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Best Opening Lines

Best Opening Lines

Audiobooks that will hook you from the very first line.
“As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.” - All Systems Red

Playlist Tags: audience: adult topic: fiction fiction

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All Systems Red

Murderbot Diaries: Book #1

By Martha Wells
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 3 hours 17 minutes

All Systems Red is the first tense science fiction adventure novella in Martha Wells' series The Murderbot Diaries. For fans of Westworld and Ex Machina. All Systems Red by Martha Wells begins The Murderbot Diaries, a new science fiction action and adventure series that tackles questions of the ethics of sentient robotics. It appeals to fans of... Read more »

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Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

By Min Jin Lee
Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
Length: 18 hours 15 minutes

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

“A father's gentle nature, a mother's sacrifice, a daughter's trust, and a son's determination are the cornerstones of this grand, multilayered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever-changing cultural landscape, from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self sacrifice, and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep-rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family's struggle that resonates with us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!”

Jennifer Steele image Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company
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The Princess B - Abridged

By William Goldman
Narrated by: Rob Reiner
Length: 2 hours 32 minutes

This adventure story has everything you could want: the good guy, some bad guys, the girl, sword fighting, revenge, romance, of course a happy ending, along with rodents of unusual size. Join Westley the plucky farm boy, Buttercup the beautiful young maiden, Inigo Montoya the driven, embittered swordsman, and many other strange and unusual... Read more »

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The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities Trilogy: Book #1

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“I've listened to mediocre books made awesome by a talented narrator, but this book is a case of a fantastic story made even more engaging by phenomenal narrator Robin Miles. The story is like Neil Gaiman meets Jeff VanDerMeer as New York City's boroughs personified seek to save their city (and themselves) from an ancient interdimensional threat. A fantastic read, and an even better listen!”

Brilliant Books Audio image Caitlin, Brilliant Books Audio
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Lady Hotspur

By Tessa Gratton
Narrated by: Jessica Hayles
Length: 29 hours 3 minutes

"In a pleasing voice, Jessica Hayles narrates an epic tale set in the days when knights, magic, and royalty ruled the land." -- AudioFile Magazine

Tessa Gratton's Lady Hotspur is a sweeping, heart-stopping Shakespearean novel of betrayal and battlefields and destiny.

STRIKE FAST, LOVE HARD, LIVE FOREVER

This is the motto of the Lady Knights--sworn...

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Paradise

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 15 hours 17 minutes

"Rumors had been whispered for more than a year. Outrages that had been accumulating all along took shape as evidence. A mother was knocked down the stairs by her cold-eyed daughter. Four damaged infants were born in one family. Daughters refused to get out of bed. Brides disappeared on their honeymoons. Two brothers shot each other on New... Read more »

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The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Book #2

By Douglas Adams
Narrated by: Martin Freeman
Length: 5 hours 46 minutes

Now celebrating the 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, soon to be a Hulu original series!

“Douglas Adams is a terrific satirist.”—The Washington Post Book World


Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons? Time for a cup of tea! Join the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his uncommon comrades in arms in their... Read more »

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Silver Sparrow

By Tayari Jones
Narrated by: Rosalyn Coleman-Williams & Heather Alicia Simms
Length: 10 hours 22 minutes

With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” author Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and two teenage girls caught in the middle.

Set in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families—the public one and the secret...

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The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern
Narrated by: Jim Dale
Length: 13 hours 38 minutes

The Night Circus

“Listening to The Night Circus is truly a magical experience. Narrated by Jim Dale–best known for being the voice of a certain child wizard–the listening experience was part nostalgia, part wonder. Be ready to be swept away to Victorian London and the romance of a century.”

Underbrush Book Club image Courtney, Underbrush Book Club
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The Vegetarian

A Novel

By Han Kang
Narrated by: Janet Song & Stephen Park
Length: 5 hours 13 minutes

Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Publisher's Weekly •  Buzzfeed •  Entertainment Weekly •  Time •  Wall Street Journal •  Bustle •  Elle •  The Economist •  Slate •  The Huffington Post • The St. Louis Dispatch •  Electric Literature

Featured in the New...
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

By Mark Haddon
Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
Length: 6 hours 3 minutes

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a... Read more »

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Ruby Dee
Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love...

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Ahab's Wife - Abridged

By Sena Jeter Naslund
Narrated by: Maryann Plunkett
Length: 6 hours 15 minutes

This is destined to be remembered as one of the most-recognized first sentences in literature -- along with "Call me Ishmael." And Una Spenser, the transcendent hero at the center of Ahab's Wife may well become every bit as memorable as Ahab.

Inspired by a brief passage, in Moby, Dick, Sena Jeter Naslund has created an entirely new universe -- an... Read more »

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Untamed Shore

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrated by: Maria Liatis
Length: 8 hours 1 minutes

Renowned author Silvia Moreno-Garcia's first thriller, UNTAMED SHORE, is a coming-of-age story set in Mexico which quickly turns dark when a young woman meets three enigmatic tourists. Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to... Read more »

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The Secret History

By Donna Tartt
Narrated by: Donna Tartt
Length: 22 hours 3 minutes

In this brilliant novel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donna Tartt gives us a richly textured and hypnotic story of golden youth corrupted by its own moral arrogance.

Richard Papen had never been to New England before his nineteenth year. Then he arrived at Hampeden College and quickly became seduced by the sweet, dark rhythms of campus life --...

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Clap When You Land

By Elizabeth Acevedo
Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo & Melania-Luisa Marte
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes

Clap When You Land

“Its category as a young adult novel shouldn't keep grownups from listening to "Clap When You Land." The parallel first-person stories of two teenage girls who lose their fathers in the same plane crash from NY to the Dominican Republic -- and the revelation that their fathers were the same man, who had led a double life -- is tender and wise. Elizabeth Acevedo's poetic prose, and her narration, convey the grief and love of the families. Camino and Yahaira will live in your heart forever.”

Market Block Books image Cheryl, Market Block Books
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Girl, Serpent, Thorn

By Melissa Bashardoust
Narrated by: Nikki Massoud
Length: 10 hours 6 minutes

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

“Not just another gratifying powerful girl story: an intensely imagined, emotionally realistic, absorbing adventure, packed with rich realizations about a woman's anger, a mother's love, a young person's desire to change the world. The author has tapped the Shanameh and Zoroastrian beliefs to build a unique fantasy world in which the main character can explore issues of power and value while testing the waters of affection. Amazing descriptions of rose gardens, hidden halls, moths, and Soraya's magical power/curse. Queer and POC positive (and not pedantic).”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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