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This post is all about the best audiobooks of all time, both nonfiction and fiction, and a list of my favorite audiobooks from 2022 and 2023 anticipated books. Here’s why I think these top bestselling audiobooks of all time deserve to be in your earbuds, along with some frequently asked questions about audiobooks vs. reading.
When I think about the best audiobooks of all time, I’m easily overwhelmed. There are so many incredible books to listen to, and so many amazing narrators!
Of course, the best audiobooks of all time are probably classics and/or literary masterpieces, but I’ve curated a list of my favorite audiobooks in a variety of genres, and some of them may surprise you.
There are quite a few titles I haven’t gotten to that have been included on many of the best audiobooks of all time list. I plan to add them to my reading list, fiction and nonfiction audiobooks, and I’m hoping to listen to many of them in 2023.
Here are some standout audiobooks to try if you’re looking for the best audiobooks of all time, in no particular order.
The Best Audiobooks to Listen to Right Now
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett is narrated by Tom Hanks, which is reason enough to start listening today. Ann Patchett’s prose is so beautiful, but it can be a slow read for me if I’m physically reading. Case in point, I loved Bel Canto, but it was like eating rich chocolate cake: I savored each bite and took my time.
Listening to Ann Patchett’s words, however, especially from Tom Hanks, is a wonderful experience. It’s easy to connect to the main character and the sibling relationship through his voice.
Here’s the synopsis:
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth.
His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother.
The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together.
Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
The Dutch House was published on September 24, 2019, from Harper.
Sula by Toni Morrison
What a magical reading experience! Sula is narrated by the author herself, Toni Morrison, and I don’t think there’s any better way to consume this story. It’s a short one, but heavy and jam-packed with important themes on race and racism, love and sexuality, community identity, and much more.
If you’re looking for a hard-hitting book that will stay with you for a long time that’s under six hours, you should add Sula to the top of your list.
Here’s the synopsis:
This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.
Nel Wright has chosen to stay in the place where she was born, to marry, raise a family, and become a pillar of the black community. Sula Peace has rejected the life Nel has embraced, escaping to college, and submerging herself in city life.
When she returns to her roots, it is as a rebel and a wanton seductress. Eventually, both women must face the consequences of their choices. Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black woman in America.
Sula was first published on January 1, 1973, from Knopf.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
American Gods is narrated by a full cast, including Neil Gaiman himself, and let me just say, this modern classic is one of the most memorable audiobooks of all time. The story is epic and engrossing, and the narrators fully do it justice.
The whole reading experience was like a wild dream, but I think I would have been too lost if I’d physically read it. If Neil Gaiman is on your list of authors to check out, you should try him on audio first.
Here’s the synopsis:
Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.
Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.
Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what—and who—it finds there.
American Gods was published on June 19, 2001, from William Morrow.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Thank you to Libro.fm and Quill Tree Books for this complimentary listening copy.
Is there any other way to consume a novel in verse? Elizabeth Acevedo is a poet, and the two narrators are perfectly chosen for the two characters. To fully enjoy Clap When You Land, it must be deeply felt.
There are so many emotions in this book, and Elizabeth Acevedo explores themes of grief, family, cultural differences, and more. It shocked me how moved I was by this book, so be warned: You may cry while you clean your kitchen!
Here’s the synopsis:
In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.
And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Clap When You Land was published on May 5, 2020, from HarperTeen.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Becoming is narrated by Michelle Obama, and she does a phenomenal job. I felt like I was getting coffee with her—there’s an intimacy there that I just don’t think you can get through physically reading.
I struggle sometimes with nonfiction, but a good nonfiction audiobook should be completely compelling. I couldn’t believe how much I was flying through Becoming—it held my attention the whole way through.
Here’s the synopsis:
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era.
As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments.
Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.
With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.
Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Becoming was published on November 13, 2018, from Crown.
Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones and the Six is a fantastic audiobook. The story reads like an interview with Rolling Stone. It’s an oral history read by a full cast of actors, and listening to it felt I was experiencing a seventies rock music documentary.
I haven’t watched the TV show yet, but this is one of the first audiobooks I recommend to people who aren’t big audio fans. I just think it’s easy to get into!
Here’s the synopsis:
For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split.
Nobody ever knew why. Until now.
They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently.
The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed.
Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin.
Daisy Jones & the Six was published on March 5, 2019, from Ballantine Books.
Educated by Tara Westover
Educated is narrated by one of the most popular audiobook narrators of all time, Julia Whelan. She really brings this story to life. Memoirs on audio are my favorite, and this one is unforgettable.
It’s heartbreaking and propulsive, and Julia Whelan pulls you in right away to this story of survival.
Here’s the synopsis:
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.
Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism.
The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.
Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement.
Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.
With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.
Educated was published on February 20, 2018 from Random House.
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Echo is one of my favorite middle grade historical fiction audiobooks and one of the best produced audiobooks I’ve listened to.
The music lines up with the magical story about a harmonica, and the cello, piano, and harmonica all contribute to the reading experience. The narrators are excellent. I strongly feel this book was created for the audio format.
Here’s the synopsis:
An impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force from a treasured storyteller!
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.
Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives.
All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.
Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, Echo pushes the boundaries of genre, form, and storytelling innovation to create a wholly original novel that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.
Echo was published on February 24, 2015, from Scholastic Press.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables on audio is such a treat. The Audible audio edition is narrated by Rachel McAdams, so this is the one time I really recommend Audible over other listening platforms. Simply put, she’s the best Anne out there. I can’t wait to listen to this one again when my girls are old enough.
Some readers didn’t appreciate Rachel McAdams as the narrator, which really shocked me. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t revisiting Anne from my childhood but reading her for the first time as an adult, but I absolutely devoured this audiobook.
I thought Rachel McAdams and Anne were a match made in heaven.
Side note: If you want to enrich your reading of Anne of Green Gables, my dear friend Katie at Owl’s Nest Publishers has a beautifully annotated edition for teen and middle grade readers that really brings the text to life.
Here’s the synopsis:
This heartwarming story has beckoned generations of readers into the special world of Green Gables, an old-fashioned farm outside a town called Avonlea.
Anne Shirley, an eleven-year-old orphan, has arrived in this verdant corner of Prince Edward Island only to discover that the Cuthberts—elderly Matthew and his stern sister, Marilla—want to adopt a boy, not a feisty redheaded girl.
But before they can send her back, Anne—who simply must have more scope for her imagination and a real home—wins them over completely.
A much-loved classic that explores all the vulnerability, expectations, and dreams of a child growing up, Anne of Green Gables is also a wonderful portrait of a time, a place, a family . . . and, most of all, love.
Anne of Green Gables was republished on May 6, 2003, from Signet Book.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I must admit, I haven’t read as many classics as I’d like—I tend to get intimidated—but Jane Eyre on audio is wonderful.
The narrators make it so easy. I really like Thandie Newton, but Elizabeth Klett’s narration is also great.
Here’s the synopsis:
Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle.
Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.
But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?
Jane Eyre was republished on May 6, 2003, from Signet Book.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
Thank you to Libro.fm and Simon and Schuster audio for this complimentary listening copy.
Another memoir read by the author, I’m Glad My Mom Died packs a punch—if you couldn’t already guess by the title. This memoir by child actress Jennette McCurdy blew me away.
Listening to her tell her own story with such courage and vulnerability felt like an honor. Hearing her voice crack at certain moments while she recounts her trauma and road to healing was so powerful.
This is certainly a heavy book to read, so be mindful of the triggers, but I loved every minute of it.
Here’s the synopsis:
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.
Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy.
So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay?
You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame.
Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships.
These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.
Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.
I’m Glad My Mom Died was published on August 9, 2022, from Simon and Schuster.
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
I’m sure Sweep was lovely to physically read, but listening to it on audio was such a delight. This is one of the most beautiful middle grade books I’ve ever read, and wow does it fly by!
Sometimes you just need the right accents for a Victorian London book! There’s also something about a fairy tale or folklore vibe that feels right for audiobooks.
I read this one for Middle Grade March last year—it’s such a sweet story.
Here’s the synopsis:
For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on “climbing boys”—orphans owned by chimney sweeps—to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous.
Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived—and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.
But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic.
And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature—a golem—made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.
Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together—saving one another in the process.
Sweep was published on September 25, 2018, from Puffin Books.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Yes, another Neil Gaiman book made the list! The author narrates The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and it’s such a magical experience. The dark fairy tale elements mixed with Neil Gaiman’s narration . . . it’s the only way to read this book, in my opinion.
I loved it so much I listened to it again within a month’s time with my husband on a road trip. Best audiobooks for road trips? Hands down, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Here’s the synopsis:
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother.
He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways.
The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.
It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane was published on June 18, 2013, from William Morrow Books.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The Shadow of the Wind is one of my all-time favorite books, and while I love to physically read this story, the audiobook is wonderful, too.
Readers seem to love or hate the music added to the audiobook, but I thought it worked well with the plot and overall vibe of the story.
This book takes place in 1940s Barcelona, so having the correct pronunciations is so immersive.
Here’s the synopsis:
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals from its war wounds, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax.
But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence.
Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets—an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
The Shadow of the Wind was republished on January 1, 2005, from Penguin Books.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor series) by Jessica Townsend
Nevermoor is another wonderful, fantastical middle grade series with a lovely narrator. This book series is fun, intriguing, whimsical, and basically made me smile throughout the whole book/series.
The narrator’s English accent and different voices are perfection—very reminiscent of Jim Dale’s narration of the Harry Potter series.
Here’s the synopsis:
A cursed girl escapes death and finds herself in a magical world—but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks—and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society.
In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart—an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have.
To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests—or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow was published on October 31, 2017, from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Evvie Drake Starts Over is another book narrated by Julia Whelan, so naturally I fell in love. The narration adds so much to the already likable characters and quirky, sweet story.
It’s just the perfect feel-good audiobook. If you’re looking for something fun and light (but still meaningful) to cleanse your palate after a book hangover, this is a great choice.
Here’s the synopsis:
In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash.
Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why.
As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future.
When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career.
Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken—and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts—the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept—but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance—up until the last out.
Evvie Drake Starts Over was published on June 25, 2019, from Ballantine Books.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Ghost Boys is a heartbreaking and powerful story that has stuck with me for some time. The narration for this book absolutely knocked it out of the park.
Something about a younger narrator really helps readers connect to the main character and feel the weight of what happened.
This audiobook is only three hours long, so if you’re looking for one you can listen to quickly (but still take some time to digest), Ghost Boys is a great pick.
Here’s the synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that’s been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.
Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life.
Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions.
Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.
Ghost Boys was published on April 17, 2018, from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Open Book by Jessica Simpson
I know, I know. I never thought I’d include Jessica Simpson on a best audiobooks of all time list, but here we are. I was shocked by how much I enjoyed Open Book as I’m not particularly a Jessica Simpson fan, and I don’t really keep up with pop stars or celebrities and their exclusive, inside stories.
But I found Jessica Simpson’s story so compelling, and her narration is raw and vulnerable. I will say, some readers didn’t like her valley girl voice, so if that’s something that bothers you, maybe sidestep this one.
It’s brave, spills the tea in all the right ways, and is surprisingly endearing.
Here’s the synopsis:
Jessica tells of growing up in 1980s Texas where she was sexually abused by the daughter of a family friend, and of unsuccessfully auditioning for the Mickey Mouse Club at age 13 with Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling before going on to sign a record deal with Columbia and marrying 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey.
Along the way, she details the struggles in her life, such as the pressure to support her family as a teenager, divorcing Lachey, enduring what she describes as an emotionally abusive relationship with musician John Mayer, being body-shamed in an overly appearance-centered industry, and going through bouts of heavy drinking.
But Simpson ends on a positive note, discussing her billion-dollar apparel line and marriage with professional football star Eric Johnson, with whom she has three children.
Open Book was published on February 4, 2020, from Dey Street Books.
My favorite, free way to listen to audiobooks is through the library reading app, Libby, which allows you to access free e-books and audiobooks available at your library. I love that you can even add digital bookmarks as you listen! I use this feature a lot with my digital note-taking method.
My other favorite way to listen to audiobooks is through a monthly subscription with Libro.fm. This audiobook platform shares profits from your audiobook purchases with an indie bookstore of your choice, which is just so cool.
If you’re interested in a membership with Libro.fm, use the code MOLLIEREADS to get two audiobooks for the price of one!
Frequently Asked Questions about Audiobooks
What is the best thing to listen to on Audible?
I would consider any of the titles above as some of the best audiobooks of all time, fiction and nonfiction. The best thing to listen to on Audible or any audiobook platform is a book that can keep your attention as you go about your day—driving, cleaning, whatever the case.
I will say, if you’re looking to get into audiobooks, you should check out Libro.fm.
It’s an audiobook subscription company that has all of the same titles as Audible—for the same price!—but when you purchase a book or use a credit, you are supporting a local bookstore. What a win!
What books are better to listen to than read?
Daisy Jones & The Six was so much better to listen to than read, in my opinion. The Dutch House, anything by Neil Gaiman, and most memoirs narrated by the author are better to listen to than read, to name a few.
Do audiobooks help your brain?
The research suggests that yes, audiobooks are great for your brain and mental health. According to this study, audiobooks can actually help older adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsiveness, and more.
Is it OK to listen to audiobooks instead of reading?
Absolutely! Listening to audiobooks isn’t “cheating.” In fact, most of us probably first experienced the joys of literature through oral storytelling. However you want to consume a story is okay.
Why do I like audiobooks more than reading?
There are many reasons you might enjoy audiobooks more than physically reading. For one, you can usually multitask, which is how a lot of us chip away at our to-be-read lists.
As a mom to two littles, audiobooks are necessary in busy seasons.
Also, listening to audiobooks engages the right hemisphere of the brain, which is similar to how we take in music, poetry, and spirituality.
Because an audiobook narrator conveys emotion and uses inflection to tell the story a specific way, it can often be easier to understand a story.
RELATED: 8 Tips on How to Read More as a Mom
Do you retain less from audiobooks?
Ultimately, I’d argue this depends on your learning style. Because audiobook listeners tend to multitask, I’m sure there’s a slight difference in reading comprehension and retention.
But then again, I know some readers who swear that the cadence and tone of a narrator helps them remember what they’ve read so much more than physically reading.
How do I get unlimited audiobooks for free?
My favorite way to get free audiobooks is through the library book listening app, Libby, which partners with local libraries around the United States. If you have a library card, you can access your local library’s entire audiobook catalogue!
I’ve been shocked to see how many newer audiobooks are available through Libby (OverDrive). The only downside, however, is that you have to finish the audiobook before it’s due at the library, and sometimes you have to wait for a popular title.
My Most Anticipated 2023 Audiobooks
I’d love to listen to any of the books on my most anticipated 2023 releases list, but I’m especially looking forward to Silverborn by Jessica Townsend, Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo, and The Angel Maker by Alex North on audio.
I know these 2023 audiobooks will be wonderful because other audiobooks by those authors have been wonderful.
When it comes to the best audiobooks to listen to right now, there’s a few on my to-be-read list. Apparently Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is one of the best audiobooks in 2022, and I never got to it last year.
So I’ll be listening to that audiobook as well as another backlist title and classic, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.
Some of the bestselling audiobooks of all time include anything by Stephen King, Liane Moriarty, and of course, the Harry Potter series.
I still maintain that the Chronicle of Narnia series is among the best audiobooks for kids. Also, for the best audiobooks on Spotify for kids, nothing beats the Thomas the Engine series in our house!
This post has been all about the best audiobooks of all time, including the best nonfiction audiobooks, fiction audiobooks, and the best celebrity audiobooks or memoirs on audio. If you want to know what to listen to next, you can’t go wrong with these top 18 audiobooks.