Twisted Creek (& the Harmony series) by Jodi Thomas read by Scott Sowers & Julia Gibson

Imagine a little fishing village with a general store somewhere in Texas where it rains. There is lots of kindness, and lots of very quirky individuals who don’t mesh, but aggregate. Mostly around a lake. Old maids, young maids, poor beaten women, big burly men, volunteer firefighters, sheriffs, and brutes. Mostly poor, but there is also a very wealthy ex-wife and widow of seven or eight husbands. She runs a Bed and Breakfast, and has facelifts in Dallas, collects lawyers, and establishes the pecking order. In Twisted Creek, however, everybody is poor. Especially Lucky Ali and Grandma who wake up one day to find themselves the beneficiaries of an empty General Store but not much else. They move in and clean and get to know the regulars. The mailman leaves a sack of mail for them to sort and put to rest.

Going to Bend by Diane Hammond read by Hilary Huber

Even if you buy all your clothes at Walmart’s, even if you never finished high-school and you still collect Happy Meal toys, even if your little girl never saw her father, who thinned out after a while, like smoke, you can still write a recipe book. Then someone with Aids, who drives an old Peugeot, can market you and the kitchen you cook them in. “When the people of Sawyer tucked into a meal or a snack, 72% selected a Pepsi product to go with it…” This was one of Schiff’s contributions to the universe, to Oregon, because Schiff, who grew up hungry and insulted by his mother, was a magician when it came to marketing. …