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.
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 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
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
The #8 bestselling audiobook of 2017 is The Hate U Give: the riveting story of Starr Carter, whose world is upended when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Everyone wants to know what really went down that night, and what Starr does or doesn’t say will impact her community and could endanger her life. Narrator Bahni Turpin brings this powerful narrative to life.
“Angie Thomas’ novel gives readers a complex narrative of life in a black community that is dealing with the intersectional traumas of mass incarceration, the war on drugs, police violence, and death. We follow 16-year-old Starr through her community of Garden Heights and as she tries to navigate black existence in the predominantly white, affluent high school where she spends most of her time. It is a powerfully written tale of coming to terms with the things outside of our control and all that which we can change.”
—Sarah Zarantonello, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY
The #9 bestselling audiobook of 2017 across independent bookstores, is a searing, deeply moving memoir by critically acclaimed author Sherman Alexie. Narrated by the author, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me explores the powerful themes of family, love, loss, and forgiveness through Alexie’s complicated relationship with his mother Lillian Alexie.
It should come as no surprise that one of the most anticipated books of the year, written by one of the most well-known PNW writers is a staff pick. I was intrigued from the moment I saw the cover, which showcases a beautiful picture of Alexie’s mother, Lillian, and older sister, Mary, that itself relates to the legacy of beautiful resilience and casual brutality explored throughout the text, but I did not expect it to touch me so deeply. I listened to the audio version read by Sherman Alexie himself, and his emotion, whether he is using his “urban Indian” voice or the rez accent of family and friends, is evident and packs a punch. As an adult orphan, mother, sister, teacher, activist, and minority who is often “the only one” and who has anger on behalf of and fear for my people and our country, this book broke my heart in places and healed it in others. Everyone should read this book. Everyone.
—Lydia, King’s Books, Tacoma, WA
Bonus: listen to a complimentary 30-minute excerpt of You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
The top 10 audiobook bestseller list for 2017 is based on sales through independent bookstore locations in 2017.
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. Narrated by Hope Davis and told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, it is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories.
“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
This past week, the New York Times Book Review released its 100 Notable Books of 2017, including poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. The list represents books reviewed after December 4, 2016, when last year’s list was published. You can find these titles on Libro.fm’s 100 Notable Books of 2017 playlist… Happy Listening!
This list includes many fantastic titles, but you may find yourself disappointed about some of your favorite books that did not make the list. If you’re wondering about how titles on the list are selected, read on for information from the New York Times Book Review editor.
So what exactly determines whether a book makes the list?
The 100 Notables are books that stand out from the thousands we review or otherwise cover throughout the year, selected by staff editors at the Book Review, several of whom have been working here for more than three decades – some very experienced and picky judges.
How is the list narrowed down and ultimately selected?
The Book Review gathers all Editors’ Choice columns from the entire publishing year into a huge document, and then all the editors get involved in the torturous rounds of elimination.
Has the process changed over the years?
Yes. It used to be that every single Editors’ Choice book became a Notable of the year, and the list went on forever; and though it made many authors happy, it was a bit overwhelming for readers. In 2004, then-editor Sam Tanenhaus made the wise decision to narrow the list to 100, dividing it evenly between fiction (including poetry) and nonfiction.
*Q&A adapted from Book Briefing: The story behind our 100 Notable Books of 2017
Beginning to plot out your holiday shopping list? Thinking about the perfect gift to buy that audiobook lover in your family, but also hoping to support your favorite independent bookseller? We here at Libro.fm are excited to announce that we now offer digital audiobook gifting! This new feature means you can gift specific audiobook titles to your loved ones via email or printable certificate, all while still supporting local bookstores.
What’s more, Libro.fm members get an additional 30% off all audiobook gifts! Choose from the over 75K+ titles in our digital library, or if you need help finding the perfect one, visit our online gift guide or recommendation page, compiled by expert independent booksellers across the country. Or better yet, visit our Indies First page and get 50% off their stellar list of titles on November 25th.
If you already have a few books in mind for yourself, great! You can use our Wish List feature, which lets you easily share your list with friends and family.
Give the gift of audiobooks this holiday season, and choose indie! Visit us at libro.fm and tell us about it on social media using #librofm #audiobookgifting #chooseindie