Libro.fm acts as a bridge between digital content and independent bookstores. They partner with 1,500+ bookstores, mostly in North America. Readers can buy their audiobooks through the website, and a portion of the profit will go towards their chosen indie bookstore.
Annually, Libro.fm announces their bestselling audiobooks of the year, which are always a good place to find some guaranteed worthwhile listens. (Check out the 2020 list for even more recommendations.) This year’s list includes literary fiction, memoirs, and essays.
The links go to Libro.fm, where you can sign up to support independent bookstores with every purchase.
1) Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner, narrated by the author
The first book on this list shouldn’t be a surprise: it also made appearances in Barnes & Noble’s top books of 2021 as well as Amazon’s. It’s a memoir about grief and food, and a bookseller at Blue Cypress Books said, “This book had me simultaneously sobbing and starving. A perfect read.”
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2) The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, narrated by Rebecca Lowman
A Reese’s Book Club pick (and likely picked by a lot of other book clubs!) and New York Times bestseller, this mystery follows a Hannah, woman whose husband, Owen, disappears, leaving a cryptic note. Hannah and her teenage stepdaughter — who wants nothing to do with her — have to piece together Owen’s past to try to find out where he went.
3) Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, narrated by Julia Whelan
The latest from the author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo, this is set in Malibu in the 80s, featuring four famous siblings who throw a party that changes their lives forever. A bookseller at Book are Awesome promises it’s “Perfectly paced and suspenseful from page one!”
4) The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan
5) People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, narrated by Julia Whelan
6) Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, narrated by Sura Siu
7) The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green, narrated by the author
8) Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile, narrated by the author
9) How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, narrated by the author
10) Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee
Popular book club authors such as Kristin Hannah, Liane Moriarty, and Taylor Jenkins Reid make up the bulk of this list. One notable change since 2020 is that there is only one antiracist book listed, which suggests that those antiracist book clubs are perhaps not still meeting a year after the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
Congratulations to Julia Whelan, who narrated three of the top 10 audiobooks of the year! She’s narrated over 400 audiobooks in her career and was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Golden Voices as well as nominated for a Grammy for her audiobook work, so keep an eye out for her name while scrolling through audiobook options.
If you’d like to read more about these titles and listen to excerpts, check out the Libro.fm blog post.