I am a huge advocate for reading physical books. Nothing compares to the experience of opening a book and, if the writing clicks, going deep into it and being transported to another world. But as time passed, I also started admiring podcasts and the meditative — yet informative — quality they add.
Though I do not listen to audiobooks all the time, there are specific periods of time when having a story narrated to you is exactly what you want. So, here are some of the best (and my favorite) audiobooks to listen to right now.
1. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
In this book, Gladwell explores how and why we struggle to understand strangers and why these misunderstandings can have such serious repercussions. With audio from Gladwell’s original interviews, the audiobook functions as an exhilarating cross between a book and a podcast.
2. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
The connection between an affluent white couple and their young, struggling Black babysitter, Emira, is the subject of Kiley Reid’s heavily debated debut novel. After Emira is accused of kidnapping the couple’s daughter while she was at the supermarket with her one night, Reid demonstrates the awkward ways relationships fracture and how the couple’s good intentions are put to the test.
3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
When a young man is found dead in rural North Carolina in 1969, Kya Clark, who is popularly referred to as “Marsh Girl” because she lives in the woods, is the prime suspect. Kya Clark, however, is not who people believe her to be. This mystery filled story will keep you at the edge of your seat.
4. What White People Can Do Next by Emma Dabiri
This is a helpful, uncomplicated manual that will take you “from allyship to coalition.” This information is sharp, clever, and well-researched, and is a must-read for every white person existing today.
5. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
In its slightly apocalyptic backdrop, the Nobel laureate’s novel, Klara and the Sun, takes a new path than the one the author has been on before. One artificially intelligent machine named Klara learns about the world through the store window she stands in in a future when children socialize not with one another but with machine intelligence. A genetically engineered prodigy named Josie, a youngster who is one of the “lifted,” gets paired up with her, and the story goes from here.
6. Soul Tourists by Bernardine Evaristo
Bernardine Evaristo, a British-Nigerian novelist, wrote this experimental novel titled Soul Tourists. Soul Tourists incorporates prose, poetry, screenplays, and other non-fiction techniques. The book uses a magpie-like approach to narrative, merging screenplays, poems, prose, and other styles and mediums that the author finds appropriate. Along with Kayi Ushe and Vivienne Acheampong, Evaristo provides the narration in the audiobook.
7. The Last Days of Roger Federer (and Other Endings) by Geoff Dyer
This study of the waning of artists and athletes is written in Dyer’s customary densely-packed style and attempts to pinpoint exactly how things change when subject-matter experts are aware that the world is nearing its end.
8. Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach
In her book Fuzz, popular science author Mary Roach explores the science underlying the conflict between humans and animals. In an effort to learn how to best resolve or prevent disputes between people and wildlife. Though the subject matter sounds serious, this is one of the funniest books to listen to because the author incorporates enough of her signature comedy with a wealth of scientific facts.