Books make great gifts and audiobooks make great stocking stuffers. But you’ll also need some ear-candy to keep you sane during the inevitable holiday shopping frenzy. We can help with that! From Pulitzer Prize–winning fiction to triumphant returns to the literary scene, these audiobooks are just right for everyone on your holiday list—yourself included.
15 Audiobooks Perfect For You and Everyone on Your List
You can never lose with award-winning fiction. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, THE SYMPATHIZER, makes for a profound and gripping audiobook. This beautifully crafted tale is the story of a man whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. An astute exploration of extreme politics as well as a moving love story, THE SYMPATHIZER examines the legacy of the Vietnam War.
Read by Francois Chau
Walter Isaacson’s new biography of Leonardo da Vinci showcases history’s most creative genius: a man of passionate curiosity, careful observation, and playful imagination. Read by acclaimed actor Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Chocolat), LEONARDO DA VINCI brings the artist to life, showing why we have much to learn from him. Da Vinci’s combination of science, art, technology, and imagination remains an enduring recipe for creativity.
Read by Alfred Molina
Her life at a crossroads, 30-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town, and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she’d realized. Her father is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid, and Ruth’s mother is lucidly erratic! As Ruth’s father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming all her grief. The book-club enthusiast on your list will devour this.
Read by Therese Plummer
Beloved YA author John Green (who just might have even more adult fans) is finally back with a new moving story. Sixteen-year-old Aza is at the center of TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN, and Green tells her story with shattering, unflinching clarity. Aza and her friend Daisy set out in pursuit of a mystery fugitive billionaire with a $100,000 bounty on his head. On this unexpected adventure, Aza must come to terms with what it means to be a good friend, daughter, and student while living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
Read by Kate Rudd
After blowing through holiday budgets, anyone would appreciate a gift that will get their finances back on track. Jen Sicero has some encouraging words for you: You Are a Badass at Making Money. This step-by-step guide is a refreshingly frank audiobook to help you overcome the fears and stumbling blocks that have kept financial success out of reach. YOU ARE A BADASS AT MAKING MONEY combines hilarious personal essays with life-changing bite-size concepts that anyone can employ to unlock earning potential and get real results.
Read by Jen Sincero
Brimming with humor and a glittering cast of characters, A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW reaffirms Amor Towles as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction. This audiobook brings 1922 Moscow to life with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. Rostov has never worked a day in his life and must now live in an attic room across the street from the Kremlin while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
Read by Nicholas Guy Smith
We all want to know what happened during the 2016 election, and Hillary Clinton divulges the story of that campaign and its aftermath in a deeply intimate account and cautionary tale. Clinton takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, stranger-than-fiction twists, and an opponent who broke all the rules. Read by Clinton herself, WHAT HAPPENED is for the millions of Americans who want to understand what really happened in 2016, how to make sense of it, and how we all can keep going.
Read by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Shortly before her husband’s sudden death, Liv Halston receives a century-old portrait with a rich history. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and a battle begins for who its legitimate owner is—putting Liv's belief in what is right to the ultimate test. A spellbinding love story of two women separated by a century, THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND is a breathtaking story of love, loss, and sacrifice—all the makings of an excellent gift.
Read by Clare Corbett and Penny Rawlins
Since washing up on the shore of the seaside town of Isla 10 years ago, Pablo and Birdy, his lavender parrot, have never been apart. No one in Isla knows where they came from. But a mythical bird known as the Seafaring parrot has heard all the sounds there are to hear in the world, and might shed light on Pablo’s past. As Pablo is buzzing with questions, hopes, and fears, an old saying echoes in his mind: winds of change mean fortune lost or fortune gained. PABLO AND BIRDY is a middle-grade novel adults are sure to love, too.
Read by Alison McGhee
Read by Roxane Gay herself, HUNGER is a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself. Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. For fans of Gay’s candor and unfettered, hard-hitting opinions, this audiobook is a must-listen.
Read by Roxane Gay
Today, very few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. This holiday season, an audiobook that brings the great beyond right into our world is just what we need. Our favorite astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson narrates this digestible audiobook with sparkling wit. ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from solar eclipses to the search for life in the vast universe.
Read by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Actor Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, Beauty and the Beast) delivers a dramatic performance of Mary Shelley’s timeless gothic novel. Why is this audiobook an ideal gift for someone on your list? FRANKENSTEIN isn’t just a tale of a scientific experiment gone wrong and the horror that arises as a result, it is also a powerful story of obsession, love, friendship, and what it means to be human.
Read by Dan Stevens
We seriously doubt that anyone on your list would be able to resist a cozy Agatha Christie mystery! THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES marks the first appearance of one of the best-known literary detectives: Hercule Poirot. This Poirot thriller deals with the case of an old woman poisoned with strychnine for her money. Nothing is obvious, however, in the way Christie handles a plot. The story spirals round and round, leading you in one direction, then another. This whodunit is exemplary of what makes Christie’s mysteries so obsessive.
Read by Hugh Fraser
The first installation of Jason Reynolds’s YA Track series is off to a running start. This award-winning audiobook follows the titular protagonist Ghost, who gets his nickname from being the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team. Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons. Then he meets his ex–Olympic medalist coach, who is determined to keep him and the other kids from blowing their shots at life.
Read by Guy Lockard
Do you know a fan of speculative fiction? What about not-so-speculative fiction? IMMORTAL LIFE imagines a day just around the corner when eternal life is within our fingertips. The technological possibilities within this tale—crazy as they may seem—are very real. Mixing brisk action, humor, and wicked social commentary, Stanley Bing’s soon-to-be-true story is for fans of novels like ZONE ONE and TV shows like Westworld.
Read by Stanley Bing