In search of a new-to-you audiobook? These audiobooks have a little something for every type of listener and are sure to be the perfect soundtrack to any adventures, at home or en route. Here’s more about why we love them and think you will, too.
Audiobooks We're Listening to Right Now
Cozy up for a captivating new listen.
Bad City: Peril and Power in the City of Angels
By Paul Pringle, narrated by Robert Petkoff. 9 hours and 48 minutes.
Why We Love It: Pringle delivers an unforgettable example of speaking truth to power.
Buckle up. In Bad City, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Paul Pringle chronicles how he and his colleagues at The Los Angeles Times exposed corruption at one of L.A.’s most powerful institutions: the University of Southern California. What begins as a tip about a possible drug scandal at USC’s elite medical school soon exposes a web of criminality, abuse, payoffs, and cover-ups. Pringle’s investigation reveals a staggering trail of deceit that stretches across greater Los Angeles — and cuts too close to home. We loved every thrilling minute of this sterling narrative. Voiced by award-winning narrator Robert Petkoff, Bad City is the perfect listen for fans of hard-hitting investigative journalism books and true crime.
The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide
By Steven Thrasher, narrated by the author. 9 hours and 26 minutes.
Why We Love It: Thrasher offers an eye-opening education on class and survival in the pandemic era.
In The Viral Underclass, preeminent LGBTQ scholar and journalist Steven Thrasher delivers a searing examination of inequality and critique of the role social structures play in surviving disease. The author tracks an array of virus cases, from HIV to COVID-19, and channels the accounts of survivors, doctors, and community leaders to lay bare the unpleasant truth about disease: Class plays a determining role in whether you’ll survive a viral outbreak. Narrated by the author, The Viral Underclass is a clear, candid narrative that makes for a riveting listen — one that’s equal parts engaging and enraging.
Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future
By Brandi Collins-Dexter, narrated by the author. 11 hours and 39 minutes.
Why We Love It: Collins-Dexter’s honesty and humor shine through as she delves into politics and Black identity in present-day America.
In Black Skinhead, political commentator Brandi Collins-Dexter tackles political disillusionment in the Black community and the fraying relationship between Black voters and the Democratic Party. Told through a collection of excellent essays, Collins-Dexter’s current affairs narrative captures the personal and political facets of Black culture as it traces Black America’s experience with electoral politics — highlighting the hopes as well as the disappointments and outright disasters. Black Skinhead is a must-listen nonfiction audiobook for anyone who seeks to better understand politics and identity in present-day America. That Collins-Dexter narrates her insightful work adds an extra layer of candor to the listening experience.
By David Sedaris, narrated by the author. 7 hours and 30 minutes.
Why We Love It: Once again, Sedaris seamlessly blends humor with poignant social commentary.
We love a good humor book, so of course we recommend David Sedaris’s latest mirthful narrative, Happy-Go-Lucky. In it, the ever-funny storyteller considers life, laughter, and family in the COVID-19 era. At a time when everyone is just trying to cope and get through the day, Sedaris is double-vacuuming his apartment, reeling from the loss of his father, and contemplating the welfare of acupuncturists and sex workers in the midst of social distancing protocols. As Time says, “Sedaris’s signature wit has always thrived on the macabre, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that Happy-Go-Lucky is some of his darkest — and most astute — writing yet.” Sedaris serves as the narrator of his audiobook, so sit back and let the laughter commence.
The Light We Carry
By Michelle Obama, narrated by the author. 9 hours and 59 minutes.
Why We Love It: The former First Lady offers an inspiring call to action.
In The Light We Carry, the follow-up to her bestselling memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama offers wisdom and advice on building relationships, overcoming fears, and appreciating differences. The author leads by example in her latest memoir, drawing on her journey through motherhood, marriage, and her time as First Lady to encourage us all to find strength in our community and overcome the challenges we face. Told with warmth and openness, and narrated by Obama herself, The Light We Carry feels like a conversation with a supremely impressive and inspiring friend.
The Song of the Cell
By Siddhartha Mukherjee, narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris. 16 hours and 3 minutes.
Why We Love It: Mukherjee invites us on a spellbinding odyssey through the building blocks of life.
In The Song of the Cell, Pulitzer-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee crafts a sweeping, scientific history of the cell that’s as informative as it is exhilarating. Delivered in entrancing prose, Mukherjee’s narrative guides us through the story of the cell, beginning with the cell’s discovery in the late 1600s and traveling all the way to the bleeding-edge present as scientists endeavor to unlock the cell’s life-saving secrets. Narrated by Audie Award–winning actor Dennis Boutsikaris, The Song of the Cell is a scientific narrative that’s stunningly intimate.
By Neil DeGrasse Tyson, narrated by the author. 7 hours and 17 minutes.
Why We Love It: DeGrasse Tyson presents a cosmic perspective of life on Earth with his signature wit and wonder.
In Starry Messenger, world-renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson invites us to gaze up at the stars to better understand ourselves. From war and fractious politics to conflicting beliefs about race, gender, and religion, life on Earth is marred by division. And yet, if we view human civilization and its place in the universe through a cosmic lens, we discover scientific truths that unite us all. DeGrasse Tyson guides us through the stars to marvel at these hopeful truths, encouraging us to step away from our terrestrial concerns and see humanity in a dazzling new light. Read by the author, Starry Messenger makes for a wondrous listening experience.
By Alexis Schaitkin, narrated by Ell Potter. 7 hours and 55 minutes.
Why We Love It: Schaitkin conjures a mesmerizing tale about community and motherhood that’s as moving as it is unsettling.
In her stellar speculative fiction narrative, Alexis Schaitkin (author of Saint X) spirits us away to a remote mountain village high in the clouds that’s plagued by a mysterious affliction: Without warning, some mothers of the community simply vanish into the mist. Vera is intimately familiar with this baffling phenomenon; her own mother disappeared when she was just a girl. Now, as Vera approaches motherhood, she wonders about her fate. Will she get to see her own child grow up — or will she too vanish without a trace? Schaitkin’s beguiling narrative kept us captivated from start to finish. Voiced by award-winning narrator Ell Potter, Elsewhere is the perfect listen for fans of Shirley Jackson or Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
The Kingdoms of Savannah
By George Dawes Green, narrated by Ariel Blake, Jeanette Illidge, Karen Commins, Kathleen McInerney, and Lee Osorio. 11 hours and 18 minutes.
Why We Love It: Green’s descriptive storytelling pulls us into the dark side of Savannah.
In the city of Savannah, a man is murdered and his companion goes missing outside a local bar. The disappearance spurs an investigation led by a surprising sleuth: Morgana Musgrove, a Savannah society queen. For help, Morgana enlists the assistance of her four grown children — although each sibling is wary of their mother’s commanding nature and scheming ways. Together, the Musgroves must work through their family drama as they scour the city in search of the truth, uncovering secrets about Savannah’s history and its elite power structure that some individuals would prefer to keep hidden. Brought to life by a talented cast of voice actors, including award-winning Karen Commins as Morgana Musgrove, the audiobook of The Kingdoms of Savannah makes for a beguiling listen. Just press play and feel yourself transported to the balmy streets of the Hostess City in this absorbing Southern mystery.
By Jean Hanff Korelitz, narrated by Julia Whelan. 16 hours and 19 minutes.
Why We Love It: The bestselling author presents a layered family saga that confronts generational trauma and the complicated nature of sibling bonds.
Jean Hanff Korelitz wowed us with her 2021 bestselling thriller The Plot. In The Latecomer, she draws us into a nuanced family saga enriched by complex characters and a brilliant storyline. The narrative centers on the Oppenheimers, a wealthy New York City–based family composed of parents Salo and Johanna and their triplets, Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally. The Oppenheimers share a striking origin story: Salo and Johanna met under tragic circumstances, and the triplets were born during the early days of IVF. Nevertheless, the family has drifted apart, and as the now-grown triplets prepare to leave for college, the Oppenheimer home is on the verge of going quiet. That’s when Johanna decides to have a fourth child with their last fertilized egg. But how will this latecomer impact the fractured family? Read by Golden Voice narrator Julia Whelan, The Latecomer movingly explores an array of compelling topics, from privilege and trauma to family, race, and religion.
By Vaishnavi Patel, narrated by Soneela Nankani. 17 hours and 22 minutes.
Why We Love It: Patel presents a transfixing new vision of an ancient Indian epic.
In this stunning work of fiction, debut author Vaishnavi Patel spins a sweeping tale of blood, family, fate, and determination as she reimagines the story of Kaikeyi, the vilified stepmother queen from the Indian epic The Ramayana. Raised in the kingdom of Kekaya and taught to revere the gods, a young Kaikeyi watches helplessly as her father banishes her mother from the kingdom and then reduces Kaikeyi herself to little more than a commodity. Though she appeals to the gods, she gets no help. So she turns to her mother’s old texts for guidance and soon awakens a powerful force from within that allows her to forge a new path — one that may not sit well with what the gods had planned for her. Golden Voice narrator Soneela Nankani brings this epic audiobook to life, offering a fantastic listen for fans of ancient history or lively fantasy fiction like Madeline Miller’s Circe.
Wrong Place Wrong Time
By Gillian McAllister, narrated by Lesley Sharp. 10 hours and 7 minutes.
Why We Love It: McAllister crafts a killer thriller that you won’t be able to put down.
Wrong Place Wrong Time by internationally bestselling author Gillian McAllister is a twisting, turning psychological thriller about a mother named Jen who witnesses her teenage son stab a man to death. Knowing her boy’s life is over, Jen goes to sleep that night wrought with despair. But when she wakes up, it isn’t the next day — it’s the day before. As Jen continues moving backwards in time, she races to stop her son from committing the murder she’s already seen happen. Lesley Sharp narrates this mind-bending, time-twisting thriller audiobook. It makes for a riveting listen on a chilly winter night — but good luck hitting pause once you press play.
The Marriage Portrait
By Maggie O'Farrell, narrated by the author and Genevieve Gaunt. 13 hours and 21 minutes.
Why We Love It: Renaissance Italy is brought to vivid life in this new historical fiction by the author of Hamnet.
We adored Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell’s fictionalized account of Shakespeare’s son that went on to win the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2020. The Marriage Portrait, O’Farrell’s newest work of historical fiction, is just as dazzling. The narrative follows Lucrezia de Medici, a young duchess in Renaissance Florence who’s forced to marry the Duke of Ferrara after her older sister dies before the wedding. Now Lucrezia must reckon with her new role at the center of royal life, navigating the arcane rituals of the court as she unravels the true nature of her husband. Evocative and dramatic, The Marriage Portrait is a stunning historical narrative driven by its vibrant protagonist. Listeners looking to escape the winter doldrums are sure to enjoy this richly imagined tale.