14 Magnificent Audiobooks That Make Great Gifts
Doesn’t it feel like there are just too many great books on your reading list and not enough time to get to all of them? We feel your pain and have a suggestion: Incorporate audiobooks into your literary diet. At Off the Shelf, we’re pros at balancing reading great books and listening to great audiobooks—as evidenced by our star-studded, amazing, spectacular, phenomenal, outstanding, exceptional, fantastic, and brilliant audiobook lists. Here are 14 more audiobooks to add to your ever-growing reading list—and they make perfect stocking stuffers too.
Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” CHRONICLES is his revealing, poetic, passionate, and witty memoir that details the most critical junctions in his life and career. Read by Dylan himself, this one is one worth putting on repeat.
Read by Bob Dylan
2Fly Away Home
When politician’s extramarital affairs make headlines, his wife, and their grown daughters are drawn into the painful glare of the national spotlight. Written with an irresistible blend of heartbreak and hilarity, FLY AWAY HOME is the story of how, after a lifetime of distance, three women finally learn to find refuge in one another.
Read by Judith Light
Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor in ASSASSINATION VACATION. She takes a road trip like no other, journeying to the pit stops of lesser-known American political assassinations. Conan O’Brien, Stephen King, and other surprising readers bring this hilarious romp through American history to life.
Read by Conan O’Brien, Stephen King, Dave Eggers, Jon Stewart, and Sarah Vowell and more
4A Farewell to Arms
Lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A FAREWELL TO ARMS is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Ernest Hemingway’s classic portrayal of the love between the two caught up in the inexorable sweep of war glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature.
Read by John Slattery
’TIS is Frank McCourt’s follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir, ANGELA’S ASHES. It’s the story of his American journey from being an impoverished immigrant to a brilliant teacher—read by the author himself. It is Frank's incomparable voice—his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue—that renders this audiobook experience spellbinding.
Read by Frank McCourt
6Born Standing Up
There is no way you can go through life without encountering comedian Steve Martin’s great works—and this memoir is one of them. In this Grammy-winning audiobook version, Martin recounts his years in stand-up and illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him a comedy and cultural icon.
Read by Steve Martin
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble—and that it’s been in trouble for a long time. But when she realizes she has a magic phone that calls into the past, all she wants to do is make things right with her husband. Maybe she can fix the things in their past that seem unfixable in the present. Maybe this stupid phone is giving her a chance to start over.
Read by Rebecca Lowman
8The Girl with All the Gifts
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end. Melanie is a special girl who loves school. She thinks her classmates don't like her and when she jokes that she won’t bite, they don’t laugh. This sensational audiobook is for fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman.
Read by Finty Williams
In WHAT IF?, Randall Munroe provides serious scientific answers to all your absurd hypothetical questions. Munroe—the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd—runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, and solves differential equations, all in the name of providing answers to all those absurd hypothetical questions with clarity and hilarity.
Read by Wil Wheaton
10The Boston Girl
A 2016 Audie finalist, THE BOSTON GIRL is a coming-of-age tale about family ties, values, friendship, and feminism told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early 20th century. Gorgeous historical detail and emotional resonance make this audiobook an unforgettable listen.
Read by Linda Lavin
11Kitchens of the Great Midwest
A young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation in J. Ryan Stradal’s brilliant debut. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST is an unexpected story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises.
Read by Amy Ryan and Michael Stuhlbarg
FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a hysterical, ridiculous audiobook about crippling depression and anxiety. Read by Jenny Lawson with her inimitable humor, this Audie 2016 winner explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. You’ve been warned: Lawson is at her snort-inducing funniest.
Read by Jenny Lawson
13The Sleeper and the Spindle
Beloved author Neil Gaiman meets the imaginative “origin story” sub-genre with this captivating and darkly funny tale. Gaiman twists together the familiar and the new, the beautiful and the wicked, to tell a brilliant version of Snow White’s (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty’s (almost) stories.
Read by Julian Rhind-Tutt, Lara Pulver, and Niamh Walsh
14Appleblossom the Possum
Young listeners (and adult ones) will delight in this Audie-winning audiobook read by acclaimed actor Dustin Hoffman. Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. The curious Appleblossom has no idea how fascinating the big world can be—but she’s about to find out!
Read by Dustin Hoffman