I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with audiobooks. The production value, the voice-acting, the writing… I really don’t know what it is about them, but they’re just so great and easy to listen to, especially if you commute a couple hours to work each day. Whether you’ve been meaning to give audiobooks a shot for a while now or you consider yourself anti-audiobook, here are 9 books that you absolutely need to listen to the audio version of!
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
What’s it like to be the daughter of quite possibly the most famous techie and one of the most powerful men in the world? This is the question that informs Lisa Brennan-Jobs – daughter of the late Steve Jobs – new memoir, Small Fry. In this moving and emotional memoir, narrated by voice actress Eileen Stevens, Brennan-Jobs traces her life from farm to Silicon Valley as the daughter of a tech genius who had a difficult relationship with his own daughter. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is an enthralling book by an insightful new literary voice.
Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey
I don’t make a lot of promises, but I promise you this: You will not read a wilder book this year. Narrated by three different voice actors, including Claudia Dey herself, this audiobook traces the disappearance of Billie Jean Fontaine – a woman who fell out of a car into a small northern town seventeen years before her disappearance – and the members of her family, including her daughter and psychic (potentially murderous) dog, who set out on a desperate search for her. Aside from Billie Jean Fontaine, some of the other characters names throughout the novel are *ahem* The Heavy, Ponny, and Supernatural. I know, right?! Heartbreaker is a wild book that you will have to read to believe.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I love this book, and no I will not shut up about it anytime soon. Narrated by Dion Graham, known for his readings of American War and Evicted, Washington Black tells the story of Wash, an 11-year-old field slave from Barbados and his journey with Christopher Wilde, the brother of his horrifying master who doubles as a scientist and abolitionist. Fresh off its inclusion on the Giller Prize longlist, Washington Black is a phenomenal novel from a phenomenal author that you do not want to miss.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
This one is obviously a few years old, but American Gods is, in my humble opinion, the pinnacle achievement of audiobooks. Performed by a full-cast of voice actors, American Gods is a dark and exhilarating journey into myth across an America that’s at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Neil Gaiman is an absolute rockstar in the fantasy genre, and you will not regret giving this classic a listen.
The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah
Hercule Poirot, perhaps the world’s best detective, is back and better than ever in the follow-up to Sophie Hannah‘s wildly popular reimagining of Agatha Christie’s most famous creation. This time around, Poirot and his glorious mustache must track down the identity of the person sending letters on his behalf, accusing people he’s never met of the murder of a man he’s never heard of. Listening to any Agatha Christie book is like a weird cross between attending a posh British murder mystery theatre performance and listening to an audio play at the same time, and I am so here for it.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
If you’ve ever listened to Rachel Hollis speak, then you know exactly why this book is on this list. Rachel Hollis is the wildly successful founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com, CEO of her own media company, and motivational speaker for women. In Girl, Wash Your Face, her goal is simple: She wants to show you how to live with passion and hustle and how to give yourself grace without giving up. Rachel Hollis knows how to command a crowd, and this audiobook – thankfully narrated by Hollis herself – is no exception.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Listen, it’s September, which means, despite the fact that temperatures are still ridiculously hot, it’s basically Halloween. (Everyone knows Halloween starts on September 1st, right?) That means that it’s time to start getting spooky, and there is no better book to do that than the late Michelle McNamara‘s I’ll Be Gone In the Dark. Here’s some perspective: The book came out in February of this year, and it’s already being heralded as a true crime classic just seven-ish months later. It is that colossally good. Just be warned, though. You will never look at a cigarette butt the same way again.
everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by Jomny Sun
If you’re not following humorist, author, and illustrator Jomny Sun (real name Jonny Sun) on Twitter, you’re really missing out. In everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too, the very best of Jomny is on display, as he tells the story of a lonely alien named Jomny who, for the first time ever, finds a home on our planet after learning that earthlings can feel lonely too. A story of friendship, acceptance, and love, this is a little book with a massive heart. Plus, on top of the fact that the audiobook is narrated by Jomny himself, it’s just over an hour, which is basically the same length of time as an episode of a podcast and you can listen to it in one sitting!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Hey, look, it’s another book that I will never stop talking about! You likely already know the story of The Hate U Give, but just as a refresher, it tells the story of Starr Carter, a young girl who takes a stand against police brutality and discovers her voice after witnessing a police officer murder her childhood best friend. Even just thinking about this book gives me goosebumps. With the movie premiering last week at TIFF and debuting internationally in October, now is the perfect time to grab your earbuds and give it a listen! Remember that whole thing about me not making promises? Well, I’ll make one more: I promise you that you will not read a book better than this one.
There you have it! Nine of the very best audiobooks currently available. Are you an audiobook fan like me, or are you more of a devout physical copy reader? What’s the best audiobook you’ve ever read? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SavvyReader!
Happy reading (and listening!)