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Book Nerd Native's 2019 Favorites

Book Nerd Native's 2019 Favorites

These were books I listened to in 2019 that really made an impact on my reading life, and became new favorites!

Playlist Tags: influencer-created topic: best of 2019

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I Am, I Am, I Am

Seventeen Brushes with Death

By Maggie O'Farrell
Narrated by: Daisy Donovan
Length: 5 hours 54 minutes

I Am, I Am, I Am

“Maggie O'Farrell's memoir left me breathless and heart-sore. There were times I literally had a fist to my own heart in sympathy. The encounters told according to each limb or organ is a genius device; it is as though each distinct part of her body had its own voice and wanted my sole attention. Even the spaces of years between each event were full of meaning and nuance. This is one of the most mesmerizing memoirs I have ever read. The breadth and scope of Maggie's 17 brushes with death left me gasping for air, and her strong voice is indelible: There is no victim here, and life is to be treasured but not treated too delicately.”

Northshire Bookstore image Maeve Noonan, Northshire Bookstore
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The Bookshop on the Corner

A Novel

By Jenny Colgan
Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
Length: 9 hours 47 minutes

Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Meg Donohue, Sophie...

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Red at the Bone

A Novel

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by: Jacqueline Woodson, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small & Bahni Turpin
Length: 3 hours 52 minutes

Red at the Bone

“Although you can read Jacqueline Woodson’s newest novel over the course of one evening, there is nothing breezy about the richness of its story, nothing short about the depth of its characters, nothing quick about the way this book stays with you after you finish reading. Told through five distinct voices, Red at the Bone tracks an African-American family through time and place as an unexpected pregnancy upends and reshapes family and class expectations as well as individual trajectories. Ultimately, the novel is about legacy in every sense of the word. And since Woodson’s writing packs the emotional punch of an epic in a novella number of pages, the legacy of her book is to be read over and over and over again.”

Kelly Brown image Kelly Brown, Magic City Books
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Librofm App

Special offer

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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Red, White & Royal Blue

A Novel

By Casey McQuiston
Narrated by: Ramon de Ocampo
Length: 12 hours 15 minutes

If you enjoyed The House in the Cerulean Sea, then you’ll love Red, White & Royal Blue.

“This book is so much more than a captivating romance—it's a bubble bath, a warm hug, a delicious dessert, a catharsis full of feeling and hope and queer joy that still makes me cry and laugh even as I've reread it 10+ times! The audiobook is skillfully narrated, and de Ocampo does far better British and Texan accents than my brain could come up with on its own reading the book in print. Recommended for listeners no matter your gender identity or orientation, but this truly is chicken soup for the queer soul.”

Phoenix Books image Miriasha, Phoenix Books
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Sourdough

A Novel

By Robin Sloan
Narrated by: Thérèse Plummer
Length: 6 hours 47 minutes

From Robin Sloan, the New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, comes Sourdough, "a perfect parable for our times" (San Francisco Magazine): a delicious and funny novel about an overworked and under-socialized software engineer discovering a calling and a community as a baker.

Named One of the Best Books of the Year...

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Severance

A Novel

By Ling Ma
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 9 hours 53 minutes

Severance

“A disaffected young woman just scraping by in the big city. A rag-tag group of survivors on a journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape. These are familiar tropes in contemporary fiction (albeit not usually in the same novel). But with Ling Ma's steely-eyed, wry treatment, they grow into something far more complex. In an alternate 2011, Shen Fever, a global pandemic, causes "a fatal loss of consciousness" in those infected. "The Fevered" forget to eat or drink or sleep, but instead get caught in a seeming zombie-like loop of muscle memory: a housewife sets the table for dinner over and over again; a taxi driver drives around the city until he runs out of gas; a young woman tries on all of the clothes in her closet in an endless loop. This post-apocalyptic world is woven with flashbacks of pandemic-survivor Candace Chen's pre-apocalypse life in New York, where a job she doesn't even like becomes the anchor of her identity such that she will seemingly do anything in order to continue to do it, even after she's the last survivor at her company. The question that lingers: is the rote repetition of our lives the very essence of who we are? And how far will we go to preserve that facade of living? Severance is a beautifully spare and wryly funny novel, by a huge new talent. ”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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The Simple Wild

A Novel

By K.A. Tucker
Narrated by: Rebekkah Ross
Length: 12 hours 33 minutes

City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker.

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the... Read more »

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Family Upstairs

A Novel

By Lisa Jewell
Narrated by: Tamaryn Payne, Bea Holland & Dominic Thorburn
Length: 9 hours 36 minutes

Family Upstairs

“This intriguing story combines classic mystery elements with touches of domestic suspense and all around creepiness. The audiobook uses three different narrators, which provides for a further immersive experience. The three different perspectives are intertwined in a unique way allowing us to watch as three different lives hurtle toward their intersection. Libby and Lucy’s experience in the present are shared through third person narration while Henry’s first person narrating provides his account of the past with an occasional interjection of his perspective of the events unfolding in the present. With a string of bread crumbs along the way, the climax is somewhat inevitable, but some assumptions you will probably make along the way are smashed as the final unexpected twists are revealed.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
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Reasons to Stay Alive

By Matt Haig
Narrated by: Matt Haig
Length: 4 hours 13 minutes

Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is his inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (now wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for... Read more »

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The Bride Test

By Helen Hoang
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 10 hours

The Bride Test

“This follow-up to The Kiss Quotient is an incredibly diverse and fun story about Khai, Michael’s cousin from the previous novel. He is Vietnamese-American, autistic, and believes himself to be incapable of the emotions that matter. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed The Rosie Effect and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Hoang is making important waves, one sweet, sexy romance novel at a time.”

Books Around the Corner image Stephanie Csaszar, Books Around the Corner
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If, Then

A Novel

By Kate Hope Day
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Length: 8 hours 31 minutes

If, Then

“I devoured this book. Reading about these characters felt like stepping right into other lives, with all of the messiness of human striving and relationships. If, Then is a beautiful novel for this alone, but when each character begins to see visions they don’t understand, the book takes on a new sense of urgency. Driven by its characters and with a masterfully written thread of speculative fiction, If, Then is a moving look at how events large and small and the choices we make carve our unique lives out of the infinite number of possible lives that could have been.”

Literati Bookstore image Kelsey O'Rourke, Literati Bookstore
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