graphic depicting books with set of headphones around them, text says Audiobook Reviews

Better on Audio: Excellent #Audiobooks

Looking for a great audiobook? Here’s a list I’ve kept over the years of memorable ones. (And I listen, on average, to one or two audiobooks a week!)

Why do these audiobooks stand out? It goes without saying that all of the narrators are incredibly talented. Also, all of these books also seem ideally suited to the audiobook format for one reason or another. Many are in the first-person, which I especially like in audio format because it’s like a story being told; three are actually memoirs. Others are written using a lot of words in languages other than English or with some distinctive quality that makes it especially nice to hear it in, for example, a voice with a particular accent, or a teenager-sounding voice. Several are really funny, so the comedic timing of the narrators makes them absolutely hilarious.

Try one of these wonderful audiobooks if you’ve never listened to an audiobook or haven’t listened to one in a long time. (They’ve gotten way better since the early days!) If I reviewed it on the blog, I’ve linked to the review.

Excellent Audiobooks

Classic, Literary, Historical, Humorous, Speculative, & Suspense

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, read by David Colacci
Anansi Boys
by Neil Gaiman, read by Lenny Henry
The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz, read by Jonathan Davis
The Cat’s Table
by Michael Ondaatje, read by the author
Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins, read by Xe Sands
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, read by Ralph Cosham
Defending Jacob by William Landay, read by Grover Cleveland
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, read by Will Patton
The Good House by Ann Leary, read by Mary Beth Hurt
I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck, narrated by Barbara Caruso
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, read by Robin Sachs
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, read by Fenella Woolgar
Lisey’s Story by Stephen King, read by Mare Winningham (Simon & Schuster)
Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard, read by Mark Honan (AudioGO)
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian, read by Alison Fraser and Mark Bramhall
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (and others in series) by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Lisette Lecat
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, read by Gretchen Mol
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, read by Davina Porter
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, read by Wil Wheaton
The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell, read byTai Simmons
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, read by Jonathan Davis
The Spellman Files (and rest of the Izzy Spellman series) by Lisa Lutz, read by Christina Moore
Still Life (and all the Armand Gamache mysteries) by Louise Penny, read by Ralph Cosham
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, read by the author
The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland, read by Xe Sands
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, read by Kathleen Wilhoite
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, read by Simon Slater


Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton, read by the author (Random House Audio)
Bossypants by Tina Fey, read by the author
100 Names for Love by Diane Ackerman, read by Barbara McCulloh (Recorded Books)

Young Adult Fiction

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, read by Stina Nielson
Bartimaeus sequence (starting with The Amulet of Samarkand) by Jonathan Stroud, read by Simon Jones
Beauty Queens
by Libba Bray, read by the author
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, read by Nick Podehl
Delirium by Lauren Oliver, read by Sarah Drew
The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith, read by Mark Boyett
Swim the Fly by Don Calume, read by Nick Podehl

6 thoughts on “Better on Audio: Excellent #Audiobooks”

  1. Great list! I love audiobooks. I find it easier to listen to memoirs and non-fiction on audiobook, sometimes I get a little lost listening to fiction vs. reading it. But I love good fiction on audiobook, so I’ve started “reading along” – listening to the audiobook while I have the book open following along. I find it so relaxing and lovely! Have you listened to anything by Rob Inglis? He’s my favorite narrator – he does Lord of the Rings and the Wizard of Earthsea Trilogy. His narration is so wonderful!

    1. No, I think Rob Inglis would be a new narrator for me! I’ve been meaning to read the Earthsea books, which I think I read way back when but don’t remember, so I’ll try the audio! Thanks for the tip!

  2. That’s a good list and I am going to bookmark it for the future. I don’t have an opportunity to listen to audio books very often as the commute is short and my work demands more attention to paperwork and phones

  3. Ahhhh….I forgot to tell you my husband and I love the audio books when we used to go camping. The drive was always long enough that we had been through many books, both for us and our young son.

    1. We found that short stories work well for my husband and me on road trips, because of the built-in breaks! He’s not addicted to audiobooks like I am. I used to listen even on my five-minute commute to work back when I worked closer to home!

  4. I always have trouble concentrating on audio books. You have some great recommendations here, should give a couple of them a try before I decide whether audio books are for me or not.

Would love to have you comment!