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_shelflove_'s 2020 Shelf-Growth Playlist

_shelflove_'s 2020 Shelf-Growth Playlist

Memoirs/non-fiction and #ownvoices fiction selections that will help me grow as a reader and as a person. This playlist includes new releases and backlist titles that pull on the heartstrings and evoke empathy by finding common ground between reader and narrator or by exploring social issues and epidemics in the U.S. and abroad.

Playlist Tags: influencer-created

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Hunger

A Memoir of (My) Body

By Roxane Gay
Narrated by: Roxane Gay
Length: 5 hours 57 minutes

Hunger

“Man oh man. Roxane Gay never fails to disappoint, even if she might disagree. This is a powerful, raw memoir, narrated by the author. Her truth is so relatable, and even when it’s not, Gay’s writing is empathetic. This audiobook was so engrossing, I actively looked for excuses to step away from what I was doing and listen to it. I highly recommend listening to or reading this book—for EVERYONE. This will challenge how you look at fat people, and women especially, and if you’re like me, how you look at yourself. Do yourself a favor and read this book.”

Belmont Books image Tildy, Belmont Books
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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 11 hours 50 minutes

The Hate U Give

“This bestselling, powerful young adult novel about social justice and one teen girl's effort to fight for what is right, will leave you breathless. The narration by Bahni Turpin is hands down the best I've ever heard. This is such an important book it should be required reading for life in general. Or listening. Definitely listening.”

Tattered Cover image Kristen, Tattered Cover
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The Affairs of the Falcóns

A Novel

By Melissa Rivero
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
Length: 8 hours 34 minutes

A stunning debut novel about a young undocumented Peruvian woman fighting to keep her family afloat in New York City.

Ana Falcón, along with her husband Lucho and their two young children, has fled the economic and political strife of Peru for a chance at a new life in New York City in the 1990s. Being undocumented, however, has significantly...

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Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick

Stories from the Harlem Renaissance

By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Aunjanue Ellis
Length: 8 hours 57 minutes

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick

“Zora Neale Hurston’s (Their Eyes Were Watching God, Barracoon) body of work continues to grow and impress. In Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, 21 short stories, including several “lost” pieces depicting the Great Migration to northern cities and Harlem’s educated New Negro middle class, offer an updated perspective of Hurston’s Harlem Renaissance-era cultural commentary. These stories, written in the 1920s and 30s, explore toxic masculinity and women’s agency, urban vs. rural class representations, colorism/shadeism, identity politics, and the intersectionality of race, class, age, and gender in a way that remains relevant today. And, by using humor, folklore, and her unique combination of delicate prose and vernacular speech, Hurston also has written thoroughly engaging slices-of-life, always centering Black characters, from a very specific time period. To fully appreciate Hurston’s stories, Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) recommends in her foreword, “reading this work aloud, enjoying the feel of the words in your mouth, and the sound of English tightened and strummed like the strings of a banjo.””

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
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Children of the Land

By Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
Narrated by: Timothy Andrés Pabon
Length: 10 hours 6 minutes

An Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated Book of 2020

This unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet about growing up undocumented in the United States recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man’s attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence. 

“You were not a...

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Becoming

By Michelle Obama
Narrated by: Michelle Obama
Length: 19 hours 1 minutes

Becoming

“I adore our former president and I miss him. Yet I cannot help but be ecstatic that Michelle is coming out with a book about her own life so that I can learn more about this powerful, intelligent, and singularly awesome woman. Barack would be the first to say that his wife is a superstar, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Becoming to read about her in her own words.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jax, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
Length: 9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“A racial comedy of manners for the digital age, Such a Fun Age is a hilarious and cringe-inducing look at white people trying to do the right thing: badly, and for all the wrong reasons. Nicole Lewis's reading is a dazzling feat: expertly code-switching between the voice Emira uses with her friends, to the voice she uses with her boss, Alix, to the voice her boss's suburban black friend, Tamara, uses with Alix, to the voice Tamara uses with Emira. I don't think I would have enjoyed this book half as much without this effortlessly nuanced narration.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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She Said

Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

By Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes

From the Pulitzer-prize winning reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment and abuse for the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the thrilling untold story of their investigation and its consequences for the #MeToo movement

On October 5, 2017, the New York Times published an article by Jodi Kantor and Megan... Read more »

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A Long Petal of the Sea

A Novel

By Isabel Allende
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes

A Long Petal of the Sea

“Isabel Allende’s latest novel couldn’t come at a better time for American readers heading into an election season. With immigration and desperate people seeking asylum as its central narrative thread, the novel reminds us of the uncanny resiliency of the human spirit and the power of love — both of others and of country — to restore and heal. From his awe-inspiring feat in the novel’s opening pages to his persistence in the face of a lifetime of adversity, cardiologist Victor Dalmau will live long and well in readers’ minds.”

Raven Book Store image Kelly Barth, Raven Book Store
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The Girl with the Louding Voice

A Novel

By Abi Daré
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 12 hours 6 minutes

The Girl with the Louding Voice

“This year is overflowing with phenomenal debuts — including this one from Abi Daré. It tells the story of Adunni, a young girl in Nigeria whose dreams and ambition focus in on one thing: education. In a city where girls like her are looked down upon and considered unworthy, she comes to find that change can begin with even the smallest of voices. This story is the kind that makes you itch: you’ll ache for Adunni, bristle at the people who treat her so unjustly, and yearn for her to succeed. This is a stunning, important, and fascinating first novel.”

Lindsay Howard image Lindsay Howard, Lark and Owl Booksellers
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White Fragility

Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

By Dr. Robin DiAngelo
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 6 hours 20 minutes

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white... Read more »

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Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered

The Definitive How-To Guide

By Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark
Narrated by: Georgia Hardstark, Karen Kilgariff & Paul Giamatti
Length: 6 hours 30 minutes

Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered

“Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark bring the breeziness of their popular podcast My Favorite Murder to print in this collection of life hacks and true confessions. Alternately hilarious and wise, the two play off each other with the abandon of old college buddies. Fans of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck will find much to enjoy here. While the book will leave you in stitches, the advice the pair doles out is solid and bankable. The book should be in every college freshman’s backpack as they leave for school.”

Mac's Back-Books image Grace Harper, Mac's Back-Books
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Dominicana

A Novel

By Angie Cruz
Narrated by: Coral Peña
Length: 10 hours 12 minutes

Dominicana

“This is a book that will stay with you. It’s a story about a 15 Year old Dominican girl, who is married off to a man twice her age bc he can bring her to the United States. Ana, has no control over her situation, and comes to the US, speaking no English, knowing nothing about her new country. Isolated in their apartment, missing her siblings and pressured by her mother to send home money, Ana struggles to find her way. She’s torn between family loyalty and finding her own happiness. Ultimately, it’s Ana who has to determine her own agency. What makes this especially interesting is that it’s set in Washington Heights in the 1960s, with the civil rights movement in the background. Yet, that’s all the impact it has, momentous occasions are just background and Ana’s experience is front and center.”

Belmont Books image Audrey, Belmont Books
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The Sun Does Shine

How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection)

By Anthony Ray Hinton & Lara Love Hardin
Narrated by: Bryan Stevenson & Kevin R. Free
Length: 9 hours 11 minutes

Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection

A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.

“An amazing and heartwarming story, it restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity.”
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu


In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was...

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The Glass Castle

A Memoir

By Jeannette Walls
Narrated by: Jeannette Walls
Length: 10 hours 25 minutes

MORE THAN EIGHT YEARS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST

The extraordinary, one-of-a-kind, “nothing short of spectacular” (Entertainment Weekly) memoir from one of the world’s most gifted storytellers.

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and... Read more »

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Dopesick

Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

By Beth Macy
Narrated by: Beth Macy
Length: 10 hours 16 minutes

Dopesick

“A heartfelt narrative filled personal anecdotes and horrifying statistics, Macy gives the reader an encompassing view of the opioid epidemic. Macy is a terrific writer and her reading of the book for audio conveys the sense of devastation for the addicts and their families.”

Bartleby's Books image Maria, Bartleby's Books
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Heavy

An American Memoir

By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“An incredibly generous, tender, and searingly honest book. Kiese Laymon is hands down one of the most talented American writers publishing right now. HEAVY overflows with deep love and deep pain. Laymon holds up a mirror to the US past, present - "We did not have to be this way. We will not ever have to be this way." I'm going back to read everything Laymon has ever written. {I listened to the audio book (highly recommend - it's read by the author).}”

A Room Of One's Own Bookstore image Alex Neff, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
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From Scratch

A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home

By Tembi Locke
Narrated by: Tembi Locke
Length: 10 hours 17 minutes

From Scratch

“I just finished wiping away my last tear as I close the curtain on From Scratch, a brilliant, compelling memoir. Tembi Locke lost her larger-than-life Italian chef husband at an early age to cancer. The book is a love letter to him as well as to enchanting Sicily and its aromatic, tantalizing food. But more than anything, it is the most memorable and thoughtful gift that her daughter will ever receive. I highly recommend the audio version which is read by the author. From Scratch is one of the best memoirs that I have ever read and one of my top five best books that I read this Summer.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The Underground Railroad (Television Tie-in)

A Novel

By Colson Whitehead
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 10 hours 43 minutes

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Now an original Amazon Prime Video series directed by Barry Jenkins.

Cora is a slave on a cotton... Read more »

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Catch and Kill

Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators

By Ronan Farrow
Narrated by: Ronan Farrow
Length: 10 hours 43 minutes

Catch and Kill

“A timely, incredibly important account of the difficulties Farrow faced at NBC while working on the Weinstein expose, which he took to the New Yorker and subsequently won a Pulitzer for. The audiobook is grippingly read by Farrow (though the accents he attempts are... let's go with 'confusing'). It's upsetting, sure, but heartening to see the exhaustive research and the very clearly laid-out account of how Farrow had to work against the very powerful high-profile members of the media establishment--including his own bosses--not only because of Weinstein's well-oiled intimidation machine but also as part of those figures attempting to cover up their own histories of being harassers. Highly recommend this important piece of current events journalism, which reads like a thriller novel.”

A Room Of One's Own Bookstore image Gretchen, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
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