16 audiobooks CNET employees love to read

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While we can all agree that reading books is great, listening to them can often be better. Easily listen to an audiobook while cooking, on the go, or just lying in bed with headphones on in the dark.

Known for its extensive library of audiobooks, Audible has added podcasts, directed health content, and audio assets in recent years, making it the perfect place to get your own audio content. Usually at $15 per month, Audible is currently running one of their best promotions to date: Get the Audible Premium Plus plan for $6 per month for the first 4 months, including 1 title per month that you can keep.

That’s access to a library of Netflix-style “all you can eat” audio content, plus one credit per month to redeem against any audiobook in the catalog as a keeper. That’s right – once you redeem, the book is yours to listen to (and listen to again) even if you eventually cancel your membership, which you can do at any time. After this offer period, the service renews at a rate of $15 per month. Previous Audible subscribers do not qualify for this deal, which is good until December 31.

But with a library this vast, where do you start? That’s why CNET editors got together and compiled a list of their favorite books available on Audible. So you can listen to some or all of these titles — or whatever you choose — for just $24 over the next four months, and even keep four of them.

Remember, you can cancel at any time, and any books you’ve downloaded with a credit remain yours to listen to and enjoy even if your membership is no longer active. And while we’ve linked to the individual titles below, You need to click on the link above to get the discount.

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite audiobooks that are well worth your time – from fairy tales and provocative social commentary to more escape fare.

Amazon

Before watching the movie, I had already fallen in love with The Martian. Originally read by RC Bray and now read by the great Will Wheaton, The Martian Feels Made Specifically to be an Audiobook. With most of it written in the first person, you really feel like you’re listening to the mission logs of a man struggling to survive alone on a planet. I have both versions, although the Wheaton version is currently the only one available, and I urge you to get one. It is an ideal forage on the go. – James Bricknell

Amazon

Getting to Yes was not a book I would have tried to listen to on my own, but it was recommended and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The idea behind it is very simple: negotiate arguments without feeling like you’ve given up. I was skeptical that it could help me, but she goes through many examples and finds new ways to take difficult discussions and make them more productive for everyone. I highly recommend this to people who are having issues with friends, co-workers and even family. – Jared DeBan

Amazon

I’m not sure I would have loved Amal Al-Mukhtar and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose The Time War novel if I hadn’t accidentally gotten it into audiobook form – and I swear he’s heard more than reading. The science fiction book tells the titular Time War story from the perspective of two characters, initially on opposite sides of a blood feud, who slowly become entangled.

This storytelling is enriched by Cynthia Farrell and Emily Wu Zeller to express the two agents of the novel circling each other across the battlefields of different times and spaces. They leave messages of sarcasm and one another’s frustration on alternate accounts, but soon that turns into connection and more — all voiced by Farrell and Zeller more convincingly than I can imagine, turning a science fiction book with strange characters into a slow-burning audio drama. – David Lomb

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

This book is beautifully told from multiple points of view. Little Disasters examines the complex nature of motherhood and the secrets that can lie behind the carefully cultivated image. – Shelby Brown

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

Read by Peter Noble, this Booker Prize winner follows a white South African family as they grapple with race, poverty, politics, and the legacy of apartheid. – Sarah Lord

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

The author’s latest book about vacation dreams displaced by the pandemic is narrated by Marin Ireland, a truly amazing New York City-based theater and film actress. – Sarah Lord

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

Narrated by the author, this compelling memoir addresses racism, domestic violence, and the obsessive culture of weight. It documents intensely and eloquently the struggle of a writer confronting troubled relationships, unequal education, and the burden of American anti-black bigotry. – Laura Michelle Davis

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

People Like Her is an exciting and suspenseful story told from multiple perspectives. The story starkly highlights technology, social media influencers, and family. – Shelby Brown

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark is a chilling thriller in the context of the Amityville Horror. The story revolves around a young woman who returns to her childhood home and must confront the ghosts of her past. – Shelby Brown

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

A meticulously researched investigation into the roots of Putin’s rise to power in the post-Soviet era, and the extent to which he consolidated and exercised that power in the years that followed. – Rich Brown

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

The only audible part of Star Wars: The High Republic is presented as a radio drama, with a full cast representing all parts. It’s a fascinating story about the life and history of Nihill chief Lorna Dee, and it adds a lot of fun color to the universe being built in the High Republic. – Russell Holly

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

The harrowing story of a group of theme park employees who are stranded at work during the storm of the century, and their struggle for survival in the following weeks. This story works best as an audiobook because each chapter is told in a different voice, which is very important when the story is presented in an interview format. – Russell Holly

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

If you like MartianThe project of peace be upon you, Mary, will be pure pleasure. Earth’s very existence is in danger, and we have one last shot to save it. Weir does his amazing exemplary job of weaving science and humor into every drama. I specifically recommend this as an audiobook, because there are integral parts of the story that I can’t understand as text. If I say anything more, I’ll spoil the fun. So put a tick in the lock. – Natalie Weinstein

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

The narrator can make or break an audiobook. James Marsters, who narrated all the Dresden Files books, is a master. It makes Harry Dresden, a magician and private investigator, come to life. Battleground is the 17th book in this great series. But please start with Book 1! EW describes the series as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe.” I can’t do better than that. – Natalie Weinstein

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

Narrated by Gollum himself, Andy Serkis. Yes, you get the Gollum in all its phlegm and gargling glory. Even better, Serkis switches between all the characters and manages to make each one stand out, keeping you hooked – even when you know what’s coming next. – Anne Dugmovic

Amazon / screenshot by CNET

When a family emergency last Christmas led me on a 10-hour solo trip, I had Trevor Noah’s voice to keep me company. The comedian and host of The Daily Show recounts his memoirs of growing up in apartheid South Africa, where even his birth was illegal. He shares stories about being a polyglot, race-controlled kid, learning to navigate in and out of different worlds but nowhere to be found. In his voice, these stories – from heart touching to funny, but always catchy – get richer. – Anne Dugmovic

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