The older I get, the more I find myself in consistently checking in with how I’m best spending my time. Is there a more efficient way to do this task? Am I getting the most from whatever habits I’ve decided to stack? And when it comes to reading – would this be better consumed as an audiobook?
Now I am a storyteller through and through. It’s what I’ve leaned into as a career but it also means that I’m picky in a way that my friends often aren’t. And what’s great about audiobook is that often a story that is lovely takes on a new level of excitement when paired with the right voice. Often, even more so when the story is read by it’s subject.
So today I’ve rounded up my 20 of my favorites for you. Whether you’re into autobiographies, self-help or a good fiction moment, these are the audiobooks that have carried me through the last few years. Long car rides. Showers. Hot girl walks. All a little bit more vibrant when paired with a good story. Which one will you choose first?
*a note before we dive in: if you are an Audible user or new to audiobooks and haven’t heard of Libro.FM, they are the best way to support small independent bookstores with your monthly audiobook subscription. The pricing is similar. You get discounts on any books outside of your monthly credit you buy. And you’re getting to support small which we love.
I mentioned this in a cozy weekend reads a while back but honestly, it’s one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to in 2023. I, as an Outlander fan, have never particularly paid too close attention to the cast outside of noticing when they are in other movies or tv shows. And typically, I wait until the season is done to even watch – I came to the show much later & love an Outlander binge session.
However, as it often occurs, this book found me at just the right moment. The combination of past and present storytelling. Sam shares both his journey of walking the West Highland Way with his life up until the journey. The many years of working towards his dream of acting full time along with the various jobs and close calls (for roles such as Superman, James Bond, etc) – the audiobook paints a beautiful picture of inspiration and hope. Whether you’re a Sam Heughan fan or just someone who loves a good story + an accent, it’s the perfect combo. Plus, you get the added bonus of audio recordings he took during his hiking journey.
When a story this rare makes it into publication, I can’t imagine not listening to the audiobook version. It just adds another layer of emotion and rarity to the experience. And of course, there’s everything you’ve always wanted to know about royal life. I will say given the current climate of celebrity autobiographies, there’s always the opportunity for a book like this to feel like a trauma dump.
Thankfully, I felt more hopeful and curious than anything while listening. As best said by Matta of Fact, the villain in this story for Harry is the tabloids which often feels earned. There’s the peak behind the expectations of royalty as well as how a family with world-watching behaves. More than anything, it felt like a chance for Harry to share his story and take back the narrative. 10/10 from me. Very much worth the listen.
I can’t say what drew me into this particular book other than it became my matcha book for a few weeks. Whenever I felt like I just needed a moment to reset, I would hop in the car, open my Libro.FM app and turn on this audiobook. Simu’s story is again another one with a unique perspective. Even more so when you consider all of the choices, divine timing, and things that had to line up for him to get to where he is today.
His parents grew up in a time when the options for work in a foreign country were limited and often chosen for you. But with every chapter, and every decision, their lives slowly transformed into something movies are made of. Simu’s story isn’t one of overnight success. The journey of disappointing your parents, pursuing a career that is your passion and ultimately receiving the call that changes your life is often told but not so easily put into words. And by the end, your compassion, understanding and awe are met with gratitude for the story that was shared. Another hope-filled moment for me that I think we all can appreciate on some level.
In a time when book club was temporarily a thing amongst my friends, this was our August book of choice. And it’s now airing as a TV show on Apple TV. Everything about this particular story was unexpected for me. But in saying that I feel like I really needed to come to this story via audiobook rather than e-book or a physical copy. Because it’s a lot easier to sit in the discomfort of the moments when it feels like less work to do so.
Did it have the happy ending I wanted? Not at all. Granted I’m also a regular consumer of romance novels. Did the journey of our heroine feel important and powerful? Yes. Did I skip to the end and shock myself early? You bet! But I really enjoyed this in audiobook form even if it wasn’t my usual go-to read.
I am not a musical theater kid so my love of Sutton Foster was solidified when I started watching Younger. Created by the same showrunner as Emily in Paris & Sex And The City. Unlike some of our other audiobooks, Sutton came to fame more quickly in many ways but still with challenges. A complicated relationship with her mother, a young divorce, the struggle to conceive and ultimately adopting, she doesn’t hold back. This book was a reminder for me of just how much we assume about someone without really ever even knowing what’s going on. And Sutton tells her story beautifully.
I will humbly admit I’ve used my fair share of free audible credits. I’ve found all the ways to do the trials and score the books. It’s a small joy in my life. But a couple of years ago, I found myself bouncing around quite a bit during the holidays and put my credits to use. The first up on the list, Anna Kendrick’s debut novel, Scrappy Little Nobody.
I’ve enjoyed watching Anna navigate comedy with more serious projects. When Pitch Perfect came out, I remember everyone’s shock and awe at her ability to sing. Of course, everyone quickly discovered after that she’s previously been on broadway. There’s also her perspective of life inside the massive Twilight bubble from someone who was in it but was also still struggling with her career. Plenty of author’s read their own work when it gets published. Anna does an amazing job at infusing her personality even more within the story. It is a brief but very interesting looking into the career and life of someone who’s found her own footing in the film industry. And definitely something I think is worth giving a listen.
The second of my holiday audible credit spree was another wishlist novel, Talking As Fast As I Can. Another woman whose career I’ve followed for years, I had no doubt Lauren’s audiobook would be amazing. From little behind the scenes bits about the newest Gilmore Girls installment to stories about tougher career times, it’s hard not to love Lauren Graham. She tells her story as though she was talking to a friend. I haven’t gotten around to listening to this one again but it’s definitely on my list. I’d also suggest following this audiobook up with her Unqualified podcast episode with Anna Faris. They make for the perfect roadtrip soundtrack.
During my time in Atlanta, I often found myself traveling back and forth to Birmingham. The trip itself isn’t too long. But it’s where’s my love of author read audiobooks started. And if I remember correctly, this was the book that sparked the fire. Despite the delayed discovery, I went on a Mindy Project binge watching marathon a few years back. So my new found favorite tv show led me to her 2nd novel and one of my absolute favorite audiobooks to date.
As always, Mindy is filled with wit and amazing stories. Her voice is genuine and it’s incredibly easy to get lost in her tales. As far as audiobooks go, this one is quite short. But it’s perfect for a day trip or as your morning car companion. I can’t recommend it enough to my friends. And it’s one everyone will enjoy.
I’ve been a fan of Shonda since the days of Greys. And even though I’ve neglected the show for years, I couldn’t help but admire her career. Year of Yes went on my travel audiobooks list very quickly. I’m not sure I knew what I was getting into when I selected this book. At the time in my life, I felt like I said yes more than I said no.
But to this day, some of my favorite sayings come from this book. Whether you’re a mom, a ceo, a college student or a human, Shonda has something to teach you. The woman who has shared story after story shares her own. Her story is motivating and a great reminder that we each walk our own paths. And of course, having the author read her own work makes it even more amazing.
There are some books that leave a mark long after you’ve stopped listening. And for me, We’re Going To Need More Wine will always be on that list. Some of the heavier topics have included rape and gang deaths. But Gabrielle tells her story with the same vulnerability and honesty she brings to acting.
Her story isn’t easy. And to be honest, this was a story that gave me permission to feel grief at a time when I needed to let go and process a lot. And I will forever be grateful for our journey together. Do yourself a favor, download this one.
My audiobook library is filled with 3 genres: self-development, biographies, and fiction. And Rich AF is probably the audiobook I recommend most. When I found myself at the beginning of 2020, 3.5 years after I’d moved home to step in as care-taker, desperately looking for a way to make this blogging thing a full time gig, I discovered Amanda. And I realized that if I was going to be someone who actually got to do what she loved for a living, there was a whole lot more I needed to know about money.
Whether you believe in manifesting or not, Rich As F*ck is just as much about understanding how you came to be in the place you are with money. It’s not the Dave Ramsey budget book you’ve picked up and promptly put down. Instead, it’s about diving into what kind of relationship you have with money, how that impacts what you & don’t have, how to change that relationship and how to bring in & keep more money without feeling like all you do is work. The audiobook is one I listen to in some capacity almost monthly – Amanda has great energy that you want to be in. Ps. You can also find a full blog post review for this book here.
I’m forever grateful to be a child of the Harry Potter generation. So when I decided that I would reread/listen to all the books again before my 30th birthday, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve watched or listened to the movies. They were my background companion for many roadtrips home in college.
But as book fans know, there’s just so much more in the original version that didn’t make it to the big screen. The subplots, the details, all the moments that made us fall in love with the wizarding world even more. And the audiobooks bring that to life in a new way.
I’ve done a podcast episode on this particular book but I always feel like there’s an extra bit of power that comes from just sitting with a book like this. Whether it’s a car journey or for me, several nail appointments, it’s one thing to read about someone’s story when it comes to quitting alcohol but it’s another thing to learn to listen. And to listen in a way where you aren’t arguing or being defensive. Rather you’re letting yourself take in what can be a controversial and difficult conversation for many.
Quit Like A Woman is a must read for everyone. Whether you decide to stop drinking or not, it’s important to understand and be okay with questioning your relationship with alcohol. It’s not about judging whether you’re right or wrong but really acknowledging how it plays a role in your life, how it came to play this role in your life (spoiler alert: it has a lot to do with movies and $$$), and how you want it to work in your life going forward.
For a generation that has made sober curious a thing, I also feel like this is important for those who have friends struggling with alcohol. It’s easier to be a supportive ally in their recovery if you have a perspective outside of your own. But for me, the audiobook brought the opportunity to gage my reactions to things in a way I might not have noticed if I was reading it. A way to notice my triggers if you will.
I will admit that I’ve been working through this for a few years. But seeing as it’s almost Mariah’s time to thaw out and sprinkle Christmas cheer everywhere, I’m sure it will come back into rotation soon. Personally, I find that most celeb bios are just that much better when read by the author (with the exception of Greenlight by Matthew Mcconaughey which is better as a hard back).
So when I saw a review noting that Mariah sings throughout the audiobook, I promptly put down my hard back copy and went searching on audible. Looking back into a time when we weren’t having the conversations about race or creating the spaces to allow women to feel empowered with boundaries & understanding what it is okay to tolerate, Mariah’s story only increases my appreciation for a woman who has accomplished so much.
Even if you aren’t a super fan but someone who is intrigued by a woman whose career has seemed a little less than traditional, this is a great listen. I will say her childhood wasn’t easy so please note you’re going to have to go through a lot of rough to get to the happy. But who doesn’t love an audiobook with the extra pizzazz?
Mindset is something we talk about a lot in the WSS bubble. So when there’s an opportunity to get a look behind the curtain at how some of the most successful people are approaching there lives, I’m here for it. Firstly, I love how well labeled the audible version of this audiobook is which makes it that much easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.
You’ll find Tim interviewing people from across the board: Jon Favreau, Whitney Cummings, Brene Brown, Jamie Foxx, Dr. Peter Attia, etc. And each interview chapter is less than 10 minutes with a few exceptions. You’ll get a dive into every area from health to mindset to productivity with the best or the best. It’s like having a mini life coach in audiobook format.
It is beyond rare that I listen to an audiobook more than once even more so if it’s fiction. But this book fell into my lap a few years ago during yet another trip from Atlanta and it’s been here every since. One of the most underrated features of Kindle Unlimited is the number of books that also have an audible copy for free. So you can easily swap between listening and reading as you go.
But the combination of well chosen narrators, an enemies (ish) to lover romance plus the added humor of the feisty characters and The Matchmaker’s Replacement has become one of my favorite audiobooks over the years.Think: your classic 90s rom com make over story except someone turned it into a business. And now everyone who works for the business is falling in love and is trying to figure out how to navigate that while being the wingman (also the company name) for people who are trying to mastermind their crush. In girl math, 90’s rom com + Taylor Swift Mastermind energy = the perfect romantic comedy book.
Post 2008 economic crisis, Tony Robbins wrote a book with the help of some very financially savvy humans to help the world understand some of what they may not know about their money. However, it’s freaking long book. So think of this as the condensed essentials that everyone needs to know when it comes to their financial health.
As someone who grew up in a household where money education wasn’t really a thing beyond maybe save some money and get a good job, there’s a lot that we need to know and no one ever says a dang thing about. But even more so if you’re someone with a traditional job that has all the programs and such set up to help you save for the future (spoiler alert: it might not be doing the good things you want).
If you want to be someone with peace about your financial future, it’s worth educating yourself on all the things no one has told you that you ought to know. And Unshakeable is a great place to start.
Again, this book found me when I needed it and not a moment sooner. I will forever be thankful to Chelsea Handler for her vulnerability when sharing this story. Yes, it’s political. But that’s honestly not what I took away from it. For me, this story came from a space of being will to be vulnerable and face the painful moments that have shaped us.
For Chelsea, it was the loss of her older brother when she was young, the impact of the election and her journey of facing the discomfort that allowed me to feel safe to do the same. Whether you’re traditionally a fan of hers or not, one of the most important things that came from this for me was a safe space to process grief.
The life of a creative is something I’ve only begun to know and appreciate in my adulthood. My family is largely in the medical field leaving me as the black sheep of story telling. But there are some stories that leave an impact long after you listening. Elizabeth’s career journey is one we’ve often enjoyed whether it’s through works of fiction or more personal stories that are close to home.
And Big Magic proves to be an audiobook that invites you to look at and welcome a new perspective for the spiritual and practical ways we live as creatives. Her insights for where creativity comes from and the ways that the universe brings us ideas & stories are ones that I’ve found shockingly truly as I’ve been on my journey. But as with any space where the future feels unknown, there’s a power in taking back our power with how we choose to believe we get to live as creatives. Plus there’s just something magical in letting her tell this story in her own voice. 10/10 and one every creative should read.
You could probably insert any Mariana Zapata book here and it would work. The queen can do no wrong for me. And I pretty much own them all in some form. But there’s just something about the extra sass that comes through in the narration of this book for me. Slow slow slow burn romance. Lots of sexual tension. Layered female characters. Loyalty. Family. Love. What’s not to love?
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