Audiobooks are an important part of literature. They improve access to folk who have sight impairments, and can help new readers who are learning to expand their vocabulary or learn a foreign language.
Also they are just a really enjoyable way to relax with your favourite story.
Often the audiobook is read by the author themselves, although some argue this isn’t the best way to hear the story, and other times they are read by a favourite celebrity. Having a book read to you can be a relaxing and absorbing, and the act of listening, rather than watching, can prompt you to imagine the world that much more intensely.
Check out 10 of the best audiobooks of 2020 below!
“For years, rumours of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.“
“This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability and silence victims of abuse – and it’s the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.
Both a spy thriller and a meticulous work of investigative journalism, Catch and Kill breaks devastating new stories about the rampant abuse of power – and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook the culture.”
“In a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome”, rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.
But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined.”
“Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships. A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in Alphinland, the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists. In The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom, a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise. In Lusus Naturae, a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In Torching the Dusties, an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. And in Stone Mattress, a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite.”
“Noah was born a crime, son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the first years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, take him away. A collection of 18 personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man’s fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother – a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.”
“In Whitehead’s razor-sharp imagining of the antebellum South, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form: a dilapidated boxcar pulled along subterranean tracks by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But its placid surface masks an infernal scheme designed for its unknowing black inhabitants. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher sent to find Cora, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. At each stop on her journey, Cora encounters a different world.”
“David Sedaris’ new collection of essays begin with a North Carolina childhood filled with speech-therapy classes (“There was the lisp, of course, but more troubling than that was my voice itself, with its excitable tone and high, girlish pitch”) and unwanted guitar lessons taught by a midget. From budding performance artist (“The only crimp in my plan was that I seemed to have no talent whatsoever”) to “clearly unqualified” writing teacher in Chicago, Sedaris’ career leads him to New York City and eventually, of all places, France. His move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language. Arriving a “spooky man-child” capable of communicating only through nouns, he undertakes language instruction that leads him ever deeper into cultural confusion.”
“Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship – the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.”
“Here’s a fantastic ghost adventure story, laced with menace and humour.
When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard?
Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him – after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod’s life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?”
“In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark hosts of true crime comedy podcast My Favorite Murder, open up about their lives more intimately than ever in their confessionally honest and hilarious debut audiobook, titled after their podcast sign-off.
Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the podcasting world.”