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!
Today I am super excited to talk about one of my favorite topics– AUDIOBOOKS!
I have shared often 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.
When we listen…
- In the car. Undoubtedly the best time to listen due to the captive audience!
- During school time. We often turn on an audiobook while the kids do handwriting or other quiet work 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 at the kitchen island.
- As we do chores. Occasionally we will knock out folding several loads of laundry together with an audiobook playing in the background.
- During room time. The kids like to listen to books in their room through our portable bluetooth speaker while they build legos and such.
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 almost two years now! Ever since getting my first free book when I wanted something Thanksgiving related to listen to while we worked on preparing food for our Thanksgiving meal.
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 believe it! 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. 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.
Here’s more of why I’m a big fan of Audible…
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!)
There are other places to get audiobooks for free, besides Audible!
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.
Huge List of Favorite Audiobooks for the Whole Family ::
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!
- 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 $5) 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 ♥♥♥♥♥ (less than $5) 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.
- 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.
- Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Betty MacDonald ♥♥♥ A humorous, fun to listen to, classic.
- 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 last year. 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.
- 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.
- Magic Tree House: Thanksgiving on Thursday, Mary Pope Osborne
- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens ♥♥♥ (less than $5) We listened to this last year, and will listen again this year. It’s definitely more for the adults and older children.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss ♥♥♥♥ (less than $5) Always fun.
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson ♥♥♥♥♥ So much fun and such a great lesson at the end!
- Letters from Father Christmas, J.R.R. Tolkien ♥♥♥ Another good holiday book if you’re in the car traveling around Christmas!
- Little House in the Big Woods, 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.
- Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder ♥♥♥♥♥
- Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder ♥♥♥♥♥
- On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder
- On the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura Ingalls Wilder
- On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Andrew Peterson ♥♥♥♥♥ This is a FABULOUS series, but I do recommend reading it yourself before starting it with your kids.
- North or Be Eaten, Andrew Peterson ♥♥♥♥♥
- Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery ♥♥♥♥♥ (less than $5) 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.
- Ramona Quimby & Henry Huggins, Beverly Cleary ♥♥♥ These are fun, but not my most favorite. My kids enjoy them, though, so we listen to them occasionally. This is one example where you can get a whole set of 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!
- Magic Tree House, Mary Pope Osborne ♥♥♥
- Boxcar Children, Gertrude Chandler Warner ♥♥♥
- 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!
- 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.
- An Old-Fashioned Girl, Louisa May Alcott ♥♥ This was a childhood favorite of mine and I wanted to revisit it in audiobook format.
- Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen ♥♥♥ (less than $5) Still deciding if I like this narrator, but I do like that the book was $2…
- 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 ♥♥♥♥♥ A Charlotte Mason homeschool classic that should be revisited over and over again.
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.