preacher declares that the world is coming to an end. A sports statistician, data journalist, and newly minted...

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Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch

A Novel

By Rivka Galchen
Narrated by: Natasha Soudek
Length: 8 hours 47 minutes

"It’s both transfixing and destabilizing. It’s the best thing I listened to all winter." —Alexis Gunderson, PASTE Magazine

The startling, witty, highly anticipated second novel from Rivka Galchen, the critically acclaimed author of Atmospheric Disturbances.


The story begins in 1618, in the German duchy of Württemberg. Plague is spreading. The...

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The Golden State

By Lydia Kiesling
Narrated by: Amanda Dolan
Length: 9 hours 9 minutes

A gorgeous, raw debut novel about a young woman braving the ups and downs of motherhood in a fractured America

In Lydia Kiesling's razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her...

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The Body Scout

A Novel

By Lincoln Michel
Narrated by: Greg Chun
Length: 9 hours 48 minutes

Diamond-sharp and savagely wry, The Body Scout is a timely science fiction thriller debut set in an all-too-possible future, perfect for readers of William Gibson. In the future you can have any body you want—as long as you can afford it.
 
But in a New York ravaged by climate change and repeat pandemics, Kobo is barely scraping by. He scouts the... Read more »

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Cultish

The Language of Fanaticism

By Amanda Montell
Narrated by: Ann Marie Gideon
Length: 8 hours 21 minutes

The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power.

What makes “cults” so intriguing and frightening? What makes them powerful? The reason why so many of us binge Manson...

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Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

Mexican Gothic

“Although Mexican Gothic begins in an unassuming Gothic way, with a psychotic cousin and a haunted house, the book slowly turns until you are completely snatched from reality and cannot put the book down. Until the end, I couldn’t figure out which of the creepy characters were trustworthy or even which scenes were reality. The atmosphere and setting of this book were remarkably vibrant; I could picture High Place and each of its residents in full disgusting detail. While the book may begin slowly, and some readers may be tempted to put it down after the first 50 pages, this one was worth sticking it out for me and many others.

This is definitely a horror novel, and some readers may need content warnings for sexual assault, suicide, domestic abuse, incest, hallucinations, murder and gore, cannibalism, eugenics, death of a parent and other family members, miscarriages, and racism. It is difficult to provide a full review of this book without delving into spoilers, but it is certainly more than just a haunted house. Readers of fast-paced action-filled horror and readers of beautiful yet devastating prose will find something to enjoy in this story. Despite the plethora of content warnings, I would recommend this book to young adults as well as adults that enjoy horror.”

Beausoleil Books image Endya, Beausoleil Books
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The President and the Frog

A novel

By Carolina De Robertis
Narrated by: Carolina De Robertis
Length: 5 hours 28 minutes

An incandescent novel—political, mystical, timely, and heartening—about the power of memory, and the pursuit of justice, from the acclaimed author of Cantoras.
 
“A joy to read. Playful and profound, unearthly yet deeply rooted, this sublime and gripping novel is above all about hope: that within the world's messy...
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No One Goes Alone

A Novel
A Random House Audiobook Original

By Erik Larson
Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt & Erik Larson
Length: 7 hours 35 minutes

From New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson comes his first venture into fiction, an otherworldly tale of intrigue and the impossible that marshals his trademark approach to nonfiction to create something new: a ghost story thoroughly grounded in history.

Pioneering psychologist William James leads an expedition to a remote isle in search...
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This Is Chance!

The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice That Held It Together

By Jon Mooallem
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Length: 8 hours 22 minutes

The thrilling, cinematic story of a community shattered by disaster—and the extraordinary woman who helped pull it back together

“A powerful, heart-wrenching book, as much art as it is journalism.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“A beautifully wrought and profoundly joyful story of compassion and perseverance.”—BuzzFeed (Best Books of the Year)

In the... Read more »

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Happy Hour

By Marlowe Granados
Narrated by: Bronwyn Szabo
Length: 8 hours 6 minutes

“A wild ride with a brilliantly cocky young protagonist who’s got the world wrapped around her finger. So propulsive you'll feel like you've been hypnotized.” — Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People

Happy Hour feels like a breathless whisper at six in the morning when it’s too hot to sleep. Marlowe Granados is a fresh, exciting...

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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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