Audiobooks of the Month: Food, Family and Friends

Ah, November. Outside, crisp leaves are falling and a cold wind nips at your nose. Inside, fires are crackling and the smell of hot chocolate sweetens the air. The holiday season is upon us! This is a time for family and friends, for giving thanks, and for warm meals so rich and full they’ll put you to sleep. In celebration of this holiday season, we at have compiled a list of audiobooks sure to keep you wide awake and inspired.

Deemed “enthralling” by NPR, Bill Buford’s Heat will get you thinking (and laughing) like a New York restaurateur, just in time for cooking your Thanksgiving dinner.

Speaking of cuisine, check out Julie Powell’s Julia and Julia, her bestselling cooking memoir that became a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep!

Ever wonder what takes place behind the banquet room doors? Let Anthony Bourdain show you, through his NYT bestselling memoir Kitchen Confidential.

Mildred Armstrong Kalish’s Little Heathens, based on her life on a 1930s Iowa farm, is a heartwarming charmer with just the right dash of Americana to season your holiday evenings.

Get into the Thanksgiving spirit by reading Khizr Khan’s An American Family, a memoir that Kirkus Reviews says will “…remind us all why Americans should welcome newcomers from all lands.”

See all audiobooks of the month!

October 2017 Audiobook Bestsellers is proud to present the October 2017 audiobook bestseller list that captures what’s selling in independent bookstores nationwide.


1. My Absolute Darling

By Gabriel Tallent (Penguin Random House Audio)

2. Lincoln in the Bardo

By George Saunders (Penguin Random House Audio)

3. Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng (Penguin Random House Audio)

4. The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas (HarperCollins)

5. Homegoing

By Yaa Gyasi (Penguin Random House Audio)

6. Sing, Unburied, Sing

By Jesmyn Ward (Simon & Schuster Audio)

7. The Golden House

By Salman Rushdie (Penguin Random House Audio)

8. Glass Houses

By Louise Penny (Macmillan Audio)

9. Magpie Murders

By Anthony Horowitz (HarperCollins)

10. A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)


1. What Happened

By Hillary Clinton (Simon & Schuster Audio)

2. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

By Sherman Alexie (Hachette Audio)

3. Braving the Wilderness

By Brené Brown (Penguin Random House Audio)

4. Believe Me

By Eddie Izzard (Penguin Random House Audio)

5. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

By Al Franken (Hachette Audio)

6. Born to Run

By Bruce Springsteen (Simon & Schuster Audio)

7. David and Goliath

By Malcolm Gladwell (Hachette Audio)

8. Why Buddhism is True

By Robert Wright (Simon & Schuster Audio)

9. Killers of the Flower Moon

By David Grann (Penguin Random House Audio)

10. Theft by Finding

By David Sedaris (Hachette Audio)


The October 2017 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations during the month of September 2017.

Audiobooks of the Month: Masked Mystery

The days are getting dark, the pumpkins are growing orange, and the ghosts are making their neighborhood debut. You know what that means: it’s October, the perfect month to cuddle up with a warm drink and get chilled by a mystery or thriller, sure to raise the hair on any black cat. We’ve compiled a perfect Halloween list to accompany that trick-or-treat bag filled with candy. Enjoy!

Deemed by USA Today as “ambitious, heartbreaking, and…all too timely,” Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and his son Owen King explores the horror of a planet with no women.

Both a bestselling book and megahit movie, Stieg Larsson’s psychological thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the perfect listen if you want chills sent up your spine.

The New York Times called queen of suspense Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None “utterly fascinating” and “the most baffling mystery” she’s ever written.

Hide under the covers and enjoy the second novel in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, The Girl Who Played With Fire, “ which Entertainment Weekly called “(a) gripping, stay-up-all-night read.”

Perfect for your All Hallow’s Eve, Denis Lehane’s NYT bestseller Shutter Island will keep you guessing—and glancing over your shoulder—until the very end.

Vanity Fair said, “Nothing is more addicting than The Girl on the Train,” so what could be a better pairing for your Halloween candy than this Paula Hawkins mystery?

Light those Jack-o’-lanterns and cue up Chris Pavone’s NYT Bestselling thriller, The Expats, dubbed by The Guardian as being “Expertly and intricately plotted, with a story spiraling into disaster…”

With The Cuckoos Calling, J.K. Rowling left the wizarding world to write a crime novel that the New York Times says contains “propulsive suspense.”

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl contains what Entertainment Weekly called “…a genuinely creepy villain you don’t see coming.” What could be a better for your Halloween night?

Neil Gaiman’s million-selling Young Adult novel The Graveyard Book stars a boy who from infancy was raised by ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens.

Learn the origins of Halloween and how our rituals came about through Ray Bradbury’s eerie novel The Halloween Tree.

Called by USA Today, “A story with a ratcheting sense of unease,” The Breakdown by B.A. Paris is certain to give you a good dose of chills.

New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ware (of The Woman in Cabin 10 fame) has a new thriller, The Lying Game, that is sure to keep you up at night.

 Jurassic Park’s, Michael Crichton returns to his paleontological roots in this Wild West thriller, Dragon Teeth.

Spend this Halloween traveling to sixteenth-century Spain, where you can visit the dangerous, high-stakes world of politics and religion in Matthew Carr’s The Devils of Cardona.

 If you like your murder mysteries British, then Susie Steiner’s Missing, Presumednamed one of the best books of the year by NPR—will be perfect for a hair-raising night.

Audiobooks of the Month: Back to School + Learning

The leaves are starting to change color and the air is becoming crisp. You know what that means: back to school! This is the perfect time for everyone to renew their focus on learning and set goals for the year ahead.

Audiobooks are perfect for helping you meet your goals. Did you know listening to audiobooks has been proven to build and enhance vital literacy skills such as fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension?

Audiobooks encourage critical thinking and active listening skills, and provide a great alternative to screen time on tablets and smartphones. And no, audiobooks are not cheating! …they’re a fabulous way to learn and grow.

Below is a handpicked list of books to help you fall into learning through listening.

Brain Rules – Dr. John Medina’s fascinating and funny book on how the brain works. Learn the best practices for taking care of that precious organ between your ears.

Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling’s series of Harry Potter books have been thrilling readers—and enhancing their vocabularies and comprehension—now for 20 years.

The Good School – Peg Tyre offers parents smart and sophisticated ways to assess a classroom and decide if any school or teacher have the right stuff to teach their child.

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – Betty MacDonald’s classic about the lady with the upside-down house is a great book to help your elementary age child leap over that word gap.

SAT – This is your guide to making SAT vocabulary words quick, easy, and fun…all while you’re on the run.

Thinking Fast and Slow – Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.

Cosmos – There’s no better guide to understanding our galaxy and its inhabitants than Carl Sagan’s bestselling classic.

Brain Rules for Aging Well – Dr. John Medina, author of the NYT bestselling Brain Rules, shares how we can learn to make the most of the years we have left.

The Better Angels of Our Nature – In this gripping exploration of humanity’s past, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker forces readers to rethink their deepest beliefs about progress, modernity, and human nature.

The Boxcar Children –75 years ago, four orphans made a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest, and the Aldens have been introducing elementary-age children to the love of reading ever since.

Back to School – Your child can learn about the Amish through following Rachel as she learns life lessons of love and forgiveness.

How to Talk So Kids Will Learn – Faber and Mazlish’s #1 NYT Bestselling book illustrates their time-tested method to help kids handle the problems that interfere with the learning process.

Homo Deus – From the NTY bestselling author of Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari’s book explores the projects, dreams, and nightmares of the twenty-first century—and asks what the future holds.

Talk Like TED – Carmine Gallo has interviewed top TED presenters and broken down their finest talks to discover nine secrets to better presenting one’s own ideas.

Audiobooks of the Month: Summer Reading Picks

Previously Audiobook of the Month, we would like to introduce Audiobooks of the Month! Each month a theme will guide our list of suggested audiobooks to suit a variety tastes and interests. We look forward to sharing this broader monthly list and accompanying themes with you.

For August, our theme is: Summer Reading Picks. Everyone these days is talking about their favorite summertime reads, so we’ve compiled selections from celebrity book clubs, our own partner stores, and our first Summer Listening Challenge finishers. What is Oprah Winfrey reading? How about Andrew Luck? What are Ann Patchett and Emma Straub talking up at their bookstores? What are customers of Vroman’s listening to? Whether you prefer the sun or the shade, there’s a summer read here for you.

Oprah Winfrey says Imbolo Mbue’s highly acclaimed debut novel Behold the Dreamers has “…got everything that’s grabbing the headlines in America right now.”

Emma Straub, author and owner of the bookstore Books Are Magic, picked Hannah Tinti’s The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, deemed by the New York Times a “strikingly symphonic novel.”

Customer and supporter of Wild Geese Bookshop, Jerry H., recommends Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman which accompanied him through work and travel.

For his book club, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck chose the New York Times bestseller Undaunted Courage, Stephen E. Ambrose’s definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase.

Jeff Kinney, author and owner of the An Unlikely Story bookshop, suggests Kim Scott’s Radical Candor, which explores how to be a “…Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity.”

The inaugural pick of actor Sarah Jessica Parker’s book club, No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts reimagines The Great Gatsby through a contemporary African-American family in a small North Carolina town.

Bookseller and supporter of Vroman’s Bookstore, Jen P. recommends You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams which she listened to while gardening, painting with watercolor, and commuting.

Bestselling author and bookstore owner Judy Blume chose Sarah Gerard’s acclaimed book of essays Sunshine State, which uses the author’s experiences growing up along Florida’s gulf coast to illuminate the struggles of modern human survival.

Actor Whoopi Goldberg’s summer pick is the New England mystery Since We Fell, written by Dennis Lehane, who was recently dubbed by the New York Times “one of the great, diabolical thriller kings.”

Ann Patchett, bestselling author and owner of Parnassus Books, says the novel Chemistry by Weike Wang “starts as a charming confection and then proceeds to add on layers of emotional depth and complexity with every page.”

Finally, actor Reese Witherspoon recommended to her book club, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, which NPR called “…a crackling tale of spies and suspense.” Della A., a customer of Hudson Booksellers also recommends this audiobook which she listened to while commuting.

July Audiobook of the Month – Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris

Our July Book of the Month is NYT bestselling author and Grammy nominated audiobook reader David Sedaris’s memoir, Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002). This new offering from one of America’s most celebrated humorists is filled with hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking entries culled from the diary he’s kept for decades. As the dates suggest, this first volume focuses on Sedaris’s early years, detailing how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

“Theft by Finding is charming, refreshingly unpretentious, and flat-out addictive. Sedaris said in the intro that he meant for readers to dip in and out of this collection of diary entries (the first of two volumes!), but I couldn’t put it down. His pared-down observations are equal parts dark and darkly comedic, concealing and revealing. Theft by Finding surpassed my very high expectations, and I’m already feeling impatient for part two.”
Renee P, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR


Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002). Use the hashtag #theftbyfinding and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Audiobook of the Month: Make Your Bed

On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.

Admiral McRaven’s original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven’s Make Your Bed, read by the author, recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire listeners to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.

Listen to a preview

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Audiobook of the Month: The Women in the Castle

Our April Audiobook of the Month is Jessica Shattuck’s The Women in the Castle. Set in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to Germany’s high society, The Women in the Castle is a propulsive, affecting, and ultimately redemptive novel chronicling the lives of three widows whose fates collide in the aftermath of World War II. You can listen to it right now or visit one of 450 participating stores on Saturday, April 29th to get a complimentary audiobook in celebration of Independent Bookstore Day!

“Three war widows and their children help each other survive at the end of World War II in this engaging novel filled with rich period details. Their husbands died as members of the resistance, but aside from that common thread, Marianne, Benita, and Ania bring very different backgrounds to their makeshift home in the castle’s kitchen. They also face repercussions from past choices and current secrets. Jessica Shattuck brings us into their world and shows us that the rules for love and loyalty are different in wartime.”
—Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA


Listen to a preview of The Women in the Castle

Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss The Women in the Castle. Use the hashtag #TheWomenInTheCastle and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Book of the Month: Lincoln in the Bardo

Our March Book of the Month is George Saunders’ #1 New York Times bestseller, Lincoln in the Bardo. The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters (and a 166-person full cast for the groundbreaking audiobook), living and dead, historical and invented.

“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 (E), University Book Store, Seattle, WA

Listen to a preview of Lincoln in the Bardo

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Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss Lincoln in the Bardo. Use the hashtag #lincolninthebardo and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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


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.