Are Audiobooks As Good As Physically Reading?

The age-old question that always comes up when chatting about how you read: “Audiobooks don’t count as reading,” or “Audiobooks aren’t as good as reading a physical book.” We’ve heard it all before, so let’s dive into why we think audiobooks are as good and if not (dare we say) better than simply physically reading a book.

What are audiobooks and how do they compare to physical reading?

Audiobooks are digital audio recordings of books that can be streamed or downloaded and listened to on a variety of devices. Audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer readers the convenience of being able to listen to their favorite books while doing other activities, such as commuting or exercising. But how do audiobooks compare to physically reading a book?

Audiobooks offer many advantages over physical books, including the ability and convenience to listen at your own pace and in any environment. Additionally, audiobooks help with increased engagement with the material, and they are generally more accessible and can be helpful for those who have difficulty reading due to vision impairment, dyslexia, etc.


What are the benefits of choosing to listen to an audiobook vs physically reading a book?

Audiobooks are a great way to learn new information and gain knowledge. They allow you to multitask, listen while doing other activities, and can be used in any setting. Audiobooks also help you engage with the material more deeply as your mind can focus on the content without being distracted by other visual elements. With audiobooks, you can easily access a wide range of topics and learn at your own pace. You can also find audiobooks that are specifically designed for language learning, which makes them an ideal choice for those who want to improve their foreign language skills. Audiobooks provide an engaging and convenient way to learn new information and expand your knowledge base.

While physically reading is a great way to get lost in a book and escape reality, it also has some drawbacks. Reading physical books can be time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to store or transport. Additionally, physical books may contain outdated information if they are not regularly updated. Furthermore, physical books are less interactive than digital formats such as e-books and audiobooks which often include multimedia elements and allow readers to interact with the text. Finally, physical books may require more effort for readers to take notes or highlight important passages.


How do audiobooks help with memory retention while reading?

Studies have shown that audiobooks can help with memory retention in a variety of ways. Research has demonstrated that people who listen to audiobooks are able to recall more information than those who read from a traditional book. Additionally, studies have found that people who listen to audiobooks retain information better over time compared to those who read books in the traditional way. This indicates that using audiobooks is an effective way of helping people remember more of what they read or heard.

Quick stats:

● 85% of what we learn is learned through listening
● Students can listen and comprehend 2 whole grades above their reading level
● Audio improves comprehension by 76%
● Listening increases reading accuracy by 52%

Via The Audio Publishers Association


Can audiobooks really replace physical reading?

With audiobooks, readers can enjoy their favorite books while on the go, without having to carry a physical copy of the book. But do audiobooks really replace or complement physical reading?

This question is one that has been debated by readers and authors alike. While some argue that audiobooks provide a convenient and immersive experience, others believe they cannot replace the feeling of flipping through pages and engaging with text on paper. At Audiobooks.com, we’re a little biased because we looove our audiobooks, but we would never claim that they could fully replace the experience of physically reading. Audiobooks are a great alternative reading option that can benefit a multitude of people from many walks of life and for those tried and true physical readers, audiobooks can help complement the reading experience as well.


The future of audiobooks – how are they changing?

We have no doubt that audiobooks and their popularity are only set to grow in the future. With the rise of streaming services and availability, audiobooks are now more accessible than ever before. As technology advances, so too does the way we listen to audiobooks. From voice-activated devices such as Alexa and Google Home to apps (like ours!) that allow you to customize your listening experience with speed control, bookmarks, and track navigation there are a variety of ways for listeners to get the most out of their audiobook listening experience. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovative ways for people to enjoy audiobooks in the future.


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection 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 audiobooks!

Book Clubbin’: 7 Discussion Questions for ‘It Starts with Us’ by Colleen Hoover

Our Book Clubbin’ blog feature is back and this time we’re diving into the super-hyped and highly anticipated sequel to It Ends with UsIt Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover.

In this latest listen from Hoover, we pick up where we left off in It Ends with Us where Lily runs into her childhood love, Atlas, as she settles into a co-parenting routine with Ryle. Even though Atlas and Lily think the timing could be right this time around, Ryle is still very much involved in her and her daughter’s lives. Switching between Lily and Atlas’ perspectives, It Starts with Us reveals more about Atlas’s past and follows Lily as she embraces a second chance at true love while navigating a jealous ex-husband.

Colleen Hoover is back with another emotional listen that is sure to have you reaching for the tissues, so if you’re on the CoHo train and have also picked up It Starts with Us for your book club this month, then keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!—————

1) What is your interpretation of the title It Starts with Us?

2) Do you think that this listen focused too much on new characters rather than Atlas and Lily’s relationship?

3) Lily wrote letters to Ellen in It Ends with Us. Do you think the letters to Ellen were necessary to highlight in this sequel?

4) Do you think Marshall made the right decision to stay with Allysa after she had cheated on him?

5) Did Ryle’s portrayal in It Starts with Us change your opinion of him at all?

6) How did It Starts with Us live up to what you expected for this highly anticipated sequel?

7) Do you think that Lily, Atlas, and Ryle could all make co-parenting together work in the future?


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection 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 audiobooks!

Book Clubbin’: 8 Discussion Questions for ‘It Ends With Us’ by Colleen Hoover

It’s that time again! Our Book Clubbin’ feature is back to bring you some conversation sparking questions for your next book club meeting. Whether you and your friends have planned a full night to chat this month’s pick through, or you’ve got a virtual meeting in your calendar, these questions will keep the conversation going!

This time around we’ve chosen It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. If you haven’t heard of Colleen Hoover yet, then chances are, you’re not as deep into #BookTok as we are over here (guilty!). Hoover’s titles have been blowing up on TikTok over the last year, and have also seen some time climbing the New York Times bestsellers list.

In It Ends With Us, we follow Lily, who didn’t have the easiest time growing up, but now she has moved out on her own and started her own business. Then, she meets the handsome neurosurgeon, Ryle, who seems too good to be true. Ryle’s fear of commitment worries Lily more and more as she continues to fall for him and in the meantime, she’s started reminiscing about Atlas—her first love and a link to her past.

If your book club has decided to see what all the hype is about and have chosen It Ends With Us for your next read, then you’re in luck! Keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!—————

1) What did you think about the format of Lily reading her letters to Ellen DeGeneres?

2) Lily grew up witnessing an abusive relationship, how do you think this affected her relationships in the future?

3) Why do you think Lily continued to help Atlas when they were kids despite the judgement from her family and friends?

4) How did Lily’s relationship with Atlas differ than her relationship with Ryle? How did each help her grow as a person?

5) After reconnecting with Atlas, why do you think Lily agrees to marry Ryle despite the anger he’s displayed?

6) Did Hoover portray Ryle in a way that made you empathize with him despite his actions?

7) What would you have done if you were in Lily’s situation? Do you agree with the decision she made?

8) Why do you think Hoover titled this book, It Ends With Us?


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection 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 audiobooks!

Top Free Audiobooks from October’s VIP Rewards

Audiobooks.com members (including free trial members) enjoy the benefits of our VIP Rewards program, which allows you to make a selection from a specially curated list of free audiobooks every month.

To browse the current month’s selection and choose your free audiobook, simply tap into the VIP Rewards section in the Audiobooks.com app or after logging into the Audiobooks.com website.

All new VIP Rewards will become available on the first day of each month. But don’t feel rushed to listen to your free audiobook every month—you can download today and listen whenever, for as long as you’re a member.

If you’re an Audiobooks.com member and are looking to make your free selection for October, we’ve got you covered! Check out this month’s top three VIP downloads below or click here to see the full list.


Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins, narrated by Xe Sands

Publisher Summary:

A funny and bittersweet story of a woman who returns to her hometown after a decade’s absence hoping to resuscitate her relationship with her family, only to discover that her homecoming is not as welcome as she had imagined.

It’s been over a decade since Nora left her hometown of Scupper Island, Maine, and very seldom looked back. She’s carved out a successful life in Boston where no one knows her as the awkward girl with the delinquent sister and the dad who left, but a not-as-dramatic-as-it-sounds brush with death has her taking stock of her life. Inspired to reconnect with her prickly mother and snarky teenage niece, Nora returns home for the summer, where she’s forced to face the people she’s spent the last ten years trying to avoid, and where some revelations about her family could either heal her, or send her scrambling back to Boston on the next ferry.

Read more and sample the audio →



Victim Six by Gregg Olsen, narrated by Corey M. Snow

Publisher Summary:

The bodies are found in towns and cities around Puget Sound. The young women who are the victims had nothing in common-except the agony of their final moments. But somebody carefully chose them to stalk, capture, and torture . . . a depraved killer whose cunning is matched only by the depth of his bloodlust. But the dying has only just begun. And the next victim will be the most shocking of all…

Read more and sample the audio →



The Forgotten 500 by Gregory A. Freeman, narrated by Patrick Lawlor

Publisher Summary:

The astonishing, never-before-told story of the greatest rescue mission of World War II-when the OSS set out to recover more than 500 airmen trapped behind enemy lines…

During a bombing campaign, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian villagers risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers, and for months the airmen lived in hiding, waiting for rescue.

In 1944, Operation Halyard was born. The risks were incredible. The starving Americans in Yugoslavia had to construct a landing strip-without tools, without alerting the Germans, and without endangering the villagers. And the rescue planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back-without getting shot down themselves.

Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice, and bravery is now being told for the first time. The Forgotten 500 is the breathtaking, behind-the-scenes look at the greatest escape of World War II.

Read more and sample the audio →


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection 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 audiobooks!

Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’ by Laura Dave

Welcome back to our Book Clubbin’ feature where we set you up with some book discussion questions to either ponder on your own or to take to your next book club. As certain areas begin to open up and you can visit with friends again, now is the perfect time to plan your next book club. If not, Zoom book clubs are still all the rage. Plus, then your long distance friends can join in on the conversation.

This month we decided to dive into Reese Witherspoon’s recent Hello Sunshine Book Club pick, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave!

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he leaves a note for his wife, Hannah, that simply says: Protect her. Hannah knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. As Hannah’s confusion and panic rise, the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, and a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

If you’ve recently read or listened to The Last Thing He Told Me and could not put it down (trust us, we couldn’t either), then we’ve got some book club questions to spark some great discussions! Keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!————

1) Why do you think Owen hid his past from Hannah and Bailey?

2) Owen could have left any message for Hannah, why do you think he chose, “Protect her?”

3) We find out that Hannah’s mother left her when she was a child. How does her relationship with her mother compare to Bailey’s?

4) Did you have any suspicions for why Owen disappeared? Were you surprised by the reveal?

5)  Owen left some clues about his past, do you think that he wanted Hannah and Bailey to investigate and uncover why he had to disappear?

6) What did you think of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship? Was it an authentic depiction of a step-mom and step-daughter relationship?

7) Considering Owen and his disappearance are both a huge part of this book, did you feel satisfied only getting glimpses of what he was like through flashbacks?

8)  Do you believe it was fair of Owen to leave Hannah to care for his daughter by herself without ever discussing this with her?

9)  Do you think Hannah made the right decision when she chose for her and Bailey to not to go into witness protection with Owen?

10) Do you think there will every be an opportunity for Owen to reunite with Hannah and Bailey?


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection 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 audiobooks!

Audiobooks to Help You Celebrate Pride Month: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Listens for Littles

This year, for Pride Month, some areas are easing back into normal life while other places are still in lockdown. So if you’re looking for a safe way to celebrate this month, why not pick up a new LGBTQIA+ audiobook! Keep reading to see some of the best listens to press play on for Pride or check out our full lists by clicking the applicable link: The Best LGBTQ+ Fiction, The Best LGBTQ+ Non-Fiction, LGBTQ+ Must-Listens for Kids and Teens.


Fiction

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters, narrated by Renata Friedman

Publisher Summary:

Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn’t happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby—and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together?

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.

Read more and sample the audio →


On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, narrated by Ocean Vuong

Publisher Summary:

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born—a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam—and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.

Read more and sample the audio →


Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, narrated by Ramon De Ocampo

Publisher Summary:

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius-his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

Read more and sample the audio →


Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, narrated by Moira Quirk

Publisher Summary:

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead

Read more and sample the audio →


Non-Fiction

The Pink Line by Mark Gevisser, narrated by Vikas Adam, Mark Gevisser

Publisher Summary:

More than five years in the making, Mark Gevisser’s The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers is a globetrotting exploration of how the human rights frontier around sexual orientation and gender identity has come to divide—and describe—the world in an entirely new way over the first two decades of the twenty-first century. No social movement has brought change so quickly and with such dramatically mixed results. While same-sex marriage and gender transition is celebrated in some parts of the world, laws are being strengthened to criminalize homosexuality and gender nonconformity in others. A new Pink Line, Gevisser argues, has been drawn across the world, and he takes readers to its frontiers.

In between sharp analytical chapters about culture wars, folklore, gender ideology, and geopolitics, Gevisser provides sensitive and sometimes startling profiles of the queer folk he’s encountered on the Pink Line’s frontiers across nine countries. They include a trans Malawian refugee granted asylum in South Africa and a gay Ugandan refugee stuck in Nairobi; a lesbian couple who started a gay café in Cairo after the Arab Spring, a trans woman fighting for custody of her child in Moscow, and a community of kothis—“women’s hearts in men’s bodies”—who run a temple in an Indian fishing village.

Eye-opening, moving, and crafted with expert research, compelling narrative, and unprecedented scope, The Pink Line is a monumental—and vital—journey through the border posts of the world’s new LGBTQ+ frontiers.

Read more and sample the audio →


The Other Mothers by Jennifer Berney, narrated by Xe Sands

Publisher Summary:

Jenn Berney was one of those people who knew she was destined for motherhood-it wasn’t a question of if, but when. So when she and her wife Kelly decided to start building their family, they took the next logical step: they went to a fertility clinic. But they soon found themselves entrenched in a medical establishment that didn’t know what to do with people like them. With no man factoring into their relationship, doctors were at best embarrassed and at worst disparaging of the couple.

Soon Jenn found herself stepping outside of the system determined to disregard her. Looking into the history of fertility and the LGBTQ+ community, she saw echoes of her own struggle. For decades queer people have defied the patriarchy and redefined the nuclear family-and Jenn was walking in their footsteps.

Through the ups-and-downs of her own journey, Jenn reflects on a turbulent past that has led her to this point and a bright future worth fighting for. With clarity, determination, and hope, The Other Mothers gives us a wonderful glimpse into the many ways we can become family

Read more and sample the audio →


The Bold World by Jodie Patterson, narrated by Jodie Patterson

Publisher Summary:

In 2009, Jodie Patterson, mother of five and beauty entrepreneur, has her world turned upside down when her determined toddler, Penelope, reveals, “Mama, I’m not a girl. I am a boy.” The Pattersons are a tribe of unapologetic Black matriarchs, scholars, financiers, Southern activists, artists, musicians, and disruptors, but with Penelope’s revelation, Jodie realizes her existing definition of family isn’t wide enough for her child’s needs.
 
In The Bold World, we witness Patterson reshaping her own attitudes, beliefs, and biases, learning from her children, and a whole new community, how to meet the needs of her transgender son. In doing so, she opens the minds of those who raised and fortified her, all the while challenging cultural norms and gender expectations. Patterson finds that the fight for racial equality in which her ancestors were so prominent helped pave the way for the current gender revolution.
 
From Georgia to South Carolina, Ghana to Brooklyn, Patterson learns to remove the division between me and you, us and them, straight and queer—and she reminds us to celebrate her uncle Gil Scott Heron’s prophecy that the revolution will not be televised. It will happen deeply, unequivocally, inside each and every one of us. Transition, we learn, doesn’t just belong to the transgender person. Transition, for the sake of knowing more and becoming more, is the responsibility of and gift to all.

Read more and sample the audio →


How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones, narrated by Saeed Jones

Publisher Summary:

Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir about a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his family, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.

An award-winning poet, Jones has developed a style that’s as beautiful as it is powerful—a voice that’s by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze. How We Fight for Our Lives is a one-of-a-kind memoir and a book that cements Saeed Jones as an essential writer for our time.

Read more and sample the audio →


Kids and Teens

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard, narrated by Frankie CorzoBailey CarrStephen Dexter

Publisher Summary:

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot—full of adventure—and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect… one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive. Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power.

Read more and sample the audio →


Baby & Solo by Lisabeth Posthuma, narrated by Nick Walther

Publisher Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Joel Teague has a new prescription from his therapist: a part-time job, the first step toward the elusive Normal life he’s been so desperate to live ever since The Bad Thing happened. Lucky for Joel, ROYO Video is hiring. It’s the perfect fresh start-he even gets a new name. Dubbed “Solo” after his favorite Star Wars character, Joel works his way up the not-so-corporate ladder without anyone suspecting What Was Wrong With Him. That is, until he befriends Nicole “Baby” Palmer, a smart-mouthed coworker with a chip on her shoulder about… well, everything, and the two quickly develop the kind of friendship movie montages are made of. However, when Joel’s past inevitably catches up with him, he’s forced to choose between preserving his new blank slate persona and coming clean-and either way, he risks losing the first real friend he’s ever had. Set in a pop-culture-rich 1990s, this remarkable story tackles challenging and timely themes with huge doses of wit, power, and heart.

Read more and sample the audio →


You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, narrated by Alaska Jackson

Publisher Summary:

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay—Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down… until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams… or make them come true?

Read more and sample the audio →


Between Perfect & Real by Ray Stoeve, narrated by Mw Cartozian Wilson

Publisher Summary:

Dean Foster knows he’s a trans guy. He’s watched enough YouTube videos and done enough questioning to be sure. But everyone at his high school thinks he’s a lesbian—including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theater director, who just cast him as a “nontraditional” Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easier to wait until college to come out. But as he plays Romeo every day in rehearsals, Dean realizes he wants everyone to see him as he really is now—not just on the stage, but everywhere in his life. Dean knows what he needs to do. Can playing a role help Dean be his true self?

Read more and sample the audio →


Related Articles

• 9 LGBTQ+ Memoirs For Pride Month

• 13 #OwnVoices Audiobooks to Diversify Your Shelf

• Interview with ‘Soar, Adam, Soar’ author, Rick Prashaw and narrator, John Dickhout


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection 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 audiobooks!