If we’ve yet to convince you that audiobooks deserve a place in your TBR lists (or rather TBP list—to be played) then here’s the most logical place to start: Audie Award winners (in case you didn’t know, the Audie Awards are like the Academy Awards of the audiobooks world). The audiobooks on this list are just a few of our favorites of the inspired list of Audie winners and finalists of the last few years.
2017 Audiobook of the Year
Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Pulitzer for his groundbreaking musical Hamilton. And in 2017, HAMILTON—an exploration of the theatrical phenomenon—was awarded the highest Audie honor: Audiobook of the Year. If you’re looking for a revolutionary and entertaining listen, HAMILITON is perfect for you. It offers unprecedented insight into both revolutions—this is as close as you’ll get to seeing the show.
Read by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy Carter, Mariska Hargitay
2017 Finalist for Autobiography/Memoir
Award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson (who play iconic vixen Cookie on Empire) reads her inspiring and funny book about family, friends, the hustle required to make it from DC to Hollywood, and the joy of living your own truth. Henson’s memoir was a 2017 Audie finalist in the autobiography/memoir category. We can’t help but wonder if there were cookies present at her celebration of this honor.
Read by Taraji P. Henson
2017 Finalist for Best Female Narrator
Here’s another Audie finalist to add to your playlist. Jacqueline Woodson’s acclaimed novel ANOTHER BROOKLYN heartbreakingly illuminates the promise and peril of growing up. Running into a long-ago friend sets into motion memories from the 1970s for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t.
Read by Robin Miles
2017 Audie Winner for Fantasy
When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects. This 2017 Fantasy Audie winner will take you on a quest of epic life-or-death proportions.
Read by Christopher Lane
2017 Audie Winner for Humor
If you don’t know who Luvvie Ajayi is by now, we’re totally judging you. Ajayi, of AwesomelyLuvvie.com (and ruthless side-eye sorcery) fame, serves up necessary advice for the masses in her hilarious book of essays, I’M JUDGING YOU. Ajayi recently took the Audie prize in the humor category.
Read by Luvvie Ajayi
2016 Audie Winner for Autobiography/Memoir
In 1988 Martin Pistorius fell inexplicably sick at the age of 12 and within 18 months he was mute and wheelchair bound. GHOST BOY is the heart-wrenching story of his return to life through the power of love and faith. Martin’s emergence from his darkness invites us to celebrate our own lives and fight for better lives for others.
Read by Simon Bubb
2016 Audie Winner for Non-Fiction
GHETTOSIDE is a masterly work of literary journalism you’ll have to hear to believe. Jill Leovy uncovers the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential but mostly ignored American murder—a “ghettoside” killing of one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs.
Read by Rebecca Lowman
2017 Finalist for Audiobook of the Year
Amy Schumer reads her refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays, GIRL WITH THE LOWER BACK TATTOO. Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing Audie finalist is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend.
Read by Amy Schumer
2015 Audie Winner for Mystery
Start your mystery audiobook kick with this compulsively listenable Audie winner. When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. But then Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, turning this investigation into a race against time to track down a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before.
Read by Robert Glenister
2017 Finalist for Audiobook of the Year
The accolades for Colson Whitehead’s THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD are many: a Pulitzer, an Oprah Book Club Selection, and so on. These are just a few of the elements needed for an amazing audiobook! THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
Read by Bahni Turpin
2014 Finalist for Inspirational/Faith-Based Non-Fiction
Dr. Hawa Abdi, “the Mother Teresa of Somalia” and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, penned a moving memoir about founding a massive camp for internally displaced people located a few miles from war-town Mogadishu, inspiring her daughters to become doctors, and the harrowing experience of being kidnapped in 2010 by radical insurgents. Her Audie-winning story of incomprehensible bravery and perseverance will inspire listeners everywhere.
Read by Robin Miles
2014 Finalist for Mystery
When wildly successful chick lit mystery writer Kimberlee Kalder—the guest of honor at an exclusive writers’ conference at Dalmorton Castle in Scotland—is found dead in the castle’s bottle dungeon, it’s up to Detective Chief Inspector St. Just to track down the true killer in a castle full of cagey mystery connoisseurs who live and breathe malicious murder and artful alibis.
Read by Davina Porter
2014 Audie Winner for Romance
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. These two couples have little in common and are separated by years and experience—yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the furthest reaches of the human heart. If you’re a sucker for a good romance, make this 2014 Audie winner your next listen.
Read by Ron McLarty and January LaVoy
2017 Audie Winner for Literary Fiction & Classics
Stretching from the wars of Ghana to slavery and the Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the American South to the Great Migration to twentieth-century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi’s novel HOMEGOING moves through histories and geographies with ease and finesse. This riveting audiobook on race, history, ancestry, love, and two sisters separated across 300 years won the 2017 Audie for literary fiction.
Read by Dominic Hoffman