January’s Bookseller-Recommended Audiobooks

Libro.fm offers recommendations from real people: the dedicated indie booksellers working in our 1,300+ partner bookstores! Below, find the audiobooks that booksellers are loving this month!


Fiction

The Prophets

By Robert Jones, Jr.

“I am at a loss for words. How can I even begin to describe the breathtaking language Robert Jones, Jr. has gifted us in his debut novel, The Prophets? How can I begin to explain how he achieves a feat so marvelous it almost seems impossible?…His writing defies all great American novels that have come before, and in doing so becomes one of the greatest I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I can’t wait for everyone to be as spellbound by this book as I am; it will stay with me forever.”

Gage Tarlton, bookseller at Flyleaf Books

Check out our author interview with Robert Jones, Jr

“I didn’t set out to write a collection of stories about Black women, sex, and the Black church. My impulse toward fiction has always been driven by my interest in dissatisfied women; Black church women are a subset of those women. Nostalgia and memory are also big factors in my writing, and I draw on my upbringing in the church, in the South.”

Author Deesha Philyaw

Check out our interview with Deesha Philyaw

The Push

By Ashley Audrain

“I read Ashley Audrain’s debut, The Push, in two days because I literally couldn’t stop. What does it mean to be a good mother? What if you don’t emotionally connect with your child? How much emotional trauma is passed down from mothers to daughters? The Push examines four generations of females as well as the ways having children impacts one marriage. I loved this book.”

Rachel, bookseller at Avid Bookshop

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

By Mariana Enriquez & Megan McDowell

“Enriquez skillfully uses the tropes of horror to expose the everyday atrocities that occur in societies that abandon the fight against corruption. Even as these stories provide chills, they elicit a deep feeling of sadness for innocence lost.”

Cindy, bookseller at The River’s End Bookstore

Black Buck

By Mateo Askaripour

“Perhaps I have a different perspective on this book because I have a younger brother who is a Black, 20-something man in sales, but this book presents an evocative, honest, complex portrait of being a BIPOC person in a white-dominant workplace (albeit one that is high-powered, sales-driven, and New York City-based). This is a book that allows a reader to be seen if this is their experience, but also for a reader to learn about a different reality if this is not their own. Black Buck is a tightly woven, contemporary debut from an author to watch.”

BrocheAroe, bookseller at River Dog Book Co.

Check out our Author Interview with Mateo Askaripour


Historical Fiction

Find Me in Havana

By Serena Burdick

“I cannot say enough wonderful things about Find Me In Havana. The writing, as well as the narration, were music to my ears. The story is told from two points of view—Estelita Rodriguez, the mother, and Nina, her daughter. The book is based on the life of Estelita, who was a Cuban actress and singer. A few themes are threaded through the storyline. Personal strength, resilience, and the undying love of a mother and daughter will pull at your heartstrings one page at a time. It is not only an entertaining story but an inspiring one. I have recommended this book to many friends.”

Melinda, bookseller at Buttonwood Books & Toys

The Children’s Blizzard

By Melanie Benjamin

“Melanie Benjamin is at her best in this historical fiction account of the terrifying blizzard of 1888. It seemingly came out of nowhere and caught the residents of the Midwest by surprise, especially the children and teachers who were preparing to go home for the day. Benjamin looks at the lives of two sisters—both teachers at different schools—and how their decisions that day meant life or death for their students. I spent several late nights on this one!”

Linda, bookseller at Fiction Addiction

Our Darkest Night

By Jennifer Robson

“This is a love story…until it isn’t. This is a war story…until it isn’t. This is a story about surviving the worst of humanity, then finding humanity. Set in Italy, this is WWII fiction writing at its finest. Prepare it to be pulled into this heart-wrenching saga. So much for book clubs to discuss. So much for readers to enjoy. If you loved the depth of research in The Gown, you will love Our Darkest Night.

Carolyn, bookseller at Anderson’s Bookshop

Mystery and Thriller

The Wife Upstairs

By Rachel Hawkins

“A contemporary twist on Jane Eyre, The Wife Upstairs is a thriller with more than one unreliable narrator. I loved that this book is set in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and that I knew of many of the places mentioned in the book.”

Jamie, bookseller at Bookmarks

Easy Motion Tourist

By Leye Adenle

“Fast and furious, told from a kaleidoscope of different points of view, it’s a rollercoaster ride through a world of extremes, where everything is up for grabs.”

The Guardian

What Could Be Saved

By Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

“Wow. What a riveting read! Part family saga, part mystery, What Could Be Saved is just extraordinary. It is a moving, powerful story of loss and regret, loyalty and redemption. Schwarz’s crisp, lyrical prose lays bare the emotional journey of each member of this unforgettable family. These beautifully drawn, tragically flawed characters will remain with me long after turning the last page.”

Anderson, bookseller at Page and Palette

The House on Vesper Sands

By Paraic O’Donnell

“Paraic O’Donnell leavens the dark foreboding of a truly sinister, otherworldly mystery with distinctively clever storytelling and a decidedly marvelous cast of characters. You are in the best of hands with Inspector Cutter and Gideon Bliss on the case, along with the intrepid and resourceful reporter Octavia Hillingdon. Beautifully done!”

Peter, bookseller at Wellesley Books

Romance

Never Look Back

By Lilliam Rivera

“A contemporary, magical-realism take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, the latest from Rivera looks at generational trauma and the trauma that arises from natural disasters. But more than that, Never Look Back is about what it means to be seen, by others who see a twisted version of your reflection, and those who can see you as you are. Rivera’s exquisite writing is the literary equivalent of a lullaby, fast-dance music, an acoustic set, a full-orchestra symphony, and of course, a bachata.”

Cassie, bookseller at Wellesley Books

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

By Lori Nelson Spielman

“Three second-born daughters take a life-changing trip to Italy in hopes of breaking the family curse dooming all second-born daughters in their family to never find love. You will just adore these three main characters, who spend this journey celebrating love and family, and you will become fully invested in their stories. I just loved the wisdom of Aunt Poppy, the beautiful setting of Italy, and the family tales. Just wonderful!”

Kathy, bookseller at Newtown Bookshop

Young Adult

The Barren Grounds

By David A. Robertson

“Morgan and Eli are two foster siblings who just can’t seem to get along, or fit in at school, home, or really anywhere except for Morgan’s fantasy novels and Eli’s sketchbooks. When Morgan invites Eli to her hideout in the attic, they find that his drawings create a portal to another world of cold and ice even more intense than their home of Winnipeg, Canada....Their thrilling, funny, and heartwarming adventure serves not only as a way to maybe save Misewa, but too to reconnect to their culture, their past, and to one another.”

Cat, bookseller at Oxford Exchange

Barry Squires, Full Tilt

By Heather Smith

Barry Squires, Full Tilt is the perfect combination of laugh-out-loud funny and tearful sad. Barry dreams of being a Full Tilt dancer, famous and held in high esteem. He sees it as a way to escape being bullied and almost constantly angry….Barry has a loving family, but it is a real family, with sibling rivalry, postpartum depression, and other imperfections and troubles. And it becomes a family of great tragedy. Now angrier than ever, Barry must learn how to navigate his emotions and make his way toward peace. An excellent listen.”

Nancy, bookseller at Raven Book Store

Wayward Witches

By Zoraida Córdova

“Rose Mortiz is coming into her powers—powers that are different from the ones she’s always thought she had. So, she’s dealing with that, the return of her long lost father, and all of her sister’s drama (as detailed in the first two Brooklyn Bruja books which are also excellent)….Rose is an amazing hero. She is intelligent, flawed, and funny. Her take on the world around her is refreshingly honest for a fantasy character. This journey of growth is a perfect addition to the Brooklyn Brujas series.”

Izzy, bookseller at Off the Beaten Path

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow is incredible. It had me sobbing, shouting (MOG, NO!), and laughing hysterically. I’m already dying for the next one.”

Keiana, bookseller at East City Bookshop

Nonfiction

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

By George Saunders

“In this literal master class on literature and writing, Saunders earnestly yet playfully dissects 19th-century Russian short stories to discover how they exude life to this very day, while highlighting methods any aspiring writer can employ. The huge bonus: reading the wondrous stories themselves, and experiencing Tolstoy’s authority, Chekhov’s humanity, and the joy and glory of Gogol.”

Mike, bookseller at Northshire Bookstore

You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey

By Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar

“I didn’t think it was possible to combine education and humor so effectively in a book about racism, but Ruffin and Lamar proved me wrong. This incredibly well-structured, digestible, challenging, and engaging book opened my eyes to the many ways racism can permeate every interaction in Black people’s lives. The way the sisters play off each other and how Ruffin reflects on Lamar’s experience in contrast to her own make the book especially accessible. A must-read!”

Emily, bookseller at A Seat at the Table Books

The Listening Path

By Julia Cameron

“There is no greater voice of encouragement for artists than that of Julia Cameron. Over the years, she has taught us to love and respect the gift of artistry and to learn how to grow our own artistic strengths. The Artist’s Way didn’t end with her first book. Instead, she continues to bring us gifts that will broaden our understanding of the value of art, especially in today’s world, and our place within the artist’s fold. Her newest offering to our growth is found in the pages of The Listening Path—a guide to learning and applying the skill of listening—to our inner voice, to others, to nature, and also, to the prompting of other great artists and leaders....I love it!”

Linda, bookseller at Auntie’s Bookstore

Looking for more? Check out our wider list of bookseller picks, the top 100 bestsellers, and the pre-order bestseller list!

Kelsey Norris is a writer, editor, former bookseller, and Libro.fm's Content Marketing Manager. She is currently based in DC. Find more of her work at www.kelseynorris.com.

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