15 of the Best Audio Books to Add to Your Library

a woman in black tank top sitting on the wooden bench while reading a book
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Read more. Sit less. My favorite Audiobooks will help you meet two goals at once.

I have spent a lot of time in the car recently. And for this book geek, car time = audiobook time. Nothing makes better use of that time, keeps me awake, and gives my driving buddy and me more to talk about than listening to a great book while we burn the miles.

Audiobooks are also a great way to get in more steps. Listening to a book while taking a long walk — or getting on a treadmill — is a great way to keep boredom at bay. I often keep going, long after I’ve met my daily step goal just to find out what happens in my book.

Choosing an audiobook is more complicated than choosing a book. The narrator makes such a huge difference in your enjoyment that I almost always start there. Even then, the narrator has to be exactly right for that particular book. This person talks to you for hours. You have to enjoy their voice and the way they interpret the text.

Here is a list to get you started.

The Cold, Cold Ground

by Adrian McKinty, read by Gerard Doyle

The Cold, Cold Ground is the first book in McKinty’s Sean Duffy series and Sean is likely one of the finest detective characters you’ll ever meet. Competent, flawed, and a bit too violent — but he’s living in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles” so that’s no surprise.

A few hours into a drive, my driving buddy and I are talking about Sean (and his colleague Crabby) as if he was in the car with us. We worry for their safety. Frown at how much Sean is drinking. And high five if it seems likely he will get the girl.

There is a new book in the Sean Duffy series!

The Detective Up Late

by Adrian McKinty, read by Gerard Doyle

This is the latest in Adrian McKinty’s must-read series set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. Sean Duffy is the best detective working. The audiobook is also narrated by the delightful Gerard Doyle.

Heart of Darkness

by Joseph Conrad, read by Kenneth Branagh

If you missed this book because it’s a classic and you thought that translated to ‘boring,” this audiobook version read by Kenneth Branagh is the way to fix that poor life choice.

This is an adventure classic. It’s the inspiration for the film Apocalypse Now, It’s a brilliant descent into hell. And Branagh is genius as the narrator. Don’t miss it.

 The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

This book has won so many awards — National Book Awards Long List, Goodreads Choice Award, Coretta Scott King Honor Book — that it is a must-read. It’s a young adult novel that tells the story of a 16-year-old girl trying to survive in an upper-middle-class prep school. She ends up being the only witness to a murder.

Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders

A father-son story featuring Abraham Lincoln. It’s set during the Civil War. Lincoln is president. His son is 11. Perhaps you know that story. This is an imagining of it’s details.

Read by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, and others

American Wolf 

by Nate Blakeslee

Best Science Fiction


by Andy Weir, narrated by Rosario Dawson


The Handmaid’s Tale: A Special Edition

by Margaret Atwood, narrated by Claire Danes


Long Way Down

written and narrated by Jason Reynolds

Best Romance

Accidental Sire

by Molly Harper

Best Memoir

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

written and narrated by Sherman Alexie

Best Audioshow

Where Should We Begin?

with Esther Perel

Listener Favorite

The Oathbringer

by Brandon Sanderson

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