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W&CF 2021 Holiday Favorites

W&CF 2021 Holiday Favorites

Whether you are lighting the candles, decking the halls, cozying on up for a snowy night in, or fighting systems of injustice, here are some of our favorite listens from 2021!

Playlist Tags: Women & Children First

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Crying in H Mart

A Memoir

By Michelle Zauner
Narrated by: Michelle Zauner
Length: 7 hours 22 minutes

Crying in H Mart

“I was struck by just how much I loved this book for how it walks through grief not as a way to leave it behind, but as a way to remember its exact shape. I’m grateful for its funny, self-deprecating, and wise observations, and for its difficult beauty.”

Parnassus Books image Steve Haruch, Parnassus Books
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The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

A Novel

By Zoraida Córdova
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 10 hours 57 minutes

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

“This book wraps you in all the beauty and sorrows of the world. The magical matriarch of the Montoya family, Orquídea Divina, invites each of her descendants to her funeral - even though she is still alive. As the past and present weave together, the Montoya family can only escape their curse by unspooling what happened to Orquídea. This story is full of wonder and love, a spell that I never wanted to break.”

Rediscovered Books image Samantha, Rediscovered Books
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Detransition, Baby

A Novel

By Torrey Peters
Narrated by: Renata Friedman
Length: 12 hours 31 minutes

Detransition, Baby

“This book led to my favorite book club conversation to date. The characters are messy and mostly unlikeable and Peters unflinchingly dives straight into topics in trans identity often considered taboo, without worrying about placating a cisgender audience. A quietly chaotic and fascinating character study.”

Phoenix Books image Miriasha, Phoenix Books
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Well Matched

By Jen DeLuca
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 9 hours 29 minutes

A pretend relationship gives two friends more than they bargained for in a Renaissance Faire rom com filled with flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights.

Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little... Read more »

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The Last Nomad

Coming of Age in the Somali Desert

By Shugri Said Salh
Narrated by: Waceke Wambaa
Length: 9 hours 39 minutes

The Last Nomad

“Shugri Said Salh delivers a poignant memoir about her life in Somalia, beginning with her life as a nomadic child with her grandmother in the desert. Shugri's struggles morph as she grows: hunger and thirst as a young nomadic child; an unstable home life back in the city; an escape from her home country when civil war breaks out; and so much more. Reader be warned, this is not an easy book to hear, dealing with topics as extreme as female genital mutilation and child abuse. But if you can handle it, it is a beautiful testament to a strong woman who is thriving despite a lifetime of trauma. Shugri weaves the nomad's thirst for survival into a story spanning her entire life and beyond.”

The Cupboard Maker Books image Sam, The Cupboard Maker Books
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How Beautiful We Were

A Novel

By Imbolo Mbue
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi, Janina Edwards, Dion Graham, JD Jackson, Allyson Johnson & Lisa Renee Pitts
Length: 14 hours 7 minutes

A fearless young woman from a small African village starts a revolution against an American oil company in this sweeping, inspiring novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers.

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, People ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The... Read more »

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Mexican Gothic

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

Mexican Gothic

“A bit spooky with some underlining themes of science and the power of racism. There’s a feel of modern Bronte sisters here which adds to the intrigue of this original gothic tale. I loved Noemi, the well-educated bright young protagonist who has a great sense of justice and can stare down evil all while being sophisticated and alluring. Great listening!”

Bookworm of Edwards image Karin, Bookworm of Edwards
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The Lincoln Highway

A Novel

By Amor Towles
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Marin Ireland & Dion Graham
Length: 16 hours 38 minutes

If you enjoyed This Tender Land, then you’ll love The Lincoln Highway.

“THIS BOOK EXCEEDED ALL EXPECTATIONS! As a huge fan of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, The Lincoln Highway had a lot of pressure and holy cow did it surpass anything I could have hoped for. From the first page, I was immediately drawn into Towles' magical writing and superb characters. This felt like a modern classic, the new and updated version of Huckleberry Finn that I actually wanted to read in high school. You cannot beat the quirkiness of Towles' characters. You feel so deeply about every single one of them and it feels like they leap off the page with specificities with which they are written. Duchess and Woolly, the stowaways, felt like a modern day George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men with Woolly's gentle giant innocence and Duchess' take-the-lead wile. Emmett is the stoic, do-right midwesterner who always fixes the messes. And Billy is the smartest, sweetest kid who inspires those around him. You fall in love with them and are left with all the feels. A glorious five out of five stars for me, The Lincoln Highway will be my go-to recommendation this fall.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Matrix

A Novel

By Lauren Groff
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 8 hours 51 minutes

Matrix

“Lauren Groff has created an incredibly powerful portrait of the compelling Marie de France, banished to 12th-century England to live in a failing abbey. I fell in love with Marie and the sisters she lives with.”

Barrett Bookstore image Rosanna Nissen, Barrett Bookstore
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Dream Girl

A Novel

By Laura Lippman
Narrated by: Jason Culp
Length: 8 hours 53 minutes

Dream Girl

“Carve out a lot of time for when you start Dream Girl, because you're not going to want to stop! Haunting, atmospheric and often funny — this is one of Lippman's best, which is saying a lot!”

Reads & Company image Jason Hafer, Reads & Company
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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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The Sky Blues

By Robbie Couch
Narrated by: Michael Crouch
Length: 8 hours 58 minutes

Sky’s small town turns absolutely claustrophobic when his secret promposal plans get leaked to the entire school in this witty, “earnest, heartfelt” (Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author), and ultimately hopeful debut novel for fans of What if it’s Us? and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Sky Baker may be openly gay, but in his... Read more »

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Memorial

A Novel

By Bryan Washington
Narrated by: Bryan Washington & Akie Kotabe
Length: 8 hours 19 minutes

Memorial

“Don’t let the simplicity of Washington’s story and prose deceive you. This quiet story of two young gay men at the end of their relationship dives deep into the emotional truths we learn when we allow ourselves to try to fully understand those who surround us.”

Tattered Cover image Jeremy, Tattered Cover
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Astrid Sees All

A Novel

By Natalie Standiford
Narrated by: Emily Tremaine
Length: 8 hours 10 minutes

Astrid Sees All

Astrid Sees All is the novel for everyone who has ever moved to a new city to reinvent themselves —and hit some bumps along the way. In a love letter to the East Village of Manhattan, the neighborhood’s grit, glamor, and romance feels palpable. The reader never stops rooting for these complex and compelling characters, despite their many missteps. What I wouldn’t give to party with Phoebe and her friends for a night at Plutonium!”

Book Club image Erin Neary, Book Club
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Olympus, Texas

A Novel

By Stacey Swann
Narrated by: Karissa Vacker
Length: 10 hours 16 minutes

Olympus, Texas

“A gripping debut that takes all of the skeletons out of the Briscoe family closet and throws them on the front lawn. The depth of character development speaks to my own east Texan family, which feels disconcerting and scandalous. A page-turning read that you won’t want to end.”

BookPeople image Charley Rejsek, BookPeople
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Girly Drinks

A World History of Women and Alcohol

By Mallory O'Meara
Narrated by: Mallory O'Meara
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

Girly Drinks

Girly Drinks is a fun, feminist, and information account chronicling the immense impact women have had on society through making and consuming alcohol. From beer and ale, to whisky, to sake, to sorghum, this is an inclusive and culturally aware history. Full to the brim with riveting stories, you’ll savor every line. Grab a beverage and tuck in!”

Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West image Riona, Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West
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Firekeeper's Daughter

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

Firekeeper's Daughter

“LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book on Libro.fm, as an audiobook. To hear the Ojibwe words spoken is a treat not to be missed. Great reader in Isabella Star Lablanc!”

Ballast Book Co. image Suzanne, Ballast Book Co.
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Certain Dark Things

A Novel

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Aida Reluzco
Length: 8 hours 46 minutes

Certain Dark Things

“What an engrossing, vibrant, new take on vampires. Part forbidden love story, part revenge caper, part bloodbath, this is easily one of my favorite vampire stories now. I love how Moreno-Garcia creates complex social structures and vampire-specific physical attributes to heighten tensions. This divide between vampires, as well as the human-vampire rift, shines a stark light on the haves & have-nots. Moreno-Garcia is so deft at telling whirlwind stories while also presenting important social commentary. Aida Reluzco is an excellent narrator as well! Loved her narration style and tonal intonations.”

Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West image Riona, Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West
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Broken (in the best possible way)

By Jenny Lawson
Narrated by: Jenny Lawson
Length: 8 hours 18 minutes

Broken (in the best possible way)

“I do love reading Jenny Lawson's books, but I have to admit: I love listening to them more. It's like having her sit with me, telling me stories, making me crack up and squirt water through my nose. It is hilarious and thoughtful at the same time. And definitely the perfect thing for right now. ”

Watermark Books image Melissa, Watermark Books
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The Pull of the Stars

A Novel

By Emma Donoghue
Narrated by: Emma Lowe
Length: 9 hours 6 minutes

The Pull of the Stars

“You might think reading a historical novel about the 1918 flu pandemic is leaning in a bit too much as we experience the COVID19 global pandemic, but what Donoghue has done with THE PULL OF THE STARS is to allow us to pull back, reexamine, and frame what we are living through today with what happened one hundred years ago. This book tells the story of 3 days in a maternity ward in Dublin, Ireland from the viewpoint of the midwife tasked with taking care of pregnant women with the flu. As we have come to expect from Donoghue's historical fiction, the detail is fascinatingly intense, the characters quite remarkable, and the story immersive.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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