Listen up! Audiobooks are books too.
Don’t have the time to crack open a book? Try one of these audiobooks that are too good to put down.. er.. turn off?
We obviously love books around here, and that includes audiobooks! A great option for people with vision impairments, those who cant sit still, or those who are too busy to crack open a physical book, audiobooks are a wonderful way to bring these stories to life. We also love our partners at Libro.fm (who in no way paid for this blog post, we just really love them!) who support indie bookstores with each purchase. AND, if you switch to their platform right now, they have an awesome deal offer of getting 3 audiobooks for the price of 1. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!
Circe by Madeline Miller
This is one of the top selling books on Libro.fm (and is currently on deep discount at Libro.fm as of this writing!). An epic of Greek mythology from the viewpoint of Circe, daughter of Helios and Perse, and a minor character in Homer’s The Odyssey, who was banished to Earth where she perfects her witchcraft, this is an awesome feat of storytelling (or retelling) with dazzling language, fascinating characters, and a celebration of female strength.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Written as an oral history from multiple characters relaying the rise and fall of a fictional legendary rock band in the 1970s, Daisy Jones is a perfect transition for those who normally don’t listen to audiobooks. With an ensemble cast voices characters, and a PDF with song lyrics, it’s great for music lovers and lots of fun all around.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
This might be a little too creepy for when you’re home alone, so listen when you’re surrounded by people on the subway at the gym. Michelle McNamara’s work uncovering the string of chilling assaults and murders that took place over 10 years in Northern California lead to the arrest of the Golden State Killer. With an HBO documentary in the works, this is a great time to get ahead of the curve!
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize and the 2018 APA Audiobook of the Year, George Saunders’ brilliant historical fiction imagining Abraham Lincoln and his son’s ghost trapped in a strange purgatory. Narrated by 166 different people — the all-star cast of actors, musicians, and friends and family of the author adds an extra layer of fun when you have to stop and say “wait… was that just ______ ?”
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
640 pages sounds intimidating, but think of it this way: the average time for commuting in NYC is about 45 minutes, so that means you can finish this book in a little over 2 weeks. But make no mistake, the wild and fantastical world that James creates will stay with you much longer.
Exhalation by Ted Chiang
Don’t have the time to listen to an entire book? Break up the listening with some short stories! These science fiction stories are breathtaking and tackle profound questions while letting us in on Chiang’s sweeping imagination.
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
For those that love a compelling courtroom drama, this one is for you. After their experimental “Miracle Submarine” used to cure all kinds of ailments mysteriously explodes in a rural Virginia town, the trial uncovers all kinds of juicy drama surrounding the medical treatment facility owned by Korean immigrants Young and Pak Yoo. The audiobook also includes a bonus interview with the author and original music composed and performed by Steve Draughn.
Educated by Tara Westover
Everyone’s favorite 2018 memoir about a woman who leaves her doomsday-prepping, survivalist family and pursues an education, eventually earning a PhD from Cambridge University is still topping the charts. If you haven’t read this yet, or are tired of waiting for the paperback (still no release date in sight) now is your chance!
Furious Hours by Casey Cep
So fascinating you won’t be able to stop listening! Casey Cep uncovers the true crime case that rocked Alabama in the 1970s and kept Harper Lee busy trying to write about it until her death. Furious Hours on audio is basically your next favorite true crime podcast.
The Travelers by Regina Porter
Propelled by a litany of intertwining characters from two families over 50 years, Regina Porter’s The Travelers is an incisive portrait of America during a critical social turning point. If you love a large cast novel, this one’s for you.
The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung
When a trailblazing mathematician sets out to solve the worlds greatest unsolved math problem, she ends up encountering a much deeper mystery of her family’s past. This book is beautiful and smart and an excellent example of the art of storytelling and it narrated by Catherine Chung herself. It will keep your brain buzzing in between listening sessions!
Recursion by Blake Crouch
This story of a NYPD detective investigating a case of False Memory Syndrome and a neuroscientist looking for a cure for Alzheimer’s is filled with adventure, mystery and big ideas about what science can do. Twists and thrills abound in this action-packed story, so this is a great book to keep you awake on that cross-country road trip.
Book of Delights by Ross Gay
A collection of short lyric essays documenting the daily delights experienced by the author over the course of a year. This audiobook is read by the author himself, critically-acclaimed poet, ray-of-sunshine, Ross Gay, who is a gift to this world and whose voice is a delight in its own right. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling listening experience; this audiobook just makes me happier and better. (Serena)
There There by Tommy Orange
In this audiobook, four vocal narrators bring to life the story of twelve Urban Indians with intersecting lives, all on their way to attend the Big Oakland Powwow. The narration is impressive, given the scope and complexity of this novel, and the book itself lays indelible claims to the true ‘American’/Turtle Island literary canon. (Serena)
Calypso, David Sedaris
If you need a laugh, David Sedaris’s Calypso will keep you entertained for hours with laugh-out-loud stories about midlife. His effortless wit and natural penchant for performance makes this an A+ audiobook.
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Books read by their authors are a special kind of wonderful. This story of lifelong friendship and family loyalties is compulsively listenable as it explores a heartbreaking event with tenderness and generosity.
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Audiobooks are also great for those impenetrable classics that you could never quite get through. Great voice acting has made some of the more dense texts really fun because the reading is awesome. Check out Moby Dick by Herman Melville or Middlemarch by George Eliot. Not quick reads by any measure, but highly enjoyable for sure!