Wednesday, October 14, 2020

50 Favorite Audio Books

(50) Audio Books I Loved (no particular order)

Are you an audio book fan like me? I've been listening to audio books for well over 20 years, beginning with audio cassettes back in the day, then cds and now downloads only or Playaways for me).  At one time I used to do a lot of traveling for my job and audios certainly helped pass the time on the road. Even when I changed jobs and no longer had a long commute, I was able to listen to audio books at my desk while working on the computer. Then of course, as a couple, we listened to audio books on road trips (usually something like a mystery or thriller - to appeal to both of us.)   I also discovered the pleasure of combo reads (print and audios) I found it helps me finish books quicker this way and, then since retirement, audio books have become a pleasure while talking walks, cooking, on cars trips and often times at night when I can't sleep.  Don't get me wrong, I love print books, eBooks, all books but, audios definitely work well for me too.

For me, the narrator can make or break the listening experience. If I don't care for the narrator's voice, I won't listen to the book so I tend to preview before committing. Based on past experience, I generally do not care for the author narrating their own book - the exceptions have been Michelle and Barack Obama, David Sedaris, Bill Bryson, Oprah Winfrey and Trevor Noah.  

Have you listened to any from my favorites list?
  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking; Susan Cain (NF) 
  2. End of Your Life Book Club; Will Schwalbe (NF)
  3. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid; Bill Bryson (NF)
  4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Rebecca Skloot (NF)
  5. The Notorious RBG; Cameron & Knizhnik (NF)
  6. What I Know For Sure; Oprah Winfrey (NF) 
  7. Books for Living; Will Schwalbe (NF)
  8. Born A Crime; Trevor Noah (NF) 
  9. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership; James Comey (NF)
  10. Morningstar: Growing Up With Books; Ann Hood (NF)
  11. Alex and Me; Irene Pepperberg (NF)
  12. Calypso, David Sedaris (NF)
  13. The Commoner; Richard Schwartz
  14. The Things The Carried; Tim O'Brien
  15. The Kite Runner; Khaled Hosseini
  16. Life of Pi; Yann Martel
  17. The Gold Coast; Nelson DeMille
  18. Middlesex; Jeffrey Eugenides
  19. Cutting for Stone; Abraham Verghese
  20. The Namesake; Jhumpa Lahiri
  21. Defending Jacob; William Landay
  22. Boy in the Stripe Pajamas; John Boyne
  23. American Psycho; Brett Easton Ellis
  24. We Need To Talk About Kevin; Lionel Shriver
  25.  The Fault in Our Stars; John Green
  26. Eleanor and Park; Rainbow Rowell 
  27. The Signature of All Things; Elizabeth Gilbert
  28.  The Book of Unknown Americans; Christina Henriquez 
  29. Colorless Tsukuro Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage; Haruki Murakami  
  30.  We Are Not Ourselves; Matthew Thomas
  31. Everything I Never Told You; Celeste Ng
  32. Our Souls at Night; Kent Haruf 
  33. My Sunshine Away; M.O. Walsh
  34. The Perfect Couple; Erin Hildebrand 
  35. The Wife Between Us; G. Hendricks and Sarah Pekkenan 
  36. Becoming; Michelle Obama - (NF)
  37. A Gentleman in Moscow; Amor Towles
  38. Pachinko; Min Jin Lee 
  39. The Wife; Meg Wolitzer 
  40. The Wartime Sisters; Lynda Cohen Loigman 
  41. A Stone for Danny Fisher; Harold Robbins 
  42. Before She Knew Him; Peter Swanson
  43. Ask Again, Yes; Mary Beth Keane
  44. Chances Are; Richard Russo
  45. The Dutch House; Ann Patchett
  46. Olive Kitteridge; Elizabeth Strout
  47. Olive Again; Elizabeth Strout 
  48. The Nickel Boys; Colson Whitehead
  49. Eight Perfect Murders; Peter Swanson 
  50. The Giver of Stars; Jo Jo Moyes


  1. I have read and seen the movie versions of several of these. However, the only audio book I listened to on your list is Becoming, Michelle Obama's memoir. I loved it.

    1. Michelle, did an amazing job to make her books so very personal.

  2. That's an amazing list! We never do audio books and we don't have a good reason for that at all.

    1. Maybe try one a few hours a day instead of tv and see what you think?

  3. This is a fabulous list. I am bookmarking it for the next time I need to pick an audiobook.

    And I agree with you about authors reading their own books. Stick to what you do best, people.

  4. I'll have to check out the books on the list that I'm not familiar with. I mainly listen to audio books now with a Kindle or children's book thrown in from time to time.

    1. Yes, I think once you get used to audio books, it's very relaxing and enjoyable.

  5. I don't listen to very many audiobooks but I wish I did. They would have been perfect a few years ago when I had a long commute. Nice list... I see a few there I'd like to try!

  6. I seldom listen to audio books except when going on long road trips and there haven't been any of those for a while. But this is a great and diverse list. I have actually read several of them and I can see how they would work well with the spoken word.

    1. I find I can multi-task sometimes as long as there are only a couple of chracters.

  7. Great list. These days audiobooks make up about 20% of the books I read.

    I do find myself looking almost, if not more, for certain narrators I've grown fond of spending a few hours with - a good narrator can make or break an audiobook even quicker than the book's author, IMO.

  8. Hi Diane,
    I am so happy that you took the time to make this splendid list!!! Kudos to you!
    I have read a number of the books mentioned, and listened to several more. And I'm so glad to have the listening recommendations you've mentioned. Thank you!

  9. What a great list, I’m not a huge audiobook listener but I’m listening to more this year. I got Michelle Obama’s Becoming, I’m looking forward to it.

  10. I'm an audiobook fan too! Because I walk with my dog a lot and also do yard work ... an audio is perfect. Your list is really good!

  11. I'm just getting into audiobooks, so I appreciate this list. I'll definitely be checking some of these out. My favorite narrator so far is Katherine Kellgren. She narrates a YA series that I love and she's phenomenal. Unfortunately, she's now deceased, so I'll have to find a new favorite :(

    1. I'm not familiar with that narrator Susan, but, I don't read/listen to too much YA.

  12. I've listened to at least 16 of these, read many more, and am adding a few others to my audio wish list. What a great list... thanks, Diane!

    1. We tend to like many of the same books so I hope my choices will please you.

  13. I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw this blog post! I love recommendations for audiobooks. :)

    Quiet - I haven't read it, but it's been on my list forever. You've convinced me to listen to the audio. Will I want to take notes??

    I loved The End of Your Life Book Club on audio. I bought the book later, but haven't given it a second reading. I should! I'll have to check out Books for Living.

    Cutting for Stone was such an outstanding audio! Loved it.

    I've read a lot of the books you've shares, some on audio and some in print. Great list.

    I have a similar post on my blog, as well as a few others about audio listening. You can find those here. Scroll past the newest reviews for my list of favorites.

    Great topic, Diane!

    1. That's the one downfall of listening - not easy to take notes. If I find myself saying that I wish I could write this down too often, I'll get the print from the library.

  14. What an ambitious list! I remember, very clearly, listening to The Fault in Our Stars on a solo road trip and sobbing as I stuck to the slow lane on the highway. And I loved Trevor Noah reading his memoir.

    1. Oh yes, I was driving home from work wnd had that lump in my throat of Fault of Our Stars.


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