We’ll always love the feeling of cracking the spine of a new book and diving into a brand new adventure — but sometimes, it’s good to switch things up a bit.
In this case, we’re talking about audiobooks. From classics to epic adventures, there are plenty of audiobooks out there that will transport you to a new place and immerse you in the story, too.
And, as an added bonus, the ability to listen hands-free means that you’ll be able to get your reading in any time or place — meaning there’s always a new adventure on the cards.
So, if you’re looking for your next book to add to your to-read (or to-listen-to) list, here are eight of the best audiobooks to listen to for a bit of escapism.
1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, narrated by Julia Whelan
Looking for something to listen to each morning while you enjoy your coffee? This audiobook is an unforgettable adventure taking across centuries and continents — and it’s perfect for fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife.
In 1714, a young woman — in a moment of desperation — makes a Faustian bargain to live forever. But she’s also cursed to be forgotten by everyone she ever meets.
Over the next few centuries, Addie LaRue’s adventures take her across continents, across history and art, as she learns how far she’ll go to leave her mark on the world.
But after almost 300 years, things change once day. Addie’s stumbled across a young man in a hidden bookstore…and he remembers her name.
2. The Chalet by Catherine Cooper, narrated by Rich Keeble, Katy Sobey, Jot Davies, Sophie Aldred, Ben Kinloch, Daisy Prosper, Sid Sagar
Part of the joy of listening to a mystery audiobook, rather than reading it, is that the narrator — or, in this case, a group of narrators — will bring you right into the action and make you even more determined to figure out whodunnit. With The Chalet, you’ll head to slopes as you visit the luxurious La Madiere, a ski resort in the French Alps, where things come to ahead after long-buried secrets start to come to light.
In 1998, Will and Adam Cassiobury have taken their girlfriends for a skiing holiday — but things aren’t going quite to plan.
The brothers have always had a bit of a difficult relationship and they end up arguing through the trip. But after they go off skiing with a guide, only one of the brothers comes back alive.
In 2020, four people connected to the missing man come back to the resort. Each of them has a secret, two of them may have blood on their hands. And one of them is a killer in waiting.
3. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, narrated by Roy Dotrice
If you’re after an escape into an epic fantasy world, then Westeros would definitely fit the bill. But since the book itself is a bit on the bigger side at around 700 pages, opting for the audiobook version means you’ll be able to bring it with you wherever you go.
In a world where summers span decades and winter can last a lifetime, the struggle for the Iron Throne has started.
When King Robert appoints him as his Hand, Lord Eddard Stark, the Warden of the North, thinks it is a curse. His honour weighs him down at court, where a true man does what he wills, not what he must — and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, the Stark family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse still, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King is all grown up in exile in the Free Cities — and he’s got his eye on the Iron Throne…
4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
This heartbreaking coming-of-age story, which will bring you back to the 1960s, is the perfect book for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Celeste Ng. As an added bonus, tuning into this audiobook will make your commute absolutely fly by.
The rumours of the Marsh Girl have haunted Barkley Cove, a small, quiet town on the North Carolina coast, for years. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl.
But Kya is not what they say. She is sensitive and intelligent; she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand.
Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and to be loved. And when two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life — until the unthinkable happens.
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal
Taking place in the fictional towns of East Egg and West Egg over the course of a summer, Fitzgerald’s novel will transport you back to the 1920s. And having Jake Gyllenhaal as your guide through the story is oddly soothing.
Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, has rented a small house next door to the mysteries Jay Gatsby. There, he’s got a first hand view of Gatsby’s extravagant West Egg parties — and his undying love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, who happens to be Nick’s cousin.
Gatsby met — and lost — Daisy during the war. But now, he’s made himself fabulously wealthy — and he thinks that his only way to true, absolute happiness is to find his way back into her life. And he uses Nick to try and reach her.
What happens when the characters’ fantasies are confronted with reality makes for a startling conclusion to this iconic tale.
6. The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, narrated by Daniel Weyman
Narrator Daniel Weyman leads the listener on an unforgettable adventure in the final chapter of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. Set in Barcelona in the 1950s, the book itself is technically the fourth book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series — but you can definitely listen to it as a standalone audiobook.
As a child, Daniel Sempere found an extraordinary novel among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books — one that would change the course of his life. Now a young man in the Barcelona of the late 1950s, Daniel runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop and enjoys a seemingly fulfilling life with his loving wife and son.
But, despite the efforts of his wife Bea and his faithful friend Fermin to save him, the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to plague him.
Just when Daniel believes he is close to solving this enigma, a conspiracy more sinister than he could have imagined emerges from the hellish regime — and that is when Alicia Gris appears, a soul born out of the nightmare of the war. She brings Daniel to the edge of the abyss, revealing the secret of his family at a terrifying price.
7. Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi, narrated by Emilia Fox
Looking for a mystery-slash-thriller audiobook to listen to on your next road trip (or one that would take you somewhere far, far away from the wintry weather)? Then this would would be perfect for you. Take a trip to a Mediterranean island as you try and figure out the truth behind this cat-and-mouse game.
All murder mystery rules follow a simple set of rules. And Grant McAllister, an author of crime fiction and professor of mathematics, sat down once and figured them out. But that was 30 years ago, and things have changed — a lot.
Now, McAllister is living a life of seclusion on a quiet Mediterranean island — until Julia Hart, a sharp, ambitious editor, knocks on his door. His early work is being republished, and she wants to revisit those old stories with him — an author hiding from his past, and an editor keen to understand it.
But as she reads his work, Julia realises there are something things within the stories that just don’t make sense. There are intricate clues that seem to reference a real murder, one which has been unsolved for 30 years. And Julia finds that she has unwittingly entered a battle of wits where there can be only one winner. But Grant will soon realise that he underestimates her at his peril….
8. The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley, narrated by Anna Cordell
The final book on this list, The Authenticity Project is a little different in that it will make you feel like you’re part of the group involved rather than in a totally new location. Anna Cordell brings each of the characters to life in such a way that you feel like you’re sitting at a table at Monica’s Café with them, rather than listening to the book in your living room.
It follows six strangers with one universal thing in common: their lives aren’t always what they make them out to be. But what would happen if they decided to tell the truth instead?
“Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth?” That’s the question Julian Jessop, an eccentric, seventy-nine-year-old artist, writes within a pale green exercise book that he labels The Authenticity Project. He decides to leave it behind in Monica’s Café. But when Monica discovers Julian’s abandoned notebook, not only does she add her own story to the book, she is determined to find a way to help Julian feel less lonely.
And that’s how it goes with the other who find that little green notebook — which soon enough contains their deepest selves. It also ends up bringing the group together in real life, as they gather at Monica’s Café and soon discover the thrill — and risk — of being completely honest. And, for some, find unexpected love.
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