Book of the Month: Born to Run

Our February Book of the Month is Bruce Springsteen’s #1 New York Times bestseller, Born to Run. In his insightful memoir Springsteen demonstrates the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his song. In addition to his narration, Springsteen recorded musical transitions for the audiobook at Stone Hill Studio in New Jersey. Excerpts from the original studio recordings of Living Proof, Long Time Comin’ and Born to Run are also featured in the audiobook.

“Bruuuuuce! The long-awaited memoir from the Boss has finally arrived, with a whirlwind tour of a life in rock and roll. In Born to Run Bruce Springsteen takes us from his humble beginnings in working-class Freehold, New Jersey, all the way to the pinnacle of his superstar performance at the Super Bowl—and everything in between. Springsteen is not one to shy away from any subject, including his difficult, distant, and sometimes emotionally abusive relationship with his father; failed bands and a failed first marriage, and the deaths of fellow band members and close friends. But mostly, this memoir is about the music: the feeling in his hands of the first guitar he ever bought, those early live shows at run-down, seedy bars on the beaches of Asbury Park, the cutting of each album along the way and what the writing and recording process was like, and the meaning behind many of the characters and lyrics we have grown to love. The prose reads as if you are listening to a Bruce song, sitting in the front row at one of his legendary concerts. It’s a ride you’ll hope never ends.”
— Keith, Politics and Prose

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Watch Bruce Springsteen discuss writing Born to Run


Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss Born to Run. Use the hashtag #borntorun and find us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Book of the Month: Hillbilly Elegy

Our January Book of the Month is J.D. Vance’s #1 New York Times Bestseller, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. Vance, a former marine and Yale Law graduate, chronicles the struggles of the white working class from the lens of his family’s rust belt and Appalachian roots, in what David Brooks calls, “…essential reading for this moment in history.”

The publication of J.D. Vance’s memoir could not have been more timely. In his account of growing up in a so-called hillbilly family, Vance offers a deeply personal, loving but clear-eyed view of his people, poor whites of Scots-Irish descent, endangered not only by economic forces beyond their control, but by their own fierce insularity and resistance to outside influences…Vance also gives us indelible portraits of family members: a mother struggling with addiction, an absent father’s strict adherence to conservative Christianity, and, most movingly, of his grandmother, known as “Mamaw,” an awesome, gun-owning matriarch who provided the only real stability he knew. Hillbilly Elegy is an engrossing, readable memoir, as well as a necessary perspective on the failure of the promise of American prosperity.

– Ann T., Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington D.C.


Listen to a preview of Hillbilly Elegy.

 


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Watch J.D. Vance’s Ted Talk on “America’s Forgotten Working Class.”


Further Watching and Reading

Watch J.D. Vance’s interview on Charlie Rose.

Read Alec MacGillis’s, “The Original Underclass,” from The Atlantic, which discusses Hillbilly Elegy in contrast to other books—both contemporary and historical—that explore similar themes.

Read Oliver Lee Bateman’s, “Being a Bumpkin: Untangling White-Trash Identity,” from The Paris Review, which further contextualizes the discussion surrounding Vance’s memoir.


Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. Use the hashtag #hillbillyelegy and find us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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.

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.


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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?

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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.

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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.

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 four 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 or Bookseller Recommendations, 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

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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

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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.

Making a Cover at Orbit Books

I only fell down the rabbit hole of sci-fi and fantasy a few years ago. I love the adventures, the crazy characters, and the weird settings. But I don’t always love the cover art. As a graphic designer, sometimes they make me cringe.

The worst looks like dime-store pulp, all giant muscles and goofy outfits. Those aside, there are also some artistically done covers, that feel almost like a Hollywood movie poster. These are the covers that make you stop while browsing at your local bookstore and grab it off the shelf.

So it was really interesting to watch Orbit Books’s videos on making the covers for David Dalglish’s Shadowdance series. They went to great lengths to create costumes and weapons straight out of the books’ descriptions. But they didn’t stop there.

Check out the videos for more.


Piqued your interest? Get David Dalglish’s books here.

Who Knew Stephen King Is Such a Grinch?

Publisher Simon and Schuster asked a few of their authors about their favorite Christmas movies. Vince Flynn, Sandra Brown, George Wendt, Ruth Graham, Jeff Garlin, Bethenny Frankel, and more all chime in with their seasonal go-to movies, including Charlie Brown, Christmas Vacation, and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Horror mega-bestselling author Stephen King’s response? “Most holiday movies suck as far as I’m concerned.” From there, it only gets worse.

But just like the Grinch, even Stephen comes around at the end.

Enjoy!


Need a laugh to get you through the season? Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris is our Book of the Month and only $14.95!

Book of the Month: Being Mortal

When we pick our Book of the Month, we don’t just pick a book. We pick a topic, a world, an idea. These have so far been far-ranging matters, from hypothetical science to the Italian coast, busking in Boston to satire in Seattle.

This month’s topic might be the most important we’ve chosen yet: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

Because let’s face it: not only are we all going to die someday, but we’re all going to experience the loss of our loved ones, if we haven’t already.

In Being Mortal, doctor and writer Atul Gawande discusses end-of-life care. He takes us through the history of gerontology, assisted living, and provides countless sets of data and anecdotes. Through it all, Gawande says that the medical community as well as patients’ families treat patients as subjects rather than as human beings. It’s rare that we consult the patient on what they really want. But Gawande says that we need to ask people what is important to them, what parts of their lifestyles are they determined to keep.

He gives insight into what the end of life means for different people, and arms listeners with questions to ask, decisions to make, and conversations to start.

But he doesn’t give clear answers. It’s different for everyone. Each individual case is just that—individual. While listening, I couldn’t help but think of my two grandfathers. One, an Indiana farmboy lived a healthy lifestyle but suffered the last years of his life. The other, a white-collar worker with a little too much interest in fun, faced complications at the age of 90, and died relatively peacefully a few months later. I don’t think it gets much more individual than that.

Like me, everyone will bring their own experiences, their own family histories to this book, homing in on the things that we’ve faced in our own lives.

It’s not always comfortable to think about these things. Nobody wants to say to their aging grandmother, “So, you probably have, what? Five good years left? What do you want that to look like?” This book prompts us to ask those questions (though hopefully a little more tactfully).

As for me, I’ve talked to my wife, Dianne, and told her that I believe in quality over quantity of life. I don’t think it’s doing justice to a person to prolong their life if it makes them miserable. But again, it’s individual.

One thing’s for sure. This book is as thought provoking as it is necessary.


Being Mortal is our September Book of the Month. Get it now for $17.95.