Top 10 Audiobooks For Virgin Ears

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke And Bookish and created by The Perpetual Page Turner.

Top 10 Audiobooks For Virgin Ears Button

I spent SUCH a long time mulling over what I wanted to talk about this week, because I am a very eclectic reader. I could have gone the classics route, the YA route, the adult fantasy route, the nonfiction route, etc. YET, there is one thing that I just seem to excel at recommending, AUDIOBOOKS. Seriously, people ask me on twitter ALL the time what audiobook they should start with, and I happily oblige because I want to convert more people to the joy of listening.

Have you always wanted to try audiobooks but didn't know where to begin? Here's 10 to try out - and hopefully get you hooked on audiobooks.

Top Ten Audiobooks To Pop Your Ear Cherry:

1. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket narrated by Tim Curry

The Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket, Book Cover, A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Bad Beginning

Why? Bro, it is Tim Curry. You have to have seen his movies, if not please come out from under your rock and rent Clue. I promise it will be a blast and you can marvel in Curry’s genius. This genius carries over into audiobook narration as I can prove with Curry’s narration of The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. Also, it’s only 3 hours long, so not exactly a HUGE commitment.

2. Amy And Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson narrated by Suzy Turner

Amy And Roger's Epic Detour, Morgan Matson, Book Cover, audiobook cover, road, hands, holding hands

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Why?: I have very strong reactions to things, friends. IE when the kissing scene came up on the Amy And Roger’s Epic Detour audiobook, I turned the volume up and sighed. Suzy Turner is the perfect voice of Amy. Plus Amy And Roger’s Epic Detour is a road trip book, so as you are driving to work you can feel envy that you aren’t doing something cool like driving across country.

3. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt narrated by Joel Johnstone

The Wednesday Wars, Gary Schmidt, Book Cover

The Wednesday Wars

Why? If you are a fan of The Wonder Years and nostalgia, then The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt is the perfect audio for you to begin with. It’s funny and at turns touching.

4. Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala narrated by Jenna Lamia

Tell Me A Secret, Holly Cupala, Book Cover

Tell Me A Secret

Why? Sometimes we read to feel, and I notice that audiobooks can usually enhance these feelings. Listening to Tell Me A Secret and the narration by Jenna Lamia is like having Rand tell you her story directly.

5. The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss narrated by Nick Podehl

The Name of the Wind, Audiobook Cover, Patrick Rothfuss

The Name Of The Wind

Why? Nick Podehl is a master. Seriously, if you want to start with one of the best, I highly recommend The Name Of The Wind. Yes, it is a longer audio, but you certainly get more bang for your buck and Podehl just nails Kvothe as well as the other characters.

6. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness narrated by Jason Issacs

A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness, Book Cover, audiobook

A Monster Calls

Why? Would you like an explosion of emotions in your ears? YES? Okay, this 3.5 hour long audiobook of A Monster  Calls can do that for you. Also, Jason Issacs plays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, but he can do more than pompous douche with his range. Who knew?

7. Bossypants by Tina Fey narrated by Tina Fey

Bossypants, Tina Fey, Book Cover, Man hands


Why? Yo, Tina Fey is the shit. Seriously, she rocks. And her narration of Bossypants is laugh out loud funny and certainly one of the best ways to go when reading Bossypants, because of the comedic timing and all.

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak narrated by Allan Corduner

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, Book Cover, Dominoes, Prinz

The Book Thief

Why? Look, I’ve read The Book Thief twice – in print and in audio. While both are amazing experiences, I have to say The Book Thief is worth a re-read via audio. Allan Corduner hits right in the heart with his narration of Hans Hubermann and Rudy Steiner and Liesl Memminger.

9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett narrated by Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and Cassandra Campbell

The Help, Kathryn Stockett, Book Cover, Birds, Wire, Yellow

The Help

Why? Maybe you have audio ADD and get bored listening to just one voice. The Help has multiple narrators who take on the roles of each of the characters. When I listened to The Help, it was a re-read, but totally worth my time as I had forgotten the basic story and well, the narrators are FABULOUS and just bring The Help to life.

10. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling narrated by Jim Dale

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone book cover

I’ve caught the golden snitch!

Why? Yo, Jim Dale is a boss and was my gate way audio narrator. Before Jim Dale, I had listened to maybe 3 audiobooks but wasn’t addicted. After listening to Harry Potter (FYI obviously re-reads) I fell head over heels in love with audiobooks — needing to have one play while I work out and while I do chores and even in the background at work when I do filing.


PS, Audible is how I got into audiobooks and below you can give it a try. You could also check out Overdrive, Hoopla and whatever your library offers.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Great choice! I didn’t even think of audiobooks! I would totally add Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov read by Jeremy Irons, and Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy, read by ALAN RICKMAN!!! 😀

  2. Awesome, I was hoping you’d do something like this! I want to read The Help, since I think I’m the only person who hasn’t, but I don’t actually want to sit down and read it, if that makes sense. An audio book of it might be the way to go, especially with the multiple narrators.

    Another one like Bossypants I’d like to listen to is Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? Unfortunately, my library doesn’t have it, but I bet it’d be hilarious!

  3. I actually haven’t “read” an audio book ever – no wait, Korean workbook ones don’t count right? (ha) so this is quite an awesome list.

  4. I LOVE THIS POST!!! Leave it to you to pick a totally unique topic. Just an FYI, I’ve just bought on audio Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and The Book Thief because of this post! I’ve read The Book Thief (it’s one of my fav’s) but I haven’t read Amy & Roger (I’ve been wanting to). I’ve just reserved Harry Potter audio at the library too! I’m so looking forward to getting into these. I need something to listen to while doing chores while my baby sleeps and in the evening while I’m making dinner etc. Thanks for the recs!

  5. Ohh this is a great idea because I’ve been considering attempting audio books. Do you prefer reading or listening to books?

  6. JIM DALE FOREVER. His Hagrid? Perfect. Dumbledore? LOVE. DOBBY?! Rip out my tear ducts and stomp on my heart with golf shoes.

  7. Tim Curry has terrified me ever since I saw Legend as a little kid, and playing Pennywise didn’t help either. Clue is one of the greatest cheesy 80s comedies of all time, though!

    I need to give audiobooks another shot. I’ve found them hard to concentrate on in the past but to be fair, I always have tried to listen at work in the past so that may have something to do with it.

  8. First of all, I love The Graveyard Book narrated by none other than Gaiman himself. This didn’t make your list, but if I was allowed to pencil one in, I’d pencil him in because not only is that book baller, but Gaiman reads it perfectly.

    Secondly, I have The Bad Beginning out now. I am reading the audiobook along with the actual book – which I KNOW takes up time (because I am actually sitting still and no doing things while I read the audio) but is SO VERY INCREDIBLY INCREDIBLE at the end of a long day of, well, life. And yes, you were right when you reviewed it a while back, Tim Curry is the shizz. So thank you for that recommendation THEN as I am enjoying it NOW.

  9. I did audiobooks this week too (but was more abstract, your specifics are great). Harry Potter audiobooks didn’t get me into audiobooks, but they did get me into Harry Potter! I was addicted after that, and will listen to them all on a more or less continuous cycle. They really need to digitize that already so that they’re more portable!

  10. I haven’t listened to an audiobook since I was a kid but have really been wanting to recently. It’s the idea of getting a book done in 3.5 hours that appeals to me – I don’t read that fast myself. This is a great list to get me started; I think I’ll go for Tina Fey first.

  11. Love this topic. I think I’m going to have to reread The Help on audio; everyone says how great it is, and Bahni Turpin is just brilliant. If you haven’t, listen to her do The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. I’m relistening to it right now and it is the best.

  12. You have just killed me with this list! Agh! How am I going to have time to audio-read all of these?! Harry Potter is high on my list for a re-read via audio because I’ve heard they are AMAZING. Same with Book Thief. And Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.

    I bet Tina Fey narrating Bossypants was awesome. I loved it in print, maybe I need a round two listening to her read it to me. I love that woman. As for The Wednesday Wars, that is one of my all-time favorite audio books. So good! Have you read Okay For Now, also by Schmidt? It’s even better. I cried all kinds of tears in my car (joy, sadness, relief, despair…)

  13. I’ve read Amy And Roger’s Epic Detourand I loved it so much! Great pick! 😉 🙂

  14. I think you are the PERFECT person to recommend audiobooks. I have yet to listen to any audiobook (I know, right?), but I’ll definitely be making note of all of your suggestions 🙂

  15. Great list! I love audiobooks too and you definitely chose some of the best ones. Tim Curry also narrated Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy which was awesome. The Harry Potter series is what first got me listening to audio and I loved both Jim Dale and Stephen Fry’s narrations. And the Book thief audio was perfection! I’d love to listen to A Monster Calls! I’m definitely adding that to my list. I agree with Amy that Gaiman’s narration of The Graveyard Book is phenomenal! (or as she states, “book baller”)

  16. Okay I’ve been thinking I need to try an audio book…maybe I’ll start with The Book Thief? Great suggestions!

  17. I don’t listen to audiobooks as much as I used to, but with a lengthening commute, I think I’ll be back to them! Thanks for the recs!

  18. I should read the Lemony books, I really enjoyed the movie and the books have got to be even better

  19. I have been wanting to listen to more audiobooks (except HP which I’ve listened to about a gazillion times) so I’m going to definitely check these out. Thanks for the recs!

  20. I love that we have the same topic this week but different books 🙂 Many of these are ones I’ve been wanting to try out. I forgot I listened to Lemony Snicket with my daughter and those are very good. And I bet Amy & Roger is incredible on audio. My top 3 that I need to read on your list are The Book Thief, Harry Potter, and Bossypants.
    Thanks for the great recs!

  21. I’m actually kind of shocked that I haven’t heard Harry Potter on audio — I am an audiobook addict! (I listen CONSTANTLY – in the car, doing chores, taking a shower, etc)

    Check out my Top Ten and Teaser Tuesday!

  22. April, you rock! First of all, you have audiobooks to recommend, and I struggle with them because I’ve borrowed some from the library and found that the narrators irritate the hell out of me (Gregory Maguire comes to mind), so I’m always nervous about getting them.

    But you rock because TIM CURRY!!! Honestly, this is a weird choice for a child (and you’re probably thinking, your parents let you watch that?!), but The Rocky Horror Picture Show was my favourite movie when I was a kid – until I saw The Princess Bride and that was all we watched for two weeks! But anyway, love Curry, love Clue and I put myself through some less than stellar movies (Three Musketeers anyone?) just because he was in them. I didn’t know he narrated audiobooks too!! Most of the time when people review books they listened to, they don’t say much about the audiobook itself, but I think the narrator’s voice is just as important as the story and the narrative voice.

    And Jason Isaacs, he’d be great to listen to too. My main problem with audiobooks is that my library doesn’t have many, and they’re mostly a mix of Patricia Cornewell, John Grisham and Danielle Steele. Not my cup of tea.

    Here’s my list.

  23. Ooh, I haven’t listened to any of these. One of my favorite narrators is Richard Armitage. His voice is so smooth.

  24. Oh, I’ve actually listened to the help. All Uh-holy 18 hrs of it (I think it was 18 hrs). And it was awesome. Slow-going but awesome and I loved how each voice was do distinct.

    I need to listen to HP! I feel like a bad fan for not having done it.

    Books I would recommend would be the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter, I only ‘like’ them in written form, but I love them in audio. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta with the original Australian Narrator. Another Aussie read would be Starfish Sisters by J.C. Burke, is for girl narrators because there are four girls that tell the story and it’s way awesome.

    And for the romance readers, Georgette Heyer’s Friday’s Child, its so much fun. I’ve heard Richard Armitage is recording some of Heyer’s other books and I really wanna get my paws on those. I love his voice.

  25. OH MY GOD THE WONDER YEARS. I can’t even. I know that’s not even a book but WINNIE + KEVIN 4 EVA. Ahem.
    I need to start getting into audiobooks. I tried the audiobook of Graceling once and it just didn’t do it for me. Maybe I’ll try one of the shorter ones, like Lemony Snicket. I still have an actual copy of A Monster Calls, but maybe I’ll see if my library has that audio, too. Sometimes, when I don’t have an actual book in my hands, my mind wanders. But I’ll give it a go!

  26. I loved Bossypants so hard!

  27. I have Tell Me a Secret on audio – I think it may have to be one of my next audios I listen to.

    I never finished Lemony Snicket’s series – I have the last book to go. I think I may try to get them all on audio and relisten to the whole series because I adore it so much, especially since you recommend it 🙂

  28. Great list! I read the Lemony Snicket books in 5th grade, and I got my whole class addicted to them. I had completely forgotten about them, but I’m glad you brought them to light again! I’ve only ever listened to one audio book and it was a Judy Blume book when I was really little, but I might just have to go check some out at the library now! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  29. OMG I feel like you read my mind and then composed this list! I am tentatively trying out audiobooks (I reeeeally want to get into them) and I have no idea where to start. My first foray into audio is Bossypants and I’m loving it, but I was lost as to what to try next. Thank you – you saved me! 🙂

  30. I just put on hold a copy of the Bossypants audiobook. It’ll be my first! Here’s hoping 🙂

  31. April, you HAVE to listen to The True Meaning of Smekday on audio. Bahni Turpin is the narrator and she is amazing. Best audiobook I’ve ever listened to.

    I definitely will have to listen to The Help. I will listen to anything Bahni
    Turpin narrates after listening to Smekday.

    I definitely want to listen to a Monster Calls now that you say Lucius Mallfoy is the narrator. I really want to see what that dude can do other than be evil. I read the book but I will definitely check out the audio.

    I was the same as you. Harry Potter on audio was my gateway drug to becoming addicted to audiobooks. Now I listen to them whenever I have a free minute of time that doesn’t involve intense concentration: cooking dinner, folding laundry, getting ready for work in the morning…

  32. The Jim Dale narration of Harry Potter was my listening candy when I did data entry. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is also fantastic. It has a full cast narrating it and it is just an amazing listening experience.

  33. Tim Curry does Lemony Snicket? I’m all over it. I adore his snarky British tone–it’s sneer-worthy. And, dear God, I love Tina Fey. She’s just fabulous. I might actually have a crush on her. Some great recs–I’m going to have to check those out!

  34. I’ve never read any Rothfuss, but Jason Isaacs? I’d pretty much listen to the guy read the phone book, so maybe that’ll be my first. The Help was my gateway for audio, so I totally second that. Excellent list.

  35. Thanks so much for these recommendations. I usually only listen to non-fiction on audio, but I just added The Wednesday Wars to my library queue.

  36. Next time I do a reread of the Potter series, I am definitely picking up the audio. I’ve heard so many great things about it!

  37. I have virgin ears… 🙁 I must change this asap! I would really love to reread/rediscover HP with the audiobooks. I always heard such great things about them.

  38. Lemony Snicket narrated by Tim Curry? That has to be the best thing since… well since Lemony Snicket wrote the book! Thanks for that suggestion; it will definitely be one of my audiobooks to be listened to! Also, I had no clue that Tina Fey did an audiobook for Bossypants. I’m sure you know of my love of it and for her; finding this out totally makes my day!

  39. Yay for audiobooks! I’ve only listened to two of the ones you listed. I must agree, Nick Podehl is a master. He’s one of my very favorite audiobook narrators. Great list!

  40. I love absolutely everything about this list. I’ve requested five of the audios from my library and can’t wait to get started!

  41. AHHHH – LOVE audio! Thanks for the titles! This may be the way to go for me with Monster Calls!

    I am going to make my annual audio list one of these days soon…

  42. i have bookmarked this post

    thanks for taking the time to do this

    i read my first audiobook this year, and am already on my third

    consider me converted.

    i am insanely excited about this untapped venture for me.

    xx Nomes

  43. Yeah, Tim Curry kicks major butt narrating a Series of Unfortunate Events. There are three in the middle that the author narrates, but they aren’t as good, and thank good, Tim Curry came back to narrate the rest!