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 winner for 2018 is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.

The six finalists 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.


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


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


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

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!

Exit West: March Pick for “Now Read This”

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid is the March 2018 selection for the PBS NewsHour-New York Times “Now Read This” Book Club

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price…

Listen to this author talk at Libro.fm partner store Politics and Prose, in which Mohsin Hamid reads selections from his book, and buy the Exit West audiobook on Libro.fm to support your local, independent bookstore with your purchase!

You can submit questions about Exit West to the Now Read This Book Club Facebook Group. Are you reading the book with your friends? Use these discussion questions to get your conversations started.

Giveaway: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal and narrated by Meera Syal is a lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages. It is also the March Book Pick for Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine!

Enter the Giveaway


Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.

Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.

As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s “moral police.” But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.


“I spent the entire weekend reading Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows. It is a fantastically delightful novel. It is a little bit of everything from mystery to love story to titillating short stories. Definitely not erotica but also not for the faint of heart. This is one of those books that you get done with reading and you just want to clap to show it thanks.”
—Shane, Left Bank Books

Share the Love and Earn Free Audiobooks!

Support your local, independent bookstore through the power of community and audiobooks…Our Referral Program is now live!


What does this mean?

Introduce your friends to Libro.fm, and they can enjoy their first audiobook/month for only $0.99. You get a FREE audiobook after their first month of membership. You’ll get an email notification when you’ve earned the free audiobook.


How do I refer a friend to Libro.fm? 

By visiting the Referral Page. Once there, you’ll have three options:

  • By email: Simply copy and paste the email addresses and we’ll do the rest.
  • Through Social: Share your referral link with friends via Facebook or Twitter.
  • With a Link: Copy your unique referral link and share anywhere. 

Can I recommend a specific audiobook to the friend I am referring?

Of course! Go to any audiobook page and click on the “Share this Audiobook” button. You will have the option to share by email or with your unique referral link.


Is there any limit to how many people I refer and how many free audiobooks I can get?

No! You can refer as many people as you want and there is no limit to how many free audiobooks you can earn.

Libro.fm and your local bookstore appreciate your help spreading the word. After your friend redeems their first audiobook and completes their first month of membership, you will get your free audiobook!

New Playlists from Libro.fm

It’s a new year, and we have several new playlists for our listeners. Playlists are compiled by Libro.fm, created for specific awards, or curated by independent bookstores around the country. To see all our playlists, go to our Playlists page.  Remember, every purchase you make through Libro.fm can support your local, independent bookstore!


Explore some of our newest and most popular playlists to find your next great listen:

Indie Next

The Indie Next List is drawn from bookseller recommendations and epitomizes the heart and soul of passionate bookselling. Independent booksellers are and have always been discoverers of the next big thing, the next great read, the next bestseller, and the next undiscovered gem. This playlist is updated monthly.

A Song of Ice and Fire

We’ve all been sucked into the world of Westeros by the insanely popular Game of Thrones TV show, but with Roy Dotrice’s incredible narration, the audiobooks are just as captivating.

Black History Month Listens

February is Black History Month, so our friends at The Winged Pen curated this list of great fiction titles by black authors, for everyone from middle grade to adults.

Oscar Nominations: Books to Movies

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony is on March 4th, and these book-to-movie titles have received nominations!

Audies 2018 Finalists

Listen to audiobooks that have been nominated for Audie Awards for narration, production, genre, and more!

Millennium Playlist

Dive into these award-winning Swedish crime novels narrated by Simon Vance, featuring socially inept Lisbeth Salander and investigative journalist and publisher Mikael Blomkvist.

Odyssey Award Audiobooks

The annual Odyssey Award is given to the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults available in English in the United States. Odyssey Honor Audiobooks are also included on this playlist.

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe–Botswana’s premier lady detective–navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Despite the unpleasantness of all the Baudelaire orphans face in this series, Lemony Snicket has captivated kids around the world with their story!

PEN America Literary Awards Winners Announced

For over 50 years, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored outstanding voices in fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, and drama. The 2018 winners were announced  at the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony in NYC on February 20th.

PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel said, “This year’s awardees represent the near and far corners of the literary landscape, including writers who have shattered barriers of race, class, ethnicity, geography, gender and sexual orientation to bring stories to new audiences, unlock empathy and take places of distinction within our collective canon. In times of challenge great literature offers a desperately needed window onto other possibilities. We celebrate these extraordinary writers, and we thank them for keeping us nourished at a time when inspiration is sorely needed.”

Listen to these 2018 PEN America Award-winners on Libro.fm!


PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction

Sour Heart

by Jenny Zhang

From the judges’ citation: “Sour Heart enlarges the reader’s understanding of the world with a voice so run through with lively contradiction it is as tender as it is rough, as mature as it is youthful, both urgent and cool.”


PEN Open Book Award

A Moonless, Starless Sky

by Alexis Okeowo

From the judges’ citation: “In A Moonless, Starless Sky, journalist Alexis Okeowo humanizes the lives behind the headlines, transforming often one-dimensional news stories from the African continent into narratives of endurance and survival.”


PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

No Time to Spare

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she’s in the last great frontier of life, old age, and exploring new literary territory: the blog, a forum where her voice-sharp, witty, as compassionate as it is critical-shines. No Time to Spare collects the best of Ursula’s blog, presenting perfectly crystallized dispatches on what matters to her now, her concerns with this world, and her wonder at it.


PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography

Richard Nixon: The Life

by John A. Farrell

From the judges’ citation: “…Most stunning is the meticulous and eerie portrayal of Nixon’s toxic psychological progression, so that in the end Watergate or something like it was fated to happen.”


PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing

Ali: A Life

by Jonathan Eig

From the judges’ citation: “It is a beautifully-written, transcendent biography that renders vivid in every stage of how remarkable life: Ali the brash teenager, Ali the proud Muslim, Ali the conscientious objector—and then: Ali the warrior, the man of peace, and finally the icon.”


See the full list of PEN America Award Winners.

Killers of the Flower Moon: February Pick for “Now Read This”

The February 2018 selection for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times “Now Read This” Book Club is Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off…

Listen to our audio sample and buy the Killers of the Flower Moon audiobook on Libro.fm and support your local, independent bookstore with your purchase!

You can submit questions about the book to the Now Read This Book Club Facebook Group or via the book club Google Form. Are you reading the book with your friends? Use these discussion questions to get your conversations started.

8 Top Audiobook Listening Activities

A couple weeks ago, we asked you, as valued Libro.fm listeners, what you do while you listen to audiobooks. Some of the answers were fairly common (listed at the bottom of this post), but others surprised us! Need some new, interesting ideas for when you can listen to audiobooks? Look no further!


Knitting

We heard from a few different people whose activity of choice while listening to audiobooks is knitting. As one listener said, “We attach the hum of our surroundings to the work in our hands.” One of our partner stores, The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia, even hosts a knitting and audiobook club called “Stitches and Stories” in partnership with their local yarn shop. We recommend The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.


Skiing

Hitting the slopes and listening to an enthralling audiobook go hand-in-hand for some of our snow bunny listeners! Listen to Strong is the New Beautiful for lessons in strength, fitness, food, and attitude from the popular world champion skier and beauty icon—Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn.


Grooming Dogs

A tedious, time-consuming task like grooming dogs isn’t quite as daunting when it also means hours of listening to one of your favorite audiobooks! We recommend The Art of Racing in the Rain.


Making Art

We heard from several customers that enjoy listening to their audiobooks while they’re working on their art. Whether your art is pottery, painting, or metal-working, hands-free listening allows you to create something beautiful while you listen. We recommend The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and Brené Brown.


Gardening

Some of our listeners enjoy working in the garden as they listen to audiobooks. Getting outside, smelling the flowers, and listening to a good story like Euphoria is the perfect way to unwind.


Some more common activities that go along with listening:


Household Chores

Whether you’re washing that stack of after-dinner dishes, cleaning out your clutter closet, or vacuuming the whole house, listening to an audiobook will certainly make the mundane much more enjoyable! If you really want some inspiration while you clean, listen to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Exercising

Most of us wouldn’t call a work-out the best part of our day, but it certainly is better when you’re listening to a riveting audiobook rather than your own heavy breathing. For some work-out empowerment, listen to Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.


Driving

Audiobooks are key to a more pleasant commute, and for long road trips with kids, they can be lifesavers! (Try listening to the Harry Potter series with your kids during the next family road trip).

New Release: The Hummingbirds by Ross McMeekin

The Hummingbirds is a transfixing and hugely propulsive novel, a dark and rich tale twisted through with secrecy and danger, ambition, loneliness and love. The book also beautifully captures the insanity of Los Angeles, the film industry, and the people who occupy—however fleetingly—that precarious and mesmerizing world.” – Peter Mountford, author of A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism and The Dismal Science

In his debut novel, Ross McMeekin captures people yearning for deep connections in a shallow world defined by the twin obsessions of power and beauty. It is a story of love and redemption, of murder and betrayal, and of the darkness that lurks in the heart of Hollywood.

Ezra works as a live-in groundskeeper on a celebrity couple’s enormous rental property in Los Angeles. When the magnetic Sybil sets her sights on Ezra and gradually lures him in, he is as conflicted as he is tempted. Then Grant, her husband, approaches Ezra with a different proposal—to monitor Sybil to see if she is having an affair—and he is faced with the formidable challenge in refusing one or the other.

Over one life-altering week, Sybil casts Ezra as the center of her universe. Together, they fantasize about the new life for both of them, but when Sybil’s husband Grant discovers their passionate affair, the three are set on a collision course that can only end in violence.

Listen to a free 17-minute excerpt of The Hummingbirds then enter the audiobook giveaway! Libro.fm will be giving away 5 digital audiobook copies of The Hummingbirds. Winners will be randomly selected and notified on Saturday, 2/10. Enter to win by Friday 2/9 at Midnight!