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Second Star Staff Picks

Second Star Staff Picks

Looking for an escape? Need some hands-free reading while you're taking care of the kids? Try these Second Star to the Right staff favorites on for size!

Playlist Tags: Second Star to the Right booksellerfavorites topic: favorites staff picks bookstore-created

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The Anthropocene Reviewed

Essays on a Human-Centered Planet

By John Green
Narrated by: John Green
Length: 10 hours 3 minutes

If you enjoyed Why Fish Don't Exist, then you’ll love The Anthropocene Reviewed.

“A lovely lovely listen read by the author. This is the perfect book to take on a long walk or drive that will make you look at the world in a fresh way. Drawing on personal anecdotes, history, literature and science, Green embraces both small and big ideas and makes you grateful for things you might have once overlooked. 5/5 stars for this audiobook!”

Bank Square Books image Katie, Bank Square Books
Audiobook details

Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Ruby Dee
Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love...

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Thornlight

By Claire Legrand
Narrated by: Billie Fulford-Brown
Length: 8 hours 42 minutes

Thornlight

“Claire has beautifully expanded this world (and magic system) into something even more fantastical than I could have imagined. I adored every single one of the characters and cameos from the old. I cherished the hints at romance between Thorn and Zaf (wlw!), so completely, beautifully innocent and wondrous. But most of all, I loved the lessons in self esteem, courage, and empathy, as each fought their own unseen battles. Thornlight is a testament to the different kinds of strength we each possess, especially those that are often disregarded as weakness. This is a story that's equally heartwarming and heartbreaking (though the kind of heartbreak that pushes you to keep fighting), the sum of its parts undeniably magical. Oh, and did I mention the sassy unicorns??? And Mazby the Grifflet?”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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Vesper Flights

By Helen Macdonald
Narrated by: Helen Macdonald
Length: 10 hours 21 minutes

Vesper Flights

“This audio book was my daily meditation. It is the perfect way to wrap up 2020. Soothing and inspirational, I am recommending to all my friends and family. ”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Audiobook details

Beautiful Country

A Memoir

By Qian Julie Wang
Narrated by: Qian Julie Wang
Length: 9 hours 38 minutes

Beautiful Country

“In this brutally honest coming-of-age memoir, Qian Julie Wang comes to terms with the deprivations and struggles of her undocumented Chinese upbringing in New York City in the 1990s.”

Kayleen Rohrer image Kayleen Rohrer, InkLink Books
Audiobook details

Intimations

Six Essays

By Zadie Smith
Narrated by: Zadie Smith
Length: 1 hours 50 minutes

Intimations

“Strongly recommend this book of six short essays written in the wake of pandemic shut-downs and ensuing isolation and racial injustice and protests. Smith is always a favorite, but this collection is profound, thought-provoking, and one to revisit again and again.”

Leaves Book and Tea Shop image Tina, Leaves Book and Tea Shop
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Act Your Age, Eve Brown

A Novel

By Talia Hibbert
Narrated by: Ione Butler
Length: 10 hours 51 minutes

If you enjoyed The Proposal, then you’ll love Act Your Age, Eve Brown.

“If you want an instant mood lifter, these books are for you! Hibbert writes a romance that is both cute and fun and STEAMY. Over the course of three books, she follows three sisters and their love lives. The Brown family is delightfully erratic. The sisters each have their own unique personalities and life troubles though were born into a certain level of financial privilege. Eve Brown, the youngest and most unmoored, is the subject of this third novel. Hibbert crafts great characters and a story that is easy to fall into. It will entertain the h*ll out of you if you let it! Eve is fun. Normally, her listlessness would stress me out but she had such a fun personality that was determined as well as indecisive and I enjoyed her internal monologues. I liked that Brown tackled autism in both males and females and demystified it a little (reminded me of Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient). Ione Butler was a fantastic narrator. I had listened to Hibbert's last installment about middle sister Dani with Butler at the helm too and thoroughly enjoyed it. She has a very smooth and flirty voice that draw you in and adds sass to her characters. The ending was a little crazy, the entire Brown family once again making things difficult, but I was smiling by the end. Highly recommended to romance fans, Jasmine Guillory/Helen Hoang readers, and those that need a light, fun mental break.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities Trilogy: Book #1

By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“I love N.K. Jemisin’s books, I love New York City, and I love this book about the soul and personification of New York. The City We Became might just be my favorite book to be published in 2020. This story is filled with tension, humor, and great characters, with a guest appearance near and dear to me. While this book is the beginning of a trilogy, it is completely satisfying as a stand-alone novel. Read it and be happy.”

Powell's Books image Doug Chase, Powell's Books
Audiobook details

The Book of Two Ways

A Novel

By Jodi Picoult
Narrated by: Patti Murin
Length: 15 hours 47 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a “powerful” (The Washington Post) novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MARIE CLAIRE

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant... Read more »

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Circe

By Madeline Miller
Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
Length: 12 hours 8 minutes

Circe

“This sweeping tale of the gods and heroes of Greek mythology as seen through the eyes of a minor goddess had me from the first chapter. I listened to this as an audiobook from our audio vendor, Libro.fm. The brilliant narrator was the 29-year-old Welsh film actress, Perdita Weeks.”

Changing Hands image Bob, Changing Hands
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Internment

By Samira Ahmed
Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

Internment

“An emotionally charged, incredibly well written story of what it would be like if internment camps were brought back for this nation's Muslim citizens. Beautifully narrated, Internment is gripping and powerful, this is a must-listen for all ages.”

Anderson's Bookshop image Mary, Anderson's Bookshop
Audiobook details

The Vanishing Half

A Novel

By Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Length: 11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“Brit Bennett’s second novel broke my heart. She doesn’t shy away from the sadness inherent in each character’s life, yet she left me feeling better for having met all of them. I read The Vanishing Half with a sense of hope, despite my dread that terrible things might befall the characters. Desiree and Stella’s story unfolds with a deft delicateness in a book that is astonishingly accomplished and sweeping, and yet so very intimate.”

Women & Children First image Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First
Audiobook details

Mythos

By author
Narrated by: Stephen Fry
Length: 15 hours 24 minutes

Mythos

“Stephen Fry has dusted off the Greek myths. Starting with the creation and going through all the infights, back-stabbings, and just plain stupid mistakes of the Greek pantheon, he breaths new life into these tales with his characteristic wry humor and witty asides. A great added feature of the video book is that Fry himself reads it, so sit back, turn on your LibroFM-playing device, close your eyes and be prepared to be entertained while learning or relearning the ins and outs of Greek mythology.”

Galiano Books image Jim, Galiano Books
Audiobook details

American Street

By Ibi Zoboi
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 8 hours 34 minutes

A National Book Award Finalist with five starred reviews!

A New York Times Notable Book * Publishers Weekly Flying Start * Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * ALA Booklist Editors' Choice of 2017 (Top of the List winner) * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * BookPage Best YA Book of the Year

American...

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The Dutch House

A Novel

By Ann Patchett
Narrated by: Tom Hanks
Length: 9 hours 52 minutes

The Dutch House

“The Dutch House is an engrossing story that spans over 50 years. It is about a house and the memories that it holds. The story revolves around Danny and Maeve, a brother and sister who love each other deeply - more than any other person including Danny's wife. They share a sad childhood in which their Mother disappears with very little explanation. They are brought up by their distant father who loves their home, The Dutch House, more than his children or his second wife. When he dies suddenly in his 50's, the second wife takes everything and throws Danny and Maeve out of the house. The siblings manage and continue to be each other's lifeline. I enjoyed this book tremendously and developed great affection for the siblings, even with their complex, dysfunctional dynamics. An added bonus: Tom Hanks reads the story with plenty of heart and soul.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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Librofm App

Special offer

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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Legendborn

The Legendborn Cycle

By Tracy Deonn
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Length: 18 hours 54 minutes

If you enjoyed Children of Blood and Bone, then you’ll love Legendborn.

“If you’ve been thinking about trying audiobooks, I recommend LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn as a great starting point! The reader, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, completely transported me to the Southern Gothic world of a secret society on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill (down to the hot sauce on hash browns). With a complex magic system intricately tied to ancestry and world history, Arthurian legend, demon battles, and just enough romance, this was one of those books that I thought about when I couldn’t have it playing in my headphones! Deonn is a master, bringing Brianna, the main character, to name and disrupt white male supremacy while working through the grief of her own story and that of her mothers before her. I also loved the queer representation in secondary characters, including a squire with they/them pronouns. I can't wait for the sequel and to follow Deonn's career!”

Lark & Owl image Kim, Lark & Owl
Audiobook details

Boyfriend Material

By Alexis Hall
Narrated by: Joe Jameson
Length: 13 hours 10 minutes

If you enjoyed Red, White & Royal Blue, then you’ll love Boyfriend Material.

“After a night of not even that much debauchery, Luc finds himself in the tabloids again. Though he is not famous, his estranged father is and consequently, Luc is constantly in the eye of the paparazzi. To repair his image in the press, he needs a respectable boyfriend. Oliver is Luc’s last option, but luckily Oliver needs a boyfriend for a family event. They agree to a fake relationship, but can any relationship stay fake for long? This is an adorable love story perfect for turning your brain off for a bit.”

Off the Beaten Path image Izzy, Off the Beaten Path
Audiobook details

SHOUT

By Laurie Halse Anderson
Narrated by: Laurie Halse Anderson
Length: 3 hours 48 minutes

SHOUT

“The best yet from Laurie Halse Anderson! A gripping and amazing memoir in verse - her words will haunt your thoughts and dreams. You will laugh, and cry, and wish that the world is not so hard for so many.”

The Homer Bookstore image Jenny, The Homer Bookstore
Audiobook details

Wishful Drinking

By Carrie Fisher
Narrated by: Carrie Fisher
Length: 3 hours 6 minutes

The bestselling author of Postcards from the Edge comes clean (well, sort of) in her first-ever memoir, adapted from her one-woman Broadway hit show. Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of “Hollywood in-breeding,” come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action... Read more »

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A Closed and Common Orbit

Wayfarers: Book #2

By Becky Chambers
Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes

A Closed and Common Orbit

“Becky Chambers has built a dazzling and expansive science fiction universe and seems determined to introduce readers to every corner. The AI Sidra and young Jane provide swapping viewpoints between a bustling, multi-species city sprawling over a moon and a sterile factory among miles and miles of junkyard on a planet with extremely skewed priorities. Sidra's journey to understand who and what she really only becomes more poignant as you follow Jane struggle to escape the only home, the only planet, she has ever known. In the end, despite the fantastic setting and characters, Chambers manages to deliver a striking message about consciousness, survival, and family.”

The Cupboard Maker Books image Sam, The Cupboard Maker Books
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