10 Audiobooks that are better than the actual book. Yes, really. #1
10 Great Audiobooks — These audiobooks are even better than the actual books!
I love audiobooks and I cannot lie. Lately, they’ve been my go-to. It just feels so luxurious to have a voice actor narrate a book to you when you’re too tired to read, too busy to sit down for an hour or just plain lazy. In addition, since I started using Scribd, I’ve consumed more books per week than I ever have in my LIFE! It’s just so convenient! So, I decided it would be kind to share 10 great audiobooks to love even more than the actual books, every couple of months. These are books that are narrated excellently and better enjoyed on audio than as a hardcopy or ebook (in my opinion). In each case, I’ll also share why I think the audiobooks are better choices and would provide a better experience.
Sidebar: This is also a great time to sign up for Scribd, if you haven’t yet. With this link, you get two months to try out the service for FREE and I get one month free myself! #notsponsored. All except three of my picks were from Scribd and they have a fantastic selection of both ebooks and audiobooks.Audiobook lover looking for recommendations? Here are TEN audiobooks you'll love even more than the actual books! Click To Tweet
This story of three teenagers with the same birth mother, separated at birth or in childhood is a tear jerker. Authored by Robin Benway and narrated by Julia Whelan (one of THE best audiobook narrators you’ll ever find).
What I liked: The story is told from three perspectives and before I discovered it was one narrator, I was sure there’d been three different narrators. Whelan is that good! Sometimes, when a book is lengthy, it’s hard to stay the course with the audiobook, but I listened to this eight hour recording in one sitting, so… You can read my full review here.
This is a chilling YA thriller by Tiffany D. Jackson, narrated by Imani Parks. When Claudia returns from summer break, her best friend Monday is nowhere to be found. The two girls had always been inseparable and Claudia struggles with Monday’s absence. It’s even worse that no one seems to care that a teenage girl has vanished into thin air. Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
What I liked: The narration is TOP NOTCH. Top notch narrators give you the feeling that every character is their own individual. A good narrator makes a story sound like it’s read by a full cast of actors simply by adjusting the tone and pitch of their voice. The only thing I struggled with was keeping track of the chronology of the book, but even readers have said they struggled too. It’s one of those things that messes with your head until the point when everything comes together. It’s brilliant.
Why?: Trevor just makes it better. His voice, his accent when he speaks some Xhosa and even SINGS in the audiobook easily beat out the paperback experience. Honestly, I’m sad when people tell me they read this book. Some books should ONLY be experienced as AUDIO. For example, in this case I have no knowledge of Xhosa, so I believe “reading” those sections would entail a loss for me. Part of the experience would be missed. If you take no other recommendations from this list, try this one.
By Sarah Haywood, narrated by Katherine Manners. In The Cactus, forty five year old Susan Green is independent and has everything just how she likes it while avoiding all dealings with her irresponsible brother. Things completely disintegrate, however when her mother dies and Susan discovers that her will favors Edward. Simultaneously, Susan finds out she’s going to be a mother. This is a completely engaging story. Again one of those that ties up in the final two hours of the story.
What I liked: British narrator who captured the curtness of the protagonist and her prim and proper nature, as well as all the other characters. I laughed aloud many times during this. Susan is hard to understand initially, but her antics will give you a good chuckle.
I LOVED this middle grade novel about two boys with polar opposite lives — one Indian, one American. When Ravi’s family moves to America, nothing is as he thinks it will be. Joe, who’s lived in the same town all his life recently lost his best friends when they moved towns. These two are forced together when they become the target of the school’s biggest bully. Authored by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan.
What I liked: Two different narrators for the boys – narrators Josh Hurley & Vikas Adam! One of which is actually of Indian descent! It makes for a great listening experience as there’s a lot of talk about Indian food and culture.
Lucy Klein acquires savant math skills after getting struck by lightning in early childhood. She’s also developed other problems as a result of this event in her life. Although Lucy is smart enough to complete the high school math curriculum before age thirteen, her social skills are desperately lacking. So, her grandmother insists she spends a year in middle school. This novel by Stacy McAnulty is one of my favorites of the year!
What I liked: Narrator Ana Isabel captures Lucy voice perfectly. Her worries, excitement about math and deep uncertainties about socializing are so perfectly translated. In addition, she makes the other characters come alive in an equally vivid manner.
Dimple and Rishi are set up by their Indian parents, except, Dimple has no idea that she’s been set up. So things get off to a rocky start when Rishi shows up at her coding convention to “get to know her”. In contrast to Dimple, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
What I liked: Two different narrators (always a pleasant surprise!) who match the tone of the protagonists perfectly! Feisty Dimple and sweet, responsible Rishi. This YA novel is a very easy and engaging listen! Narrated by Sneha Mathan and Vikas Adam.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring actress, Amandla Stenberg, THUG follows Starr who she witnesses the shooting of her best friend, unarmed, by a white cop. The Hate U Give is more than just the activism, there’s a strong message of family and community that will tug at your heartstrings.
What I liked: Impeccable narration by Bahni Turpin makes this YA novel COME ALIVE. Turpin is also the narrator of Children of Blood and Bone, Halsey Street and a host of other acclaimed novels. Especially with the multitude slangs and lilts involved in African-American lingo, I enjoyed this narration. Also, being a lengthy book, it may not be easy for everyone to get through this as quickly if they actually read it, than if they listened.
With some of the best narrators in the game, from Julia Whelan to Bahni Turpin, these ten audiobooks will hold you captive from start to finish! Click To Tweet
“Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’s wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas, and later lost his job during the Iranian revolution; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman.”
What I liked: Firoozeh Dumas‘ Iranian family is a RIOT! Their antics are reminiscent of the Greek family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and I spent many a chapter of this audiobook just laughing out loud. Dumas herself is a really good narrator and it’s always a good thing when non fiction is narrated by the author.
“Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.”
What I liked: Two narrators, for the males and female POVs (the best!) ensured that each character in this book was memorable. This is one of those books that I’m convinced I may not have enjoyed as much, had I simply read the words myself. It’s a big discussion starter and whether you end up on #TeamRoy, #TeamAndre, #TeamCelestial or #TeamNobody, this story will stay with you. Narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis.
You’re probably wondering now: WHERE CAN I GET AUDIOBOOKS?! I already mentioned Scribd which I love because for its inexpensive monthly charge (8.99 USD/m for an UNLIMITED selection of audiobooks and ebooks). However, if you do have the budget, Audible has an even wider selection and you can sign up for a free trial (14.99 USD/m for ONE audiobook, afterwards) if you haven’t yet on their website. Again, #notsponsored.
If you’re already a fan of audiobooks, please tell me, which ones have you LOVED recently? If you’re wondering how to get into audiobooks, you may find this post from last year helpful.