Last week, I was talking to someone about books (if I had a nickel…). About Pride and Prejudice, specifically. This reader loved Pride and Prejudice. He’d been putting it off for years, much to the dismay of his wife, who’s in grad school for literature. But before he set out on a long road trip, he chose the Audible edition narrated by Rosamund Pike as his driving companion.
I love Pride and Prejudice, and I’ve read it at least half a dozen times. But I’ve never heard Rosamund Pike’s complete version. This reader’s raves about her fantastic narration—and especially, her perfect accents for Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins—had me firing up my computer to order that version for myself immediately. I have piles of Audible credits saved up; I was ready to use one.
But I didn’t have to.
I discovered that that audiobook—along with more than 40 other titles—is available to stream for Amazon Prime members through Audible’s new Audible Channels feature. For FREE.
Channels debuted in the fall, but when Audible announced it, I didn’t think I cared. And then this week I realized Channels has one feature I care very much about, and that is free streaming audiobooks —full-length audiobooks from best sellers, family favorites, celebrity-narrated classics, and more.
And these aren’t throwaway freebies—these are truly terrific titles.
(I’m going to try and restrain myself from dumping commentary on every single book here as I give you a quick tour of what you could be streaming for free.)
A few examples from the Editors’ Choice category:
• Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (this has been on my list since a What Should I Read Next listener recommended it in Episode 62!)
• Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Have I told you about the time I was riding on an NYC bus and the woman across the aisle missed her stop because she was so absorbed in this novel? Yeah.
• Watership Down by Richard Adams. I enjoyed this narration last year.
• The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. Kubica’s a pro; this is her best.
• H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Read it.
In the Celebrity Voices/Classic Stories category:
• Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, narrated by Rosamund Pike
• Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, narrated by Scarlett Johansson
• Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, narrated by Elijah Wood
• Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, narrated by Kenneth Branagh
• Bram Stoker’s Dracula, narrated by Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, and a full cast
A few Better Than the Movie audiobooks:
From the Truly Criminal category:
And a few more:
• Stitches by Anne Lamott. Love her.
• The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. The audio edition is sooo good!
• Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. This Peter Dennis narration is the best.
• The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
Repeating for emphasis: Prime members can stream these titles for free, but you can’t download them (unless you buy them, of course). These are the books to listen to while you do the dishes or fold laundry, not while you go for a run or drive carpool.
Audible Channels is a completely free feature for Amazon Prime members. You don’t need to do anything to access this feature except download the app. (Make sure you’re running the most recent version of the app. I had to update my iPhone app before I could access Channels. At this time, Channels is available in the Audible app for Android, iOS, Windows 10, and Fire tablets.)
If you’ve never tried Prime before, you start a 30-Day Free Trial. You have access to Audible Channels during your trial period. Shop Amazon – If you want to become a Prime member, start here. If you’re a student, you can get 50% off your Prime membership.
If Prime isn’t for you, next week I’m sharing how to purchase Audible audiobooks not quite for free, but for cheap, and without a membership.
Do you use Audible Channels? I’d love to hear what features you use, and how. And of course I’d love to hear your experience with any of the audiobooks on this list! Please tell us all about them in comments.