Contemporary Fiction
Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Other audio editions are available for cheap as Whispersync deals, but this edition is the clear winner in the ratings, with an impressive 4.5 for the performance. I re-read this Austen title in June and thoroughly enjoyed it, again.

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Weightless
Arcadia

Arcadia

Entertainment Weekly calls this "a moving look at the value of human connection in a scary, chaotic world."

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Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Lady Cop Makes Trouble

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

From the publisher: "The best-selling author of Girl Waits with Gun returns with another adventure featuring the fascinating, feisty, and unforgettable Kopp sisters. Based on a true story, Girl Waits with Gun introduced Constance Kopp and her charming and steadfast sisters to an army of enthusiastic readers. Those readers will be thrilled by this second installment--also ripped from the headlines--in the romping, wildly readable life of a woman forging her own path, tackling crime and nefarious criminals along the way."

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The Rumor

The Rumor

$12.99$3.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

Nantucket novelist Madeline King is on deadline but has a huge case of writer's block: she needs a story for her next novel, and she needs it fast. Then her best friend Grace starts crushing on her handsome landscape architect. Madeline knows a good story when she sees it, and her novel practically writes itself. I loved Hilderbrand's comments about this novel at BEA: she said that because she was intimately familiar with writer's block, she had no trouble at all writing this novel. Writers will note that all the publishing industry details are spot-on. My favorite Hilderbrand so far.

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Dear Carolina
The Versions of Us

The Versions of Us

Eva and Jim meet by chance on a Cambridge Street, and as for the rest of their history? It plays out in three alternate versions, exploring the ramifications of a single decision Eva makes. From BookPage: "Barnett masterfully pulls the reader through these alternating tales. Each option is compelling and believable. Perhaps there's a lesson to be learned here: Regardless of the paths we choose, the people who are meant to be in our lives will find their way there."

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Beach Town

Beach Town

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

In Andrews' latest summer novel, a movie location scout discovers the perfect sleepy town on the Florida coast, and then promptly falls for the man standing in the way of her plans. This is classic fluffy summer romance.

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A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

Marybeth Whalen says: "Apart from any surprises the audio version, narrated by George Newbern, is holding out as my favorite read this year. The way Newbern portrays Ove—I literally laughed and cried in the span of two pages. I'm listening to Every Fifteen Minutes narrated by him now. It is possible I've given myself a reading challenge of bingeing on a large number of books he's narrated. #narratorcrush"

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Eight Hundred Grapes

Eight Hundred Grapes

$10.99$1.99Audiobook: 11.49 (Whispersync)

I enjoyed this one from page 1: the storytelling is excellent, and the author explored so many interesting themes about relationships. (But I have complicated feelings about how those relationships resolve—which would make this a fantastic book club novel.) The story is set at a small family vineyard in Sonoma County; the title comes from the number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine. Add Audible narration for $11.49.

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A Window Opens: A Novel

A Window Opens: A Novel

$11.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

I almost abandoned this book, and thought hard about including it in Quick Lit because I found it underwhelming. Its heroine, Alice Pearse, is a sandwich generation wife and mother of three who takes on a new and demanding job when her husband loses his. The book had potential: I found the premise relatable and the characters likable. But instead of thoughtfully addressing the issues Alice faces, Egan fabricates silly problems (such as a big bad corporate employer reminiscent of The Circle) for her characters and simplistic solutions. Alice works in the world of publishing, and I did appreciate the novel's unabashed love for books and readers. If you decide to read this, please read it with your book club: at least you can enjoy tearing apart the ending together.

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The Summer of Good Intentions

The Summer of Good Intentions

$10.99$3.99Audiobook: 4.49 (Whispersync)

When a strained family reconvenes at their beach house for their annual summer vacation, the secrets they've been carrying start to slip out. This is a summery novel in a sense, thanks to its Cape Cod vacation setting, but it's filled with heavy issues: broken relationships, dementia, and serious diagnoses. Pack your beach bag accordingly. Add Audible narration for $4.49.

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After You: A Novel

After You: A Novel

Finally! The much-anticipated (and originally unplanned) follow-up to Moyes's word-of-mouth sensation Me Before You. The bad news: the sequel isn't as good as original. The good news: Moyes at least had the guts to take her characters in an altogether different direction, and if it's not perfect, at least it's interesting. Moyes also left the door wide open to a third novel, which I would welcome.

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