11 Audiobooks To Download For Your Summer Commute
The Debrief: Because we’re all into reading with our ears these days
Maintaining a routine of reading on your way into work is harder than it seems. There's the whole overcrowding thing (it's quite hard to read when suffocating beneath the armpit of a stranger on the train), and if you're driving you can't really have a physical book on the go while your hands are at ten and two, both eyes safely on the road ahead, can you?
The solution, my friends, is the audiobook. Remember those? I used to listen to Enid Blyton's Twins at St Clare's every night for most of my primary school life, but these days I end up getting really into to one and forgetting (read: not bothering) to find something else to listen to. So, if you're anything like me, you might enjoy this super useful roundup of great books in audio form to keep you company while you travel.
1. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
If you're into thrillers, give Alice Feeney's latest book a go. But forewarning, it’s very tense and will probably mess with your head… which is cool if you’re into that sort of thing. And having it read to you rather than controlling the pace yourself only makes it all the more, erm, thrilling. It only came out in March of this year so I reckon there’s still time to get ahead of the literary game and read this before your mates do. All you need to know (according to the blurb) is that there’s a girl called Amber who’s in a coma. She says her husband doesn’t love her and she lies every now and again.
2. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Have you ever wondered whether or not you’re doing feminism correctly? So did Roxane Gay. And if you've already heard about this book you’ll be well aware of how excited people got when It came out. It’s a collection of essays in which ‘Roxane’ (it’s not narrated by Roxane, it’s Laurel Lefkow’s voice you’ll be listening to) talks about understanding herself as a feminist woman these days. Even though her favourite colour is pink. Which is allowed, by the way. You’ll laugh, but it’s also really insightful.
3. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by JK Rowling
There is never a bad time for a bit of JK Rowling. Never. And if you’re getting impatient waiting for the next instalment of the Fantastic Beasts pentalogy (that’s fancy for a group of five), then listen to Eddie Redmayne tell you all about the magical beasts of the wizarding world. It’s only an hour and forty minutes long so you could probably do it in a day or so of commuting if you’re after a quicky.
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Recognise the name? That’s probably because this book was turned into a Netflix series and everyone’s pretty hooked on it. It’s about a girl called Hannah Baker who committed suicide and left a box of cassette tapes behind to explain why she ended her life. It’s a really powerful look at really difficult things like teen suicide, high school bullying, peer pressure and the process of growing up in general. And I know it sounds intense, but it’s also brilliant. Worth giving it a go before you race to binge watch it online.
5. Open: A Toolkit for how Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be by Gemma Cairney
If you’re a radio kind of person you might already be pretty familiar with Gemma Cairney’s voice. But this time instead of music, she’s talking all things growing up. Life is hard and adulting is stressful. But it’s not all bad. And if you want to feel better about it all, listening to Open on your way into work might just put you in a better mood.
6. The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood
Here’s another book that’s recently been adapted for our telly screens. Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes will be starring in the Hulu version of Margaret Atwood’s classic when it comes out later this month, which gives you just enough time to revisit the book you probably haven’t picked up since school.
7. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Okay as far as we can tell this one is available as an audio CD (yes, they still make those) so great shout for all you who drive to work. But, brownie points to you if you still have your old Walkman lying around. It’s based on the Black Lives Matter movement and follows a sixteen-year-old girl, Starr, who witnesses a police officer shoot her best friend. Her unarmed best friend. It’s going to be made into a film with the brilliant Amandla Stenberg, so definitely one to watch/listen to.
8. Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Time for some lolz. If you missed the release last year, don’t worry, that’s what this year is for. Amy Schumer talks you through her life. There are stories about her family, relationships, sex and so on and so on. If you take public transport to work, be prepared to do that awkward ‘laughing out loud on your own and then trying to turn it into a cough because everyone is watching you’ thing at least once.
9. The Group by Mary McCarthy
This is an oldie but a goodie that is only made better in audio form. We listed it as one of the five books every 20-something girl must read at some point, so if you haven’t gotten around to doing that yet, download this audiobook immediately. It’s about a group of women in 1933 dealing with issues that won’t be all that dissimilar to those we’re all dealing with now. Released in 1963, it's probably one of the first novels to get super real about female friendships.
10. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
If you like a side of drama with your breakfast to-go, might I suggest revisiting Big Little Lies. Yep, I’m referring to the basis of the American drama that people have been talking about over the last few months. If you don’t have Sky and haven’t managed to stream it, here’s your way in. Long story short, a parent dies at the annual School Trivia Night, but we don’t know how. But as everyone who’s ever watched a US drama about the goings-on in a seemingly twee little place that no-one has heard of IRL knows, every little town has its own little secrets. Ooh, the suspense.
11. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Shout out to the fantasy fans. If you really many something to lose yourself in, this one's for you. It's about war orphan Lazlo Strange (what a name) who's obsessed with a mythic, mystical lost city called Weep (also, what a name). Basically, he's given an opportunity to go and find the city but there are lots of questions that need answering along the way. There's a guy called Godslayer, a band of legendary warriors, a blue-skinned goddess and all sorts. It's one of those stories that you'll never want to leave. Also, the guy who narrates this one has one of those hypnotic voices that was made for this sort of thing.
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At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating