Podcasts & Books

25 Of The Best Audiobooks To Listen To In 2022

By Tim Piccione
29th Jun 2022

Don't get us wrong, we absolutely love picking up a book and sitting down for a long session of page-turning. But with life continuously moving, that's not always possible–which is when the convenient joy of listening to audiobooks comes in handy.

From the fantastic work of professional voice actors taking on the mannerisms and notes of our favourite characters to authors reading their own autobiographies–listening to an audiobook is a unique and effortless way to consume content. 

We've tried to hit a range of genres to please every ear and offer a listen for every mood. 

Another Day In The Colony

By Chelsea Watego 

A collection of deeply insightful and powerful essays, Chelsea examines the ongoing and daily racism faced by First Nations peoples in so-called Australia. Rather than offer yet another account of ‘the Aboriginal problem’, she theorises a strategy for living in a society that has only ever imagined Indigenous peoples as destined to die out.  Listen here.

Legacy

By Larissa Behrendt

Narrated by Shakira Clanton, Simone Harlowe is a young Indigenous lawyer, straddling two lives and two cultures while studying for her Masters at Harvard. Her family life in Sydney is defined by the complex relationship she has with her father Tony, a prominent and respected figure in the Aboriginal community.  Listen here.

Ghost Bird

By Lisa Fuller

Stacey and Laney are twins —mirror images of each other, and yet they’re as different as the sun and the moon. Stacey works hard at school, determined to get out of their small town. Laney skips school and sneaks out of the house to meet her boyfriend. But when Laney disappears one night, Stacey can’t believe she’s just run off without telling her. Listen here.

Mullumbimby

By Melissa Lucashenko

When Jo Breen uses her divorce settlement to buy a neglected property in the Byron Bay hinterland, she is hoping for a tree chanced, and a blossoming connection to the land of her Aboriginal ancestors. What she discovers instead is sharp dissent from her teenage daughter, trouble brewing from unimpressed white neighbours and a looming Native Title was between the local Bundjalung families. Listen here.

The Boundary

By Nicole Watson

Hours after rejecting the Corrowa People’s native title claim on Brisbane’s Meston Park, Justice Bruce Brosnan is brutally murdered in his home. Days later, lawyers against the claim are also found dead. Aboriginal people were once prohibited from entering Brisbane’s city limits at night, and Meston Park stood on the boundary. Listen here.

The Dry

By Jane Harper

Before The Dry was brought to life on the big screen through actor Eric Bana’s gripping dramatic performance in 2020, it was the bestselling debut novel of Australian author Jane Harper. The award-winning story finds Federal policeman Aaron Falk returning to his drought-stricken hometown of Kiewarra–a community that long ago rejected him–for the funeral of an old friend, his wife and child. However, Falk soon becomes entangled in an investigation of the assumed murder-suicide. This is a dark and suspenseful outback whodunit that’ll keep you on your toes at every turn. Listen here

How To Be Perfect

By Michael Schur

If you don’t know Michael Schur by name, you’ll certainly have spent hours binging the sitcoms he’s created, from The Office and Parks & Recreation to Brooklyn Nine-Nine. However, his work creating The Good Place most closely pairs with his brand-new book (and already an audiobook), How To Be Perfect. In it, the comedy writer expands his horizons by delving into moral philosophy, its history, ethics and asks the question of whether it’s possible to be not just good but perfect. The audiobook is narrated by Schur himself and promises to be chock-full of ponderous comedy. Listen here.

See What You Made Me Do

By Jess Hill

Written by Australian investigative journalist Jess Hill, See What You Made Me Do is a radically necessary rethinking of Australia’s national domestic violence crisis. Brilliantly researched and written, the book was awarded a series of prizes, including the 2020 Stella Prize, for its exploration of violent abuse still present today inside the homes of so many women and children and the system that enables it. Since turned into an SBS documentary series, Hill narrates an audiobook version of the must-listen work. Listen here

Astrophysics For People In A Hurry

By Neil deGrasse Tyson

No one gets to the core of astrophysics more entertainingly and passionately than the great Neil deGrasse Tyson. And while the infinite world in outer space is about as complicated and alienating (pun intended) as it gets, deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics For People In A Hurry does an outstanding job of breaking it down for those of us not patient enough to stick around for a Master’s degree. Narrated by the man himself, this audiobook will take you through the nature of space and time and help you contemplate the cosmos in mind-bending new ways. Listen here

Sherlock Holmes

By Arthur Conan Doyle

Long before Sherlock Holmes was adapted a thousand different ways for the big screen, television, the stage and mediums of every kind–it was a set of classic stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The brilliant, crime-solving detective’s many adventures are available for listening via the wonderful voice acting work of Stephen Fry. Strap in for this collection of detective fiction, which totals 72 hours of listening. Listen here

The Last Thing He Told Me

By Laura Dave

As previously mentioned, we tend to trust texts which pique the interest of one Reese Witherspoon. Before Witherspoon’s production company turns Laura Dave’s The Last Thing He Told Me into a television series starring Jennifer Garner–catch the suspenseful original text via audiobook. The mystery-thriller follows the disappearance of Owen, who leaves behind one note to his new wife, “Hannah: protect here”. Hannah and her 16-year-old stepdaughter try and uncover the truth behind Owen’s true identity and the reason for his vanishing. Listen here

The Storyteller

By Dave Grohl

Is there anything Dave Grohl can’t do? The man has drummed for Nirvana, sang for the Foo Fighters, written a book and is even starring in an upcoming horror-comedy film revolving around the Foo Fighters. But right now, we’re here to appreciate Grohl’s The Storyteller, which the charismatic musician has narrated himself onto audiobook. The memoir should more or less sell itself, recounting the life of someone who has spent most of theirs within the very inner circle of music itself–full of stories about the biggest names to have played a note. Listen here

Daisy Jones & The Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid

From novelist Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Six stories an epic rock band rising in the 1970s and 1980s, before their eventual breakup. Jenkins Reid says the fictitious, era-defining band’s mysterious split is heavily inspired by Fleetwood Mac–so you know it’s going to be juicy. The novel is told in the unique style of a dialogue-heavy, extended oral history, making it the ideal story and structure to be recounted via audiobook–with several narrators lending their voices to play characters. Listen here

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

By Douglas Adams

Alright, we swear this is the last time we’ll mention iconic audiobook narrator Stephen Fry and his endlessly enjoyable voices and comedy. But Fry’s reading of the Douglas Adams science fiction classic Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is an absolute must-do if you’re looking to revisit the best-selling 1979 novel. If you’ve never read it, the story finds Arthur Dent plucked off the earth just a few seconds before the planet is destroyed to make way for an intergalactic bypass. That is, before he journeys across the galaxy with a friend, a guidebook and a cast of very strange characters. Listen here

Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn

Starring Ben Affleck and the iconic performance of Rosamund Pike, 2014’s Gone Girl is a modern movie classic. If you’ve seen the film but not read the Gillian Flynn novel, know that the original text which director David Fincher adapted for the screen is in every way as psychologically suspenseful and thrilling. You’ll also know that much of the story’s self-reflectiveness and secretive goings-on are ideal for the audiobook format. Gone Girl follows the dramatic story of a disappearing wife and the supposedly loving husband who may be the prime suspect for her murder. Listen here

A Promised Land

By Barack Obama

Four years after leaving office, Barack Obama released A Promised Land, the first of his two Presidential memoirs. Best of all, Obama narrates the audiobook himself, with the 44th President of the United States not only being a gifted writer but a gifted orator. Your ears are in trusted hands, considering Obama spent eight years addressing an entire country (and often the world) with grace, charm and poise. We're not saying you shouldn't sit down to read this 768-page epic, but if you needed an excuse to opt for the audiobook version–sheer volume is undoubtedly a fair one. And do we really need to convince you to hang out with Obama for 28-hours? Didn't think so. Listen here.

Harry Potter

By J.K. Rowling

We realise you probably don't need any encouragement to partake in the most read book franchise in history. But while you may be pretty familiar with Harry's adventures via books or its popular film franchise, we highly recommend giving the audiobooks a crack as well. Whether you choose the American version read by Jim Dale or the British one narrated by Stephen Fry, the books are brought to life in a way that perhaps surpasses a classic read *gasp*. If you're asking us, nothing beats Fry's character range and whimsical energy as we travel the excitements and perils of life at Hogwarts. You can listen here.

Lincoln In The Bardo

By George Saunders

Lincoln In The Bardo is the first novel written by well-known American short story writer George Saunders. It follows the imagined purgatory of the recently passed away Willie Lincoln and the grief of his father, President Abraham Lincoln. The book earned Saunders the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2017, and its audiobook form is absolutely worth a listen. Firstly, because it tells an enthralling story, and secondly, because of the way it's told–that is, by an ensemble cast of 166 people. Amongst the voice cast, which includes actors, musicians and some of Saunders' family and friends, are big names like Lena Dunham, Bill Hader, Nick Offerman, Don Cheadle and Ben Stiller, to name just a few. Listen here.

Where The Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens

Where The Crawdads Sing, a 2018 murder mystery novel by Delia Owens, follows the murder of a young man in the small North Carolina town of Barkley Cove in 1969 and of Kya Clark, the loner "Marsh Girl" presumed guilty. The bestselling novel jumped to fame after making Reese Witherspoon's highly sought-after Hello Sunshine book club in September of 2018, with the actor jumping on to produce the upcoming film as well. But while we wait for that, take in the audiobook version narrated by prolific, award-winning voice narrator Cassandra Campbell, who has lent her skills to over 900 titles. Listen here.

Greenlights

By Matthew McConaughey

On and off the screen, Texan actor Matthew McConaughey has always had a way with words–charming us with heartfelt, hilarious, genuine performances and interview anecdotes. So, you can imagine our reaction when the Academy Award winner released a short memoir in 2020, which is also available as an audiobook. Greenlights follows McConaughey's life, from lucking into the role of a lifetime on Dazed and Confused and his father's death to becoming one of the most prominent actors in the world and the wisdoms he's lived by along the way. All of it told through stories, kept diary entries, poems, scripts and the enviable and enjoyable effortlessness he lives by. McConaughey narrates the audiobook book himself–a worthy added bonus. You can listen here.

World War Z

By Max Brooks

When well written, the atmosphere and scene-building of a horror book can be just as terrifying as any film (just ask Stephen King). So, what happens when you take an excellent horror genre novel and turn it into an engaging audiobook? Listen to Max Brooks' World War Z and find out. The zombie world takeover oral history was made into a 2013 film starring Brad Pitt but is just as engaging in 'The Complete Edition' audiobook, which stars voice acting from the likes of Mark Hamill, Simon Pegg, Alan Alda and Martin Scorsese. Listen here.

Becoming

By Michelle Obama

Remember earlier, we discussed how lovely listening to Barack Obama stories is? Well, how about the other enigmatic and charming half of one of history's most famous power couples? Michelle Obama's Becoming became an instant hit when it was released in 2018. It recounts how the iconic former first lady went from growing up on the South Side of Chicago and attending Princeton and Harvard Law School to raising a family and finding herself operating out of the highest office in America. Much to our delight, Obama narrates the warm and revelatory story herself. Listen here

The Martian

By Andy Weir

Before Matt Damon inhabited the character of Mark Watney, The Martian was a best-selling novel written by Andy Weir and one of the most fun and captivating adventure/sci-fi novels available. It's also, in our opinion, one of the best audiobooks you can strap in for. It follows the survival journey of a botanist/astronaut left alone and presumed dead on Mars. Much of the book takes place between Watney and the reader alone, making it a truly ideal format for an audiobook, as we listen in on the survivor's internal thoughts and audio diary. Voiced by actor Wil Wheaton–plug in and transport yourself to Mars. Listen here.

A Life On Our Planet

By David Attenborough

It's no secret that one of the world's favourite pastimes is sitting down to watch and listen to the great Sir David Attenborough narrating the beauty of our planet and its wildlife. Well, with the release of 2020's A Life On Our Planet, written by the much-beloved broadcaster and narrated by him in audiobook form, you can take Attenborough's iconic voice with you on the go. Just don't let his soothing English accent distract you from the audiobook's content–which reflects on his incredible life's work, the immense tragedy of climate change and steps we can take now to rectify our mistakes. You can listen here.

The Hunting Party

By Lucy Foley

Lucy Foley's The Hunting Party follows a group of seven friends spending New Year's Eve together in an isolated hunting lodge deep in the Scottish wilderness. A perfect setting for an edge-of-your-seat mystery. When one of the friends is murdered, the rest are left to figure out who did it. We assure you this is a classic case of can't put the book (or, in this case, headphones) down. This could be the fastest 10 hours of your life, and at least with an audiobook murder mystery, you're far less likely to feel the temptation to jump lines or peak over the page to find out big reveals faster. Or is that just us? Listen to it here.

Next up, check out the latest podcasts we're loving. 

Image Credit: lauracatherine.reads

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