Audiobooks, Best Books, Fiction, Nonfiction

35 of the Best Narrated Audiobooks

November 30, 2015
35-of-the-best-narrated-audiobooks

“What are the best narrated audiobooks?” We looked at 21 articles and 221 different audiobooks in an attempt to answer that very question. Below you will find our results of the 35 top audiobook narrations of all-time. Click here to learn more and purchase any of the books that appear in the list, and click here to see the methodology used to create and rank all the books.

The type of intro paragraph that can found in a Top Audiobook listicle:

Reading is wonderful. It’s hard to think of anything else in the world that quite equals the pleasure one finds when lost in a good book. Unfortunately so many great books come out every year with so many classics waiting on the shelf to be read that it can become overwhelming. There are only so many hours in the day when you can sit back and enjoy the written word. Enter Audiobooks. Audiobooks do what no normal book can, allowing you to listen and consume wherever you are. Driving to work, cleaning the house, working out, it doesn’t matter the activity, audiobooks can fill the most mundane parts of your life with stories and knowledge.

Before you plug in and start listening the days away, take a look at our list of the 35 best-narrated audiobooks for some ideas of where to begin! Whether you’re interested in epic fantasy or grounded personal journies, we have the (audio)book for you!

 

Things you will find in “Best of” Audiobook Narration lists:
  • British people
  • Comedians (with a 90% chance of the comedian Having appeared in an NBC Comedy at one point in their life)
  • Fantasy Series
  • Authors reading their own book
  • The phrase “Brings the books to life”
  • Lists of the times a day people can listen to audiobooks. These almost always include: The car (or commute), while cleaning, working out, or making food.

The 35 best narrated Audiobooks (in ascending order)

Total lists consulted: 21
Unique books listed: 221  (see bottom of page for full list)



35.) A Game of Thrones collection (Books 1-7) by George R. R. Martin

Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Appears on: 2 lists
Learn More / Buy

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin


34.) A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

Narrator: Samuel L. Jackson
Appears on: 2 lists
Learn More / Buy
A Rage in Harlem (Harlem Cycle #1) by Chester Himes


33.) A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Narrated by Tim Curry
Appears on: 2 lists
Learn More / Buy
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist


32.) Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Narrated by: Frank McCourt
Appears on: 2 lists
Learn More / Buy
Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt #1) by Frank McCourt


31.) As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Narrated by: Cary Elwes
Appears on: 2 lists
Learn More / Buy

As You Wish- Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes, Joe Layden


30.) Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Appears on: 2 lists
Learn More / Buy

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng


29.) His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Narrated by: Philip Pullman
Appears on: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3) by Philip Pullman


28.) Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Narrated by: Stephen Fry
Appears on: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams


27.) Just Kids by Patti Smith

Narrated By: Patti Smith
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy
Just Kids by Patti Smith


26.) Life by Keith Richards

Narrated by: Johnny Depp
Appears On: 2 Lists

Life by Keith Richards

Learn More / Buy


25.) Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari,

Narrated by: Aziz Ansari
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg


24) READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


23.) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Narrated By: Jeff Woodman
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon


22.) The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
Appears on: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The Emperor of All Maladies- A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee


21.) The End of the Affair by Grahm Greene

Narrate by: Colin Firth
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene


20.) The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz

Narrated By: Peter Marinker
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy
The Examined Life- How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz


19.) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Narrated by: David Pittu
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


18.) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


17.) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Narrated By: Claire Danes
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood


16.) The Help By Kathryn Stockett

Narrated By: Jenna Lamia
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The Help by Kathryn Stockett


15.) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Narrated By: Khaled Hosseini
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini


14.) The Middlesteins: A Novel byJami Attenberg

Narrated by: Molly Ringwald
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg


13.) The Spire by William Golding

Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
Appears on: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy
The Spire by William Golding


12.) Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy

Unbroken- A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand


11.) World War Z by Max Brooks

Narrated by: Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, Rob Reiner, Mark Hamill, Alfred Molina, Simon Pegg, Henry Rollins, Martin Scorsese
Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn More / Buy
World War Z (by Max Brooks; narrated by Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, Rob Reiner, Mark Hamill, Alfred Molina, Simon Pegg, Henry Rollins, Martin Scorsese)


10.) A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Narrated By: William Roberts
Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn More / Buy

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson


9.) Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach

Narrated By: Morgan Freeman
Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn More / Buy
Go the F--k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach, Samuel L. Jackson (Narrator)


8.) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Narrated By: Jeremy Irons
Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn More / Buy

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


7.) The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin

Narrated By: Meryl Streep
Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn More / Buy

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín


6.) To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Narrated by: Sissy Spacek
Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn More / Buy
To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird) by Harper Lee, Sissy Spacek (Narrator)


5.) Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Narrated by: Amy Poehler
Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn More / Buy
Yes Please by Amy Poehler


4.) Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

Narrated by: Diane Keaton
Appears On: 4 Lists
Learn More / Buy
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

 


3.) Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Narrated by: David Sedaris
Appears On: 7 Lists
Learn More / Buy

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris


2.) The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Narrated by: Jim Dale or Stephen Fry
Appears On: 8 Lists
Learn More / Buy

Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter #1-7) by J.K. Rowling


1.) Bossypants by Tina Fey

Narrated by: Tina Fey
Appears On: 10 Lists
Learn More / Buy

Bossypants by Tina Fey



The 187 Remaining Audiobooks Appearing on a Single List
  •  11/22/1963 by Stephen King
  • 1984 by George Orwell; narrated by Simon Prebble
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Delicate Truth written and read by John le Carré
  • A Farewell to Arms John Slettery
  • A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias; narrated by Grover Gardner
  • A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray, read by Tavia Gilbert
  • A Wizard of Earthsea read by Karen Archer
  • Abhorsen Trilogy Garth Nix
  • All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy; narrated by Frank Muller
  • Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, tr by Michael Hofmann
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman; narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel
    Oreskes, Ron McLarty, Sarah Jones
  • An Apple a Day
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Anthem
  • Assassination Vacation Sarah Vowell
  • Beautiful Ruins By Jess Walter
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
  • Being There read by Dustin Hoffman
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, read by Caroline Lee
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman, read by Cassandra Campbell
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS Written by Kurt Vonnegut Narrated by
    John Malkovich
  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (by David Foster Wallace; narrated
    by David Foster Wallace, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Cerveris, Will
    Forte, Malcolm Goodwin, John Krasinski, Christopher Meloni, Chris
    Messina, Max Minghella, Dennis O’Hare)
  • Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
  • Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Carsick by John Waters, read by the author
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Creativity, Inc.’ by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
  • Cuckoo’s Calling
  • David Attenborough In His Own Words Narrator: David Attenborough
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitaniaby Erik Larson, read by
    Scott Brick
  • Decisive’ by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
  • Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins, read by Thomas Penny
  • Dracula read by Alan Cumming
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’ by Daniel H. Pink
  • Dry by Augusten Burroughs
  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less’ by Greg McKeown
  • FAHRENHEIT 451 Ray Bradbury Tim Robbins
  • Frindle by Andrew Clements
  • Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan by
    Tamim Ansary, read by the author
  • Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
  • Geek Love by Katherine Dunne
  • Getting to Yes: How To Negotiate Agreement Without Giving In’ by Roger
    Fisher and William Ury
  • Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee Narrator: Reese Witherspoon
  • Good to Great’ by Jim Collins
  • Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex
  • Happy Is the New Healthy
  • Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom
  • Here We Go Again: My Life in Television
  • Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles
    Geoff Emerick
  • How To Train Your Dragon” series by Cressida Cowell
  • How to Win an Election
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie
  • If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t)” by Betty White
  • In a Sunburned Country By Bill Bryson
  • In Cold Blood (by Truman Capote; narrated by Scott Brick)
  • In Real Life
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me Mindy Kaling
  • James Bond series by Ian Fleming
  • Jesus’ Son Will Patton
  • John Carter Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell, read by Rebecca Lowman
  • Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’ by Sheryl Sandberg
  • Lemony Snicket Tim Curry
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
  • Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott, read by Karen White
  • Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott B. Lynch
  • LIfe After LIfe
  • Life of Pi (by Yaan Martel; narrated by Jeff Woodman)
  • Lock In by John Scalzi, read by Wil Wheaton or by Amber Benson
  • Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel David Rakoff
  • Matilda, by Roald Dahl Narrator: Kate Winslet
  • Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War (by Karl Marlantes; narrated by
    Bronson Pinchot)
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Midwinterblood” by Marcus Sedgwick
  • Motherless Brooklyn Steve Buscemi
  • Mrs. Dalloway read by Annette Bening
  • My Life as a White Trash Zombie
  • My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  • My Story by Elizabeth Smart
  • NATIVE SON Richard Wright Narrated by James Earl Jones
  • Neverwhere Neil Gaiman
  • Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming, read by the author
  • Okay For Now
  • Outling Your Novel
  • Pack of Two read by Hilary Swank
  • Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod, read by Tavia Gilbert
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, read by Sean Barrett
  • Peter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
  • Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling
  • Pleasantville by Attica Locke, read by J.D. Jackson
  • Red Moon” written and read by Minnesota author Benjamin Percy
  • Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-
    Smith
  • Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin
  • Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler, read by the author
  • Shantaram (by Gregory David Roberts; narrated by Humphrey Bower);
  • Society’s Child: My Autobiography By Janis Ian
  • Someday, Someday, Maybe Lauren Graham
  • Song of Solomon Toni Morrison
  • State of Wonder by Anne Patchett
  • Still Foolin’ Em
  • Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood, read by Rob Delaney et al.
  • Suddenly One Summerby Julie James, read by Karen White
  • Swerve Stephen Greenblatt
  • Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds’
    by Carmine Gallo
  • Tamar by Mal Peet
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris
    Kearns Goodwin
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • The American Lover by Rose Tremain
  • The Art of Happiness, by Dalai Lama Narrator: Howard C. Cutler
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein
  • THE ART OF WAR Written by Sun Tzu Narrated by Aidan Gillen (Game
    of Thrones, The Wire)
  • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • The Birth of the Pill by Jonathan Eig, read by Gayle Hendrix
  • The Boggart” by Susan Cooper
  • The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henriquez
  • The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, read by Allan Corduner
  • The Dark Tower Series (Stephen King
  • The Declaration” by Gemma Malley
  • The Dip
  • The Dresden Files” series by Jim Butcher, read by James Marsters
  • The Embassy of Cambodia written and read by Zadie Smith
  • The Funny Thing Is… by Ellen DeGeneres
  • The Ghosts of Belfast (by Stuart Neville; narrated by Gerard Doyle)
  • The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins Narrated by: Clare Corbett,
    Louise Brealey, and India Fisher
  • The Girl With All the Giftsby M. R. Carey, read by Finty Williams
  • The Golden Hour” by Maiya Williams
  • The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, read by Michael Boatman
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Heroes (Joe Abercrombie)
  • The Horse in My Garage and Other Stories
  • The Human Comedy read by Meg Ryan
  • The Humans by Matt Haig, read by Mark Meadows
  • The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Known World by Edward P. Jones, read by Kevin Free
  • The Language Hoax
  • The Last Cigarette: the Smoking Diaries Volume 3 written and read by
    Simon Gray
  • The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral
    and How It Changed the American West by Jeff Guinn, read by Stephen
    Hoye
  • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid Bill Bryson
  • The Magicians (Lev Grossman)
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hatby Oliver Sacks
  • The Member of the Wedding read by Susan Sarandon
  • The Millennium Trilogy (by Stieg Larsson; narrated by Simon Vance);
  • The Myth of You and Me
  • The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Poets Corner (by John Lithgow; narrated by Morgan Freeman, Susan
    Sarandon, Helen Mirren, Glenn Close, Gary Sinese, John Lithgow)
  • The Poisonwood Bible By Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Princess Affair
  • The Productivity Blueprint
  • The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914,
    read by Wanda McCaddon
  • The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly
  • The Red Necklace, read by Tom Hiddleston
  • The Return of the Native Alan Rickman
  • The Sally Lockhart Quatrain (by Philip Pullman; narrated by Anton
  • Lesser)
  • The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  • The Sheltering Sky read by Jennifer Connelly
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • THE THINGS THEY CARRIED Tim O’Brien Narrated by Bryan Cranston
  • The Thirteenth Tale (by Diane Setterfield; narrated by Bianca Amato &
    Jill Tanner)
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet David Mitchell
  • The Trumpet of the Swan” by E.B. White
  • The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, read by Georgia King and Sandy
    Rustin
  • The Warded Man (Peter V. Brett)
  • The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, read by Almarie Guerra
  • The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson
  • The Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan
  • The Whites by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt, read by Ari
    Fliakos
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz read by Anne Hathaway
  • Therese Raquin read by Kate Winslet
  • This Boy: a Memoir of a Childhood written and read by Alan Johnson
  • This is how you lose her Junot Diaz
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed, read by Phil Gigante
  • Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
  • To The Lighthouse read by Nicole Kidman
  • Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
  • UR
  • Us by David Nicholls
  • What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
    by Randall Munroe, read by Wil Wheaton
  • When to Rob a Bank: …And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-
    Intended Rants’ by Stephen J. Dubner & Stephen D. Levitt
  • When We Were the Kennedys
  • Wolf Hall, read by Simon Slater
  • Wonder” by R. J. Palacio

The Article Sources By Date Published

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