It was only at the beginning of 2020 that I finally dived into the world of audio books. As someone who loves everything about picking up a physical book, I wasn’t confident that audio would suit my reading style.
I never anticipated how much I would enjoy listening to books, and how it would encourage me to explore genres that I would never have previously. Now, I frequently have a few audio books on the go at any one time, and love the flexibility of being able to dip in and out of them, especially when I don’t have the time to sit down and read a physical copy.
If you’ve never tried audio books before, I highly recommend it. Whether you’re struggling to focus at the moment, or just want something to keep you company whilst you’re working, tidying, exercising or relaxing in your house, then audio is the perfect format.
Why should you give audio books a go?
- Less effort required. You don’t have to physically sit down and take in the book. There’s an element of being able to switch off and let your ears do the work.
- It’s relaxing. Depending on the book you choose, and the narrator, audio books can be very soothing and enjoyable to listen to. It can be a great distraction.
- Boost your reading. The change in format can help you to read more day-to-day, especially if you find it difficult to make time to sit down and read a book.
- Simplify lots of information. If you’re reading a book that’s particularly information- or data-heavy then it can be much easier to visualise and understand facts and concepts when someone explains them to you out loud.
- Read more than one book. A change in mood might mean you want to read something different. I like to have different books on the go to pick up depending on how I feel, and an audio book is a great way to ease into this. You could have a non-fiction in audio format, and a fiction book in physical. The separate styles should help you move between them without getting the stories muddled up.
- You may be able to access free titles. A lot of libraries across the U.K. offer digital libraries where you can borrow e-books and audio books for free. Check out your local library and see if they offer something like this. You can find a wide selection of titles – and they’re all free!
My favourite audio books and narrators
Ready to give audio books a go or just looking for something new to try? Here’s three of my favourite audio books including fiction and non-fiction.
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
Choose this book if: You like learning about human behaviour, enjoy lots of interesting information
One of the first authors I really got into this year was Malcolm Gladwell as both his writing and his voice are perfectly suited to audio. Gladwell is a Canadian author whose books explore different key themes of human behaviour. He dives into topics such as adversity, motivation, instincts, decision-making and success by looking at a wide range of interesting and eye-opening information, stories and data from different fields.
Talking to Strangers is my favourite of Galdwell’s books as the story explores how we interact with and make sense of strangers, and how miscommunication can change the course of history.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
Choose this book if: You’re a fan of greek myths, you’re looking for some good, old-fashioned storytelling, you want to listen to something soothing
Circe found its way into my audio book collection when I was looking for great storytelling, luxurious descriptions and something to transport me to another world. I’d been reading a lot of non-fiction and heavy subjects, so it was time for something enjoyable, descriptive and relaxing.
Not only did I love Miller’s beautiful telling of the story of the goddess, Circe, and the rich, vibrant portrayal of the world of the gods, but it was perfectly matched with the silky-smooth, enchanting vocals of Perdita Weeks.
Filled with magic and monsters, love and power, I enjoyed the narration of the story as much as the story itself. If you’re searching for something comforting to listen to, give Circe a go.
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
Narrated by: Caroline Criado Perez
Choose this book if: You’re a feminist, you want to learn more about gender disparity, you’re keen to read the book but struggle with taking in the amount of data and information
Invisible Women is such an important, crucial book that everyone should read. Packed full of data, information and research, Invisible Women explores the data biases across the world that favour men, and systematically ignore women.
It’s a hard and heavy but eye-opening read that highlights how everything from government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, actively excludes women.
This is a great book to try in audio format because there’s a lot of information to take in but Caroline expresses it in a much more accessible, understandable way through her voice.
What’s next on your audio TBR list?
Will you be giving any of these books a go? Let me know if you have any recommendations for me or what you thought of these books! I’d love to chat about great audio books in the comments.