Libro.fm — an audiobook service that splits profits with independent bookstores — has seen a massive uptick in sales in the midst of government-mandated shutdowns, with a 200% increase in memberships this month. So we wanted to know: With all of these new book lovers joining, what’s everyone listening to? Below are the 25 bestselling titles of the last week.
1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Doyle’s third memoir follows her divorce and the rebuilding of a new, blended family. It describes her journey toward prioritizing herself, honoring her desires, and letting go of the expectations she was taught as a girl and woman.
2. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Patchett’s latest novel follows young Danny and his older sister Maeve over the span of five decades, from their childhood years spent in the mansion their father bought on a whim, to their ousting by their cruel stepmother and the years of hardship that followed.
Bookseller recommendation: “Even if you’ve already Ann Patchett’s masterful new novel, don’t overlook the audio version! Knowing the story and hearing Tom Hanks as Danny are unique experiences — in fact, listeners can savor Hanks’ insightful depiction of the narrator even better knowing the plot.” —Cheryl, Book Passage
3. The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson
The Splendid and the Vile is an in-depth look at Winston Churchill’s time as prime minister — which began the same day that Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Larson explores Churchill’s political career and domestic life, drawing on diaries, archival documents, and intelligence reports to paint a picture of the man who led the UK through World War II.
4. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell’s latest book describes the ways in which we fail to understand people we don’t know, and why our miscommunications can have such dire consequences. The audiobook is like a hybrid book and podcast, including audio from Gladwell’s original interviews.
5. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
When grad student Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a story from his own childhood in a mysterious library book, he sets off on a journey of self-discovery that will lead him to a secret world buried deep below the surface of the earth.
Bookseller recommendation: “What an amazing written and performed tale of love, mystery, and magic. This homage to books and storytelling is like nothing I’ve read… ever. Morgenstern has achieved a wondrous feat that defies measure.” —Paul, Village Books
6. Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
When semi-deadbeat Lillian agrees to play governess to her rich best friend’s twin stepchildren (who happen to spontaneously burst into flames) she has no idea what she’s doing — and certainly has no understanding that it could profoundly change her.
Bookseller recommendation: “Quirky, entertaining, smart, and funny. I could not put it down. I can not wait to put this book into hands of readers I know will love it as much as I did. Thank you Kevin Wilson for giving the weird and wonderful a voice! And thank you to Marin Ireland for doing an excellent job with the southern accent!” —Jessica, E. Shaver, Bookseller
Read a chapter from Nothing To See Here.
7. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Reid’s much-discussed debut examines the relationship between a wealthy white couple and their young and broke black babysitter, Emira. Reid shows the uncomfortable ways that relationship strains and how the couple’s good intentions are challenged after Emira is accused of kidnapping the couple’s daughter while shopping with her one night.
Bookseller recommendation: “Such a Fun Age tackles complex issues — race, gender, economic status, and the intersection of them all — yet remains accessible. You will not want to put this book down; when you do, you’ll be itching to pick it back up again.” —Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books
Read a chapter from Such a Fun Age.
8. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere is set in Shaker Heights, a quiet, idyllic suburb of Cleveland where order, careful planning, and playing by the rules is king — especially for resident Elena Richardson with her lawyer husband, four children, and seemingly perfect life. So when the mysterious Mia Warren, a bohemian artist and single mother, arrives in town with her teenage daughter and rents a house from the Richardsons, she threatens to upend the peaceful status quo of the community with the secrets of her past.
Read our profile of Celeste Ng.
9. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
American Dirt — the controversial novel that sparked criticism and heated dialogue about appropriation and the erasure of Latinx voices — tells the story of Lydia Quixano Pérez, a middle-class Mexican bookseller who flees Acapulco with 8-year-old son, Luca, after a drug cartel murders her husband.
Read “I Spoke Out Against American Dirt. Then Oprah Asked Me To Talk About It.”
10. Becoming by Michelle Obama
Obama’s memoir chronicles her childhood on Chicago’s South Side, her years as a working mother, and her time spent as the First Lady — and the life-changing work she’s done along the way.
11. Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow
Catch and Kill is the behind-the-scenes account of Farrow’s unraveling of the Weinstein scandal — his discovery that one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a well-protected predator, and that anyone who tried to investigate these claims faced threats, intimidation, and silencing.
12. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, narrated by Daniel Henning
Linus Baker is a case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, and it’s his job to determine whether a group of dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. But Arthur Parnassus — head of the orphanage they call home — will do anything to keep them safe.
Bookseller recommendation: “There aren’t many books that can leave you wishing you were a parentless magical child feared by the rest of the society. But with characters like the ones in The House in the Cerulean Sea, you can’t help but wish you belonged to such a wonderful, magical family. And the dialogue! You will not be able to drive while listening to it because you’ll be laughing way too hard!” —Chris, Belmont Books
13. Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
In Victorian London, detective Bridie Devine is tasked with a baffling case — a young girl has been kidnapped for her supernatural powers, making her a valuable commodity in the underground collectors market. Bridie sets off to find the girl, with the help of other larger-than-life characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid, a ghost, and an apothecary.
14. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
It’s the year 2000; 15-year-old loner Vanessa Wye is excited to be singled out by her charismatic 45-year-old English teacher, Jacob Strane, as someone special — someone worthy of his special attention — in a relationship that soon becomes sexual. Seventeen years later, at the height of the #MeToo movement, Vanessa learns Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by another former student — and she’s forced to reckon with the nature of this defining relationship of her past.
Bookseller recommendation: “The voice of Vanessa, the narrator, is unparalleled in its honesty, and her emotions are fiercely conveyed with unrelenting realness. This novel is a timely and important read, sometimes difficult, but ultimately an unforgettable experience. You will be left astonished and transformed. Vanessa is formidable and so is her story; you won’t be able to put down this powerhouse of a novel.” —Luisa Barbano, Oblong Books & Music
Read our profile of Kate Elizabeth Russell.
15. Open Book by Jessica Simpson
Simpson’s tell-all memoir describes her years as a pop star and then a reality star — what it was like to grow up in the spotlight, and what was going on behind the scenes. The audiobook is read by Simpson, and includes six new songs.
16. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
According to the mysterious tomeThe Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world is about to end. But one angel and one demon — both of whom have lived on earth since its beginning — realize they quite like this world, and join forces to sabotage the coming Rapture.
17. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
In 1969 rural North Carolina, Kya Clark — known in local circles as “Marsh Girl” because she lives in the wild — is the main suspect when a young man is found dead. But Kya Clark isn’t what everything thinks she is.
18. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Dannie Cohan is on track to create the future she’s been dreaming of — she’s a successful lawyer in a loving relationship — but the night after her boyfriend proposes, she wakes up five years in the future in a different apartment next to a different man. An hour later she wakes again, back in 2020, convinced it was a dream — until four years later when she meets the man she saw in her dream.
Bookseller recommendation: “Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years has so many of the things I want in a terrific novel: a twisty plot that leaves me guessing; radically unexpected developments; settings that I can see, smell, and taste; and probably the thing that Serle does best — an introduction to characters I’ll grow to care about and shed tears with. That last one? The tear thing? In Five Years had me weeping for the last part of a coast-to-coast flight, prompting the flight attendant to hand me a drink because, she said, it looked like I needed one. I loved this book and can’t wait to offer it to readers.” —Nick Petrulakis, Brookline Booksmith
19. Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
Bookseller and mystery fan Malcolm Kershaw is surprised when an FBI agent arrives one winter day to ask about a series of unsolved murders that are suspiciously similar to those found in the books he reads and loves. In fact, they’re just like the fictional murders he wrote about in a list he compiled years ago, called “Eight Perfect Murders.” Now it’s not just the FBI watching him; it seems the killer is, too.
20. Circe by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, Circe is born as an outcast among her family of gods, seemingly without their powers — until she discovers, through her anger, that she is a witch. Threatened by this discovery, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she meets some of Greek mythology’s most famous characters.
“A bold retelling of the Circe episode from Homer’s Odyssey that not only captures the interlocking pieces of Greek mythology, but also gives each god, titan, and Grecian a pulsing complexity. Both Circe the book and the character are quiet, sensual and — at times — freewheeling, adventurous, and devastating. Perdita Week’s performance here is multi-layered and captivating. The voices she chooses to portray each character captures the unfolding drama and humor beautify.” —Luis, Avid Bookshop
21. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls takes the reader back to 1940s New York City, through the perspective of 89-year-old Vivian Morris reminiscing about her wild time in the theater. Her story is rich with memorable characters — the eccentric aunt she moves in with who owns her own theater, albeit one in major disrepair; the larger-than-life leading lady; the chorus of showgirls; the alluring leading man — and a vibrant setting, all of which come tumbling down when Vivian finds herself in the midst of a sexual scandal.
Read our profile of Elizabeth Gilbert.
22. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Moyes’s latest novel — which sparked controversy last October, when author Kim Michele Richardson described “alarming similarities” between their two books — follows Alice Wright, a British woman who marries an American man but soon finds herself restless in small-town Kentucky. That all changes when she signs up to join Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library project — and she, with four other amazing women, become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky, changing lives (including their own) as they go.
23. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Amor Towles takes us to 1920s Moscow through the lens of Count Alexander Rostov. After being sentenced to house arrest for his inciting and rebellious poetry, the count must watch — from the distance of an attic room across from the Kremlin — as his country goes through some of its most chaotic decades.
Bookseller recommendation: “Grandiloquent language and drama reminiscent of Tolstoy gradually give way to action and tradecraft suggestive of le Carre in this lovely and entertaining tale of one man’s determination to maintain his dignity and passion for life, even after being stripped of his title, belongings, and freedom. Reading A Gentleman in Moscow is pure pleasure!” —Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop
24. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Coming of age in 1960s Los Angeles, Daisy is a girl with a killer voice and big rock-and-roll dreams. Billy Dunne is the lead singer of up and coming band The Six. After a chance encounter and the vision of a producer, Daisy Jones and the Six is born, creating something so amazing, it’ll go down in rock and roll history.
Bookseller recommendation: “If you were a concert goer in the 70’s or listen to the classic rock station you will love this. It reads or listens like a tell-all documentary. I loved the non-traditional narration, the raw intensity and the imperfect characters. The audio is outstanding and addictive!” —Karin, Bookworm of Edwards
Read a section of Daisy Jones & the Six.
25. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
In the early 1900s, young January Scaller is the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, living lonely and disheartened in his opulent mansion. Then she finds a mysterious and enchanting book of love, adventure, and danger — and its spellbinding story becomes entwined with hers.
More on independent bookstores
- How To Help Your Favorite Bookstore During The Coronavirus EpidemicTomi Obaro · March 18, 2020
- 44 Amazing Book Recommendations From Our Favorite Indie BookstoresArianna Rebolini · March 11, 2020
Arianna Rebolini is the books editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Arianna Rebolini at [email protected]
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