Reading on the Move: An Audiobook Recommendation Thread


This topic is divisive, but I am one of those people who believe that a well-performed audiobook can be better than the experience of actually reading a book. Sometimes my internal voice isn’t strong enough, and I like a variety of voices, or a really strong narrator to lead me through a good story.

So, I thought we could recommend each other some good audiobook selections:

My first recommendation is World War Z. I honestly find the original text, by itself, rather boring… But the addition of a full cast makes the experience much more engaging. It feels like you’re listening to ACTUAL interviews instead of reading transcripts. This book has some problems with representation, but I remember that it was a fun romp through a zombie story.

American Gods is another full-cast production that I absolutely love. Not only does Gaiman do the narration for the book, but all the lead voices are very strong, especially Shadow Moon.

Jefferson Mays didn’t do the voice work for Cibola Burn, book 4 of the Expanse series, and the fans reacted by down voting the book on Audible to oblivion. So much so, that they rerecorded it with Mays doing the narration. So, let me just say that Mays is as important to The Expanse experience as the writers are, imo… He is able to slip into ANY voice thrown at him. From Avasarala, deep Belter cadence, to any other voice he’s called forth to voice. His work here is truly incredible.

So, what can you all recommend? I have a few credits to burn.

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An obvious one is Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry. His voice work is pretty darn good and it’s a great way to enjoy the series again.

A slightly oddball recomendation is the Mass Effect codex. It’s all on YouTube and I love to listen to it just like an audiobook :grin:


Speaking of Mass Effect, I’ve been looking for a good sci-fi book on Audible with a big cast of alien and weird characters.

Also, I love in that video that it sounds like the ship is falling apart in the background.

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Ooh, not much in the way of aliens, but if you love some good Carl Sagan sci-fi, you can get Contact read by Jodie Foster!

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I listen to tons of audio books:

Seconding The Expanse series, next book coming out in March. I am super excited
The Dispossessed, Left Hand of Darkness by rsula K Le Guin
Culture Series by Ian M Banks
Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre

Non Fiction:
Planet Taco (history of Mexican food)
Before The Storm, Nixonland and The Invisible Bridge by Rick Perlstein (essentially the history of the modern GOP)
The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes (has one of the most harrowing sections of any audiobook I’ve ever listened to. Its a barrage of first hand accounts of survivors of the first atomic bombing.)
A Savage War of Peace by Alistair Horne (history of the war for independence in Algeria)
Debt the First 5000 Years by David Graeber
Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary (history of Islam and the Middle East)
The Sting of the Wild by Justin O Schmidt (entomologist gets stung by lots of bugs, writes about it)


I listened to the audiobook of All the Light We Cannot See last year:

I went on a dozen extra long walks with the dog while on vacation, listening to this. It was extraordinary, beautiful, and very well-performed by Zach Appelman. (I do like Anthony Doerr a lot; scanning some reviews I see people critical of just how lyrical and poetic the book is, and I’m like yeah, it’s Anthony Doerr!)

(BTW, my library has a ton of audiobooks available through the Libby app — so highly recommended!)

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NK Jemisin’s “Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” had me utterly enthralled, and also had such a good narrator i looked her up hoping she’d done more books. Very unique setting, great magic system, and totally incredible heroine.


I really enjoyed John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats)'s two novels Wolf in White Van and Universal Harvester, the audiobooks for which are both excellently read by him, and feature incidental music he composed for them.