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The Indie Next List

The Indie Next List

With new audiobooks added each month, the Indie Next List is drawn from bookseller-recommended favorite handsells and epitomizes the heart and soul of passionate bookselling!

Playlist Tags: topic: indie next new releases

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Made in China

A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America's Cheap Goods

By Amelia Pang
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 7 hours 3 minutes

Made in China

“This powerful story arises from an improbable source: a crude, hand-written note slipped into Halloween merchandise made in China, a note that leads Pang on a search for its author and introduces her to the nightmare life of Chinese prison labor, so-called re-education camps, the worst horrors of living in a police state, and lives destroyed just for being an independent thinker. The toll on individuals is foregrounded here and summons us to be humane to all.”

MainStreet BookEnds of Warner image Susan Thurin, MainStreet BookEnds of Warner
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The Prophets

By Robert Jones, Jr.
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 14 hours 52 minutes

The Prophets

“I am at a loss for words. How can I even begin to describe the breathtaking language Robert Jones, Jr. has gifted us in his debut novel, The Prophets? How can I begin to explain how he achieves a feat so marvelous it almost seems impossible? Well, that’s the key word: almost. From his innovative restructuring of the Bible through the lens of America’s history with slavery to characters that leap off the page with colorful grace and dignity, Jones masterfully weaves a narrative that serves as a warning from the past, a prophecy for the future, and a testament to the present. His writing defies all great American novels that have come before, and in doing so becomes one of the greatest I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I can’t wait for everyone to be as spellbound by this book as I am; it will stay with me forever.”

Flyleaf Books image Gage Tarlton, Flyleaf Books
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What Could Be Saved

A Novel

By Liese O'Halloran Schwarz
Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
Length: 15 hours 35 minutes

What Could Be Saved

“Readers of What Could Be Saved should budget a day for when they have finished reading, just to sit and process this incredible story. Liese O'Halloran Schwarz has given us a powerful and crushing novel about a little boy who disappears while his family is living in Bangkok only to resurface decades later. The slow build of the tangled characters rises to a soul-wringing end that will take some time to recover from.”

Skylark Bookshop image Mary, Skylark Bookshop
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The House on Vesper Sands

By Paraic O'Donnell
Narrated by: Charles Armstrong
Length: 10 hours 20 minutes

The House on Vesper Sands

“Paraic O’Donnell leavens the dark foreboding of a truly sinister, otherworldly mystery with distinctively clever storytelling and a decidedly marvelous cast of characters. You are in the best of hands with Inspector Cutter and Gideon Bliss on the case, along with the intrepid and resourceful reporter Octavia Hillingdon. Beautifully done!”

Wellesley Books image Peter Sherman, Wellesley Books
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The Push

A Novel

By Ashley Audrain
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
Length: 8 hours 37 minutes

The Push

“I read Ashley Audrain’s debut, The Push, in two days because I literally couldn’t stop. What does it mean to be a good mother? What if you don’t emotionally connect with your child? How much emotional trauma is passed down from mothers to daughters? The Push examines four generations of females as well as the ways having children impacts one marriage. I loved this book.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop
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Better Luck Next Time

A Novel

By Julia Claiborne Johnson
Narrated by: David Aaron Baker
Length: 8 hours 52 minutes

Better Luck Next Time

“Funny and divorce are typically not words that go together except for when you read this comedic story filled with the hijinks of bored, wealthy women waiting out the required six weeks to be eligible for a Nevada divorce. This little slice of historical fiction is wonderfully atmospheric as it captures the essence of both the western landscape and the 1930’s time period. It has the perfect vibe of wistful nostalgia, as our narrator reflects on his time as a handsome young “ranch hand” at a divorce ranch. Funny, interesting, and flawed characters combined with ridiculous situations and witty dialogue are what really makes this work. It’s a great exploration of friendship and love intertwined with the complications that money and class can bring to relationships and obligations. I began to anticipate the ending, but I have to admit it was still the perfect way for Ward’s story to conclude.”

Bright Side Bookshop image Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
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The Fortunate Ones

By Ed Tarkington
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 7 hours 43 minutes

The Fortunate Ones

“Ed Tarkington is the mastermind behind this tender tale of love and betrayal, politics and social divide. A teenage boy growing up with a single mom in a low-income area of Nashville receives a mysterious scholarship offer to attend an elite private school for boys. Charlie Boykin is now in the midst of the children of billionaires and socialites, and the trajectory of his life is altered forever. The reader is left to ask, ‘Was it all worth it?’ This is a character-driven novel with a storyline as opulent as the mansions within.”

The Country Bookshop image Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop
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The Center of Everything

A Novel

By Jamie Harrison
Narrated by: Jane Oppenheimer
Length: 9 hours 56 minutes

The Center of Everything

“This is a story about family, about history, and about love. The characters are like you and me; their stories are intertwined just as ours are, with a past and a hoped-for future. Author Jamie Harrison wields a mighty pen with precision and care, peopling her book with a myriad of interesting characters living believable lives. Her narrative is insightful and moving, and she has that rare gift of making a fictional story sound like the real thing.”

Auntie's Bookstore image Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore
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The Wife Upstairs

A Novel

By Rachel Hawkins
Narrated by: Emily Shaffer, Kirby Heyborne & Lauren Fortgang
Length: 8 hours 39 minutes

The Wife Upstairs

The Wife Upstairs is a spine-tingling domestic thriller that will keep the reader guessing until the bitter end. The story begins with a woman named Jane, who is a dog walker in an elite neighborhood. She resents the women she works for and takes her frustrations out by pocketing some of their jewelry. One evening, her path crosses Eddie's, who just happens to be a handsome, charming widower. Immediately sparks fly. In a matter of weeks, Jane is living with Eddie, and she is best buddies with the neighborhood women that she used to despise. As Jane settles into her new life, she begins to hear strange sounds coming from the attic. I think that you can pretty much figure out who is making the sounds. The story is fast-paced, and I kept thinking that I had things figured out and then would change my mind. The narration was very well done. ”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The Liar's Dictionary

A Novel

By Eley Williams
Narrated by: Kristin Atherton & Jon Glover
Length: 7 hours 55 minutes

The Liar's Dictionary

The Liar’s Dictionary is an enormously charming novel about putting the world into words. Its two logophilic heroes, separated by a century, are unforgettable characters; I loved spending time with these word-curious creations. You’ll be utterly transported by this playful and seriously funny book.”

John Francisconi image John Francisconi, McNally Jackson City Point
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You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey

Crazy Stories about Racism

By Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
Narrated by: Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
Length: 5 hours 21 minutes

If you enjoyed A Promised Land, then you’ll love You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey.

“In this eye-opening, horrifying, and hilarious book, Amber Ruffin and her sister, Lacey Lamar, share stories from Lacey's life where she has encountered racism in Nebraska. From racist donuts to being mistaken for Whoopi Goldberg, they share everything from the everyday examples of racism to the downright scary, while making you laugh out loud the whole time. And if you aren't familiar with Amber Ruffin from NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers or Peacock's The Amber Ruffin Show, this book will leave you obsessed.”

Newtown Bookshop image Will, Newtown Bookshop
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Hades, Argentina

A Novel

By Daniel Loedel
Narrated by: Christian Barillas
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes

Hades, Argentina

“Tender and politically evocative, Hades, Argentina is a beautiful portrait of grief and reflection. Loedel has created a breathtaking debut that examines the complexities of love and the way our memories betray us. This book will stay with me for a long time.”

Deep Vellum Books image Cristina Rodriguez, Deep Vellum Books
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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life

By George Saunders
Narrated by: George Saunders, Phylicia Rashad, Nick Offerman, Glenn Close, Keith David, Rainn Wilson, BD Wong & Renée Elise Goldsberry
Length: 14 hours 43 minutes

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

“This masterclass for writers is also a masterclass for readers, and you don't have to be a writer to enjoy it. Through his wise insights on storytelling, Saunders sent me away with an understanding of why I enjoy reading what I do, how stories work, and how to be a better storyteller (and human) in all rights.”

Tsunami Books image Emily, Tsunami Books
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Across the Green Grass Fields

Wayward Children: Book #6

By Seanan McGuire
Narrated by: Anne Marie Carlson
Length: 4 hours 3 minutes

Across the Green Grass Fields

“If you’ve ever wondered if an adult book could be written to be accessible to not just young adult but middle grade readers, too, wonder no longer: The book of your dreams is here. Across the Green Grass Fields is a wonderful coming-of-age story that has all the mandatory trappings: bullying, parental oversight, unicorns, evil queens, and an intersex main character. It’s like Tanith Lee rewriting Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. This standalone novella is a wonderful entrance to the Hooflands, and I can’t wait to double back and read more.”

Copperfish Books image Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books
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The Children's Blizzard

A Novel

By Melanie Benjamin
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 11 hours 25 minutes

The Children's Blizzard

“Melanie Benjamin is at her best in this historical fiction account of the terrifying blizzard of 1888. It seemingly came out of nowhere and caught the residents of the Midwest by surprise, especially the children and teachers who were preparing to go home for the day. Benjamin looks at the lives of two sisters — both teachers at different schools — and how their decisions that day meant life or death for their students. I spent several late nights on this one!”

Fiction Addiction image Linda Hodges, Fiction Addiction
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Black Buck

By Mateo Askaripour
Narrated by: Zeno Robinson
Length: 11 hours 12 minutes

Black Buck

“Perhaps I have a different perspective on this book because I have a younger brother who is a Black, 20-something man in sales, but this book presents an evocative, honest, complex portrait of being a BIPOC person in a white-dominant workplace (albeit one that is high-powered, sales-driven, and New York City-based). This is a book that allows a reader to be seen if this is their experience, but also for a reader to learn about a different reality if this is not their own. Black Buck is a tightly woven, contemporary debut from an author to watch.”

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe Fabian, River Dog Book Co.
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Our Darkest Night

A Novel of Italy and the Second World War

By Jennifer Robson
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Length: 9 hours 56 minutes

Our Darkest Night

“This is a love story...until it isn’t. This is a war story...until it isn’t. This is a story about surviving the worst of humanity then finding humanity. Set in Italy, this is WWII fiction writing at its finest. Prepare it to be pulled into this heart-wrenching saga. So much for book clubs to discuss. So much for readers to enjoy. If you loved the depth of research in The Gown, you will love Our Darkest Night.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Carolyn Roys, Anderson's Bookshop
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A Crooked Tree

A Novel

By Una Mannion
Narrated by: Sophie Amoss
Length: 8 hours 51 minutes

A Crooked Tree

A Crooked Tree is the delicately woven story of a single mother’s bad decision to kick one of her children out of the car miles from home, and how that decision affects an entire network of friends and neighbors throughout the summer. Gorgeously told and intricately written, this hardly seems the work of a debut novelist; Una Mannion will be one to watch, and A Crooked Tree already has me anticipating her next book!”

Skylark Bookshop image Mary O'Malley, Skylark Bookshop
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Wintering

The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

By Katherine May
Narrated by: Rebecca Lee
Length: 6 hours 53 minutes

If you enjoyed Vesper Flights, then you’ll love Wintering.

“This was the perfect listen at the right time. Memoir, mythology, and meditations on an ever ignored fact that we must change our lifestyle in order to adapt to this sometimes brutal season. I will definitely come back to this one many times.”

The Yankee Bookshop image Nichole, The Yankee Bookshop
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The Burning God

By R. F. Kuang
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 23 hours 46 minutes

The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.

After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang...

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