Top 20 Most Recommended Fiction Audiobooks of All Time

Here at, we don’t rely on impersonal algorithms to help you find your next favorite audiobook. We offer recommendations from real people: the dedicated indie booksellers working in our 1,800+ partner bookstores! 

Independent booksellers champion their favorite books—whether they’re bestsellers or releases that skated under the radar but are nonetheless excellent—and help get them into the hands (and ears!) of readers who will love them.

Below, find the fiction audiobooks in our catalog that have drawn the most frequent recommendations from our partner booksellers.

And remember: Every purchase supports independent bookstores!

A Deadly Education

By Naomi Novik • Narrated by Anisha Dadia

A Deadly Education is absolutely delicious, and I enjoyed every page! The Scholomance is a ruthlessly dangerous magic school, where even sitting in the wrong seat at breakfast could mean death. El is a third year student with an affinity for mass destruction, who is struggling to NOT kill all her classmates. Full of scheming, sarcastic teenage angst, and dark humor, this is the fantasy novel I didn’t know I was dying for.”

Julia, Boulder Book Store

Nothing to See Here

By Kevin Wilson • Narrated by Marin Ireland

“Lillian will melt your heart. Well, maybe “melt” is a bit too descriptive for the brilliant but down-on-her-luck protagonist who agrees to care for twins Roland and Bessie, who, through no fault of their own, sometimes spontaneously combust. Kevin Wilson has a talent for weird but wonderful plots, and in his telling the trio—committed to looking “normal” for the sake of the twins’ US Senator father—are sweet and smart. You’ll be hoping for a happy ending, and wondering how Wilson can make it happen. Reader Marin Ireland reads all the characters with a perfect Tennessee inflection.”

Cheryl, Market Block Books

Daisy Jones & The Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid • Narrated by Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, Pablo Schreiber, & full cast

“Some books just have to be listened to for the ultimate experience! This audiobook is just so much fun. Follow rock band Daisy Jones and the Six through their meteoric rise to fame in the 1970s. This book has all the drugs and drama you’d expect, but also complex, human characters whose loves and losses you can’t help but be moved by. The audiobook is full cast and full production and truly blew me away. I can’t wait to see Reese Witherspoon adapt this for a limited series and for this book to get even bigger. All the praise is well deserved!”

Megan, Underground Books

Black Sun

By Rebecca Roanhorse • Narrated by Cara Gee, Nicole Lewis, Kaipo Schwab & Shaun Taylor-Corbett

“Rebecca Roanhorse brings us into a fantasy world of magic and warring clans and an over-reaching spiritual elite who think they control the others. Told through multiple voices, I sped through this story, with excitement and betrayal and passion and magic at each turn of the chapter. This is part one of an adventure I cannot wait to pick back up. Bonus: the author tells these stories from a North American Indigenous perspective with all the spirituality from a wide range of Native backgrounds.”

Jessica, BookBar

The Dutch House

By Ann Patchett • Narrated by Tom Hanks

“You can sign me up for any book that is narrated by Tom Hanks. His voice is so incredibly soothing that I could have fallen asleep listening to it. But that would be a mistake. The Dutch House is the evil stepmother story you never knew you needed, and so much more. Though it may be my first read by Ann Patchett, it certainly won’t be my last. She writes so lyrically, lending this family epic extra heart and a whole lot of beauty. Though it centers on incredible hardship and grief, I laughed (sometimes at the preposterousness of the situation or commentary) as often as I cried. Patchett made me care, deeply, about her characters, especially Maeve. A timely commentary on how family values influence our choices, the value of forgiveness, and the importance of asserting our own individuality, The Dutch House is a must-listen.”

Britt, Second Star to the Right

Clap When You Land

By Elizabeth Acevedo • Narrated by the author & Melania-Luisa Marte

“This gorgeous book is written in verse following the stories of Camina and Yahaira after a plane traveling between NYC and DR crashes, killing their fathers. ⁣The poetry gives melodic voice to the emotions each girl feels, and the tensions each experience as their respective worlds break open. I was struck by the nuance, the prescience, and the candor with which Acevedo writes. Elizabeth Acevedo & Melania-Luisa Marte narrate beautifully.”

Holly, WORD Bookstores

Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia • Narrated by Frankie Corzo

“Delightfully creepy. Dread builds steadily throughout the book. As a listener, you know that something is wrong but it’s hard to put your finger on it. Like the main character, you will doubt everything: the characters, their motivations and even your own deductive abilities. This book keeps you on your toes, flitting from one theory to the next. Mexican Gothic takes all the best of traditions of gothic house horror and infuses it with something new: the evils of colonialism. Listen carefully and consider keeping the lights on!”

Samantha, Rediscovered Books

The Vanishing Half

By Brit Bennett • Narrated by Shayna Small

“Brit Bennett’s haunting second novel is carried on the shoulders of a robust cast of characters—namely, Stella and Desiree Vignes, twin sisters born in 1940s Louisiana, Black but pale as can be. Soon after running away to New Orleans, they separate for the first time in their lives. Stella begins passing every day as a white woman; Desiree marries a dark-skinned man and has an ever darker daughter. Decades pass, and children leave home, wondering about where they came from just as much as where they’re going. But some secrets aren’t meant to be kept. As if Bennett’s rich storytelling wasn’t enough, I was absolutely hooked by the Black trans joy represented in this book. A future classic.”

Mary, Raven Book Store

A Thousand Ships

By Natalie Haynes • Narrated by the author

“With A Thousand Ships, Natalie Haynes has secured herself a seat at the table with Madeline Miller as a great contemporary-classical novelist. I’m so glad that I listened to this one on audio, as Haynes is able to lend her literal voice to these characters and do them a great service. On a related note, I’ll wait in line for stand-alone works following Penthesilea and Penelope! Homer experts and novices alike will devour this novel. ”

Matt, Innisfree Bookshop

One Two Three

By Laurie Frankel • Narrated by Emma Galvin, Jesse Vilinsky & Rebecca Soler

“One, Two, and Three—the names triplets Mab, Monday, and Mirabel—have for each other—are atypical 16-year-old high school girls. Born to a newly-widowed mother in a New England town polluted by a local chemical plant, their mission in life is to support their mother’s fight, to prove Belsen Chemical’s guilt. When heirs to the plant arrive in town the girls determine to find the evidence their mom needs to win the case. Laurie Frankel tempers her novel of social justice with generous humor and a deep compassion for the three, and the readers infuse the sisters with their unique voices. It’s easy to follow who’s speaking in this dialogue-rich recording, and listeners will soon know and cheer these brave and savvy young women.”

Cheryl, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza

Leave the World Behind

By Rumaan Alam • Narrated by Marin Ireland

“This book blew my mind! A family’s vacation in an idyllic country house is interrupted when the owners arrive late at night with reports of a massive black out in New York City. Afraid to return to the city, the couple hopes to stay in the house with their renters. Over the next few days the group realizes that this is no ordinary blackout, and that they are in the middle of a world changing cataclysmic event. Funny, disturbing, thought provoking and completely convincing. I strongly recommend this novel by Rumaan Alam.”

Samantha, A Great Good Place for Books

Beach Read

By Emily Henry • Narrated by Julia Whelan

“This title says it all: Beach Read is the perfect romantic beach read book and not just because of the romance. Emily Henry has given us complex characters in a solid story line while keeping the sexual tension at a perfect, steamy temperature. Beach Read IS the perfect beach read; but it is also the perfect vacation read, staycation read, quarantine read, and escape read. Queue it up, pop in your ear buds, and the hours will disappear.”

Mary, Anderson’s Bookshop

The House in the Cerulean Sea

By TJ Klune • Narrated by Daniel Henning

“There aren’t many books that can leave you wishing you were a parentless magical child feared by the rest of the society. But with characters like the ones in The House in the Cerulean Sea, you can’t help but wish you belonged to such a wonderful, magical family. And the dialogue! You will not be able to drive while listening to it because you’ll be laughing way too hard!”

Chris, Belmont Books


By Madeline Miller • Narrated by Perdita Weeks

“A bold retelling of the Circe episode from Homer’s Odyssey that not only captures the interlocking pieces of Greek mythology, but also gives each god, titan, and Grecian a pulsing complexity. Both Circe the book and the character are quiet, sensual and—at times—freewheeling, adventurous, and devastating. Perdita Weeks’ performance here is multi-layered and captivating. The voices she chooses to portray each character captures the unfolding drama and humor beautify.”

Luis, Avid Bookshop

Cloud Cuckoo Land

By Anthony Doerr • Narrated by Marin Ireland & Simon Jones

“I loved this book so much. The intersection of the various stories surrounding a profound awareness of the importance of books was perfect. I also appreciated the weaving of the classic tale intertwined all throughout the book. Each character’s story could have been a book all by themselves, but having them all together was brilliant. This is a book that I didn’t know I needed, but was the perfect book for the time I listened to it.”

Tim, Schuler Books

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

By Talia Hibbert • Narrated by Ione Butler

“I’ve never met a Talia Hibbert book I haven’t absolutely loved and Act Your Age, Eve Brown is no different. Hibbert is a master at her craft, flawlessly weaving humor with romance that’s perfectly matched by Ione Butler’s performance as she brings the characters to life. If you’re looking for a romance to listen to that will make you laugh the whole way through, look no further.”

Dany, Rediscovered Books

How High We Go in the Dark

By Sequoia Nagamatsu • Narrated by Julia Whelan, Brian Nishii, Keisuke Hoashi, & full cast

“Finally, a novel I will confidently recommend to fans of Station ElevenHow High We Go in the Dark follows interconnected characters through time and space as humanity returns from the brink of extinction when an ancient virus is unleashed. Mind bending and heartrending, full of hope and humanity, you’ll want to start this one from the beginning as soon as you finish it. The audio definitely added to the richness of the reading experience.”

Jessica, Main Street Books Davidson

The City We Became

By N. K. Jemisin • Narrated by Robin Miles

“I’ve listened to mediocre books made awesome by a talented narrator, but this book is a case of a fantastic story made even more engaging by phenomenal narrator Robin Miles. The story is like Neil Gaiman meets Jeff VanDerMeer as New York City’s boroughs personified seek to save their city (and themselves) from an ancient interdimensional threat. A fantastic read, and an even better listen!”

Caitlin, Brilliant Books Audio


By Raven Leilani • Narrated by Ariel Blake

Luster centers on Edie, a young black woman working in New York publishing and barely making rent each month, who finds herself navigating a suburban white couple’s open marriage. This novel is filled with unexpected turns taken at breakneck speeds. It seamlessly examines the plight of millennials living under capitalism along with the complications of intimacy and race, all while finding both the humor and profound sadness in those things. This is a multifaceted and brilliant book, as well as an extraordinary debut from Raven Leilani.”

Billy, Bookshop Santa Cruz


By Tracy Deonn • Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt

“If you’ve been thinking about trying audiobooks, I recommend Legendborn by Tracy Deonn as a great starting point! The reader, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, completely transported me to the Southern Gothic world of a secret society on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill (down to the hot sauce on hash browns). With a complex magic system intricately tied to ancestry and world history, Arthurian legend, demon battles, and just enough romance, this was one of those books that I thought about when I couldn’t have it playing in my headphones! Deonn is a master, bringing Brianna, the main character, to name and disrupt white male supremacy while working through the grief of her own story and that of her mothers before her. I also loved the queer representation in secondary characters, including a squire with they/them pronouns. I can’t wait for the sequel and to follow Deonn’s career!”

Kim, Lark & Owl

Looking for more bookseller picks?

Browse our Top 20 Most Recommended Nonfiction Audiobooks of All Time, or all bookseller recommendations!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *