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Fall 2023 Spotlight Selection

I'd Really Prefer Not to Be Here With You, and Other Stories preview image

I'd Really Prefer Not to Be Here With You, and Other Stories

Author: Read by: Various Narrators Genre: Short Stories, Sci-Fi, Fantasy Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Release Year: 2023 Length: 260 pages / 9h 8m

Bestselling author Julianna Baggott delivers her mind-bending debut short-story collection, featuring an array of genres populated by deeply human characters, and with film rights to the stories already having been sold to Netflix, Paramount, Amblin, and others!

In the title story, set five minutes in the future where you not only have a credit score but also a dating score, a woman who's been banished from all dating apps attends a weekly help group with others who have been "banned for life," and finds herself falling in love. In "Backwards," a twist on Benjamin Button, a woman reconnects with her estranged father as he de-ages ten years each day they spend together. In "Welcome to Oxhead," all the parents in a gated community "shut off" when the power goes out. In "Portals," a small town deals with hope and loss when dozens of portals suddenly open. In "The Now of Now," two teenagers who can literally stop time find themselves falling in love. In "How They Got In," a grieving family starts to see a murdered girl in all of their old home videos. In "The Versions," two stand-in androids fall in love at a wedding, even though they're not programmed to have emotion. And many other stories of the weird and wonderful.

"Casually fantastical, beautifully surreal, and packing an unexpected emotional punch."

Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You

"Reading this story collection is like stepping in front of a fun house mirror…Julianna Baggott’s words ground us with the familiar truths that allow us to see the ordinary as something truly extraordinary."

Jessica Biel, actress and producer

In case you missed it: hoopla Book Club in conversation with Lucy Gilmore

Join the hoopla Book Club for a captivating discussion with author Lucy Gilmore about her book The Lonely Hearts Book Club, moderated by audiobook narrator Angie Kane! In this virtual meetup, Lucy and Angie come together to share insights, stories and inspiration.

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