20 Audiobooks That Will Make You Consider Scrubbing Your Crumb-Filled Refrigerator

Do you listen to audiobooks? Do you consider having listened to an audiobook counting as having read the book? Ah, the great debate of our time.
Personally, I love the feeling of finding a really satisfying audiobook. I struggle, though, to find that right combination of having a narrator whose voice I actually enjoy coupled with a story that I find absorbing enough to keep my attention and yet not so complicated that I have to be hitting the rewind button every few minutes.
When I do find that combination, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. Ding ding ding! Now I can be doing my beloved “reading” (or is it reading without the quotes?) while driving, showering, scrubbing out our disgusting refrigerator, putting in yet another load of laundry…whatever it may be! For me, a really good audiobook has me sitting in the car a little bit longer and heading towards boring chores with a little bit of a spring in my step.
All of the audiobooks I listen to are from the library and I generally use the OverDrive app.  I’ve also occassionally used CDs from the library, although then I’m limited to listening in the car. I used to try to search for specific books and just hope that the narrator might be good, but lately I’ve had success searching by the narrator instead, since I find many voices difficult to listen to and once I find someone I like it’s a lot easier to go from there.  I also have had more success with middle grade books, perhaps because kids won’t put up with bad readers and the trend for adults listening to audiobooks is more recent?
I’m writing this in advance of my baby coming (although she is past her due date), but by the time this publishes she will be here.  That means that I’m particularly hoping you all can help me build on this list.  I love the idea of the two of us getting to listen to an excellent audiobook during our hours of snuggling together ahead. Please help a sleep-deprived new mom out and give me your suggestions!

Those 20 Audiobooks That Had Me Hooked

    1. anything you can find : )
      narrated by Jim Dale
    2. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express
      narrated by Dan Stevens
    3. Roald Dahl’s Matilda
      narrated by Kate Winslet
    4. Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor
      narrated by Gemma Whalen
    5. Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders
      narrated by Samantha Bond and Allan Corduner
    6. Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
      narrated by Lisette Lecat
    7. Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods
      narrated by Bill Bryson
    8. Robert Galbraith’s (J.K. Rowling’s) The Cuckoo’s Calling
      narrated by Robert Glenister
    9. Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck
      narrated by Nora Ephron
    10. Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend
      narrated by Hillary Huber
    11. Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?
      narrated by Mindy Kaling
    12. Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires
      narrated by Bernadette Dunne
    13. Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness At The Bottom of the Pie
      narrated by Jayne Entwistle
    14. Beverly Cleary’s Henry and the Clubhouse
      narrated by Neil Patrick Harris
    15. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
      narrated by Douglas Hodge
    16. Wendelin Van Draanen’s Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief
      narrated by Tara Sands
    17. Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Watsons Go To Birmingham: 1963
      narrated by LeVar Burton
    18. Noel Streatfeild’s Dancing Shoes
      narrated by Elizabeth Sastre
    19. Lauren Graham’s Talking As Fast As I Can
      narrated by Lauren Graham
    20. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
      narrated by Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerden, Rosalyn Landor, John Lee, and Juliet Mills

If you would like to join in on the fun, please go to the submissions page!


  • Sarah L. says:

    Since you liked Guernsey, I think you will love The Chilbury Ladies’Choir. WW2 historical fiction with multiple narrators, very well done! All the Henry books are great. Cant go wrong with Neil Patrick Harris. I really enjoyed Elizabeth is Missing, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, A Man Called Ove (my favorite!), Garden Spells. I could go on so let me know if you want more recs. Congrats on the little one !

    • Erin Smith says:

      I’ve read a few of those, but think I’d enjoy a listen, too! The others I’m requesting right now and am so excited about. Thanks so much for taking the time to share! I’d always enjoy more!

  • I think you’d enjoy The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, narrated by Jayne Entwistle. For me, this was that magical combination you described – engaging story, wonderful narrator, not overly complicated (it’s middle grade, too!). And bonus: the sequel is just as good. Adding some of yours to my list now, thanks! And congrats on the birth of your baby. 🙂

    • Erin says:

      Yes, that one was the last one I cut off my list! I really enjoyed it and am waiting for the sequel to come off of holds. The narrator also reads the Flavia books if you haven’t listened to those yet. Thank you so much!

  • Shell says:

    Oh my I can now NOT have an audiobook in my reading rotation. I love the narrator for The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, it’s helped me read several of the books this year since I’m so far behind in the series.

    Juliet Stevenson and Nadia May (aka Wanda McCaddon), Simon Vance, John Lee along with my first narrator crush, Ralph Cosham are a few outstanding narrators also.

    • Erin says:

      I love Alexander McCall Smith and have been meaning to listen to that series! I will be checking out all of those narrators, too. Thank you so much!

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