Finding the right audiobook for your taste, mood, companionship, or curiosity is an art, not a science. It is also, we have established, not cheating.
The reasons for listening to a book rather than reading it (or more!) are endless: sometimes it’s a particularly gifted narrator, like the “sexy-wise” Esther Perel, the “velvet”-voice Jeremy Irons or the dry and honking Samantha Irby; in other cases, it is an original soundtrack or expensive special effects. Or maybe the story lends itself naturally to the ear – like, for example, Valeria Luiselli’s “Lost Children Archive”, a novel about sound documentation.
The titles to choose from are nearly as endless. Here is a selection of stars in all genres, a little old but mostly new: a clever campus thriller, a Michael Lewis classic, a true crime search for a missing woman and more.
The Oxford Brotherhood
By Guillermo Martinez. Read by PJ Ochlan.
Arriving in Oxford in 1994 on a scholarship to study mathematical logic, a graduate student named G finds himself embroiled in the dark history of Lewis Carroll. Ochlan, Audie Award-winning voice actor and dialect coach, moves with agility in this solo piece between the characters’ multiple accents: Argentinian, Scottish, British. This clever and hugely consuming thriller is the long-awaited English-language sequel to Martínez’s 2003 “The Oxford Murders,” originally written in Spanish.
Blackstone Editions, 9 hours, 20 minutes
Love That Story: Observations of a Beautifully Queer Life
By Jonathan Van Ness. Read by author.
Once, while filming “Queer Eye” in Missouri, Van Ness – the show’s grooming expert – went to a local clinic and asked for an anal Pap test, “because I’m a busy person who has no time for buttock cancer”. The doctor and nurse looked at him as if they had seen a ghost. “Thank God I was once a rural cheerleader,” he says; “I can handle awkward embarrassment like nobody’s business.” He reads this collection of essays (a sequel to his 2019 memoir, “Over the Top”) in its signature blend of seriousness and self-deprecating humor, taking the listener to discussions of gender identity and the business of the hairstyle to thoughtful reflections on heartbreak, transphobia, racism and a story brought back from his hometown, Quincy, Illinois.
HarperAudio, 5 hours, 44 minutes
By Erika Alexander, Kevin Hart, Charlamagne Tha God, Ben Arnon, Rebkah Howard, David Person and James T. Green. Read by Erika Alexander.
The actor and activist tells the disturbing crime story of 24-year-old Tamika Huston, who disappeared from her home in Spartanburg, SC, in 2004. A window into the largely ignored disappearances of black women and girls in this country, This audiobook (for mature audiences only) is the first of Hart and Charlamagne’s new SBH productions Tha God.
Audible Originals, 5 hours, 42 minutes
By Michael Lewis. Read by author.
This new unabridged recording of a 1989 classic – Lewis’ account of the three years he worked for the now-defunct Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers in the 1980s – is accompanied by an original score, sound effects and archival news clips that bring this moment, and this culture, to life.
Pushkin Industries, 10 hours, 16 minutes
Maybe you should talk to someone: a therapist, His Therapist and our lives revealed
By Lori Gottlieb. Read by Brittany Pressley.
Someone described the experience of reading this 2019 book to me as “like a fly on the wall of a therapist’s office”, and I found that to be even truer when listening to it. . Pressley’s tone, as confident as it is humorously self-enhancing, draws you into the molten core of Gottlieb’s consciousness as she investigates her own roles as therapist and patient, focusing on the nuances of practice. , mental health, aging, loss and more.
Audible Studios, 14 hours, 21 minutes
Stalin’s Library: A Dictator and His Books
By Geoffrey Roberts. Read by Stewart Crank.
Although he never kept a diary or published memoirs, Joseph Stalin left behind “a well-marked literary trace” in his social, political, and historical writings and readings. Roberts, a British historian, follows this trail to piece together a fascinating intellectual history of the resolutely intellectual Bolshevik dictator, who, in Roberts’ words, “believed that reading could help transform not only people’s ideas and consciousness, but human nature itself”.
Tantor Audio, 12 hours, 19 minutes
Life on the Rocks: Building a Future for Coral Reefs
By Juli Berwald. Read by author.
Like the audio version of “Arctic Dreams” by Barry Lopez (read by James Loughton), this second book by the author of “Spineless” immerses the listener in the feeling of pure admiration of the author in a corner of our planet that many of us will never know. In our lifes. The journalist and scientist’s deep dive into these underwater ecosystems reveals their fascinating complexity as well as the perils they face today.
Penguin Audio, 10 hours, 41 minutes
Lauren Christensen is an editor at Book Review.