Audiobooks You Can Listen To in 6(ish) Hours or Less

Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
I love Lahiri and reading the description (and excellent reviews) on this collection makes me want to bump it to the top of my list. From Publishers Weekly: "Lahiri's touch in these nine tales is delicate, but her observations remain damningly accurate, and her bittersweet stories are unhampered by nostalgia."
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West Wing fans, listen up. This is a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the Obama White House, through the eyes of someone who worked for him for more than ten years, first supporting him as a freshman senator, then as assistant to the president and director of scheduling, and finally as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff at the White House. Word is this is like your "gossipy older sister" dishing on what really happens behind the political scenes.
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We are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), Reading People explains the life-changing insights that can be gained from the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. Understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.
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I just scooped this up for myself because I feel like I'm seeing it everywhere this week, plus it's by an author my family LOVES. From the publisher: "When the Ku Klux Klan’s unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella’s segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this bestselling Depression-era “novel that soars” (The New York Times Book Review) that School Library Journal called “storytelling at its finest” in a starred review.
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Brené Brown's work has meant a lot to me (my favorite: Daring Greatly, and I'm so excited to have another new book in my hands. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown tackles what she calls our current spiritual crisis of disconnection. We don't know what it means to belong anymore, or why it matters, or how to experience true connection—and we are suffering for it. In her new work she sets out four practices of true belonging, explains how we can practice them in our own lives, and shares heaps of stories so we can see what they look like in practice. A timely read, and a good one.
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From the publisher: "Rilke's powerfully touching letters to an aspiring young poet, audio read by Dan Stevens. At the start of the 20th century, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a series of letters to a young officer cadet, advising him on writing, love, sex, suffering, and the nature of advice itself. These profound and lyrical letters have since become hugely influential for generations of writers and artists of all kinds, including Lady Gaga and Patti Smith. With honesty, elegance, and a deep understanding of the loneliness that often comes with being an artist, Rilke's letters are an endless source of inspiration and comfort."
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This is the world's best-selling mystery—and when I found out the audio version was read by Dan Stevens, I couldn't resist. (Loved it.) Ten strangers are lured to a deserted island, and then they begin dying, one by one, victims of a disturbingly wide range of murders. They share one thing in common: each has something in their past they would prefer to keep hidden. Who is the murderer, and will any of them survive?
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The awards list for this include Winner 2017 Alex Award, 2017 Hugo, 2017 Locus, 2016 Nebula, Nominated 2017 World Fantasy, 2017 British Fantasy, 2016 Tiptree Honor List. NPR calls this "A mini-masterpiece of portal fantasy — a jewel of a book that deserves to be shelved with Lewis Carroll's and C. S. Lewis' classics."
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Hurston's classic is written in dialect, which is tricky for some readers—unless they choose the audio version. This atmospheric story about expectations, marriage, and unexpected love is richly atmospheric, set in the deep South's Florida Everglades in the 1920s. A classic for a reason, with well-developed characters and a thought-provoking story line.
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From the publisher: "From Facebook's COO and Wharton's top-rated professor, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Lean In: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life's inevitable setbacks. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. 'I want Dave,' she cried. Her friend replied, 'Option A is not available,' and then promised to help her make the most of Option B. We all live some form of Option B. After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build. Option B combines Sheryl's personal insights with Adam's eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity."
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From the publisher: "In his much-anticipated new audiobook, Robin Sloan does for the world of food what he did for the world of books in Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her - feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she's providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer's market, and a whole new world opens up."
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I read this as my "book you can finish in a day" for the 2016 Reading Challenge. As expected, it's not exactly scary, but Jackson is sure good at infusing a story with a creepy atmosphere. In this work, her last completed novel before her death, she tells the story of the Blackwood family. Not so long ago there were seven Blackwoods, but four of them dropped dead from arsenic poisoning several years ago and how that happened remains a mystery. Read this during daylight hours: its themes of family secrets, hateful neighbors, and mysterious deaths aren't the stuff of bedtime reading.
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Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. The creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter. Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. Audie Award Finalist.
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From the publisher: "In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust."
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