Narrator Spotlight: Top 10 Bestselling Audiobooks

Behind every amazing audiobook on is a narrator that brings the author’s words to life. These narrators are responsible for transporting us to another world even as we work, run errands, work out, or commute. This week we recognize the narrators of the Top Ten Bestselling Audiobooks of 2017.

Which of these narrators’ works do you enjoy?

The 166-person cast
that narrated Lincoln in the Bardo

This huge cast includes celebrity voices such as Nick Offerman, Lena Dunham, David Sedaris, and many others. It is impossible to recognize every narrator in this post, but that’s a large part of what makes this audiobook unforgettable.

Nicholas Guy Smith
Narrator of A Gentleman in Moscow

Nicholas Guy Smith’s expressive voice transports the listener to the Metropol and takes them on the count’s journey, even as he remains in the same room for decades. “I always keep the listeners in mind during the narration. How can I keep them connected to the story?” – Nicholas Guy Smith

J.D. Vance
Author and Narrator of Hillbilly Elegy

A former marine and Yale Law School graduate, J.D. Vance gives a powerful account–through both his writing and narration–of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town, offering a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Author and Narrator of What Happened

In her most personal memoir yet, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Who better to narrate this story than the woman that lived it?

Neil Gaiman
Author and Narrator of Norse Mythology

Neil Gaiman breathes new life into Norse Myths with both prose and narration. And he encourages the listener to become the narrator! He says of these stories, “The fun comes in telling them yourself–something I warmly encourage you to do, you person reading this. Read the stories in this book, then make them your own.”

David Sedaris
Author and Narrator of Theft by Finding

David Sedaris is the ideal narrator for a bestselling audiobook made up of his own experiences and observations and told with his own misanthropic sense of humor and generosity of spirit.

Bahni Turpin
Narrator of The Hate U Give and The Underground Railroad

Bahni Turpin’s brings these two important and unforgettable stories to life with her commitment to accurately expressing the stories and their characters. She says, “I like to give each one a characterization and really try to read the way I feel the text should be heard.”

Sherman Alexie
Author and Narrator of You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

No one could have better narrated his deeply moving memoir than Sherman Alexie himself. This audiobook is a powerful exploration of family, love, loss, and forgiveness.

Hope Davis
Narrator of Commonwealth

Hope Davis’ rendering of Commonwealth is both fluid and engaging as she tells the story of how a chance romantic encounter sets in motion the dissolution of two marriages and the joining of two families.

NYT 10 Best Books of 2017

The New York Times Book Review has come out with their annual list of the 10 Best Books of the Year.

The editors at the New York Times work hard to curate this annual listing which is not ranked by sales or popular vote. In a recent Books Briefing email, Editor Pamela Paul said, “These are not necessarily the most relevant or important books of the year; many books feel very timely because of their political importance or social message. When we say ‘best,’ we mean overall quality. These are books we think should and will endure, books that transcend the current moment and will be read for years to come.”

The books are chosen from among the 100 Notable Books of 2017 from the New York Times Book Review. From there, the selection is narrowed down by “Collaboration and argument,” says Pamela Paul. “The staff editors of the Book Review keep a running list of contenders beginning around February, and we periodically circulate that list among ourselves. Titles come onto the list and, less often, get knocked off. By September, we have a long (sometimes very long) list. We begin to address Best Books in our weekly meetings, and early frontrunners emerge and make it on to a shortlist. Toward the end of the year, the Book Review’s staff editors, along with other writers and editors on the Books desk, vote on all the nominees. The process ends in November, when it comes down to raw numbers and, occasionally, brute editorial force (i.e., an autocratic decision) about what makes the final cut. We think these books are worth it.”

This year’s list includes 5 Fiction titles and 5 Non-Fiction, with a wide range of topics represented. “It so happens that the themes considered in this year’s 10 Best happen to touch on very urgent issues: migration, gender inequality, identity, civil rights, Brexit. They also happen to be fantastic books in every sense — beautifully told, well argued, highly readable.”

You can view and purchase the 10 Best Books of the Year as audiobooks on our New York Times Top 10 Best Books of 2017 playlist!

Top Ten Bestselling Audiobooks of 2017

The top 10 audiobook bestseller list for 2017 is based on sales through independent bookstore locations in 2017. That means that YOU—as a supporter of your local independent bookstore—contributed to the selections on this list. Thank you for shopping small and local!

This list represents a range of preferences for everything from deeply moving memoirs, to culturally relevant fiction, to fascinating historical fiction. Is there an audiobook (or two, or three) on this list that you want? Enter our Instagram giveaway! When you tag a friend, you both could win one audiobook of your choice from the top ten bestselling audiobooks of 2017!

Let’s take a look at the countdown of 2017’s bestselling audiobooks:

The #10 bestselling audiobook of 2017, Commonwealth is the enthralling story of how a chance romantic encounter sets in motion the dissolution of two marriages and the joining of two families. Read more…

The #9 bestselling audiobook of 2017 across independent bookstores, is a searing memoir by Sherman Alexie. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me explores the powerful themes of family, love, loss, and forgiveness. Read more…

The #8 bestselling audiobook of 2017, The Hate U Give, is the story of Starr Carter, whose world is upended when she witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Read more...

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, the #7 best-selling audiobook of 2017, is a powerful tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of slavery. Read more…

The #6 bestselling audiobook of 2017, Theft by Finding, is made up of Sedaris’ private writings and written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable. Read more…

In Norse Mythology, the #5 bestselling audiobook of 2017, Neil Gaiman brings to life the gods of ancient Nordic legend through his deft and witty prose. Read more…

In the #4 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017, What Happened, Clinton tells the story of the 2016 election and reveals what it was like to be the first woman nominated for president by a major party. Read more…

The #3 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017 is Hillbilly Elegy. Written by former marine and Yale Law School graduate J. D. Vance, this audiobook is the deeply moving story of how upward mobility actually feels. Read more…

The #2 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017, A Gentleman in Moscow is the story of a count who is sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold. Read more…

The #1 Bestselling audiobook across all our partner stores comes as no surprise. With a 166-person cast, Lincoln in the Bardo on audiobook brings this unforgettable story to life. Read more…