When times get tough, you have two options: confront the problem head-on, or bury your head in the sand and pretend it isn’t there. Personally, I’m all about that ostrich life — which is why I’ve made this list of audiobooks you can use to plug your ears while the world burns down around you.
There are classic fantasy stories like Alice in Wonderland, self-help books that teach you how to stop giving an F, as well as a few surprises — ever read the hilarious Catch-22? No? Now might just be the perfect time.
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A Bowl Of Chicken Soup For The Soul
When times are tough, few things feel as comforting as kicking back with a a bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul. This audiobook is filled with 30 inspirational stories about people who overcame health challenges, changed lives for the better, and more. If the world feels like it’s crashing down, simply light a candle, curl up in your favorite blanket with this book, and let it remind you of all the good in the world.
You Can’t Beat The Classics, Including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
There’s just something soothing about letting yourself get wrapped up in a children’s story, and who can resist the nostalgia that comes with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? You can’t watch the movie because it’s objectively terrible (Daniel Radcliffe was not a good actor at 12), and you’ve already read the book — so why not give it a listen? Unlike with other audiobooks, narrator Jim Dale even gives voices to different characters, helping you to paint a mental picture throughout each chapter.
The New York Times Bestseller That’s Now A Show On Hulu
A New York Times bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere tells the story of Elena Richardson, and what happens when the Richardson family takes in single mother Mia Warren with her daughter, Pearl. Elena thrives on structure whereas Mia is more of a free spirit, yet the two are still drawn to each other — until family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby. The custody battle pits Mia and Elena on opposite sides, leading Elena to discover the dark secrets in Mia’s past — but at what cost?
Not only is Little Fires Everywhere a bestseller, but you can also watch it on Hulu starring Reese Witherspoon.
This Self-Help Book That Helps You Get Out Of Your Head
Do you hate when self-help books try to gently coddle you into changing for the better? If that’s the case, then Unfu*k Yourself is definitely for you. This honest, tough love approach to life can help you get past any limitations you’ve put on yourself. You know what I’m talking about — all those times you said “I can’t,” when you really could’ve? This book helps you reorient your mindset so that every challenge is instead met with a positive “I can!” attitude.
This Stephen King Novel That Lasts A Lifetime
If you’re a fast reader who tears through books, it is my pleasure to introduce you to The Stand by Stephen King. This book is approximately not one, not two, but six trillion pages long. Is that an exaggeration? Not really — I started reading this book at birth, and I’m still barely halfway through.
That being said, it’s also a fantastic read. The plot revolves around a group of survivors from a global pandemic accidentally released by the US government (USA! USA! USA!), and they eventually break down into two groups: those following the Devil, and those following a more righteous path. It’s considered one of King’s best works, and if I’m being honest? The length is more than worth it, as King successfully uses it to build the apocalyptic world the characters exist in.
If You Love Lord Of The Rings, Why Not Listen To The Hobbit?
Have you ever tried reading Lord of the Rings? Trust me, don’t — stick to the movies. The Hobbit, on the other hand, is way easier to read and, therefore, much more pleasant to listen to when kicking back at home.
If you haven’t watched the movies (ironically, the book is much better than the movie in this case), The Hobbit follows Bilbo Baggins as he joins a group of dwarves to take back the kingdom of Erebor. Throughout his adventure he confronts giant spiders, dragons, and even steals the Ring from Gollum — a must-listen-to if you love Lord of the Rings.
The Book That Started The Game of Thrones
Sure you’ve watched Game of Thrones, but if you haven’t read the book then are you really a fan? The first few books are very similar to the show, however a key difference is that each chapter is based from a different character’s. For example, Nedd Stark frequently ponders the meaning of honor in his chapters, as well as the tumultuous relationship between Catelynn and Jon. While we get to see a little bit of this on screen, the depth that the book gives to each character is something that can only be achieved in print — or in this case, the audiobook.
The Apocalyptic World War Z That Reminds Us It Can Always Get Worse
You think times are tough right now? Go read World War Z and tell me how bad things are. Are you being chased by hordes of zombies, all vying to devour your brains and overtake the human race? No? Well then you’re doing better than the characters in this book, that’s for sure.
It’s also widely accepted that the book is much better than the movie. Rather than following a linear plot like the movie, the book is a collection of stories told from people who experienced the zombie war firsthand. Whereas the movie was really just “Brad Pitt Fights Zombies,” the book explores the impact seen around the world — if you’re into zombies, this is a must-listen.
The Classic Novel That Will Have You Laughing Out-Loud
My personal favorite on this list, Catch-22 tells the story of Yossarian, a bombardier stationed off the coast of Italy during World War II. Yossarian hates the war, thinks everybody is out to kill him (which they technically are), and spends his days trying to avoid flying missions so that he doesn’t get blown up. The thing is, he’s surrounded by lunatics — all the men in his squadron, from his roommate to the colonels up at the top, are such insane characters it’s impossible not to laugh while reading.
If you want a fun book that gets you laughing, this is it. If you want a thought-provoking novel about the perils of war, this is also the book for you — read as deep into it as you want.
The Roald Dahl Collection That Contains Some Of His Best Stories
It doesn’t matter how old or young you are — you can still enjoy these classic stories from Roald Dahl. Each tale is narrated by the author himself, and the collection contains four stories: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Enormous Crocodile, as well as The Magic Finger.
One reviewer was particularly enthusiastic — “The grandkids enjoy each of the stories told, but as an adult who loves children’s books, I fully appreciate the talent of Roald Dahl. His ability to infuse personality into the various characters and ‘retort’ (as only Roald Dahl can retort) add both life and humor to his stories.”
The Authorized Biography About Elon Musk
Even if you couldn’t care less about Tesla or Elon Musk, his authorized biography is still a fascinating read. Born and raised in South Africa, Musk dropped out of Stanford after two days to pursue a career in business. From there he help found multiple online companies that sold for millions of dollars, and eventually was able to start SpaceX. He also makes…interesting songs about Harambe and Bombay Sapphire Gin — yes, that’s him on the auto-tuned vocals.
This Self-Help Book That Helps You Stop Being Afraid Of Success
In Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis helps readers get rid of their fear of failure and embarrassment. They’re both part of life — why not learn to embrace the two? This book helps readers create their own personal roadmap to success, and challenges you to throw fear to the wind so that you can achieve your goals.
Unlike other audiobooks, this one also comes with five downloadable prints that feature inspirational quotes from the book, as well as access to Rachel’s keynote from the Rise Conference.
The Box Set With Every Book In The Chronicles Of Narnia
We all know The Chronicles of Narnia, and now’s the perfect time to revisit the series — you’re stuck inside, what else are you gonna do? These audiobooks are narrated by the likes of Kenneth Branagh as well as Patrick Stewart, and with all seven titles included you’ll have more than enough content for a few rainy afternoons.
The Self-Help Book That Helps You Stop Giving An F
Are you tired of people telling you to just “be positive” all the time? Then this is the self-help book for you. The opposite of coddling, this book helps you learn how to stomach the bad parts of life instead of just burying your head in the sand. Sometimes life just sucks — and the ability to accept that fact without giving an F is more indispensable than ever.
The True Crime Novel That Tells The Harrowing Story Of Survival And Family
Sisters Nikki, Sami, And Tori spent years being tormented by their sadistic mother, Shelly. What Shelly didn’t account for, however, is the bond that the three girls would develop — a bond that would eventually help them escape the nightmare their lives had become. A story about survival, murder, and family, If You Tell shows that in even the darkest times, you can always find a light to keep yourself going.
Now available as a series on HBO, the novel version by Stephen King is also more than worth your time. The audiobook follows detective Ralph Anderson, who is investigating the recent disappearance of an 11-year-old boy. When all evidence points to local Little League coach Terry Maitland, Ralph slowly discovers that supernatural forces may be at work — no matter how much he wants to believe the contrary.
Is Terry Maitland innocent, or is he involved in something more sinister? This is one Stephen King-style murder mystery that will have you glued to your seat until the end.
The Classic Dystopian Novel That Everyone Should Read
In The Handmaid’s Tale, the United States government is taken over after a terrorist attack takes out the president and congress. Women called “handmaids” are used for breeding purposes, however one such handmaid, Offred, learns of a resistance movement brewing in the underground. If you’ve seen the show on Hulu, the book is a must-read — and besides, when was the last time you read a genuine classic that wasn’t meant for children?
The Inspiring Memoir About How The Creator Of Nike Found Success
After graduating from business school, entrepreneur Phil Knight took the $50 his father gave him and used it to start Nike. But in his first year of selling shoes out of the trunk of his car, he only made $8,000 — so how did Nike grow into the billion-dollar company it is today?
Told with a sense of candid, wry humor, Phil Knight divulges the risks and setbacks he went through to grow Nike where it is today in Shoe Dog. Many Amazon reviewers even went so far as to say it’s one of the “best books” they’ve ever read — an easy way to take your mind off of life’s woes for a few afternoons.
The Gillian Flynn Novel That’ll Quickly Get You Feeling Thankful For Your Family
If you’ve never watched Sharp Objects on HBO, the story follows reporter Camille Preaker as she investigates a murder in her tiny southern hometown. From her hypochondriac mother, to her younger half-sister, everybody is a suspect — and if you’ve ever thought your family was bad, think again. Not only is Camille’s mother an absolute terror towards Camille, but the truth she uncovers about the murders, as well as her own family, will have your ears glued to this audiobook until the very end.
The Novelization Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
Can’t wait until the next Star Wars movie comes out? Try biding your time with the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker. Just like in the movie, The Rise of Skywalker follows Rey as she fights alongside the resistance forces against Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, however many reviewers said that this is worth checking out even if you’ve seen the film.
“It adds a bit more to the movie and the characters without straying too far from the fast, action paced plot of the film,” one reviewer writes. “Readers will get to find out just how Palpatine survived, how his son came about, and more. There’s extended scenes that were hinted at with the behind-the-scenes artwork, plus sections that help transition characters from one place to another that the movie didn’t have time to delve into.”
Need A Laugh? Then Pick Up The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
The Earth is seconds away from being destroyed, but Arthur Dent gets pulled off just in time by his friend Ford Prefect, an alien researcher for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The pair begin their journey through space, where they confront zany alien characters as well as the questions of life — why are we born? Why do we die? Where do all those missing ballpoint pens really go? If you’re in need of an easy laugh, this is the audiobook for you.
The Complete Works Of Sherlock Holmes
There’s a reason why Sherlock Holmes is still alive and kicking in the movies today, and it’s because the source material is so, so good. Narrated by Stephen Fry, this audiobook contains all nine Sherlock Holmes titles, as well as insightful introductions to each one.
But what do reviewers have to say? One writes that “Stephen Fry does an excellent job in narration, and the additional information provided before each section creates even greater anticipation for the stories to come.”
A Goofy Book That Barely Requires Any Reading
I get it — all the books on here are more than 200 pages. If you don’t love reading, that can seem a little daunting. Luckily, Sh*t My Dad Says is an easy 176 pages, making it perfect mindless literature for an afternoon, or even just the toilet. After a quick introduction at the start of each section, author Justin Halpern dishes out his father’s favorite words of wisdom — such glimmers of genius include “If kindergarten is busting your ass, I got some bad news for you about the rest of life.”
The Classic Series That’s Considered One Of The Top 100 Of All-Time
Escape into a world where magic is real, polar bears can talk, and you have a personal demon by your side at all times — this is the world of His Dark Materials, a young adult series by Philip Pullman. Not only is it considered one of the top 100 books of all-time, but there are also adult themes throughout that older listeners can relate to as well.
Suspenseful, imaginative, now a series on HBO, The Washington Post said His Dark Materials is “arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past 20 years” — what’s not to like?
The Young Adult Novel That Teaches The Importance Of Imagination
Jess Aarons strikes an unlikely friendship with Leslie Burke after she outruns all the boys in a race during the first day of school. Together they create the imaginary world of Terabithia, where the pair reign as king and queen. But when tragedy occurs, Jess must pull from the strength of their imaginary kingdom in order to cope.
“This classic, bittersweet tale of friendship and loss should be compulsory reading in school, which is where I first read it myself,” one reviewer wrote about Bridge to Terabithia. “It shows that boys can be soft and girls can be brave, while still maintaining confidence in their own personal identity.”
You’ve Seen The Movie, Now Listen To The Princess Bride Audiobook
Romance, adventure, sword fighting – what more could you want in a tale like the Princess Bride? Similar to the classic film, the story follows farm boy Westley as he journeys to save Buttercup, his beautiful maiden. But the best part? This is one of those cases where the audiobook is even better than the movie — “the novel adds its own richness that the movie doesn’t include,” one reviewer explains. “For example, the narrator is a grandfather character who has this whole complicated life that augments the princess story, and the voice is so frank and friendly you feel like you’re being told a true story.”
If You’ve Got A Boss From Hell The Devil Wears Prada Is For You
Fresh collegiate graduate Andrea Sachs lands an assistant job to Miranda Priestly, a high-profile editor of Runway magazine. Unfortunately for Andrea, Miranda is a boss straight from Hell — and she’s not afraid to show it, either. Narrated in a hilariously candid voice, The Devil Wears Prada has you questioning what you’d go through for the perfect job, and whether that job is worth the stress. In most cases, it probably isn’t — but that’s something Andrea has to learn the hard way.
It’s A Song, But Breakfast At Tiffany’s Is Also A Book
Narrated by Dexter‘s Michael C Hall, Breakfast at Tiffany’s follows Holly Golightly, a World War II-era socialite who spends her days attending parties with the wealthy upper-class. While shallow at first, Holly slowly opens up to author Truman Capote, and the book slowly becomes all about the depth of her emerging character. Yes, it’s also a movie starring Audrey Hepburn (and a song), but the book is an American classic on its own that’s worth the read.
The Percy Jackson Series Is A Fun Way To Crush An Afternoon
Depending on how fast you read, the Percy Jackson series can take you an afternoon, or a whole week’s worth of afternoons. The books follow Percy Jackson (shocking, I know) as he attends boarding school — until he’s accused by the Gods on Olympus of stealing Zeus’ master lightning bolt. To prove his innocence, Percy must not only catch the real thief, but also unravel a treacherous mystery plaguing Mount Olympus.
Even if you’re not into Greek mythology, Percy Jackson is still a fun read that people of all ages can enjoy. One reviewer put it best: “The characters are more lifelike than just about any other author’s I can think of. Percy’s narration is clever, hilarious, snarky, and maintains a very realistic voice for an early teens boy. The world building is interesting, unique, and thorough without being overwhelming or tedious.”
The Classic Tale Of Alice In Wonderland
Journey to a world upside-down from our own with Alice in Wonderland, the classic story by Lewis Carroll. The narrator gives each character has their own unique voice in this unabridged audiobook, and it’s perfect for extended car rides since it’s about three hours long. Instead of plopping your kids down in front of the movie, just make them listen to the audiobook. It’s not quite as stimulating as reading an actual book, but it’s still something, right?