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.”
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.”
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.
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
Libro.fm has partnered with hundreds of independent bookstore locations to sell digital audiobooks. We are proud to present the June 2017 audiobook bestseller list that captures what’s selling in independent bookstores nationwide.