Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday, April 29th

Independent Bookstore Day, is a one-day party taking place Saturday, April 29th at more than 450 bookstores. As a supporter of independent bookstores, you get five complimentary digital audiobooks from Libro.fm, plus two incredible samplers! Here are a few of the audiobooks included: Jessica Shattuck’s NYT bestseller, The Women in the Castle, David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, and works by David Sedaris (Dentists Without Borders), Emma Straub (Modern Lovers), Nicola Yoon (The Sun is Also a Star), and Hope Jahren (Lab Girl). The only catch (we promise) is you must claim your free audiobooks by Midnight PST on Saturday 4/29. To do this, log in to Libro.fm, add the audiobooks to your cart (no promo code needed) and you’re done!

Get Your Free Audiobooks

And beyond the free audiobooks, we encourage you to visit your local bookstore to join the celebration. While each store is unique and independent (and the parties will reflect that) you’ll likely encounter some combination of authors, live music, cupcakes, scavenger hunts, kids events, art tables, readings, barbecues, and contests. And most importantly, exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on April 29th. Not before. Not after. Find a bookstore near you.

Listen. Support. Share.

Your support makes a difference for local bookstores across the country. Join the party in stores and online by sharing this offer with friends. Even if you’re unable to visit a store this Saturday, you can still take part in this offer and share with others. Simply copy/paste this link and email or share it on social media: https://libro.fm/playlists/bookstore-day


We love connecting with our listeners (and indie supporters!) so follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tag #BookstoreDay to join the conversation.

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 Libro.fm, 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 Libro.fm 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 Libro.fm, 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

6 Brain-Boosting Books

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends we try to stay “mentally alive” in order to stave off Alzheimer’s later in life. Tackling puzzles, exercising, continuing education, reading, and just being curious seem to have an effect on the brain and strengthen brain-cell connection. We live in a lucky age, where we have easy access to books that will help us in our quest to stay “mentally alive” and never stop learning. Even better, there are many books out there that are great entertainment, and cover a variety of interesting topics, rather than presenting facts in a textbook-like fashion.

Here are six of my and the Libro team’s favorite books to give your brain a boost, and learn some interesting facts along the way.


The Shallows

by Nicholas Carr

It’s no great insight that people are using the Internet more and more. But what effect does that have on us? In The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr examines trends among Internet usage, the human brain, and our ever-changing culture. As he notes, “the Net delivers precisely the kind of sensory and cognitive stimuli—repetitive, intensive, interactive, addictive—that have been shown to result in strong and rapid alterations in brain circuits and functions.”


Mindset

by Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck, a professor of Psychology at Stanford University, compiles her years of research on personality and social development into Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She breaks people down into having one of two mindsets: fixed and growth. Those with a fixed mindset believe that innate ability is the number one factor in success, whereas those with a growth mindset believe that hard work and diligence matters more. She presents surprising stories and data to support her claim that those with growth mindset are more likely to succeed and succumb to less stress than those with a fixed mindset.


Predictably Irrational

by Dan Ariely

We don’t always make the best decisions. A lot of emotion, bias, and culture affect our choices. While we may seem to use a lot of logic, we behave irrationally—but predictably so. In Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, Dan Ariely uses his experience in the field of behavioral economics to examine why we do what we do, and to find patterns among the seemingly random sets of human behavior. His goal for the book, as he states, “is to help you fundamentally rethink what makes you and the people around you tick . . . by presenting a wide range of scientific experiments, findings, and anecdotes that are in many cases quite amusing.”


Brain Rules

by John Medina

The human brain is one of the most extraordinary pieces of matter in the universe. Complex and powerful, brain scientists have just begun to fully understand it. Here, John Medina, a molecular biologist and bioengineer, presents his rules for making the most of our brains. From the illusion of multitasking to the energizing effects of naps to the importance of exercise, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School shows effective ways to improve learning, business, and mental health.


The Willpower Instinct

by Kelly McGonigal

In The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, psychologist Kelly McGonigal doesn’t just outline what willpower is and it’s importance, but provides guidance in harnessing willpower to meet your goals and change your life. Though she posits that willpower is a result of both the mind and body, people can improve their willpower via mindfulness and good health. Even simple breathing exercises can go a long way to garner more willpower.


Think Like a Freak

by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

After the success of Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, Levitt and Dubner are back with another groundbreaking book, Think Like a Freak, this time showing readers how to put their insights to practical use. As always, leave preconceived notions behind, and prepare to be amazed. Then, apply your new skills and out-of-the-box thinking to your own life, because as they put it, “the modern world demands that we all think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally; that we think from a different angle, with a different set of muscles, with a different set of expectations; that we think with neither fear nor favor, with neither blind optimism nor sour skepticism. That we think—ahem—like a freak.”


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How to Be Someone Who Tries Harder Instead of Someone Who Gives Up

Tracy Cutchlow, author of Zero to Five, and editor of both Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby, writes many articles on parenting for HuffPo. Of all of the articles she’s written in the past year, her article on Mindset by Dr. Carol S. Dweck was shared more widely than any other on social media. In a new article, she explains why. And now I’ll hand it over to Tracy . . .


Why Some Kids Try Harder and Some Kids Give Up“: This post on how to give our kids a growth mindset is the most popular piece I’ve written in the past year. I’m guessing that’s not just because we all want to teach our kids how to persevere through challenges. I’m guessing it’s also because we wonder for ourselves: why do I try so hard; or why do I so easily give up?

And those of us in the second category, especially, wonder how we might scoot ourselves over to the first category.

Of course, researchers wondered that as well. They devised an intervention to see if they could move students from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. And it worked.

First, mentors teach the students that the brain is like a muscle. They read an article describing how the brain becomes stronger when you exercise it; weaker when you don’t. How when you learn something new, you increase the number of connections between the neurons in your brain. How practice strengthens existing connections between neurons.

This change in density in various areas of the brain is something scientists can now see, using neuroimaging. It happens more quickly than once thought: within a matter of months. For example, take students who studied every day for three months before an intense medical exam. When researchers scanned the students’ brains, gray matter had “significantly increased” in various sections of the brain over those three months.

Knowing this—how incredibly malleable the brain is—helps pull you out of a belief that intelligence is fixed.

So does thinking about something that you’ve learned to do really well—specifically, the process of getting there. How you were much worse at this thing when you started. The mistakes you made, big and small, and how you survived them. How important the mistakes were to your progress. The role of practice, practice, practice to get so far. In the mindset-moving studies, after talking about the brain as a muscle, mentors lead students in this kind of discussion.

This helps you recognize that mistakes don’t define you as a person, as you fear. Rather, mistakes are simply the process by which we learn anything new.

There’s more you can do on a daily basis to practice a growth mindset.

  • When someone does better than you, and you start to think, “They’re so talented. I’m just not as good,” you can stop yourself and think, “Maybe they’ve practiced more than I have. I could do that, too.”
  • When someone slights you, and you start to think, “They don’t like me; I’m not good enough for them,” you can stop yourself and think, “Maybe something else is going on in their day that I don’t know about.”
  • When you make a mistake, and you start to beat yourself up over it, you can stop yourself and think, “OK, what can I learn from this?”
  • When you’re asked to do something you haven’t done before, and you start to think, “I can’t; I’ll mess up; I’m not ready,” you can stop yourself and think, “Of course I won’t do it perfectly yet; I’m just getting started. This will be good practice.”

That’s what Carol Dweck tells us in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Dweck is the Stanford psychologist who conducted most of the studies on fixed and growth mindsets. Mindset gets into how our mindsets affect pretty much every area of our lives: school and sports, our work, our relationships with our partners and kids.

So if you were intrigued by my post on why some kids try harder, and you wanted to know more for yourself, this is a good time to check out Dweck’s book. As Libro’s book of the month, it’s available for $9.95 for a few more days.

Not a bad deal for life-changing information.


Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby, the bestselling books Tracy edited, are available on Libro.fm for a steal, too. They’re read by the author, John Medina. (Zero to Five isn’t an audiobook yet. Is that something you want? Let us know in the comments).