Killers of the Flower Moon: February Pick for “Now Read This”

The February 2018 selection for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times “Now Read This” Book Club is Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off…

Listen to our audio sample and buy the Killers of the Flower Moon audiobook on Libro.fm and support your local, independent bookstore with your purchase!

You can submit questions about the book to the Now Read This Book Club Facebook Group or via the book club Google Form. Are you reading the book with your friends? Use these discussion questions to get your conversations started.

8 Top Audiobook Listening Activities

A couple weeks ago, we asked you, as valued Libro.fm listeners, what you do while you listen to audiobooks. Some of the answers were fairly common (listed at the bottom of this post), but others surprised us! Need some new, interesting ideas for when you can listen to audiobooks? Look no further!


Knitting

We heard from a few different people whose activity of choice while listening to audiobooks is knitting. As one listener said, “We attach the hum of our surroundings to the work in our hands.” One of our partner stores, The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia, even hosts a knitting and audiobook club called “Stitches and Stories” in partnership with their local yarn shop. We recommend The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.


Skiing

Hitting the slopes and listening to an enthralling audiobook go hand-in-hand for some of our snow bunny listeners! Listen to Strong is the New Beautiful for lessons in strength, fitness, food, and attitude from the popular world champion skier and beauty icon—Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn.


Grooming Dogs

A tedious, time-consuming task like grooming dogs isn’t quite as daunting when it also means hours of listening to one of your favorite audiobooks! We recommend The Art of Racing in the Rain.


Making Art

We heard from several customers that enjoy listening to their audiobooks while they’re working on their art. Whether your art is pottery, painting, or metal-working, hands-free listening allows you to create something beautiful while you listen. We recommend The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and Brené Brown.


Gardening

Some of our listeners enjoy working in the garden as they listen to audiobooks. Getting outside, smelling the flowers, and listening to a good story like Euphoria is the perfect way to unwind.


Some more common activities that go along with listening:


Household Chores

Whether you’re washing that stack of after-dinner dishes, cleaning out your clutter closet, or vacuuming the whole house, listening to an audiobook will certainly make the mundane much more enjoyable! If you really want some inspiration while you clean, listen to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Exercising

Most of us wouldn’t call a work-out the best part of our day, but it certainly is better when you’re listening to a riveting audiobook rather than your own heavy breathing. For some work-out empowerment, listen to Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.


Driving

Audiobooks are key to a more pleasant commute, and for long road trips with kids, they can be lifesavers! (Try listening to the Harry Potter series with your kids during the next family road trip).

New Release: The Hummingbirds by Ross McMeekin

The Hummingbirds is a transfixing and hugely propulsive novel, a dark and rich tale twisted through with secrecy and danger, ambition, loneliness and love. The book also beautifully captures the insanity of Los Angeles, the film industry, and the people who occupy—however fleetingly—that precarious and mesmerizing world.” – Peter Mountford, author of A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism and The Dismal Science

In his debut novel, Ross McMeekin captures people yearning for deep connections in a shallow world defined by the twin obsessions of power and beauty. It is a story of love and redemption, of murder and betrayal, and of the darkness that lurks in the heart of Hollywood.

Ezra works as a live-in groundskeeper on a celebrity couple’s enormous rental property in Los Angeles. When the magnetic Sybil sets her sights on Ezra and gradually lures him in, he is as conflicted as he is tempted. Then Grant, her husband, approaches Ezra with a different proposal—to monitor Sybil to see if she is having an affair—and he is faced with the formidable challenge in refusing one or the other.

Over one life-altering week, Sybil casts Ezra as the center of her universe. Together, they fantasize about the new life for both of them, but when Sybil’s husband Grant discovers their passionate affair, the three are set on a collision course that can only end in violence.

Listen to a free 17-minute excerpt of The Hummingbirds then enter the audiobook giveaway! Libro.fm will be giving away 5 digital audiobook copies of The Hummingbirds. Winners will be randomly selected and notified on Saturday, 2/10. Enter to win by Friday 2/9 at Midnight!

February 2018 Audiobook Bestsellers

Libro.fm is proud to present the February 2018 audiobook bestseller list that captures what’s selling in independent bookstores nationwide.


1. The Power

by Naomi Alderman (Hachette Audio)


2. The Woman in the Window

by A. J. Finn (HarperCollins)


3. Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders (Penguin Random House Audio)


4. Pachinko

by Min Jin Lee (Hachette Audio)


5. A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor Towles (Penguin Random House Audio)


6. Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng (Penguin Random House Audio)


7. The Immortalists

by Chloe Benjamin (Penguin Random House Audio)


8. Manhattan Beach

by Jennifer Egan (Simon & Schuster Audio)


9. The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins)


10. The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead (Penguin Random House Audio)


Nonfiction

1. Fire and Fury

by Michael Wolff (Macmillan Audio)


2. We Were Eight Years in Power

by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Penguin Random House Audio)


3. Leonardo da Vinci

by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster Audio)


4. Braving the Wilderness

by Brené Brown (Penguin Random House Audio)


5. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Blackstone Audio)


6. Lab Girl

Hope Jahren (Penguin Random House Audio)


7. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

by Daniel H. Pink (Penguin Random House Audio)


8. What Happened

by Hillary Clinton (Simon & Schuster Audio)


9. Tattoos on the Heart

by Gregory Boyle (Recorded Books)


10. Grant

by Ron Chernow (Penguin Random House Audio)


The February 2018 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations during the month of January 2018.

Harry Potter Book Night 2018: February 1st

The 4th Annual Harry Potter Book Night is Thursday, February 1st! This year’s theme is Fantastic Beasts. Join the worldwide celebration in bookstores and on social media!

Need to brush up on your beasts in preparation for Harry Potter Book Night 2018? Check out our list of fascinating Fantastic Beasts below then get to know ALL the magical creatures by listening to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them audiobook!

Of course, you can encounter many of these beasts along with Harry Potter and his friends when you listen to the entire Harry Potter audiobook collection.

Fascinating Fantastic Beasts from each of the Harry Potter Books:

Troll
One of Harry’s first magical creature encounters in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is with a troll, a terrifying creature that attacks Hermione in the girls bathroom.

Phoenix
When a phoenix dies, it bursts into flames and is reborn from the ashes. Dumbledore’s phoenix, Fawkes, comes to Harry’s rescue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Hippogriff
One of our favorite magical creatures in the Harry Potter audiobooks is the majestic Hippogriff Buckbeak, who appears for the first time in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Dragon
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we get our first close look at the majestic and dangerous dragons as the Triwizard Tournament Champions each must face off against these fierce, fire-breathing foes.

Thestral
Thestrals are present throughout the Harry Potter audiobooks, as the invisible creatures that pull the Hogwarts’ carriages. However, it is not until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that Harry can see the Thestrals, and they actually play a bigger part in the story.

Acromantula
Aragog, the Acromantula is a terrifyingly large spider that lives in the Forbidden Forest and is only loyal to Rubeus Hagrid. He comes to an unfortunate end in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Centaur
Centaurs are half-man and half-horse, and prefer to have very limited interaction with the rest of the wizarding world. However, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the centaurs of the Forbidden Forest join the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore’s Army in the Battle of Hogwarts.


Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a man remembered for all he did for the civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s. His work was integral to ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States.

Dr. King’s speeches stirred a generation to change – and outlined a practical way to economic freedom and true democracy. His words would help bring about the end of a brutally unequal system – and would show a timeless method for achieving fairness and justice for all.

A Call to Conscience contains 12 moving speeches voiced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, some of the world’s most renowned leaders and theologians share with you their reflections on these speeches, and give priceless firsthand testimony on the events that inspired their delivery.

Recommended Audiobooks:


A Gift of Love
by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sixteen sermons preached and compiled by Dr. King. Collectively they present King’s fusion of Christian teachings and social consciousness, and promote his prescient vision of love as a social and political force for change.


Why We Can’t Wait
by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King’s best-selling account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963. King examines the history of the civil rights struggle, noting tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality, and asserts that African Americans have already waited over three centuries for civil rights and that it is time to be proactive.


Where Do We Go From Here
by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The last book written by Dr. King contains his final reflections after a decade of civil rights struggles. With a universal message of hope that continues to resonate, King demanded an end to global suffering, powerfully asserting that humankind—for the first time—has the resources and technology to eradicate poverty.

Golden Listens

The 75th Annual Golden Globes Awards will be this Sunday, January 7 at 5pm PT. The nominees for Best Drama are Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, The Post, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and The Shape of Water.


Call Me By Your Name

by André Aciman

Now a major motion picture from director Luca Guadagnino, starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name first swept across the world in 2007. It is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera.

“…Hammer’s voice is brimming with such melody that, if you listen to it long enough, you can probably get drunk off it.” — Vulture.com


Dunkirk: The History Behind the Major Motion Picture

by Joshua Levine

Dunkirk details the evacuation of more than 300,000 Allied soldiers from the French city of Dunkirk and stars Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, and Mark Rylance. In the audiobook Joshua Levine, the film’s official historian, explores the real lives of those soldiers, bombed and strafed on the beaches for days on end, without food or ammunition; the civilians whose boats were overloaded; the airmen who risked their lives to buy their companions on the ground precious time; and those who did not escape.

“Fascinating…Fills in a lot of the historical context that Nolan so purposefully avoids in his film.” — Under the Radar


Personal History

by Katharine Graham

As seen in the new movie The Post, here is the captivating audiobook that tells the inside story of the woman who piloted the Washington Post through the scandals of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate. In this bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Katharine Graham tells her story—one that is extraordinary both for the events it encompasses and for the courage, candor, and dignity of its telling.

“Graham’s book, like her life, is harnessed to history, political and journalistic. Her myriad stories–discreet to a fault–humanize a whole pantheon of Personalities. Her personal drama, however, upstages the rest.” — Kirkus Reviews


The Shape of Water

by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus

Visionary storyteller Guillermo del Toro and celebrated author Daniel Kraus combine their estimable talent in this haunting, heartbreaking audiobook. The Shape of Water is set in Cold War-era Baltimore at the Occam Aerospace Research Center, which has recently received its most sensitive asset ever: an amphibious man captured in the Amazon. What unfolds is a stirring romance between the asset and one of the janitors on staff, a mute woman who uses sign language to communicate with the creature.

“…Perhaps the greatest of The Shape of Water’s many surprises is how extravagantly romantic it is…It’s as pure-hearted and simple a girl-meets-Amazonian-water-creature-who-might-just-be-a-god story as any ever made.” — Variety


Listen to these audiobooks before (or after!) you see the films on the big screen. Which do you think will win the Golden Globe for Best Drama?

NYT 10 Best Books of 2017

The New York Times Book Review has come out with their annual list of the 10 Best Books of the Year.

The editors at the New York Times work hard to curate this annual listing which is not ranked by sales or popular vote. In a recent Books Briefing email, Editor Pamela Paul said, “These are not necessarily the most relevant or important books of the year; many books feel very timely because of their political importance or social message. When we say ‘best,’ we mean overall quality. These are books we think should and will endure, books that transcend the current moment and will be read for years to come.”

The books are chosen from among the 100 Notable Books of 2017 from the New York Times Book Review. From there, the selection is narrowed down by “Collaboration and argument,” says Pamela Paul. “The staff editors of the Book Review keep a running list of contenders beginning around February, and we periodically circulate that list among ourselves. Titles come onto the list and, less often, get knocked off. By September, we have a long (sometimes very long) list. We begin to address Best Books in our weekly meetings, and early frontrunners emerge and make it on to a shortlist. Toward the end of the year, the Book Review’s staff editors, along with other writers and editors on the Books desk, vote on all the nominees. The process ends in November, when it comes down to raw numbers and, occasionally, brute editorial force (i.e., an autocratic decision) about what makes the final cut. We think these books are worth it.”

This year’s list includes 5 Fiction titles and 5 Non-Fiction, with a wide range of topics represented. “It so happens that the themes considered in this year’s 10 Best happen to touch on very urgent issues: migration, gender inequality, identity, civil rights, Brexit. They also happen to be fantastic books in every sense — beautifully told, well argued, highly readable.”

You can view and purchase the 10 Best Books of the Year as audiobooks on our New York Times Top 10 Best Books of 2017 playlist!

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Indies First – what does it mean?

Black Friday: a day of frantic shopping for the best deals offered by the biggest companies – all competing for attention and control of your wallet. Sure, you might get a great deal but what does it save you in the end? Or perhaps what does it cost you…

Enter Small Business Saturday – the antithesis of Black Friday which occurs the very next day, Saturday. Started by American Express back in 2010, SBS encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. In it’s eighth year, the enthusiasm for shopping local has only seemed to grow as the impact of larger companies starts to reflect in our communities and for retailers like Elwood Adams which just closed it’s doors after 235 years of business as the country’s longest running hardware store. This story was heard near and far but there are too many that go unnoticed.

This brings us to Indies First – the celebration of “Indies” (e.g., Independent Bookstores) on Small Business Saturday. Spearheaded by author Sherman Alexie in 2013.  It started with the question, “What can authors do to help the indies?” Over the Labor Day weekend, Alexie started the movement with a letter to a small group of authors, whom he called on to become “superhero[es] for independent bookstores.” This event has grown in size of the years with the support of the American Booksellers Association and other authors whom have embraced Sherman’s passion for supporting local bookstores.

And now to Libro.fm. The first (and only) audiobook company that enables local bookstores to sell over 75,000 audiobooks. This year marks our second Indies First promotion which offers over 60 audiobooks for over 50% off. The goal of this promotion, made possible by our publishers, is to drive business to our partner bookstores through audiobooks. In it’s second year, the discounted audiobooks can also be purchased as gifts and Libro.fm members get to combine their 30% off a la carte discount with the 50% off on Indies First for 80% off. You can browse the 60+ audiobooks here and get ready by adding them to your Wish List before November 25th.

In the end it’s simple: shopping local supports community, supports people, and keeps your favorite local businesses thriving.

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 Libro.fm 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!