36 Top Audiobooks for Every Type of Reader

Some of us can’t get enough of twisty thrillers, while others love the catharsis of a moving historical fiction novel. Whatever your favorite genre, rest assured that there are top audiobooks waiting for you to dive into! To help you find that next great listen, we’ve rounded up the top audiobooks by genre — with details to help you figure out if it’s the right choice for you.

Top Literary Fiction & Book Club Audiobooks

This list of top literary fiction audiobooks includes stunning prose, moving characters, and discussion-worthy listens.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Run time: 12h 12min

Why it's worth a listen: Part murder-mystery, part romance, part coming-of-age story, Where the Crawdads Sing will keep you in its grip until the bitter end. Cassandra Campbell’s sing-song voice suits the lyrical nature of Owens’s writing, and her wealth of Carolina accents bring each character to splendid life.

There There

There There

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 8h

Why it's worth a listen: This debut novel by Native American author Tommy Orange has left readers reeling with its honest look into the often-overlooked lives of urban Native Americans. An excellent cast of narrators makes There There’s audiobook version a great listen. Each of the 12 main characters have their own voice, making the book feel like a conversation over drinks or across a campfire — intimate, honest, real.

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Narrator: Jennifer Lim
Run time: 11h 28min

Why it's worth a listen: This critically-acclaimed novel deftly explores the intricacies of families, motherhood, and secrets in a way that will have listeners rapt from start to finish. Narrator Jennifer Lim performs this psychological thriller beautifully, her clear voice using subtle nuances to flow effortlessly from one character to the next.

The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project

Narrator: Dan O'Grady
Run time: 7h 33min

Why it's worth a listen: O’Grady’s Australian accent and wry narration bring protagonist Don Tillman to life in all his socially awkward glory. But will hopelessly logical bachelor Don ever find his perfect match? Rosie is about to take him by surprise in this hilariously nerdy romance.

The Testament of Mary

The Testament of Mary

Narrator: Meryl Streep
Run time: 3h 8min

Why it's worth a listen: This is Mary’s story after Jesus’s crucifixion, but before the writing of the Gospel — and it may not be one you expect. Streep’s smoky, expressive voice delivers Mary’s story with incredible rhythm and tone that is sure to strike a chord with listeners.

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini
Run time: 12h 54min

Why it's worth a listen: Love on Italian beaches — have you heard of anything more romantic? Beautiful Ruins is a love story spanning 50 years and a dozen characters, all intertwined by their dreams and relationships. A huge advantage of the audiobook is that Ballerini flawlessly flows from English to Italian and back again, immersing you in a way that simply can’t be done through silent reading. We could listen to his rich voice and subtle Italian accent all day long.

Top Nonfiction Audiobooks

Nonfiction fans will love these audiobooks, as a few of them are narrated by the authors themselves!

Becoming

Becoming

Narrator: Michelle Obama
Run time: 19h 3min

Why it's worth a listen: Becoming is your opportunity to have a long, personal, and inspiring (albeit one-sided) conversation with one of the most influential women of the 21st century. Former First Lady Michelle Obama offers an intimate view into her life from early childhood to the present, overcoming countless obstacles to become a powerful and inspirational woman.

Educated

Educated

Narrator: Julia Whelan
Run time: 12h 10min

Why it's worth a listen: This moving memoir is about Westover’s survivalist upbringing in Idaho and her decision to leave home to pursue her dream of higher education. Aside from its inclusion on many best books of 2018 lists, Educated comes highly recommended by former president Barack Obama, billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates, and television personality Oprah Winfrey. With her clear, enunciated narration, Whelan perfectly captures Westover’s inner thoughts and memories.

Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers

Narrator: Malcolm Gladwell
Run time: 8h 43min

Why it’s worth a listen: Examining figures ranging from Fidel Castro to Sylvia Plath to Bernard Madoff, this collection of case studies and biographical anecdotes offers powerful insights about the way we behave. Thoughtfully narrated by the famous sociologist himself, the recording is a trailblazer in the audiobook world with Gladwell incorporating the original voices involved in the events and figures he discusses. 

 

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 10h 7min

Why it's worth a listen: True crime has never been so fascinating. McNamara’s obsessive search for the Golden State Killer, a violent sexual predator and serial murderer, is chronicled in her masterpiece, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. Zackman’s clear, crisp voice delivers the facts as they are — cold, hard, and deadly.

Yes Please

Yes Please

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 7h 32min

Why it's worth a listen: Quirky and entertaining, Yes Please is one of those stories that may be even better as an audiobook. Amy Poehler and a star-studded cast crack jokes, deliver haiku in straight-faced tones, have improvised conversations, play musical instruments, and create a completely unique, completely Poehler audiobook experience.

Top Suspense Audiobooks

From psychological thrillers to edge-of-your seat horror novels, this list includes some of the top audiobooks in the mystery, thriller, and horror genres.

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies

Narrator: Caroline Lee
Run time: 15h 56min

Why it's worth a listen: Kindergarten politics have never been so intriguing… or so deadly. Narrator Caroline Lee’s crackly voice walks us through the everyday lives of parents and educators towards a shocking conclusion that begs the question: Do we ever really know what goes on behind closed doors?

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 10h 59min

Why it's worth a listen: Addictive and unpredictable, The Girl on the Train is one audiobook that will have you on the edge of your seat. The collected narrators portray the three women in this story, giving Rachel, Megan, and Anna distinct voices and personalities, and twisting the strings of this tale ever closer as we hunt for the answers behind the novel’s searing mystery.

Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary

Narrator: Michael C. Hall
Run time: 15h 41min

Why it's worth a listen: There’s something special about telling horror stories out loud, and this is even more true when the storyteller is none other than Dexter’s Michael C. Hall. What secrets will Dr. Louis Creed discover in Ludlow’s “pet sematary”? Hall narrates King’s frightening novel masterfully, creating new voices for each character that take this chilling story to the next level. This audiobook will give you the creeps for weeks.

The Verdict

The Verdict

Narrator: David Thorpe
Run time: 21h 18min

Why it's worth a listen: This deeply engrossing legal thriller is the definition of suspense. British law clerk Terry Flynt gets offered his dream promotion — but it comes attached to nightmarish strings. Thorpe’s narration navigates different accents and inflections flawlessly, giving each character a distinct personality and voice.

Top Historical Fiction Audiobooks

Travel from World War II France to 1960s Mississippi and beyond in this curated list of the top audiobooks for historical fiction fans.

The Help

The Help

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 18h 10min

Why it's worth a listen: The Help is the unforgettable story of three brave, extraordinary women who, in 1960s Mississippi, dare to have a voice. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-narrated audiobook than this one; Lamia, Turpin, and Spencer will have you wrapped up in the lives of Skeeter, Minny, and Aibileen in no time.

Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 7h 25min

Why it's worth a listen: Narrated by a star-studded cast of 166 different people — including humorist David Sedaris, actor Ben Stiller, and actress Julianne Moore — this audiobook is like nothing you’ve ever heard before. A ghost story of epic proportions rooted in the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, Lincoln in the Bardo is a heartbreaking, healing, and unique exploration of loss.

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Narrator: Zach Appelman
Run time: 16h 2min

Why it's worth a listen: This is a beautiful story about friendship across enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Paris. Marie-Laure is a blind French girl and Werner is a German orphan. Together, they must find a way to survive the war. Zach Appelman’s simple and clear narration lets the reader focus on the stunning prose of the novel, which earned it the Pulitzer Prize.

Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

Narrator: Emily Rankin & Catherine Taber
Run time: 14h 29min

Why it's worth a listen: This multigenerational novel centers around child trafficking in the 1930s and is based on a heartbreaking true story. Rankin and Taber’s voices fit the young protagonists perfectly, and their soft Southern accents transport you to the Deep South and immerse you in the lives of 12-year-old orphan Rill Foss and privileged Avery Stafford.

The Invention of Wings

The Invention of Wings

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 13h 42min

Why it's worth a listen: Inspired by true events, The Invention of Wings is the story of Sarah Grimke, her slave Hetty, and their deep friendship that stands against the ugly cruelty of the world. The narrators’ distinct depictions of Grimke and Hetty only add to the unique perspectives and personalities of the two women, and perfectly complement the book’s central theme of love’s ever-enduring spirit.

Top Young Adult Audiobooks

With timely narratives and lyrical prose, you’ll love these top audiobooks in the young adult genre.

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Run time: 11h 41min

Why it's worth a listen: Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give is a timely, fearless novel about a teenage girl who witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. Bahni Turpin’s powerful performance gives Starr Carter the voice she deserves.

The Poet X

The Poet X

Narrator: Elizabeth Acevedo
Run time: 3h 31min

Why it's worth a listen: Slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo tells the story of Afro-Latina Xiomara Batista with fierce beauty and astonishing power in this short but breathtaking audiobook. The author dutifully narrates her tale in verse, creating a rhythmic audiobook experience well worth the listen.

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

Narrator: Rebecca Lowman & Sunil Malhotra
Run time: 8h 56min

Why it’s worth a listen: As a pair of star-crossed misfit teens meet and fall in love for the first time, they navigate the ups and downs of high school over the span of a year. Two award-winning narrators make the different voices in the story come to life, catapulting listeners back in time to 1986 and leaving them hanging on every word. 

 

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Run time: 17h 57min

Why it’s worth a listen: In this West African inspired fantasy, Zélie has the power to use magic to outwit a murderous prince who is hellbent on eradicating witchcraft in his kingdom. Bahni Turpin’s narration is like a song, allowing listeners to easily feel a part of this brilliant journey through the enchanting realm of Orïsha.

 

Top Classic Audiobooks

There’s nothing like listening to a classic, and this list of top audiobooks can help you find which classic audiobook to jump into next.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

Narrator: Sissy Spacek
Run time: 12h 18min

Why it's worth a listen: This timeless classic is brought to life by Sissy Spacek’s soft Southern accent. Listeners will be instantly transported to 1930s Maycomb, Alabama, where a black man stands trial, a lawyer stands for what’s right, and a young girl named Scout is about to learn the value of honesty and morality. Spacek delivers an outstanding performance that is clear and well-paced, avoiding false voices in preference for small changes in accent and tone that give the characters authenticity.

The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

Narrator: Toni Morrison
Run time: 7h 8min

Why it's worth a listen: At once beautiful and tragic, poetic and real, The Bluest Eye tells the story of 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African American girl who prays for her eyes to turn blue. Author Toni Morrison’s rich, moving voice makes this story even more powerful in audiobook form.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Narrator: Ruby Dee
Run time: 6h 45min

Why it's worth a listen: Considered one of the great American classics, Their Eyes Were Watching God is a celebration of African American culture and heritage. Ruby Dee gives each character a unique voice, narrating all dialects beautifully and immersing the listener in the life of a black woman trying to make her own way in 1930s America.

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar

Narrator: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Run time: 7h 25min

Why it’s worth a listen: Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel is a poignant American classic about the life of Esther Greenwood – a beautiful, brilliant, and successful woman coming to terms with her mental illness. Golden Globe–winning actress Maggie Gyllenhaal’s narration skillfully captures Esther's inspiring journey and shifting psychological state.

 

Top Fantasy & Science Fiction Audiobooks

Mythical gods, zombies, and more — find them all in this list of top audiobooks for science fiction and fantasy fans.

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition

Narrator: Collected Narrators
Run time: 19h 40min

Why it's worth a listen: Mesmerizing and thought-provoking, the American Gods audiobook features a different voice for each character. The various voices give vivid life to the striking novel, which follows the story of ex-con Shadow as he comes face-to-face with mythological gods living in America.

World War Z

World War Z

Narrator: Various
Run time: 12h 10min

Why it's worth a listen: You may recognize some of the voices in this star-studded cast from their work on productions such as The Walking Dead, The Amazing Spider-Man, Star Trek, and Firefly. Told in a documentary style complete with sound effects, this oral history of the apocalypse that almost wiped out humanity is everything an engrossing audiobook should be… and more.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Run time: 15h 41min

Why it's worth a listen: Narrated by science fiction TV icon Wil Wheaton, Ready Player One is a must-listen. Wheaton’s background as a gaming enthusiast makes him the perfect voice for Wade, a high school student who figures out the first clue in the most popular video game Easter egg hunt of the 21st century. With his name on the online scoreboard and people after him both in the game and in his real life, Wade suddenly finds himself in a deadly race to the finish line.

Top Romance Audiobooks

This list of top audiobooks in the romance genre will have you swooning, shedding a tear, and blushing with joy.

Just Like Heaven

Just Like Heaven

Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Run time: 9h 57min

Why it's worth a listen: Light, fluffy, and delightfully hilarious, Just Like Heaven is the perfect feel-good Regency romance to listen to after a stressful week. It’s perfectly narrated by Rosalyn Landor, whose dusky voice conjures up images of poofy dresses, Earls, and treacle tarts!

Me Before You

Me Before You

Narrator: Various
Run time: 14h 41min

Why it's worth a listen: This is a love story that tackles subjects far deeper than you’d expect, and asks difficult questions like “is love enough?” and “when is it time to let go?” A cast of narrators tell this heart-wrenching story of two people — former small-town waitress turned caregiver Louisa Clark and ex-financer, now-quadriplegic Will Traynor — who could not be more different, yet find their lives unexpectedly linked.

Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster

Narrator: Emma Galvin
Run time: 10h 31min

Why it's worth a listen: Abby Abernathy heads to Eastern University thinking she’s going to turn over a new leaf and leave her dark past behind… until she makes a dangerous bet with charming Travis Maddox. Emma Galvin does an excellent job of giving distinct, authentic voices to the different characters in this engrossing college romance.

After

After

Narrator: Elizabeth Louise & Hero Fiennes Tiffin
Run time: 16h 50min

Why it's worth a listen: There’s a reason this steamy romance about a good girl and a bad (British) boy is now a major motion picture. Hardin has a dark secret… and Tessa wants to know what it is. Louise, with her bright, youthful voice, is perfect for Tessa’s character — and Tiffin’s bonus audiobook chapter will have fans in a tizzy of excitement.

My Oxford Year

My Oxford Year

Narrator: Julia Whelan
Run time: 9h 58min

Why it's worth a listen: Narrated by the author, My Oxford Year is a touching and beloved romance. Ella Durran is a Rhodes scholar, a lead in a presidential campaign, and an Oxford graduate student. She barely has the time to study, let alone fall for her professor… Author Julia Whelan is an accomplished audiobook narrator in her own right, and her talent shines when reading her own novel.