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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 a 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, staff picks from Books & Books at the studios, or favorite new fiction at Bookshop Santa Cruz, 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.

Indie Picks: July 2015

From the moment you enter Village Books in Bellingham, WA, you feel their love of books. They very carefully curate their selections, and understand the wants and needs of their community. They are such booklovers, that when co-owner Chuck Robinson recently set off on an epic cross-country bicycle journey, he specially rigged his helmet to listen to audiobooks. Unfortunately, his homemade system couldn’t beat out the roar of the wind whipping by, but he reports that he’s looking forward to listening to his selection of books from Libro.fm on his drive back. We’re excited to follow his journey, and even more excited that indie stores like Village Books are not just surviving, they are thriving.

So what better choice than Village Books to give us advice on what books to listen to this month? Here’s what booksellers Hayden, Hana, and Claire recommend.


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Village Books

Bellingham, WA

Warm-Bodies

Warm Bodies

By Isaac Marion

This is my favorite book! Marion has crafted a blatantly hopeful examination of what it is to be human and how we connect with one another using the most gruesome setting and narrator. Our undead hero R is dissatisfied with his existence as a zombie until he makes the unusual decision to save Julie and the two form an unlikely bond. Through this bond R explores love, family, friendship, the struggle to survive, and all the little things that makes life worth living. A funny, poetic, and powerful testament to storytelling.

Hayden


Bossypants

Bossypants

By Tina Fey

Tina Fey is just the sort of woman you want to run off into the sunset with (and by that I mean sit on the couch in sweatpants, eating cheese puffs, and watching Friends reruns with). Her hilarity coupled with her honestly about growing up, being successful, and trying to be an adult makes for a humorous page turner you’ll want to read again.

Hayden


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An Object of Beauty

By Steve Martin

One of the things that I love about reading Steve Martin’s books is that in my head, as I’m reading, I hear his voice telling the story. The other, is how incredibly smart the writing is. This one tackles the world of high art, complete with color reproductions throughout. It’s a great story, very imaginative and smoothly written. How could it not be? It’s Steve Martin, after all.

Claire


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Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

By A. S. King

What if you could see snippets of the future? If you started piecing together horrific events that have yet to happen? Events like women’s rights being obliterated, or another civil war. All of this Glory sees when she makes eye contact with someone. She sees their descendents, and puts together a horrific history of the future. But is the future fixed? Or does she even have a place in it at all?

Hana


Bloomability

Bloomability

By Sharon Creech

Oh my goodness, I think every preteen should read at least one book by Sharon Creech. She has a wonderful way of portraying growing up and how hard it can be simply to figure out who you are, let alone how to be comfortable with that knowledge. Her book Bloomability is particularly close to my heart. It explores the importance of travel, of seeing and experiencing beyond your own borders, and taking advantage of all the “bloomabilities” (or possibilities, if you will) life offers you, no matter how disguised they may be. Another Creech favorite of mine is titled Ruby Holler.

Hana


Do you have a favorite local indie bookstore? Let us know in the comments.

What I Know for Sure

For decades, people of all backgrounds have turned to Oprah for inspiration, comfort, and advice. She has reigned supreme in all forms of media, effortlessly classic amidst changing times. Here, Oprah has gathered her favorite entries from her “What I Know for Sure” column of O, The Oprah Magazine. The essays are divided into themes ranging from joy to awe, clarity to power, and much, much more.

AudioFile magazine says, “Oprah Winfrey’s distinctive voice adds sincerity and intimacy to her accounts of ‘ah-ha’ moments in her personal and professional lives. . . . Her narration adds authenticity to the underlying teachings on the importance of spirit and love.”

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What I Know for Sure


Have a favorite Oprah moment? Let us know in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates on Oprah and similar authors.

9 Things That Bernadette Has Right About Seattle

Bernadette Fox, the central character in Maria Semple’s hilarious Where’d You Go, Bernadette, sulks in her house, becoming more and more reclusive, rather than facing reality. Bernadette’s hate for her adopted city is so great, that she hires an online personal assistant so she doesn’t have to leave her house.

And this city she hates? Seattle. And Seattle happens to be my city too. I went to the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!), and have lived in and around Seattle my whole life. Now, you might think that I’d rush to defend my fair town, but you know what? There’s a lot that Bernadette’ got right about old Sea-Town.


Greetings from sunny Seattle, where women are ‘gals,’ people are ‘folks,’ a little bit is a ‘skosh,’ if you’re tired you’re ‘logy,’ if something is slightly off it’s ‘hinky,’ you can’t sit Indian-style but you can sit ‘crisscross applesauce,’ when the sun comes out it’s never called ‘sun’ but always ‘sunshine,’ boyfriends and girlfriends are ‘partners,’ nobody swears but someone occasionally might ‘drop the f-bomb,’ you’re allowed to cough but only into your elbow, and any request, reasonable or unreasonable, is met with ‘no worries.’ Have I mentioned how much I hate it here?”

I don’t know about skosh or logy, but teachers really do instruct kids to sit “crisscross applesauce” and my wife and I tell our daughters to cough into their elbows. I don’t want them sneezing into their palms and spreading their germs everywhere! It’s just common sense.


. . . this dreary upper lefthand corner or the Lower Forty-eight.”

I prefer “Lower Alaska” myself. Unlike the East Coast, in which major cities are a short train ride away, the closest big cities to Seattle are Vancouver, B.C. and Portland, OR—a three- or four-hour car ride away. Try driving down to San Francisco and it’ll take a good 12 hours. But I kind of like this. It means that it takes a special kind of person to commit to living here. We Seattleites tell people the weather here is terrible in order to dissuade them from moving (though this doesn’t seem to be working).


Everything else is Craftsman. Turn-of-the-century Craftsman, beautifully restored Craftsman, reinterpretation of Craftsman, needs-some-love Craftsman, modern take on Craftsman. Its like a hypnotist put everyone from Seattle into a collective trance. You are getting sleepy, when you wake up you will want to live only in a Craftsman house, the year won’t matter to you, all that will matter is that the walls will be thick, the windows tiny, the rooms dark, the ceilings low, and it will be poorly situated on the lot.”

Head to Queen Anne, where Bernadette lives, or anywhere north of Lake Union, and it’s true that you’ll see row after row of craftsman bungalows, mostly built in the 1920s (one of our team members admits hers was built in 1926). But Bernadette hasn’t left her house in years, let alone her neighborhood. If she had, she might notice that there’s actually a lot of other cool architecture going on. So I guess you can say I “kinda” agree on this one.


Why does every beggar have a pit bull?”

Bernadette rants about the number of homeless people who own dogs in Seattle. It might seem like something made up as a metaphor for the state of something or other, but no. It’s 100% true. I used to work in downtown Seattle right by Westlake Center, and I have seen countless homeless people with dogs. Seattle is crazy about dogs. We have dog sitters, dog walkers, dog bakeries, and dog shampoo specialists. About once a year someone tries to ban pit bulls from the city, but that will never happen. The dog lovers (who are pretty much everyone) will never stand for it.


I’ve created logos, websites, and other design work for a lot of private schools in and around Seattle. The way Semple satirizes their grading system and mentality, trying to encourage children rather than challenge them, is spot-on. And at the end of that long slog towards high-school graduation? Ivy league. Only the best for our unique little snowflakes! (Though UW is a pretty good choice, if I do say so myself).


Take five-way intersections. The first time Bernadette commented on the abundance of of five-way intersections in Seattle, it seemed perfectly relevant. I hadn’t noticed it myself, but indeed there were many intersections with an extra street jutting out, and which required you to wait through an extra traffic light cycle.”

Not only are five-way intersections (of which Seattle has many) annoying, but if you’re easily distracted like me, they’re dangerous. Once when I was about 18-years old, I got into an accident on one near the University of Washington campus. I decline to say just what distracted me, but you can probably guess (hint: it rhymes with whirls).


Blessing, and help yourself to some chard.”

Rain for nine months out of the year, and drier than Tucson the other three, PNW gardeners face a challenge. But measly problems such as weather or latitude don’t seem to stop anyone. What grows particularly well—in abundance, in fact—are leafy greens. So much so that nobody knows what to do with all of it, and they have to push it off on others. But hey, at least its organic. And to a true Seattleite, that’s all that matters.


I needed to talk to Bernadette about her blackberry bushes, which are growing down her hill, under my fence, and invading my garden. I was forced to hire a specialist who said Bernadette’s blackberries are going to destroy the foundation of my house.”

Added to the extreme weather patterns, gardeners face another challenge: blackberries. These beasts are prickly, fast-growing, tangled webs of destruction. Like zombies, they are next to impossible to kill, and they just come back. If you’re into urban foraging, they’re pretty tasty come September though!


People are born here, they grow up here, they go to the University of Washington, they work here. Nobody has any desire to leave. You ask them ‘What is it again that you love so much about Seattle?’ and they answer, ‘We have everything. The mountains and the water.’ This is their explanation, the mountains and the water.”

Bernadette gets sick of people saying that Seattle doesn’t need anything more than what it already has: mountains and water. But it’s true! Seattle is perfect because it is beautiful. Once again, it takes a special kind of person to live here.

Honestly, these were just a few of the things that Bernadette gets right. The list could go on and on, including Subarus, gray hair, Microsoft acronyms, bicycles, parking downtown, the coconut pie from Lola, Dale Chihuly, the Seattle Freeze, North Face, Cliff Mass, and more. But I’ll leave you to discover those gems on your own. I’m off to go spend some time outdoors. Because that’s what we do here.


Find more to love and hate about Seattle in Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette