It’s not a secret that I love audiobooks and that they’ve been a game changer for helping me read significantly more books the past few years. It took me a long time to get into audiobooks. Now I’m hooked, but I still choose which books to read as audiobooks with care. Not every book works well as an audiobook. And not every audiobook is well read. Choosing a few poor reads can turn you off from the whole prospect. I’m sharing my top 10 recommendations for books to get you started with audiobooks. Happy listening!
I’m a huge fan of Jim Gaffigan. Jake and I have watched all of his Netflix specials, both seasons of his TV show, and seen him perform live. Listening to Dad is Fat feels just like another one of his comedy specials. It’s so funny and heartfelt, something you’ll enjoy listening to on your own or with your entire family.
If you follow along with my What I Read posts, most likely you already know how much I love Modern Romance. To date, it’s the only audiobook I’ve listened to multiple times (although I know that there will be others that I repeat in the future). Modern Romance is a fascinating topic, and Aziz Ansari really does it justice.
I read a lot of celebrity memoirs. Most of them are enjoyable but only a handful really stand out from the pack. I’m talking about several of those type of memoirs in this book recommendations list. I Must Say is everything you want in a celebrity memoir. Martin Short is a great writer. He shares just the right combination of personal stories and celebrity brag stories (if Tom Hanks came to my Christmas party, I’d be talking about it, too).. He covers the projects you want him cover. Short is touching while still being so funny.
Hands down, Ready Player One is the best fiction book I’ve listened to and honestly, the fiction audiobook that convinced me that it’s worth trying fiction audiobooks once in a while. Wil Wheaton reads Ready Player One, which is pretty awesome in and of itself, and very fitting for the subject matter. It’s just a fun, original book that doesn’t feel like something you’ve read a million times already.
In the vein of Malcolm Gladwell, I love this type of nonfiction, especially when it’s written well. Gawande does a great job weaving research with narrative naturally while keeping the writing style engaging. I enjoy reading this type of book but I get through it so much faster as an audiobook. I’ve listened to three of Gawande’s books and enjoyed all of them but recommend Being Mortal first, as it has the most universal appeal.
Carrie Fisher is a fantastic storyteller, truly one of the funniest women of our time with an amazing, sarcastic, dry sense of humor. Reading her books always makes me want to watch one of her movies right away. Wishful Drinking is the book of Fisher’s to read first, covering the widest range of topics.
Mindy Kaling writers the type of book that I can sit down and read or listen to in just one or two sittings. She writes the way I want to write. Her style is seemingly effortless with no ego whatsoever, despite having written some of the all-time best episodes of The Office. She talks about what it’s really like breaking into the writing scene in Hollywood and working her way up to a hit TV show, offering a refreshing, slightly self-depricating approach. I’m thrilled that Mindy Kaling keeps getting TV work, but I sort of just want her to write another book, too.
Outliers is a fantastic read with relevant, interesting case studies to back up each of the points. It’s everything that’s fascinating about psychology and human behavior without any of the garbage that usually comes with studying psych. Gladwell is a great writer, not lyrical like Paul Kalanithi, but concise and engaging. Outliers gets quoted all the time (for example, he discusses the 10,000 hours rule on multiple occasions). As such, reading it will give you a better appreciation for a number of cultural topics.
I didn’t get into David Sedaris’s writing until a few years ago. Me Talk Pretty One Day is not a book I ever would have gotten into when it was first published (and I was still in high school) but something that I appreciate a lot more as an adult. Sedaris has such a conversational style to his writing that seems like you’d find it everywhere. But most people don’t have his way with words and knack for storytelling. Me Talk Pretty is among Sedaris’s best work, but I’ve enjoyed all of his books and recommend any of them as audiobooks.
10. Still Foolin ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? by Billy Crystal
Still Foolin ‘Em is another celebrity memoir that has everything you want in a celebrity memoir. It’s well written. It’s funny and heartfelt. Billy Crystal shares the perfect mix of personal stories and celebrity brag stories as well as the projects you want him to cover (hello, Princess Bride).
I’ve gotten all of the audiobooks in this list, as well as dozens of other audiobooks, for free from my local library system. I download and listen to them on my phone using the OverDrive app. Libby by OverDrive is another great app for downloading and playing library audiobooks. If you prefer an additional resource or alternative to library audiobooks, check out Audible. As of writing this post, a 30-day free trial includes five audiobooks and two Audible originals. This offer is subject to change at any time without notice.
[Disclaimer: The Amazon book links and Audible free trial links are affiliate links. I was not sponsored to promote any of the books, audiobook apps, or Audible free trial. Thanks for your support!]
What are some of your favorite audiobooks?
I’m always looking for new book recommendations! Talk to me about your favorite audiobook reads in the comments.
More reading resources: