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Staff Picks: Julie Wilson’s Favorites

Hello readers and audiobook listeners! My name is Julie Wilson, and I am the Senior Manager of Digital Production Platforms at Penguin Random House Audio. In a nutshell, that means I produce around 100 audiobooks a year and spearhead new creative ventures like Ahab, our online casting platform. I love reading literary, genre fiction with well-rounded characters and funny, feminist non-fiction with a psychological bent. There is also a special place in my heart for books written for adults but told from a kids’ point of view.Somehow, seeing the world through a younger perspective illuminates life in raw,truthful, and imaginative ways. I am a native New Yorker, an avid rooftop gardener, and always a kid at heart.You can connect with me across all socials @JuliannaNWilson.

  1. 1
    His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife (Book 2) Book Cover Picture
    His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife (Book 2) Book Cover Picture

    His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife (Book 2)

    by Philip Pullman

    I’ve read the His Dark Materials over a dozen times, both in print and on audio. While book one (The Golden Compass) is on my top ten list of books, one of my beloved characters (Will) doesn’t make his debut until book two (The Subtle Knife). The raw, real dynamic between him and Lyra has always resonated with me and my experience of falling in love for the first time. Philip Pullman masterfully interweaves a magical story with a robust ensemble of characters who often philosophize about life’s many mysteries. On audio, this is a full-cast recording, which is narrated by the author and an entire company of talented actors.
    His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife (Book 2) Book Cover Picture
    His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife (Book 2) Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $12.99

    Also available from:

  2. 2
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Book Cover Picture
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Book Cover Picture

    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

    by Alan Bradley

    When I fell for Alan Bradley’s series, I fell hard. Like Lyra, Flavia is a plucky, precocious child. While solving a variety of mysteries in her town of Bishop’s Lacey, she unwittingly sheds light on many relatable life moments through the lens of a tween’s eyes. The audiobook is narrated by Jayne Entwistle. No matter how many times I read this book in print, I will always hear her endearing, spot-on narration in my head.
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Book Cover Picture
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  3. 3
    Tiny Beautiful Things Book Cover Picture
    Tiny Beautiful Things Book Cover Picture

    Tiny Beautiful Things

    by Cheryl Strayed

    I have recommended this book an uncountable number of times. As the daughter of two therapists, I am often drawn to non-fiction authors who are well-versed in the human psyche. I love that every“Dear Sugar”entry is bite-sized and quick to satisfy, which makes for easy bedtime reading. Cheryl manages to clarify questions you have about your own life while responding to others’ dilemmas.As for the audiobook edition, hearing Cheryl read her own words adds a special, personal touch to each column.
    Tiny Beautiful Things Book Cover Picture
    Tiny Beautiful Things Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

    Also available from:

  4. 4
    Red Rising Book Cover Picture
    Red Rising Book Cover Picture

    Red Rising

    by Pierce Brown

    In my humble opinion, no one writes action scenes like Pierce Brown. When punches are being thrown and heads hacked off, the stakes are high because the lives of characters we love are in very real danger. I admire how Pierce balances literary writing, well-rounded characters, and compelling story lines. I was late to the Red Rising bandwagon, but as soon as I jumped on, I binged all of the books in the series in a few months.
    Red Rising Book Cover Picture
    Red Rising Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  5. 5
    The Night Circus Book Cover Picture
    The Night Circus Book Cover Picture

    The Night Circus

    by Erin Morgenstern

    Can you tell that I’m a romantic at heart? I was torn between recommending The Night Circus or Erin’s second book, The Starless Sea. Both offer rich, magical, and passionate storytelling. The worlds that Erin crafts always engulf me in the feeling of elsewhere and make any mystical elements seem possible. Like the other books I’ve recommended, she is skilled at immersing you in her characters’ lives, while also teaching you something about yourself and your own personal relationships
    The Night Circus Book Cover Picture
    The Night Circus Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

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