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Newtonville Books Staff Picks: Audio Version

Here are some exquisite stories to listen to during quarantine!

Playlist Tags: Newtonville Books bookstore-created

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This Will Be My Undoing

Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America
By Morgan Jerkins
Narrated by Morgan Jerkins /  7 hours 5 minutes

This Will Be My Undoing

“This book ravaged and then healed my weary soul. A micro and macro look at the exhaustion and triumph of black womanhood, Jerkins' essays are poignant enough on their own. When linked together in her book, the pieces become the subtle knife cutting through the membrane of gender and racial disparity that covers our country. Jerkins uses herself not simply as a reference point, but as a dissection, laid on the table and explained.”

WORD Bookstores image Hannah Oliver Depp, WORD Bookstores
Price:

$24.14 USD

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Wandering in Strange Lands

A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots
By Morgan Jerkins
Narrated by Morgan Jerkins /  8 hours 3 minutes

Wandering in Strange Lands

“In Wandering in Strange Lands, Morgan Jerkins brings us along on her journey to learn about her ancestors and herself. This fascinating ethnography leads Jerkins down paths she anticipated and, perhaps most interestingly, down unexpected ones. As she learns more about where and whom she came from, she confronts her image of herself and grapples with some of the truths she finds. Jerkens’s journey takes us first to the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, home of the Gullah Geechee people, and then to Louisiana and its Creole people. In both places, she learns much about her mother’s and father’s families. From there, we travel to Oklahoma where Jerkins explores connections between Native Americans and African Americans, searching for information about the claims in her family of Native American ancestry. And finally, we land in Los Angeles, where Jerkins’s research culminates in a thoughtful and insightful examination of what it means to be Black in the United States. The history, the people, the insight, and the implications of the information in this book make it not only incredibly interesting, but also a significant contribution to our understanding of cultures and connections in the United States.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
Price:

$27.59 USD

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Separation Anxiety

A Novel
By Laura Zigman
Narrated by Courtney Patterson /  7 hours 57 minutes

Separation Anxiety

“Told with humor, wit, and wisdom, Laura Zigman’s novel explores the unexpected trials of middle age. We follow Judy Vogel, who is rebounding from the recent deaths of her parents, struggling with writer’s block, juggling financial issues, coping with a failing marriage, and raising an adolescent son. When she comes across her son’s old baby sling, she starts to wear the family dog as a unique form of support. This thought-provoking novel is full of heart, hope, and the strength to move forward.”

Lake Forest Book Store image Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store
Price:

$27.59 USD

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Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng
Narrated by Jennifer Lim /  11 hours 26 minutes

Little Fires Everywhere

“Little Fires Everywhere is a breathtaking novel about art, motherhood, and truth. Mia and her daughter, Pearl, move to the perfectly planned community of Shaker Heights as the last stop on their nomadic adventure, bringing some much-needed permanence to teenager Pearl's life. They both find friendship, but the connections they create with their landlord's family will soon change all of their lives. Impossible to put down or stop thinking about. A great read.”

Stef Schmidt image Stef Schmidt, Water Street Books
Price:

$28.00 USD

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The Glass Hotel

A novel
By Emily St. John Mandel
Narrated by Dylan Moore /  10 hours 28 minutes

The Glass Hotel

“In this ghostly story of ignoring what’s right in front of you, a group of characters try to grapple with what seems like inevitable choices. Mandel’s book is like the glass in the title: her language glitters while offering clarity and reflection, and her characters are like broken shards, mesmerizing in one light and dangerously ordinary in another. Combining the humanity and structure of Station Eleven with the brutal realism of her earlier works, The Glass Hotel is an exceptional novel.”

Porter Square Books image Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books
Price:

$28.00 USD

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We Cast a Shadow

A Novel
By Maurice Carlos Ruffin
Narrated by Dion Graham /  9 hours 41 minutes

“An incisive and necessary” (Roxane Gay) debut for fans of Get Out and Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, about a father’s obsessive quest to protect his son—even if it means turning him white

“Stunning and audacious . . . at once a pitch-black comedy, a chilling horror story and an endlessly perceptive novel about the possible future of race in... Read more »

Price:

$28.00 USD

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Washington Black

A novel
By Esi Edugyan
Narrated by Dion Graham /  12 hours 18 minutes

Washington Black

“Epic in scope, ranging from a brutal slave plantation in Barbados to scenes in the Arctic, antebellum America, and London, plus a thoughtful denouement in the Moroccan desert, Edugyan’s novel explores the complex relationship between slave and master, the hubris of good intentions, and the tense life of a runaway in constant flight with a Javert on his tail. What results is a compulsive page-turner blessed with effortless prose. Highly recommended.”

Matthew Lage image Matthew Lage, Iowa Book
Price:

$31.50 USD

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Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by Nicole Lewis /  9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“What a beautifully rich and nuanced book! Emira, a mid-twenties educated but slightly driftless woman is working 2 part time jobs still trying to find her passion. She find joy in her part time babysitting job, finding her three year old charge a delightfully odd little person who keeps her interested. But things turn complicated when she is asked to take her charge to the local grocery store late at night and is accosted by the store security guard and a "well meaning" patron. Accused of kidnapping and unable to leave Emira holds her dignity and stands up for herself as another patron films the incident. Emira wants nothing more than to put the incident behind her but those closest to her have other ideas of what is best for her. This novel packs an emotional punch, making us question our own motives and wondering if we really have our loved ones best interests at heart. A perfect book group pick for those who like to focus on character driven stories.”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Little Family

A Novel
By Ishmael Beah
Narrated by Dion Graham /  7 hours 54 minutes

Little Family

“The legacy of colonialism is ugly, and Ishmael Beah’s Little Family offers a glimpse into some aspects of that legacy. The novel is the story of a group of teens and younger children living homeless, banded together into a family through lack of any other, trying to find their way in an unnamed post-colonial African nation. We catch glimpses into the past lives of the two oldest members of this family, Elimane and Khoudiemata, but the others’ pasts remain more mysterious. In sharp contrast to this little family are the “beautiful people” – the wealthy and powerful. Khoudi, entering into womanhood, is noticed by one of these wealthy people and is taken into their circle, able to seem like one of them thanks to the money earned through Elimani’s recent “hiring” by the shady character William Handkerchief. Both these connections outside the family set in motion a series of events that will alter everything. Power, corruption, inequality, passion, longing, and love affect every aspect of this moving story.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
Price:

$28.00 USD

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My Name Is Lucy Barton (Dramatic Production)

By Elizabeth Strout & Rona Munro
Narrated by Laura Linney /  1 hour 25 minutes

My Name Is Lucy Barton (Dramatic Production)

“At just an hour and a half, My Name Is Lucy Barton, performed by Laura Linney delivering her captivating stage performance of Elizabeth Strout’s novel, should be experienced straight through. I dared not pause this captivating audio experience; it would have felt like putting a friend on hold when she was sharing her deepest confidences.”

Market Block Books image Cheryl, Market Block Books
Price:

$21.00 USD

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Me and White Supremacy

Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor
By Layla F. Saad
5 hours 19 minutes

Me and White Supremacy

“Want to learn how to be a good ancestor? Need to address your privilege and feel uncomfortable about talking about racism? You need to read and work through Me and White Supremacy.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
Price:

$15.26 USD

Retail price (USD): $16.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

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The Book of V.

A Novel
By Anna Solomon
Narrated by Dara Rosenberg, Eva Kaminsky & Gabra Zackman /  9 hours 8 minutes

The Book of V.

“Astounding! In the talented hands of Anna Solomon, the lives of three women in different eras come to life with equal vibrancy. A compelling look at the roles of women through time (ancient Persia, 1970s D.C., and Brooklyn in 2016), as well as what it means to have and use power and to feel safe in a relationship. So much material here for discussion. I cannot wait to put this into the hands of our readers!”

Where the Sidewalk Ends image Caitlin Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Circe

By Madeline Miller
Narrated by Perdita Weeks /  12 hours 8 minutes

Circe

“This remarkable journey into mythology brings the ancient gods directly and viscerally into the present. Circe is a perfect mashup of elegant language, glorious storytelling, and exquisitely modern sensibilities. Miller's telling left me awed and moved by Circe and her story, all while wishing I could invite her over for a glass of wine on the porch. How this amazing author so perfectly melds the human and the divine, creating a story both immediate and epic, is dazzling.”

Beth Albrecht image Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore
Price:

$29.88 USD

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The Stationery Shop

By Marjan Kamali
Narrated by Mozhan Marnò /  9 hours 13 minutes

The Stationery Shop

The Stationery Shop is one of the most beautifully written novels I have read in a long time. The masterful plot brings us to a lost time and culture, but also transcends time and country. In a story set against the upheaval of 1953 Tehran, we discover how events change the destiny of two teenagers who meet in a book and stationery shop and fall in love. This novel of political dreams, family loyalty, lingering memories, love, and fate will haunt you long after the story ends.”

Janet Hutchison image Janet Hutchison, The Open Door Bookstore
Price:

$22.99 USD

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Braiding Sweetgrass

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
By Robin Wall Kimmerer
Narrated by Robin Wall Kimmerer /  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 »

Price:

$25.86 USD

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Convenience Store Woman

By Sayaka Murata & Ginny Tapley Takemori
Narrated by Nancy Wu /  3 hours 21 minutes

Convenience Store Woman

“Keiko loves rules. Having worked a part-time job in a Japanese convenience store for 18 years, she loves having a corporate script to recite, sales goals to reach, and a list of tasks to complete. What she doesn't love - or even understand - are the more complicated rules of society at large. She doesn't want a husband, or children, or a real job. What she does want is a satisfactory answer to the endless personal questions that will allow her to be left alone. Convenience Store Woman is a quirky and hilarious look at society and its misfits, and what happens when we try to bend ourselves to the needs of others.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
Price:

$15.26 USD

Retail price (USD): $16.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

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