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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finn Murphy—known by his trucker handle U-Turn—has enjoyed a fascinating view of the American experience from the driver’s seat of his 53-foot eighteen wheeler, Cassidy. More than thirty years ago, he dropped out of college to become a long-haul trucker, and since then has covered more than a million miles of asphalt.
His memoir, The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road, details the ups and downs of his travels back and forth across the country, moving people’s belongings in and out of every nook and cranny of the States. In describing the stories filling the book, the New York Times notes, “how astonishing they are, and how moving, and how funny, and how just plain weird.” Filled with compelling characters from every cross-section of American life, The Long Haul is a riveting portrayal of a life spent traveling the wide expanses of our open roads and the tight, heavily-trafficked streets of our cities.
Libro.fm: What was the genesis of writing The Long Haul?
Finn Murphy: Well the genesis—particularly in the framework of this conversation—is my book started out on audio. I had one of those old cassette micro recorders, and at the end of my work day, I would talk into it just to unwind. Then I started talking into it while I was driving, describing things I was seeing. Then I started carrying it with me on my moving jobs and recording conversations with the people I was moving, and my moving crews—and that’s when it started getting really good, these illegal, surreptitious recordings. Over the decades I accumulated scores and scores of audiotapes. I had them transcribed and ended up with over 800 pages of stuff. That formed the genesis of the book.
L: What first captured you about long haul trucking as a job?
F: That there wasn’t anybody tapping me on the shoulder telling me what to do. I came from a very regimented and structured Irish Catholic family. And when I wasn’t with my family, I went to a very regimented and structured parochial school. And then my first job was with a local moving company owned by a Mr. Callahan who was also part of the church, so I lived in this phalanx of control. Then I took a road trip with a driver to Virginia Beach from Connecticut when I was eighteen, and it was probably the first time in my life that there wasn’t somebody telling me what to do. The driver told me about the life of a long haul trucker and I was like, “Oh, wow…yeah, let’s cut all the strings here and get free.”
L: So how do you fill those long hours driving the truck?
F: I use radio, I use NPR, I use local radio for traffic—I don’t trust the GPS systems—and then I use audiobooks. Audiobooks have been my savior.
L: Do you have any audiobook recommendations?
F: Here’s a general recommendation: try listening to a book that you found inaccessible in print for some reason—like Ulysses by James Joyce or The Harry Potter books. I couldn’t access either one of those by reading them. But the audio versions of those are just amazing. So if there’s a book in your personal pantheon of cultural stuff you need to check off but weren’t able to do so by reading, try the audio, because a lot of times you can break through that way. I have to say that though I did like the Harry Potter books, I still have found Ulysses inaccessible.
L: As have many!
F:Infinite Jest I have on Libro.fm, too, and I haven’t quite completed that one.
L: That’s another one of those that often lays uncompleted on the shelf.
F: Yes, always mentioned but never read.
L: You’ve just completed a 10,000 mile book tour through 60 cities. What surprised you most about the reception to your book?
F: The biggest surprise was how much people liked it. I was girding myself for an onslaught of other opinions, largely from my trucker brothers. My book is funny and breezy but it also has some serious parts. I take a few shots here and there, and I thought that those shots would come back to me. But no, everybody love it, I was just amazed. I was in the New York Times Book Review twice, the New Yorker…I mean, I’m just this trucker guy. I’m just thrilled. It’s like a Cinderella story.
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 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
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
Visionary storyteller Guillermo del Toro and celebrated author Daniel Kraus combine their estimable talent in this haunting, heartbreaking audiobook.The Shape of Wateris 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?
Behind every amazing audiobook on Libro.fm is a narrator that brings the author’s words to life. These narrators are responsible for transporting us to another world even as we work, run errands, work out, or commute. This week we recognize the narrators of the Top Ten Bestselling Audiobooks of 2017.
This huge cast includes celebrity voices such as Nick Offerman, Lena Dunham, David Sedaris, and many others. It is impossible to recognize every narrator in this post, but that’s a large part of what makes this audiobook unforgettable.
Nicholas Guy Smith’s expressive voice transports the listener to the Metropol and takes them on the count’s journey, even as he remains in the same room for decades. “I always keep the listeners in mind during the narration. How can I keep them connected to the story?” – Nicholas Guy Smith
A former marine and Yale Law School graduate, J.D. Vance gives a powerful account–through both his writing and narration–of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town, offering a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.
In her most personal memoir yet, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Who better to narrate this story than the woman that lived it?
Neil Gaiman breathes new life into Norse Myths with both prose and narration. And he encourages the listener to become the narrator! He says of these stories, “The fun comes in telling them yourself–something I warmly encourage you to do, you person reading this. Read the stories in this book, then make them your own.”
Bahni Turpin’s brings these two important and unforgettable stories to life with her commitment to accurately expressing the stories and their characters. She says, “I like to give each one a characterization and really try to read the way I feel the text should be heard.”
Hope Davis’ rendering of Commonwealth is both fluid and engaging as she tells the story of how a chance romantic encounter sets in motion the dissolution of two marriages and the joining of two families.
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.”
The top 10 audiobook bestseller list for 2017 is based on sales through independent bookstore locations in 2017. That means that YOU—as a supporter of your local independent bookstore—contributed to the selections on this list. Thank you for shopping small and local!
This list represents a range of preferences for everything from deeply moving memoirs, to culturally relevant fiction, to fascinating historical fiction. Is there an audiobook (or two, or three) on this list that you want? Enter our Instagram giveaway! When you tag a friend, you both could win one audiobook of your choice from the top ten bestselling audiobooks of 2017!
Let’s take a look at the countdown of 2017’s bestselling audiobooks:
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. Read more…
The #9 bestselling audiobook of 2017 across independent bookstores, is a searing memoir by Sherman Alexie. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me explores the powerful themes of family, love, loss, and forgiveness. Read more…
The #8 bestselling audiobook of 2017, The Hate U Give, is the story of Starr Carter, whose world is upended when she witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Read more...
Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, the #7 best-selling audiobook of 2017, is a powerful tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of slavery. Read more…
The #6 bestselling audiobook of 2017, Theft by Finding, is made up of Sedaris’ private writings and written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable. Read more…
In Norse Mythology, the #5 bestselling audiobook of 2017, Neil Gaiman brings to life the gods of ancient Nordic legend through his deft and witty prose. Read more…
In the #4 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017, What Happened, Clinton tells the story of the 2016 election and reveals what it was like to be the first woman nominated for president by a major party. Read more…
The #3 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017 is Hillbilly Elegy. Written by former marine and Yale Law School graduate J. D. Vance, this audiobook is the deeply moving story of how upward mobility actually feels. Read more…
The #2 Bestselling Audiobook of 2017, A Gentleman in Moscow is the story of a count who is sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold. Read more…
The #1 Bestselling audiobook across all our partner stores comes as no surprise. With a 166-person cast, Lincoln in the Bardo on audiobook brings this unforgettable story to life. Read more…
The #1 Bestselling audiobook across all our partner stores comes as no surprise. With a 166-person cast, including celebrity voices such as Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, and many others, Lincoln in the Bardo via audiobook brings this unforgettable story to life.
“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, University Book Store, Seattle, WA
The top 10 audiobook bestseller list is based on sales through independent bookstore locations in 2017.