The Best Audiobooks of 2018

As 2018 wraps up, Audiobooks.com looks back at a wonderful year of exciting releases. From sensational debuts that have launched the careers of budding writers to veterans who have returned with triumphant follow-ups, 2018 in books has captured the love, heartbreak, frustration, and hope that has swept the world. Here are Audiobook.com’s best books of 2018 and personal staff favorites.

FICTION

NON-FICTION

BIO & MEMOIR

MYSTERY & THRILLER

ROMANCE

POLITICS

SELF-HELP

TRUE CRIME

HORROR

SCIENCE FICTION

FANTASY

HISTORY

SCIENCE & TECH

YOUNG ADULT

KIDS

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle, narrated by Eric Idle

From the ingenious comic performer, founding member of Monty Python, and creator of Spamalot, comes an absurdly funny memoir of unparalleled wit and heartfelt candor.

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Educated by Tara Westover, narrated by Julia Whelan

Heartbreaking and moving, Educated is about Tara Westover’s quest for knowledge that transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents. Only when she had traveled too far would she wonder if there was still a way home.

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Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver, narrated by Barbara Kingsolver

Brilliantly executed and compulsively listenable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts.

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Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc. by Jeff Tweedy, narrated by Jeff Tweedy

The singer, guitarist, and songwriter, best known for his work with Wilco, opens up about his past, his songs, the music, and the people that have inspired him.

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The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, narrated by Imogen Church

When Hal Westaway is mistakenly bequeathed a substantial inheritance, she plots to claim the money for herself only to realize there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

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The Book of M by Peng Shepherd, narrated by Emily Woo ZellerJames Fouhey

Reminiscent of The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara, narrated by Gillian FlynnGabra ZackmanPatton Oswalt

An atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind.

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You Are a Badass Every Day: How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable by Jen Sincero, narrated by Jen Sincero

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes bite-sized inspiration and guidance to keep your transformation on track.

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The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: A Oral History by Megan MullallyNick Offerman, narrated by Nick OffermanMegan Mullally

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman reveal the full story behind their epic romance—presented in a series of hilarious intimate conversations between the couple.

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Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession by Mya Spalter, narrated by Mya Spalter

A wise, witty, and welcoming guide to modern witchcraft and magic and how you can use it to positively affect your life, from healing herbs to casting love spells.

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7 Audiobooks That Are More Naughty Than Nice

Turn up the heat this winter with erotic audiobooks that guarantee a spicy holiday season.

 

1. Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas by Katie Ruggle, narrated by Vanessa Daniels

Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas.

When firefighter and single dad Steve Springfield moved his kids to a Christmas tree ranch, he intended it to be a safe haven. He never expected danger to follow, or that he would come face-to-face with the one girl he could never forget. It doesn’t take long before she’s in danger of falling for him. But as fires break out across the sleepy Colorado town, they will have to fight if they want their happy family to survive.
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2. A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss by Paula Quinn, narrated by Carrington MacDuffie and Paula Quinn

A Highlander's Christmas Kiss.

Christmas may be coming to Linavar, but Temperance Menzie is far from joyful. Grief stricken over the death of her father, she almost didn’t see the wounded stranger in the woods. And now she’s determined to give this brooding Highlander the help she couldn’t give her father. But there’s a secret lurking in the depths of his blue-gray eyes. And Temperance won’t rest until she uncovers it.
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3. Their Christmas Bride by Vanessa Vale, narrated by Kylie Stewart

Their Christmas Bride.

Allison Travers is in love with two men. Quinn and Porter are both irresistible, and choosing seems impossible. But she fears she’ll lose the chance to decide when a malicious man seeks to force her into marriage with him by spreading rumors.Quinn and Porter aren’t about to buy the lies. They love Allison, and what’s more, they both want to marry her and make her their Christmas bride.
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4. Submitting for Christmas by Em Brown, narrated by Em Brown

Submitting for Christmas.

The Marquess of Alastair has doubled the dowry he is providing Miss Abbott. The sooner she’s married, the sooner she’s out of his care — and his fantasies. All she wants is an encore of her night where Alastair once fulfilled her most wicked desires. When just such an opportunity unexpectedly arises, Alastair concedes to her proposition on one condition: that she never again return.
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5. Christmas with the Marine & Her Naughty Holiday by Candace Havens, narrated by Alexander Cendese and Gabrielle Cendese

Christmas with the Marine & Her Naughty Holiday.

Guys are the last thing on personal shopper Ainsley Garrett’s list. But her icy resolution melts when she sees an incredibly hot Marine toy shopping. A hot man in uniform with a heart of gold? Maybe she can believe in Santa after all… When it comes to Ashley, Major Ben Hawthorne is willing to break his own rules, at least for one night — provided they can get this insanely wicked attraction out of their systems.
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6. Saint Nick’s Naughty Helper by Jeffrey D. Peterson, narrated by Jeffrey D. Peterson and Ali Peterson

Saint Nick's Naughty Helper.

A hot and explicit Christmas Comedy featuring a brave romantic with a warm fire and a hot man on her mind. Carol is alone at Christmas time, and determined not to be. When she lays eyes on a dreamboat named Nick the sparks fly and she’s in over her head… right where she wants to be.
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7. The Christmas Present – A Collection of Four Festive Erotic Stories by Miranda Forbes, narrated by Trixi Godwin

The Christmas Present.

A Good Little Girl: Kay’s girlfriend gets a new job and becomes a sexy Santa.
The Perfect Meal: Emily rushes out to find the perfect pudding and finds the perfect man instead.
Payment In Kind: Kate’s work flirtation goes from innocent to white hot.
The Scent of Pine: Having the in-laws stay puts a damper on Julie and Robert’s sex life, but abstinence has its rewards after Christmas.
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Holiday page to screen

Get even more into the spirit by listening to these classic holiday books that have been turned into classic holiday movies.

1. The Polar Express by Theodor Seuss GeiselRob KapilowChris Van Allsburg, narrated by Nathan GunnIsabel LeonardOlivia LombardiThe Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra, and The Polar Express Children’s Choir

The Polar Express.

On Christmas Eve, a young boy climbs aboard a magic train filled with other children being treated to goodies while en route to the North Pole, where Santa is to offer the very first Christmas gift to one lucky passenger. This magical Christmas story is one of self-discovery that shows listeners that the wonders of life never fades for those who believe.
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2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, narrated by Walter Matthau

How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville’s holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.
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3. The Greatest Gift (film adaptation: It’s A Wonderful Life) by Philip Van Doren Stern, narrated by Edward Herrmann

The Greatest Gift.

Unable at first to find a publisher for his tale of a man named George who ponders suicide until he receives an opportunity to see what the world would be like without him, Stern originally published the story in a small pamphlet and sent it out as his Christmas card for 1943. One of those copies found its way into the hands of a producer, and the film that has become a cherished holiday tradition for many was born.
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4. A Christmas Carol (film adaptation: Scrooge) by Charles Dickens, narrated by Paul Scofield

A Christmas Carol.

“Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding,” says Scrooge. Mean old Scrooge despises Christmas… until Christmas Eve, when a haunted voice from the past changes his life overnight.
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5. A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd, narrated by Dick Cavett

A Christmas Story.

Ralphie Parker is in for a disappointing Christmas: he discovers his decoder ring is really an Ovaltine promotion; his parents battle over a lascivious leg lamp; the savagery of bullies is ripe; and, most crucially, Ralphie’s campaign to get a Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle results in the adult world saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
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6. Skipping Christmas (film adaptation: Christmas With The Kranks) by John Grisham, narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris

Skipping Christmas.

Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas this year. Theirs will be the only house without a rooftop Frosty; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. Instead, they’re going on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings consequences.
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7. The Bishop’s Wife by Robert Nathan, narrated by Stephen R. Thorne

The Bishop's Wife.

Bishop Henry Brougham wants to build a new cathedral, but doesn’t know how he’ll find an archdeacon to help fund it. But that’s not his only problem. Him and his wife, Julia, are in a passionless marriage. When the bishop prays for help, it comes in the form of Michael, who takes the position of archdeacon. With the holidays approaching, the bishop senses the attraction between Julia and Michael.
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8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, narrated by Barbara Caruso

Little Women.

Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War. Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses, and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family and have felt the deep sadness when Meg leaves the circle of sisters to be married.
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9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May, narrated by Stephen R. Thorne

Rudolph.

Rudolph, loveable and generous, humble and good, embodies the spirit of Christmas, and reminds us of the magical possibilities that exist within us all. In the companion story, “Rudolph Shines Again,” Rudolph loses his light and is certain he is of no use to Santa now; he decides to go far away, where no one knows how bright his nose used to be. But on his journey, something magical happens.
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November’s Top 10 Audiobooks.com Member Downloads

Listen to last month’s roundup of the top fiction and non-fiction titles downloaded by Audiobooks.com members.

 

Fiction

1. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. They know they would have to put in some hard work, but it’s not long before every guest begins to question the pristine facade of Tranquillum House and its strange and charismatic owner.
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2. Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly, narrated by Titus Welliver and Christine Lakin

Harry Bosch teams up with LAPD detective Renée Ballard to solve the case of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally killed. Along the way, the two detectives forge a fragile trust, but this new partnership is put to the test when the case takes an unexpected and dangerous turn.
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3. Past Tense: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child, narrated by Scott Brick

Two Canadians trying to get to New York City are stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. Before long they’re trapped in an ominous game of life and death. Meanwhile, Jack Reacher decides to visit the town where his father was born, only to be told no one named Reacher ever lived there. As these two stories begin to entwine, the stakes rise to impossible heights for Reacher.
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4. Fire & Blood 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) by George R. R. Martin, narrated by Simon Vance

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.
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5. Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci, narrated by Kyf Brewer and Brittany Pressley

Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee Pine has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. When she is called in to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon and its missing rider, Atlee believes it may just be the key to unraveling a rash of other similar missing persons cases in the canyon.
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Non-Fiction

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. Read more and sample the audio.

 

 

2. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown, narrated by Brené Brown

When we dare to lead, we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it with others. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into vulnerability when it’s necessary to do good work. In Dare to LeadBrown shows us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.
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3. Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History by Bill O’reillyMartin Dugard, narrated by Bill O’reilly

Killing the SS is the epic saga of the self-styled ‘Nazi hunters.’ Among them were a French husband and wife team, an American lawyer who served in the army on D-Day, a German prosecutor who had signed an oath to the Nazi Party, and a death camp survivor. Over decades, these men and women scoured the world, tracking down the SS fugitives and bringing them to justice.
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4. How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie, narrated by Andrew Macmillan

You can go after the job you want…and get it! You can take the job you have…and improve it! You can take any situation you’re in…and make it work for you! For over 60 years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this audiobook has carried thousands of now-famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
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5. Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me by Charlamagne Tha God, narrated by Charlamagne Tha God

Being “shook” is more than a rap lyric for Charlamagne, it’s his mission to overcome. While it may seem like he’s ahead of the game, he is actually plagued by anxieties, such as the fear of losing his roots, the fear of being a bad dad, and the fear of being a terrible husband. Shook One chronicles his journey to beat those fears and shows a path that you too can take to overcome the anxieties that may be holding you back.
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5 New Christmas Audiobooks

If you’ve already listened to all of the classic Christmas audiobooks, treat yourself to these new Christmas stories that will warm your heart and make you believe in the magic of the holiday season all over again.

1. The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan, narrated by Mandy Weston

The Christmas Sisters.

There is nothing like the holidays to bring family back together. I enjoyed the way this book deals with emotions, conflicts, and crisis all with the warmth of the season.
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2. Christmas at the Palace by Jeevani Charika, narrated by Carlyss Peer

Christmas at the Palace.

I’m still revelling in the magic of the royal weddings this past year, so this was a perfect story to add to my Christmas reading. You’ll devour this delightfully modern Christmas romance.
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3. The White Christmas Inn by Colleen Wright, narrated by Samantha Desz

The White Christmas Inn.

There are some books you just want to jump into and experience; this is one of those books for me. Filled with lovable characters — each pulling through their own difficulties — in a picture perfect setting, you’re sure to enjoy this lighthearted holiday read.
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4. A Nancy Drew Christmas by Carolyn Keene, narrated by Jorjeana Marie

A Nancy Drew Christmas.

This book transported me back to my much younger days of reading Nancy Drew as a young girl. For adults coming to Nancy Drew again, you will not be disappointed. For newcomers to Nancy Drew, you will enjoy this Christmas themed adventure.
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5. The Noel Stranger by Richard Paul Evans, narrated by Erin Mallon

The Noel Stranger.

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without reading Richard Paul Evans. He’s back and totally on Christmas spirit form with The Noel Stranger. While for me this one was a slight departure from his normal Christmas titles, you will still enjoy the true meaning of the holidays with this book and this is a not-to-be missed story.
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Page to Screen in December 2018

Going to the movies this December? Get the best experience by listening to the books they were based on before seeing the film adaptations.

 

Nightflyers by George R. R. Martin, narrated by Adenrele Ojo
Expected release date: December 2

When a scientific expedition is launched to study a mysterious alien race, the ship tasked with this expedition is the Nightflyer, the most advanced ship ever built. But when terrifying and violent events start to occur, the team and crew begin to question themselves, each other, and their reclusive captain.
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Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, narrated by Eileen Stevens
Expected release date: December 7

Things have always worked out for Willowdean Dickson—the plus-sized daughter of a former beauty queen—until recently. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her new relationship with boyfriend, Bo, Will has started to doubt herself. So, she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant.
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Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally, narrated by Ben Kingsley
Re-release date: December 7

In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Plaszow. He was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur, but to them, he became a savior. This is the extraordinary story of Oskar Schindler, who used his enormous fortune to build a factory near the Plaszow concentration camp and saved the lives of over 1,300 Jews.
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Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve, narrated by Barnaby Edwards
Expected release date: December 14

Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City is chasing a terrified little town across the wastelands. Soon London will feed. In the attack, Tom Natsworthy is flung from the speeding city with a murderous scar-faced girl. They must run for their lives through the wreckage—and face a terrifying new weapon that threatens the future of the world.
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Mary Poppins (Film Adaptation: Mary Poppins Returns) by P.L. Travers, narrated by Sophie Thompson
Expected release date: December 19

It all starts when their new nanny is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house, carrying a parrot-headed umbrella and a magic carpetbag. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!
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Selection Day by Aravind Adiga, narrated by Sartaj Garewal 
Expected release date: December 28

Manjunath Kumar is fourteen and living in a slum in Mumbai. He knows he is good at cricket—if not as good as his older brother, Radha. When Manju meets Radha’s great rival, a mysterious Muslim boy privileged and confident in all the ways Manju is not, everything in Manju’s world begins to change.
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New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

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