Being read to is a really intimate thing: a human connection at a time when a lot of people are feeling isolated.Duncan Honeyman
A good audiobook can instantly transport you inside of another world. I’ve hit the absolute jackpot lately with fantastic books and just as wonderful voice actors reading them. Believe me, the wrong actor and the book is painful to listen to or just falls flat. That’s not the case with the books below.
All of the books below span genres from non-fiction to young adult to psychological thriller. I’m a woman with varied tastes and never limit myself to one genre. What I am limited on lately is time. I downloaded the Libby app and linked my library card to it. Now I have access to all of the free audiobooks I could ever want and let me tell you, it’s glorious.
Below are some of my favorite audiobooks I’ve listened to in the past few months. I listen on 1.9x speed so I get through A LOT of reading this way. Don’t be intimidated. My only hope is that you find an awesome book to listen to!
Breathless by Amy McCulloch
Most books about climbing are typically about Everest. What drew me to this book was the fact that it was a fictional climbing story, told by a woman, about mountains other than the already-done-to-death Mt. Everest.
It gave me so much background into the sport without being boring. It was more like oh holy crap that sounds so hard mentally and physically, because it is. This book had the perfect amount of creep factor and suspense. I found myself walking so much faster when I was listening to this during my lunch break walks. Even though it was July when I listed to it and was sweating my face off, I got chills. Such a great read!
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
On the exact opposite of the spectrum in every way possible was this picture-perfect Italian dream of a book. If you aren’t familiar with the author, Serle is a MASTER at incorporating time travel into her books in surprising and insanely heartfelt ways. It’s not fantastical, but will have you wishing for a little time travel magic in your life.
When Katy’s mother dies, she ends up going on the trip to Positano they had planned on doing together. Despite a rough start (don’t worry, no spoilers) Katy starts to find herself again and learns how to work through grief and reinvent her life. Who helps her? Her mother. Over the course of a summer on the Amalfi coast Katy will never be the same.
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
Izumi has never really felt like she fit in as an American teenager. Then, she finds out she’s a Japanese princess. When she agree to spend time with her long-lost father in Japan she thinks she has finally found a place where she fits in. Needless to say, life is just as difficult, especially when royal duties, rivalries, and the press come into play.
I loved this story so much. It really did a fantastic job of navigating identity and what it truly means to fit in within society and culture. Izumi’s character wasn’t your typical teenager and I loved how she created her own boundaries and changed tradition to do what was right for her. It was also just a super cute story full of travel, love, and great characters.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Elizabeth Zott defies all odds, especially in the 1960s, by becoming an exceedingly talented chemist in a world and profession dominated by men. As a single mother, she needs to make ends meet. What does she do? She reluctantly takes the job as a cooking host on a new TV show which becomes a national hit. She makes it her own by using science to teach chemistry to the women watching the show and slowly but surely transforms an entire country of female viewers.
This book was observant, timely, hilarious, and honestly one of my favorite books I’ve read this year… or for several years. It took what could have been a typical story about a woman overcoming the odds into something much, much more meaningful and impactful. You could really tell the author loves the power of learning and how to make it fun while making a difference.
Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell
There’s something addicting about listening to true crime and cults. This book takes a different approach and takes a deep dive in the language cults use. You’d be surprised by the every-day way we talk about things using language that is cult-ish. From our addiction to group fitness classes like Peloton to social media influencers to actual cults, the author explores how language is such a powerful tool in luring people in and how it keeps them hooked.
I loved how this book didn’t just talk about your typical cult, but things we don’t even realize have become something like a cult. She even explores how even though the word cult has a negative connotation, that not everything cult-ish is bad. It’s all about the language.
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci is a national treasure. He has other books out, but my heart loves a good book about food written by one of my favorite actors. This was poignant, opinionated in the best way, thoughtful, and made me so hungry for Italian food that I still haven’t gotten over.
I loved hearing about his life experiences through the lens of food and how food impacted/changed his life. This book could’ve been a throwaway and just have been funny. It was much, much more than that. Break out a giant bowl of pasta and chow down while you dig in to this book. Yes, he narrates this with his made-for-audio voice. Give it a listen.