Favorite Audiobooks?


a bunch of driving coming up and thinking of treating myself to an audiobook for the road.

any favorites?

i’ll start…


mind blowing. heart-breaking. important.



I absolutely love Rob Inglis’ reading of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’ve listened to it all the way through twice. He does such a great job of capturing the characters and the tones of the story through his voice. I have a couple friends who couldn’t stomach reading the books because they don’t like Tolkien’s style, but they actually really liked this version of the audiobook.




I’ve had an audible account for years so I’ve got a few that really stand out:

The Friedkin Connection, autobiography read by William Friedkin, director of the Exorcist, To Live and Die in L.A., etc.
Room To Dream, alternating chapters of biography and autobiography written and read by Kristine McKenna and David Lynch

The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, read by Hillary Huber; I’m halfway through this four novel series and it accumulates an incredible power out of tiny details as it follows the lives of two women from childhood onward. Huber does an incredible job of reading these.

The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro, read by Grover Gardner.
A massive epic, roughly 100 hours long even at 1.5-2x speed, these were revelatory about the arc of American history; a biography decades in the making (and still on going), Caro litters this work with biographies in miniature of many people who intersected with LBJ and it’s incredibly illuminating albeit a little dry at times. Master of the Senate in particular blew my mind, but the whole thing is great.

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Laurie Anderson reading Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist elevated a so-so novel:

Stockard Channing reading Mao II is pretty darn great.

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david sedaris readin david sedaris ticks my boxen



I mostly use Audible to satisfy my cheesy Sci-Fi needs.

Jonathan Davis’ reading of Gene Wolfe’s Shadow and Claw Series (He also narrated a bunch of William Gibson novels)
Jefferson Mays’ reading of The Expanse Novels
George Guidall and Frank Muller’s readings of Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series
Anything Derek Jacobi narrates.

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David Lynch reading Catching the Big Fish is really great. if you’re a Lynch fan and you’re even the slightest bit meditation-curious you’ll love it. Puts you in a very nice headspace.



I really enjoyed the latest Philip Pullman: La Belle Sauvage read by Michael Sheen. He is a great actor and really manages to make the portrayals convincing.

Less good but trashy is the Alan Dean Foster novelisation of Aliens: Covenant.

I am only enjoying this because,
a) I read the ADF novelisations of Alien & Aliens in my youth.
b) Aliens were always best when in your imagination.
c) I listen to go to sleep, so I dont mind missing bits as I drift off.

I use RBDigital to download audiobooks via my Local Library (UK). I think most libraries offer this, as well as digital magazines…

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Speaking of Pullman, the His Dark Materials trilogy, read by the man himself, is a great listen. Loved those books growing up, and it’s really interesting to “read” them again when you’re older and understand lots of references and subtext you probably missed as a kid.



David Byrne’s “How Music Works” is pretty good. Annoying that he’s not the reader, though.

Thomas Dolby’s “The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology” is probably next on my list, but I haven’t done that one yet.

Dan Ackerman’s “The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World” was pretty good. If that title sounds appealing, you’ll probably like it. Otherwise, not.

Andy Weir’s “The Martian” is brilliant. The movie did a fine job of adapting it.

Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians” trilogy is amazing, but probably not for everyone. (the SyFy show takes huge liberties, but is also a lot of fun)

I did all of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series as audiobooks. That was well done, and they certainly used a lot of hours.

Harry Potter, same deal, though I’d recommend the UK editions if you can get 'em. (Stephen Fry reading, as opposed to Jim Dale. Both do a fine job, but only one of them is Stephen Fry)

I really enjoyed Scott Meyer’s “Magic 2.0” books, but don’t think I recommend them in audio form – the character voices annoy me.

David Wong… You sort of can’t go wrong with “John Dies at the End”, “This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It”, and “What the Hell Did I Just Read”.
(in that order; they’re a series)
…though again, probably not for everyone.



I listen to a lot of Audible at work. I mostly go for the swords and sorcery type fantasy.

The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
Read by Nick Podehl

The Licanius Trilogy by James Islington
Read by Michael Kramer

Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe
Read by Nick Podehl

King’s Dark Tidings by Kel Kade
Read by Nick Podehl

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I listen to a lot of audiobooks during my commute, it’s over an hour each way. I’ve found the trick with audiobooks is to get both a good book AND a good narrator!

recent standouts:

bad blood by john carreyrou (exposé of the theranos debacle)
narrated by will damron

african kaiser by robert gaudi (about the only german WWI general who never technically lost a battle)
narrated by paul hodgson

dark money by jane mayer (the koch brothers and the radical right’s long game)
narrated by kristin potter

the immortal irishman by timothy egan (fascinating bio - plus anything by egan is great)
narrated by gerard doyle

and anything by simon winchester, narrated by himself

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