Staff Recommendation: Laura’s Favorite Audiobooks

With the launch this week of our new partnership with digital audiobooks, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites. Or, if you just want to browse on your own, visit our new digital audiobooks store here. Use code readingrocks20 to save 20% on all audiobooks through the end of June! Happy listening!


ProdigalSummerProdigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

I’ve read the paper book once and listened to the audiobook twice, so admittedly, I love this book. It’s a novel with three main narratives, which intermingle and overlap in the green mountains and farms of a Kentucky summer. Why should you listen? It’s read by the author and her voice is perfect for her words. Plus, there are beautiful snippets of birdsong between sections.

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assassinationAssassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell is a history nerd, seeking out all the locations associated with assassinations (or assassination attempts) in U.S. history. She doesn’t drive though, so her family and friends often get roped into her excursions. Why should you listen? Vowell’s voice is totally unique and entertaining. Plus, there are a ton of guest readers, such as Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, and Stephen King.

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beautifulruinsBeautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

I’ve read this book with two different book clubs and it led to great discussions in both. (Also, it got rave reviews from pretty much everyone.) It’s a novel that’s partly about the entertainment industry, but mostly it’s about how the effects of love or the lack thereof. Why should you listen? Edoardo Ballerini’s voice is gorgeous and he deftly alternates between characters as different as the sweet Pasquale Tursi and the coarse Michael Dean.

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shorthistoryA Shorty History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson approaches the universe with his trademark dry humor, which made A Walk in the Woods such a success. Why should you listen? The paperback is 544 pages, which may be intimidating for all us non-science majors. (And when it’s being read to you, you get to learn how all those science terms are pronounced!)

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brilliantfriendAny and All of Elena Ferrante’s Books

I read the paperback of My Brilliant Friend and loved it so much that I dove right into the second book in the Neopolitan series, The Story of a New Name. The book was engrossing, but I had many obligations (a store to run, a kid to take care of, you know how it is) keeping me from reading it. I got the audiobook and switched back and forth between the two, depending on how much free time I had. I never had to stop reading! Why should you listen? Hillary Huber does a marvelous job on these, but the best reason to listen may be the same for you as it was for me: these books are amazing and I didn’t have to stop reading to fold laundry!

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