The Best Audio Books According to the Listeners

Audio month

It is no secret that I LOVE ♥ audio.  I know many of you who comment here fall into one of the following categories:


  1. You also LOVE audiobooks (listen whenever and WHEREVER you can)
  2. You have dabbled a bit with audio and occasionally listen (long car rides, etc…)
  3. New to audio… curious about it but no idea where to start, how to choose it,or where to choose…
  4. Been there…tried that.. not for me, but since you are reading this post you will skim what is said here. 😉


Whatever category you fall into, please allow me this indulgence of a little “audio gush”.  As I mentioned earlier this month, I am a fairly new audiobook listen around the 3-4 year mark.  In that time I have found audio that I have just loved, not wanting it to end, and those are the audio books I want to share with you today – and I want you (audio book listeners) to share with me and the readers here as well so we can build a fun “fortress of audio LOVE” here.



Let’s do this!





Ready Player One is one of my all time favorite audio.  Wil Wheaton does an amazing job of narration.  Seriously, the guy could come over and read me the back of the cereal box and I would be happy 🙂  This guy narrates so well that I have looked up books narrated by him just to get more.  (True story!)





Yes -you have a good chance having read these books…or at least you much have seen the movies.  Now – I challenge you, try these books on audio for an AMAZING experience!  There are two narrators in the audio books of Harry Potter, Jim Dale and Steven Fry are fantastic narrators and I could not recommend one version over the other.  Do it.  Listen to these books!






R C Brays narration of The Martian is fantastic.  I was delightfully surprised when protagonist Mark Watney comes off as a smart witty astronaut in this great novel.






Authors narrating their own books does not always work out ell but Rob Lowe is an exception.  He has a wonderfully paced voice of a natural storyteller.  I enjoyed both of his memoirs telling of his childhood, his movie career, and his life as an 80’s child star.







Delightful book and just as much on audio as well. Read by several narrators – Susan Lyons (Reader), Anna Bentink (Reader), Steven Crossley (Reader), Alex Tregear (Reader), Andrew Wincott (Reader), Owen Lindsay (Reader) , this book will take you on an amazing journey.





Liane Moriarty’s books are fun and in audio – a blast!  Read by narrator Caroline Lee – this is another great listen.






Suspense lovers treat yourself to a Dan Drown audio book.  Inferno is a wonderful audiobook with narrator Paul Michael.


I could go on and on but I really want you to share with me the top audio books you LOVED.  Not only does this add to my audio wish list (picture a candy store but instead it is filled with beautiful shiny colorful mouth watering audio books!), I want to create a list of GREAT audio for all levels of audio lover-listeners- novices – newbies – and dabblists.

According to Sheila…. A Dabblist is one who partakes in the act of dabbling…  “Jimmy was quite the dabblist when it came choosing just the right steaks to grill.”


Please share in the comments below the great audiobooks that  you would recommend.  This post is part of the June giveaway:



Please watch this site (Book Journey) for June audio book related posts.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month

I will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.


82 thoughts on “The Best Audio Books According to the Listeners

  1. I have thought about audio, but i feel as though I don’t want someone else’s voice on my characters…Silly?

    1. Great thought! I can see where that could happen if it is a book you already read – but what about a first time read? Your characters would not have voices yet. I would Love to see you give a great audio a try and let me know how it goes.

  2. I tried Harry Potter on audio but couldn’t do it. Maybe it’s due to the movies or maybe I need to try Fry over Dale, not sure. I think maybe those books for me are just meant to be read in my own mind instead.

    One of my favorite audios is Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer.

  3. OK, I know I’m going out on a limb here and don’t really want to assume, but am I right in thinking you LOVE Wil Wheaton’s narration? Just a guess 😉

    And with the Harry Potter audio versions, I remember when I was in the heat of the theory mongering (we have a group) and many of my HP pals listened to the audio. I remember them really enjoying Jim Dale’s version, but I also wanted to mention that Jo Rowling herself loves Stephen Fry’s version. If you want to hear the interview in which she says that, go to:

    http ://w ww.accio /articles /2005/1205-bbc -fry. html (remove spaces)

    then near the top, next to “Audio:” click on the “Available from the QQQ” link 🙂

  4. Love Jim Dale for HP. I have Ready Player One on my summer reading list….I think I should listen instead!

  5. I loooooove Wil as well. I’m so disappointed in his show on Syfy. I thought it would be more him, it seems too forced to me. He was great reading Redshirts as well, so funny considering the book and his ties to ST. I wish I liked more of the books that he’s done. I hope to hear more sometime. I wonder if he’ll do Armada.

  6. The Help has to be one of the best audiobooks ever, but there are so many that I’ve loved. Almost hate to give suggestions because I’ll leave one out, but off the top of my head… The Good House, Calling Me Home, The Homecoming of Samuel Lake, Lots of Candles Plenty of Cake, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, My Sister’s Keeper, Olive Kitteridge, You Know When the Men Are Gone, The Elegance of the Hedgehog……..

  7. I really want to read Ready Player One; that’s so fun that Wil Wheaton does the narration. I haven’t listened to an audiobook yet, but I really want to try them out!! The HP books are definitely something i want to listen too; especially Stephen Fry, since I just love him.


  8. Stephen Fry is superb with his narration of HARRY POTTER. I do like Will Wheaton. I must check out his work.

  9. I have mostly only listened to nonfiction on audio. Except for Emma Donoghue’s Room. That was so good, especially since the narrator actually managed to sound like a five year old boy. And then I found out the narrator died in childbirth in real life and it totally freaked me out! But anyway, great audio!

  10. Ahhhh I love it! I am also a lover of audio books–I have a weakness for our mutual fave Harlan Coben’s books–I think I’ve listened to almost every book of his on audio at this point–and anything non-fiction read by Grover Gardner, who is fantastic.

  11. The narrator of the Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier was incredible. Also, another favorite is The Secret Garden Garden narrated by Karen Savage. She was so great. I loved listening to her.

  12. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (Book 2 in the Song of Ice and Fire series). I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed an audio more. Well, Stephen King’s The Stand on audio was also excellent.

      1. I read the first book in print in 2011 (fave read that year incidentally) and then started the second in print last year before the show started, but didn’t finish it so I decided to listen to it on audio. It WAS really long, but I so enjoyed it. I couldn’t wait to get in the car each time so I could listen again. It was that good. 🙂 I’m getting ready to read the third book because this season of the show just ended tonight and I just can’t stand it. I have to have Game of Thrones in my life. lol

        And yes, all the books are really long, but frankly I didn’t notice. 😉

  13. Thanks, Sheila, I will add some of these audios to my list. I listened to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars on audio and loved the narration. I also loved the audio of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. I’ve listened to some of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs mystery series books set in the aftermath of World War I on audio and recommend them also.

  14. My Personal Pantheon of All-Time Great Audiobooks
    1984 (by George Orwell; narrated by Simon Prebble) – Classic Dystopian Novel;
    A Happy Marriage (by Raphael Yglesias; narrated by Grover Gardner) – Contemporary Fiction;
    The Ghosts of Belfast (by Stuart Neville; narrated by Gerard Doyle) – Irish Noir;
    In Cold Blood (by Truman Capote; narrated by Scott Brick) – Non-Fiction/Crime;
    Life of Pi (by Yaan Martral; narrated by Jeff Woodman and Alexander Marshall) – Lit-Fic;
    Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War (by Karl Marlantes; narrated by Bronson Pinchot) – Historical Fiction;
    The Millennium Trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl Who Played with Fire; The Girl Who Kicked the hornets’ Nest; by Stieg Larsson; narrated by Simon Vance) -Mystery, Action Thriller, Court Drama respectively;
    The Ruby in the Smoke (by Philip Pullman; narrated by Anton Lesser) – YA Mystery set in Victorian England;
    Shantaram (by Gregory David Roberts; narrated by Humphrey Bower) – Contemporary Epic set in India;
    The Thirteenth Tale (by Diane Setterfield; narrated by Bianca D’Amato andJill Tanner) – Gothic Romance;
    To Kill a Mockingbird (by Harper Lee; narrated by Sissy Spacek) – Modern Classic

    Interestingly, The Armchair Audies first Listener’s Award also went to The Martian (by Andy Weir; narrated by R.C. Bray)! I haven’t listened to it yet; but now seeing two nods for it, I think I must queue it up!

    As for Wil Wheaton, he is also one of the narrators on V-Wars (by Jonathan Maberry; narrated by a various readers) – Vampire Horror 🙂

    I’m listening to the Harry Potter Audios (by J.K. Rowling; narrated by Jim Dale (I can’t legally access the recordings narrated by Stephen Frye)) this year as a personal challenge 🙂

    Right now, I’m listening to The Spinning Heart (by Dolan Ryan; narrated by Wayne Farrell) – Irish Lit-Fic. The narrator has a soft Irish lilt and; the story itself was a Man Booker longlist title 🙂


  15. I rarely do audio but I did just listen to the Husband’s Secret. Caroline Lee’s voice/narration was just too darn cute!

  16. *Squeal* I love audiobooks and have been listening for about 5 years but I started off slow. the last 2 years I’ve had an audiobook on the go each week. I loved The Husband’s Secret on audio. I wasn’t able to ‘get’ into Ready, Player One but I’m going to give it another go.

    My favourite’s this year so far have been The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick, The Witness by Nora Roberts, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline and While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax … all brilliantly narrated,

    One of my all time favourite narrations was Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. Susan Erikson’s narration was phenomenal!!

  17. I love horror books in audio. Stephen King and Dean Koontz are two favourites. Also I seem to enjoy books in genres that I don’t usually like to read. Some are:

    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein
    The Martian by Andy Weir
    Codename Verity by Elizabeth Wein
    The Time traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

    I am going to be looking as some of your suggestions too 🙂

    1. You mention Stephen King and I think of my boyfriend. Years ago he had the Dark Tower on audio, but they were “lost.” 😦 Since you can’t get the full series narrated by Kind himself, he doesn’t want to listen. He loved listening to Stephen doing his own books and doesn’t want to hear someone else do it 😦 They’re simply not available any other way.

  18. The first audiobook I remember with multiple narrators that blew me away was ‘Juliet, Naked’ by Nick Hornby. It was so well done it was crazy!

  19. Good list. I did listen to Inferno and think it was a way better choice than in print. I like listening to Louise Penny’s inspector Gamache series.

  20. I don’t listen much, as you know, but when I had the opportunity in this road trip, I knew what I *wanted* to listen to (or rather, a class of book I wanted), but instead I went with choosing one of the ones I own, since that was easy and cheap. I *wanted* nonfiction of some sort. Alas.

    1. I meant to say that I wanted to try nonfiction on audio because I heard it might be easier to follow when you’re distracted (read: driving) and new to listening. But that actually wasn’t what made me abandon the one I attempted this time. Anyway.

      1. I have listened to some wonderful non fiction. Did you ever listen to The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks? I really enjoyed that one, probably one of the first non fiction I listened to on audio.

        1. I will never read/listen to the Henrietta Lacks book, for reasons that probably don’t matter to anyone else. (Long story, but I know it would just make me angry.)

  21. I’m missing most Audiobook Month posts, and am trying to catch up a little this morning. I see a lot of my favorites mentioned here in the comments. I need to try The Martian on audio! Frog Music by Emma Donaghue and The Transcriptionist by Xe Sands are two I’ve listened to recently that I thought were great, especially on audio!

  22. The majority of my favorites are already on your list lol, but I also loved Eleanor and Park narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra, and I also really liked Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times narrated by Nicola Barberoh and Wonder
    Narrated by: Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd and one more Some Kind of Fairy Tale: A Novel Narrated by: John Lee. I love audio books!

  23. I have been listening to Audiobooks since the late nineties. I listen even if I am just going to the grocery store. I love Jim Dale reading the Harry Potter books. His narration is beyond wonderful. I also love the Jonathan Kellerman Alex Delaware books read by John Rubenstein. To me, he is Alex Delaware. I loved the narration of “Room,” and felt like I was experiencing a play without seeing it, but visualizing it in my mind. When I got to the end of “Room,” “The Help,” and so many other audiobooks, I sometimes actually cried, because I felt like the characters would no longer be part of my life. I am listening to Lindsay Faye’s book “Seven for a Secret,” right now. I listened to her earlier book, “Gods of Gotham, ” and hated for it to end.

  24. For me the best audios are British stories with authentic Brit narrators. Thinking now of the Agatha Christie’s narrated by Joan Hickson as Miss Marple [not only perfection on screen, the ultimate for this role in audio as well].

    David Suchet as Poirot [ he’s just narrated a Bible as well that I’d LOVE to own!]
    seriously, who else could BE Poirot? so, yes, for any of Agatha’s Poirot audios pick David.

    Amanda McKnight for both book 1+2 of the Price of Privilege series novels. She makes the stories. period. I loved them as novels. They came to life with Amanda.
    Born of Persuasion and Mark of Distinction so far. Final of the trilogy next year.. anticipaaation! Her abillity to characterize high and low class English accents as well as regional accents is I have searched for audios by her just to hear her perform!

    Another preferred male narrator is Shaun Grindell for his portrayal of Highland Scots. Spot on accents that take me right back there. Some of MC Beaton’s mysteries are narrated by other acclaimed ‘actors’ that just don’t do it for this listener. The story is liked or disliked to a great measure for me in which narrator has the story. And these mysteries are so humorous, it really takes skill to carry off Hamish Macbeth’s character traits and quirkiness!

    Enjoy! some fun additions and a LOT of enjoyment ahead =)

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