Audiobooks are a fantastic way to enjoy books as a family! Check out this list of favorite audiobooks for the whole family, as well as tips on how to get them and when to listen!
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Today I am super excited to talk about one of my favorite topics– AUDIOBOOKS!
I often share here on the blog, on Instagram, and on Facebook about audiobooks we are loving and how they are making our lives richer. Audiobooks have even saved my life on occasion– picture a dark highway, a sleepy driver, and the laugh-out-loud humor of Jim Gaffigan to the rescue.
We listen to audiobooks nearly everyday. For us, audiobooks mean more wonderful stories, fewer videos, and multi-tasking with happier kids.
Everyone in our family enjoys audiobooks at different times and in different ways, every single day. Keep reading and I’ll share
- how and when we listen
- Audible and why I think it’s a worthwhile investment
- how to get audiobooks for free
- a huge list of audiobooks divided into easy to follow categories
Be sure to save this list for future reference, and please share some of your family’s favorite audiobooks in the comments!
Huge List of Favorite Audiobooks for the Whole Family
WHEN WE LISTEN
- In the car. One of the best times to listen due to the captive audience.
- During school time. We often turn on an audiobook while the kids do handwriting, watercolors, or other quiet play at the table.
- While I cook. One of the easiest ways to keep my kids from acting insane during dinner prep is to turn on an audiobook and let them draw or play quietly nearby.
- As we do chores. We can knock out folding several loads of laundry together or clean up a bedroom with an audiobook playing in the background.
- During independent play time. The kids like to listen to books in their room through our Echo Dot while they build legos, or downstairs in the basement while they whittle or play.
- At bedtime. My husband listens to an audiobook every night as he goes to sleep, and we also always play a story in the boys room at bedtime to help them settle down.
- In our wireless headphones. My husband and I both have wireless bluetooth headphones that make it really easy to listen to our own books while we go about different parts of our day.
A LITTLE ABOUT AUDIBLE…
I am a very enthusiastic member of Audible, and I will tell you a little bit more of why that is in a moment. I know that there are free audiobooks available, but for a number of reasons (see below), I prefer to subscribe to Audible. In fact, I’ve been an Audible member for several years now, and consequently we’ve built a great audiobook library!
I’m going to be really up front and say that, yes, I am trying to convince you that an Audible membership is worth it! I wouldn’t write so much about it if I did not truly think it worthwhile.
But, I also want to be clear that you can still benefit from this list and even from Audible’s books without being a member. The app is free to use and you can purchase books without a subscription. Many books are less than $5 (I’ve noted those in the list), and books are always going on sale.
What is Audible?
Audible is a subscription service in which you pay a monthly fee and in return receive credits for books each month, as well as a 30% discount on any additional books you purchase and access to free Audible originals. The books you download are yours to keep, no matter when you cancel your membership.
You can sign up and receive two audiobooks for free, with no requirement to keep your membership.
Benefits of Using Audible:
- You own the books. You are paying for the books through your monthly fee, so any book you choose is yours to keep. Even if/after you cancel your subscription, the books are still yours and will remain available in the Audible app.
- The selection is the biggest and best. This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of Audible over other free services. Audible’s audiobook collection is HUGE, and the narrators are (generally) really great. If there’s a book you are looking for, chances are good that it’s available as an audiobook on Audible.
- You can “shop around” for narrators. Many titles have more than one version, meaning you can use the preview option to select a narrator you prefer. This is a big benefit because a narrator can make or break a story.
- Easy and convenient. This is a personal favorite benefit simply because I just don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands to be looking for audiobooks or remembering to request them in time. I love how easy Audible is to use, how user-friendly the app is, and how quickly I can download a book.
- Building a listening library. This goes back to the first benefit, but when you buy an Audible book, it is added to your library to keep. We now have dozens of books in our app to select from, and we can listen to them over and over again. This is especially great for building seasonal and holiday collections.
- The return process is great. I have only had to do this a few times, but returning a book to Audible is really easy to do. There have been a few times when I either didn’t care for the narrator after all, or we were not enjoying the story. All I had to do was return the book online and my credit was refunded, no hassle.
- There are always sales. In addition to the credit(s) you get each month, you can also always find lots of audiobooks on sale, usually for less than $5. This is another great way to slowly build your listening library. I would recommend signing up for Sarah Mackenzie’s emails to alert you of Audible sales. (P.S. You don’t have to have a subscription to take advantage of the sales!)
HOW TO GET FREE AUDIOBOOKS
You can also get audiobooks for free from these sources. Each one has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but the benefit is that you’re getting them for free! I think perhaps the biggest things to note is that with each one your selection is a little more limited and you often need to wait on books, and like the library, you don’t keep the books you listen to.
Our Favorite Audiobooks
My plan with this list to keep updating it with new titles as we listen, along with short snippets of reviews and recommendations. It will be a great place to come back to again and again for new audiobook ideas, so pin it or save it for future reference!
The books in this list are ones that we have listened to unless otherwise noted. We have listened to many of them over and over. I would love to know some of your favorite audiobooks too, so please share them in the comments!
AUDIOBOOKS FOR KIDS/THE WHOLE FAMILY
- Rikki Tikki Tavi, Rudyard Kipling ♥♥♥♥♥ (less than $5) This is a wonderful, classic story that keeps kids captivated. It is short enough to listen to in one sitting. This is one we listen to frequently.
- The Book of Dragons, Edith Nesbit ♥♥♥♥ (less than $10) Several short stories make up this collection. The stories are odd and interesting, and make you think. This is another one we go back to often.
- Children of Noisy Village, Astrid Lindgren ♥♥♥♥♥ We LOVE this book and have listened to it several times. The stories of the children are sweet and funny, and my kids laugh out loud.
- Pippi Longstocking , Astrid Lindgren ♥♥♥♥♥ My kids loooooove Pippi and could (and do) listen to this story over and over.
- Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, Edith Nesbit ♥♥♥ (less than $5)I am using these to introduce my kids (and often myself) to Shakespeare. The stories are short and easy to listen to multiple times to help kids become familiar with the stories.
- The Peter Rabbit Collection, Beatrice Potter ♥♥♥♥ A collection of 23 of Beatrice Potter’s stories and nursery rhymes. Great for younger children. My children often like to listen to this collection while they go to sleep.
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Betty MacDonald ♥♥♥ A humorous, fun to listen to, classic.
- My Father’s Dragon, Ruth Stiles Gannett ♥♥♥♥ (less than $1)
- Paddle to the Sea, Holling Clancy Holling ♥♥♥♥ My kids loved this story!
- Princess Cora and the Crocodile, Laura Amy Schlitz ♥♥♥ (less than $5)
- The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein
- The Princess and the Goblin, George MacDonald ♥♥♥♥♥ We were pleasantly surprised by this story. All my kids begged to keep listening, including my three-year-old! This is one we will definitely revisit.
- The BFG, Roald Dahl ♥♥♥♥♥ Such a FUN book to listen to! We all listened to this one, including my husband, before the movie came out. As we listened, I was so glad I didn’t have to read all of Dahl’s nonsense words! We have already listened to it twice more since then.
- Little Men, Louisa May Alcott ♥♥♥♥ HIGHLY RECOMMEND for little (or big) boys! This book is full of good boyish fun that expertly works in lessons in character and life. It’s not only instructive and enjoyable for kids, but is also incredibly valuable for a mom of boys to learn from. Which is why I try to play it about twice a year.
- An Old-Fashioned Girl, Louisa May Alcott ♥♥♥ This was a childhood favorite of mine and I wanted to revisit it in audiobook format.
- The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling ♥♥♥ (less than $5) The book is so much better than the Disney movie!
- The Adventure Collection, various ♥♥♥ We have not listened to all of these yet, but my boys have enjoyed White Fang a couple of times while on road trips with my husband. (This is $49 on Audible because it includes so many books, but you can get it for just one credit!).
- The Moffats, Eleanor Estes ♥♥♥♥ Another wonderful story about little children who make plenty of mistakes and struggle, but genuinely try to love each other and do right. It’s the kind of example of childhood that I want to give my children the most of.
- The Secret Garden, ♥♥♥♥ Frances Hodgson Burnett
- A Little Princess, ♥♥♥♥ Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Cay, Theodore Taylor ♥♥♥
- Black Beauty, Anna Sewell ♥♥♥
- Heidi, Johanna Spyri ♥♥♥ Sweet story my kids really enjoyed. The classic movie is great as well.
See our favorite Christmas audiobooks here.
- Little House Books, Laura Ingalls Wilder ♥♥♥♥♥ We all LOVE the Little House books, including my boys. They immediately ask for the next book when we finish one. Even my husband enjoys all the historical details, and Cherry Jones is a fabulous narrator.
- Wingfeather Saga (On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, North or Be Eaten, Monster in the Hollows, The Warden and the Wolf King) Andrew Peterson ♥♥♥♥♥ This is a FABULOUS series– in my top five favorite series ever.
- Ramona Quimby Collection, Beverly Cleary ♥♥♥ These are fun, but not my most favorite. My kids enjoy them a lot, though, so we listen to them every so often. This is one example where you can get a whole set of books for one credit!
- Green Ember Series, (Green Ember, Ember Falls, Ember Rising, Ember Ends, & more) S.D. Smith ♥♥♥♥
- Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery ♥♥♥♥♥ (less than $10) No one should miss this book! We have read it aloud twice, but will enjoy it as an audiobook next time. Rachel McAdams makes an excellent narrator. (Or get the collection of six books for one credit).
- Little Women Collection (Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men, & Jo’s Boys) ♥♥♥♥♥ I love all of these books, but so far my kids have only listened to Little Men. With this collection you get four books for one credit.
- Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling ♥♥♥♥♥ This series is fun for the whole family, and is awesome for longer car rides. Be sure to get Jim Dale as the narrator! (In our house, we stop listening/reading together as a family at book 3, and then the kids must be old enough to read the books for themselves)
- The Peter Rabbit Collection, Beatrix Potter, ♥♥♥♥ (just $.99) Sweet stories to turn on a bedtime or quiet listening for littles.
- Little Britches series, Ralph Moody ♥♥♥♥ I’ve heard this series described as the Little House books for boys. It’s a delightful story about a family moving west to start a ranch. There are several books in the series, and make a great listen for the whole family.
- Christian Heroes Then & Now series, ♥♥♥♥ I have not listened to these yet, but we have several of the paperback books. I’m looking forward to listening to more of these together.
AUDIOBOOKS FOR MOMS
- Love Without Borders, Angela Braniff ♥♥♥♥♥ I LOVED this memoir by one of my favorite mamas to follow online. She shares her story of faith, infertility, adoption, and so much more with a perfect mix of humor, compassion, and wisdom. Highly recommend.
- Life-Giving Home, Sally Clarkson ♥♥♥ This would be better if I loved the narrator, however, I did enjoy listening to chapters of this book while tackling things around the house. It was the perfect inspiration and motivation!
- Parenting, Paul David Tripp ♥♥♥♥♥ I love anything Paul Tripp writes, and this book is no exception. So many great lessons and insights on the gospel and parenting.
- Loving the Little Years, Rachel Jankovic ♥♥♥♥ (less than $5) This is a short book and quick listen. It’s a great one to revisit on hard, discouraging days when you need a little humor and a motherhood-pick-me-up.
- Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving, Gospel-Centered Marriage , Beth & Jeff McCord ♥♥♥ I’m about halfway through this book, and have really enjoyed and benefited from what I’ve listened to so far.
Homeschool Related ::
- Teaching from Rest, Sarah Mackenzie ♥♥♥♥♥ (less than $5) This is a book that every homeschool mother should read at least once, though many people say it’s a great book to revisit at the start of each school year. Finding time to read it was difficult this year, but listening to Sarah read her words herself was a great encouragement while I worked away at preparing our homeschool area and creating plans.
- For the Children’s Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macauley ♥♥♥♥♥ (less than $10) A Charlotte Mason homeschool classic that should be revisited over and over again.
- Brave Learner, Julie Bogart ♥♥♥♥ I love Julie’s approach to homeschooling that emphasizes working alongside your children, making learning fun, and seeing learning opportunities in everyday life. This is an excellent listen for anyone needing fresh inspiration and motivation in homeschooling.
- Call of the Wild and Free, Ainsley Arment, ♥♥♥♥ Ainsley is the creator of the Wild and Free community, which started on Instagram and has since become a worldwide entity with conferences, a podcast, local groups, a magazine, and more. Her book is great for families starting out on their homeschool journey. She offers great perspective, empowerment, and freedom.
AUDIOBOOKS FOR ADULTS
- The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges ♥♥♥♥ I bought this book because our women’s group at church was going through it. Keeping up with the reading was difficult until I started listening instead. It’s a great book.
- Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan ♥♥♥♥♥ I LOVE this book. Jim Gaffigan reads it himself, and it is so lighthearted and hilarious. My one caveat is that it is not one that I listen to while my kids are around because they can’t quite understand the self-deprecating humor.
- Food: A Love Story, Jim Gaffigan Another really funny listen about various types of food and regions around the country they are found in.
- The Magnolia Story, Chip & Joanna Gaines ♥♥♥♥♥ I LOVED listening to the Gaines’ story, and since they read it themselves, it is very engaging and fun. Highly recommend if you are a fan of the show.
- Born A Crime, Trevor Noah ♥♥♥♥ An excellent memoir read by the author about growing up under apartheid and living in South Africa after it was lifted.
- A Gospel Primer, Milton Vincent ♥♥♥♥♥ (less than $10)
- Adorning the Dark, Andrew Peterson ♥♥♥♥ (less than $10) (read by the author) If you enjoy Andrew Peterson’s music, or you yourself are a creative person in any way, this book is a great listen.
- Delay, Don’t Deny, Gin Stephens If you’re interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, this book is a great place to start. There’s also a Facebook group by the same name.
- Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owns ♥♥♥♥ My husband and I both very much enjoyed listening to this great story (not together).
- The Day the World Came to Town, Jim DeFede ♥♥♥♥ A true story about the town of Gander, Newfoundland and their role in the days after 9/11.
- Educated, Tara Westover ♥♥♥♥ A memoir about a woman who grew up in a very fundamental Mormon family. An excellent listen about what she endured and how she overcame.
- Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkein ♥♥♥♥♥ My husband listens to this series every night before bed. Our family are huge Tolkein fans!
- The Blue Castle, L.M. Montgomery ♥♥♥♥♥ I loved this story! I previously had only read the Anne of Green Gables series, never any of the author’s “adult” fiction. This makes me want to read many more of her books!
- A Room with A View, E.M. Forster ♥♥♥♥ Another book club listen. A very enjoyable classic.
ON MY PERSONAL READ-SOON-LIST
- When Life Gives You Pears, Jeannie Gaffigan — Jim Gaffigan’s wife shares about her experience being diagnosed with a brain tumor and what she learned along the way.
- Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell, recommended by a friend
- Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport, highly recommended by a friend and many others.
- Wizard of Oz, read by Anne Hathaway, (less than $10) again, recommended by a good friend.
- To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
- Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, Margaret Signey– We have read the abridged version of this book, but I’d love to introduce my kids to the longer story of these sweet siblings.
- A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and A Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918, Joseph Loconte — I really want to listen to this fascinating book with my husband!
- The Story of the Treasure Seekers, Edith Nesbit — highly recommended as a fun story and a favorite book for kids by a good friend
- Parables of Nature, Margaret Gaddy — this is one of my favorite homeschool read-alouds, and I would love to have it in our audiobook library as well.
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