Narrator Spotlight: Top 10 Bestselling Audiobooks

Behind every amazing audiobook on 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.

Which of these narrators’ works do you enjoy?

The 166-person cast
that narrated Lincoln in the Bardo

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
Narrator of A Gentleman in Moscow

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

J.D. Vance
Author and Narrator of Hillbilly Elegy

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.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Author and Narrator of What Happened

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
Author and Narrator of Norse Mythology

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.”

David Sedaris
Author and Narrator of Theft by Finding

David Sedaris is the ideal narrator for a bestselling audiobook made up of his own experiences and observations and told with his own misanthropic sense of humor and generosity of spirit.

Bahni Turpin
Narrator of The Hate U Give and The Underground Railroad

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.”

Sherman Alexie
Author and Narrator of You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

No one could have better narrated his deeply moving memoir than Sherman Alexie himself. This audiobook is a powerful exploration of family, love, loss, and forgiveness.

Hope Davis
Narrator of Commonwealth

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.

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on April 29th and Get Free Audiobooks

In honor of the third annual Independent Bookstore Day, visitors to select independent bookstores this April 29th will have the opportunity to download five complimentary digital audiobooks from, plus two incredible samplers! Titles include #1 Indie Next Pick, The Women in the Castle (Harper Audio) by Jessica Shattuck and David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (Hachette Audio). How do you participate? Easy. Show up at any of our 450 participating independent bookstores nationwide on April 29th, and be sure to create your account now so you can get updates as the event draws closer.

“I rely on local bookstores (at home and on vacation) to provide not only access to books but also community — story hours, fun children’s sections to visit on rainy days, interesting readings and panels to get me, and everyone else who attends, to think about the wider world than the one right under our noses. I feel that independent bookstores are really the purveyors and gardeners of the life of the mind.”
—Jessica Shattuck, author of  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. Listen to a sample below:


My all-time favorite David Foster Wallace essay is A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (Hachette Audio). DFW takes listeners on a 4-hour cruise in the Caribbean that is memorable for its wit and keen observations about the cruising industry. Listen to the sample below:


“Independent bookstores are my first stops in any new city, a quick check of the pulse in any literary community. They are ports in the storm, passageways to magical lands, escape hatches out of bad moods. Even when I don’t think I need a book, because the stack beside my bed is teetering toward the ceiling, I always need a bookstore. And then I usually need a book, too.”

—Emma Straub, 2017 Author Ambassador and author of Modern Lovers

We are also excited to give away a Penguin Random House Audio sampler, featuring some of the most popular independent bookstore bestsellers:

Prior to starting, I published Brain Rules by John Medina (Pear Press), a book that covers 12 ways our brains work. Dr. Medina’s fascinating stories and infectious sense of humor breathe life into the science. Listen to a sample from the first chapter on exercise:

And for the kids in your life 8-12 years old, check out these audiobooks from Scholastic:

Shadow House #1: The Gathering by Dan Poblocki (Scholastic)


Tombquest #1: Book of the Dead by Michael Northrop (Scholastic)


You will also get the Hachette Audio Story Sampler for Bookstore Day 2017, including:

  • Dentists Without Borders written and read by David Sedaris

Plus shorter listens for the whole family:

Welcome to Night Vale: Vinyl Edition

Lastly, an exclusive Bookstore Day offer. Based on the tremendously popular podcast of the same name, Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor explores the mysterious, interconnecting plights of a PTA mom and pawn shop owner in Night Vale, a small town in the American Southwest where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all just a part of everyday life. Beautifully packaged with “flypaper” sleeve, the purple vinyl also includes a full-length digital download of the audiobook performed by Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Retta, Thérèse Plummer, and Dan Bittner. Exclusively available on Bookstore Day for $24.95 (audiobook is complimentary).

Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party.

Since every store is unique and independent, every party is different. But in addition to authors, live music, cupcakes, scavenger hunts, kids’ events, art tables, readings, barbecues, contests, and other fun stuff, there are exclusive books and literary items available only at Indie stores on that day. Join the party: stop by your favorite indie bookstore on April 29th, chat with the booksellers, buy some books, and get your five free audiobooks plus two samplers!

“Consumers control the marketplace by deciding where to spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read the book. This is how we change the world: we grab hold of it. We change ourselves.”
—Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Commonwealth and co-owner of Parnassus Books

Book of the Month: Commonwealth

Our October Book of the Month is bestselling author Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, an enthralling depiction of the lives of two families brought together after a chance romantic encounter. Deemed, “exquisite” by the New York Times, Patchett’s novel spans a half-century exploring the complex ties that bind families together.

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


Listen to a preview of Commonwealth:

On PBS, Ann Patchett discusses both her novel and how independent bookstores – like the one she owns, Parnassus Books – build community.

Ann Patchett talks about the significance of the cover artwork of Commonwealth.

Ann Patchett’s Twisting, Turning Life and Books

Ann Patchett’s books twist and turn, snaking through crises and into catharsis. Her own life is perhaps not as dramatic, but still full of adventure. Maybe not the kind that involves hostage situations or the Amazon rain forest, but of a literary variety.

And it’s part of why I like her so much. She’s honed her skill, sentence after sentence, writing for magazines including Seventeen, Gourmet, and the New York Times, while living in her hometown of Nashville. When the last independent bookstore in Nashville closed, she and her friend Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books. As she says, she didn’t want to live in a city without a bookstore. Who can blame her?

She has written many books, all with something special to offer. State of Wonder is mysterious and organic. It’s why it’s our Book of the Month. Bel Canto won both the PEN/Faulkner prize and Orange Prize for Fiction, and for good reason. But if you want to get to know more about Ann and her life, check out This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, her book of essays.


Bel Canto

Themes of beauty, love, and duress intermingle during a hostage crisis at a South American party in Bel Canto. The books tension and characters grab you, turning everything you thought you had figured out upside down.

State of Wonder

Patchett returns to South America in State of Wonder, as Dr. Mirina Singh tracks down her old mentor in the rain forest. Its setting oozes beauty and death; its characters fierce and fragile.


This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

New and old essays are together for the first time in This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. From willing herself over a six-foot wall to opening a bookstore, to working on relationships to perfecting her craft, Patchett examines her remarkable life.



An accident and a snowstorm disrupt lives in Run. Spanning only 24 hours, this is an emotional roller coaster that will leave you wanting more.


The Magician’s Assistant

A magician’s widow tracks down secrets about her late husband’s family, taking her on a cross-country odyssey. The Magician’s Assistant is a book of beautiful sentences and harrowing loss.


The Patron Saint of Liars

Rose travels to St. Elizabeth’s, with the intention of giving up her baby once it is born. Moving and complicated, The Patron Saint of Liars is more than it first appears and unforgettable once completed.

State of Wonder is our book of the month! Get it today and let us know what you think.

Book of the Month: State of Wonder

We here at Libro love bringing you a Book of the Month each month. We’ve had nonfiction books about psychology, health, science, and music. We’ve included fiction taking place in Seattle and the Italian coast. Each book has a unique experience, something to offer the listener—to enrich your life. Our October book is no exception.

This month’s book is another work of fiction, this time set deep in the Amazon rain forest: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

State of Wonder follows Dr. Marina Singh, a pharmacologist, on her quest to retrieve her old mentor, Dr. Swenson, from the Amazon. But Dr. Swenson is hiding more than just the malaria research she’s been working on.

Marina must battle poisonous snakes, showers of arrows, and her own body in her mission to bring back Dr. Swenson and her research. Marina’s job and love life are intertwined and therefore both are on the line, but perhaps more importantly, she wants to impress her old teacher, who doesn’t even remember her.

In the end she has many decisions to face, none of them easy.

The intricacy of Patchett’s characters are matched by her prose. Patchett’s description of the Amazon is compelling. It’s an overwhelming world of beauty and pestilence, chaos and natural order. She writes of the rain:

“Every drop of rain hit the ground with such force it bounced back up again, giving the earth the appearance of something boiling.”

State of Wonder - 3

It’s these lush sentences that really bring the world to life, and lift listeners out of the dreariness of autumn in North America.

Patchett has taken many literary influences, added the rain forest and medical research and come up with a tale that is at times thrilling and at others deeply moving. It’s a compelling listen.

I’m especially pleased to pick this book not just because it’s great—though it is—but because Patchett is also the co-owner of Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, TN. As an author and bookstore owner, she’s an advocate of independent bookstores everywhere.

State of Wonder is our Book of the Month. Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the conversation!