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HomeEntertainmentBooks20 of the Best Audiobooks of All Time | Book Riot

20 of the Best Audiobooks of All Time | Book Riot

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Determining one of the best audiobooks of all time is a extremely subjective course of. What makes an audiobook one of the best? Do they should have well-known narrators or an ensemble solid? Are the most well-liked audiobooks one of the best, or have they got to be award-winning to be one of the best?

Audiobooks have come a long way since their first iteration in 1932. Back then, the American Foundation for the Blind created e-book recordings on vinyl data, which solely held about quarter-hour of speech per facet. Over the next a long time, cassette tapes after which compact discs turned the brand new media for recorded books.

In current years, audiobooks have steadily increased in popularity. According to the Audio Publishers Association’s annual gross sales survey, audiobook gross sales have elevated by double-digit percentages yearly for the previous decade. Furthermore, the pandemic seems to have elevated the usage of audiobooks, significantly amongst youngsters.

Of course, with audiobooks being extra in style then ever, their high quality and selection are at an all-time excessive. Be they full solid performances or single narrator romps, recorded e-book can immerse readers within the creator’s world in a means that’s totally completely different from print texts. The greatest audiobooks carry our favourite characters to life, capturing the voices that heretofore solely existed in our minds.

For this checklist, one of the best audiobooks of all time shall be decided by the very nonscientific course of of 1 e-book nerd and her Facebook buddies. Said e-book nerd has additionally scoured the web, if “scoured” means the half-assed means I used to scrub pots when my mom made me do the dishes in center college. In different phrases, I believe these are all nice audiobooks but it surely’s not a definitive checklist.

Note that my focus is on the efficiency of the readers, not the standard or content material of the books themselves.

Best Audiobooks of All Time Read by Multiple Narrators

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon; Read by Bahni Turpin, Raymond Lee, and Dominic Hoffman

If you haven’t learn this e-book, which has additionally been tailored right into a film, then hearken to it ASAP. It is nicely solid and the studying is totally lovely. Much of the e-book takes place in a single, eventful day when Jamaican American Natasha and Korean American Daniel meet and rapidly fall in love. Unfortunately, Natasha and her household are scheduled to be deported the next day. You’ll lose your self on this lush prose and heart-wrenching story.

audiobook cover of american gods

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman; Read by Ron McLarty, Daniel Oreskes and a Full Cast

This version of Gaiman’s beloved novel is taken into account his “director’s cut” as a result of it consists of unpublished materials from his authentic manuscript. The leads present gorgeous portrayals of the boastful Mr. Wednesday and relatable protagonist Shadow Moon.

cover of the audiobook Stamped

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Written and Read by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Adapted from Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning, this bestseller approaches advanced subjects in a kid-friendly means. Jason Reynolds’s efficiency reminds us why he’s so well-loved by children and academics alike.

cover of world war z audiobook

World War Z: The Complete Edition: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks; Read by Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, Carl & Rob Reiner, and John Turturro

This well-known work was the winner of the Audie for Multi-Voiced Performance in 2014. Combining the unique abridged recording and new unabridged recordings, the audiobook boasts the voice skills of celebrities like Mark Hamill.

audiobook cover of the exorcist

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty; Read by the Author and Eliana Shaskan

I, an uncultured swine, had by no means seen The Exorcist after I determined to hearken to the audiobook. Dear reader, that was a mistake. After listening to this unimaginable efficiency of the deeply disturbing supply materials, the film adaptation paled as compared. This is a must-listen for any self-respecting horror fan.

cover of same sun here

Same Sun Here; Written and Read by Silas House and Neela Vaswani

This audiobook was a 2013 Audie Award Nominee for Children’s Titles for Ages 8–12. Of course, a narrative written in two voices is ideal for a number of narrators. The two readers each give masterful performances that seize the very completely different voices of the 2 protagonists.

cover of lincoln in the bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders; Read by Nick Offerman and a Full Cast

The time period “a full cast” is an understatement right here. This 2018 Audie Award winner for Audiobook of the Year is learn by 166 narrators. Among them are celebrities like Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Susan Sarandon, Bill Hader, and extra.

audiobook cover of clap when you land

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo; Read by the Author and Melania-Luisa Marte

Elizabeth Acevedo is well one of the important voices of our time. She lends her voice to this audiobook, bringing her distinctive perception into the characters to her efficiency. This lovely novel-in-verse is ideal for audio, so it’s a real deal with for the ears.

Best Audiobooks of All Time Read by a Single Narrator

audiobook cover image of Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming; Written and Read by Jacqueline Woodson

I do know I simply mentioned this about Elizabeth Acevedo, however Jacqueline Woodson is unarguably probably the greatest authors of our time. Brown Girl Dreaming is a the story of Woodson’s childhood, informed in lovely verse. Naturally, there’s no higher reader for it than the creator herself.

audiobook cover of Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin; Read by Roy Dotrice

Roy Dotrice is among the greatest audiobook narrators of all time. Consequently, he’s the right voice for such an epic story. He does the sprawling solid of characters justice together with his extremely diversified voice work.

Audiobook cover of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Written and Read by Maya Angelou

Mother Maya Angelou wants no introduction. Her phrases are poetry and she or he delivers them like nobody else may. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiographical story of ache and resilience that has impressed readers for many years.

audiobook cover of The Stand

The Stand by Stephen King; Read by Grover Gardner

The Stand is an epic story of a civilization-ending sickness that possibly hits too near house within the present period. Still, Grover Gardner’s efficiency is totally spellbinding. Each of the numerous characters has a singular voice, full with delicate nuances that mirror a deep understanding of the supply materials.

audiobook cover of The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; Read by Jim Dale

I hate to say these magic books I so love (due to their hateful TERF of an creator), however the audiobook efficiency is great. Jim Dale is unimaginable and does all of the voices in distinct and interesting methods. While The Night Circus doesn’t have as many distinctive characters as these books, it’s an awesome e-book and Dale does an exceptional job.

audiobook cover of the hate u give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; Read by Bahni Turpin

Bahni Turpin is certainly one of my favourite audiobook narrators (which is why she’s making one other look on this checklist). She captures protagonist Starr completely in Angie Thomas’s seminal novel, The Hate U Give. While Starr is written as a relatable character you possibly can’t assist however root for, Turpin actually brings her to life.

audiobook cover of born a crime

Born a Crime; Written and Read by Trevor Noah

Let me rely the methods I like Trevor Noah. Actually, we haven’t received the time or house for that. Instead, I’ll simply say his memoir was made to be listened to. The Xhosa and Zulu language interwoven by way of the story are so lovely in his voice. You simply can’t get the identical expertise studying this one on the web page.

cover of circe

Circe by Madeline Miller; Read by Perdita Weeks

Perdita Weeks outdoes herself on this audio recording. Circe on audio is an EXPERIENCE. For 12 hours, you’ll grow to be misplaced in a world that feels extra actual than our personal, due to Weeks’s stellar efficiency.

audiobook cover of the dutch house

The Dutch House by Anne Patchett; Read by Tom Hanks

Tom. Hanks. Need I say extra?

audiobook cover of Beloved

Beloved Written and Read by Toni Morrison

Here we’ve one other absolute icon studying an iconic story in her personal voice. The ache on the web page turns into that rather more heartwrenching in Morrison’s vocal efficiency. Whether you’ve learn this Pulitzer Prize–winner or not, the audiobook is greater than value your time.

audiobook cover image of Nothing To See Here By Kevin Wilson

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson; Read by Marin Ireland

I listened to this e-book earlier this yr and I can’t specific how a lot I like to recommend you do the identical. It’s a touching, outlandish, and hilarious story as written, however Marin Ireland takes it to a wholly new degree. Her use of dialect and the uncooked honesty of her efficiency is unparalleled. Seriously, hearken to it instantly.

audiobook cover of Becoming

Becoming Written and Read by Michelle Obama

Finally, if you happen to didn’t know Michelle Obama’s memoir can be on this checklist, then you definately doubtless are new to the world of audiobooks. This Grammy Award Winner for Best Spoken Word Album 2020 is a refreshingly sincere, inspiring have a look at the lifetime of our former First Lady. Nobody may’ve learn it like she did, so we’re all fortunate she took the narration reins.


Get these greatest audiobooks of all time in your ears ASAP! If you’re searching for much more nice audiobook suggestions, the lists under can assist.

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