33 Audiobooks That Are Better Than The Print Version
We’ve talked in depth before about the many benefits reading has on the mind. Benefits including; stress reduction, gaining new vocabulary, increase your ability to feel empathy, and reading before bed makes for a better night’s sleep. Additionally, we’ve discussed the way a book is formatted can affect how quickly you can read. E-readers can present problems, especially if you are using them before bedtime. The blue light they emit can keep you up! If your eyes are tired from the day, but you’d still like to wind down with a good book, you’ll want to grab some headphones and tune into an audiobook. You’re in luck! While you’ll miss out on handling the physical copy of a book, some end up being better than the print version. Need proof? Download one (or all) of these 33 audiobooks that readers all agree make for a good listen.
In 2015, Chanel Miller was attending school at Stanford University when she was sexually assaulted. While walking home from a fraternity party, a man (Brock Turner) knocked Miller over, and she was later found behind a dumpster. Turner was arrested and charged with five felony sexual assault charges and was convicted of three of these charges. Hear from the author herself of what this horrific experience was like. After listening to her story, you’ll see the strength that comes from surviving such an incident as this one.
A collection of essays, The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West is a must-listen-to. She narrates it herself as to perfectly time the jokes written in each essay. In her book, West addresses a variety of topics regarding American culture including; race, climate change, and women in society. Written amid the #MeToo movement, West’s observations are spot on and insightful.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
You can learn a lot more from plants and animals than what’s written in textbooks. Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer writes a different kind of book about plants and animals through a philosophical and cultural lens. Braiding Sweetgrass is the perfect audiobook to enjoy while working in the garden or going on a nature walk.
Bill Bryson’s books are always better read when Bryson himself narrates them. In The Body: A Guide for Occupants, Bryson does a full examination of the body and how scientists are always learning something new. It is remarkable at how the body functions, heals itself and fails us too. Bryson’s smooth voice is the added touch to this fascinating and educational read.
The three narrators of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo turns this book into a movie for the mind. Reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo opens up to magazine reporter Monique Grant about her 1950s life in LA up until she left showbiz in the 1980s. Monique learns more than a timeline of Evelyn’s career, but also a timeline of husbands too. As she continues with her story, it becomes more apparent to Monique how Evelyn ended up being a recluse.
Ocean Vuong narrates his novel, written as a letter, and nobody could have narrated it better than he did. Little Dog, a Vietnamese-American, writes a letter to his mother who cannot read. In the letter, Little Dog reviews his family’s history revealing more about race, sexuality, and masculinity. Vuong’s debut novel earned numerous awards, a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and is a novel you’ll keep in your audiobook library for years to come.
Music plus a book? Jessica Simpson offers you both in her memior, Open Book. Simpson discusses what life is like as a pop star and reality star. She includes six of her new songs that she says inspired the book.
One of the most critically acclaimed books of 2018, Michelle Obama’s Becoming reported selling over 10 million copies in 2019 and was the number one selling novel on Amazon for 47 days. Read by Obama herself, she discusses what it was like growing up on the South Side of Chicago and working her way to becoming one of the most influential women of our time.
Linus Baker is a caseworker for the Department of Magical Youth. His job consists of overseeing the youth in government-sanctioned orphanages. All is well until Baker meets six potentially dangerous children. Six children that could bring about the end of the world! One narrator voices all six children giving them the personalities that accompany the hilarious dialogue.
Jazz is finally out of her foster mother’s house when she gets a mysterious phone call. Whoever the caller is, knows about her relationship with her foster mother and can relate. While Jazz maybe free, her younger brother Joaquin is still stuck inside with that evil witch. The caller tells Jazz he has a way of helping Joaquin, but it means she’ll have to kill a stranger. Will she do it for the sake of her and her brother’s future?
Samantha Irby is in a transitioning phase of her life. At 40, she’s quit her job, published successful books, and moved to a new town. Irby reads a collection of essays, all noting these new experiences that reads like you are having a conversation with her. Relatable and funny, Wow, No Thank You. is better listened to than read.
Readers reserve romance books for the summer, and The Right Swipe makes for the perfect summer read. Dating app developer, Rhiannon Hunter, experiences firsthand what it’s like to be ghosted on her own platform. A month later, she runs into her attractive date only to find he is working on a rival dating app and is still as handsome as ever. Should Rhiannon give him another shot, or swipe ignore and move on to the next dating candidate?
After Emira Tucker is mistaken for kidnapping the child she nannies for, she is humiliated and hesitant to accept help from her employer, Alix. When a bystander of the incident releases the footage, someone from Alix’s past resurfaces. Now, what the two women think they knew about one another is all turned upside down. Such a Fun Age is a real page-turner, or in this case, you’ll be listening to it for hours on end.
By now, you should know that any humorous book is always better listened to than read. The same goes for Little Weirds by comedian Jenny Slate. To give you a sample, Slate writes in her introduction, “I am your hostess: I am a human woman named Jenny Slate and I am thirty-boink years old. I weigh one hundred and doo-dad pounds.” If you thought that was fun, wait until you listen to the entire audiobook.
Another author who integrated music into their book is author and public speaker Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell narrates his book about the importance of communication in all aspects of life. The book cites studies and news stories creatively using the original audio from those news segments. A nice change from an author’s usual way of verifying their sources.
Picture this. You’re the blushing bride celebrating your recently recited wedding vows when you and your husband run to the restroom sick as a dog only to find a line! Everyone at your wedding got food poisoning except for two, your sister and the best man (who she hates). You offer
Carmen Maria Machado was one of the unlucky people on this planet to experience a relationship gone wrong. As a strong individual, she overcame it and wrote a book to bring awareness to a type of abuse not always discussed in society. Psychological abuse. In the Dream House is pieced together essays that break apart the complexities of violence in queer relationships that everyone needs to hear about.
Emily somehow finds herself volunteering at a Renaissance Faire with her niece after coming into town to visit her sister, who has recently been in an accident. Irritated about the situation, she soon finds herself in a different state of mind. That’s because she meets Simon, a long-time volunteer of the fair who changes Emily’s visit into something else. Both funny and romantic, this is an audiobook to bring with you on your next vacation.
A Hello Sunshine Book Club pick, The Library Book is one to reserve your next audiobook credit for. Based on a real event, Susan Orlean reopens the 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire files. Thousands of books were destroyed or damaged, and yet the cause of the fire is still unknown. What Orlean brings to light is the importance of libraries in our society. A book you can listen to at your local library while browsing for your next paperback read.
There’s no better human being to narrate mythology like Neil Gaiman. He has the right personality that shines through in his narration as he creates distinct voices for each of his characters. A well-written novel, Norse Mythology brings new life into ancient tales of gods, goddesses, and mythical creatures.
You should download the audiobook alone based on its hilarious title! In Ben Philippe’s debut young adult novel, Norris Kaplan moves from Canada to Texas and is put in a situation no teenager likes to be in. In a new country, at a new high school, trying to separate the categories of teens that are likely candidates to become friends with.
After suffering a bad breakup before prom, Avery Dennis begins to reflect on her previous relationships. Why have they all ended the way that they have? Is it something she’s doing? Trying to forget her recent breakup is hard. It certainly doesn’t help that she is on the prom committee. Determined to find out, she goes to each guy she’s dated to see what went wrong in a hilarious audiobook you’re sure to enjoy.
Unsheltered is yet another best-selling novel by Barbara Kingsolver. Two families from two different generations are living under the same roof. One would hope they’d get along, but alas, their experiences and politics get the best of them, and tension arises. Can they ever get along? Find out in this beautifully written, wait narrated, novel.
Find out how pop singer Alicia Keys rose to fame in her memior More Myself. You get the pleasure of hearing from a few of her celebrity friends that include Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, and Michelle Obama. As a bonus, Keys includes some of her songs!
Comedian Cameron Esposito recounts her life growing up in a strict Catholic family to coming out to her family. It wasn’t an easy journey by any means. Her family rejected her, and her career as a comedian saved her. Despite the hardships she faced as a lesbian trying to get her family to accept her, she jokes about past experiences. This is one book you have to experience with her narrating it versus reading a print copy.
If you’ve ever read any other book by David Sedaris, you know that his novels are always better listened to versus read. In Calypso, Sedaris shares a collection of personal essays that discuss his family, their time spent in their beach house, and his bout of depression.
William Ritter continues with his Ember in the Ashes book series with Jackaby. Set in 1890, Abigail Rook applies for the position of an investigator’s assistant, R.F. Jackaby. Jackaby is different than most investigators in that he has a knack for tracking down supernatural beings. On her first day, Jackaby is put on the case to solve what police believe to be a “serial killer” when he knows it’s not. Too exciting to read, you’ll have to get it on audiobook instead and be entertained by the narrator!
Self-help expert James Clear narrates his novel Atomic Habits, a well-researched book that explains the psychology behind the formation of habits. While he dictates, you have the freedom to take notes to refer back to. A win-win!
Could the fantasy story of Rumpelstiltskin get any better? It can with expert narrator Lisa Flanagan! She does a superb job giving all six characters their own personalities, as written by Naomi Novik.
Wow! Talk about a moving book about mental illness that will make you understand its effect on a person’s life. Esmé Weijun Wang reveals what life is life getting diagnosed with schizophrenia and learning to live a new norm. She comes across a community of those with the same illness, which she refers to as the “collected schizophrenias.” She narrates the book of collected essays to give it the extra touch all non-fiction books need.
Explaining to children what different cultures are like isn’t always easy, but Jasmine Warga nailed it with her Newbery Honor Book, Other Words for Home. Warga experiences a culture shock as Jude, and her mother move to Cincinnati, leaving her father and brother behind in her homeland of Syria. Jude soon finds that she will be able to fit in for the person she really is despite the unexpected surprises she encounters.
Based on the true story of Louise Erdrich’s grandfather, Thomas Wazhushk, the night watchman of a jewel bearing plant in rural North Dakota. In 1958, congress was about to vote on a bill that would take away Native Americans’ land ownership. At the time, Wazhushk was a Chippewa Council member and fought to shut this bill down. The Nightwatchman, narrated by Erdrich herself, makes the story more personal via audiobook as she tells how her grandfather’s determination made a difference.
Here’s a romantic comedy that teens will enjoy. Anna K’s life is nothing but a mess at the ripe age of 17. She is in a relationship with a boring boyfriend, her brother is caught in a sexting scandal, and friends are caught between complicated relationships. Just a typical day for Anna K in her busy Manhattan lifestyle. Hear if it all works out with narrator Jenna Ushkowitz who is best known for her role as Tina Cohen-Chang on Glee. Her actress background gives the audiobook a personality that you wouldn’t get otherwise by reading the paperback version.
Audiobooks make it easy to finish books quickly. An adjustment to the narration speed will cut the time in half. While this makes it excellent to enjoy the latest bestseller, it doesn’t help with work documentation or textbooks. To finish those quickly, while comprehending every word, you’ll want to learn how to speed read. With our Speed Reading Mastery course, students and professionals will learn how to read technical materials at lightning-fast speed while easily retaining all the information. Click the link to learn what else you’ll learn in these courses and sign up today.