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Powell's Picks of the Season 2021

Powell's Picks of the Season 2021

Every year we select and highlight some of the best books of the season! From fiction to nonfiction to our favorite picks for kids, we guarantee you’ll find the perfect book for every reader.

Playlist Tags: Powell's Books season: fall topic: gift guide season: winter topic: staff picks

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All Her Little Secrets

A Novel

By Wanda M. Morris
Narrated by: Susan Dalian
Length: 11 hours 39 minutes

All Her Little Secrets

“Grave Secrets: The secrets you carry to the grave. Ellice has carried hers many years, but now they threaten to be her undoing. But an even greater threat lurks, as first her boss and then others around her are murdered. Who is behind it all, and exactly what are they planning and hiding? The many twists and tense moments in this well-crafted thriller made me loathe to take a break from listening.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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Beautiful World, Where Are You

A Novel

By Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 10 hours 3 minutes

Beautiful World, Where Are You

“'Humanity on the cusp of extinction [&] here I am writing another email about sex & friendship. What else is there to live for?' A mastery of capacious dialogue; this page-turner satisfies with 21st century romance & unanswered questions that will linger in any hopeful, nihilistic heart.”

Collected Works Bookstore image Jill, Collected Works Bookstore
Audiobook details


A Novel

By Richard Powers
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 7 hours 50 minutes


Shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize
Longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction

A heartrending new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning and #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Overstory.

I never believed the diagnoses the doctors settled on my son. When a condition gets three different names... Read more »

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The Book of Form and Emptiness

A Novel

By Ruth Ozeki
Narrated by: Kerry Shale & Ruth Ozeki
Length: 18 hours 50 minutes

The Book of Form and Emptiness

“Ruth Ozeki is back with a beautiful portrayal of the life of young teen Benny who is in the throes of grief at the loss of his beloved father. It has been a year since that loss but now Benny is living with his mother who has begun to hoard things, and he is starting to hear them speak to him. The voices are sometimes little more than a feeling – contentment, softness, or anger and frustration. When those voices follow him into the world outside, he really begins to worry. He flees to a place of safety – the library – where things are quieter. Then he begins to meet interesting people and learns how to find his own path in life and move forward. You’ll love the unknown narrator – Book – and the telling of this tale. The Book of Form and Emptiness is sparkling with Love and Truth – two things we all really need right now. And in the hands of such a consummate writer, they are powerfully rendered. Enjoy!”

Auntie's Bookstore image Linda, Auntie's Bookstore
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Cloud Cuckoo Land

A Novel

By Anthony Doerr
Narrated by: Marin Ireland & Simon Jones
Length: 14 hours 51 minutes

If you enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind, then you’ll love Cloud Cuckoo Land.

“I loved this book so much. The intersection of the various stories surrounding a profound awareness of the importance of books was perfect. I also appreciated the weaving of the classic tale intertwined all throughout the book. Each character's story could have been a book all by themselves, but having them all together was brilliant. This is a book that I didn't know I needed, but was the perfect book for the time I listened to it.”

Schuler Books image Tim, Schuler Books
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Harlem Shuffle

A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: Dion Graham
Length: 10 hours 35 minutes

Harlem Shuffle

“Colson Whitehead's Harlem Shuffle is a historical fiction mystery set in 1960s Harlem. A furniture salesman playing both sides, Ray occasionally gets rid of his cousin Freddie's stolen goods. When Freddie involves him in a heist that goes south, Ray's life turns upside down. Harlem Shuffle. shows the changing landscape of Harlem with a side of gangsters, extortion, crooked cops, and the everyday struggle of a Black business owner. This book is suspenseful and funny but also examines race and power in the ways Whitehead writes so masterfully.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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Orwell's Roses

By Rebecca Solnit
Narrated by: Rebecca Solnit
Length: 7 hours 51 minutes

“An exhilarating romp through Orwell’s life and times and also through the life and times of roses.” —Margaret Atwood
“A captivating account of Orwell as gardener, lover, parent, and endlessly curious thinker.” —Claire Messud, Harper's

“Nobody who reads it will ever think of Nineteen Eighty-Four in quite the same way.”—Vogue
A lush exploration of...
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The Lincoln Highway

A Novel

By Amor Towles
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Marin Ireland & Dion Graham
Length: 16 hours 38 minutes

If you enjoyed This Tender Land, then you’ll love The Lincoln Highway.

“THIS BOOK EXCEEDED ALL EXPECTATIONS! As a huge fan of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, The Lincoln Highway had a lot of pressure and holy cow did it surpass anything I could have hoped for. From the first page, I was immediately drawn into Towles' magical writing and superb characters. This felt like a modern classic, the new and updated version of Huckleberry Finn that I actually wanted to read in high school. You cannot beat the quirkiness of Towles' characters. You feel so deeply about every single one of them and it feels like they leap off the page with specificities with which they are written. Duchess and Woolly, the stowaways, felt like a modern day George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men with Woolly's gentle giant innocence and Duchess' take-the-lead wile. Emmett is the stoic, do-right midwesterner who always fixes the messes. And Billy is the smartest, sweetest kid who inspires those around him. You fall in love with them and are left with all the feels. A glorious five out of five stars for me, The Lincoln Highway will be my go-to recommendation this fall.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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A Novel

By Jonathan Franzen
Narrated by: David Pittu
Length: 24 hours 56 minutes


Crossroads is Franzen's first novel since the National Book Award winning The Corrections that smacks of his original genius. Gloriously the tale of a 1960's Chicago minister led family of six is the start of a trilogy. The type of book you can't put down, I banned it from night time reading due to the thrilling descent of some of the characters. Hungry for the next two, which is saying something considering the book's 500+ pages.”

Bookstore1Sarasota image Roxanne, Bookstore1Sarasota
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And the Category Is…

Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community

By Ricky Tucker
Narrated by: Ricky Tucker
Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

A love letter to the legendary Black and Latinx LGBTQ underground subculture, uncovering its abundant legacy and influence in popular culture.

What is Ballroom? Not a song, a documentary, a catchphrase, a TV show, or an individual pop star. It is an underground subculture founded over a century ago by LGBTQ African American and Latino men and... Read more »

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What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex

By Angela Chen
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
Length: 7 hours 43 minutes


“This book is an eye-opening collection of personal testimonies, research, and history about asexuality, and to a lesser extent, aromanticism. Whether you are new to learning about asexuality or are asexual yourself, by the end of the book you will have a richer and multifaceted understanding of ace identity and experience.”

Phoenix Books image Miriasha, Phoenix Books
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The Dawn of Everything

A New History of Humanity

By David Graeber & David Wengrow
Length: 24 hours 2 minutes

A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and...

Read more »

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Pastoral Song

By James Rebanks
Narrated by: Peter Noble
Length: 8 hours 35 minutes

The Acclaimed International Bestseller * Named "Nature Book of the Year" by the Sunday Times * Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize * A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Sunday Times, Financial Times, New Statesman, Independent, Telegraph, Observer, and Daily Mail

"Superbly written and deeply insightful, the...

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Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid

The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change

By Thor Hanson
Narrated by: Stacy Carolan
Length: 6 hours 28 minutes

A beloved natural historian explores how climate change is driving evolution  

In Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, biologist Thor Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out. Anole lizards have grown larger toe pads, to grip more tightly...

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Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet

By Thich Nhat Hanh
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini & True Dedication
Length: 9 hours 19 minutes

“When you wake up and you see that the Earth is not just the environment, the Earth is us, you touch the nature of interbeing. And at that moment you can have real communication with the Earth… We have to wake up together. And if we wake up together, then we have a chance. Our way of living our life and planning our future has led us into this...

Read more »

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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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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

By John Koenig
Narrated by: John Koenig
Length: 4 hours 42 minutes

“It’s undeniably thrilling to find words for our strangest feelings…Koenig casts light into lonely corners of human experience…An enchanting book. “ —The Washington Post

A truly original book in every sense of the word, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows poetically defines emotions that we all feel but don’t have the... Read more »

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Call Us What We Carry


By Amanda Gorman
Narrated by: Amanda Gorman
Length: 3 hours 31 minutes

The breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman

Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a... Read more »

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Murakami T

The T-Shirts I Love

By Haruki Murakami
Narrated by: Kotaro Watanabe
Length: 1 hours 43 minutes

The international literary icon opens his eclectic closet: Here are photographs of Murakami’s extensive and personal T-shirt collection, accompanied by essays that reveal a side of the writer rarely seen by the public.

Considered "the world's most popular cult novelist" (The Guardian), Haruki Murakami has written books that have galvanized... Read more »

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On Animals

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by: Susan Orlean
Length: 10 hours

On Animals

“Sometimes you may just want to think about anything other than human beings. Pick up On Animals by Susan Orlean and you'll find yourself delighting in the fascinating world of donkeys, orca whales, dogs, and pigeons. A lifelong animal lover, Orlean's essays are beautifully written and frankly quite delightful.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
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Hip-Hop (And Other Things)

By Shea Serrano
Narrated by: Bernardo Cubria
Length: 9 hours 55 minutes

HIP-HOP (AND OTHER THINGS) is the third book in the (And Other Things) series. The first two—Basketball (And Other Things) and Movies (And Other Things)—were both #1 New York Times bestsellers. Read more »

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