Book of the Month: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Our December Book of the Month is Colson Whitehead’s bestselling novel, The Underground Railroad, winner of the 2016 National Book Award. Deemed by the New York Times, “a story essential to our understanding of the American past and the American present,” The Underground Railroad chronicles a young slave’s desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.

“Audiobook fans will certainly not be disappointed by versatile actor Turpin’s performance of Whitehead’s powerful historical novel, which tells the story of Cora, a teenage slave girl who lives on a cotton plantation in 1850s Georgia.”
– Publisher’s Weekly


 


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Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss The Underground Railroad. Use the hashtag #theundergroundrailroad and find us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.


oprah

Read Oprah’s interview with Colson Whitehead

 


npr

Listen to Colson Whitehead on NPR’s Fresh Air

Top 10 Audiobooks of 2016

2016 marks the first year independent bookstores had the opportunity to sell digital audiobooks. Libro.fm is delighted to announce the Top 10 Audiobooks of 2016 sold through more than 200 indie bookstore locations. Get 20% off all the Top 10 Audiobooks of 2016 when you enter “TOP2016” at checkout.


H-is-for-Hawk

#1

H Is for Hawk

H Is for Hawk is a genre-defying debut from one of our most unique and transcendent voices.

Listen to a Sample


between-the-world-and-me

#2

Between the World and Me

Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis in this bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history.

Listen to a Sample


My-Brilliant-Friend

#3

My Brilliant Friend

A rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends by one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors.

Listen to a Sample


the-girl-on-the-train

#4

The Girl on the Train

Hawkins’ bestselling debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives is now a major motion picture.

Listen to a Sample


When-Breath-Becomes-Air

#5

When Breath Becomes Air

A profoundly moving and exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Listen to a Sample


All-the-light-we-cannot-see

#6

All the Light We Cannot See

Doerr’s beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France during World War II.

Listen to a Sample


americanah

#7

Americanah

A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.

Listen to a Sample


The-Boys-in-the-Boat

#8

The Boys in the Boat

Brown tells the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Listen to a Sample


The-Nest

#9

The Nest

Sweeney’s warm, funny, and perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance was the #1 Indie Next List Great Read for April 2016.

Listen to a Sample


the-soul-of-an-octopus

#10

The Soul of An Octopus

Montgomery explores the world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. A National Book Award finalist.

Listen to a Sample


Learn more about Libro.fm and choose to buy from more than 200 indie bookstores.

American Booksellers Association + Libro.fm

Libro.fm is now a partner of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and will be lending support to the ABA’s Indies First campaign.

What is the ABA?

The ABA is the national not-for-profit trade organization that works to help independently owned bookstores grow and succeed. Serving over 2,000 bookstores nationwide, their support ranges from education and information dissemination to business products, services, and advocacy.

What does this new partnership mean?

With a partnership now in place, digital audiobooks will now appear on the IndieCommerce product page of Libro.fm partners. (IndieCommerce is the ecommerce platform developed by ABA just for independent bookstores.) This makes it easy for customers to purchase any format of a particular book while also supporting their local bookstore. The partnership also will allow us to reach more indie bookstores and help them benefit from a Libro.fm online storefront. More than 160 independent bookstore locations now offer digital audiobooks (choose your store).

The Indies First campaign.

indies_firstIn the coming weeks, Libro.fm will be lending support to Indies First, ABA’s national campaign featuring activities and events supporting independent bookstores. Spokesperson Lena Dunham is helping drive excitement for the campaign, which will take place on Small Business Saturday, November 26, 2016. As part of Indies First, bookstores will host authors as honorary booksellers to help hand-sell their favorite titles, sign books, give readings, and more—Lena Dunham, for example, will spend the day at Book Soup in Los Angeles.

Stay tuned for Libro.fm’s special promotion in support of Indies First!

Book of the Month: The Woman in Cabin 10

Our November Book of the Month is New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10. Leaving behind the ill-fated bachelorette weekend of her acclaimed debut In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ware’s newest offering is set on storm-ridden luxury cruise in the North Sea, where her heroine witnesses a passenger being thrown overboard, and must prove that the crime did, in fact, happen. Called an “atmospheric thriller” by The Washington Post, this bone-chilling mystery explores one woman’s struggle with the horror she alone has seen, and what now she must do in response.


“When journalist Lo Blacklock sees someone throw a woman’s body over the side of a small cruise ship, it should be clear that a crime has been committed. The problem? No one is missing. This is far from the travel magazine assignment that brought Lo on board, but she can’t just give up. Something happened and she must find the answer. But can she do so without losing her own life? This is a fun read full of psychological thrills and twists that readers absolutely will not see coming.”
Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA


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Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss The Woman in Cabin 10. Use the hashtag #thewomanincabin10 and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


ruth-ware

Hear Ruth Ware interviewed on NPR

Listen to the interview on npr.org


Bonus: Ruth Ware’s favorite psychological thrillers.

the-secret-history

The Secret History
By Donna Tartt

Although we know from the first pages what crime has been committed, right down to the narrator’s own involvement, Tartt’s skill is to draw us inexorably into a world as tinged with nostalgic pain as Brideshead Revisited, and keep us there, desperate to understand the how, the why, and the consequences of what happens.

gone-girl

Gone Girl
By Gillian Flynn

Toxic marriage, exuberantly nasty characters, twisty plot—what’s not to like?

endless-night

Endless Night
By Agatha Christie

Christie is often (undeservedly, in my view) dismissed as a purveyor of cosy stories about twee detectives, but Endless Night is one of her genuinely creepy and disturbing standalone novels.

we-were-liars

We Were Liars
By E. Lockhart

While it was published as young adult, readers of any age will be gripped by this slow, hypnotic tale of a monied, uptight New England family, and the weight of a secret that unfolds with shocking violence.

rebecca

Rebecca
By Daphne du Maurier

I’m not 100% sure Rebecca qualifies as a thriller, given it’s three parts screwed-up love story and two parts ghost-story-without-a-ghost, but the mystery at the heart of the novel is what happened to Maxim’s first wife, the eponymous Rebecca, and it’s unravelled with the pacing and finesse of the finest psychological thrillers out there.

the-woman-in-white

The Woman in White
By Wilkie Collins

I’m not sure if there’s an agreed-upon “first” psychological thriller, but Collins surely has a claim with The Woman in White, a twisty, gothic tale of mistaken identity and deception that was so popular in Victorian England it inspired perfume and clothing lines in tribute.

Book of the Month: Commonwealth

Our October Book of the Month is bestselling author Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, an enthralling depiction of the lives of two families brought together after a chance romantic encounter. Deemed, “exquisite” by the New York Times, Patchett’s novel spans a half-century exploring the complex ties that bind families together.

Patchett leaves behind the exotic locales and intricate plots of State of Wonder and Bel Canto for an even darker and more difficult place to navigate – the interior of a blended family over the course of several decades. While more domestic than many of her previous novels, Commonwealth offers plenty of intrigue and surprises as Patchett explores the interaction of a group of children forced into each other’s lives because of their parents’ impulsive choices. With keen insight, tears of both sorrow and joy, and some real – if dark – humor, Patchett pulls readers into this complex family’s world, and we are eager for every detail.
John Christensen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI


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Listen to a preview of Commonwealth:


On PBS, Ann Patchett discusses both her novel and how independent bookstores – like the one she owns, Parnassus Books – build community.


Ann Patchett talks about the significance of the cover artwork of Commonwealth.

Book of the Month: A Great Reckoning

Our September Book of the Month is Louise Penny’s highly-anticipated murder mystery, A Great Reckoning. For this, the twelfth novel in her acclaimed Chief Inspector Gamache series, Penny returns to the Québécois village of Three Pines, where the discovery of a peculiar old map the walls of a quaint bistro leads Gamache on a thrilling pursuit filled with danger, intrigue, humanity, and hope.


“There is something rotten at the Sûreté academy, and the now-retired Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has been brought in to clean it up. In the meantime, a strange map has been found in Three Pines. Old friends, new characters, murder, and history combine in another irresistible tale from Penny, whose writing is always compassionate, funny, and literate. This latest in the series is not to be missed.”
—Kathy Magruder, Pageturners Bookstore, Indianola, IA


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Listen to a preview of A Great Reckoning


Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss A Great Reckoning. Use the hashtag #agreatreckoning and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Watch Louise Penny discuss A Great Reckoning on PBS


Find culinary recipes inspired by the Chief Inspector Gamache series.

Book of the Month: The Boys in the Boat

Our August Book of the Month is Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat, the #1 New York Times Bestselling story about nine working-class college kids who triumphed over Nazi Germany in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. If you have yet to try Libro.fm or digital audiobooks, consider downloading a free 43-minute excerpt of The Boys in the Boat today!

TBITB-Preview

“The individual stories of these young men are almost as compelling as the rise of the team itself. Brown excels at weaving those stories with the larger narrative, all culminating in the 1936 Olympic Games…A story this breathtaking demands an equally compelling author, and Brown does not disappoint. The narrative rises inexorably, with the final 50 pages blurring by with white-knuckled suspense as these all-American underdogs pull off the unimaginable.”
—The Seattle Times

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Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss The Boys in The Boat. Use the hashtag #boysintheboat and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


PBS recently released a documentary about the 1936 Olympic Crew team, The Boys of ’36. See the trailer below or watch Chapter #1 on pbs.org.


You can watch Daniel James Brown speak about the The Boys in the Boat at Washington D.C.’s independent bookstore, Politics and Prose.

Top Six Reasons to Buy Audiobooks through Libro.fm

We recognize that book lovers have a choice where they purchase audiobooks. We’ve compiled six reasons why Libro.fm should be at the top of any list.

1 - Indie Stores

#1 / Audiobooks purchased through Libro.fm directly support your local, independent bookstore.
You can now listen to audiobooks while still shopping local. We believe independent bookstores like Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Company and Boston’s Papercuts J.P. are the heart and soul of our communities, which is why we’re so thrilled to partner with them and more than a hundred other indie stores, including Blue Willow Bookshop, Book Passage, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Village Books, Northshire Bookstore, Tattered Cover Book Store, and WORD Bookstores.

2 - Expert Recommendations

#2 / Expert Recommendations from indie booksellers.
Whether it’s featuring the best of the Indie Next List, staff picks from Books & Books at the studios, or favorite new fiction at Bookshop Santa Cruz, we’ll keep you in the know.

3 - Easy to Listen

#3 / Easy to listen using our free app (iOS or Android)
You’re just a few clicks away from finding your next book club selection among the tens of thousands of audiobooks available on Libro.fm, including The New York Times bestsellers. Download our free app for any iOS or Android device.

4 - Best Audio Quality

#4 / The best audio quality you’ll find anywhere.
Crystal clear. No distractions. Just you and a book by one of the great novelists of our time, read to you in full stereo.

5 - DRM-free

#5 / DRM-free. Listen to your audiobook on any MP3 enabled device.
Say you download the H Is for Hawk audiobook to your computer… shouldn’t you also be able to listen to it on your smartphone? We think so, too.

6 - Independent

#6 / Independently owned and operated by a team of book lovers who believe we should all #chooseindie.


Some places put profits before customers, authors, or their love for books. This means that someone along the line is getting the short end of the stick. We don’t do that. We are independent and community-driven, just like the bookstores we love.


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Books of the Month: Before the Fall and Course Correction

For July’s Book of the Month, we’re featuring two compelling titles. The first, Noah Hawley’s gripping novel, Before the Fall (narrated by Robert Petkoff), explores the intertwined mysteries behind a fateful oceanic plane crash. The second, Ginny Gilder’s inspiring memoir, Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX — narrated by Janis Ian and free through Libro.fm for the entire month—follows the author’s struggle to reach the top of the rowing world while also finding peace with her sexuality.


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“This award-winning writer’s newest novel opens with a real nail-biter: a private jet crashes into the Atlantic off the New England coast and the harrowing survival of two of its passengers raises more questions than answers. At first a hero for rescuing four-year-old JJ, artist Scott Burroughs soon becomes the object of suspicion. Through the stories of each of the passengers, this thrilling mystery unfurls to its spellbinding end.”
RobinForever Books, St. Joseph, MI

Before the Fall - 4
Get twenty percent off Before the Fall (and all Libro.fm audiobooks) thru July by entering this code at checkout: SUMMER2016


“Beautiful and important on so many levels, Course Correction is about rowing and about so much more—hope and hopelessness, fear and courage, loss and redemption. Ultimately it is about the transforming power of love, and, dammit all, it made me cry.”
Daniel James Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat

Course Correction - 8

Get your complimentary download of Course Correction (until July 31, 2016 at Midnight PST)


Listen to a preview of Course Correction


Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss Before the Fall and Course Correction. Use the hashtags #beforethefall and #coursecorrection, and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

What’s Popular in Indie Bookstores This Month

Seven bestselling audiobooks that deserve your attention.


Everybodys-Fool

Everybody’s Fool

By Richard Russo

Russo, at the very top of his game, returns to North Bath, New York, and the characters from his beloved novel Nobody’s Fool.

“While any new book from Richard Russo is a cause for celebration, to have one that revisits the characters from a beloved classic feels like a gift from the literary gods… No one writes better about the quirks, petty jealousies, hard times, humor, and heartbreak of small-town America.”

– Shawn D. / Powell’s, Portland, OR


The-Gene

The Gene

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

“In the last century, nuclear science changed the world; today, genetics has us again on the brink of a new age, but now it’s not just the world we’re remaking—it’s ourselves. Mukherjee skillfully retraces our steps, relating what we suspected about genetics before we found genes, how we learned to read their code, and, now, how we may rewrite it.”

– Laurie G. / Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C.


LaRose

LaRose

By Louise Erdrich

The masterful new novel by the National Book Award-winning author of The Roundhouse.

“In LaRose Erdrich does what she does best, creating a multi-generational portrait of a family with careful attention paid to nearly every person mentioned; there are no side characters here, only finely sketched individuals who are part of a whole. Reading this book feels a lot like becoming part of that family.”

– Devon D. / Book Culture, New York, NY


The-Nest

The Nest

By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Sweeney’s warm, funny, and perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

“Welcome to the strikingly dysfunctional Plumb family: four siblings connected by little more than The Nest, a joint trust fund that each has earmarked to support their unrealistic lifestyles…Sweeney artfully touches on each family member as they scramble to save the precarious lives they have built for themselves, bringing light and humor to her characters’ various plights.”

– Jennifer Oleinik (E) / University BookStore, Seattle, WA


Lab-Girl

Lab Girl

By Hope Jahren

This illuminating debut memoir by acclaimed scientist Jahren is also a moving portrait of a longtime friendship, and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world.

“With good humor, plenty of science, scattered literary allusions and the occasional sarcastic zinger, Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl is a sublime memoir of a plant research scientist and her struggles to find professional success, love and family.”

– Bruce Jacobs / Watermark Books and Café, Wichita, KS


Shoe-Dog

Shoe Dog

By Phil Knight

Nike founder Knight shares the inside story of one of the world’s most iconic and profitable brands.

“I’ve known Phil Knight since I was a kid, but I didn’t really know him until I opened this beautiful, startling, intimate book. And the same goes for Nike. I’ve worn the gear, with pride, but I didn’t realize the remarkable saga of innovation and survival and triumph that stood behind every swoosh. Candid, funny, suspenseful, literary—this is a memoir for people who love sport, but above all it’s a memoir for people who love memoirs.”

– Andre Agassi / Author of Open


Zero-K

Zero K

By Don DeLillo

DeLillo’s brilliant new novel is an ode to language, a meditation on death, and an embrace of life.

“The author of the masterpieces White Noise and Underworld returns to form with a haunting novel about what it means to die in the age of ultrasophisticated biology and cryogenics. Like a wonderfully intelligent and benevolent alien being, DeLillo brings an outsider’s perspective to modern life, helping us understand and define who we are.”

– Rico / BookShop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA