Recommendations from Drew:
It took me a while to get into audiobooks—I loved listening to podcasts and reading, but audiobooks couldn’t hold my attention. I got used to the pace by trying out some different genres: short story collections, non-fiction, shorter contemporary novels, and thrillers/mysteries.
Here are some audiobooks with great narrators that will make you wonder why you didn’t start listening sooner:
RAISED IN CAPTIVITY by Chuck Klosterman: Short stories read by the author and a host of excellent narrators, including Eddie Huang, H. John Benjamin, Mike Birbiglia, John Hodgeman, and Sloane Crosley. “…Stories so true they had to be wrapped in fiction for our own protection.” If you like This American Life or The Moth, you’ll like this.
THE BODY by Bill Bryson: Read by the author, this book is so densely-packed full of surprising and fascinating facts about the body that I found myself re-listening to entire chapters. I was sad when it ended, and plan to re-listen soon so that I have plenty of facts at-the-ready for the inevitable End of the Pandemic Blowout Party next year.
SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid, narrated by Nicole Lewis: Every word in this debut novel feels like it’s holding ten times its weight. It feels tight, packed full of meaning and nuance while simultaneously being a nail-biting ‘page’ turner. The narrator is great, and made me forget that she had only one voice instead of three.
THE FREEDOM ARTIST by Ben Okri: Expertly narrated by the Booker Prize-winning author, this allegorical novel had my stomach clenched in the best way possible. At once heart-wrenchingly beautiful, hopeful, and terrifying, this book made me want to go back and read or listen to everything Okri has written.
THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides, narrated by Jack Hawkins & Louise Brealey: With narrators alternating between Alicia, a famous painter who shot her husband years ago and hasn’t spoken a word since, and Theo, a criminal psychotherapist who is determined to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of what happened, this audiobook will convert any true crime podcast listener to audiobooks.
IMAGINARY FRIEND by Stephen Chbosky, narrated by Christine Lakin: Do you like Stranger Things? Yes? You should listen to this right now.