Do you listen to audiobooks?
I’m a huge fan of audiobooks and if you’re around me for more than 3.25 seconds you’ll probably end up hearing all about the latest audiobook I’m reading.
Audiobooks are great for distracting you from tediousness while doing boring tasks like cleaning house, commuting to work or exercising.
They’re great for experiencing your favorite book in a different way, and they give you the feel of being read to, which heals the soul in a maternal way.
They’re also the best way to fit reading into your busy schedule, allowing you to read while walking, driving, or doing chores.
And yes, listening to a book counts as reading, and most arguments against it counting as reading are highly ableist and inaccurate.
Studies show that audiobooks can increase all kinds of information receptors in your brain, enhance listening and comprehension skills, and give you the same benefits reading can for vocabulary building and language comprehension – which means they’re great to listen to along with family members, especially children.
So, have I sold you on audiobooks yet?
I’m going to just assume I have, since you’re still reading!
To help you along your audibook journey, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite narrated books and where you can buy and listen to them.
P.S. If you have an audiobook you love, reply to this email and let me know your suggestion!
Some audiobooks that are sure to excite your ears:
My absolute favorite right now to suggest is:
- House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is my go-to comfort audiobook right now and I listen to it whenever I’m sad or stressed (his book Under the Whispering Door is also wonderful but it deals with death and grief and can be sad)
Non-fiction audiobooks I enjoyed:
- Becoming by Michelle Obama because Michelle Obama is an inspiration and I love hearing her tell her story
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek if you want a business book everyone should read at least once in their life
- The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek to fight the capitalistic idea that there’s a winner and loser in business
- Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo if you’re feeling stuck in your business
- Malcolm Gladwell Box Set if you want to be intellectually challenged for weeks
- It’s About Damn Time by Arlan Hamilton if you want to be inspired by a black queer business owner to go for your dreams
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer is a beautiful memoir that blends Western science with her indigenous roots and tries to find a way for them to coexist and thrive together – it’s changed my idea that humans only do harm to the earth
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah has his signature wit and hilarity and is a must listen to with his fabulous narration
- Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford is about her father being released from prison and all the feelings and memories it brings with it
- Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner is a beautiful look at what it means to be Korean American and to grieve a parent
- The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker made me a better presenter but is definitely problematic in how it positions the gender binary in some of its examples
Fiction audiobooks I enjoyed:
- Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters for queer historical romance that includes strap-ons and vaudeville
- Portrait of a Thief by Grace Liu if you want a heist book that has Chinese-americans stealing back the art stolen from China
- The Stand by Stephen King if you want apocalyptic that you can lose yourself in for hours and still want more
- Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters if you want to delve deep into the ideas of transness, queerness, and childbirth
- The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri as the bookstore called it: “morally ambiguous lesbians in ancient India” – I also liked the sequel The Oleander Sword and can’t wait for the thrid book
- Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead is queer and trans indigenous stories of survival
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is about young love and adult love, time and place, and the differences and similarities between Africans and African Americans
- The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon a trans fairy story with a lot of teen angst
- The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood was hard to listen to sometimes but definitely a world I didn’t know a lot about until I read it and the ending is satisfying
- Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers is about a queer black woman exploring space, both literally and metaphorically with the space she takes up in the world
- The Scholomance Trilogy by Naomi Novik I like to describe as Hogwarts but the school is trying to kill you and you can’t leave
- The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert for an epic journey across generations and continents all seen through the eyes of a woman who loves moss (and masturbation)
How to listen to purchase and listen to audiobooks:
Libro.fm is the best app in the business.
Audible is the most publicized audiobook listening app out there, but it’s not the best.
Libro.fm is the best app and company for audiobooks.
Just like Audible, it has a monthly $15 audiobook subscription option, membership perks, and a great seamless app to purchase and listen to books from any device.
Unlike Audible, which is owned by Amazon, a portion of each audiobook you purchase through Libro.fm supports a local, independent bookstore of your choosing.
Also unlike Audible, when you purchase an audiobook through Libro.fm, you own the files, which means you can download them and listen whenever and however you like – including sharing them with friends.
No, Libro.fm doesn’t sponsor me (yet!), I just love what they do and truly think they’re above and beyond the best option out there for buying and listening to audiobooks.
I do, however, have a link that gets you a free audiobook (and me a free audiobook too).
Apple Books (for free classics)
While I’m not the biggest fan of the Apple Books interface (and would rather support independent bookstores using Libro.fm), I do think they’re a great option for free classic audiobooks.
Apple Books has paired up with some modern narrators to record audiobooks of classic literature – and many are free!
That’s a great way to dip your toe into audiobooks risk-free and finally finish those books you lied about reading in high school.
My favorites that are free right now on Apple Books:
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum read by Tituss Burgess (from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens read by Lavar Burton (from Reading Rainbow!)
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery narrated by Kae Denino (hadn’t heard of her before but she’s a great narrator)
Libby or CloudLibrary to access your libraries catalogue
Library audiobooks used to require you to go down there and get the tape or CD for yourself, but now there are some great apps to help you listen on the go: Libby and CloudLibrary.
The pros are that each book is free – which is extra helpful when audiobooks can run $30-40.
The con is that there’s a limited selection and often a long wait.
But if you’re willing to be patient and no picky, using your library’s app can be a great way to get your audiobook fix.
Overwhelmed? You can start listening in just 5 easy steps.
Step 1. Get a Libro.fm account here .
Step 2. Get a membership free trial and use it to download The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune if you like fiction or Becoming by Michelle Obama if you like non-fiction.
Step 3. Download the Libro.fm app onto your phone.
Step 4. Start listening.
Step 5. Reply to this email and let me know how you like it!
Do you like audiobooks? If not, why? If so, what’s your favorite? Reply and let me know!