The 10 Best Audiobooks of 2019

When it comes to books, it’s always hard to choose favorites. But we gave it a shot with this list of the best audiobooks of 2019 — from memoirs and romantic comedies to psychological thrillers and compelling historical fiction. Here are some of the best audiobooks 2019 had to offer. Happy listening!

The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key

Narrator: Imogen Church
Run time: 12h 13min

Why it’s worth a listen: The heir apparent to Agatha Christie, Ruth Ware is a master when it comes to moody, chilling suspense. Set in the Scottish Highlands and written as a series of letters, this thriller about a live-in nanny accused of murdering one of her charges will have you clenching your teeth in anticipation. And Imogen Church’s voice absolutely nails the shifting reliability of the book’s narrator.

 

The Institute

The Institute

Narrator: Santino Fontana
Run time: 19h

Why it’s worth a listen: Longtime King fans will recognize familiar tropes in the story of Luke, a telekinetic 12-year-old who is kidnapped and sent to a facility with other supernaturally gifted children. But the narration from Santino Fontana (a Tony Award–winning actor you might know as Prince Hans from Frozen) combined with King’s fantastic prose makes for a riveting experience.

 

The Water Dancer

The Water Dancer

Narrator: Joe Morton
Run time: 14h 14min

Why it’s worth a listen: Hiram is one of many Tasked workers enslaved on a Southern plantation. And when he develops the ability to teleport people through time and space, his power becomes vital to the Underground Railroad. This genre-defying novel blends fantasy, magical realism, and historical fiction for a cinematic listening experience. Joe Morton is the perfect narrator for Coates’s prose, and he delivers a spectacular performance, his voice resonant and mesmerizing as he embodies each character.

 

Becoming

Becoming

Narrator: Michelle Obama
Run time: 19h 3min

Why it’s worth a listen: You’ll laugh and maybe even cry as you listen to this memoir, written and read by the former First Lady herself! From her childhood in Chicago and her university days to her experience as a mother and the ups and downs of life in the White House, the story of Michelle Obama’s life will surprise, delight, and inspire you.

 

Trick Mirror

Trick Mirror

Narrator: Jia Tolentino
Run time: 9h 46min

Why it’s worth a listen: Spanning everything from the wedding industry to reality television to identity politics and other cultural critiques, this sophisticated collection of essays is like getting together with a friend for some witty, stimulating banter! While raw and upfront, Tolentino slips a humoristic tone into her writing that makes the overall listening experience gripping and fun. 

 

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Narrator: Ocean Vuong
Run time: 7h 19min

Why it’s worth a listen: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a son’s letter to his illiterate mother; it explores crucial issues such as race, gender, and sexuality in a beautiful, lyrical tone. Ocean Vuong’s novel is an intricate, intimate story about the ways that love can shatter us — and make us whole. There is something powerful about hearing an author read their own work, and this is no exception.

 

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 9h 4min

Why it’s worth a listen: Perfect for fans of Almost Famous, this sweeping audiobook chronicles the rise — and decline — of a ’70s rock band. Its documentary-style format allows for a smooth transition to audio — and the narration by a full cast (including actors Judy Greer and Benjamin Bratt) makes for a memorable performance you won’t want to miss!

 

Ninth House

Ninth House

Narrator: Lauren Fortgang & Michael David Axtell
Run time: 16h 22min

Why it’s worth a listen: Read by dual narrators, this fantasy comes with plenty of mystery and a dash of Donna Tartt for good measure! If you enjoyed The Secret History or Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, you will be drawn into this dark, twisted tale of magic, murder, and Ivy League intrigue.

The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient

Narrator: Jack Hawkins & Louise Brealey
Run time: 8h 44min

Why it’s worth a listen: If you need to get your blood pumping, we recommend skipping the push-ups and picking up this psychological thriller. British narrators expertly bring the characters (and their emotional baggage) to life: Jack Hawkins as criminal psychotherapist Theo, and Louise Brealey as his enigmatic patient Alicia, who refuses to speak a word after murdering her husband.  

 

The Unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners

Narrator: Cynthia Farrell
Run time: 9h 7min

Why it’s worth a listen: Prepare to get swept off your feet by this witty romantic comedy! When her newlywed sister gets food poisoning, Olive gets to go on her Hawaiian honeymoon instead — with the one person she can’t stand: the best man, Ethan. We love Cynthia Farrell’s ability to capture the snarky banter (and growing chemistry) between these two reluctant vacationers in this enemies-to-lovers romance.