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Staff Picks--Favorite Adult Audiobooks for 2016

Also available in: e-audiobook

In 2009, the award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister started All the Single Ladies --a book she thought would be a work of contemporary journalism--about the twenty-first century phenomenon of the American single woman. It was the year the proportion of American women who were married dropped below fifty percent and the median age of first marriages, which had remained between twenty and twenty-two years old for nearly a century (1890-1980), had risen dramatically to twenty-seven. But over the course of her vast research and more than a hundred interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: the phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one.

Also available in: e-audiobook

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly--thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. 

This sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is fantasy based in a world where alternate, parallel Londons exist. Library Journal states: "Schwab's picturesque and fascinating follow-up to A Darker Shade of Magic takes readers back to the worlds of alternate Londons, magic alive, dead, and resurrected, and characters who shine through all of their shadows. Fans of the first book won't be able to put this one down."

Also available in: e-audiobook

A poor fisherman named Cenzo comes across a girl's body, floating in the lagoon. He carries her into his boat and soon discovers that she is very much alive, and very much in trouble. Born to a wealthy Jewish family who has been captured and deported by the Nazis, Guilia is on the run after she was found hiding in a local hospital. Cenzo decides it's the right thing to do to help her escape, never anticipating an innocent act of chivalry would quickly turn to love as the two grow closer.

Also available in: e-audiobook

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there's anything they can count on, it's each other. Clementine and Erika are each other's oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don't hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid's larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite. Two months later, it won't stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can't stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn't gone?.

Also available in: e-audiobook

A magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. 

Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams--invasive images of blood and brutality--torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It's a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. 

Also available in: e-audiobook

In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime : a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant : the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for-- and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

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