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What We Loved in 2021: Libro.fm Staff Favorites

What We Loved in 2021: Libro.fm Staff Favorites

As you may be able to guess, the Libro.fm team reads a lot of books each year. Here are our favorite books we read in 2021!

Playlist Tags: favorites staff picks best of 2021 topic: best of topic: librofm staff picks

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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
Audiobook details

How the Word Is Passed

A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

By Clint Smith
Narrated by: Clint Smith
Length: 10 hours 7 minutes

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller

Longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction


Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central...

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No One Is Talking About This

A Novel

By Patricia Lockwood
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 4 hours 43 minutes

No One Is Talking About This

“This compact novel captures the life of a social media influencer in such a stunning way—I listened to this book with my jaw on the floor. Incredible (though if you've never opened Instagram or Twitter, this might not be for you).”

Oblong Books image Suzanna, Oblong Books
Audiobook details

Crying in H Mart

A Memoir

By Michelle Zauner
Narrated by: Michelle Zauner
Length: 7 hours 22 minutes

Crying in H Mart

“I was struck by just how much I loved this book for how it walks through grief not as a way to leave it behind, but as a way to remember its exact shape. I’m grateful for its funny, self-deprecating, and wise observations, and for its difficult beauty.”

Parnassus Books image Steve Haruch, Parnassus Books
Audiobook details

Felix Ever After

By Kacen Callender
Narrated by: Logan Rozos
Length: 8 hours 23 minutes

A Stonewall Honor Book * A Time Magazine Best YA Book of All Time

From Stonewall and Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He...

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Matrix

A Novel

By Lauren Groff
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 8 hours 51 minutes

If you enjoyed Hamnet, then you’ll love Matrix.

“Absolutely amazing. The audio book is perfectly narrated by Adjoa Andoh. Her singular voice brings each of the characters to life, channeling their personalities, quirks, accents, etc. Marvelous job. Powerful and elegantly written by Groff. I loved this book so much I am tempted to start it all over again.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Milk Blood Heat

Stories

By Dantiel W. Moniz
Narrated by: Machelle Williams
Length: 5 hours 31 minutes

If you enjoyed Sabrina & Corina, then you’ll love Milk Blood Heat.

“Hands down the best short story collection I've read to date. Not a dud in the bunch. Each story glows 10/10 on its own merit, yet paradoxically, each is that much greater when paired with its peers. If you want to know what it's like to read a miracle, pick up Dantiel W. Moniz's debut (that's right... A DEBUT!!!!!!) Milk, Blood, Heat. It's a book you'll slow down the audio when you listen to it to savor every last rich, syrupy drop.”

BookBar image Conner, BookBar
Audiobook details

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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This Is How You Lose The Time War

By Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Narrated by: Cynthia Farrell & Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 4 hours 15 minutes

This Is How You Lose The Time War

“How to begin a letter? How to begin a letter to your best enemy? This story takes place through the ages, between two-time traveling agents who must braid and unbraid the fabric of time in an effort to usher in their opposing futures. I read this twice before finishing it. This book is a book to savor.”

Oblong Books image Lafe, Oblong Books
Audiobook details

Yearbook

By Seth Rogen
Narrated by: Seth Rogen & Full Cast
Length: 6 hours 13 minutes

Yearbook

“So funny. I couldn’t stop listening until I had heard all of his anecdotes. Loved it.”

Pixie Hollow image Lisa, Pixie Hollow
Audiobook details

Song in a Weary Throat

Memoir of an American Pilgrimage

By Pauli Murray
Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
Length: 19 hours 43 minutes

Poet, memoirist, labor organizer, and Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray helped transform the law of the land. Arrested in 1940 for sitting in the whites-only section of a Virginia bus, Murray propelled that life-defining event into a Howard law degree and a fight against "Jane Crow" sexism. Her legal brilliance was pivotal to the overturning of... Read more »

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Being Seen

One Deafblind Woman's Fight to End Ableism

By Elsa Sjunneson
Narrated by: Elsa Sjunneson
Length: 6 hours 36 minutes

A deafblind writer and professor explores how the misrepresentation of disability in books, movies, and TV harms both the disabled community and everyone else.

As a deafblind woman with partial vision in one eye and bilateral hearing aids, Elsa Sjunneson lives at the crossroads of blindness and sight, hearing and deafness—much to the confusion of... Read more »

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Four Hundred Souls

A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

By Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain
Narrated by: Various
Length: 14 hours 1 minutes

Four Hundred Souls

“An absolutely stunning history of African America for people who do not normally read history. Compiled of short stories, essays, and poems, it is perfect for someone who is intimidated by lists of names and dates. Each individual voice stands on its own but together they truly make a 'choir' that flows together beautifully. This is a one-of-a-kind history that is essential reading for everyone.”

Quail Ridge Books image Tia, Quail Ridge Books
Audiobook details

Empire of Pain

The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

By Patrick Radden Keefe
Narrated by: Patrick Radden Keefe
Length: 18 hours 6 minutes

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE NOMINEE A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. From the prize-winning and bestselling author of... Read more »

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In the Dream House

A Memoir

By Carmen Maria Machado
Narrated by: Carmen Maria Machado
Length: 5 hours 28 minutes

In the Dream House

“In the Dream House is the intersection of so many things. It's the story of a poisonous relationship between two women. It creates an archive of abusive queer relationships that has been absent in the culture's conscious for far too long. It's a study of style and form. It's tactile. It's phantasmagoria. It's a completely unique reading experience. It accesses a subterranean level of unease that it belongs on the shelf next to Poe or Lovecraft. Machado has accomplished something extraordinary here, something that should be studied meticulously and relished in as it horrifies you to your very core.”

BookBar image Conner, BookBar
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Daisy Jones & The Six

A Novel

By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated by: Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer & Pablo Schreiber
Length: 9 hours 3 minutes

Daisy Jones & The Six

“Daisy Jones and the Six is a rock n roll biopic with all of the expected drugs, alcohol, fights, groupies and blackouts. Yet, it is SO much more than that. It is full of heart, anguish, and bare knuckled honesty from a group of musicians aching to find their voice, their audience and where they fit in the world. The audio book is AMAZINGLY well done. I loved every second of it.”

Volumes Bookcafe image Rebecca, Volumes Bookcafe
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Oculta

Nocturna: Book #2

By Maya Motayne
Narrated by: Kyla Garcia
Length: 16 hours 8 minutes

The exhilarating sequel to the #1 Sunday Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller Nocturna, about a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince who must reunite when a deadly enemy threatens their kingdom’s chance at establishing a global peace. Perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Sabaa Tahir, and Stephanie Garber.

After joining forces to save...

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The River

A novel

By Peter Heller
Narrated by: Mark Deakins
Length: 7 hours 17 minutes

The River

“Peter Heller can take you on a journey through nature like no other writer. The River is the story of two close friends wanting nothing more than to enjoy their time together on a trip through the Canadian wilderness, and fly fishing has never been so beautifully portrayed nor has the serenity of water and nature. But the peacefulness slowly wanes and the tension begins to build as the trip becomes a race against encroaching forest fires and an attempt to save the life of the mysterious woman they have picked up along the way. Heller has created a story of friendship and survival that should not be missed.”

Rainy Day Books image Mary McBride, Rainy Day Books
Audiobook details

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

By Deesha Philyaw
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 4 hours 6 minutes

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“In this powerful anthology we are introduced to a diverse cast of characters, each with their own distinct voice and troubles. Through them we explore the complexities & expectations of womanhood, the challenges of love & relationships, and how these topics impact their lives within church culture. Full of moving, delicious language that will have you begging for more.”

Auburn Oil Co. Booksellers image Courtney, Auburn Oil Co. Booksellers
Audiobook details

The Storyteller

Tales of Life and Music

By Dave Grohl
Narrated by: Dave Grohl
Length: 10 hours 35 minutes

Read by Dave Grohl. Features excerpts from five never before heard demos performed by Dave Grohl and an original story exclusive to The Storyteller audiobook.

So, I've written a book.

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ("It's a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else...

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