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Julia's Staff Picks

Julia's Staff Picks

Julia could really recommend any book she has read, she has learned to pick out just the right thing for herself. Here a some she really wants you to enjoy also.

Playlist Tags: The Bookloft staff picks bookstore-created

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Death Sworn

By Leah Cypess
Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
Length: 7 hours 39 minutes

When a young sorceress is exiled to teach magic to a clan of assassins, she will find that secrets can be even deadlier than swords. Teen Vogue proclaimed, "It's impossible not to fall deep into the dark yet alluring world of sorcery and secret assassins." A dangerous and eerie fantasy about murder, shocking discoveries, and fiery star-crossed...

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The Sleeper and the Spindle

By Neil Gaiman
Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt, Lara Pulver, Niamh Walsh, Adjoa Andoh, Peter Forbes, John Sessions, Michael Maloney, Sean Baker, Jane Collingwood, Clare Corbett, Allan Corduner & Katherine Kingsley
Length: 1 hours 6 minutes

The Sleeper and the Spindle

“This retelling is dark and twisty-- we don't get what we expect. The sleeper, the hero, and the adventure is all familiar and NEW at the same time. I first read this story in Rags & Bones: New Twists On Old Tales, a compilation of retellings. I really had liked Neil Gaiman's take on Sleeping Beauty and his inclusion of Snow White. Then it was published solo in this great graphic edition! This book is gorgeous, the illustrations are as enchanting, as tangled, as thorny, as haunting, and as eerie as the writing. I listened to the audio of this stunning book and was impressed again. This isn't a bedtime picture book-- this creepy creation is for older readers and the very brave!”

The Bookloft image Julia, The Bookloft
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Hunger

A Memoir of (My) Body

By Roxane Gay
Narrated by: Roxane Gay
Length: 5 hours 57 minutes

Hunger

“This memoir is about trauma and privilege, self-loathing, and a silent fear kept secret for far too long. It's about our obsession with body weight and body image, what happens when we internalize our pain and become self-destructive, and how very, very large people are treated in humiliating ways. The descriptions of addictive behavior and the journey to want to heal make this book more universal than I expected. When you decide that this is the day you're going to change and you get out of bed and fail, that's pretty normal. You'll have another chance tomorrow - just remember to like yourself enough to overcome the fear of healing and try again. Highly recommend.”

Arcadia Books image Todd Miller, Arcadia Books
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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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The Dark Is Rising

The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Book #2

By Susan Cooper
Narrated by: Alex Jennings
Length: 8 hours 41 minutes

On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift--he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from dominations by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day and the Old Ones in the final battle between the... Read more »

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Reckless

Reckless, Book 1
Mirrorworld Series: Book #1

By Cornelia Funke
Narrated by: Elliot Hill
Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

Reckless

“Cornelia Funke gives us a world that is dark, dangerous, and exhilarating. A world where King Arthur did exist, where warlocks make castles disappear and where men with skin of Jade and Carnelian are conquering the many kingdoms around them. Where a fairy curse can slowly take your life. Where your only hope is a magic crossbow. In Reckless, Jacob is followed into this dangerous world by his brother who he has to save from becoming a monster. In Fearless, after saving his brother it is Jacob's own life that is at stake. This whole series is enjoyable to read & listen too!”

The Bookloft image Julia, The Bookloft
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Seraphina

Seraphina Series

By Rachel Hartman
Narrated by: Mandy Williams & Justine Eyre
Length: 13 hours 13 minutes

Seraphina

“Seraphina is a young woman who is caught up in a conspiracy to destroy the peace between her kingdom & the dragons that share it. While working to discover the conspirators, Seraphina forms new friendships. She learns from her new friends & her family that love can come in different forms & shown in different ways. This charming original & beautifully written tale has a bittersweet ending which leaves you full of hope & anticipation for the future. Listen to that narrator! ”

The Bookloft image Julia, The Bookloft
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The Bear and the Nightingale

A Novel
Winternight Trilogy: Book #1

By Katherine Arden
Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
Length: 11 hours 47 minutes

The Bear and the Nightingale

“The Bear and the Nightingale is an enchanting mix of fairy tale, fantasy, and historical fiction set in medieval Russia. Nestled between the northern wilderness and civilization is a village where old and new traditions live side by side. Vasya, the last daughter of Pyotr and Marina, is born on the howling winds of autumn. Different from the others in her village, she is destined to be like her grandmother and is gifted with powers by birthright. As time goes by, Vasya is tested. Caught in the conflict between the old spirits and the new religion, Vasya must do everything in her power to save her family and village. Arden's novel is the rich, mesmerizing fairy tale you've been waiting for!”

Jennifer Steele image Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company
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Jane, Unlimited

By Kristin Cashore
Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
Length: 14 hours 37 minutes

An instant New York Times bestseller—from the award-winning author of the Graceling Realm series—about adventure, grief, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices.

"A wild gift for readers who like books that take them to unexpected places."—Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Wood

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary... Read more »

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The Victorian and the Romantic

A Memoir, a Love Story, and a Friendship Across Time

By Nell Stevens
Narrated by: Nell Stevens
Length: 7 hours 30 minutes

In this tale of two writers, Nell Stevens interweaves her own life as a twenty-something graduate student with that of the English author, Elizabeth Gaskell. Although they are separated by more than 150 years, Nell finds herself drawn to the Victorian novelist by their shared experiences of unrequited love—Gaskell for an American critic she met... Read more »

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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

“There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read.”

Changing Hands image Heather Weldon, Changing Hands
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Small Spaces

Small Spaces Quartet: Book #1

By Katherine Arden
Narrated by: Renee Dorian
Length: 5 hours 16 minutes

New York Times bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic.

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the... Read more »

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The Scorpio Races

By Maggie Stiefvater
Narrated by: Steve West & Fiona Hardingham
Length: 12 hours 6 minutes

The Scorpio Races

“One reviewer wrote, "This is a difficult book to sum up," and that is true. All I can say is the story is written with a sense of magic in the air. Stiefvater writes with wonderful description and builds stories with tension that keeps me at the edge of my seat. I have enjoyed Stiefvater's books, both reading and listening to them. If you can't get into reading one, try listening! This is one of the more beautiful stories I've heard. She has created magic with her storytelling! The audio book is a treat to listen to!”

The Bookloft image Julia, The Bookloft
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The Raven Boys

Raven Cycle: Book #1

By Maggie Stiefvater
Narrated by: Will Patton
Length: 11 hours 7 minutes

"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve," Neeve said. "Either you're his true love . . . or you killed him." It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them-not until... Read more »

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Station Eleven (Television Tie-in)

A novel

By Emily St. John Mandel
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST NATIONAL BESTSELLER An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse—the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. Now an... Read more »

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The Starless Sea

A Novel

By Erin Morgenstern
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman & Various
Length: 18 hours 36 minutes

The Starless Sea

“This book has an ethereal feeling that you get wrapped up in while reading. Nothing quite makes sense but that’s just as it should be. You’re hooked. It is so atmospheric, so meta, so fascinating. I’ve heard many interpretations of this book, and each one makes perfect sense. And it’s all of this with a gay main character and romance and the central theme, the central pillar being a love of and devotion to stories. Of course I was going to love it.”

Phoenix Books image Miriasha, Phoenix Books
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The Lost Sun

Book 1 of United States of Asgard
United States of Asgard: Book #1

By Tessa Gratton
Narrated by: Robbie Daymond
Length: 9 hours 55 minutes

   Fans of Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Holly Black's The Curse Workers will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard. Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren... Read more »

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Princesses Behaving Badly

Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings

By Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 10 hours 30 minutes

You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn’t be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders—but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had... Read more »

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The Porcelain Thief

Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China

By Huan Hsu
Narrated by: Huan Hsu
Length: 11 hours 33 minutes

The Porcelain Thief

“Huan Hsu chronicles his journey to unearth his family's porcelain, said to have been buried during WW2. The treasure was then lost during China's Cultural Revolution. Although the surviving family members can't agree to what was owned and what became of the porcelain, Huan Hsu's journey to for the truth has given him some great stories. He learns his family's history and discovers a China he was completely unprepared for. I decided to read this book because I enjoyed "The Hare with the Amber Eyes", however his time in the urban and rural areas reminded me of the dystopian and sci-fi novels I enjoy. And if you don't appreciate reading dystopian or sci-fi, you will like this for the writer's story telling, the cultural insight and the history.”

The Bookloft image Julia, The Bookloft
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The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

A Novel

By Sun-mi Hwang
Narrated by: Jill Larson
Length: 2 hours 58 minutes

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

“To become a mother, the self-named hen, Sprout, has to sacrifice the acceptance of others and has to face life as an outcast with an adopted child who is different from herself. She courageously fights every day to keep her little duckling safe, until he flies away and leaves her alone to face her own mortality. The same end that her duckling's parents have already met while keeping him safe. This is a simple yet wonderful tale of love and friendship. Subtly raising issues of the "unconventional family" prejudice, motherhood, freedom, sacrifice and mortality. Solidly told and well translated, a story for all ages. Compared to classics like Charlotte's Web and Seagull. Also compared to Animal Farm, but I would say it is an opposite view of humanity.”

The Bookloft image Julia, The Bookloft
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