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Bookseller Picks by Indigenous Authors

Bookseller Picks by Indigenous Authors

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, we asked our friends at Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, MN, to help our listeners find their next favorite audiobook by an Indigenous author. Take the quiz on the Libro.fm blog to find your perfect pick!

Playlist Tags: Birchbark Books native american indigenous authors indigenous bookseller recommeded

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Murder on the Red River

The Cash Blackbear Mysteries: Book #1

By Marcie R. Rendon
Narrated by: Siiri Scott
Length: 6 hours 3 minutes

A murdered man in a field. The sheriff needs Cash—a twenty-something tough, smart Indian woman with special seeing powers.

Cash and Sheriff Wheaton make for a strange partnership. He pulled her from her mother’s wrecked car when she was three. He’s kept an eye out for her ever since. It’s a tough place to live—northern Minnesota along the Red...

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Firekeeper's Daughter

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

Firekeeper's Daughter

“Daunis Fontaine, a bi-racial Ojibwe-Italian-American girl has just graduated high school and has deferred enrollment at the University of Michigan to attend the local state school. She plans to spend more time with her best friend Lily, her ailing Grandmother, and her mom who was recently rocked by the sudden death of her brother, Daunis’ uncle. But then tragedy strikes, and Daunis is the eyewitness. And she is thrown headfirst into an FBI investigation of meth addiction and distribution within the reservation her family lives on and the greater Upper Peninsula area. A nuanced and compassionate look at addiction and the justice system and the risks one girl takes to help her friends, her community, and herself. The truth is a tangled web that it seems only Daunis is willing to carefully pick apart to not only expose the criminals but heal the victims as well. A little bit of romance, a little bit thriller, a whole bunch of hockey, STEM nerds, Firekeeper’s Daughter was engaging and gripping. PS I desperately need an Auntie spin-off.”

Wellesley Books image Cassie, Wellesley Books
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The Grass Dancer

By Susan Power
Narrated by: Susan Power
Length: 9 hours 7 minutes

Back in the 1860s, Ghost Horse, a handsome young sacred clown, loved and lost to death the beautiful warrior woman Red Dress. As their spirits seek desperately to be reunited, they influence the sometimes violent fate of those who have followed them. Now in the 1980s, Red Dress's teenage descendant Charlene Thunder has fallen hopelessly in love... Read more »

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Ceremony

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By Leslie Marmon Silko
Narrated by: Pete Bradbury
Length: 9 hours 8 minutes

Leslie Marmon Silko's sublime Ceremony is almost universally considered one of the finest novels ever written by an American Indian. It is the poetic, dreamlike tale of Tayo, a mixed-blood Laguna Pueblo and veteran of World War II. Tormented by shell shock and haunted by memories of his cousin who died in the war, Tayo struggles on his... Read more »

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Black Water

Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory

By David A. Robertson
Narrated by: David A. Robertson
Length: 8 hours 7 minutes

A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the Year
A Quill & Quire Book of the Year
A CBC Books Nonfiction Book of the Year
A Maclean’s 20 Books You Need to Read this Winter

“An instant classic that demands to be read with your heart open and with a perspective widened to allow in a whole new understanding of family, identity and love.” —Cherie...

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Seven Fallen Feathers

Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City

By Tanya Talaga
Narrated by: Michaela Washburn
Length: 9 hours 7 minutes

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students...

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Braiding Sweetgrass

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

By Robin Wall Kimmerer
Narrated by: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Length: 16 hours 44 minutes

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our... Read more »

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Nature Poem

By Tommy Pico
Narrated by: Tommy Pico
Length: 1 hours 19 minutes

A book-length poem about how an American Indian writer can't bring himself to write about nature, but is forced to reckon with colonial-white stereotypes, manifest destiny, and his own identity as an young, queer, urban-dwelling poet.

Nature Poem follows Teebs—a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet—who can't bring himself to write a... Read more »

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A Mind Spread out on the Ground

By Alicia Elliott
Narrated by: Kyla Garcia
Length: 7 hours 16 minutes

The Mohawk phrase for depression can be roughly translated as a mind spread out on the ground. In this urgent and visceral work, Alicia Elliott explores how apt a description that is for the ongoing effects of the personal, intergenerational, and colonial traumas she and so many Native people have experienced.Elliott's deeply personal writing...

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Elatsoe

By Darcie Little Badger
Narrated by: Kinsale Hueston
Length: 9 hours 1 minutes

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly every day, like the ability to make an orb of...

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Apple

(Skin to the Core)

By Eric Gansworth
Narrated by: Eric Gansworth
Length: 8 hours 9 minutes

Apple

“I had never heard the slang term “Apple” before reading this book. In this powerful YA memoir Eric Gansworth tells the story of his family, Onondaga living among Tuscaroras, he tells what it means to be “red on the outside, white on the inside.” To say that this book made me think is most definitely an understatement, it continues to make me think, it continues to make me look in the mirror.”

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask

Young Readers Edition

By Dr. Anton Treuer
Narrated by: Dr. Anton Treuer
Length: 8 hours 16 minutes

From the acclaimed Ojibwe author and professor Anton Treuer comes an essential book of questions and answers for Native and non-Native young listeners alike. Ranging from Why is there such a fuss about nonnative people wearing Indian costumes for Halloween? to Why is it called a 'traditional Indian fry bread taco'?, What's it like for natives... Read more »

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This Town Sleeps

A Novel

By Dennis E. Staples
Narrated by: Kaipo Schwab
Length: 5 hours 3 minutes

This Town Sleeps

This Town Sleeps, set on an Ojibwe reservation in northern Minnesota, is not an elegiac or idyllic work but rather a direct, unblinking, poetic novel that draws the reader inexorably into the gray areas of the hearts of those in this story. A queer coming-of-age story bound up in a town mystery, this tale of Marion Lafournier, a young gay Ojibwe man, is a compelling debut. Dennis E. Staples is an author whose voice and storytelling will be appreciated in so many ways for years to come.”

BookPeople image Christine Havens, BookPeople
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The Seed Keeper

A Novel

By Diane Wilson
Narrated by: Kyla García
Length: 10 hours 42 minutes

The Seed Keeper

The Seed Keeper shimmers like the horizon in the summer heat—depending on how you look at it, it is a stunning historical novel, a paean to the land and the plants that people it, a prayer to Dakota women wading through generational trauma. It is all of these things, and so much more. Wilson deftly weaves together multiple voices to bring the original relationship of reciprocity between people and Earth into the present day. This is a clarion call to think about seeds as much more than commodities: Seeds are stories; seeds are possibilities; seeds are past and future generations. Powerful and compelling, The Seed Keeper will be treasured by readers who enjoy Robin Wall Kimmerer's lyricism, Barbara Kingsolver's activist bent, and Louise Erdrich's historical fiction.”

Avid Bookshop image Hannah, Avid Bookshop
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The Language Warrior's Manifesto

How to Keep Our Languages Alive No Matter the Odds

By Anton Treuer
Narrated by: Kaipo Schwab
Length: 5 hours 42 minutes

Across North America, dedicated language warriors are powering an upswell, a resurgence, a revitalization of indigenous languages and cultures. Through deliberate suppression and cultural destruction, the five hundred languages spoken on the continent before contact have dwindled to about 150. Their ongoing survival depends on immediate,... Read more »

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Moon of the Crusted Snow

A Novel

By Waubgeshig Rice
Narrated by: Billy Merasty
Length: 6 hours 46 minutes

Moon of the Crusted Snow

“Highly recommend this audiobook of Moon Of The Crusted Snow. Narrator Billy Merasty brings Rice's characters to life and enriches the traditional Anishinaabe stories with his lyrical storytelling voice. The story itself, of a Canadian Anishinaabe band forced to contend with a new reality when the power goes out and deliveries halt to their Reserve just as winter sets in, is gripping and shockingly realistic and a damning take on reservation life. Evan Whitesky—father, husband, and one of the young leaders—has been learning traditional ways so he's better equipped to hunt and forage than other members of the band who've come to rely on video games and other modern trappings for survival and entertainment. Just as it becomes clear that the power outage is widespread and likely the result of some catastrophic event, a menacing stranger arrives, threatening the band's unity and possibly its very survival. Completely immersive.”

Belmont Books image Susan, Belmont Books
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Islands of Decolonial Love

Stories & Songs

By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Narrated by: Tantoo Cardinal
Length: 3 hours 13 minutes

In her debut collection of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love, renowned writer and activist Leanne Simpson vividly explores the lives of contemporary Indigenous Peoples and communities, especially those of her own Nishnaabeg nation. Found on reserves, in cities and small towns, in bars and curling rinks, canoes and community centres,...

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My Heart Is a Chainsaw

By Stephen Graham Jones
Narrated by: Cara Gee
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes

My Heart Is a Chainsaw

“Jade isn’t the final girl; she doesn’t fit the requirements for a typical slasher flick. When her town becomes the setting for a real-life slasher case, she fills the role of wise woman to the appropriate final girl.”

Boulder Book Store image April Gosling, Boulder Book Store
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Heart Berries

A Memoir

By Terese Marie Mailhot
Narrated by: Rainy Fields
Length: 3 hours 45 minutes

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a... Read more »

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