23 Audiobooks That Are Even Better Than The Print Version

From Malcolm Gladwell's hybrid audiobook/podcast to Jessica Simpson's memoir with original music — these are the books you really need to listen to.

Libro.fm — an audiobook service that splits profits with independent bookstores — has shared some of the most popular books that are read by the author. Here are 23 titles users (and booksellers) love.

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Before she was the Stanford victim whose impact statement shook the world, she was Chanel Miller. Know My Name is a reclaiming of her identity, telling the story of her assault, its traumatic aftermath, and her healing.

Read an excerpt from Know My Name.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Botanist, professor of plant ecology, and Potawatomi woman Robin Wall Kimmerer merges her experiences within each of these identities and communities to explore nature through scientific, cultural, and philosophical lenses. She urges readers to examine their relationship with the natural world, and open themselves up to the idea that plants and animals have valuable lessons to teach us.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

“Bryson’s voice is genial, sometimes humble, and yet informative and authoritative. And the subject is me! Well, sort of. But what could be more compelling than learning about this body that has taken care of me for, well, many years now? And even the insights that might not relate to me at this moment are fascinating. I became amazed at the idea that these bodies of ours do so much to keep us healthy and alive—and how we should be helping our bodies to do so. I’d love to quote all the facts I’ve learned—such as information about viruses, and the odd facts that seem unbelievable, such as the Anton-Babinski syndrome, where people who are blind refuse to believe it — but that’s why you should listen to this book, to find these gems for yourself.” —Sarah, Loganberry Books

Open Book by Jessica Simpson

Simpson's tell-all memoir describes her years as a pop star and then a reality star — including what it was like to grow up in the spotlight and what was going on behind the scenes. The audiobook includes six new songs.

Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby

In this collection of essays, 40-year-old Samantha Irby hilariously explores the new chapter of her life, including going from a veterinary clinic receptionist to a successful published author, moving from Chicago to a Hallmark-esque small town with her wife, her complicated love–hate relationship with Hollywood, and more.

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate

“Magical, delightful and amusing book of daydreams with a cupful of nonsense.” —Mollie, HearthFire Books and Treats

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell

"In Talking to Strangers, Gladwell examines how communication is the key to basically everything. With historical as well as current case studies, this book makes you examine your prejudices and preconceived notions. This is not your typical audiobook. Gladwell uses original clips from news stories, segments from other audio books, and he even has a theme song for this book. This listens like a tightly orchestrated podcast and it is a fabulous way to consume this book. Highly recommend." —Rachel, Avid Bookshop

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

"On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is the rare novel that makes you experience reading in a slightly different way and shows you that, no matter how many books you’ve read, something new and uniquely beautiful can still be found. The novel takes the form of a letter written by the main character, Little Dog, to his mother — an immigrant from Vietnam who cannot read. The power of Vuong’s poetic writing shimmers with every paragraph, and each phrase is a carefully considered, emotional journey. Grappling with themes of identity, sexuality, addiction, violence, and finding your place in a world where you feel you don’t belong, this book already feels like a modern classic, destined to be read and talked about for years to come." —Caleb Masters, Bookmarks

Mythos by Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry has dusted off the Greek myths. Starting with the creation and going through all the infights, back-stabbings, and just plain stupid mistakes of the Greek pantheon, he breaths new life into these tales with his characteristic wry humor and witty asides. A great added feature of the video book is that Fry himself reads it, so sit back, turn on your LibroFM-playing device, close your eyes and be prepared to be entertained while learning or relearning the ins and outs of Greek mythology.” —Jim, Galiano Island Books

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

“A new Barbara Kingsolver novel is always a gift but this time her fictional journey feels even more powerful as she asks, 'Can history help us navigate an impossible-looking future?' Unsheltered tells the stories of two families from different centuries living under the same roof, reeling from turbulence on both a national and a familial scale. Shelter is a basic survival need, but Kingsolver, being the literary artist she is, uses her characters to consider how we use physical, intellectual, and emotional shelters to navigate such troubles. The storms of life will surely rage but shelters can save our lives.” —Casey & Jenny, Bookshop Santa Cruz

Save Yourself by Cameron Esposito

Lesbian stand-up comic Cameron Esposito shares her life story, from her Catholic childhood and discovering her identity to coming out and beginning her career. Save Yourself is full of laughs as well as a lot of heart and lessons about gender, sexuality, feminism, and accepting yourself.

Calypso by David Sedaris

"Calypso by David Sedaris is laugh out loud hysterical in true Sedaris fashion. Listening to him read and deliver his stories is like listening to a stand-up comedian. This collection is fairly personal and many stories involve his family and their adventures in his North Carolinian beach house, aptly name the “Sea Section”. Sedaris manages to tackle even difficult issues like suicide and aging with grace and just the right amount of self-deprecation mixed with brutal honesty. Highly recommend!" —Phyllis, Wellesley Books

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Habit formation expert James Clear shares the strategies he's developed through years of meticulous research for forming good habits and breaking bad ones. In accessible and informative writing, Clear explains the psychology behind our motivation and willpower (and how both can fail us) and teaches readers how to create an environment that will help them succeed.

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

"The Night Watchman is an extraordinary book based on the life of Edrich's grandfather who was a night watchman at a jewel bearing plant as well as an activitist against Native dispossession. The other featured protaganist is Patrice Paranteau who you will quickly come to adore." —Rachel, Avid Bookshop

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

"There is no one better at investigating the fascinating stories hiding in plain sight than Susan Orlean. The vivid descriptions of the fire that engulfed the Los Angeles Central Library in 1986 are burnished by the meticulous research she did on the history of libraries and on the shocking event that resulted in the destruction and damage of over one million books. The mystery of who would start such a fire is woven between stories of eccentric librarians and the transformation of Los Angeles in the 20th century. From memories of the blissful hours spent in the library of her youth to the historical significance of these repositories of our past, Orlean has crafted a love letter to the importance of the written word and those who devote their lives to its preservation.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

“This book completely shook up what I thought I knew about the struggle for freedom and equality. I discovered some of my 'heroes' didn't always fight the good fight and learned a few new names of those who did what they could for the cause. I am not the same person I was before I listened to this book. If everyone who encounters this book can say the same, maybe that will be the beginning of something good. Bravo Jason and Ibram!” —Felicia, M. Judson Booksellers

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

When young public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson opened the Equal Justice Initiative in 1989 — a nonprofit offering legal representation to people who've suffered illegal conviction or excessive punishment — one of his first clients was Walter McMillian, who was sitting on death row for the murder (of a white woman) that he didn't commit. Just Mercy recounts Stevenson's experience working to overturn McMillian's wrongful conviction, and illuminates the institutional racism and corruption that allowed for it.

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

"The Collected Schizophrenias is a heartbreaking and honest collection about chronic mental illness and its effects on Wang. Through personal narrative and scientific research, Wang has created a collection of essays that are challenging in the sense that they confront you with the reality of a misunderstood condition. Her mission is not to scare, shock, or make the reader feel sorry for her, but to create an environment where mental illness is better understood and destigmatized within our culture. An eye-opening collection of essays from a truly exceptional writer.” —Katie Kucek, Brazos Bookstore

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

"Lindy West is hilarious and timely in this must-listen audio book! It is more enjoyable because Lindy reads it herself, so the jokes are perfectly timed and hearing her words in her own voice works very well for this book. Round up all your fellow witches and gather your coven, the witches are coming for the patriarchy!" —Chelsea, Tattered Cover

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Obama's memoir chronicles her childhood on Chicago's South Side, her years as a working mother, and her time spent as the first lady — and the life-changing work she's done along the way.

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

“This is a spellbinding memoir that will stand the test of time. Carmen Maria Machado has crafted a memoir that turns the form on its head, that creates a stunning, chilling and winding narrative that stays true to the nature of human beings: complex and nuanced. The LGBTQ archive of intimate-partner violence needed this and helped pave a way for others to explore the violence in their queer relationships.” —Charlie, Green Apple Books

More Myself by Alicia Keys

More Myself is Alicia Keys' intimate journey toward understanding herself, reckoning with loss, heartbreak, insecurity, and fame. Throughout, Keys sings portions of her songs, and she's joined by family and friends including Oprah, Jay-Z, and Michelle Obama.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

“With a voice like warm milk and honey, Neil Gaiman breathes life into his stories. Norse Mythology honors the tale’s past, but still has Neil’s distinctive style. Which is then enhanced by Gaiman reading the story aloud. Gaiman is able to create distinct voices for each of his characters, from the sly and cunning Loki, to the short-tempered, impatient warrior Thor. Gaiman took mythology that I already loved, created something even more enchanting. It is a collection of stories I could hear time after time and never grow tired of revisiting.” —Victoria, Mysterious Galaxy Books

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