Audiobooks!: June 2, 2016

Picture1This week’s Audiobooks! newsletter is sponsored by TryAudiobooks.comHave you ever taken a road trip with your family that seemed to go on forever? We all have! Audiobooks can solve that problem by providing entertainment for the whole family.  Visit for a free full download and start listening with the whole family on your next car ride.

Summer of Free Audiobooks

Hang onto your sun hats, because I love this and so will you! Now in its third year, SYNC is a summer program that gives away free topnotch audiobooks to teens. Each week, SYNC makes 2 titles available for download, with a total of 30 free audiobooks from May 5th – August 17th, 2016.

BookOfUnknownAmericansThis year’s free audiobooks include Book Riot favorites like Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Kate Coyle, The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, and Zac and Mia by A J. Betts. Hop on over to to get your free audiobooks!

Why We Love Jazz Jennings’s New Audiobook

BeingJazzThe amazing Jazz Jennings just debuted her memoir about her life as a transgender teen, and she’s also been named the new author ambassador for Read Proud Listen Proud, a fantastic site for kids and teens to find LGBTQ print and audiobooks and learn about awareness, acceptance, and celebrating people for who they are.

Rioter Jamie Canaves writes: “I can see why they chose her as ambassador: as the narrator of her audiobook her infectious personality, amazing outlook, brilliant mind, and all around awesomeness shone through.” Read on for more about why Jamie loves Read Proud Listen Proud and the audiobook Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.

Audiobook Titles Have Quintupled Since 2011 (YEP, Quintupled)

APA Logo Black-ColorResults are in from the Audio Publishers Association’s annual survey! Last year’s audiobook sales totaled over $1.77 billion, which means audiobook sales grew more than 20% for two years in a row. But my favorite statistic is that the number of audiobook titles published last year has QUINTUPLED since 2011. Over 35,000 audiobook titles were published in 2015, compared to about 25,000 in 2014, and just 7,000 in 2011. From 7 to 35 thousand in just five years, you guys.

Public awareness and smart phones are apparently driving the increase — I know I’ve personally noticed more (and better!) audiobooks on the market in just the past few years, and this is a trend I am loving.

Audiobooks and Literacy Are Like Peas and Carrots, Proves Research

kidsaudioRaise your hand if you’re over the pearl-clutching about whether people who listen to audiobooks can actually comprehend and retain information. Now pat yourself on the back because new research released in April validates that listening to audiobooks is very beneficial for reading comprehension, vocabulary, and reading motivation.

The researchers studied second and third grade students in a San Francisco after-school program who listened to five 20-minute sessions of streaming audio each week, three of which were at school and two at home. These students made over half a year’s reading gains in just 10 weeks, putting them three months ahead of control students.  The study group also performed three times better than the control group in reading comprehension, seven times better in second-grade vocabulary, and nearly four times better in reading motivation.

Book Riot Live

Announcing Walter Mosley at Book Riot Live

Bestselling, Grammy Award-winning author Walter Mosley will be joining us at Book Riot Live! Best known for his Easy Rawlins series, Mosley has written more than 40 books across genres including mystery, science fiction, and memoir. We’re so excited to have him, we’re extending the early bird ticket discount till June 30. Get $40 off your tickets now and thank him in person on November 12 and 13!

Party Like a Book Nerd image featuring Walter Mosley, Charlie Jane Anders, and Valentine De Landro

This Week In Books

Unlimited Comics, Audiobooks Ascending and more in This Week in Books

Summer is upon us, but book news waits for no Hampton Jitney. Here’s what’s going on this week in books and reading:

Comixology Announces Unlimited Subscription Service

In the on-going quest to find a subscription service for books and reading that actually works, Comixology is throwing its hat into the ring with a $5.99/month all-the-digital-comics-you-can-read offering. The catch: no Marvel or DC titles, which together account for more than 66% of comics sales. It’s hard to imagine that either hard-core comics readers or casual fans will be interested in ponying up without titles for the big two. We shall see.

Writers Begin To Openly Oppose Donald Trump

More than 600 writers, including a fair number of heavy-hitters like Stephen King and Junot Diaz, signed an open letter to the American people outlining the case against Donald Trump for president. More than 22,000 people have signed onto the petition since it first went live.

J.K. Rowling Defends Trumps Right to Be Trump

In her remarks at the PEN American Literary Gala last week, Rowling defended Trump’s right to be, well, basically everything the signers of the aforementioned petition condemned. He was her example of an odious messenger and message that still must be protected in the name of free speech. It was a striking choice, especially considering that there are writers all over the world that are actually imprisoned and persecuted for their speech.

The Millennium Series Gets a Fifth Installment

Quercus announced this week that Lisbeth Salander will be returning for a fifth book in the Millennium series, with David Lagercrantz returning to write it. The Girl in the Spider’s Web sold well enough that the series seems to have enough interest to become one of the very few series that has continued after the creator’s death. No title yet, but the next book will be out in both the US and the UK in 2017.

Special thanks to Penguin Random House for sponsoring This Week in Books. Enter here for a chance to win a modern reading nook stocked with books (or just click the image below).


New Books

Long-Buried Secrets, Hilarious Second Chances, and More New Books!

The long weekend is over – luckily there are lots of wonderful books out today to help you cope. On this week’s episode of the All the Books! Rebecca and I talked about some great new releases, such as The Hour of Land, Before the Fall, and Modern Lovers. I have a few more great titles for you below, and as always, you can find a big list in the All the Books! show notes. Okay – let’s do this!

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Penguin Random House and Room & Board, who have partnered to offer one lucky book lover the prize of their dreams: modern furniture to create a reading nook and a library of books in their favorite genres to stock it!


we're all damagedWe’re All Damaged by Matthew Norman

I am so excited for this book, because I am a HUGE fan of Domestic Violets, and I think Matthew Norman is one of the funniest writers out there. His new novel is the story of a man named Andy, who is flailing around in his life after his wife leaves him, he loses his job, and he relocates to NYC, where he leads a sad, drunken existence. A trip back home to visit his dying grandfather in Omaha puts a new path in front of him – but can Andy pull himself together enough to follow it? A funny and touching story about family and hopes and dreams.

Backlist bump: Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman

hot little handsHot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman

I love this collection! Nine connected stories comprise this smart, darkly funny book about contemporary young women. A Russian teen gymnast travels to America; two high schoolers go back to sleepaway camp; a young woman moves from London to San Francisco to start what she thinks will be her adult life; and more. Each story is about the impatient wish of these young women for their grown lives to start and the struggles they have dealing with that responsibility. Ulman’s writing is concise and heartbreaking.

Backlist bump: Blueprints for Building Better Girls by Elissa Schappell

juneJune by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Secrets and murder and blackmail, oh my! Young Cassie Danvers is mourning the loss of her grandmother, June, when she learns she is heir to the vast fortune of a film star. How did her grandmother cross paths with the famous actor? And why did he leave Cassie all his money? When Jack’s daughters come looking for answers, together with Cassie, they’ll slowly uncover what happened on a fateful day sixty years before. June is a perfect blend of mystery and family drama.

Backlist bump: Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

YAY, BOOKS! That’s it for me. If you want to learn more about books (and see lots of pictures of my cats), or tell me about books you’re reading, you can find me on Twitter at MissLiberty, on Instagram at FranzenComesAlive, or Litsy under ‘Liberty’! (OMG I am OBSESSED with Litsy.)

Stay rad!


Book Riot Live

Meet Charlie Jane Anders and Valentine De Landro at Book Riot Live

That’s right: Valentine De Landro, co-creator of Bitch Planet, Charlie Jane Anders, editor-in-chief of, and poet and professor Patrick Phillips will be at Book Riot Live 2016, presented by Bookwitty! They’ll be joining speakers Ken Liu, Maria Dahvana Headley, and more to bring you two days of panels, games, discussions, and signings. Register by May 31 to get your discounted, VIP ticket.

author photo collage with Charlie Jane Anders Valentine De Landro and Patrick Phillips

The Goods

Tote + Water Bottle $25 Bundle

Head into summer in bookish style, and hit the beach with any tote + water bottle for $25! Just 2 days left to snag this deal.


Not sure where to start? Check out our gorgeous new One Hundred Years of Solitude bag!



This Week In Books

This Week in Books for May 23rd, 2016

Welcome to the inaugural edition of This Week in Books, our weekly wrap-up of the most interesting stories from the world of books and reading.

Special thanks to Penguin Random House for sponsoring this maiden voyage of This Week in Books. Enter here for a chance to win a modern reading nook stocked with books (or just click the image below).


On to the news:

  1. The big story last week was Goodreads getting into the discounted ebook game. With its treasure trove of user data, Goodreads is positioned to deliver notifications about ebook deals to exactly the right audience. Goodreads users now can sign up to receive notifications about downpriced ebooks for titles they have on their shelves or they sign up for by genre or interest.BookBub is probably the company most likely to feel the pinch here. They have broken out as the go-to resource for both publishers and readers for ebook deals with millions of email subscribers across all genres. In fact, Goodreads might be the only company that has a wider email reach. Goodreads could really squeeze BookBub on pricing if they so desire: Amazon certainly won’t feel the pinch if they drastically undercut BookBub’s prices, and they have a reach, between email and active users of the site, that is the envy of the entire book world.
  2. Jeff Bezos says more Amazon bookstores are coming. I promise not to make this an Amazon and Some Other Stuff newsletter, but Bezos announcing that they aren’t done opening bookstores has to be included here. Frankly, I am puzzled by what Amazon is doing. Are they trying to assemble Barnes & Noble’s coffin? Reacting to the resilience of independent bookstores and physical books? Trying to get people to just like Amazon more? All of these?
  3. Dan Brown abridging The Da Vinci Code into a YA version.I have to admit that when I read The Da Vinci Code, I did not immediately think, “Boy they are really going to have to dial this back to get teenagers to read it.” As far as I can tell, it will be The Da Vinci Code just…shorter. To my knowledge, this is the first time a big commercial adult hit has been modified this way to be remarketed as YA. Are there really teenagers out there that are like, “YES I always wanted to read The Da Vinci Code but it was just too long,” as they lugged around Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
  4. Lena Dunham publishes her teenage diary, donates proceeds to charity. Dunham apparently came across the diary she kept in her late teens, and, because she is Lena Dunham, decided that it needed to be public. She is donating the proceeds to Girls Write Now, a surpassingly deserving organization. Dunham is more and more plugged into the book world, and is certainly unafraid to experiment.
  5. Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love, dies at age 70.Okay, so this happened the week before last, but I am cheating because I love Geek Love and am just so sad about this. I had been waiting so long for her next novel that I had forgotten that I was waiting for it. In fact, Dunn had become one of those writers I thought of as being sort of unreal. Not dead, but just existing on a plane slightly refracted from our own and therefore largely inaccessible, like Pynchon or Ferrante. If you haven’t read Geek Love, do yourself a favor. And if you know a geeky teenager that likes to read, please make sure that they’ve heard of Dunn and Geek Love.
New Books

The End of the Passage, Historical Earthquakes, and More New Books!

Happy Tuesday! Hope you enjoyed your spring – how did it go by so fast??? I can’t believe it’s almost over. At least there were lots of great books to read. And more to come! On this week’s episode of the All the Books! Rebecca and I talked about some great new releases, such as Sweetbitter, How to Make White People Laugh, and The Queue. I have a few more great titles for you below, and as always, you can find a big list in the All the Books! show notes.

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Penguin Random House and Room & Board, who have partnered to offer one lucky book lover the prize of their dreams: modern furniture to create a reading nook and a library of books in their favorite genres to stock it!

prh room and board

city of mirrors The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

THE END OF THE END TIMES IS HERE! That’s right, it’s the final book in The Passage trilogy. I don’t usually recommend sequels, just because there are so many other books to talk about, but this is too exciting to pass up. BECAUSE IT’S FINALLY REAL. And epic. And crazy, thrilling, scary, sweet, and a bunch more adjectives I could list but I’m going to stop and let you get right to it because it’s also (of course) REALLY LONG! I am kinda sad that it’s over. Which means I should read them all again.

Backlist bump: The Passage by Justin Cronin

outrun the moonOutrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

It’s 1908, and Mercy Wong is a 15-year-old girl in San Francisco who is trying to escape the poverty of Chinatown by attending a prestigious school for girls. She is desperate to prove herself through an education, but when a historic earthquake rocks the city, destroying Mercy’s school and home, she refuses to sit by in the temporary shelter, and instead decides to prove herself by helping rebuild her city. I loved Under a Painted Sky, Lee’s last book, and she has once again mastered the perfect balance of history and storytelling with her latest.

Backlist bump: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

tribe by sebastian jungerTribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger

Junger, author of A Perfect Storm and War, does a deep dive into the culture of belonging. What drives humans to seek out other people like them? What does it mean to belong? Using history, psychology, and anthropology, Junger explores how people have almost always sought out like-minded people and groups, and how it has been essential to our survival. Fascinating stuff.

Backlist bump: War by Sebastian Junger

YAY, BOOKS! That’s it for me. If you want to learn more about books (and see lots of pictures of my cats), or tell me about books you’re reading, you can find me on Twitter at MissLiberty, on Instagram at FranzenComesAlive, or Litsy under ‘Liberty’! (OMG I am OBSESSED with Litsy.)

Stay rad!


This Week In Books

CK: This Week in Books Test 1

Here are some of the most storied book shops to celebrate the bookworm in all of us.

Of these 12 Bookstores to Visit in a Lifetime, I’ve been to three. Work to do still.


This summer, my recommended reading list has a good dose of books with science and math at their core. But there’s no science or math to my selection process. The following five books are simply ones that I loved, made me think in new ways, and kept me up reading long past when I should have gone to sleep.

Bill Gates has some recommendations for your summer reading.

Goodreads has launched a personalized daily eBook discount program. Goodreads Deals will alert members to sales on books by authors they follow or to titles already on their shelves, making clearing space on your TBR a whole lost easier and more cost-effective.

There is a whole cottage industry of ebook deal services. Goodreads entering could change the landscape considerably.

Lena Dunham, star and creator of HBO’s GIRLS and co-founder of LENNY, surprised her fans — and Girls Write Now — with the flash-release of her new book, Is It Evil Not To Be Sure? at 6 a.m. today on In the spirit of women helping women, Lena announced that all profits from Is It Evil Not To Be Sure? will go to Girls Write Now.

Dunham is quickly becoming a serious mover & shaker in the book world.


Let’s Hang Out Again – xo, Book Riot

Thanks for RSVP’ing to our Librarian Bash at BEA! Whether or not you made it, we’d love to hang out with you online. We’ve got:

10+ posts a day on Book Riot
8 newsletters covering everything from audiobooks to daily deals
4 podcasts covering book news, new releases, recommendations, and more
1 YouTube channel covering frontlist, backlist, our favorite authors, and more
A sister site,, dedicated to comics
More bookish swag than you could shake a stick at
And events around the country (and the world) bringing readers together

collage of photos from the BEA Librarian Bash

This is a one-time email, sent to you via the RSVP form for the BEA Librarian Bash.