8 Books We Think You Should Read At Least Once

There’s a reason some books are considered to be “classics.” They stood the test of time and deliver topics and themes that are still relevant today. And what about those buzzy books that you’ve heard everyone talk about, but just never got around to picking up? Well guess what?! Now is the time to jump into one of these books that we think you need to read at least once in your life. We’ve highlighted a few below, but you can browse the full booklist here.

1984 by George Orwell, narrated by Benjamin May 

George Orwell’s 1984 is one of the most definitive texts of modern literature. Set in Oceania, one of the three inter-continental superstate that divided the world among themselves after a global war, Orwell’s masterful critique of the political structures of the time, works itself out through the story of Winston Smith, a man caught in the webs of a dystopian future, and his clandestine love affair with Julia, a young woman he meets during the course of his work for the government.

As much as it is an entertaining read, 1984 is also a brilliant, and more importantly, a timeless satirical attack on the social and political structures of the world.

Read more and sample the audio →

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, narrated by Barbara Caruso

Little Women is one of the best loved books of all time. 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 at the end of Part I.

Part II, chronicles Meg’s joys and mishaps as a young wife and mother, Jo’s struggle to become a writer, Beth’s tragedy, and Amy’s artistic pursuits and unexpected romance. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s childhood, this lively portrait of nineteenth-century family life possesses a lasting vitality that has endeared it to generations of readers.

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All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, narrated by Zach Appelman

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

All The Light We Cannot See was the winner of both the 2015 Audie Award for Fiction as well as the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.

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Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, narrated by Peter Noble, Colin Salmon

Obsessed with the idea of creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material with which to fashion a new being, shocking his creation to life with electricity. But this botched creature, rejected by its creator and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy Frankenstein and all that he holds dear.

Mary Shelley’s chilling gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley near Lord Byron’s villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world’s most famous work of Gothic horror, and Frankenstein’s monster an instantly-recognisable symbol of the limits of human creativity.

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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Bahni Turpin

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

The Underground Railroad is both a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner and is now an original Amazon Prime Video series directed by Barry Jenkins.

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding, narrated by William Golding

William Golding’s classic novel of primitive savagery and survival is one of the most vividly realized and riveting works in modern fiction. The tale begins after a plane wreck deposits a group of English school boys, aged six to twelve on an isolated tropical island. Their struggle to survive and impose order quickly evolves from a battle against nature into a battle against their own primitive instincts. Golding’s portrayal of the collapse of social order into chaos draws the fine line between innocence and savagery.

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The Giver by Lois Lowry, narrated by Ron Rifkin

Lois Lowry’s The Giver is the quintessential dystopian novel, followed by its remarkable companions, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, narrated by Kirby Heyborne, Julia Whelan

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy (Nick) parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Amy’s husband, Nick, is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 

A #1 New York Times bestseller, Gone Girl was named the best book of the year and one of the most influential books of the decade.

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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!

8 Audiobooks to Listen to Before You Watch the Movie

Cool weather, warm clothes, cozy blankets, and hot beverages..I think that means fall is here. What better way to spend your time when it is cooler outside than to snuggle on the couch (or in the theater) to watch some TV shows and movies! Have a listen to the audiobooks that have a film adaptations being released this fall and winter.


It by Stephen King, narrated by Steven Weber
Release Date: September 5

Stephen King brings all of our fears and nightmares about clowns to life in this terrifying story of children being tormented by a mysterious entity. For me, this is by far King’s scariest story. IT Chapter 2 premiered on the big screen September 5.

Read more and sample the audio →

Unbelievable by T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong, narrated by Hillary Huber, T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong
Release Date: September 13

This short series premiered on Netflix September 13. Unbelievable tells a story about doubt, lies and justice, revealing the disturbing truth behind how sexual assaults are investigated in today’s society and the skepticism rape victims face when coming forward.

Read more and sample the audio →

Country Music by Ken Burns, Dayton Duncan, narrated by Ken Burns, Dayton Duncan, Brian Corrigan
Release Date: September 15

This one is for all the country music fans out there!

Country Music: A History tells the rich and colorful story of the famous country singers and songwriters we have come to know and love in the twentieth century. This audiobook is based on the eight-part series airing on PBS starring Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, and many more of the genre’s biggest stars.

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Modern Love by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Veronica Chambers, Andrew Rannels, Ayelet Waldman, narrated by Maggie-Meg Reed, Robin Miles, Sean Runnette, Susan Bennett, Gabra Zackman, Daniel Jones, Kevin R. Free, Emma Galvin, Michael Crouch, Catherine Ho, Will Brill
Release Date: October 18

Oh love stories…hearing about other people’s experiences can be addicting. We listen to their stories so that we can escape our own, relate to one another, or just out of pure curiosity. Modern Love features dozens of love essays, some stories are unconventional while others hit close to home. This is the perfect audiobook for anyone who’s loved, lost, creeped an ex on social media, or dreamed of true love.

Modern Love is going to be released on Amazon Prime as an eight-part series featuring Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, John Slattery, and Catherine Keener.

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Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton
Release Date: November 8

Another one of Stephen King’s audiobooks is being made into a movie that will be sure to scare you. Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, will be released early November and stars Ewan McGregor as Danny Torrance. If you dare, listen to the audiobook beforehand to know what you may be in for when you see it in theaters. . .

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The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle, narrated by Matthew Brenher
Release Date: November 15

This is a story about the secrets we keep, the lives we lead, and the lies we tell.

Will the truth of Roy’s plan be revealed, or will he get away with stealing Betty’s money? The movie will be released in theaters mid November featuring Ian McKellen as Roy and Helen Mirren as Betty.

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, narrated by Barbara Caruso
Release Date: December 21

A classic tale of the March sisters gets retold in this new movie featuring Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, and Meryl Streep. This dynamic story follows the lives of four siblings from girlhood to adulthood as their world is turned upside down during the Civil War.

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Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana
Release Date: December 26

Joe Goldberg is still on his quest for love and he hope his moves to Los Angeles is his second chance to put his past behind him and find that special someone. He realizes that buried bodies don’t always stay hidden. Joe doesn’t want to hurt the woman he loves so dearly but if his secrets surface….he may not have a choice.

Read more and sample the audio →

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!