audiobooks featuring celebrity narrators
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

When a friend recommended this YA novel about an unlikely friendship between two Mexican-American teenage boys, I thought about adding it to my To Be Read stack. But when I found out Lin-Manuel Miranda narrates, I downloaded the audiobook immediately. Ari and Dante are both loners when they meet at a swimming pool and Dante offers to teach Ari how to swim. From there, a tentative friendship begins. 7 hours 29 minutes More info →
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A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning

A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning

Welcome to an “unhappy tale about three very unlucky children.” The Baudelaire children receive terrible news and it only gets worse from there. This series is much loved by children everywhere. This audiobook, narrated by Tim Curry with a full cast, is fantastic. 2 hours 29 minutes. More info →
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Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs

Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs

Eighteen months after becoming sober, Knapp adopted a puppy from a shelter and thus altered the course of her life. Knapp explores the relationship between humans and animals, specifically the bond we can form with them, making for a rich, emotionally complex read. Hilary Swank's heartfelt narration makes a good story even better. 7 hours 8 minutes. More info →
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Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

Dan Stevens appears on this list twice, but he earns it: his wonderful narration makes this classic immensely listenable. (A bonus for Downton Abbey fans: there's a character named Mary, so you get to hear Stevens say her name repeatedly.) It was supposed to be the perfect crime. But an avalanche stops the Orient Express in its tracks just before a passenger is found murdered in his berth, foiling the perpetrator's getaway, and trapping 13 potential suspects—each with an airtight alibi—in the train car with Inspector Hercule Poirot. A classic for a reason. 6 hours 37 minutes More info →
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The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing up in Communist Russia

The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing up in Communist Russia

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya has gone on to become one of Russia's most acclaimed authors but this is her story of where she started. She grew up in a disadvantaged family, coming of age in Stalinist Russia, sleeping in freight cars and searching for scraps of food. Her unflinching account is a powerful story of survival. Narrated by Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek: Voyager and Orange Is the New Black. 3 hours 22 minutes. More info →
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Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman

I had complicated feelings about reading this one ... but Reese Witherspoon's authentically Southern narration is a strong point in favor of the audio version. Serious students of writing or literature will be enthralled by the ties between Watchman and Lee's beloved classic To Kill a Mockingbird. (Here's how I approached this controversial work.) The unabridged version is shorter than I expected, at 6 hours 57 minutes. It's worth mentioning that Sissy Spacek's narration of To Kill a Mockingbird is completely fantastic. More info →
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The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963

The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963

In this modern classic, 10-year-old Kenny and his family head south from their home in Flint, Michigan to visit Grandma in Birmingham—right as the church bombings are about to happen. This award-winning middle grade novel has both humor and depth, and LeVar Burton excels at highlighting the funny and the tragic with his excellent narration. 4 hours 54 minutes. More info →
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The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale

A timely dystopian novel, Atwood’s classic explores women’s rights and religious fundamentalism. It's a feminist nightmare, introducing readers to a world where women are subjugated. I listened to the Claire Danes audio version. Her narration was understated (in a good way), which made the story extra-creepy. It’s a cautionary tale about just how far religious extremism can go. Offred and the other handmaids are only as valuable as their ability to get pregnant. But Offred can remember how things used to be: the books she read and her relationship with her husband, the way she could go to work. She remembers. 11 hours 1 minute. More info →
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The End of the Affair

The End of the Affair

Graham Greene is frequently included in "novels everyone should read" and "best of the century" lists, and I've been meaning to read him for years. But I'd never made it a priority ... until I found out that Colin Firth narrates this version. This short novel might not hold the broader appeal of the other novels on this list, but I found it enjoyable and thought-provoking, and Firth's narration is pitch perfect. If you love Brideshead Revisited, read this immediately. 6 hours 28 minutes. More info →
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Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

This series has been captivating readers for over a century. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of Prince Edward Island decide to adopt an orphaned boy to help them on their farm, but their messenger mistakenly delivers a girl to Green Gables instead—an 11-year-old feisty redhead named Anne Shirley. She brings compassion, kindness, and beauty wherever she goes; she's a hopeless romantic, committed to her ideals, and guided by pure intentions—though that doesn't keep her from completely upending Marilla and Matthew's quiet life. It's the classic you know and love, in a fresh narration with Rachel McAdams—a wonderful way to revisit an old favorite. 9 hours 22 minutes More info →
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Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

A story about Lincoln, America's 16th president—kind of. Whoa, is it strange. Interesting and experimental, but definitely strange. The "bardo" of the title is a Tibetan concept: it's a spiritual landscape—a kind of in-between place—where we are sent between physical lives. When Lincoln's son Willie was 11, he died of typhoid, plunging Lincoln into deep grief. Saunders uses this real event as a jumping-off point to explore the near-unbearable grief of an individual, linking it to the disarray of the country he leads, at the height of its Civil War, and imagines how Lincoln's despair changed the outcome of the war. Narrated by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, Carrie Brownstein, Miranda July, Lena Dunham, et al. 7 hours 25 minutes. More info →
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Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Thirty years after the Revolutionary War, the Marquis de Lafayette returned to the United States, so beloved a hero 80,000 people showed up at the New York Harbor to welcome him. He reminded everyone of what they wanted this young country to be. This is a humorous look at the Frenchman's impact on the US, from his neutrality as the threat of the Civil War loomed to his relationships with well-known figures of the time, like George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Narrated by Bill Hader, Nick Offerman, John Oliver and more. 8 hours 7 minutes. More info →
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Letters to a Young Poet

Letters to a Young Poet

I'm listening to this RIGHT NOW. You've probably encountered snippets of this compilation somewhere along the way; in less than two hours you can hear the complete work. If you have a creative bone in your body, it's well worth the time to give this a listen at least once, especially because it's read by Dan Stevens. 1 hour 52 minutes. More info →
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Heartburn

Heartburn

This is a largely autobiographical novel about the breakup of a marriage; it's way funnier than any book on the subject has any right to be. The foodie angle was a pleasant surprise. A What Should I Read Next? guest raved about this, specifically the audio version read by Meryl Streep. I finally caved and downloaded it. I'm so glad I did. 5 hours 30 minutes. More info →
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Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

One of the most popular novels in the English language, Pride And Prejudice follows Elizabeth Bennett and her four sisters and all that ensues when Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, both men in possession of a fortune, move to town. f you've never read Jane Austen, start here, with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and you'll see why, like Anne, devoted readers keep picking this one up again ... and again and again. Narrated by Rosamund Pike, who played older sister Jane Bennett in the 2005 film version. (Austen fans, take note: Audible recently released a new version of Emma, delightfully read by Emma Thompson.) 11 hours 35 minutes More info →
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