Hello friends, Veronika here! As some of you know, I fell in love with audiobooks this year; they allow me to keep reading while I’m doing something else and, even better, they have kept me company even as I struggled with reading physical-books and ebooks. Because you all enjoyed my previous posts on audiobooks, I decided to write another one – this time, I brought you eight excellent audiobooks you should check out. Alternatively, if you dislike audiobooks but are still reading this post, you can view it as a simple recommendation post.
THE BELL JAR BY SYLVIA PLATH
narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal
length: 7 hrs 24 mins
summary: The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical novel about Plath’s own experiences and her struggles with her mental health. It’s not a happy book – especially if you know what happened to the author later in her life – however, it is one I’m glad I read, as it’s extremely well-written and well-narrated. It’s also a short read I was able to get through really fast, so it might be suitable for those who are just starting to listen to audiobooks.
A MAN CALLED OVE BY FREDRIK BACKMAN
narrated by J. K. Simmons
length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
summary: A Man Called Ove follows an older (and very grumpy!) man, Ove, whose life is changed for the better by old and new friends. Ove reminds me of the elderly man from Up, the animated movie, so if you liked that character / story, you’ll also enjoy this one. This is a beautiful and emotional novel that highlights the complexity of humans; I loved every moment of it.
YOU HAD ME AT HOLA BY ALEXIS DARIA
narrated by Seraphine Valentine
length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
summary: You Had Me At Hola follows co-stars Jasmine and Ashton who both have their reasons for wanting to avoid media-attention. A relationship between two co-stars would surely make it into the news so, clearly, that is something they need to avoid at all cost.. even if their chemistry is off the charts. This is such an enjoyable romance novel with excellent characters – including an adorable kid – who I couldn’t help but love by the end.
THE HOW AND THE WHY BY CYNTHIA HAND
narrated by Phoebe Strole, Erin Spencer
length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
summary: The How & the Why is told by two characters; in the present, we follow Cass, a teenager with a sick mother, an unknown birth-mother, an uncertain future, and a new crush. At the same time, we can read the letters Cass’s birth-mother wrote to her baby while pregnant – letters that Cass, unfortunately, hasn’t got to read yet. The How & the Why is over-flowing with family and friendship, and it is a novel contemporary YA fans shouldn’t miss.
SWEETPEA BY C.J. SKUSE
narrated by Georgia Maguire
length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
summary: Sweetpea follows Rhiannon who, while quietly trying to fit into society, is working on a kill list.. and god help the people listed if and when she loses her cool. Sweetpea doesn’t have a super-concrete plot but I was okay with that, because following Rhiannon’s descent into becoming a serial killer was super-intriguing. In all honesty, I think I’d have minded the lack of plot more had the narrator not done such a fantastic job; she made it possible for me to feel completely engrossed in Rhiannon’s story.
THE HUSBAND’S SECRET BY LIANE MORIARTY
narrated by Caroline Lee
length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
summary: One day, Cecilia finds a letter written by her husband, addressed to her to be opened in the event of his death. That letter? It’s about to change Cecilia’s life and will influence the lives of two other women. While The Husband’s Secret had more woman’s fiction elements than I was expecting, – nothing wrong with that, I just thought this would be more of a thriller – it was still a captivating novel I finished relatively fast despite its length.
INTO THE DROWNING DEEP BY MIRA GRANT
narrated by Christine Lakin
length: 17 hrs and 15 mins
summary: Into the Drowning Deep follows an expedition that’s goal is to find proof for the existence of mermaids. But not just any mermaids… murderous mermaids, i.e. the best kind of mermaids. This book is fantastic! I was invested from start to finish and I loved the characters quite a lot. If you’re looking for a horror novel with fantasy elements and an F/F romance, Into the Drowning Deep is a good choice.
THE POPPY WAR BY R. F. KUANG
narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
length: 18 hrs and 57 mins
summary: I don’t think I have to introduce The Poppy War to you and even if I had to, I’m not sure how I would do it. It’s a complex, well-written fantasy novel that follows Rin, a highly morally gray and ambitious young woman. I don’t make it a habit to listen to fantasy novels as audiobooks – they can be quite difficult to pay attention to – but I had a really great time with The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic. The narrator was excellent and the audiobook helped me know how the characters’ names and place names are pronounced, which was a bonus.
Do you listen to audiobooks? Why / Why not? Have you read – not necessarily as an audiobook – any of these titles? What are your favorite audiobooks?