Guest Curator

Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz inspired us with a recent call to booksellers to "Decolonize Our Shelves!" Yes! We think his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is a good place to start, and here’s guidance from Junot Díaz himself on what to listen to next.

In His Own Words: Junot Díaz Decolonizes Our Shelves

"A lot of us don’t see ourselves in our bookshelves, our libraries, or our bookstores. Our bookshelves tend to be disproportionately white and disproportionately male and do not represent who we are in this country or who we are becoming. Long histories of bias, racism, and exclusion created and perpetuate these dismal inequalities. And none of this will change unless we work actively, mindfully, and collectively to dismantle the often-obscure structures of power that exist both within us and without. Our bookshelves need to look like the future and not the past; they should be brimming with writers of color, women of color writers, indigenous writers, immigrant writers, women writers, LGBTQIA writers. If the Law of the Old Bookshelf was cruel exclusion, the Law of the New Bookshelf should be Radical Joyous Inclusion. This is what we mean when we say “decolonize our bookshelves.” The only thing decolonizing seeks to exclude are the forces, systems and habits that have excluded so many of us for so long—forces, systems and habits that continue to have too much power in this world, and in our hearts." — Junot Díaz
    • The Rise

    • Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery
    • By: Sarah Lewis
    • Narrated by: Sarah Lewis
    • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 72
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 63
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 63

    It is one of the enduring enigmas of the human experience: many of our most iconic, creative endeavors are not achievements but conversions, corrections after failed attempts....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Inspiring and artful

    • By james kenly on 06-13-16
    • Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery
    • By: Sarah Lewis
    • Narrated by: Sarah Lewis
    • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
    • Release date: 03-04-14
    • 4 out of 5 stars 72 ratings
    • "Lewis ain’t just one of Oprah’s favorite people; she’s also one of the most gifted women anywhere and her meditation on failure and mastery is exhilarating, inspiring, profound and so beautifully written it left me breathless. Lewis writes profoundly about 'the gift of failure' but the true gift here is this book."

    Regular price: $17.00

    • An Unnecessary Woman

    • By: Rabih Alameddine
    • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
    • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 370
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 334
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 332

    Aaliya Saleh lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family's "unnecessary appendage"....

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Tales of a Literary Snob

    • By Ilana on 02-14-14
    • By: Rabih Alameddine
    • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
    • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
    • Release date: 02-04-14
    • 4 out of 5 stars 370 ratings
    • "Alameddine's extraordinary novel is a love letter to Beirut, a tour de force of literary sympathy, and a tribute to the salvific powers of the written word. Alameddine is the novelist we should all be reading."

    Regular price: $21.95

    • The Jumbies

    • By: Tracey Baptiste
    • Narrated by: Robin Miles
    • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 62
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 62
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 61

    A spine-tingling tale rooted in Caribbean folklore that will have listeners holding their breath as they fly through the audio....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Adventure with Just Enough Scary

    • By Heather on 09-02-16
    • By: Tracey Baptiste
    • Narrated by: Robin Miles
    • Series: The Jumbies, Book 1
    • Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
    • Release date: 04-28-15
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 62 ratings
    • "Baptiste kills it with this fantastic Haitian-Caribbean inspired novel for young readers about a plucky young girl who has to save her father and her village from the otherwordly Jumbies. This the kind of book and hero I wish I had when I was a kid."

    Regular price: $20.99

    • Pachinko

    • By: Min Jin Lee
    • Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
    • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,816
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,547
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,541

    Profoundly moving and gracefully told, Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea....

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Awkward and simple

    • By Summer on 05-15-18
    • By: Min Jin Lee
    • Narrated by: Allison Hiroto
    • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
    • Release date: 02-07-17
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 2,816 ratings
    • "...Or How an Accidental Illicit Pregnancy Gives Birth to a Dynasty. Pachinko is a Korean family’s epic set mostly in Japan, spanning the entire 20th century, and so full of beauty, heartbreak, sacrifice and hope that you will be left shaken."

    Regular price: $29.65

    • Things We Lost in the Fire

    • Stories
    • By: Mariana Enriquez
    • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
    • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 23
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 22
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 22

    An arresting collection of short stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great short story collection

    • By Gatster on 06-15-17
    • Stories
    • By: Mariana Enriquez
    • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
    • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
    • Release date: 02-21-17
    • 4 out of 5 stars 23 ratings
    • "A phenomenal collection of macabre stories, set in an Argentina haunted by dictatorship, by the Disappeared, by dread. Enriquez has produced an unsettling and enthralling act of literary exorcism."

    Regular price: $20.99

Brief But Wondrous Snippets

"Fukú always eats first and eats alone."
"Never lose a fight on a first date or that will be the end of it."
A NY Times review of This Is How You Lose Her
A NY Times review of Islandborn

Now Playing

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  • "Fukú always eats first and eats alone."
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  • "Never lose a fight on a first date or that will be the end of it."
  • This Is How You Lose Her
  • A NY Times review of This Is How You Lose Her
  • Islandborn
  • A NY Times review of Islandborn