When they’re not dazzling us with their award-winning performances on the big (and small) screens, some of our favorite actors are moonlighting as audiobook readers. For movie buffs and book lovers, audiobooks read by movie stars are the best of both worlds. But for those who can’t seem to get on board with the act of “listening to books,” these impeccable audiobook performances from Rosario Dawson, Tiffany Haddish, Thandie Newton, and more will convince you to give it a try.
Amber Tamblyn starred in one of our favorite movie adaptations of friendship and sisterhood—The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants—so her narration of Alice Hoffman's FAITHFUL is a welcome treat. Sprinkled with Hoffman's signature magical realism, FAITHFUL follows a young woman from Long Island to New York City after a terrible accident leaves her best friend in a coma. With the help of her new family, a series of anonymous postcards, and a mysterious guardian angel, Shelby learns that she can not only survive but thrive.
Read by Amber Tamblyn
English actor Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead, Love Actually) leaves behind the southern drawl of Rick Grimes to tell us about the history of the noble sport of Quidditch (adored by wizard and Muggle families around the world). This one-of-a-kind listening experience has it all-coverage of famous Quidditch teams, the commonest fouls, the development of racing brooms, and more. Rounded out by an excellent narration from Andrew Lincoln, to me, this audiobook is perfect.
Read by Andrew Lincoln
Rosario Dawson (Luke Cage, Rent) reads ARTEMIS, an out-of-this-world heist story about a small-time smuggler turned full-on criminal mastermind. In Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, Jazz is a petty thief but her loot is barely enough to cover rent. Everything changes when she sees the chance to commit the perfect crime. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped right into a conspiracy-and that now her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first. If you loved Andy Weir's award-winning debut, THE MARTIAN, make ARTEMIS your next (or first) audiobook listen.
Read by Rosario Dawson
It's astonishing how comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) manages to squeeze a painful memory of homelessness or loss and sidesplitting humor within the space of one paragraph. THE LAST BLACK UNICORN is a hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself. If you haven't witnessed Haddish's unique brand of humor in action, this is the place to start.
Read by Tiffany Haddish
Dan Stevens, who played Beast in the live-action Beauty and the Beast and Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, has an ear for accents, which makes his performance of all the murder suspects in this Agatha Christie classic one of the best you'll ever listen to. Among the colorful characters in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS there is, of course, famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, a Russian princess, a German maid, a Southern widow, an Italian businessman, and more—all suspected of murder aboard a train stopped by a snowdrift.
Read by Dan Stevens
Chang-rae Lee's masterful storytelling balanced with Tony Award-winning actor BD Wong's (Jurassic Park, SVU) moving narration makes this literary dystopian audiobook a worthy listen. ON SUCH A FULL SEA tells the stunning and surprising story of a long-declining American society strictly stratified by class. Using a deeply ethereal voice, Lee tells the story of Fan, a fish-tank diver who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore) when the man she loves mysteriously disappears.
Read by BD Wong
Actress Thandie Newton (Westworld, The Pursuit of Happyness) brings Charlotte Brontë's iconic and autobiographical character, Jane Eyre, to life with this flawlessly narrated audiobook. JANE EYRE follows the emotions and experiences of its titular character, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr. Rochester, the Byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. Newton's performance is enthralling, and any die-hard EYRE fan would certainly approve.
Read by Thandie Newton
Walter Isaacson's latest 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
This audiobook, read by Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, A Series of Unfortunate Events), is only eight minutes long, but listeners of all ages will love every second of this heartwarming true story. At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two male penguins named Roy and Silo are a little bit different from the others but their desire for a family is the same. With the help of a kind zookeeper, Roy and Silo get the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.
Read by Neil Patrick Harris