Goodreads' Staff Recommends Their Favorite Audiobooks

Posted by Cybil on February 26, 2021
 
Listen up, because our colleagues here at Goodreads have some excellent audiobook recommendations for you! Of course, the books they've selected are as interesting and varied as our coworkers, so you'll have plenty of ideas for every type of audiobook listener (and listening mood), from nonfiction fanatics to those looking for an exciting novel read by an entire cast—and eagle-eyed readers may notice a couple of repeated suggestions of some very popular audiobooks.

Scroll over the book covers to learn more about each novel, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!


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"No one can tell a story quite like Trevor Noah, and whether or not you’re a fan of his stand-up comedy, this book won’t disappoint," says Lauren Deyce, instructional designer.


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"This book is written from an informative comedic perspective!" says Marisha Murphy, account manager. 


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"There’s nothing like hearing Michelle’s soothing-yet-strong voice inspiring you to affect change in your own life…and beyond," says Roshni Patel, senior marketing manager. 


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"This book made me reflect about life. It feels more like a personal conversation rather than a book," says Juan Pablo Aguilar Fuentes, Goodreads expert.


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"A zillion audiobooks later, A Little Life remains ON TOP of my favorites list, thanks to narrator Oliver Wyman's performance...masterful!," says Alexander Reyes, revenue operations associate.


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"Six of Crows' amazing narrators made me feel as if I was heisting right there with them!" says Priscilla S. Guido, account manager.


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"What’s disguised as a memoir is actually a compelling account of South African history, as told through personal stories by an excellent storyteller who becomes his characters in a funny and charming way that printed words don’t quite capture," says Chase DuBois, software engineer.


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"It’s special when the author narrates their own book, and Scott Bradlee does a wonderful job taking us along for Postmodern Jukebox’s roller-coaster rise to success," says David Ignacio, senior software engineer.
 


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"This family story had me giggling throughout!" says Margo Throckmorton, senior account manager.
 


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"Beautiful and brutal, this imaginative work of historical fiction with a sci-fi/fantasy twist was wholly original, with a captivating and lyrical narration," says Brooke Ginnard, visual designer.


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"Joe Morton (known for his role in Shonda Rimes’ Scandal) gives more than a straight narration of this groundbreaking novel about the African American male experience; he provides a heartbreaking, tour de force, one-man auditory performance worthy of the text," says Sam Julian, senior product designer.
 
 


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"For me, a great audiobook is typically a fascinating nonfiction read (usually history), with riveting storytelling and a lively narrator...and Get Well Soon checks all those boxes and more!" says Cybil Wallace, senior editor.
 


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"Hearing Matthew’s mischievously entertaining, yet at times somberly unflinching, voice tell his life learnings makes this a must listen," says Mimi Chan, senior marketing manager.


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"Sometimes when I have a tough time getting into a book, I’ll switch to the audio version and see if it works better for me. The all-star cast (Finn Wittrock, Carrie Coon, Aaron Tveit) who narrate Mrs. Fletcher pulled me into this compelling story in a way that the paperback couldn’t," says Danny Feekes, managing editor.


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"Narrator Sneha Mathan creates these uniquely voiced characters, which will keep the listener engrossed throughout this retelling of Mahabharata, told from an unorthodox point of view," says Yash Sinha, software development engineer.


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"Well-narrated true stories that will keep one listening effortlessly for hours!" says Vusumuzi Moyo, Goodreads expert.


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"Kate Winslet’s narration is everything in this audiobook! She does a phenomenal job at representing the characters, which rocketed the story to new heights for me. I’ve read the non-audiobook version of Matilda ten times or more, but this audiobook version with Kate stands as my ultimate portrayal of the story," says Shaun Ponting, program manager.


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"A short romance novel that acts out Martín Santomé's journal, who is near to his 50th birthday and close to retirement. An ordinary and monotonous life that revives with the sparks of a new love," says Natalia Vargas Cordero, revenue operations associate.


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"So heartfelt and exuding with emotions…keep some tissue handy," says Manju Abburi, software development manager. 


Have a great audiobook recommendation? Share it with us in the comments below!

Check out more recent articles, including:
Adam Grant Wants You to Rethink What (You Think) You Know
32 Historical Romance Series to Binge-Read after 'Bridgerton'
42 New and Upcoming Historical Fiction Novels

Comments Showing 1-37 of 37 (37 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jvermeersch (last edited Feb 26, 2021 12:46AM) (new)

Jvermeersch The Shadowmagic trilogy had me hooked right away. Narrated by the author, entertaining and genuinely funny!
This is fantasy at its best. A prophecy, a quest, a journey through different lands, medieval fighting, magic, a family saga and a fellowship, some running gags (personal favourite: the lawnmower), ... Just keeps getting better and better.


message 2: by Anna (last edited Feb 26, 2021 12:54AM) (new)

Anna Avian Daisy Jones & The Six has an all-star cast narration and is one of the best audiobooks I've come across. Listening to it made the the story more alive, it felt like you could hear the music and the crowd roar during the band's concerts.


message 3: by TMR (new)

TMR Intriguing list.


message 4: by Lee (new)

Lee Anna wrote: "Daisy Jones & The Six has an all-star cast narration and is one of the best audiobooks I've come across. Listening to it made the the story more alive, it felt like you could hear t..."

Yep, I was going to say this book. It was great.


message 5: by Mike (new)

Mike Finn I was interested in the 'Mrs Fletcher' book on your list. I live in the UK and the only audiobook version available is in French, 'Mrs. Fletcher ou les tribulations d'une MILF'.

This is a great example of how badly big publishing manages the global market, which it still approaches piece-meal with multiple middle-men, reselling the rights to the same product, with most of the benefits going to the gatekeepers and not the authors or the narrators.


message 6: by Tasmin (new)

Tasmin I just listened to "The Mountains Sing" by Phan Qué̂ Mai Nguyẽ̂n, read by Quyen Ngo. It was such a breathtaking story and so beautifully written! It is now nominated for "Best Audiobook of the year" and I think rightfully so. I just loved every second of it!


message 7: by The (new)

The Leppy World War Z by Max Brooks is my favorite audio book. It's got a full cast and I come back to is all the time. The book and audio book are like a interview and Max Brooks is the narrator/interviewer and all of the characters he interviews are so interesting and different.


message 8: by A. (new)

A. Becoming and Born a Crime are on there twice. I get that different staff recommended them and have their own thoughts, but the redundancy makes the list a bit sloppy.


A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol) Ok, whoever created this list screwed up. The Palace of Illusions is authored by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni NOT Scott Bradlee. I would appreciate this being fixed PDQ.


message 10: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Tasmin wrote: "I just listened to "The Mountains Sing" by Phan Qué̂ Mai Nguyẽ̂n, read by Quyen Ngo. It was such a breathtaking story and so beautifully written! It is now nominated for "Best Audiobook of the year..."

I agree - I thought this was wonderful!


message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine If I Had Your Face - Frances Cha
Clap When You Land - Elizabeth Acevedo
My Dark Vanessa - Kate Elizabeth Russell
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
The Turn of the Key - Ruth Ware


message 12: by Suzy (new)

Suzy Tasmin wrote: "I just listened to "The Mountains Sing" by Phan Qué̂ Mai Nguyẽ̂n, read by Quyen Ngo. It was such a breathtaking story and so beautifully written! It is now nominated for "Best Audiobook of the year..."

I'm glad I saw your recommendation. It looks really good and is available from my library!


Rachel Reads Ravenously I just listened to The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and it was wonderful. Recommend for all audio lovers.


message 14: by Sharon, Goodreads employee (new)

Sharon A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol) wrote: "Ok, whoever created this list screwed up. The Palace of Illusions is authored by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni NOT Scott Bradlee. I would appreciate this being fixed PDQ."

Thank you for bringing this error to our attention! We've made the correction.


message 15: by Kylie (new)

Kylie Sparks I loved Born a Crime!!! My other favorite audiobooks were
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell read by Ell Potter
the Dry by Jane Harper read by Steve Shanahan
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado


message 16: by Hanna (new)

Hanna Boven My forever favourite audiobook is the Harry Potter series, narrated by Stephen Fry. Anytime that I'm bored, sad or just don't know what to read next, I always go back to them. His deep and calm voice just does something to make the books come alive and I am forever grateful that he exists. Definitely worth checking out if you're feeling nostalgic!!


message 17: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie The Dutch House narrated by Tom Hanks is an excellent audiobook. Also, Dan Stevens' narration of Murder on the Orient Express is excellent!


message 18: by Jen (new)

Jen Webster The Exit Unicorn Series by Cindy Brandner narrated by Gary Furlong. Books 1-4 are available now, and the audio for book 5 will be released later this year. It is an amazing journey and Gary does a phenomenal job of bringing Cindy's books to life. It is fantastic!


message 19: by Deb (new)

Deb Anna wrote: "Daisy Jones & The Six has an all-star cast narration and is one of the best audiobooks I've come across. Listening to it made the the story more alive, it felt like you could hear t..."

I loved this story and the narration. Stellar A+


message 20: by Maggie (last edited Feb 26, 2021 02:09PM) (new)

Maggie I loved listening to The Night Circus! Jim Dale was the perfect choice for narrator imo.


message 21: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen Bernet-Ward Great list! I love the superlative 'Breath' written by award winning Tim Winton and read by Troy Planet. His paramedic Bruce Pike is one of a kind.


message 22: by Joanna (new)

Joanna I love the narrator for all of Ruth Ware’s audiobooks. I’ll never “read” one of hers because the audiobooks are so good! Also loved “The Starless Sea” and “Neverwhere.”


message 23: by Rósa (new)

Rósa Guðný I go through 2-3 audiobooks a week. The best one I can think of is You by Caroline Kepnes. The narrator is so good. His voice is smooth and hypnotic, matches the character Joe perfectly.


message 24: by Laura Beth (new)

Laura Beth Fiction: The Dutch House, A Man Called Ove, Beartown series, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Rosie Project series, The Goldfinch, Me Before You series, Anxious People

Fantasy: The Night Circus, Ready Player One, Queen of the Tearling series (YA), The Lunar Chronicles series (YA), Mistborn series, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Court of Thorns and Roses (books 1 & 2)

Mystery: The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter’s Grant County series and follow up Will Trent series, The Last Child, Big Lies in a Small Town, Cormoran Strike series, Sharp Objects

Love: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series (YA), The Viscount Who Love Me (Bridgertons)

Memoir: Becoming, Born a Crime, Dad is Fat, Hillbilly Elegy, Just Mercy, The Last Black Unicorn

Historical Fiction/History: Before We Were Yours, The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek, The Boys in the Boat, Daisy Jones and The Six, The Giver of Stars, The Henna Artist, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge series 0-3 and The Century trilogy 1-3 (both series by John Lee)

Holiday: A Boy Called Christmas, Holidaze, The Christmas Sisters


A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol) Sharon wrote: "A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol) wrote: "Ok, whoever created this list screwed up. The Palace of Illusions is authored by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni NOT Scott Bradlee. I would appreciate this bein..."

Thank you! :)


message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol Keogh (Goodfellow) All of the Rockcliffe series by Stella Riley. Great series and fabulous narration by Alex Wyndham. You will love these characters I promise!


message 27: by Corinna (new)

Corinna Angehrn Sadie by Courtney Summers. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the bouncing between narrators as much if I had read it instead of listening to an audiobook


message 28: by Bill (new)

Bill Breen Shantaram
Shantaram is an epic, expansive novel, based in part on the Author's own life. 43 hours of pure enjoyment, due to the story and the narration. Humphrey Bower's performance was epic. His performance led me to Bryce Courtenay's work which I really enjoy too. A great narrator is key to an Audiobook.


message 29: by Tricia (new)

Tricia People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks and the Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend both have FANTASTIC narrators that take the story to the next level - definitely on my re-listen list!

Also, my true favorite will always and forever be the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon with Davina Porter narrating. Unbelievably talented narrator!!!


message 30: by Sandie (new)

Sandie All the Light We Cannot See was excellent as an audiobook. Hearing the WWII experience through the “eyes” of a blind girl made it that much more meaningful.


message 31: by Jean (new)

Jean Arnold When All is Said is such a sweet audiobook. The narrator presents the story in a funny, sweet, heartwarming way. You’ll laugh and cry.


message 32: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I am a big fan of audio books, and I have my father to thank for that.
This list inspired me to share, because I did not see mention of a narrator whom we lost in the last year, Rene Auberjonois. He was one of the best narrators in my mind, and I came to love him after listening to the entire Pendergast series (many volumes of which I had already "read" without listening) by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
Auberjonois gave life and depth to the persnickety Pendergast (even when he became unbearable), and gave the listener the experience of being IN the story, not just listening to it. If you've missed this book series as a listening experience, I encourage you to give it a try.


message 33: by Kathie (new)

Kathie The Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley is a favorite. The reader is so much fun to listen to. It's like if Anne Shirley was solving mysteries in England after the war!


message 34: by Eric (new)

Eric Morlock Whether or not you're a Herriot fan, I think you'll appreciate the narration of "All Creatures Great and Small" by the fine actor Christopher Timothy, who played Herriot on the television series. Timothy inhabits all the characters with absolute felicity, and his ability to reproduce the various Northern English and Scottish dialects is just astounding.
Eric Morlock


message 35: by Donna (new)

Donna Lundy The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver


message 36: by Zach (new)

Zach Anything read by Simon Vance is really good. I particularly liked his narration in The Black Tower and the Benjamin Weaver series.


message 37: by M (new)

M I loved "Finlay Donovan Is Killing It" by Elle Cosimano - the narration is perfection and the book is so fun to listen to.

An unexpected but wonderful audiobook I enjoyed was "Milkman" by Anna Burns. I don't think I would have stuck with the actual book, but the audio version was a delight to listen to and the book was emotionally very impactful.

I second "The Palace of Illusions" - wonderful!

And anything read by Richard Armitage. His voice is sumptuous and delicious.


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