Books are like balms — grabbing the right book at the right time can provide the perfect antidote for what you’re going through at that very moment. Whether you need a dose of hope, happiness, comfort, inspiration, courage…you name it, a good book has the power to ease worries and offer a safe haven to rest and recharge. But when you have a long travel day ahead or a neverending list of household chores, there’s no better way to pass the time than listening to a great audiobook. Read on to discover the best audiobooks to keep you entertained all day long!
With talented narrators reciting chapters, audiobooks allow you to effortlessly immerse yourself in a story while your hands remain free to check off to-do’s. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite audiobooks — both new and old — that are sure to provide an enthralling escape while you’re driving, walking, folding laundry or just simply relaxing. Keep scrolling to discover 11 of the best audiobooks, from fantastical fiction to eerie thrillers to starry-eyed rom-coms and more. Happy listening!
If you like interview-style stories about music, love and friendship…
Electric chemistry, juicy drama and soul-stirring nostalgia…this book — which was recently made into a hit streaming series on Amazon Prime — has it all. Written like a biography, this novel follows the rise to fame of Daisy Jones & the Six — one of the biggest bands of the ’70s led by the brooding Billy Dunne and the beautiful Daisy Jones. In interview-style chapters, readers are taken along on a gripping ride that chronicles the ups and downs of the world’s most famous rock band and the mysterious breakup at the height of their fame. A dazzlingly narrated story featuring a talented cast of people who embody the characters through and through.
What listeners are saying: “This story takes us back into the 1970s rock scene and feels entirely authentic. I can’t imagine the print version of this novel is as good as the audiobook. Daisy Jones & The Six is narrated by some of the best narrators in the business — a full cast. This format doesn’t work in some cases, but it certainly does here. The audio version reminds me of a documentary-type memoir told from various perspectives. Though it’s a fictional story of a 70s rock band, it feels real.”
If you like poignant books with lovable characters…
A story about rediscovering love after loss with the help of a giant octopus? Yes, please! Debut author Shelby Van Pelt serves up an inspiring novel about an older woman’s quest to solve a mystery from her past. And narrator Marin Ireland delivers a strikingly memorable performance. After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at a local aquarium — and she befriended a giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus. What follows is the unraveling of the mystery behind the disappearance of Tova’s son many years ago, with Marcellus serving as a part-time narrator. This creative, endearing novel examines loneliness and the transformative nature of connection.
What listeners are saying: “Excellent story. Excellent characters. Excellent Narration. I double-checked the author shortly after starting this book because the writing had a Fredrick Backman feel to it. And I also recognized the narrator as the same one who narrates the Backman novels. I loved this as much as my favorite Backman novels. Downside: This has left me with a serious book hangover.”
If you like classic family adventures through time and space…
Magical, otherworldly, adventurous… A Wrinkle in Time, the beloved science-fiction classic written by iconic author Madeleine L’Engle, will leave listeners in awe! In this tale, Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin O’Keefe embark on an epic and unforgettable adventure through space and time to find Meg’s father. A wonderful choice for a family road trip and perfect for readers of all ages!
What listeners are saying: “I was born in 1953, so I was in elementary school when A Wrinkle in Time was published. I have children who were born in the 80s but still I didn’t read it. I heard a Veritas podcast of Ms. L’Engle and was so impressed by her comfortable yet imaginative conversation that I decided to read it finally! Then, when I saw it on Audible, I decided to listen instead! This week I had to drive for about the same number of hours that the recording would take and it was so wonderful.”
If you like eerie and chillingly dark stories…
Try None of This is True by Lisa Jewell
Bestselling author Lisa Jewell is adored for her captivating, eerie novels, and her latest is a chilling psychological thriller. When popular true-crime podcaster Alix Summer crosses paths with Josie Fair one night, Josie’s strange story piques Alix’s interest. Josie swindles her way into Alix’s life, but disappears as quickly as she came. Soon, Alix uncovers Josie’s dark and terrifyingly twisted secrets that threaten Alix’s whole world.
What listeners are saying: “I have listened to several Lisa Jewell books and enjoyed them all, but this one is so unbelievably good! To think I almost returned it, because it said it was a full cast with music. I generally don’t like books like that, but this book is done extremely well. I highly highly recommend.”
If you like romantic stories about mistaken identities…
A story about audiobook narrators in a roundup of audiobooks? We couldn’t resist! This fun rom-com is not only penned by author Julia Whelan but it’s narrated by her, too. The plot follows Sewanee Chester, who once dreamed of being an actress yet now spends her days as a successful audiobook narrator. When she arrives in Las Vegas for a book convention, Sewanee ends up spending a whirlwind night with a handsome stranger. Later, she receives news that a famous romance novelist wants her to perform her last book — alongside Brock McNight, the industry’s sexiest and most secretive voice. What follows is a romp filled with mistaken identities, smart banter and steamy chemistry.
What listeners are saying: “Julia Whelan has written another utterly enjoyable novel and her performance as narrator is amazing. It is fun to read a novel where the author uses every romance novel trope she can weave into the story without it falling apart. And her author’s note at the end illuminates her thought process and it’s very interesting. Congratulations on a successful sophomore novel! I’m looking forward to more.”
If you like emotional stories about family ties…
Try Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
This touching novel about family, love and growing up by bestselling author Ann Patchett is made even more special in audio form, thanks to Meryl Streep’s striking performance. Tom Lake is set during the pandemic when three grown daughters are forced to return to their family’s cherry farm in Michigan to help with the harvest. During those isolated days in the orchard, the daughters get their mother talking about her first love. It’s a wholesome book about the different directions a life can take, and children seeing their parents in a new light. It’s also about the comforting rhythms of nature that never change, even when life spins faster and faster.
What listeners are saying: “Patchett fans will love this book. What puts this over the top is Meryl Streep doing the reading. I loved this! Narrators make such a difference!”
If you like captivating love stories with family drama…
Try The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson
Readers — and listeners — are transported to 1950s Philadelphia in this captivating saga. Fifteen-year-old Ruby Pearsall is about to be the first in her family to go to college — until a love affair threatens to pull her back into a life of poverty. Meanwhile, Eleanor Quarles arrives in Washington, D.C., with secrets of her own. She falls in love with William Pride, and soon her life intertwines with Ruby’s in a way that neither of them could have ever expected.
What listeners are saying: “I loved the author’s different points of view — each person’s individual story was explained so well without feeling like it was dragging on. It was beautifully written and incredibly moving! I really enjoyed hearing the author’s point of view at the end and how it connected me even more to the story and made me want to learn more. It’s historical fiction but in a way that is current and fresh!”
If you like charming historical stories set in English villages…
Fans of Pride & Prejudice will rejoice over this charming novel centered around legendary author Jane Austen — and listeners will rejoice when they learn the story is narrated by British actor Richard Armitage. This tale begins after the Second World War, in the English village of Chawton, which was once Jane’s home. So when the late author’s legacy is threatened, a medley of villagers — a laborer, a widow, a doctor, a movie star and more — come together to preserve her name and end up forging life-changing bonds. Delightful!
What listeners are saying: “Richard Armitage is an excellent choice of narrator for this celebration of the famed British author’s work. His deep, resonant voice meanders through the stories of seven different people in the small English town of Chawton…a great casual listen, especially for those familiar with Austen’s work.”
If you like funny rom-coms centered around weddings…
Hilarious antics and electric chemistry combine in this rom-com set in Hawaii. Ami is focusing on breaking the Torres family wedding curse. Her own wedding reception ended with all the guests getting food poisoning and a cheating husband. Now, Ami refuses to let her twin sister Olive and her fiance Ethan’s big day be anything but perfect. Her plan? Flying the entire Torres family out to surprise the couple during their private ceremony. When she meets Brody, Ethan’s best man who is living in Maui, he insists on helping with wedding prep. Ami is convinced his sunshine-y attitude is going to get in the way of her sister’s wedding, but then sparks fly between them. Could it derail all her meticulous plans?
What listeners are saying: “Christina Lauren does it again! A spicy, romantic and funny story with flawed, relatable characters. This Audio original is a great listen with excellent narration. Don’t skip The Unhoneymooners! I recommend reading/listening to it first to really get a grasp on Ami’s character and motivations.”
If you like riveting and timely stories…
Try Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
Heart-wrenching moments about the unbreakable love of family abound in this novel written by bestselling author Celeste Ng — and narrated by actress Lucy Liu — set in a dystopian time period. Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner’s mother, Margaret, left him and his father a few years prior. One day Bird receives a letter in the mail with a cryptic drawing, and he begins an epic quest to New York City to find his mother. A story of the power of art to create change, life lessons, family love and legacies.
What listeners are saying: “Told in three parts, the narrative belongs to Bird. He is a compelling character, and his growth throughout is subtle. However, there are also chapters from his mother Margaret’s point of view. Her final act left me in tears. This is an emotional, beautifully written story exploring complex and timely issues.”
If you like autobiographies filled with honesty and wisdom…
Try Green Lights by Matthew Mcconaughey
Brimming with never-before-told anecdotes, wisdom and honest heartfelt advice, this autobiography written and narrated by Matthew McConaughey will wow listeners. Woven together from different diary entries and memories throughout his life, Mcconaughey shares stories about his fifty-year personal and professional journey — from career milestones and missteps to his favorite poetry and go-to advice that helped him see life in a new, positive and hopeful way.
What listeners are saying: “I am not necessarily fanatical about this actor, but I can say now with conviction I am fanatical about this author. I found Matthew so honest, witty, intelligent, articulate, compassionate, brave, loyal, etc. His impersonation skills are spot on. I listened to all 6+ hours in one day…so entertaining! In my opinion, Matthew McConaughey is an incredible role model for a human being.”
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