You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser or activate Google Chrome Frame to improve your experience.

AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook

Get our Newsletter

reviews audio books

Featured Audiobook Reviews & Recommendations

Featured audiobook reviews

reviews audio books

Latest Earphones Awards


Although largely unknown to American audiobook listeners, all five of these rich, distinctive voices demonstrate extensive experience in British theater and television. Together they ev... more »



With his customary grace and dry British wit, Simon Vance matches the tone and tenor of this decidedly erudite and playfully imaginative literary biography of one the most influential n... more »



Written between 1891 and 1917, these timeless, thought-provoking short stories are tenderly narrated by editor Christine Mascott. She explains that she practiced her narration skills us... more »



With his engaging voice, Patrick Bringley takes the listener inside New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in a uniquely personal way. Having been a museum guard for 10 years, he offers ... more »

Recent Articles

Podcast Episodes

Find More Reviews

Narrator spotlight.

Explore and listen to popular audiobook narrators.

Adjoa Andoh

Audiobook Articles

article featured image

About AudioFile

AudioFile, the magazine to discover more about audiobooks. We recommend the best listening, most interesting performances, and the audiobooks worth your listening time. We review 50 audiobooks a week, feature narrator and author profiles, and award exceptional performances with AudioFile's Earphones Awards. Our blog and podcast offer curated audiobook picks from AudioFile editors.

We'll help you find your next great listen.

reviews audio books

The latest audiobook reviews, right in your inbox.

Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.


AudioFile Newsletter

Let us recommend your next great audiobook!

No algorithms here! We pick great audiobooks for you. Sign up for our free newsletter with audiobook love from AudioFile editors.

If you are already with us, thank you! Just click X above.

Thank you for signing up.

Thank you for contacting us!

Our group will review and follow up within 72 hours. Thanks for your interest!

Thank you for signing up!

Our group will review and follow up soon.

Booklover Book Reviews

My Best Audiobooks & Narrators, Two Decades of Listening

Great audiobook narrators coupled with top-quality writing produce really good audiobooks. Here are the best audiobooks of recent decades, if not best audiobooks of all time! Well, they are my favourite audiobooks (most fiction) and the best audiobook narrators out of all those I have had the opportunity to listen to anyway…

I have experienced some wonderful pairings of books and top audiobook readers, across a broad range of genre:

“The best audiobook narrators really bring stories to life.”

Clicking on the audiobook covers or title text links will open our detailed review of each title, incl. publisher book synopsis, book quotes and most importantly, links to audio samples. The key to picking a good audiobooks for you is listening carefully to the audio samples provided. Some readers voices will work for you, others will not – what makes an audiobook great is a very personal thing.

Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

28 of the Best Audiobook Narrator Performances I’ve Experienced

Best audiobooks in romance.

It was very hard to choose my favourite listening experiences in this genre, because romantic fiction is so well suited to the audiobook format. Jenny T Colgan’s under-appreciated sci-fi romantic comedy  Resistance is Futile  narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis is a clear stand out though. Orbit’s press release description was, “Bridget Jones meets The Big Bang Theory meets Independence Day”. I would happily second that and add, “with a Goonies / Stranger Things vibe”. I just loved this audiobook’s rebellious geeky tone. Find out more >>

It is hard not to love romantic audiobooks featuring quirky fish-out-of-water protagonists. But it is those stories where the author (and/or audiobook narrator) plumbs unexpected depths that live longest in my memory. Catherine McCarron’s award-winning, earnest and moving performance of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine ‘s first-person narrative, is particularly memorable. Definitely one of my best audiobooks ever… Find out more >>

Another great example is Dan O’Grady’s audio narration of Graeme Simsion’s  The Rosie Project .

He beautifully captured lead character Don Tillman’s guilelessness and enthusiastic pursuit for happiness, alongside his feelings of insecurity and frustration when trying to negotiate the minefield of social interaction. Find out more >>

♡   Related Reading: My Favourite Smart Romantic Comedy Novels

In The One Plus One Jojo Moyes does ‘romance in the real world’. She understands life is complicated and never involves just two characters, it’s about ensembles. And how can you improve upon a wonderful fictional character ensemble?… Have their story performed by a talented ensemble cast — Elizabeth Bower,   Ben Elliot,   Nicola Stanton and   Steven France – s ometimes actors make the best narrators. Each owns and enhances the delivery of the alternating character viewpoints, presenting different perspectives on the same events and propelling the story onward. Find out more >>

Has a book ever made you literally laugh and cry at the same time? David Nicholl’s  One Day did that to me… I was an absolute mess sitting in my car listening to this romantic story in peak hour traffic. And, the audiobook narration by Anna Bentinck was just brilliant — far, far better than the feature film. Find out more >>

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is uplifting and rewarding literary romantic fiction. Audiobook reader Bill Wallis‘ calming and measured delivery is a pleasure to listen to, seamlessly shifting between the gravelly voice of the Major, the sotto voce of Mrs Ali and the easily distinguishable ensemble cast of family and villagers. A beautiful love story for all ages to get swept up in. Find out more >>

🎧   Not sure whether audiobooks are for you? Take advantage of Audible’s Free Trial Offer to find out.

Best Audiobook Narrators of Crime & Thrillers

Psychological thriller novel often make good audiobooks. When it comes to novels whose focus is criminal psychology you do not get much more unnerving than Denise Mina’s The Long Drop . Narrator David Monteath’s nuanced differentiation between character accents and phrasing adds to the experience – a very well-paced delivery of deeply unsettling subject matter. Find out more >>

In Talking to the Dead Harry Bingham introduces female police detective Fiona Griffiths. In addition to her daily battle with inner demons daily, her social ineptness combined with maverick nature make for a very entertaining lead. Narrator Siriol Jenkins’ elocution is first-class – crisp, clear and effortless to listen to. Her portrayal of Fiona is fabulous; her quirky mental agility, no-nonsense approach and stinging sarcasm perfectly timed. Find out more >>

Another Denise Mina title, Conviction , her thrilling modern spin on mystery metafiction. It is a story about stories and storytelling, on so many levels. Cathleen McCarron (yes, she’s featured earlier in this article) skilfully performs this crime-adventure’s multi-perspective narrative, expertly differentiates between the various characters, and really brings Mina’s complex irascible female protagonist to life, switching effortlessly between her raging and deadpan dark snark and more vulnerable moments. Find out more >>

Robert Wilson’s The Ignorance of Blood is a gritty, high octane crime thriller with a labyrinthine plot set in Spain. Audiobook narrator Sean Barrett, with his husky, gravelly voice does a wonderful job of conveying the world-weary but dedicated Inspector Jefe Javier, a complex and compelling character that carries a large burden. Find out more >>

Great dialogue is another key ingredient in good audiobooks. The world-wise, snappy dialogue in Malla Nunn’s Present Darkness , no holes barred action and uncensored brutality in its historical Johannesburg setting, places it squarely in the category of ‘page-turner’. And Rupert Degas’ narration just takes it up another notch. His differentiation between the varied characters – age, ethnicity and attitude – and timing and nuance, made it compulsive listening. Find out more >>

Best Audiobooks in Historical Fiction & Mystery

Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden is captivating and atmospheric historical fiction. A story of secrets, family and memory that I highly recommend in audiobook. Caroline Lee’s audio narration is understated and lets the story itself shine. I found the transitions back and forth between historical time periods, locations and voices easy to follow and helped in large part by Lee’s skilful character differentiation. Find out more >>

I listened to Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic classic Rebecca in audio and was mesmerised from the haunting opening sentence… Du Maurier’s enduring classic has a wonderful sense of grandness about it, but also menace and foreboding. Narrator Anna Massey performs this story with such poise – her British accent pitch-perfect. And, for a story told mostly in reflection, Massey does extremely well to carry Du Maurier’s intended suspense through the entire 14+ hours. Find out more >>

Decline and Fall , Evelyn Waugh ’s first novel has only increased in potency since it was published in 1928. Audiobook narrator Michael Maloney’s measured and well-timed delivery of Waugh’s deadpan satire and black humour kept me on the edge of my seat. Maloney’s performance of the many and varied British accents (in particular the Welsh) had me in stitches as I drove along listening in my car. Find out more >>

When it comes to listening to the classics in audiobook, there are few more engaging than the plays of Oscar Wilde. In The Canterville Ghost , with modern prose and themes, and characters like caricatures, Wilde lampoons traditional ghost stories. Rupert Degas’ narration of The Canterville Ghost  audiobook is first class. The deadpan and quizzical tone of his delivery enhances the intended sarcasm of the text. Find out more >>

Best Audiobook Narrators of Literary Fiction & Essays

Muriel Spark’s A Far Cry From Kensington is a true literary delight – hilarious, witty, and oozing with ‘real’ class. The audiobook version I listened to narrated by Pamela Garelick is an example of the magic that can happen when a book is matched with the perfect narrator. She performs the considered, darkly satirical and strident voice of Mrs Hawkins with aplomb. Find out more >>

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is a modern masterpiece that deserves to become a classic — his prose and characterisation exquisite and Edoardo Ballerini’s narration of the audiobook captivating. Find out more >>

Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son  is one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking novels I have read. The audiobook version is narrated by a talented cast, the author himself along with Tim Kang, Josiah D Lee and James Kyson Lee, was a joy to listen to. For me, the timing and accents of the cast and matter of fact delivery of dark humour really enhanced the story experience. Find out more >>

David Sedaris’  Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls  is the perfect audiobook to get you through your daily commute. Narrated by Sedaris himself, his deadpan narration adds to the humour but by far his best delivery and timing was on display in those chapters that were recordings of his performances in front of a live audience. Find out more >>

🎁  Buying for a person that has everything? Gift them a 1, 3, 6 or 12-month Audible Membership. Find out more >>

if(typeof ez_ad_units != 'undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[250,250],'bookloverbookreviews_com-mobile-leaderboard-2','ezslot_18',622,'0','0'])};__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-bookloverbookreviews_com-mobile-leaderboard-2-0'); if(typeof ez_ad_units != 'undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[250,250],'bookloverbookreviews_com-mobile-leaderboard-2','ezslot_19',622,'0','1'])};__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-bookloverbookreviews_com-mobile-leaderboard-2-0_1'); .mobile-leaderboard-2-multi-622{border:none !important;display:block !important;float:none !important;line-height:0px;margin-bottom:15px !important;margin-left:auto !important;margin-right:auto !important;margin-top:15px !important;max-width:100% !important;min-height:250px;min-width:250px;padding:0;text-align:center !important;} ~

Best audiobooks in adventure, science fiction & fantasy.

Matthew Reilly is a consummate teller of tall tales, rather than a writer of literary prose. His books are just pure and simple entertainment, and I need a dose of silliness and outlandish adventure in my reading sometimes. And in this Captain Schofield title he includes a robot sidekick!  Scarecrow and The Army of Thieves audiobook narrator Sean Mangan has the perfect voice for Matthew Reilly’s action-adventure novels. His vocalisation of the gun noises always make me smile. Find out more >>

Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook is an outlandish sci-fi adventure story with a healthy dose of heart and intelligent humour.  A fabulous title for the audiobook format, both because of its engaging first-person narrative and a very strong performance by British actress Katy Carmichael who really brought the quirky lead character(s) to life. Find out more >>

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency contains   Douglas Adam’s trademark offbeat and fantastical elements ( Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ) but its driving force is a much more mature and intelligent brand of humour.

The dialogue in this novel is top-shelf and my enjoyment of it only enhanced by the fantastic comedic timing of the BBC Audiobook cast including Billy Boyd and Olivia Coleman. Find out more >>

What do you think of our audiobook recommendations?

They span my favourite listening experiences over more than a decade. How many have you listened to?

Who is your top audiobook narrator?

📚 Related Reads: My Best Books of 2020 and my top picks of the Fresh New 2021 Fiction

Share this:

Ezoic Review

A couple of years ago I needed to get an audiobook fast but had already done a free trial of Audible. That’s when I discovered and tried them out for the first time. I couldn’t be happier with them and that I’d finally found an awesome (and possibly even better) alternative to Audible! If you’re wondering if is legit and worth it, or have any other questions about it, our review of is here to help!

You can jump to any section with this handy table of contents:

Table of Contents

Quick Summary of my Review (FAQ) 

Pros of using, cons of using, what is it like to use the app , what are the main features of the app, other benefits than just audiobooks, is worth it, conclusion: my review, other reviews.

And if you need to get back here at any time, just click on the up arrow in the bottom right corner of the page.

Let’s get right to the point though with my quick summary, which gives brief answers to the main questions you have about!

Pros and Cons of

There’s not a whole lot to say of a service that’s as straightforward as bringing you the world’s best audiobooks. But does have a few specific pros and cons that I’ll go over now.

The app is available for free on both iPhone and Android. You can also listen to books online, but most of the features and the user interface are nearly identical, so I’ll only be focusing on the app here.

I love how simple the app is. When you log in and look at your books, you have three main selections you can choose from:

Here’s what it looks like when you’re on the My Library and Current Listens tabs:

reviews audio books

And here’s a screenshot of what the Wishlist looks like:

Audiobooks Wishlist - Review

Then there’s the menu in the upper right corner that gives you access to all features, including:

Here’s what this looks like when you’re in the app:

Audiobooks Side Panel - Review

There’s not much else to say about it, the app is easy to use, user-friendly, and I love listening to audiobooks with it. Let’s take a look at some of these features in more detail to see more reasons why it’s such a great app.

You’d think that it’s just as simple as listening to books, but the app has a lot of useful tools. We’ll start here with the main ones, then in the next section talk about some of the other benefits not related to audiobooks specifically.

As I’ve mentioned, the main one is, of course, listening to audiobooks , which is seamless. You can play the books you’ve acquired with your credits, as well as download them for offline use. 

One unique feature that I really love is that the player lets you show your time in the book either by chapter or by the book as a whole. It’s also broken up into tracks and gives the ability to fast-forward or rewind up to 60 seconds and down to 10 seconds.

Audiobooks Player - Review

My favorite listening feature, that blows Audible out of the water for me, is that it will still let me cast to any device in the house. Because I have an iPhone and use Google Nest speakers around my house, my ability to cast from my phone to the speakers is often pretty limited. Audible is one of those that, unfortunately, won’t let me cast an audiobook to the Google Nest speaker., on the other hand, does let me cast my books to my speakers still, which is a game-changer!

Another cool feature of the app is that you can add bookmarks to your favorite parts of the book and write notes on them ! I haven’t used this to its full potential yet, honestly. But this is a game-changer for those who have ever tried to find that one spot in an audiobook and know that it can take forever going back and forth! 

The next feature is shopping for audiobooks , which you can do in a lot of ways:

One of my favorite aspects of searching for new books on is the samples they give . For comparison, when you listen to a sample on Audible, it’s usually from the middle of the book. And it’s only about five minutes long., on the other hand, gives you 10 minutes of free listening instead of just 5. And it starts at the beginning of the book so you can get a better sense of what it’s about before deciding if you want to get it.

Another excellent feature is free audiobooks . The selection here isn’t the best, but that’s to be expected with anything free. While looking through this I have found popular titles like The Art of War and Machiavelli’s The Prince , however, so there are some nuggets in there!

Another neat way you can use your monthly credit if you have a subscription is by signing up for what they call Audiobook Clubs . This isn’t a traditional book club where you read books and discuss them with others. Instead, you can use one credit to get access to one of eight “Audiobook Clubs.” If you select this option, you can listen to the thousands of titles in that club, as much as you want, for the entire month. And of course, you can browse the titles before you decide so you can see if you want to use this option!

These are just the main features of as they relate to listening to audiobooks. But these aren’t the only listening benefits you get with a subscription. We’ll take a look at those next!

All of the other benefits to having an subscription or just using the app without a subscription relate to consuming information in audio format. 

The first of these is podcasts , which you can find, subscribe to, and listen to just like in any other podcast app. This is really helpful especially if you like to have your podcasts and audiobooks all in one place.

Another of’s awesome audio experience features is the sleep section . In this area, you can find meditations, visualizations, soothing sounds, bedtime stories, relaxing tracks, and ASMR audio to help you sleep. This is a pretty unique feature that is really helpful. Plus, the selection is amazing, I think every type of person can find something to help them sleep in it!

After that comes the section called Summaries & More . This includes a few different podcasts, including audio versions of book summaries, book clubs, discussions, conversations and interviews, and more. You’re going to love this section if you enjoy hearing people talk about books of all kinds. And it will likely help you decide on how to use your credits, too!

Next is Audio Magazines , which is where you can find audio content from popular publications like National Geographic, The Guardian, The New York Times, and more.

And finally, there’s Audio News . In this area, you can find out what’s happening in the world in audio format. It includes many popular news outlets like Entertainment Weekly, Vox, NPR, and more.

I’ll just mention briefly that of course has all the typical features to manage your account, change settings, and get support. I like that they have a chat feature built into the app, which makes getting support easy!

To determine if it’s worth it, let’s look at the cost and what you get for it. Then I’ve got a fun thought experiment to help us see what the value is of all the features! 

An subscription costs $14.95 per month. For that, you get one credit to use on any of their 250,000+ audiobooks. You also get an additional credit to use on their VIP selection, which includes popular titles and some hidden gems. Plus, you can download any audiobook for offline listening wherever you go.

You also get access to free audiobooks, podcasts, and other additional audio experiences like meditation, sleep, summaries, book clubs, audio magazines, and audio news. And if you want, you can use your credit to get access to Audiobook Clubs, which includes thousands of titles in one specific category of your choice.

These are just the features, but what do they bring into your life that makes them worth paying for? Let’s break it down into two components:

I’m personally listening to a few different audiobooks right now and it’s a mix of fiction and non-fiction and I clearly see these benefits myself. 

For the fiction books I listen to, I love how they help me decompress. I often get caught up in thinking about work too much, especially when I should be taking a break. It’s almost impossible to get my mind to stop being in work mode, even hours after I’ve stopped working. But the fastest way of fixing this problem, I’ve found, is to plug in my headphones and turn on a fiction audiobook. 

I’m instantly thrown into a story with characters who have much different problems than my own. But I love hearing the story as they work hard and overcome challenges, which inspires me. By turning my mind to something outside of my own world, I get a mental break from work that’s really difficult to get otherwise. And a lot of the time I find that I’ll learn little things here and there that help me with work, too! 

When it comes to non-fiction books, I love how they help me improve my life. I’ve been learning recently about the power of thinking. How we think determines how we live, so if we can harness positive thinking, we can create the life we dream of. With non-fiction books, you can intentionally guide your thinking patterns to make you healthy, happy, and successful. This is where we get into that thought experiment I mentioned earlier.

Another thing I love about non-fiction books has to do with this quote from Jim Rohn:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

The main idea is that the people around you, or who you choose to listen to, rather, determine whether your life is good or bad. And with books, you can choose to listen to whoever you want, even people who you couldn’t otherwise learn from. I like to think of the quote like this instead:

“You are the average of the 5 authors you read the most.”

In other words, reading a nonfiction book is like getting into that author’s head and seeing how they think. Not only that but learning from and being influenced by their higher ways of thinking. And the more you do that, the better you’ll think. Which, as I mentioned earlier, is the pathway to getting whatever you want out of life. 

You also get the benefits of reading in general, which can include:

Now, you may be thinking “this all sounds great but why Why should I get a subscription to it instead of some other audiobooks service?” 

The main difference why I personally choose over other services is because of the number of books you get with it. 

Think about it. All those benefits I’ve mentioned. The ability to disconnect from work and relax, the power to improve your thinking, and all the other life-improvements that come from reading. The more you read, the more you reap the benefits. And with, you can read more than any other audiobooks service.

If you want to get all the perks of listening to audiobooks, but double them by getting more audiobooks, is well worth the price and it’s better than its competitors for this reason alone.

When I first discovered a couple of years ago, I was pleasantly surprised at the selection, the multiple free audiobooks that came with a free trial, and that a subscription got me two audiobooks a month instead of just one. It’s been awesome ever since, and I’d recommend it to anybody. 

As far as audiobook services go, is pretty straightforward. It’s got an app for listening, shopping, and accessing all the other amazing benefits that come with being a member. At $14.95 a month, the price is pretty comparable to other options as well.

But what really sets apart is that they are experts in their field. There’s no “parent company” behind it, it’s just audiobooks and is great at providing them. is also a better choice over other audiobooks services because of how generous they are. With two credits a month and a ton of other great audio content, you get a lot more to choose from, and it’s a lot less likely that you’ll run out of books before each month is over!

My final conclusion about is that it’s definitely worth the price to get two audiobooks a month, a great listening experience, and hundreds of other useful and entertaining audio experiences. 

If you’d like to try it out yourself and support Four Minute Books at no extra cost to you, click below to sign up for your free 30-day trial of and get 3 free audiobooks, no questions asked:

And if you’ve made it all the way here, thank you for reading this review! I hope that Four Minute Books helps you learn more, get smarter, and improve your life!

Looking for our other reviews of the most popular book summary apps, tools, and services? Here’s a list of all the reviews we’ve published so far:

Last Updated on January 2, 2023

*Four Minute Books participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising commissions by linking to Amazon. We also participate in other affiliate programs, such as Blinkist, MindValley, Audible, Audiobooks, Reading.FM, and others. Our referral links allow us to earn commissions (at no extra cost to you) and keep the site running. Thank you for your support.

reviews audio books

Expert Book Reviews

You're getting a free audiobook..

The Husband's Secret: by Liane Moriarty Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

The Husband's Secret: by Liane Moriarty

i>Expert Book Reviews presents a comprehensive review, analysis and plot summary of Liane Moriarty's novel The Husband's Secret ....

Add to Cart failed.

Add to wish list failed., remove from wishlist failed., adding to library failed, follow podcast failed, unfollow podcast failed.

Regular price: $3.43 or 1 credit

Sale price: $3.43 or 1 credit

Sycamore Row by John Grisham - Review Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

Sycamore Row by John Grisham - Review

Find out what experts have to say about this sequel to A Time to Kill before making your listening decision....

And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini: Expert Book Review & Analysis Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini: Expert Book Review & Analysis

Expert Book Reviews presents a comprehensive review, analysis and plot summary of Khaled Hosseini's novel And the Mountains Echoed ....

Inspired me to buy the full book.

Regular price: $6.04 or 1 credit

Sale price: $6.04 or 1 credit

The Longest Ride: by Nicholas Sparks -- Expert Book Review & Analysis Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

The Longest Ride: by Nicholas Sparks -- Expert Book Review & Analysis

This review is the perfect companion to your reading as it delves deep into the characters, narrative and themes of the book....

The Book Thief: by Markus Zusak - Review Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

The Book Thief: by Markus Zusak - Review

Are you wondering if The Book Thief will be a good read for you? Check out this review of Markus Zusak's bestseller to get an expert's opinion on the story, characters, and themes....

The Goldfinch Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

The Goldfinch

Learn what the experts are saying about Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch with this literary review....

Avoid This Purchase

The Fault in Our Stars: by John Green Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

The Fault in Our Stars: by John Green

Expert Book Reviews presents a comprehensive review, analysis and plot summary of John Green's novel, The Fault in Our Stars....

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Review Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Review

This review explains what you can gain from reading Gone Girl , and describes the type of reader who will enjoy this novel....

Review: David Baldacci's King & Maxwell Audiobook By Expert Book Reviews cover art

Review: David Baldacci's King & Maxwell

This review guides you through the strengths and weaknesses of King and Maxwell , even incorporating critical reviews of the novel....

Listeners also enjoy

reviews audio books

Nicholas Sparks

reviews audio books

John Grisham

reviews audio books

Marc Cameron

reviews audio books

Khaled Hosseini

reviews audio books

Liane Moriarty

reviews audio books

Don Bentley

reviews audio books

Gillian Flynn

reviews audio books

Donna Tartt

Are you an author.

reviews audio books

reviews audio books

7 Audiobooks to Listen To Now

A new monthly column to help curate your download library.

Supported by

Send any friend a story

As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

By Lauren Christensen

Finding the right audiobook for your taste, mood, company or curiosity is an art, not a science. It’s also, we’ve established, not cheating .

The reasons to listen to a book as opposed (or in addition!) to reading it are infinite: Sometimes it’s an especially gifted narrator, like the “sexy-wise” Esther Perel , the “velvet”-voiced Jeremy Irons or the dry and honking Samantha Irby ; in other cases it’s an original soundtrack or expensively produced special effects. Or maybe the story lends itself naturally to the ear — like, for example, Valeria Luiselli’s “ Lost Children Archive ,” a novel about the documenting of sounds.

Almost as infinite are the titles out there to choose from. Here is a selection of standouts across genres, a little of the old but mostly new: a brainy campus thriller, a Michael Lewis classic, a true-crime search for a missing woman and more.

The Oxford Brotherhood

By Guillermo Martínez. Read by P.J. Ochlan.

Arriving at Oxford in 1994 on a scholarship to study mathematical logic, a grad student named G finds himself embroiled in the shadowy history of Lewis Carroll . Ochlan, an Audie Award-winning voice actor and dialect coach, moves nimbly in this one-man play between the multiple characters’ accents: Argentine, Scottish, British. This brainy and utterly consuming thriller is the long-awaited English-language sequel to Martínez’s 2003 “The Oxford Murders,” written originally in Spanish.

Blackstone Publishing, 9 hours, 20 minutes

‘The Oxford Brotherhood’

Love that story: observations from a gorgeously queer life.

By Jonathan Van Ness. Read by the author.

Once, while filming “Queer Eye” in Missouri, Van Ness — the show’s grooming expert — went to a local clinic and requested an anal Pap test, “because I’m a busy person with no time for bum cancer.” The doctor and nurse looked at him like they’d seen a ghost. “Thank God I used to be a rural male cheerleader,” he says; “I can withstand awkward embarrassment like nobody’s business.” He reads this essay collection (a follow-up to his 2019 memoir, “ Over the Top ”) in his signature blend of gravitas and self-deprecating humor, carrying the listener from discussions of gender identity and the business of hairstyling to considered reflections on grief, transphobia, racism and a reported history of his hometown, Quincy, Ill.

HarperAudio, 5 hours, 44 minutes

Finding Tamika

By Erika Alexander, Kevin Hart, Charlamagne Tha God, Ben Arnon, Rebkah Howard, David Person and James T. Green. Read by Erika Alexander.

The actor and activist narrates the disturbing true-crime story of 24-year-old Tamika Huston, who went missing from her Spartanburg, S.C., home in 2004. A window onto the largely ignored disappearances of Black women and girls in this country, this audiobook (for mature audiences only) is the first from Hart and Charlamagne Tha God’s new S.B.H. Productions.

Audible Originals, 5 hours, 42 minutes

Liar’s Poker

By Michael Lewis. Read by the author.

This new, unabridged recording of a 1989 classic — Lewis’s account of the three years he worked at the now defunct Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers in the ’80s — is accompanied by an original score, sound effects and archival news clips that bring this moment, and this culture, to life.

Pushkin Industries, 10 hours, 16 minutes

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

By Lori Gottlieb. Read by Brittany Pressley.

Someone described the experience of reading this 2019 book to me as “like being a fly on the wall of a therapist’s office,” and I found that to be even more true of listening to it. Pressley’s tone, as self-confident as it is humorously self-aggrandizing, lures you into the molten core of Gottlieb’s consciousness as she investigates her own roles as both therapist and patient, homing in on the nuances of the practice, of mental health, aging, loss and so much more.

Audible Studios, 14 hours, 21 minutes

Stalin’s Library: A Dictator and His Books

By Geoffrey Roberts. Read by Stewart Crank.

Though he never kept a diary or published a memoir, Joseph Stalin did leave behind “a well-marked literary trail” in his social, political and historical writings and readings. Roberts, a British historian, follows that trail to gather a fascinating intellectual history of the determinedly intellectual Bolshevik dictator, who in Roberts’s words “believed that reading could help transform not just people’s ideas and consciousness, but human nature itself.”

Tantor Audio, 12 hours, 19 minutes

Life on the Rocks: Building a Future for Coral Reefs

By Juli Berwald. Read by the author.

Like the audiobook version of Barry Lopez’s “ Arctic Dreams ” (read by James Loughton), this second book by the author of “ Spineless ” immerses the listener in the author’s sense of pure awe at a corner of our planet many of us will never experience in our lifetimes. The journalist and scientist’s deep dive into these underwater ecosystems reveals their mesmerizing complexity as well as the perils they face today.

Penguin Audio, 10 hours, 41 minutes

Lauren Christensen is an editor at the Book Review.


Wide Audiobook Nest Logo.png

The Best Post-apocalyptic Audiobooks

The end of the world is just the beginning..., latest listens.

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

reviews audio books


4 (6).png


Contemporary (3).png


Apocalypse (4).png


Horror (2).png


Dystopian (4).png


Humour (4).png






The 5 star listens your ears deserve.

Feature Hover (2).png


reviews audio books

Julia Whelan

How High We Go in the Dark

Best Audiobooks For Road Trips

We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site. Learn more .

Back of person's head who is wearing overear headphones against pink background

20 Audiobooks You Should Listen to Right Now

Run out of great podcasts to listen to? Looking for something a bit weightier? Audiobooks could be the perfect solution. Whether you're driving to work or wandering the streets, this selection will keep you entertained. With A-list actors providing the narration and a host of new productions of old favorites, there's never been a better time to start listening. Should you want to read actual pages, give WIRED's guides to the best sci-fi books and the best fantasy books a try.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more .

Book cover for The Emperor of All Maladies

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

You may think a book subtitled “A Biography of Cancer” would not be the lightest of listens, and you would be right, but that doesn’t make it any less brilliant. Siddhartha Mukherjee‎ does a remarkable job of charting the history of this complex disease, weaving together the narrative with stories from his own experience as an oncologist. It’s a triumph precisely because it never loses sight of the people at the heart of the story: the researchers who pushed forward and found treatments in unusual places and the patients and their families who faced losing everything.

Audiobook cover for Tremors in the Blood

By Amit Katwala

Penned by WIRED's Amit Katwala, with spine-tingling narration by Matt Reeves, Tremors in the Blood tells the true story of two murders—one in San Francisco in 1922, the other in Chicago in 1935—and how they intersect with the creation of the polygraph machine. The book combines true crime elements, tense gunfights, and courtroom drama with science and history as it explores how the inventors of the lie detector—a rookie cop, a teenage magician, and a visionary police chief—ended up unleashing a power they couldn't control. 

Cloud Atlas book cover

By David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas is a difficult book to get through, there’s no doubt about that. But the beauty of audiobooks is that they make getting through such novels a breeze. Cloud Atlas spans a number of centuries and is told from the perspective of six interconnected characters. The tonal shift from flowery 19th-century prose to the incomprehensibly simplistic final chapter comes across beautifully in audio form. Best of all, each tale is read by a different narrator, bringing the book to life better than the novel's polarizing film adaptation ever could. 

The Hunting Party book cover

By Lucy Foley

A modern murder mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie, The Hunting Party sees a group of friends—Londoners, Oxford graduates, just the worst people—heading up to a remote lodge in Scotland for their annual New Year’s Eve get-together. Things quickly take a dark turn, and with the lodge cut off from the outside world, it’s up to the place's only two staff members to piece together what happened, all while battling dark secrets of their own. It’s a fun, slightly ridiculous story—and you will probably hate some of the main players, but it works well for audiobook because the story switches between different characters, each with their own voice actor. Just don’t listen if you’re somewhere remote.

Audiobook cover Mythos by Stephen Fry

By Stephen Fry

Greek mythology can at times feel a little impenetrable. There are just too many gods, goddesses, and nymphs—all with countless stories of love, wrath, and revenge. Stephen Fry makes it easily digestible by picking out key events and adding dialogue to modernize them. Though your head will boggle at the complex family tree of the Greek deities, you’ll learn about the legends that inspired millennia of writers, from Shakespeare to Rick Riordan.

Audiobook cover for The End of the Affair

By Graham Greene

Set during the blitz, Graham Greene's classic novel is a semi-autobiographical account of an adulterous man's jealousy toward his lover. When she breaks off their tryst, he's consumed by insecurity and hires a private investigator, suspecting she is seeing someone else. It's based in no small part on a notorious affair Greene himself conducted with Catherine Walston, the wife of a prominent Labour MP. This real-life context and Greene's customary skill combine for one of his most highly regarded works. It's narrated expertly by Colin Firth, who is perfectly cast to voice the inner monologue and lamentable pettiness of Maurice Bendrix.

Audiobook cover for How to Be a Woman

By Caitlin Moran

If you are a woman, you should have already read this book. But if you don't have time to read it right now, let Caitlin Moran do it for you. Her awkward, autobiographical account tackles hair removal, getting fat, tiny pants, and being one of too many siblings in a way that will leave you cringing one minute and laughing the next. 

Book cover of Calypso

By David Sedaris

If you're a fan of David Sedaris' previous books and podcasts, strap in: You're about to have (possibly) the best one-sided conversation of the year. But if you don't want to hoot with laughter on public transport, this is not the book for you. In Calypso , Sedaris delivers a barrage of sheer brilliance with his remarkably deadpan voice. A quest to feed his benign tumor to a snapping turtle; disastrous family gatherings at his dream holiday home, dubbed the Sea Section; and his wildly inappropriate compulsion to buy useless fashion (including a toilet brush hat)—all of these stories are here. Sedaris has built his essays on the weird and wonderful things of everyday life, but with Calypso he bravely exposes ugly flaws with the same panache as his finest quips. You'll walk away transformed.

I Am C3PO book cover

By Anthony Daniels

Since Star Wars first premiered in 1977, millions of people have met, loved, and loathed the now-iconic golden droid C-3PO from a galaxy far, far away. Inside the minute hinges of C-3PO’s suffocatingly tight metal costume was Anthony Daniels, who acts as a soft-spoken guide with a unique backstage pass to the intricate world unveiled on screen. In a deeply personal account of the personalities behind the iconic movie series, Daniels unveils how he became an accidental star of the franchise, the pain and challenges of being trapped in a golden cage, and the friendships he made along the way. 

The Body book cover

By Bill Bryson

Travelogue master Bill Bryson has retired to the library in recent years, and his gentle Midwestern tones are perfect for audiobooks. In his latest book, The Body , Bryson takes a characteristic approach familiar to his readers, unearthing fascinating, disgusting, and hilarious nuggets of information about our bodies. He explores everything from genetics to our immune system, all in a soothing voice that will keep you calm while you panic-Google various ailments.

Book jacket for This is Going to Hurt

By Adam Kay

This diary of life on the medical frontlines by junior-doctor-turned-comedian Adam Kay sold more than a million copies in print and shone a light on the chaotic and compassionate world of the UK's NHS. The audiobook is read by Kay—who first came to fame in the mid-2000s with a Tube-strike-inspired parody of “Going Underground” by The Jam that he made while part of comedic musical duo Amateur Transplants. The audio version includes extra diary entries about Kay's life in the hospital ward.

Book cover for The Book of Dust

By Philip Pullman

The long-awaited follow-up to Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy shows the protagonist of those books, Lyra Belacqua, much earlier in life. The action of the first part of this new trilogy, The Book of Dust, follows Malcolm Polstead—an 11-year-old living on the outskirts of Oxford—as he’s swept away in a flood of biblical proportions while trying to protect the infant Lyra from mysterious assailants. The audiobook is read by Michael Sheen, who brings his customary energy to Pullman's wild tale.

Rivers of London audiobook cover

By Ben Aaronovitch

Set in modern-day London, the series follows copper Peter Grant as he’s slowly introduced to the world of magic lurking beneath the city’s streets. If you’re reluctant to dive into a tale of wizard’s hats and magic wands, don’t worry—author Ben Aaronovitch approaches the premise like a scientist, and Grant conducts controlled experiments that would put the stars of CSI to shame. The audiobooks, expertly narrated by Kobna-Holdbrook Smith, are a pleasure, particularly when the series ventures into the jazz world in book two, Moon Over Soho .

Lincoln in the Bardo audiobook cover

By George Saunders

Acclaimed short story writer George Saunders’ first foray into long fiction was a huge critical success. He won the 2017 Man Booker prize for his portrayal of a grieving Abraham Lincoln, harangued by ghosts after his son’s death. The audiobook has a suitably stellar cast, featuring Susan Sarandon, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, and a host of other famous—and slightly less famous—actors. There are 166 cast members in total.

Book cover for Solo A James Bond Novel

By William Boyd

If you're after an easy listen, William Boyd's James Bond novel Solo fits the bill. In a fictional African nation, an aging Bond goes undercover as a journalist in an attempt to foil a separatist movement. Read skillfully by actor Dominic West, the novel is set in 1969 and offers a pleasant antidote to the modern Bond movies while benefiting from an excellent villain in Kobus Breed, a ruthless mercenary on whom Bond seeks revenge.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book cover

By Douglas Adams

The BBC's radio adaptations of Douglas Adams' seminal comedy works are legendary and all six series—one for each book—are available on Audible. With each clocking in at around two-and-a-half to three hours, complete with brilliant music, sound effects, and full cast, they're the perfect way to enjoy the adventures of the last surviving man from Earth and his alien “friends” through your headphones. If you'd rather experience the books in full, all six are also available with narrations from Stephen Fry and Martin Freeman, who played Arthur Dent in the movie adaption. 

The Handmaid's Tale book cover

By Margaret Atwood

Narrated by Elizabeth Moss, the star of the ongoing television adaptation, The Handmaid’s Tale is an increasingly powerful reminder of the thin ice the modern, relatively liberal society we live in rests upon. Margaret Atwood’s novel has spawned countless imitators since it was first published in 1985, but its description of Offred’s life in Gilead and the slow ratcheting back of progress that led society to that point remains chilling.

A Legacy of Spies book cover

By John le Carré

Written by John le Carré, A Legacy of Spies acts as both prequel and sequel to one of his earliest novels, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold —famously adapted into a film starring Richard Burton. Here a now-retired intelligence officer is summoned to London to defend his actions during a Cold War operation in which a British agent was killed. Decades later, the agent’s son is suing the British government for wrongful death, and the bureaucratic apparatus is desperate to shift the blame. It’s an absorbing listen, thanks to le Carré’s skill in building character and tension, and it’s further enhanced by the deft narration of actor Tom Hollander.

By Frank Herbert

In 2012, WIRED readers voted Dune the best science-fiction novel of all time. It’s also the best-selling of all time and has inspired a mammoth universe, including 18 books set over 34,000 years. The series takes place 20,000 years in the future in galaxies stuck in the feudal ages, where computers are banned for religious reasons and noble families rule whole planets. Frank Herbert focuses on the planet Arrakis, which holds a material used as a currency throughout the universe for its rarity and mind-enhancing powers. 

By Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere is a tale of London—not the city you know, but the London Below, a city unseen by the majority yet no less real, populated by the ignored, lost, and forgotten. It's a world that Richard Mayhew, a Scottish expatriate to the Big Smoke, slips into when he helps Door, a young woman on the run from unstoppable assassins who have killed her entire family. Now invisible and forgotten by London Above, Richard and Door—along with the trickster Marquis de Carabas and the stoic Hunter—must travel across Night's Bridge, seek an audience at the Earl's court, and acquire a rare key from the Black Friars for the angel Islington if either of them has a hope of returning to their former lives. Gaiman's urban fantasy takes the metropolis of London and rebuilds it into a unique realm of mythology, one that will leave you wondering what's really happening, a half-glance out of sight, the next time you find yourself wandering around the city. The audiobook is read by Gaiman himself, while a full-cast audio drama offers a more immersive journey through London Below. 

Janelle Monae in a shadowy room with a mirror reflecting her profile

By Yashraj Sharma

Cooper Hoffman & Alana Haim's characters in Licorice Pizza smiling as they run

By Amos Barshad

(L-R): Alex Livinalli as Attuma and Mabel Cadena as Namora standing on a street at night in film still from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

By Will Bedingfield

reviews audio books

Where to Find the Best Audiobook Reviews Online

reviews audio books

As an avid audiobook listener, I’m always on the lookout for audiobook reviews. They’re surprisingly hard to find—most traditional review websites and publications simply review the book itself. But as all audiophiles know, when you’re listening to a book, the narrator is all-important. A bad narrator can ruin even the best book. A good one can turn an ordinary book into something miraculous.

Good audiobook reviews center the narration, giving listeners a sense of the narrator’s performance. Rather than focusing on plot, character, theme, and prose, audiobook reviews take note of how well narrators perform accents, whether their tone matches the tone of the book, and what the narration adds to the overall experience of listening to the book.

I’ve scoured the internet and come up with this list of the best websites offering good audiobook reviews.

AudioFile Magazine

Disclosure: I review books for AudioFile.

AudioFile is the only free, easily searchable website I’ve been able to find that provides useful, performance-centered reviews of audiobooks. Reviews are short and succinct, and while they do provide quick plot summaries and an overall analysis of the book, the narration is always front and center. You’ll find thousands of reviews for audiobooks of all genres. Reviews of new books usually come out shortly after publication.

AudioFile also has a print magazine (6 issues for $19.95), a free newsletter that provides audiobook recommendations, a blog focused on audiobooks, and an audiobooks podcast .

If you’re trying to determine whether or not to read a book on audio, AudioFile should definitely be your first stop.

While Goodreads isn’t exactly set up for audiobook reviews, there are some tricks you can use to seek them out. The easiest way is to search the review text for terms relating to audiobooks. Right above the reviews for a book, you’ll see a small search bar that looks like this:

Screenshot of how to search Goodreads for audiobook reviews

I’ve found that using terms like “audiobook,” “narration,” and “audio” will generally give you reviews that specifically mention the audiobook. You sometimes have to skim through the review to find the parts that address the narration, but if you’re already reading reviews on Goodreads, it can be useful.

You can also check to see if your Goodreads friends or reviewers you follow have an audiobooks shelf. I shelve all my audiobooks on Goodreads and always try to include at least a short note about the narration in my reviews.

There are also some Goodreads groups focused on audiobooks, where you can find recommendations, ask for recommendations, and discuss all things audio. The  Audiobooks Group is quite active, as is the Romance Audiobook Group .

While we don’t publish straight-up reviews, we do have a lot of great audiobook content . If you’re looking for recommendations for stellar narrators , full-cast audiobooks , audiobooks read by authors , short audiobooks , romance audiobooks , or practically anything else, we’ve got you covered.

Book Riot also puts out a fantastic weekly audiobooks newsletter , which I highly recommend. Vanessa not only highlights new releases, always with some notes about the narrator(s), but always includes a favorite recent listen, complete with a review of the performance. The newsletter also collects great audiobook content from Book Riot and around the internet.

Disclosure: I review books for Booklist.

Booklist is a publication of the American Library Association. It’s a recommendation-only journal, which means that they recommend all the titles they review for purchase at public and school libraries. They do publish audio-specific reviews, but because it’s a subscription service, it’s not the best resource for individual readers (an annual subscription, which includes 22 issues and access to their online reviews, is $169.50). If you’re a librarian or work for an organization that subscribes, this is a great way to find audiobook reviews, as you can search their extensive database.

They do sometimes feature audio reviews free on their website, but because they are so few and constantly changing, it’s hit-and-miss whether you’ll find a review that’s useful to you. Booklist also puts out a free audiobooks newsletter , which features audiobook reviews.

You’d think Audible would be a great place to go for audiobook reviews, but you’d be wrong. While Audible users can post reviews after listening to an audiobook (and anyone can view these, even if you aren’t a subscriber), reviews rarely mention the narration. Most reviewers will simply say something along the lines of “great narration!” rather than commenting on the particular strengths or weakness of the narrator.

The only reason I mention it here is because listeners can give books star ratings, which are broken down into “overall,” “performance,” and “story”. If  you want a quick sense of how much people like an audiobook, glancing at the “performance” rating can be useful. As an example, Becoming by Michelle Obama has a 4.9 star performance rating.

Screenshot of audiobook reviews of Becoming by Michelle Obama on Audible

It is also interesting to note that when reviewers don’t like the narration, they’re more likely to mention it. These Truths by Jill Lepore, for example, only has a 3.8 star performance rating, and many listeners comment that they found the narration difficult.

If you’re looking for thoughtful audiobook reviews that center the narration, Audible is not your best bet, but if you just want a snapshot of how listeners react to a narrator’s performance, it’s a good resource.

Can’t Find a Review? Listen to a Sample!

Of course, in the end, a review can only tell you so much about a book. The best way to determine if you’re going to like an audiobook is to listen to a sample. I usually combine listening to a sample with reading a review (if I can find one). This ensures that I almost never listen to an audiobook I don’t like.

Both Audible and Libro allow you to listen to short samples of books even if you aren’t a subscriber. If you use Libby  to check out audiobooks from your library, you can listen to a sample in the app before you borrow the book.

Screenshot of how to listen to an audiobook sample on Libro

You Might Also Like

The Bestselling Fantasy Books of All Time


  1. The Best Audiobooks for Your Next Road Trip

    reviews audio books

  2. Books That Are Better In Audio Form / Audiobooks

    reviews audio books

  3. Book Reviews

    reviews audio books

  4. Audiobook publishers

    reviews audio books

  5. Physical audiobooks almost extinct as industry moves digital

    reviews audio books

  6. 10 Best Audiobooks to Listen to in 2020

    reviews audio books


  1. Audio-Technica M2 and M3 Wireless Personal Monitors.flv

  2. Most important of all

  3. Large Bamboo Box with Combination Lock, Stash Box

  4. What is This BIG SHOCKING Spider-Man Moment?

  5. Utopmoreus™

  6. The Federalist Papers: Pt 101


  1. AudioFile Magazine: Audiobook recommendations and reviews

    Explore audiobook recommendations and reviews. AudioFile helps you find your next great audiobook. Independent reviews feature the best narrators

  2. My Best Audiobooks & Narrators, Two Decades of Listening

    Clicking on the audiobook covers or title text links will open our detailed review of each title, incl. publisher book synopsis, book quotes and most

  3. Review 2023

    The selection of books is fantastic, I've never had trouble finding all of the most popular books that I love. The library is just as big as any

  4. Audiobooks + Reviews

    Audiobooks + Reviews · Audiobook of the week. The Glass Pearls by Emeric Pressburger audiobook review – inside the world of a Nazi war criminal · Audiobook of the

  5. Best Audiobooks of All Time: Top Listens From Every Genre

    The Best New Listens of February Selected by Our Editors ; By: Brit Bennett; Narrated by: Tessa Thompson; Length: 33 mins · 113 ratings. Short and stunning ; By:

  6. Expert Book Reviews

    Learn more about Expert Book Reviews. Browse Expert Book Reviews's best-selling audiobooks and newest titles. Discover more authors you'll love listening to

  7. 7 Audiobooks to Listen To Now

    Finding the right audiobook for your taste, mood, company or curiosity is an art, ... Lauren Christensen is an editor at the Book Review.

  8. Best Audiobooks

    Audiobooks Nest is the place to find the best audiobooks. Reviews, recommendations, discussions, everything audiobooks is at Audiobooks Nest.

  9. 20 of the Best Audiobooks in 2022, Fiction and Nonfiction

    20 Audiobooks You Should Listen to Right Now · Book cover for The Emperor of All Maladies · Audiobook cover for Tremors in the Blood · Cloud Atlas

  10. Where to Find the Best Audiobook Reviews Online

    AudioFile is the only free, easily searchable website I've been able to find that provides useful, performance-centered reviews of audiobooks.