Contemporary Fiction Audiobooks

Contemporary fiction helps listeners discover fictionalized stories set in the modern-day, real world. Often facing everyday problems, these characters grapple with reality as they strive to understand themselves and the world around them. Also known as “realistic fiction,” contemporary fiction centers around stories of true-to-life characters. Step into their world with one of these audiobooks.

Contemporary fiction helps listeners discover fictionalized stories set in the modern-day, real world. Often facing everyday problems, these characters grapple with reality as they strive to understand themselves and the world around them. Also known as “realistic fiction,” contemporary fiction centers around stories of true-to-life characters. Step into their world with one of these audiobooks.

Bestselling in Contemporary Fiction

New & Noteworthy: Contemporary Fiction

  • Late Summer
    Late Summer
    Late Summer

    Audiobook

    Late Summer

    byLuiz Ruffato

    From one of Brazil’s most important living writers, a powerful reflection on the effects of isolation and feelings of inadequacy in our time. Sick and abandoned by his wife and son, Oséias decides to go back to his hometown after twenty years away. During this time apart, he has heard about his family only through sporadic phone calls from his younger sister, Isabela. The shadow of the suicide of their sister Lígia, when she was fifteen, lingers over Oséias as he tries to reestablish contact with his siblings. Each of them is absorbed in their own world: Rosana and her obsession with fitness; Isabela and her struggle to survive; João Lúcio and his isolation. All of them are branded by loneliness, but most of all Oséias, who, misunderstood by his family members and old acquaintances, decides to put an end to his journey. Late Summer can be read as both the realistic story of a displaced man tortured by his unsuccessful attempt to redeem his past, and as a portrait of contemporary society, in which social classes have ruptured any form of dialogue between them, and people have become rogue planets whose paths cross occasionally, risking mutual destruction.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Lean Your Loneliness Slowly Against Mine: A Novel
    Lean Your Loneliness Slowly Against Mine: A Novel
    Lean Your Loneliness Slowly Against Mine: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Lean Your Loneliness Slowly Against Mine: A Novel

    byKlara Hveberg

    A NEW YORK TIMES GLOBETROTTING PICK! A remarkable and heartbreaking debut novel with the lyrical beauty and emotional resonance of By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept and the thematic complexity of Asymmetry, that combines fractal mathematics and classical music to explore the infinitely complex patterns of love and the thin border between great passion and great loneliness. Rakel has always been more comfortable with numbers than with people. A gifted woman with a rare talent for math, she has never mastered the art of making friends. At nineteen, she moves to Oslo to attend university. There she meets Jakob, a brilliant older teacher who becomes fascinated by Rakel’s quick mind.  Jakob is struck by the similarities between Rakel and Sofja Kovalevskaja, the first woman to become a professor of mathematics, and the subject of the novel he is writing. Just as Kovalevskaja was close to her much older advisor, Rakel and Jakob are drawn to each other and eventually become lovers, although he is already married. In the years to come, Rakel's academic career soars, but her health declines, and from her bedside she spends hours imagining Sofja’s life while trying to understand her own. With a gaze both naive and mercilessly sharp, she examines what may be her life's only love story, looking for patterns and answers in numbers, music, and literature.  Extraordinarily wise and penetrating, Lean Your Loneliness Slowly Against Mine explores the intricacies of the human heart, the complicated equation that is love, and the search to find meaning and connections when you need them most. Translated from the Norwegian by Alison McCullough 

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • When Robins Appear
    When Robins Appear
    When Robins Appear

    Audiobook

    When Robins Appear

    byDensie Webb

    With a lucrative freelance career and a loving family, Deborah Earle has a life many women would envy. But her daughter, Amanda, is heading to college soon, and Deborah worries about having an empty nest. She thinks another child might be the answer. Her husband, Richard, however, may not be willing to start over so late in life. Amanda is excited about attending NYU next year, but she meets Graham, a handsome older boy, falls hard, and considers postponing her education to stay close to him. Her mother takes an instant dislike to Graham, but Amanda refuses to let her keep them apart. As Deborah watches her daughter rush headlong toward heartache on an all-too-familiar path, the secrets lurking in Deborah’s past continue to echo in her present. When tragedy strikes, Deborah faces a future she could never have imagined.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Book of Mother: A Novel
    The Book of Mother: A Novel
    The Book of Mother: A Novel

    Audiobook

    The Book of Mother: A Novel

    byViolaine Huisman

    A New York Times Notable Book A gorgeous, critically acclaimed debut novel about a young woman coming of age with a dazzling yet damaged mother who lived and loved in extremes. A prizewinning tour de force when it was published in France, Violaine Huisman’s remarkable debut novel is about a daughter’s inextinguishable love for her magnetic, mercurial mother. Beautiful and charismatic, Catherine, a.k.a. “Maman,” smokes too much, drives too fast, laughs too hard, and loves too extravagantly. During a joyful and chaotic childhood in Paris, her daughter Violaine wouldn’t have it any other way. But when Maman is hospitalized after a third divorce and a breakdown, everything changes. Even as Violaine and her sister long for their mother’s return, once she’s back Maman’s violent mood swings and flagrant disregard for personal boundaries soon turn their home into an emotional landmine. As the story of Catherine’s own traumatic childhood and adolescence unfolds, the pieces come together to form an indelible portrait of a mother as irresistible as she is impossible, as triumphant as she is transgressive. With spectacular ferocity of language, a streak of dark humor, and stunning emotional bravery, The Book of Mother is an exquisitely wrought story of a mother’s dizzying heights and devastating lows, and a daughter who must hold her memory close in order to let go.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Small Pleasures: A Novel
    Small Pleasures: A Novel
    Small Pleasures: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Small Pleasures: A Novel

    byClare Chambers

    In the best tradition of Tessa Hadley, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Ann Patchett—an astonishing, keenly observed period piece about an ordinary British woman in the 1950s whose dutiful life takes a sudden turn into a pitched battle between propriety and unexpected passion. "With wit and dry humor...quietly affecting in unexpected ways. Chambers' language is beautiful, achieving what only the most skilled writers can: big pleasure wrought from small details."--The New York Times LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 1957: Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper in the southeast suburbs of London. Clever but with limited career opportunities and on the brink of forty, Jean lives a dreary existence that includes caring for her demanding widowed mother, who rarely leaves the house. It’s a small life with little joy and no likelihood of escape. That all changes when a young woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth. Jean seizes onto the bizarre story and sets out to discover whether Gretchen is a miracle or a fraud. But the more Jean investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys, including Gretchen’s gentle and thoughtful husband Howard, who mostly believes his wife, and their quirky and charming daughter Margaret, who becomes a sort of surrogate child for Jean. Gretchen, too, becomes a much-needed friend in an otherwise empty social life. Jean cannot bring herself to discard what seems like her one chance at happiness, even as the story that she is researching starts to send dark ripples across all their lives…with unimaginable consequences. Both a mystery and a love story, Small Pleasures is a literary tour-de-force in the style of The Remains of the Day, about conflict between personal fulfillment and duty; a novel that celebrates the beauty and potential for joy in all things plain and unfashionable. 

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Pessimists
    The Pessimists
    The Pessimists

    Audiobook

    The Pessimists

    byBethany Ball

    Welcome to small-town Connecticut, a place whose inhabitants seem to have it all—the status, the homes, the money, and the ennui. There's Tripp and Virginia, beloved hosts whom the community idolizes, whose basement hides among other things a secret stash of guns and a drastic plan to survive the end times. There's Gunter and Rachel, recent transplants who left New York City to raise their children, only to feel both imprisoned by the banality of suburbia. And Richard and Margot, community veterans whose extramarital affairs and battles with mental health are disguised by their enviably polished veneers and perfect children. At the center of it all is the Petra School, the most coveted of all the private schools in the state, a supposed utopia of mindfulness and creativity, with a history as murky and suspect as our characters' inner worlds. With deep wit and delicious incisiveness, in The Pessimists, Bethany Ball peels back the veneer of upper-class white suburbia to expose the destructive consequences of unchecked privilege and moral apathy in a world that is rapidly evolving without them. This is a superbly drawn portrait of a community, and its couples, torn apart by unmet desires, duplicity, hypocrisy, and dangerous levels of discontent.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Fight Night
    Fight Night
    Fight Night

    Audiobook

    Fight Night

    byMiriam Toews

    From the bestselling author of Women Talking and All My Puny Sorrows, a compassionate, darkly humorous, and deeply wise new novel about three generations of women. “You're a small thing,” Grandma writes, “and you must learn to fight.” Swiv's Grandma, Elvira, has been fighting all her life. From her upbringing in a strict religious community, she has fought those who wanted to take away her joy, her independence, and her spirit. She has fought to make peace with her loved ones when they have chosen to leave her. And now, even as her health fails, Grandma is fighting for her family: for her daughter, partnerless and in the third term of a pregnancy; and for her granddaughter Swiv, a spirited nine-year-old who has been suspended from school. Cramped together in their Toronto home, on the precipice of extraordinary change, Grandma and Swiv undertake a vital new project, setting out to explain their lives in letters they will never send. Alternating between the exuberant, precocious voice of young Swiv and her irrepressible, tenacious Grandma, Fight Night is a love letter to mothers and grandmothers, and to all the women who are still fighting-painfully, ferociously- for a way to live on their own terms.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • We Are Not Like Them: A Novel
    We Are Not Like Them: A Novel
    We Are Not Like Them: A Novel

    Audiobook

    We Are Not Like Them: A Novel

    byChristine Pride

    A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK “[A] propulsive, deeply felt tale of race and friendship.” —People “We Are Not Like Them will stay with you long after you turn the last page.” —Laura Dave, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting novel about the lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event—a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives. Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young, and after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia. But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is in freefall as her future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering this career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident for her Black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend. Like Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage and Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, We Are Not Like Them explores complex questions of race and how they pervade and shape our most intimate spaces in a deeply divided world. But at its heart, it’s a story of enduring friendship—a love that defies the odds even as it faces its most difficult challenges.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel
    Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel
    Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel

    byAnthony Doerr

    A New York Times Notable Book “If you’re looking for a superb novel, look no further.” —The Washington Post The instant New York Times bestseller and finalist for the 2021 National Book Award is “wildly inventive, a humane and uplifting book for adults that’s infused with the magic of childhood reading experiences” (The New York Times Book Review). From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time, comes Cloud Cuckoo Land. Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope—and a book. In Cloud Cuckoo Land, Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness—with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we’re gone. Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross. Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet. Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, Zeno, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of gravest danger. Their lives are gloriously intertwined. Doerr’s dazzling imagination transports us to worlds so dramatic and immersive that we forget, for a time, our own. Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is a beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship—of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart. From the National Book Award finalist citation: “From the 15th century to the future, the five protagonists in Anthony Doerr’s brilliant Cloud Cuckoo Land come together astonishingly in the stories they make of their lives, rewritten by time and circumstance. This marvelous book is like an astrolabe or an armillary sphere; a navigation instrument engineered to discover the world. Urgent, rife with relevance and compassion, Doerr’s novel affirms the necessity of the made thing, the capacious imagination, and storytelling.”

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel
    Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel
    Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel

    byJayne Allen

    “It’s a good thing that this is only the first book of a trilogy, because after getting to know Tabitha, you won’t want to leave her at the end. . . . Written intimately as if you’re peering into the mind of a close friend, this book is a true testament to the stresses on women today and how great girlfriends (and grandmothers) are often the key to our sanity.”  — Good Morning America The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood, in which a young Black woman must rely on courage, laughter, and love—and the support of her two longtime friends—to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she’s ever wanted. Tabitha Walker is a black woman with a plan to “have it all.” At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams is well underway. Education? Check. Good job? Check. Down payment for a nice house? Check. Dating marriage material? Check, check, and check. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a "paper-perfect" boyfriend, and even a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, everything seems to be falling into place. Then Tabby receives an unexpected diagnosis that brings her picture-perfect life crashing down, jeopardizing the keystone she took for granted: having children. With her dreams at risk of falling through the cracks of her checklist, suddenly she is faced with an impossible choice between her career, her dream home, and a family of her own.  With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former "Sexy Lexi," and the generational wisdom of her grandmother and the nonagenarian firebrand Ms. Gretchen, Tabby explores the reaches of modern medicine and tests the limits of her relationships, hoping to salvage the future she always dreamed of. But the fight is all consuming, demanding a steep price that forces an honest reckoning for nearly everyone in her life. As Tabby soon learns, her grandmother's age-old adage just might still be true: Black girls must die exhausted.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Snowflake: A Novel
    Snowflake: A Novel
    Snowflake: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Snowflake: A Novel

    byLouise Nealon

    "Mad and wonderful. I thought I was reading one thing, then discovered—several times—that I was reading a different, even better thing.”—Roddy Doyle “Snowflake is a wonderfully inventive, deeply felt novel full of the best kinds of surprises.”—Margot Livesey An exquisitely talented young Irish writer makes her literary debut with this powerful and haunting novel—a tale of love and family, depression and joy, and coming of age in the twenty-first century. Eighteen-year-old Debbie was raised on her family’s rural dairy farm, forty minutes and a world away from Dublin. She lives with her mother, Maeve, a skittish woman who takes to her bed for days on end, claims not to know who Debbie’s father is, and believes her dreams are prophecies. Rounding out their small family is Maeve’s brother Billy, who lives in a caravan behind their house, drinks too much, and likes to impersonate famous dead writers online. Though they may have their quirks, the Whites’ fierce love for one another is never in doubt. But Debbie’s life is changing. Earning a place at Trinity College Dublin, she commutes to her classes a few days a week. Outside the sheltered bubble of her childhood for the first time, Debbie finds herself both overwhelmed and disappointed by her fellow students and the pace and anonymity of city life. While the familiarity of the farm offers comfort, Debbie still finds herself pulling away from it. Yet just as she begins to ponder the possibilities the future holds, a resurgence of strange dreams raises her fears that she may share Maeve’s fate. Then a tragic accident upends the family’s equilibrium, and Debbie discovers her next steps may no longer be hers to choose. Gorgeous and beautifully wrought, Snowflake is an affecting coming-of-age story about a young woman learning to navigate a world that constantly challenges her sense of self. 

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Crazy Sorrow
    Crazy Sorrow
    Crazy Sorrow

    Audiobook

    Crazy Sorrow

    byVince Passaro

    A lyrical novel, spanning four decades in New York City, about a couple torn apart and the lengths to which they will go to be reunited. Vince Passaro’s first novel, 2002’s Violence, Nudity, Adult Content, was a provocative book that explored the darkest human emotions and the traumas of mental illness, sexual assault, and murder. Now, nearly twenty years later, Passaro is back with his follow-up, Crazy Sorrow, a novel that is equally explosive and more grand in scope. The story opens in the shadow of the new World Trade Center, on July 4, 1976, when students George and Anna meet on the weed- and wine-fueled night of the nation’s Bicentennial celebration. George, haunted by his upbringing, instantly falls for the sensual, magnetic Anna. Soon, they couple up, dropping acid, swapping music, exploring the city and each other. Yet their romance is short-lived, and they go their own ways. Passaro chronicles the next four decades, following George and Anna through their various relationships, their sex lives both youthful and mature, their failed marriages, and the travails of parenthood and their careers. Yet as the years go by one thing remains constant: the former lovers wonder what happened to each other. Finally, miraculously, they reconnect as the new century is beginning, only to discover that history itself will have a say in whether they can stay together. Crazy Sorrow is an ambitious examination of the forces that draw people together and drive them apart—yet it also expands beyond the points of view of its characters to capture the movement of time and to reveal a living, breathing New York that is both constantly changing and always familiar. Crazy Sorrow stands as Passaro’s powerful love letter to his characters and to the city that has shaped them.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel
    Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel
    Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel

    bySally Rooney

    "via McMahon, Rooney's peerless descriptions imprint upon the mind's eye. The listener won't soon forget a silk blouse caressed like a pet, freckled arms made pink by the sun, the coast of Ireland at nightfall, or the forgiveness of a best friend. A hopeful Millennial journey shines through McMahon's performance." -- AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award Winner Beautiful World, Where Are You is a new novel by Sally Rooney, the bestselling author of Normal People and Conversations with Friends. Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world? Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint the following material: Epigraph from ‘My Vocation,’ by Natalia Ginzburg, from The Little Virtues. Copyright © 1962, 1966, 1972, 1984, 1998, 2012 and 2015 Giulio Einaudi editore s.p.a., Torino. Originally published in Italian as Le Piccole Virtù. Translation copyright © 1985 Dick Davis. First published in Great Britain in 1985 by Carcanet, Manchester. Excerpt from ‘How to Get There,’ by Frank O’Hara, from Lunch Poems. Copyright © 1964 by Frank O’Hara. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC, on behalf of City Lights Books, citylights.com. All rights reserved. Excerpt from Within a Budding Grove, by Marcel Proust, translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff, The Modern Library, New York, copyright 1924 Excerpt from The Waste Land, first published in 1922; copyright the Estate of T. S. Eliot. Reproduced by permission of Faber & Faber Ltd. A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina: A Novel
    The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina: A Novel
    The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina: A Novel

    Audiobook

    The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina: A Novel

    byZoraida Córdova

    NATIONAL BESTSELLER Perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Isabel Allende, and Sarah Addison Allen, a family searches for the truth hidden in their past in this “expertly woven tale of family power, threaded with as much mystery as magic” (V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author). The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—not for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed into a ceiba tree, leaving them with more questions than answers. Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings and powers. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, her descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back. Alternating between Orquídea’s past and her descendants’ present, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is a “spellbinding tale, both timeless and fresh, that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Prepare to fall in love” (Kim Liggett, New York Times bestselling author).

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Love Letters from Montmartre: A Novel
    Love Letters from Montmartre: A Novel
    Love Letters from Montmartre: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Love Letters from Montmartre: A Novel

    byNicolas Barreau

    For fans of Nina George, Elena Ferrante, and Valentina Cebeni, a charming, uplifting novel about a man who sets out to fulfil his dead wife’s last wish. Julien Azouly, the famous French writer of beautiful romance novels, has stopped believing in love. When his beloved wife, Hélène, dies at the age of thirty-three, leaving him alone to raise their young son, Arthur, he is so devastated that he loses faith in the happier side of life—and along with that his ability to write. But Hélène was clever. Before her death, she made her husband promise to write her thirty-three letters, one for each year of her life. Six months after the funeral, Julien finds himself standing in the most famous cemetery in Paris, the painful first letter in his hand. Little does he know that something strange—and wonderful—is about to happen. An ode to love, Paris, and joie de vivre, Love Letters from Montmartre brings the reader down narrow streets, past the cozy red bistro on Rue Gabrielle, and all the way to Montmartre cemetery with its beautiful stone angels, where we will discover the truth we all hope to find: that love is real, that miracles can happen and that—most of all—it’s never too late to rediscover your dreams. Empathetic and wise, this is the deeply profound yet very human story of a man who finds love just when he thinks all is lost.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • L.A. Weather: A Novel
    L.A. Weather: A Novel
    L.A. Weather: A Novel

    Audiobook

    L.A. Weather: A Novel

    byMaria Amparo Escandon

    A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick FORECAST: Storm clouds are on the horizon in L.A. Weather, a fun, fast-paced novel of a Mexican-American family from the author of the #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller Esperanza’s Box of Saints L.A. is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, the weather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He’s harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. Their three daughters—Claudia, a television chef with a hard-hearted attitude; Olivia, a successful architect who suffers from gentrification guilt; and Patricia, a social media wizard who has an uncanny knack for connecting with audiences but not with her lovers—are blindsided and left questioning everything they know. Each will have to take a critical look at her own relationships and make some tough decisions along the way. With quick-wit and humor, Maria Amparo Escandón follows the Alvarado family as they wrestle with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal, and their toughest decision yet: whether to stick together or burn it all down. A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books "A rollicking and hilarious family drama...One of the most endearing L.A. novels in recent memory." —Publishers Weekly starred review

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Cactus Jack: A Novel
    Cactus Jack: A Novel
    Cactus Jack: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Cactus Jack: A Novel

    byBrad Smith

    Brad Smith “rivals Elmore Leonard at his best” (Publishers Weekly). His latest novel, for fans of Richard Russo and Jane Smiley, is a terrific novel about a thirty-something single woman, the untried colt she inherits, a horse crazy little girl, and their band of misfits and has-beens who stick it to the establishment in the cutthroat world of horse racing. Billie Masterson is a thirty-something chronic underachiever, drowning herself in alcohol and bad relationships in Ohio. She hasn’t been home to the family’s broken-down thoroughbred farm in Kentucky since college. Her mother committed suicide when Billie was a teen and she blames her father, Will Masterson. When Will drops dead while working on the farm, Billie returns to rural Kentucky for the funeral, intending only to pay her respects before high-tailing it back to Ohio. However, she’s informed by her father’s lawyer, the garrulous David Mountain Clay, that she now owns the farm…and all the debt that goes with it. Determined to sell everything, settle the debts and get out of town, Billie discovers that her father’s colt, a horse named Cactus Jack, is the object of obsession for billionaire Reese Ryker, the louche scion of a department store dynasty and now owner of Double R Racing, one of the top thoroughbred stables in the world. Billie is willing to sell everything to Ryker—until she realizes that he’s an entitled misogynist and a not-so-subtle racist. Against her better judgment, she decides to keep the farm and the untested horse. To do that she needs to race the animal—and beat Ryker at his own game. Assisted by a team of misfits, including a washed-up trainer with whom she has a bit too much history, the horse-crazy little girl next door, and her father’s ex-girlfriend, Billie and Cactus Jack take the track by a storm.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Fault Lines: A Novel
    Fault Lines: A Novel
    Fault Lines: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Fault Lines: A Novel

    byEmily Itami

    "What is the cost of a mother’s desire?...Emily Itami explores this question with wit and poignancy." -- New York Times Book Review "The perfect marriage of Sally Rooney and early Murakami." -- Kathy Wang, author of Impostor Syndrome Mizuki is a Japanese housewife. She has a hardworking husband, two adorable children, and a beautiful Tokyo apartment. It’s everything a woman could want, yet sometimes she wonders whether she would rather throw herself off the high-rise balcony than spend another evening not talking to her husband and hanging up laundry. Then, one rainy night, she meets Kiyoshi, a successful restaurateur. In him, she rediscovers freedom, friendship, and the neon, electric pulse of the city she has always loved. But the further she falls into their relationship, the clearer it becomes that she is living two lives—and in the end, we can choose only one. Funny, provocative, and startlingly honest, Fault Lines is for anyone who has ever looked in the mirror and asked, who am I and how did I get here? A bittersweet love story and a piercing portrait of female identity, it introduces Emily Itami as a debut novelist with astounding resonance and wit.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All: A Novel
    The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All: A Novel
    The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All: A Novel

    Audiobook

    The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All: A Novel

    byJosh Ritter

    From singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, a lyrical, sweeping novel about a young boy's coming-of-age during the last days of the lumberjacks. In the tiny timber town of Cordelia, Idaho, ninety-nine year old Weldon Applegate recounts his life in all its glory, filled with tall tales writ large with murder, mayhem, avalanches and bootlegging. It’s the story of dark pine forests brewing with ancient magic, and Weldon’s struggle as a boy to keep his father’s inherited timber claim, the Lost Lot, from the ravenous clutches of Linden Laughlin. Ever since young Weldon stepped foot in the deep Cordelia woods as a child, he dreamed of joining the rowdy ranks of his ancestors in their epic axe-swinging adventures. Local legend says their family line boasts some of the greatest lumberjacks to ever roam the American West, but at the beginning of the twentieth century, the jacks are dying out, and it’s up to Weldon to defend his family legacy. Braided with haunting saloon tunes and just the right dose of magic, The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All is a novel bursting with heart, humor and an utterly transporting adventure that is sure to sweep you away into the beauty of the tall snowy mountain timber.

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • Where Jasmine Blooms: A Novel
    Where Jasmine Blooms: A Novel
    Where Jasmine Blooms: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Where Jasmine Blooms: A Novel

    byHolly S. Warah

    To the Mansours, an Arab American family living in Seattle, love knows no borders. But despite our best efforts, sometimes love—and family—are foreign to us . . . American-born Margaret Mansour wants nothing more than to rekindle the struggling twenty-year marriage to her Palestinian husband, Ahmed—but not if it means uprooting their home and children in America and moving halfway across the world. Young and ambitious Alison Mansour has a degree in Near East Studies, but her American education and Syrian background are of no use when her new marriage begins to crumble under the weight of cultural and religious differences. The communication between Alison and her husband is already shaky; how will they cope with the arrival of their first child? Zainab Mansour, the matriarch of her family, never expected to live in America, but after the death of her husband she finds herself lost in a faithless country and lonely within the walls of her eldest son’s home. She wants what’s best for her children but struggles to find her place in a new landscape. Emerging from the interwoven perspectives of these three women comes a story of love and longing, culture and compromise, home and homeland. Exploring the complex political backdrop of the Middle East from a personal perspective, Where Jasmine Blooms travels from the suburbs of Seattle to the villas of Jordan and the refugee camps of the West Bank, on an emotional journey exploring what it means to be a family.

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • Two Scorched Men
    Two Scorched Men
    Two Scorched Men

    Audiobook

    Two Scorched Men

    byMargaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood needs little introduction. If you don’t know her from her fifty-plus books and many awards and bestsellers, including her MaddAddam Trilogy, Alias Grace, and especially The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll know her from that visionary and canonical novel’s adaptation into the Emmy-winning Hulu television series. At eighty-one, Atwood is more current and influential than ever, and with more than two million followers on Twitter, she’s achieved a kind of cool generally reserved for rock stars. (Bob Dylan’s got nothing on her.) In her Scribd Original story Two Scorched Men, Atwood takes a personal turn and returns to characters and places drawn from her own life. Her unnamed narrator pays tribute in fictional form to two men Atwood knew during the years she and her partner, Graeme Gibson, spent in Provence: John, a hotheaded Irishman who served in the Royal Navy during World War II and barely survived the deadly battles in the South Pacific; and François, a wry and affable Frenchman, who was once an operative in the French Resistance and led a life shaped by tragedy. As Atwood writes here, both men knew “I would someday relate their lives for them. Why did they want this? Why does anyone? We resist the notion that we’ll become mere handfuls of dust, so we wish to become words instead. Breath in the mouths of others.” Breathed into rich and dimensional life in these pages is the exquisite yet vaguely haunted house that the narrator and her husband, Tig, rented from John; the adjacent ancient forest and its allures and dangers; the rough country roads walked and retraced in dreams; the bloody history of the south of France, including the atrocities visited on medieval heretics and, centuries later, the guerrilla fighters who murdered Germans in an effort to free France from occupation. But at the center of the story is the touching friendship between John and François: how they indulge each other’s eccentricities and forgive each other their faults and psychic scars. With great precision and affection are their voices inhabited: John’s uproarious rants at human foolishness, his boasts about his playboy days as an advertising man, and a tempestuousness that so clearly covers for wounds that may never heal. By contrast, François is given to teasing misdirections and wordplay in the name of fun and a love of the absurd that draws everyone in. Tig, the husband of the narrator and a character so often featured in Atwood’s stories, speaks here as well. Practical, he’s a voice of reason and anchors the story’s narrator, much as John and François anchor one another in the world. In these enduring and endearing relationships, so much of Atwood’s art and wisdom are on display: how ably she balances life’s inevitable injuries with beauty and humor, the pain of loss with the curative powers of the imagination. What better time in Atwood’s creative life—in fact, in our collective lives post a global pandemic—to accept that none of us gets out of life unscathed, that we are all mortal, perfectly imperfect, but that there is solace in friendship and laughter in remembering? Indelible detail by detail, sentence by sentence, Atwood is instructing her reader on resilience. We do what we can for each other, she tells us here, and thank goodness for that.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Vegas Girls: A Novel
    Vegas Girls: A Novel
    Vegas Girls: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Vegas Girls: A Novel

    byHeather Skyler

    For Fans of Julia Glass and Ann Hood, a Novel about How the Choices We Make Last a Lifetime. Vegas Girls begins when three former high school friends, now in their mid-thirties, reunite in their hometown of Las Vegas—a city they vowed to escape as soon as they could—to celebrate their new lives and revisit old haunts. But what starts out as a week-long, sun-kissed reunion takes a strange turn as mysterious gifts appear, familiar faces pop up in unexpected places, and each woman reveals a secret, private quest. Ramona is searching for a son she gave up for adoption before their high-school graduation. Jane is trying to leave her husband of eleven years, even with her two kids in tow. And Ivy, who has a new baby, is haunted by the memory of her mother abandoning her twenty years ago—and she has begun spotting her everywhere. Add to this a darkly charismatic ex-boyfriend of Ivy’s who won’t give up hope of rekindling their romance, and a strange, new friend of Jane’s in need of help, and the week quickly begins to unravel. Set against desert heat, swimming pools, and casino lights, and told masterfully through five different points of view, Vegas Girls is about how we navigate the present while carrying the ghosts of our past; about growing up with one eye glued to the rearview mirror; and about what happens when the past you thought you left behind turns out to have been with you all along.

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • Damnation Spring
    Damnation Spring
    Damnation Spring

    Audiobook

    Damnation Spring

    byAsh Davidson

    NATIONAL BESTSELLER A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK: Entertainment Weekly, Oprah Daily, Vogue, Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, CNN, Harper’s Bazaar “A glorious book—an assured novel that’s gorgeously told.” —The New York Times Book Review “An incredibly moving epic about an unforgettable family.” —CBS Sunday Morning “[An] absorbing novel…I felt both grateful to have known these people and bereft at the prospect of leaving them behind.” —The Washington Post A stunning novel about love, work, and marriage that asks how far one family and one community will go to protect their future. Colleen and Rich Gundersen are raising their young son, Chub, on the rugged California coast. It’s 1977, and life in this Pacific Northwest logging town isn’t what it used to be. For generations, the community has lived and breathed timber; now that way of life is threatened. Colleen is an amateur midwife. Rich is a tree-topper. It’s a dangerous job that requires him to scale trees hundreds of feet tall—a job that both his father and grandfather died doing. Colleen and Rich want a better life for their son—and they take steps to assure their future. Rich secretly spends their savings on a swath of ancient redwoods. But when Colleen, grieving the loss of a recent pregnancy and desperate to have a second child, challenges the logging company’s use of the herbicides she believes are responsible for the many miscarriages in the community, Colleen and Rich find themselves on opposite sides of a budding conflict. As tensions in the town rise, they threaten the very thing the Gundersens are trying to protect: their family. Told in prose as clear as a spring-fed creek, Damnation Spring is an intimate, compassionate portrait of a family whose bonds are tested and a community clinging to a vanishing way of life. An extraordinary story of the transcendent, enduring power of love—between husband and wife, mother and child, and longtime neighbors. An essential novel for our times.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • All's Well
    All's Well
    All's Well

    Audiobook

    All's Well

    byMona Awad

    From the author of Bunny, which Margaret Atwood hails as “genius,” comes a “wild, and exhilarating” (Lauren Groff) novel about a theater professor who is convinced staging Shakespeare’s most maligned play will remedy all that ails her—but at what cost? Miranda Fitch’s life is a waking nightmare. The accident that ended her burgeoning acting career left her with excruciating chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers. And now, she’s on the verge of losing her job as a college theater director. Determined to put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised and cost her everything, she faces a mutinous cast hellbent on staging Macbeth instead. Miranda sees her chance at redemption slip through her fingers. That’s when she meets three strange benefactors who have an eerie knowledge of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing promise for her future: one where the show goes on, her rebellious students get what’s coming to them, and the invisible doubted pain that’s kept her from the spotlight is made known. With prose Margaret Atwood has described as “no punches pulled, no hilarities dodged…genius,” Mona Awad has concocted her most potent, subversive novel yet. All’s Well is a “fabulous novel” (Mary Karr) about a woman at her breaking point and a formidable, piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Reading List: A Novel
    The Reading List: A Novel
    The Reading List: A Novel

    Audiobook

    The Reading List: A Novel

    bySara Nisha Adams

    A BEST OF SUMMER READ ACCORDING TO NEWSWEEK, PARADE MAGAZINE, NBC NEWS, LITHUB, AND POPSUGAR! "The most heartfelt read of the summer...a surprising delight of a novel."--Shondaland An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb. Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in Wembley, in West London after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries. Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home. When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list…hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again. 

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Once There Were Wolves
    Once There Were Wolves
    Once There Were Wolves

    Audiobook

    Once There Were Wolves

    byCharlotte McConaghy

    From the author of the beloved national bestseller Migrations, a pulse-pounding new novel set in the wild Scottish Highlands. Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska. Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed—inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will Inti do when the man she is falling for seems to be the prime suspect? Propulsive and spell-binding, Charlotte McConaghy's Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable story of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves—if she isn’t consumed by a wild that was once her refuge. A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books "Another triumph for a rising fiction star, offering an intensely realized world for readers to get lost in.” —BookPage, starred review

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • We Are the Brennans: A Novel
    We Are the Brennans: A Novel
    We Are the Brennans: A Novel

    Audiobook

    We Are the Brennans: A Novel

    byTracey Lange

    **INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER** In the vein of Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes and Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest, Tracey Lange’s We Are the Brennans explores the staying power of shame—and the redemptive power of love—in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets. When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they've got questions. Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together. A Macmillan Audio production from Celadon Books "Reading this novel is like getting a view through a lighted window on a family sitting around a table after dark. Who are they? What are they talking about? All families have their own story and the ways they tell it to themselves, and untangling the many strands of this one was deep and richly satisfying. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I read it in one long delicious slide." -- Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Book

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Orgy: A Short Story About Desire
    Orgy: A Short Story About Desire
    Orgy: A Short Story About Desire

    Audiobook

    Orgy: A Short Story About Desire

    byKaitlyn Greenidge

    “A story so funny and alive with the moment. Orgy is rich with the absurdity of the world and ripe with the reality of our collective longing. Kaitlyn Greenidge has once again written something you won’t forget. Brilliant and sexy and aware and exactly what you need.” — Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of FRIDAY BLACK “If sex is your chosen way for you to know yourself and others, what happens when a pandemic comes—and you discover it is as essential to your survival as a vaccine? Maybe more so? Sharp, affectionate, bawdy fun, a story as wise as a new best friend found on a spring night at an orgy. And Kaitlyn Greenidge continues to expand her literary terrain with this playful, masterful new work.” — Alexander Chee, author of HOW TO WRITE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL Novelist Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of one of The New York Times’ most anticipated books of 2021, Libertie, and We Love You, Charlie Freeman, has been hailed as a “literary force to be reckoned with” (Buzzfeed). In her forthcoming Scribd Original, Orgy, she draws on the audacity that so often defines her work, imagining a day in the life of a young woman starved for connection and adventure in a city shut down by the COVID pandemic. Nessa knows she’s a hot mess. She’s strong and impulsive and won’t apologize for it. She moved to Brooklyn from Baltimore to study nursing—or that was the plan. Instead she used the money her mom’s church group raised for her schooling to rent her first place in Brooklyn. Twenty years later and she has zero regrets: She loves her apartment even if the ceiling sags and the heat won’t shut off, even if her chronically uptight cousin Laurie lives with her now, and even if being stuck in it during the pandemic is slowly robbing Nessa of what makes her feel most like her: desire, skin on skin, finding the secret parts of a lover’s body. When she’s invited to a party downtown, she knows she shouldn’t go but can’t resist. The invite’s subject line billed it as an “orgy,” thrown by some furries she knows. She outfits herself accordingly—pig nose and tail, black leotard, and fetchingly torn stockings—and, despite the disapproval of her cousin and the white boy who’s been camping in her cousin’s bed, she puts on her protective mask and walks out into a city transformed. It may be a lovely summer night, but she can’t help but see all that she and those around her have been missing during quarantine. At the party, she keeps confronting vestiges of her younger self, someone people noticed and who noticed others in reply: men, women, Black and white, gay and straight, nonbinaries, you name it—Nessa could see their beauty and reached to touch it. Now she feels like a ghost. Who and what she encounters next will make her confront how far she’s willing to go to feel like herself again, to encounter the desire that made the city feel real—and sometimes tantalizingly surreal—for her, and seize that rare and “pure glory of having a body and being alive.” Orgy is a provocative, unforgettable, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny take on lust and longing in the time of corona, from one of the most exciting writers working today.

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • The Startup Wife: A Novel
    The Startup Wife: A Novel
    The Startup Wife: A Novel

    Audiobook

    The Startup Wife: A Novel

    byTahmima Anam

    Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR​ In this “wise and wickedly funny novel about love, creativity, and the limitations of the tech-verse” (Vogue) newlyweds Asha and Cyrus find themselves running one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. Meet Asha Ray. Brilliant coder and possessor of a Pi tattoo, Asha is poised to make a scientific breakthrough when she is reunited with her high school crush, Cyrus Jones. Before she knows it, Asha has abandoned her lab, exchanged vows with Cyrus, and gone to work at an exclusive tech incubator called Utopia to develop an app called WAI—“We are Infinite.” WAI creates a sensation, with millions of users logging on every day. Will Cyrus and Asha’s marriage survive the pressures of sudden fame, or will she become overshadowed by the man everyone is calling the new messiah? This “scathing—and hilarious—take on startup culture, marriage and workaholism” (Politico) explores whether or not technology—with all its limits and possibilities—can disrupt modern love.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
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