8 Audiobook Recommendations for (N)ewbies

It’s no secret that we are audiobook queens around here, and if you’re new to audiobooks and wondering where to start, then we’re here for you! Check out our list below of books from different genres that you might want to experience for audiobooks.

Epic Saga

Where the Crawdad Sings, Delia Owens

The audiobook is narrated by Cassandra Campbell and she manages to share all the emotions of this story of a young girl who’s forced to live and grow up by herself out in the marsh. This is a complex story that takes it’s time – but there is so much to unpack that it never felt slow to me. The “marsh girl” as Kya is called, is treated by the townspeople with everything from revulsion to mean and gently curiosity. Kya grows up but it’s hard, and the author and narrator let us feel just how hard it is for her. Yet there’s kindness there too … and sadness … and love.

Where the Crawdad Sings

Adult Contemporary

Queenie, Candace Carty-Williams

Let me flat out tell you – GET THE AUDIOBOOK! This made my “the audiobook is better than the book” list because of the fantastic narration by Shvorne Marks. She gave this book LIFE! There’s Caribbean and African influences, dialect and just OUR ways of being that you will completely get with the audiobook. Queenie is a hot mess after her breakup, and she goes on quite the bender … and I was glad I was there for every bit of it.

Queenie (Book)

Mystery

Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4), Robert Galbraith

All the books in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for J. K. Rowling) are narrated by Robert Glenister – and he has completely become the stodgy, curmudgeon of a detective, and managed to make this one of my favorite detective series. Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4), Robert Galbraith is full of emotional ups and downs, and is my favorite book in the series so far. We get to see a lot more of the relationship with Cormoran and Robin, his former secretary and now a partner … he’s trying to figure out if he’s in love with her … and she’s recently married and dealing with working and with a husband who is less than supportive of her working … and of course there’s the case they’re trying to solve. There is just so much in this book that I could not put it down. It’s best to read the series in order to get the history, but they can each stand alone.

Lethal White (Coromoran Strike)

YA Contemporary

On the Come Up, Angie Thomas

The audiobook is narrated by Bahni Turpin who can basically do no wrong in my eyes. Bri, a 16 year old girl who lives in the projects of Crown Heights and who thinks constantly bout a way out for her and her family. Bri is a hip-hop artist on the come up and we get to hear Turpin breathe life to the lyrics. This is the story of dreaming, fighting for your dream and navigating through the bullshit of life. Trust me, you don’t have to be into hip-hop to enjoy this book – after all, hip-hop lyrics are really just poetry on a page.

On the Come Up

Fantasy

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik

This book GUTTED me! The narration is done by Lisa Flanagan, and thanks to her I was completely and helplessly immersed in the story of Miryem, who took over her father’s money-lending business at too young an age because he was so bad at it. She was doing really well … and then she became cocky … entering into an unwinnable bet with the King of the Staryk.

Spinning Silver

Psychological Terror (Horror)

Baby Teeth, Zoje Stage

In looking through the reviews on Goodreads for Baby Teeth – it seems people either loved or hated this book – and I’m firmly on the side of loved it due in part to the narration by Gabra Zachman. Hannah – a 7 year old girl – is all kinds of twisted, manipulative and out to kill her mother. The book is engrossing and disturbing as Hannah gets more and more out of control.

Baby Teeth (Novel)

Immigrant Story

Patsy, Nicole Dennis-Benn

This is the 2nd novel I’ve read by Dennis-Benn – loved them both and this one if 5 stars all the way. There’s so much to unpack in this book – it is DEEP – but Benn still manages to make the themes not seem heavy and take just one character and show how her life is heavy, full, flawed and tumultuous. The audiobook, narrated by Sharon Gordon is a must! She brought it with the Jamaican dialect of the characters and made me form a deep connection with the spirit of this novel.

Patsy

Short Stories

If It Bleeds, Stephen King

Narrated by: Will Patton, Danny Burstein, Steven Weber. I am a Will Patton fan girl! He’s narrated other Stephen King books that I’ve listened to on audio, like The Outsider, Doctor Sleep and Mr. Mercedes, and he’s become one of my favorite narrators as well. Although the other 2 narrators are new to me, they really were able to capture the mystery and intrigue of these 4 short stories in this collection by Stephen King.

If It Bleeds


Your turn – do you listen to audiobooks? What would you recommend? Especially non-fiction!

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4 Replies to “8 Audiobook Recommendations for (N)ewbies”

  1. Marg says:

    I love the Robert Galbraith audiobooks and can’t imagine not listening to them for each new book. I enjoyed Spinning Silver and Where the Crawdads Sing on audio too.

  2. raidergirl3 says:

    I love audiobooks too. I’m regretting that I read Queenie on paper, but even though, I loved Queenie.
    Can we talk about Cassandra Campbell? She’s just amazing. I’ve listened to books just cause she’s the narrator. Crawdads was particularly good. She also read Henrietta Lacks.

    I just finished If it Bleeds, and Patton does such a great job with Holly. Same as Cormoran Strike, but those as excellent in whatever form- audio or paper.
    The narrator of Lady Sherlock does an excellent job, Kate Reading. What a great name, eh?

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