Literary Fiction Audiobooks

With celebrated debuts from fresh new writers and incredible literary classics from famous favorites, you’ll love our remarkable selection of literary fiction audiobooks. These are the kinds of audiobooks that you can’t stop listening to once you begin. Prepare to be swept away into the fascinating lives of unforgettable characters.

With celebrated debuts from fresh new writers and incredible literary classics from famous favorites, you’ll love our remarkable selection of literary fiction audiobooks. These are the kinds of audiobooks that you can’t stop listening to once you begin. Prepare to be swept away into the fascinating lives of unforgettable characters.

Bestselling in Literary Fiction

New & Noteworthy: Literary Fiction

  • This Is Life: 10 Writers on Love, Fear, and Hope in the Age of Disasters
    This Is Life: 10 Writers on Love, Fear, and Hope in the Age of Disasters
    This Is Life: 10 Writers on Love, Fear, and Hope in the Age of Disasters

    Audiobook

    This Is Life: 10 Writers on Love, Fear, and Hope in the Age of Disasters

    byGarrett M. Graff

    It’s been a long, long couple of years. A global pandemic, an economic crisis, racial and political strife brought to the boiling point, the climate not far behind. As we nervously embark on yet another uncertain trip around the sun, we wonder: How’s everyone doing? Ten of America’s finest writers tell us in This Is Life. Drawing on their wisdom and lived experience, they share bold, occasionally comic, occasionally biting insights on the past two years and offer possible ways forward, both for the country and for us as individuals. They articulate the anxiety of these inarguably lousy times yet also remind us that there remain plenty of reasons to be hopeful despite it all. In this collection: NPR’s Weekend Edition host Scott Simon on the hard-won lessons that will inform our lives going forward National Book Award winner and MacArthur Fellow Jacqueline Woodson on savoring today to better cope with tomorrow’s perils Climate activist Bill McKibben on a reimagined infrastructure that could finally save the planet New York Times bestselling author and national security expert Garrett M. Graff on the precarious fate of American democracy National Book Award finalist Carmen Maria Machado on the impulse to love harder in the face of calamity Bethany McLean, bestselling author of The Smartest Guys in the Room, on where to go now that the free-market economy has failed us Kiese Laymon, author of the bestselling memoir Heavy, on the poisonous influence of nonstop news Former Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on the bridge-building power of sports R. Eric Thomas, playwright and bestselling author of Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America, on the thrill and anxiety of reconnecting with people in person Bonnie Tsui, author of the 2020 bestseller Why We Swim, on how to find joy in the smallest of life’s moments Candid and empathetic, timely and timeless, This Is Life is a much-needed literary compass for navigating 2022 and beyond.

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • Velorio: A Novel
    Velorio: A Novel
    Velorio: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Velorio: A Novel

    byXavier Navarro Aquino

    A Publishers Weekly Writer-to-Watch Set in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Xavier Navarro Aquino’s unforgettable debut novel follows a remarkable group of survivors searching for hope on an island torn apart by both natural disaster and human violence. Camila is haunted by the death of her sister, Marisol, who was caught by a mudslide during the huracán. Unable to part with Marisol, Camila carries her through town, past the churchyard, and, eventually, to the supposed utopia of Memoria.  Urayoán, the idealistic, yet troubled cult leader of Memoria, has a vision for this new society, one that in his eyes is peaceful and democratic. The paradise he preaches lures in the young, including Bayfish, a boy on the cusp of manhood, and Morivivi, a woman whose outward toughness belies an inner tenderness for her friends. But as the different members of Memoria navigate Urayoán’s fiery rise, they will need to confront his violent authoritarian impulses in order to find a way to reclaim their home. Velorio—meaning “wake”—is a story of strength, resilience, and hope; a tale of peril and possibility buoyed by the deeply held belief in a people’s ability to unite against those corrupted by power. 

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • I Am God
    I Am God
    I Am God

    Audiobook

    I Am God

    byGiacomo Sartori

    2020 Italian Prose in Translation Award 2019 Foreword INDIE Gold Award for Literary Fiction A Financial Times Best Book of 2019 Diabolically funny and subversively philosophical, Italian novelist Giacomo Sartori’s I Am God is the diary of the Almighty’s existential crisis that erupts when he falls in love with a human. I am God. Have been forever, will be forever. Forever, mind you, with the razor-sharp glint of a diamond, and without any counterpart in the languages of men. So begins God’s diary of the existential crisis that ensues when, inexplicably, he falls in love with a human. And not just any human, but a geneticist and fanatical atheist who’s certain she can improve upon the magnificent creation she doesn’t even give him the credit for. It’s frustrating, for a god. God has infinitely bigger things to occupy his celestial attentions. Yet he can’t tear his eyes (so to speak) from the geneticist who’s unsettlingly avid when it comes to science, sex, and Sicilian cannoli. Whatever happens, he must safeguard his transcendental dignity. So he watches—disinterestedly, of course—as the handsome climatologist who has his sights set on her keeps having strange accidents. And as the lanky geneticist becomes hell-bent on infiltrating the Vatican’s secret files, for reasons of her own…. A sly critique of the hypocrisy and hubris that underlie faith in religion, science, and macho careerism, I Am God takes us on a hilarious and provocative romp through the Big Questions with the universe’s supreme storyteller.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Olga Dies Dreaming: A Novel
    Olga Dies Dreaming: A Novel
    Olga Dies Dreaming: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Olga Dies Dreaming: A Novel

    byXochitl Gonzalez

    A blazing new talent debuts with the story of a status-driven wedding planner grappling with her absent mother, her glittering career amongst New York’s elite and her Puerto Rican roots in the wake of Hurricane Maria. It’s 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro “Prieto” Acevedo are bold faced names in their hometown of New York. Prieto is a popular Congressman representing their gentrifying, Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn while Olga is the tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s powerbrokers. Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Sure, Olga can orchestrate the love stories of the 1%, but she can’t seem to find her own...until she meets Matteo, who forces her to confront the effects of long held family secrets… Twenty-seven years ago, their mother Blanca, a Young Lord-turned-radical, abandoned her children to advance a militant political cause, leaving them to be raised by their grandmother. Now, with the winds of hurricane season, Blanca has come barreling back into their lives. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, Xochitl Gonzalez's Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife and the very notion of the American Dream—all while asking what it really means to weather a storm. A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • After the Party
    After the Party
    After the Party

    Audiobook

    After the Party

    byCressida Connolly

    It is the summer of 1938 and Phyllis Forrester has returned to England after years abroad. Moving into her sister’s grand country house, she soon finds herself entangled in a new world of idealistic beliefs and seemingly innocent friendships. Fevered talk of another war infiltrates their small, privileged circle, giving way to a thrilling solution: the appointment of a great and charismatic new leader who will restore England to its former glory. At a party hosted by her new friends, Phyllis lets down her guard for a single moment, with devastating consequences. Years later, Phyllis, alone and embittered, recounts the dramatic events which led to her imprisonment and changed the course of her life forever. Powerful, poignant, and exquisitely observed, After the Party is an illuminating portrait of a dark period of British history which has yet to be fully acknowledged.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Bright Burning Things: A Novel
    Bright Burning Things: A Novel
    Bright Burning Things: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Bright Burning Things: A Novel

    byLisa Harding

    A READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY * A PEOPLE MAGAZINE PICK * AN INDIE NEXT PICK * A LIBRARYREADS PICK *AN AMAZON EDITORS PICK “On every page there are little shimmering bombs. Like Room, where parenthood is at once your jail and your salvation, it is almost claustrophobic—but in the most glorious way.”—Lisa Taddeo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Three Women and Animal A rising international literary star makes her American debut with this visceral, tender, and brave portrait of addiction, recovery, and motherhood, as harrowing and intense as Shuggie Bain. Sonya used to perform on stage. She used to attend glamorous parties, date handsome men, ride in fast cars. But somewhere along the way, the stage lights Sonya lived for dimmed for good. In their absence, came darkness—blackouts, empty cupboards, hazy nights she can't remember. What keeps Sonya from losing herself completely is Tommy, her son. But her immense love for Tommy is in fierce conflict with her immense love of the bottle. Addiction amplifies her fear of losing her child; every maternal misstep compels her to drink. Tommy’s precious life is in her shaky hands.  Eventually Sonya is forced to make a choice. Give up drinking or lose Tommy—forever. Bright Burning Things is an emotional tour-de-force—a devastating, nuanced, and ultimately hopeful look at an addict’s journey towards rehabilitation and redemption. A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK FROM: Washington Post, The Millions, PopSugar, Shondaland, Good Morning America, Nylon, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Tell Me How to Be: A Novel
    Tell Me How to Be: A Novel
    Tell Me How to Be: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Tell Me How to Be: A Novel

    byNeel Patel

    “Tell Me How to Be is daring, hilarious, poignant, and impossible to put down. Neel Patel is a fabulous storyteller!” —Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies From rising star Neel Patel (“refreshing…defiant…consistently surprising” —New York Times), a darkly funny and heartbreaking debut novel about an Indian-American family confronting the secrets between them. Renu Amin always seemed perfect: doting husband, beautiful house, healthy sons. But as the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death approaches, Renu is binge-watching soap operas and simmering with old resentments. She can’t stop wondering if, thirty-five years ago, she chose the wrong life. In Los Angeles, her son, Akash, has everything he ever wanted, but as he tries to kickstart his songwriting career and commit to his boyfriend, he is haunted by the painful memories he fled a decade ago. When his mother tells him she is selling the family home, Akash returns to Illinois, hoping to finally say goodbye and move on. Together, Renu and Akash pack up the house, retreating further into the secrets that stand between them. Renu sends an innocent Facebook message to the man she almost married, sparking an emotional affair that calls into question everything she thought she knew about herself. Akash slips back into bad habits as he confronts his darkest secrets—including what really happened between him and the first boy who broke his heart. When their pasts catch up to them, Renu and Akash must decide between the lives they left behind and the ones they’ve since created, between making each other happy and setting themselves free. By turns irreverent and tender, filled with the beats of ’90s R&B, Tell Me How to Be is about our earliest betrayals and the cost of reconciliation. But most of all, it is the love story of a mother and son each trying to figure out how to be in the world. A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Harsh Times: A Novel
    Harsh Times: A Novel
    Harsh Times: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Harsh Times: A Novel

    byMario Vargas Llosa

    The true story of Guatemala’s political turmoil of the 1950s as only a master of fiction can tell it Guatemala, 1954. The military coup perpetrated by Carlos Castillo Armas and supported by the CIA topples the government of Jacobo Árbenz. Behind this violent act is a lie passed off as truth, which forever changes the development of Latin America: the accusation by the Eisenhower administration that Árbenz encouraged the spread of Soviet Communism in the Americas. Harsh Times is a story of international conspiracies and conflicting interests in the time of the Cold War, the echoes of which are still felt today. In this thrilling novel, Mario Vargas Llosa fuses reality with two fictions: that of the narrator, who freely re-creates characters and situations, and the one designed by those who would control the politics and the economy of a continent by manipulating its history. Harsh Times is a gripping, revealing novel that directly confronts recent history. No one is better suited to tell this riveting story than Vargas Llosa, and there is no form better for it than his deeply textured fiction. Not since The Feast of the Goat, his classic novel of the downfall of Trujillo’s regime in the Dominican Republic, has Vargas Llosa combined politics, characters, and suspense so unforgettably. A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus & Giroux

    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: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Burntcoat: A Novel
    Burntcoat: A Novel
    Burntcoat: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Burntcoat: A Novel

    bySarah Hall

    "An extraordinary work that will stand as blazing witness to the age that bore it.” -- Sarah Perry A "masterpiece" (Daisy Johnson) of mortality, passion, and human connection, set against the backdrop of a deadly global virus—from the Booker–nominated writer You were the last one here, before I closed the door of Burntcoat. Before we all closed our doors . . . In an unnamed British city, the virus is spreading, and like everyone else, the celebrated sculptor Edith Harkness retreats inside. She isolates herself in her immense studio, Burntcoat, with Halit, the lover she barely knows. As life outside changes irreparably, inside Burntcoat, Edith and Halit find themselves changed as well: by the histories and responsibilities each carries and bears, by the fears and dangers of the world outside, and by the progressions of their new relationship. And Burntcoat will be transformed, too, into a new and feverish world, a place in which Edith comes to an understanding of how we survive the impossible—and what is left after we have. A sharp and stunning novel of art and ambition, mortality and connection, Burntcoat is a major work from “one of our most influential short story writers” (The Guardian). It is an intimate and vital examination of how and why we create—make art, form relationships, build a life—and an urgent exploration of an unprecedented crisis, the repercussions of which are still years in the learning.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • 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

    LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN TRANSLATION PRIZE * 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
  • 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
  • In the Company of Men
    In the Company of Men
    In the Company of Men

    Audiobook

    In the Company of Men

    byVéronique Tadjo

    Drawing on real accounts of the Ebola outbreak that devastated West Africa, this poignant, timely fable reflects on both the strength and the fragility of life and humanity’s place in the world. Two boys venture from their village to hunt in a nearby forest, where they shoot down bats with glee, and cook their prey over an open fire. Within a month, they are dead, bodies ravaged by an insidious disease that neither the local healer’s potions nor the medical team’s treatments could cure. Compounding the family’s grief, experts warn against touching the sick. But this caution comes too late: the virus spreads rapidly, and the boys’ father is barely able to send his eldest daughter away for a chance at survival. In a series of moving snapshots, Véronique Tadjo illustrates the terrible extent of the Ebola epidemic, through the eyes of those affected in myriad ways: the doctor who tirelessly treats patients day after day in a sweltering tent, protected from the virus only by a plastic suit; the student who volunteers to work as a gravedigger while universities are closed, helping the teams overwhelmed by the sheer number of bodies; the grandmother who agrees to take in an orphaned boy cast out of his village for fear of infection. And watching over them all is the ancient and wise Baobab tree, mourning the dire state of the earth yet providing a sense of hope for the future. Acutely relevant to our times in light of the coronavirus pandemic, In the Company of Men explores critical questions about how we cope with a global crisis and how we can combat fear and prejudice.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • My Monticello: Fiction
    My Monticello: Fiction
    My Monticello: Fiction

    Audiobook

    My Monticello: Fiction

    byJocelyn Nicole Johnson

    In a daring and fierce debut work of fiction—the likes of which comes along once in a generation—Virginia’s landscapes, emblems, and Thomas Jefferson’s historic plantation set the stage for a cast of unforgettable characters fighting for their right to exist in America. A young woman descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings driven from her neighborhood by a white militia. A university professor studying racism by conducting a secret social experiment on his own son. A single mother desperate to buy her first home even as the world hurtles toward catastrophe. Each fighting to survive in America. Tough-minded, vulnerable, and brave, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s precisely imagined debut explores burdened inheritances and extraordinary pursuits of belonging. Set in the near future, the eponymous novella, “My Monticello,” tells of a diverse group of Charlottesville neighbors fleeing violent white supremacists. Led by Da’Naisha, a young Black descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, they seek refuge in Jefferson’s historic plantation home in a desperate attempt to outlive the long-foretold racial and environmental unravelling within the nation. In “Control Negro,” hailed by Roxane Gay as “one hell of story,” a university professor devotes himself to the study of racism and the development of ACMs (average American Caucasian males) by clinically observing his own son from birth in order to “painstakingly mark the route of this Black child too, one whom I could prove was so strikingly decent and true that America could not find fault in him unless we as a nation had projected it there.” Johnson’s characters all seek out home as a place and an internal state, whether in the form of a Nigerian widower who immigrates to a meager existence in the city of Alexandria, finding himself adrift; a young mixed-race woman who adopts a new tongue and name to escape the landscapes of rural Virginia and her family; or a single mother who seeks salvation through “Buying a House Ahead of the Apocalypse.” United by these characters’ relentless struggles against reality and fate, My Monticello is a formidable collection that bears witness to this country’s legacies and announces the arrival of a wildly original new voice in American fiction. A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company

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

    Audiobook

    Reprieve: A Novel

    byJames Han Mattson

    "Like Whitehead’s The Intuitionist, Alyssa Cole’s When No One Is Watching or Zakiya Dalila Harris’ The Other Black Girl, Reprieve straddles genres in the best possible way. . . . Sure to spark conversation and debate at book clubs across the land." –LOS ANGELES TIMES “An eventual American classic that is unrelenting in its beauty and incisive cultural critique.” – KIESE LAYMON Recommended by New York Times • Los Angeles Times • NPR • Today • Esquire • O Quarterly • Boston Globe • Chicago Tribune • Harper’s Bazaar • Shondaland • Thrillist • The Millions • Crimereads • XTRA • Tor • Literary Hub • and more! A chilling and blisteringly relevant literary novel of social horror centered around a brutal killing that takes place in a full-contact haunted escape room—a provocative exploration of capitalism, hate politics, racial fetishism, and our obsession with fear as entertainment.  On April 27, 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska, made famous for its monstrosities, booby-traps, and ghoulishly costumed actors. If the group can endure these horrors without shouting the safe word, “reprieve,” they’ll win a substantial cash prize—a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house’s long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants. Those who were present on that fateful night lend their points of view: Kendra Brown, a teenager who’s been uprooted from her childhood home after the sudden loss of her father; Leonard Grandton, a desperate and impressionable hotel manager caught in a series of toxic entanglements; and Jaidee Charoensuk, a gay international student who came to the United States in a besotted search for his former English teacher. As each character’s journey unfurls and overlaps, deceit and misunderstandings fueled by obsession and prejudice are revealed, forcing all to reckon with the ways in which their beliefs and actions contributed to a horrifying catastrophe. An astonishingly soulful exploration of complicity and masquerade, Reprieve combines the psychological tension of classic horror with searing social criticism to present an unsettling portrait of this tangled American life.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • What Storm, What Thunder: A Novel
    What Storm, What Thunder: A Novel
    What Storm, What Thunder: A Novel

    Audiobook

    What Storm, What Thunder: A Novel

    byMyriam J.A. Chancy

    The audiobook edition of What Storm, What Thunder includes an exclusive introduction from author Myriam Chauncy about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that inspired this novel, as well as the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti earlier this year. In her own voice and signature poignant and vivid prose, Myriam reflects on her efforts to humanize a catastrophe and provide listeners with a means to understand the incredible strength and spirit of a nation in crisis. “Sublime. A striking and formidable novel by one of our most brilliant writers and storytellers.” — Edwidge Danticat The earth had buckled and, in that movement, all that was not in its place fell upon the earth’s children, upon the blameless as well as the guilty, without discrimination. At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster—Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sonia and her business partner, Dieudonné, who are followed by a man they believe is the vodou spirit of death; Didier, an emigrant musician who drives a taxi in Boston; Sara, a mother haunted by the ghosts of her children in an IDP camp; her husband, Olivier, an accountant forced to abandon the wife he loves; their son, Jonas, who haunts them both; and Ma Lou, the old woman selling produce in the market who remembers them all. Artfully weaving together these lives, witness is given to the desolation wreaked by nature and by man. Brilliantly crafted, fiercely imagined, and deeply haunting, What Storm, What Thunder is a singular, stunning record, a reckoning of the heartbreaking trauma of disaster, and—at the same time—an unforgettable testimony to the tenacity of the human spirit.

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

    Audiobook

    Sankofa: A Novel

    byChibundu Onuzo

    The exhilarating story of a mixed-race woman who goes in search of the African father she never knew. After years of being a daughter, a wife, and a mother, Anna finally has the time to wonder who she really is. But the only person who can tell her—her mother, the only parent who raised her—is dead. Searching through her mother's belongings one day, Anna uncovers a few clues about her father, whom she never knew. Student diaries chronicle his involvement in radical politics in 1970s London, involvement that eventually led him to return to Africa, where he became the president—some would say dictator—of a small nation in West Africa. And he is still alive. When Anna decides to track her father down, a journey begins that is disarmingly moving, funny, and fascinating. It raises universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for a family's hidden roots. Masterful in its examination of freedom, prejudice, and personal and public inheritance, Sankofa is a story for anyone who has ever gone looking for a clear identity or home and found something more complex in its place.

    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

    AudioFile Magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2021 A New York Times Notable Book, a Barack Obama favorite, selected as a Top 10 Book of the Year by Fresh Air, Time, and Entertainment Weekly, and a Best Book of the Year by Goodreads Choice Awards, the Associated Press, and many more 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’

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Rust
    Rust
    Rust

    Audiobook

    Rust

    byJulie Mars

    An article in a random travel magazine - about coyotes freely roaming the banks of the Rio Grande right in the middle of the city of Albuquerque - compels talented but socially-isolated artist Margaret Shaw to pack up and move from New York City to New Mexico. She quickly settles into a Chicano/Mexican barrio near the river, spending long days at local junkyards attempting to satisfy another recent obsession - her determination to mover her art from two dimensions to three. As she collects rusty parts from obsolete machinery, she imagines welding them into sculptures, and she never looks back at the sorrowful past she left behind in the east. Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she meets Rico Garcia, a car mechanic known locally as "El Rey," the king of low rider welders, and impulsively asks him to teach her to weld. Unlike Margaret, whose lifestyle is completely solitary, Rico lives with his wife, three daughters, a grandaughter and his mother. There is no common ground between the two, but once they begin welding lessons at Rico's shop, a deep, instantaneous friendships sparks, igniting intense, chaotic self-reflection and driving them both to confront the damage they have suffered in their individual pasts. Against this backdrop of emotional unpredictability, Margaret and Rico embark on an odyssey, both grounded and mystical, that carries them through the silent, wide open spaces of the high desert to the edge of healing, and perhaps beyond.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Talk to Me: A Novel
    Talk to Me: A Novel
    Talk to Me: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Talk to Me: A Novel

    byT.C. Boyle

    From bestselling and award-winning author T.C. Boyle, a lively, thought-provoking novel that asks us what it would be like if we could really talk to the animals When animal behaviorist Guy Schermerhorn demonstrates on a TV game show that he has taught Sam, his juvenile chimp, to speak in sign language, Aimee Villard, an undergraduate at Guy's university, is so taken with the performance that she applies to become his assistant.  A romantic and intellectual attachment soon morphs into an interspecies love triangle that pushes hard at the boundaries of consciousness and the question of what we know and how we know it.   What if it were possible to speak to the members of another species—to converse with them, not just give commands or coach them but to really have an exchange of ideas and a meeting of minds? Did apes have God?  Did they have souls?  Did they know about death and redemption?  About prayer?  The economy, rockets, space?  Did they miss the jungle?  Did they even know what the jungle was?  Did they dream?  Make wishes?  Hope for the future? These are some the questions T.C. Boyle asks in his wide-ranging and hilarious new novel Talk to Me, exploring  what it means to be human, to communicate with another, and to truly know another person—or animal… 

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • I Was Never the First Lady: A Novel
    I Was Never the First Lady: A Novel
    I Was Never the First Lady: A Novel

    Audiobook

    I Was Never the First Lady: A Novel

    byWendy Guerra

    A lush, sensuous, and original tale of family, love, and history, set against the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath. Nadia Guerra’s mother, Albis Torres, left when Nadia was just ten years old. Growing up, the proponents of revolution promised a better future. Now that she’s an adult, Nadia finds that life in Havana hasn’t quite matched its promise; instead it has stifled her rebellious and artistic desires. Each night she DJs a radio show government censors block from broadcasting. Frustrated, Nadia finds hope and a way out when she wins a scholarship to study in Russia.  Leaving Cuba offers her the chance to find her long lost mother and her real father. But as she embarks on a journey east, Nadia soon begins to question everything she thought she knew and understood about her past. As Nadia discovers more about her family, her fate becomes entwined with that of Celia Sanchez, an icon of the Cuban Revolution—a resistance fighter, ingenious spy, and the rumored lover of Fidel Castro. A tale of revolutionary ideals and promise, Celia’s story interweaves with Nadia’s search for meaning, and eventually reveals secrets Nadia could never have dreamed. Translated from the Spanish by Achy Obejas

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • Civilizations: A Novel
    Civilizations: A Novel
    Civilizations: A Novel

    Audiobook

    Civilizations: A Novel

    byLaurent Binet

    Freydis is the leader of a band of Viking warriors who get as far as Panama. Nobody knows what became of them . . . Five hundred years later, Christopher Columbus is sailing for the Americas, dreaming of gold and conquest. Even after he is captured by the Taínos, his faith in his superiority and his mission is unshaken. Thirty-nine years after that, Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, arrives in Europe. What does he find? The Spanish Inquisition, the Reformation, capitalism, the miracle of the printing press, endless warmongering between the ruling monarchies, and constant threat from the Turks. But most of all, downtrodden populations ready for revolution. Fortunately, he has a recent guidebook to acquiring power—Machiavelli's The Prince. It turns out he is very good at it. So, the stage is set for a Europe ruled by Incas and for a great war that will change history forever. Laurent Binet's Civilizations is a wildly entertaining counterfactual novel from one of Europe's most exciting writers, about the modern world, colonization, empire, and the eternal human quest for domination.

    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
  • Savage Conversations
    Savage Conversations
    Savage Conversations

    Audiobook

    Savage Conversations

    byLeAnne Howe

    May 1875: Mary Todd Lincoln is addicted to opiates and tried in a Chicago court on charges of insanity. Entered into evidence is Ms. Lincoln’s claim that every night a Savage Indian enters her bedroom and slashes her face and scalp. She is swiftly committed to Bellevue Place Sanitarium. Her hauntings may be a reminder that in 1862, President Lincoln ordered the hanging of thirty-eight Dakotas in the largest mass execution in United States history. No one has ever linked the two events—until now. Savage Conversations is a daring account of a former first lady and the ghosts that tormented her for the contradictions and crimes on which this nation is founded.

    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

    byMaría Amparo Escandón

    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
  • The Magician: A Novel
    The Magician: A Novel
    The Magician: A Novel

    Audiobook

    The Magician: A Novel

    byColm Toibin

    Selected as a Notable Book, a Critics' Top Book, and a Top 10 Book of Historical Fiction by The New York Times, and named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post, Vogue, and The Wall Street Journal From one of today’s most brilliant and beloved novelists, a dazzling, epic family saga set across a half-century spanning World War I, the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Cold War. Colm Tóibín’s magnificent new novel opens in a provincial German city at the turn of the twentieth century, where the boy, Thomas Mann, grows up with a conservative father, bound by propriety, and a Brazilian mother, alluring and unpredictable. Young Mann hides his artistic aspirations from his father and his homosexual desires from everyone. He is infatuated with one of the richest, most cultured Jewish families in Munich, and marries the daughter Katia. They have six children. On a holiday in Italy, he longs for a boy he sees on a beach and writes the story Death in Venice. He is the most successful novelist of his time, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, a public man whose private life remains secret. He is expected to lead the condemnation of Hitler, whom he underestimates. His oldest daughter and son, leaders of Bohemianism and of the anti-Nazi movement, share lovers. He flees Germany for Switzerland, France and, ultimately, America, living first in Princeton and then in Los Angeles. In a stunning marriage of research and imagination, Tóibín explores the heart and mind of a writer whose gift is unparalleled and whose life is driven by a need to belong and the anguish of illicit desire. The Magician is an intimate, astonishingly complex portrait of Mann, his magnificent and complex wife Katia, and the times in which they lived—the first world war, the rise of Hitler, World War II, the Cold War, and exile. This is a man and a family fiercely engaged by the world, profoundly flawed, and unforgettable. As People magazine said about The Master, “It’s a delicate, mysterious process, this act of creation, fraught with psychological tension, and Tóibín captures it beautifully.”

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5

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