Audiobooks are a true gift for book lovers on the go—if you don’t have time to sit down with your favorite page-turner, you can listen to it while you hit the gym, commute to work, or even cook dinner.
And some books seem like they were just made for audio, whether they’re packed with action or blessed with an unforgettable narrative style.
We’ve compiled a list of the 20 best books on audio that will be music to your ears. Even if you’ve read them before, you’ll find that the listening experience these audiobooks provide can add new life to your old favorites.
20 Best Books on Audio
Below are 20 of the best books available on audio. The best part? When you sign up for an Audible trial, you can listen to most of these titles for free!
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Whether you’re new to Hogwarts or simply want to revisit your childhood favorite, the audio version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, narrated by Jim Bale, is something to be experienced.
Follow Harry and his friends through this first installment in the series, as Dale brings to life each character, from Petunia’s nasally whine to the Sorting Hat’s shrill huff.
2. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
If you’re late to the Game of Thrones craze, you can catch up by listening to the audio version on your drive home or while you chill in your backyard.
Narrated by Roy Dotrice, this audiobook is as epic as the hit series on HBO. Follow the House of Stark and other key players through this first installment, A Song of Ice and Fire.
3. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Who better to narrate the fascinating life story of Trevor Noah than the comedian himself? In this memoir, Noah recalls experiences from his childhood, growing up in a society where he wasn’t supposed to exist.
Born a Crime describes his childhood in apartheid South Africa, where his white father and black mother had to keep their son’s existence a secret to many.
4. The Martian by Andy Weir
Listen to astronaut Mark Watney’s epic struggle for survival after he is left stranded on Mars. Believed dead by his crew, Mark is completely alone with no way to send a signal to Earth.
Wil Wheaton breathes new life into Mark’s story, as he draws on his engineering skills and ingenuity to confront obstacle after obstacle.
5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Golden Globe–winner Claire Danes lends her voice to one of the most widely read novels of our time, which explores the issues of gender, power, and religious politics.
After you’ve listened to the audiobook, check out the award-winning series on Hulu, starring Elizabeth Moss as main character Offred.
6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Narrator Wil Wheaton lends his voice to another adventure in this genre-busting novel that’s part love story and part visual space opera.
Follow Wade Watts’s quest for the ultimate prize, which happens to be the only hope he has for surviving and preserving everything he knows.
7. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Narrated by actor J.K. Simmons, this is the tale of a lovable but grumpy old man whose solitary world is turned upside down when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
This feel-good story is sure to make you smile whether you’re listening from your car or couch.
8. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
In this thrilling blend of historical romance and time travel, nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II to reunite with her husband for a second honeymoon.
But when she touches a boulder in an ancient ruin, she is instantly transported to 1743 Scotland, a place ravaged by war. Listen as Claire tries to find a way back to her own time.
9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Looking for a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Gone Girl should do the trick. Listen along as narrator Kirby Heyborne takes you inside a marriage gone horribly, horribly wrong.
This psychological thriller was turned into an award-winning feature film starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in 2014.
10. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Hear Tina Fey in her own words as she shares her world with readers like never before, covering everything from her days as a “vicious nerd” to her life as a mother, eating things off the floor.
Packed with lines that will make you laugh out loud, Fey offers her take on a range of issues, including breastfeeding, photoshop, and why “you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.”
11. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
A high school English teacher discovers a portal that can take him back to 1958, where he sets out to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
Listen and let yourself be transported to an era of big cars and sock hops, all while unfolding a heart-stoppingly suspenseful plot.
12. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Based on a true story, Unbroken follows a young lieutenant, Louis Zamperini, from his trouble-making childhood to a fateful day that left him alone on a tiny raft, drifting into the unknown.
Narrated by actor Edward Hermann, Unbroken provides an unforgettable story that was later turned into an award-winning film directed by Angelina Jolie.
13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Sissy Spacek narrates the audio version of this timeless classic, a coming of age story set in a South plagued by prejudice and hatred.
14. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, and Octavia Spencer—who also stars in the film adaptation—The Help takes listeners into the world of black maids working in Mississippi in 1962.
22-year-old Skeeter takes it upon herself to tell these women’s stories—the women who helped raise her—in hopes of making a lasting change.
15. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Invisible Man has been described as an “epic novel of 20th century African-American life.” From a black southern college to New York’s Harlem, follow a nameless narrator as he encounters a wide array of characters who lead him on a series of adventures.
16. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Follow two very different sisters—separated by years, experience, ideals, passion, and circumstance—as they both follow their own dangerous paths to survival in Nazi-occupied France.
17. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Discover a murder mystery interwoven with a family saga, a love story, and financial intrigue. A reporter named Mikael is hired by a wealthy Swedish industrialist to solve the 40-year-old case of his missing niece. Mikael is eventually joined by an unusual but brilliant investigator whose fragile trust is hard to win.
18. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
This military science fiction novel is set in the unspecified future, where mankind is in danger after two conflicts with the Formics, an alien species that is nicknamed “the buggers.” In 2013, it hit the big screen, starring Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, and Sir Ben Kingsley.
19. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Actor Stephen Fry narrates this science fiction comedy about Arthur Dent, who is taken form Earth by a researcher for a revised version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Together, they journey through space and seek answers to some of life’s biggest questions (and a few less significant ones).
20. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
In this heartbreaking love story by John Green, two teens diagnosed with terminal cancer form a bond, while they embark on an adventure that’s filled with funny, thrilling moments and explore the tragic business of being alive and in love.
The Best Audiobooks: Where to Listen for Free
Are books music to your ears? Check out our list of the 10 best sites to find free audiobooks so you can listen to your favorite reads on the go or wherever you are.
And for more great deals, try these 17 sites that offer free and low-priced audiobooks, print books, and ebooks!
What is your favorite audiobook to listen to? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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