June is Audiobook Month and, while I’m always celebrating audiobooks, I thought it’d be a great time to highlight some of my favorites and some of our community’s favorites!
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for ways to squeeze in a bit more reading time. Audiobooks are one way to do that. I love to listen to them while I drive, especially on long car rides. Some books and places are forever linked in my brain, like Hunger by Roxane Gay and the Pennsylvania turnpike. I also love to listen while I’m doing household chores like folding laundry or meal prepping for the week. I recently started gardening (with varying levels of success) and audiobooks have kept me company while planting and replanting my pollinator patch!
Some keyboard warriors in certain corners of the internet argue that listening to an audiobook doesn’t count as reading. I call bullshit. First, that’s ableist. With certain disabilities, some folks rely on audio full-time or part-time to read. Second, studies have shown that listening to an audiobook and reading a physical book activates the same regions in your brain. Reading is reading no matter how it looks, full stop.
A few of my favorite audiobooks include…
There’s nothing better than a memoir read by the author. In this case, Roxane Gay’s resonant voice and brilliant prose was the best company on a long cross-country drive by myself. She’ll make you laugh and cry, often within seconds of one another. This deeply moving book was exceptional on audio.
This one takes me back to my kitchen while stirring a big pot of fragrant chili. Released during the peak of the COVID pandemic, Zadie Smith’s essays in this book cover all the collective emotions, ennui, and anxiety that we’ve felt over the last year. Her narration gives the listener the feeling of being taken care of and her gentle tone will sweep you away. You definitely have to be in the right headspace for this one, but if you’re starting to process your complicated relationship with COVID, this is a stunning book.
Listen, do not judge me. I heard good things about Jessica Simpson’s memoir and as someone who graduated high school in 2004 in the middle of the pop diva craze, I was eager to check it out. Is it the greatest piece of literature? Absolutely not. Jessica Simpson grew up incredibly sheltered and, to some extent, is still incredibly sheltered. But I’m a sucker for juicy celebrity gossip and this book affirmed my belief that Tony Romo is a man child and John Mayer is a scumbag (you can pry Continuum out of my cold dead hands though). This book is a fun beach read and there’s some original music at the end that is surprisingly excellent.
I asked our members some of their favorite audiobooks and here’s what they had to say!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, narrated by Jim Dale – suggested by Carrie E.
The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer – suggested by Stevie M.
The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin – suggested by Megan S. (who loves to knit while she reads!)
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – suggested by Jennifer E.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia – suggested by Lais B.
More Myself by Alicia Keyes – suggested by Kelly M.
Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness – suggested by Angela C.
Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford – suggested by Laura E.
Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo – suggested by Lais B. & Emma I.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – suggested by Beth K.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller – suggested by Laura E., Jennifer E., & Aimee D.
We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib – suggested by Angela C.
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado – suggested by Emma I.
Maeve in America by Maeve Higgins – suggested by Carole D.
Broken Horses by Brandi Carlisle – suggested by Casey C.
Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper – suggested by Patrick S.
Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper – suggested by Jean N.
Goodbye, Again by Jonny Sun – suggested by Emma I.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – suggested by Jessica C. & Manon M.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon– suggested by Lais B.
How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams – suggested by Jennifer E.
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – suggested by Lais B.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – suggested by Sarah N.
Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi – suggested by Lais B.
Falling Into Her by Erin Zak – suggested by Lexi F. (who loved it so much she listened to it twice!)
Beach Read by Emily Henry – suggested by Lais B.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, narrated by Avery Brooks – suggested by Natalia S.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal – suggested by Ashley P. & Carole D.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi – suggested by Aimee D.
Outlawed by Anna North – suggested by Carole D.
The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton – suggested by Aimee D.
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride – suggested by Jan P.
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley – suggested by Jennifer E. & Sarah N.
The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante – suggested by Violet E.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – suggested by Jean N.
Anything by Toni Morrison, as Ashley writes in this blog tribute to the literary legend
What are some of your favorite audiobooks? Leave them in the comments!