40 favorite audiobooks (yours and mine)

40 favorite audiobooks (yours and mine)

I recently started listening to audiobooks regularly for the first time in a few years. I got hooked with a free trial of Audible.com (you can get yours here) and haven’t looked back.

I finally realized that I could get a little more reading (“reading”?) in while I was running, or driving solo, or washing dishes, and the app on my phone is so much easier to use than cds ever were. (At least for me: my kids love to listen to audiobooks on cd during their daily quiet time.)

Since my interest in audiobooks has been rekindled, I asked you all on twitter and facebook to tell me your recent favorites. You shared a whopping 77 titles. Your top 40 appear below, but this is what the shorter list of your (and my) very favorites looks like:

40 favorite audiobooks (yours and mine)

Reader favorites:

  1. The Help
  2. The Harry Potter series. Jim Dale is the reader on this series, and many of you specifically said you’d listen to anything he reads.
  3. Outlander
  4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  5. Bossypants
  6. Dad is Fat
  7. The Graveyard Book

(I’ve listened to at least part of the audiobook for all of the above except Outlander and The Graveyard Book, and can confirm they are excellent picks.)

My personal faves:

  1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (and the whole Flavia DeLuce series)
  2. The Rosie Project
  3. The Professor and the Madman
  4. The Girl You Left Behind
  5. What Alice Forgot

Quite accidentally, I’ve chosen only books read in foreign accents (to my American ears, that is). My list includes 2 British, 2 Australian, and 1 French. 

For the kids:

  1. The Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins collections. Stockard Channing narrates the Ramona books; Neil Patrick Harris performs the Henry Huggins series and he is fabulous.
  2. The House at Pooh Corner (the version performed by Peter Dennis)
  3. The Wizard of Oz (the version performed by Anne Hathaway)
  4. The Mysterious Benedict Society
  5. How to Train Your Dragon
  6. Little House in the Big Woods (The whole series as read by Cherry Jones is fantastic.)

We especially love the Beverly Cleary and Little House books, which my kids have listened to over and over again. 

Have a great audiobook recommendation? Share it with us in comments. 

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91 comments

  1. Natali McKee says:

    These is My Words, hands down my favorite audio. It will get people that hate audios enjoying them.

    • Anne says:

      My mom LOVES that book and has been telling me to read it for years, and readers with great taste keep mentioning it as a great summer reading pick in the new summer reading posts! I will definitely have to try that one—off to see if they have it on Audible.

  2. Karen says:

    If you enjoy fantasy, Name of the Wind and A Wise Man’s Fear are some of my favorites, written by Patrick Rothfuss. The audio books are wonderful and let you know how names and places are pronounced. I heard A Light Between Oceans is great on audio and is narrated with an Australian accent. Jim Weiss is a wonderful story teller as is Ods Bodkins, lots of sound effects done with his voice.

  3. Molli says:

    Here’s several that I enjoyed on audio book:
    The housekeeper and the professor
    the husband’s secret
    the Scorpio races
    the rook
    me before you
    discovery of witches (listening to third one now)
    outlander series

  4. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions!
    I have loved listening to audiobooks while driving, ironing, and doing various household chores. Several I have enjoyed have already been mentioned, but here are a few more. For adults: The Shoemaker’s Wife (be aware that halfway through the book the narrator changes from an actress to the author which was unexpected and a little jarring for me, but still a good book). Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke I loved. For a clean romance try Austenland by Shannon Hale or Edenbrooke, and Blackmoore both by Julianne Donaldson. For kids/families: The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt was great and I can’t say enough about Science Fair by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson! We got Science Fair from the library for a road trip and my family (2 daughters 9 and 12 and mom and dad) laughed and laughed and couldn’t wait to get back in the car to hear more. So fun! My 9 year old daughter loved to listen to the Henry Huggins books, The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens and A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.

  5. joshua Messer says:

    One of the best series I’ve ever listened to my roommate got me started on and that is Orson Scott Cards Ender’s Game series.
    1. Ender’s Game
    2. Speaker for the Dead
    3. Xenocide
    4. Children of the Mind
    5. Ender’s Shadow
    6. Shadow of the Hegemon
    7. First Meetings
    8. Shadow Puppets
    9. Shadow of the Giant
    10. A War of Gifts
    11. Ender in Exile
    12. Shadow in Flight
    13. Earth Unaware
    14. Earth on Fire
    15. Earth Awakens
    and
    16. Shadows Alive
    is coming out soon

  6. embride says:

    I have always liked audio books ever since Harry Potter. I have listened to tons. Including some classics that I thought I would never get through if I tried to read them.
    Count of Monte Cristo
    Scarlet Pimpernel*
    Zorro
    But I have my favorites that I always to back to…
    Eragon series (it has a lot of war and stuff toward the end so not really a kids book even though it’s kind of portrayed as one.
    Hollow Kingdom trilogy
    Stoneheart books

    I could go on… I love having something that takes me away when I’m doing chores. Audio books, the hands free adventure for you mind 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    Have just convinced husband that we need an Audible account. He loves audio books, but doesn’t listen often as iTunes is often super expensive.

  8. Whitney says:

    A few years ago, when we shared a room, my sisters and I listened to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, read by Tim Curry. We loved them!

  9. Stacie says:

    I am interested in listening to The Professor and the Madman but, as a HSP, I am a bit nervous. Did it bother you at all? Thank you for the great recommendations!

    • Anne says:

      I listened to this long before I knew what an HSP even was, and it didn’t bother me. But HSPs are sensitive to different things so take that with a grain of salt.

  10. Tracy Tobias says:

    I did not read through all the comments, so perhaps my favorites were mentioned, but I am an audiobook junkie. I “read” about one week. We have the same taste in books, so I think that you will really like these – The Bloody Jack series and Her Royal Spyness series. They are both fairly light reads, the former is actually juvenile fiction, but I wouldn’t let young ones read them. Don’t let the title fool you, Bloody, Jack is Jacky Faber, one the great heroines in literature – an orphan turned pirate turned naval officer, she embodies the true definition of grit and perseverance. The books are so good in so many ways, but both series are read by Katherine Kellgren. Trust me when I tell you she is on par with Jim Dale. She is amazing! I love her and I know you will too if you have yet to discover her.

  11. Partha Srinivasan says:

    Just caught up with How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell read by David Tennant.. He does voices for the characters and everything. Love it so much. I have also heard Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry. Lord of the Rings BBC Radio edit is also pretty good. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is also so fun…

  12. Debi H says:

    The Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events are wonderful to listen to with or without children. There is much good fun in word play and puns, it’s almost better heard than read silently.

  13. Melanie T says:

    I like to listen to audio books when I sew. I enjoyed Jennifer Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilters series. They are light “reading” which makes them perfect to sew by.

    I also enjoyed Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. It is my daughter’s favorite book, but I had a hard time reading it. It was much better listening to it (while I sewed of course – but I had to concentrate on listening to it). It was great to be able to talk to her about it.

  14. Jenny L Womack says:

    I loved the Artemis Fowl series & “read” them all as audiobooks. I also have all of Jane Austen’s novels as audiobooks so I can listen to them anytime (often when I have trouble falling asleep).

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