February 2018 Audiobook Bestsellers

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


1. The Power

by Naomi Alderman (Hachette Audio)


2. The Woman in the Window

by A. J. Finn (HarperCollins)


3. Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders (Penguin Random House Audio)


4. Pachinko

by Min Jin Lee (Hachette Audio)


5. A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)


6. Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng (Penguin Random House Audio)


7. The Immortalists

by Chloe Benjamin (Penguin Random House Audio)


8. Manhattan Beach

by Jennifer Egan (Simon & Schuster Audio)


9. The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins)


10. The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead (Penguin Random House Audio)


Nonfiction

1. Fire and Fury

by Michael Wolff (Macmillan Audio)


2. We Were Eight Years in Power

by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Penguin Random House Audio)


3. Leonardo da Vinci

by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster Audio)


4. Braving the Wilderness

by Brené Brown (Penguin Random House Audio)


5. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Blackstone Audio)


6. Lab Girl

Hope Jahren (Penguin Random House Audio)


7. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

by Daniel H. Pink (Penguin Random House Audio)


8. What Happened

by Hillary Clinton (Simon & Schuster Audio)


9. Tattoos on the Heart

by Gregory Boyle (Recorded Books)


10. Grant

by Ron Chernow (Penguin Random House Audio)


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

Finn Murphy Interview

Finn Murphy—known by his trucker handle U-Turn—has enjoyed a fascinating view of the American experience from the driver’s seat of his 53-foot eighteen wheeler, Cassidy. More than thirty years ago, he dropped out of college to become a long-haul trucker, and since then has covered more than a million miles of asphalt.

His memoir, The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road, details the ups and downs of his travels back and forth across the country, moving people’s belongings in and out of every nook and cranny of the States. In describing the stories filling the book, the New York Times notes, “how astonishing they are, and how moving, and how funny, and how just plain weird.” Filled with compelling characters from every cross-section of American life, The Long Haul is a riveting portrayal of a life spent traveling the wide expanses of our open roads and the tight, heavily-trafficked streets of our cities.

Libro.fm: What was the genesis of writing The Long Haul?

Finn Murphy: Well the genesis—particularly in the framework of this conversation—is my book started out on audio. I had one of those old cassette micro recorders, and at the end of my work day, I would talk into it just to unwind. Then I started talking into it while I was driving, describing things I was seeing. Then I started carrying it with me on my moving jobs and recording conversations with the people I was moving, and my moving crews—and that’s when it started getting really good, these illegal, surreptitious recordings. Over the decades I accumulated scores and scores of audiotapes. I had them transcribed and ended up with over 800 pages of stuff. That formed the genesis of the book.

Finn at a recent event, with his rig in the background.

L: What first captured you about long haul trucking as a job?

F: That there wasn’t anybody tapping me on the shoulder telling me what to do. I came from a very regimented and structured Irish Catholic family. And when I wasn’t with my family, I went to a very regimented and structured parochial school. And then my first job was with a local moving company owned by a Mr. Callahan who was also part of the church, so I lived in this phalanx of control. Then I took a road trip with a driver to Virginia Beach from Connecticut when I was eighteen, and it was probably the first time in my life that there wasn’t somebody telling me what to do. The driver told me about the life of a long haul trucker and I was like, “Oh, wow…yeah, let’s cut all the strings here and get free.”

L: So how do you fill those long hours driving the truck?

F: I use radio, I use NPR, I use local radio for traffic—I don’t trust the GPS systems—and then I use audiobooks. Audiobooks have been my savior.

L: Do you have any audiobook recommendations?

F: Here’s a general recommendation: try listening to a book that you found inaccessible in print for some reason—like Ulysses by James Joyce or The Harry Potter books. I couldn’t access either one of those by reading them. But the audio versions of those are just amazing. So if there’s a book in your personal pantheon of cultural stuff you need to check off but weren’t able to do so by reading, try the audio, because a lot of times you can break through that way. I have to say that though I did like the Harry Potter books, I still have found Ulysses inaccessible.

L: As have many!

F: Infinite Jest I have on Libro.fm, too, and I haven’t quite completed that one.

L: That’s another one of those that often lays uncompleted on the shelf.

F: Yes, always mentioned but never read.

Finn at the wheel of Cassidy.

L: You’ve just completed a 10,000 mile book tour through 60 cities. What surprised you most about the reception to your book?

F: The biggest surprise was how much people liked it. I was girding myself for an onslaught of other opinions, largely from my trucker brothers. My book is funny and breezy but it also has some serious parts. I take a few shots here and there, and I thought that those shots would come back to me. But no, everybody love it, I was just amazed. I was in the New York Times Book Review twice, the New Yorker…I mean, I’m just this trucker guy. I’m just thrilled. It’s like a Cinderella story.

January 2018 Audiobook Bestsellers

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


Fiction

1. Manhattan Beach

by Jennifer Egan (Simon & Schuster Audio)


2. Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders (Penguin Random House Audio)


3. A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)


4. Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng (Penguin Random House Audio)


5. Sing, Unburied, Sing

by Jesmyn Ward (Simon & Schuster Audio)


6. Uncommon Type

by Tom Hanks (Penguin Random House Audio)


7. In the Midst of Winter

by Isabel Allende (Simon & Schuster Audio)


8. Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)


9. The Power

by Naomi Alderman (Hachette Audio)


10. The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins)


Nonfiction

1. Sapiens

by Yuval Noah Harari (HarperCollins)


2. Grant

by Ron Chernow (Penguin Random House Audio)


3. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

by Sherman Alexie (Hachette Audio)


4. Killers of the Flower Moon

by David Grann (Penguin Random House Audio)


5. Leonardo da Vinci

by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster Audio)


6. Collusion

by Luke Harding (Penguin Random House Audio)


7. We Were Eight Years in Power

by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Penguin Random House Audio)


8. Just Mercy

by Bryan Stevenson (Penguin Random House Audio)


9. What Happened

by Hillary Clinton (Simon & Schuster Audio)


10. You Are a Badass at Making Money

by Jen Sincero (Penguin Random House Audio)


The January 2018 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations during the month of December 2017.

The #1 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The #1 Bestselling audiobook across all our partner stores comes as no surprise. With a 166-person cast, including celebrity voices such as Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, and many others, Lincoln in the Bardo via audiobook brings this unforgettable story to life.


“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, Seattle, WA




The top 10 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations in 2017.

The #2 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

The #2 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017, A Gentleman in Moscow is the story of Count Alexander Rostov, who in 1922 is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal and sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. This transporting novel relates the counts endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.


“Through Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov’s ordinary encounters and activities within the bounds of the four walls of post-revolutionary Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, where he is under house arrest, Towles deftly guides readers across a century of Russian history, from the Bolshevik uprising to the dawn of the nuclear age under Krushchev. Grandiloquent language and drama reminiscent of Tolstoy gradually give way to action and tradecraft suggestive of le Carré in this lovely and entertaining tale of one man’s determination to maintain his dignity and passion for life, even after being stripped of his title, belongings, and freedom. Reading A Gentleman in Moscow is pure pleasure!”

—Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT



The top 10 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations in 2017.

The #3 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017: Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

The #3 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017 is Hillbilly Elegy: the deeply moving story of how upward mobility actually feels. Written by former marine and Yale Law School graduate J. D. Vance, this audiobook is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.


Hillbilly Elegy is a sad and beautiful kind of reckoning. Author J.D. Vance comes to terms with his own upbringing, highlighting both working-class and poverty-stricken whites in Appalachia, the Rust Belt, and much of the nation. Vance uses his own family as a microcosm to highlight the culture, politics, and economic status of a specific group living on the margins. He covers topics ranging from education and familial bonds to addiction and health, but where Vance really shines is in telling the story of his family—a harrowing tale, to be sure, but one that is told with grace, honesty, and insight. While I don’t necessarily agree with his politics, I found the book deeply moving and important in understanding America today.”

—Hilary Gustafson, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI



The top 10 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations in 2017.

The #4 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017: What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

The #4 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017, What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the story of the historic 2016 election campaign and its aftermath. In Clinton’s most personal memoir yet, she reveals what it was like to be the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules.



The top 10 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations in 2017.

The #5 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

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, Norse gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and the tendency to let passion ignite their actions.


“Master storyteller Neil Gaiman brings to life the Norse gods as only he can, from their origins to their twilight. Find out why the handle on Thor’s hammer was forged too short, and how poetry is said to have come into the world. Comic book fans and fantasy readers alike are sure to treasure these classic myths.”

—Aubrey W., Powell’s City of Books, Portland, OR



The #6 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017: Theft by Finding by David Sedaris

The #6 bestselling audiobook of 2017 is made up of the experiences and observations of David Sedaris and written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable. Theft by Finding is made up of Sedaris’ private writings, and even his misanthropic sense of humor can’t fully disguise the generosity of spirit that characterizes it.


“For years, regular attendees of David Sedaris’s live appearances have looked forward to readings from his pocket notebooks and diaries. The best of these hilarious, bizarre, and often profane jokes, stories, everyday observations, and family memories (collected over forty years) appear in Theft by Finding, which includes observations from 1977, when he was an art student and hapless construction worker, through 2002. It’s well known that before his New Yorker and NPR stories established him as a writer and performer, he worked as an elf and housecleaner, but these are the stories you haven’t heard.”

—Karen, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA



The #7 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is the #7 best-selling audiobook of 2017. A powerful tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of slavery, The Underground Railroad is a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.


“Whitehead’s new novel is much more than the story of a runaway slave, Cora, who fights her way to the North; it is also a phantasmagorical look at race in America. In this instance the railroad is literal — a train roaring through tunnels constructed like a subway, leading Cora to several unlikely destinations. Like the travels of Gulliver, each of Cora’s stops on the railroad is a different version of America, displaying the varied ways in which Americans view race and manifest destiny. With exquisite prose, Colson digs deep into the troubled heart of America, exposing prejudice, tolerance, hatred, violence, and love as readers stop at each distinct station. Cora is a hero for the ages, and Whitehead is a writer who can guide us, like a station master, into the light. This is a fantastic novel.”

—William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA