Keep your mind and body active at the same time by listening to audiobooks while you clean, run errands, or take a long walk, no matter what you’re up to. If you don’t have a lot of time to read a book in person, audiobooks have become more popular than ever.
It’s possible that you haven’t tried listening to audiobooks before, and you don’t know where to start. Let us do the hard work for you and choose some free audiobooks for you to listen to first to see if it’s something you like. You can find 60 of the best audiobooks on this page. They range from classics and old favorites to new books that your book club will talk about. It doesn’t matter if you like fiction or nonfiction. You’ll find something for you. To avoid having to stop, make sure your earbuds are charged. After a while, you won’t want to stop.
Best audiobooks in fiction
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, narrated by Tom Hanks
As narrated by Tom Hanks, Danny Conroy’s life is told in The Dutch House, which is a great movie. After a series of bad things happen, Danny and Maeve are kicked out of the house their father bought a few years ago, the Dutch House. When they lose a lot of people, it shakes them up so much that, no matter how happy and stable they become, they always come back to sit across the street from the Dutch House when they see each other. When you read on, you’ll find a long family story about loss, growing up, and finding your own place in the world.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, narrated by Nicole Lewis
Emira, a 25-year-old Black woman who is desperate to make ends meet, and Alix, who is her age but not social class, are the main characters in this very modern book. ALIX: I hired Emira because she is a good babysitter and she is white and married. She is also successful in her own blogging business. Emira takes young Briar to the grocery store one night to keep Alix’s daughter out of the house during a family emergency. A security guard wants to know why this Black woman is with a white child.
As Emira deals with racial issues and possible social media scandals, she also has to keep her job, social life, and sanity in order. Such a Fun Age is one of the best audiobooks because it’s narrated by Nicole Lewis, who has a confident and private voice. It sounds like you’re listening to a friend talk about their life.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, narrated by Jennifer Lim
For people who haven’t seen the Hulu version of “Little Fires Everywhere,” Celeste Ng has a great story of family drama that will keep them interested. Picture-perfect family: Mia Warren and her daughter, Pearl, move into the Richardsons’ rental home in Shaker Heights in Ohio. Their lives are turned upside down when Mia and Pearl move in. These free spirits set off a chain of events that will change how the Richardsons think about life and what it means to do the right thing.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter
There is a lot going on in this story: time travel, the Scottish Highlands, and men in kilts. Even before Outlander came out in the 1990s, the book and TV show were huge hits.
The Outlander books are great if you want to go back to the beginning of the series. This audiobook is also great if you want to listen to it. Claire Randall is sent back in time to 18th-century Scotland in the first book. These books are a mix of sweeping romance and thrilling time-travel fantasy. These books are spicy, sweet, and a little bit twisty-turny. They’ll make you want to stay in their world so much that you won’t want to leave.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, narrated by Nick Offerman et al.
As a matter of fact, you may have heard people praise Lincoln in the Bardo before, and that’s right. This 2017 movie swept across the screen with its fascinating look at the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie. It was very interesting. Imaginative, supernatural, and deeply moving, this book was on a lot of “best of” lists and won the Man Booker Prize.
However, if you haven’t tried the audiobook version, it’s safe to say that you still have a lot more to learn about this book. This audiobook has 166 narrators, including big names like Julianne Moore, Nick Offerman, Don Cheadle, and Susan Sarandon. It changes what it means to use a full cast. Lincoln in the Bardo is an audiobook that will be talked about for years to come because it is so big and so well done.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, narrated by David Pittu
Donna Tartt, a well-known author, wrote this coming-of-age story about Theo, a 13-year-old boy who has lost a lot of things. His life will change in the wake of that. He becomes obsessed with a painting, and this obsession will lead him on a whole new path in life. Following Theo as he grows up, The Goldfinch shows the seedy underbelly of the art world. Note that the audio version is a big time commitment, clocking in at more than 32 hours. But the attention to detail, spellbinding language, and personal suspense will make it seem much shorter.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Written by a real-life zoologist, Where the Crawdads Sing is about Kya Clark, a girl who lived in a North Carolina marsh after her father left. She was raised there by herself after he left. Kya has lived alone for a long time. She has been surrounded by and learned from the wilderness around her for a long time. But her life is turned upside down by different men, and what comes next is a gripping story of new lessons, heartbreak, and even suspected murder. When you read this book, you’ll be whisked away to the untamed world of the marshes, where you’ll be surrounded by all the suspense and wonder they have to offer.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, narrated by Shayna Small
At age 16, the Vignes twins split up, and each of their lives took a very different turn. One ran away and set up a new life far away from the small town where she and her daughter grew up, pretending to be white. The other married the darkest man she could find and lived in the same town where she grew up for years. Story: When these two sides of the family meet again, the story is both intense and compelling. It also questions race relations in the second half of the 20th century. So, why don’t you read this now? Especially thanks to Shayna Small’s rich, no-nonsense voice, this audiobook version is the cherry on top. This multigenerational family saga moves forward with grace and flair.
Milkman by Anna Burns, narrated by Bríd Brennan
All of us already know that the best audiobooks have a unique voice, both from the author and the person who reads it. Milkman has both of these.
Story: It’s about a young woman living in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles.” It’s a coming-of-age story about her. That’s not the only thing that makes her character unique. She tells us about her world through the eyes of someone who manages to be both unique and relatable at the same time. Biting advice and an authentic accent make this an audiobook you’ll want to spend time with. You can spread it out over a few days so that your experience doesn’t end too quickly.
Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, narrated by Almarie Guerra et al.
It’s a heartfelt collection of short stories about indigenous Latinas living in the American West. They are voices that aren’t always heard. Eleven women are brought to life by author Kali Fajardo-Anstine in her book set in Denver, Colorado. Each of them faces their own unique challenges and strengths. Yet, through her words, she manages to capture a universality as the women in her collection struggle with abandonment, family, and their efforts to be part of something bigger than them. This book will make you want to read it again and again. Each story is read by a different person, so you can see a piece of yourself even in different situations.