Confession: I’m addicted to audiobooks. Since I became a member of Audible about a year ago, I just can’t stop listening to memoirs, novels, nonfiction books, YA titles—you name it. I listen while working out, doing craft projects, cooking, falling asleep and best of all, while traveling.
Now, I never leave my house without an audiobook on my phone (the downloading takes mere minutes). So, if you need a little escape this holiday season—and who doesn’t?—consider downloading one of these enjoyable titles.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Frank L. Baum
Unabridged: 3 hours, 52 minutes
You know the story, but Oscar winner Anne Hathaway‘s narration breathes new life into Dorothy’s experiences along the yellow brick road. This recording is especially great for kids who are third, fourth or fifth grades.
Unabridged: 4 hours, 51 minutes
This YA classic, which was recently made into a movie, will captivate and haunt children and adults alike as an audiobook. At age 12, Jonas receives his life assignment determined by the Elders, and it’s not as simple as the jobs his friends received. His role leads him to learn disturbing secrets about his world in this dystopian coming-of-age story.
The Age of Miracles
Karen Thompson Walker
Unabridged: 9 hours, 3 minutes
It’s hard enough being an adolescent girl without worrying about the world’s apocalyptic future—but that’s what protagonist Julia and her family are dealing with in this novel, which is appropriate for kids age 12 and older. The rotation of the Earth is slowing, so the days and nights are getting longer and longer, and Julia’s life changes in ways she never would have expected.
Unabridged: 8 hours, 35 minutes
This gothic horror story about a scientist who creates a monster in human form is a staple of high-school reading lists. It’s particularly creepy and sad as read by Dan Stevens, of “Downton Abbey.” At times, he actually makes you want to give the monster a hug.
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Unabridged: 17 hours, 48 minutes
In this book, beloved author Bill Bryson tackles the question: Why are we here? From the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, he takes on science’s toughest questions with the help of anthropologists, mathematicians and archaeologists—and his well-known sense of humor.
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Abridged: 9 hours, 29 minutes
If you loved the movie “Lincoln,” which was partially based on this book, you’ll be enthralled by the detailed story of how Lincoln, a prairie lawyer, came to win the presidency and lead the nation through the Civil War—dealing with a feuding cabinet, hostile congressmen and insubordinate generals along the way.
One More Thing
Unabridged: 6 hours 48 minutes
Known for his role on “The Office,” actor B.J. Novak recently established himself as a fiction writer with this collection of funny and wild short stories, which range from a retelling of “The Tortoise and the Hare” to a story about a boy who defies his parents in order to claim a $10,000 prize from a box of Frosted Flakes. Novak himself narrates, with help from some other celebs: Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Mindy Kaling, Jason Schwartzman, Katy Perry and Lena Dunham.
Unabridged: 11 hours, 51 minutes
Critics loved this memoir from James Beard Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson, who was born in Ethiopia, orphaned, and then adopted by a Swedish couple. Years later, thanks to passion and perseverance, he became the chef at the Swedish restaurant Aquavit in New York.
A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London and New York
Unabridged: 7 hours, 28 minutes
In this memoir (the first book of three), the Oscar-winning actress recounts in impressive detail her childhood in Ireland, teenage years in London, and early days as a model and actress in New York. Huston’s smooth alto voice is captivating, as she reflects on her troubled relationship with her father, director John Huston, and her turbulent affair with the photographer Bob Richardson, among other stories.
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Unabridged: 11 hours, 23 minutes
Forget Renee Zellweger—English actress Samantha Bond (of “Downton Abbey” and the “James Bond” films) will crack you up as she narrates Bridget Jones’ latest bizarre escapades. Mark Darcy has tragically died, leaving Bridget a widow and a single mother of two who struggles to navigate dating (including an affair with a younger man), Twitter and parenting, all at once.