The Great American Read

The Great American Read is an 8-part PBS television series that explores America’s 100 best-loved novels and celebrates the power of reading. The series will launch on Tuesday, May 22nd on PBS at 8/7c and will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning Meredith Vieira.

The 100 novels were chosen via national survey, and each segment of the show features compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country.

This series is designed to get the country reading and talking passionately about books. Use The Great American Read playlist to make your way through these beloved books!

The series will culminate with the announcement of America’s best-loved book, chosen by a nationwide vote. Voting will open with the launch of the two-hour premiere episode on 5/22 and continue up until the finale in October 2018. Viewers will be able to vote online, via social media using hashtags, and using SMS and toll-free voting.

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with Libro.fm

Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party celebrating independent bookstores across the country—this year it is on Saturday, April 28th. Help us spread the word about this special day and the important role independent bookstores play in our communities!

As a thank you for supporting your local independent bookstore through Libro.fm, we will be giving away FREE audiobooks on April 28th! If you don’t already have an account, create one today to receive an email reminder to download your free audiobooks on Independent Bookstore Day…then go celebrate in-store with your local bookstore!


Share the love with your personal community!

Refer your friends and family to Libro.fm today—they get their first audiobook for just $0.99, and you get a free audiobook after their first month of membership. Not to mention the free audiobooks you will both get on Bookstore Day!

Create Your Account
(and be reminded about free audiobooks on 4/28)

Share the Love


Not sure your friends are ready to sign up for a membership?

You can gift them the free audiobooks on April 28th–all you need is their email addresses. Just be sure to complete your free purchase before midnight PST. After that, your friends can download their audiobook gifts anytime.


Why are we celebrating?

Independent bookstores are unique local anchors run by passionate booksellers–at the heart of everything they do is a love of books and a commitment to community. When you choose Libro.fm, your audiobook purchases support your local independent bookstore and help your local community thrive!

Independent Bookstores are Thriving

How are independent bookstores not just surviving, but thriving, in the age of Amazon? It’s a question that Ryan Raffaelli, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, first asked in 2015, compelling him to study independent bookstores ever since.

He plans to release an initial version of his study later in 2018, but in the meantime, he has published an abstract with an overview of his initial findings, called “Reframing Collective Identity in Response to Multiple Technological Discontinuities: The Novel Resurgence of Independent Bookstores.

Raffaelli has found that independent bookstores’ resurgence was in part facilitated by bottom-up processes in the form of a social movement: “localism.” Independent bookstores and other small, local businesses raised awareness for localism and helped develop the value of community.

He also found that independent bookstores were able to reclaim market demand by setting themselves apart from retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble in their practices. Independent bookstores’ curation of inventory focuses on providing a more specialized and personal experience to their customers.

Independent Bookstores also redefined their role in communities and became the place where people convene. Bookstores are no longer simply a place to buy books; they are gathering places and venues in the community.

At the same time independent bookstores have been redefining themselves from the bottom up, the American Booksellers Association has been promoting a collective identity that established cohesiveness, while still preserving each store’s independence.

Independent bookstores continue to bring incredible value to their local communities and that is why they are thriving!

In an interview with Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, Raffaelli said, “This has been an especially fascinating industry to study because indie booksellers provide us with a story of hope.”

At Libro.fm, we know our relationships with customers, partner bookstores, authors, and publishers can be a driving force for building community. The heart of what we do is driven by our love of books and our commitment to helping your local community thrive–just like your favorite brick-and-mortar shop.

Join this movement and celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with Libro.fm on Saturday, April 28th.


Learn more:

Bookstore Day: FREE Audiobooks

As a “Thank You” for supporting your local, independent bookstores and helping our community thrive, Libro.fm and our partner stores are offering FREE audiobooks to all customers on Independent Bookstore Day.

Create your account now, and you will get an email reminder to download your audiobooks on April 28th!

Wondering which audiobooks will be yours? We’re so glad you asked:


Tangerine

by Christine Mangan

Tangerine is a sharp dagger of an audiobook—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless.


Strange the Dreamer

by Laini Taylor

From National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor comes an epic fantasy about a mythic lost city and its dark past.


The Paris Secret

by Karen Swan

In this glittering tale of forgotten treasures and long-held secrets, international bestseller Karen Swan explores one woman’s journey to discovering the truth behind an abandoned apartment and a family whose mysteries may be better left undiscovered.


Brain Rules for Aging Well

by John Medina

Brain Rules for Aging Well, by developmental molecular biologist Dr. John Medina, gives you the facts—and the prescription to age well—in his signature engaging style.


Information Doesn’t Want to be Free

by Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, and Amanda Palmer

An essential listen for anyone with a stake in the future of the arts, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free offers a vivid guide to the ways creativity and the Internet interact today, and to what might be coming next.


The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body

by Joanna Cole

Take a ride inside the human body with Ms. Frizzle and the class!


Penguin Random House Audio Story Sampler

Available exclusively on Bookstore Day (April 28, 2018), the Penguin Random House Audio sampler features some of the most popular independent bookstore bestsellers:

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

This runaway New York Times bestseller explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.


The Underground Railroad 

by Colson Whitehead

The National Book Award Winner and #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.


The Immortalists

by Chloe Benjamin

This instant New York Times bestseller probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next.


Love and Ruin

by Paula McLain

The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century.


Educated

by Tara Westover

This #1 New York Times bestseller is an unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University


A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L’Engle

This movie tie-in audiobook includes an introduction read by director Ava DuVernay, a foreword read by the author, and an afterword read by Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis.


Female Persuasion

by Meg Wolitzer

An electric, multilayered novel about ambition, power, friendship, and mentorship, and the romantic ideals we all follow deep into adulthood, not just about who we want to be with, but who we want to be.


MacMillan Audio Story Sampler

Available exclusively on Bookstore Day (April 28, 2018), the Macmillan Audio Story Sampler features some of the most popular independent bookstore bestsellers:

I’m Judging You

by Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie Ajayi’s debut book of humorous essays dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives.

Tell Tale

by Jeffrey Archeri

This audiobook gives listeners a fascinating, exciting and sometimes poignant insight into the people Jeffrey Archeri has met, the stories he has come across, and the countries he has visited during the past ten years.

A Selfie As Big As the Ritz

by Lara Williams

British author Lara Williams perfectly captures the bleak, surreal, and often hilarious period of life that every late-twenties woman will recognize in this charming audiobook.

Fresh Complaint

by Jeffrey Eugenides

Narratively compelling, beautifully worded, and packed with a density of ideas despite their fluid grace, this is the first collection of short fiction from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides.

I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places

by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

Lisa and Francesca, mother and daughter, are back with another collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman.

 

Thanks for a Cat-tastic April Fools!

Thank you to all the bookstores and bookstore cats that participated in our April Fools Day campaign! Audiobooks for Cats was a huge success, and from what we heard there were plenty of happy felines that loved Mr. Bigglesworth’s A Tail of Two Kitties! It was even featured as the Purrfect Audiobook of the Day by Shelf Awareness!

Did you miss some of the pawsitively adorable photos that came rolling in on Sunday? Not to worry! We’ve compiled them all here.

Thanks to all who spread the word about audiobooks for cats and, more importantly, spread awareness of the audiobook option that supports local independent bookstores… and their cats.


April 2018 Audiobook Bestsellers

Libro.fm is proud to present the April 2018 audiobook bestseller list that captures what’s selling in independent bookstores nationwide.


Fiction

1. Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng (Penguin Random House Audio)


2. A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L’Engle (Penguin Random House Audio)


3. Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders (Penguin Random House Audio)


4. A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)


5. The Woman in the Window

by A. J. Finn (HarperCollins)


6. Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi (Macmillan Audio)


7. Before We Were Yours

by Lisa Wingate (Penguin Random House Audio)


8. The Immortalists

by Chloe Benjamin (Penguin Random House Audio)


9. The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins)


10. Sing, Unburied, Sing

by Jesmyn Ward (Simon & Schuster Audio)


Nonfiction

1. Educated

by Tara Westover (Penguin Random House Audio)


2. Killers of the Flower Moon

by David Grann (Penguin Random House Audio)


3. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins)


4. Russian Roulette

by Michael Isikoff and David Corn (Hachette Audio)


5. The Last Black Unicorn

by Tiffany Haddish (Simon & Schuster Audio)


6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

by Mark Manson (HarperCollins)


7. Enlightenment Now

by Steven Pinker (Penguin Random House Audio)


8. Braving the Wilderness

by Brené Brown (Penguin Random House Audio)


9. Sapiens

by Yuval Noah Harari (HarperCollins)


10. Leonardo da Vinci

by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster Audio)


The April 2018 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations during the month of March 2018.

Audiobooks for Cats

Libro.fm is now offering Audiobooks for Cats!

Audiobooks for dogs? They’ll listen to anything—they’re easy to please and always happy to oblige, with tail wags galore. The real challenge? Audiobooks for cats. These fine felines will make you work for it. Those who view them as challenging or hifalutin are right: the feline is selective, loyal, and highly discerning when it comes to literature.

We like to think of it as feline independence.

Try it for Free!


Listen Before it’s Cool

The cat voices you’ll hear were hand-selected by experts who captured natural ambiance from catnip fields at local farms. Played through the latest scratch-pad speakers, these tracks are the latest in kitten culture.

Get Your Artisanal Audiobook


Cats Can’t Read

Don’t let the blue and green slow-blinks fool you. With cat eyeglass technology lagging, your felines can now get their story fix through audiobooks. What could be better than closing one’s eyes to the story of Puss In Boots?

Start Listening for Free


Cat Nip Companion

Audiobooks and a fresh satchel of nip make the perfect pairing. Let your cat’s paws curl in relaxation, or even better, let them knead a human neck while taking in the aroma of nepetalactone and listening to one of our classic audiobooks.

Audiobooks are Purr-fect


“Every time I came home Snickers would have torn the curtains to shreds. Now that she has audiobooks, not only are the curtains in one piece but she’s vacuumed the house and washed the dishes. She’s a good girl now, aren’t you snickerbickers… yes you are.”
Christie K. / Seattle, WA


Give your feline friend 15 minutes of fame!
When you post a photo on Instagram of your cat enjoying audiobooks with the hashtags #audiobooksforcats, #felineindependence, and #meowforbookstores, they will also make a guest appearance on the Libro.fm Catstagram!

Indies Choice: Audiobook of the Year

The Indies Choice Book Awards reflect the spirit of independent bookstores nationwide. We are thrilled that this year, for the first time ever, an Indies Choice Award will be given for Audiobook of the Year!

The shortlist for this award was announced today, March 28th. These six audiobooks were selected by a jury of booksellers from audiobooks that appeared on the Indie Next lists. Enjoy the audio samples below and remember the Wish List feature for adding these to your listening queue.


American War

by Omar El Akkad

“Omar El Akkad has delivered a stunning debut. He imagines a world in a not-too-distant future where Americans are at war with each other once again. The characters in this story are fully developed and individual, yet their histories—their stories—extend into the histories of all those displaced and affected by the forces of war. The title, American War, is a shape-shifter. At once, it means that America is again at war, but at times reflects the ways in which the true, actual wars that America has perpetrated on Earth have affected the lives of millions of people. This will be one of the most discussed books of the year, and I cannot wait to put it in the hands of all readers looking to be changed.”
—Matt Keliher, SubText Bookstore


The Fact of a Body

by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

“Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich didn’t set out to investigate murder of six-year-old Jeremy Guillory in Louisiana; it was the case she happened upon as a young law school intern in 1992. In a fascinating twist, this becomes not only the true story of a heinous crime for which the perpetrator is in prison, but also of the investigation that unlocks the author’s memories of her own youth, a childhood in which she and her sisters were repeatedly sexually abused by their maternal grandfather. As Marzano-Lesnevich moves backward and forward in time between the young man who killed Jeremy and her own life, the reader is swept along on a current of dismay and awe: dismay that human beings can do these things to each other, and awe that the author could face such demons and move on. I’ve never read another book like this.”
—Anne Holman, The King’s English


Hunger

by Roxane Gay

“This memoir is about trauma and privilege, self-loathing, and a silent fear kept secret for far too long. It’s about our obsession with body weight and body image, what happens when we internalize our pain and become self-destructive, and how very, very large people are treated in humiliating ways. The descriptions of addictive behavior and the journey to want to heal make this book more universal than I expected. When you decide that this is the day you’re going to change and you get out of bed and fail, that’s pretty normal. You’ll have another chance tomorrow—just remember to like yourself enough to overcome the fear of healing and try again. Highly recommend.”
—Todd Miller, Arcadia Books


Killers of the Flower Moon

by David Grann

“One of the most horrific chapters in American history is brought back to the national consciousness with alarming detail in Killers of the Flower Moon. After the Osage Indian Nation strikes oil, its members become rich beyond their wildest dreams, only to encounter a vast and murderous conspiracy that will leave more than 60 members of the nation dead. David Grann reconstructs those murders and the subsequent investigations with astonishing care and reveals the depths of a conspiracy that stretched from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C. This story will certainly be one of the most important books of 2017.”
—Steven Shonder, Anderson’s Bookshop


Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders

“Saunders’ first novel has a steep entry curve. It’s not a novel that reveals itself quickly and easily, but if you give it your attention, if you burrow deep into the book, you’ll be eminently rewarded. There is a richness and depth of humanity here. There is the strange and wonderful. There is love and grief and mystery all brought together in the story of Abraham Lincoln’s dead son, the Civil War, and what may happen to us all after we leave the mortal coil. It’s a beautiful and moving book that will stay with you for a long, long while.”
—Jason Vanhee, University Book Store


The Ninth Hour

by Alice McDermott

“Alice McDermott’s dazzling The Ninth Hour turns on the contradictions that confound our need to reconcile with mortality. The empathetic characters, at once agents and benefactors of Christian charity, grow to realize not just the grace but also the hubris of their faith. A stunning work of generational storytelling, The Ninth Hour is compulsively readable and deeply thought-provoking. McDermott is a master artisan of humanity.”
—Lori Feathers, Interabang Books

Roshani Chokshi Interview

New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi’s new Middle Grade novel, Aru Shah and the End of Time, is the first installment in a four-part series following the adventures twelve-year-old Aru Shah. The novel follows Aru, whose tendency to stretch the truth gets her into deep trouble, beginning with her unwittingly setting free a demon bent on setting free the God of Destruction. In order to save her family and friends from great peril, she must go on a gripping, mythical adventure sure to thrill readers.


Ross McMeekin: You have a new novel coming out, Aru Shah and the End of Time. What inspired you to write it?

Roshani Chokshi: Aru was really inspired by the fact that I grew up obsessed with the Sailor Moon television series. On the one hand, the characters each had separate powers that were based off of their planets. They also transformed into these epic uniforms and had this special pen that they raised into the air. I was really obsessed with that idea…I kept raising sharpies into the air, wondering if the power of Jupiter would turn me into a sailor scout, but it never happened. But what I really loved about Sailor Moon was the female friendships. The female friendships were so critical in that show that they eclipsed love interests, they eclipsed the squabbles among friends…it was the most important thing about them. I was lucky enough that throughout my childhood, and even now, into growing adulthood, that I have strong female friendships. That’s why I wanted to write Aru. But the reason why I chose the mythology that I did was because I never had the opportunity to see brown girls in film and fiction taking the center stage and being magical. So it was very much a wish fulfillment project for me.

RM: Do you see yourself in the characters of the novel?

RC: Absolutely. I don’t know if you follow me on Instagram, but I have a terrific story of when my mom sent me a photograph of myself from seventh grade where I was trying to look like Spinelli from Recess, and I thought I looked really edgy but actually looked really unfortunate. That somehow subconsciously became a direct description that I lifted and applied to one of the characters. So there are clearly some middle school demons that I’m continuing to work out!

RM: Aru Shah and the End of Time is the first book in a series, and I’m curious about how you go about writing a series. Do you plan everything out beforehand? Do you have an outline?

RC: I do have an outline. What I’ve taken to doing now is something called a zero draft, because I’m writing two series right now, which is a new experience for me, and one where you have to be really precious about your brain power.  So my zero draft is me thinking about what are the emotional beats that a story has to hit through every chapter. For Middle Grade, I think the chapters work better when they’re shorter, so you’re handling them in terms of scenes—one scene is one chapter. So I’m thinking what is the goal of that scene emotionally, and what is the goal of that scene in order to move the story forward. But I think nothing is more annoying—and it certainly annoys me in fairy tales—than when things continue to keep happening to characters versus characters having enough agency to do things on their own…for instance, when something springs out of that internal need to address a wrong that was done against them, or a race against time, or whatever it is. We have to care about it because of how it affects them immediately. So that’s how my process goes. I draft very quickly, but usually just a very full outline…sometimes it’s 50,000 words of just outline. And then I rest it, reread it, and come back and start filling in the details and building out the story.

RM: On that note, what about writing this book did you find the most difficult?

RC: I think the most difficult thing—and the thing that makes Middle Grade so magical as a genre—is the voice. Growing up and reading Rick Riordan’s books, that voice in Percy Jackson is so immediate. You know it’s Percy talking to you. When you’re reading the Harry Potter books, you know you’re in a Harry Potter world because of the space between the words, the mood and attitude that’s created in that. One thing I learned from writing Aru was that I could not make her do something that was out of character and tell myself I could come back to it and fix it later, which was something I could sometimes get away with in my YA novels, because those novels were such a process of many, many layers of revision. But for Aru, if the voice wasn’t right when I was done for the day, all of those words were going to be scrapped. I had to stick very, very true to her. That was very annoying, but she’s a demanding thirteen-year-old girl, so I don’t expect much different.

RM: Are you an audiobook listener? Do you have any book recommendations?

RC: I do love audiobooks. For me, I can really only appreciate an audiobook if I’ve already read the book in another format. I think that’s because if it’s me, and it’s my first time listening to it, I’m weird as a reader in that I like to have complete and total control over how things sound, and the cadence of it, so I have trouble letting go of control and appreciating what the artist is doing. I love listening to people narrate their own audiobooks—for instance, Neil Gaiman’s audiobooks. I really loved Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. Those really resonated with me.


Find Roshani Chokshi’s new novel, Aru Shah and the End of Time on Libro.fm.

National Women’s History Month

Happy Women’s History Month! March was designated as National Women’s History month in 1987 by US Congress. We recommend these fantastic listens about and by women who have made history! For more options, check out our Women’s History Month playlist.


We Should All Be Feminists

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness.


Hidden Figures

by Margot Lee Shetterly

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.


Wonder Women

by Sam Maggs

“In this delightful book, Maggs introduces readers to amazing women who changed history through their creativity, inventions, and remarkable paths of service in areas overwhelmed by men.”
—Bookseller recommendation from Sally Van Wert at Macdonald Bookshop


Broad Band

by Claire L. Evans

Female visionaries have always been at the vanguard of technology and innovation–they’ve just been erased from the story. Until now. Evans shows us how these women built and colored the technologies we can’t imagine life without.


Dear Madame President

by Jennifer Palmieri

This audiobook is an empowering letter from former Hillary Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri to the first woman president, and by extension, to all women working to succeed in any field.


Personal History

by Katharine Graham

As seen in the new movie The Post, here is the captivating, inside story of the woman who helmed the Washington Post during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of American media.


Find more great Women’s History Month listens on our Women’s History Month playlist!