As much as it would be a literal dream come true, this post is in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Scribd–I just really love their app and enjoy shouting about it! And, I love reading and writing recommendations posts, and this combines the two!
I love Scribd. I’ve been subscribed to them for about 6 months now, and they are my favourite subscription-based book platform. Scribd is an ebook and audiobook subscription service, where for £9.49 a month you get access to a HUGE selection of books, often including really recent releases. I use them mostly for audiobooks, but I have read a few ebooks on there as well. If I only had access to Scribd, and not my physical TBR, I wouldn’t run out of books for at least a couple of years, which makes picking the ones I want to read each month very difficult!
I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks on Scribd over the past few months, but there are some definite favourites among them. The 10 books I’m recommending below are books I’ve read and really enjoyed, but each specially has a feature that lends itself to the audiobook format. Whether it was the narrator, the narrative style, or the genre, there is a reason that these books work so well as audiobooks.
There are a couple of sneaky extras because I’ve combined a whole series into 1 slot, and Scribd often have multiple books by the same author available, so there are a couple where I’m recommending both a book and an author. But, these are 10 audiobooks I recommend you go and download Scribd for:
1. Lanny by Max Porter
Lanny is an incredible read, and the audiobook is amazing. There are several perspectives in this book, and each has a different narrator in the audiobook. The narration changes to match the pace and emotion of the book: there are loud outbursts of anger and rage, quieter moments of reflection, quickening voices during moments of tension and fear, and slow, drawn out voices in other instances. One of the perspectives often listens intently to the conversations of others, and the audiobook contains their indistinct chatter, simulating the experience of being overwhelmed in a crowd. I loved it so much, I had to buy a physical copy to reread–with the audiobook of course!
2. The Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire
The Wayward Children series is the perfect series if you’re looking to get into audiobooks. They are novellas–so only about 4 hours of listening time–and they explore fantastical other worlds, making the audiobook an incredibly immersive experience. I love the writing style of these novellas and the brilliant representation that exists in all of them. At the moment, there are five books in the series and all of them are available on Scribd (the next one is coming out in 2021 and I really hope the audiobook will be available as soon as it is released).
To listen to them in order:
- Every Heart a Doorway
- Down Among the Sticks and Bones
- Beneath the Sugar Sky
- In an Absent Dream
- Come Tumbling Down
3. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
This is another book with a writing style perfect for an audiobook format. When I’m physically reading, I don’t always enjoy narrative styles where the narrator speaks to the reader or acknowledges that they are within a book–I don’t like being reminded that I’m reading fiction. But, it is a style that really works as an audiobook. The narrator acknowledges that he is recounting his experiences and frequently speaks directly to the reader which, as an audiobook, makes it seem as though you’re having a personal conversation with the character. Plus, it’s also a really cute time-loop romance.
Justin A. Reynolds’ latest release, Early Departures, is one of my most anticipated releases for the latter half of 2020, and I’m hoping the audiobook will be available when it releases on the 22nd September.
4. Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren
Dating You Hating You is one of the funniest books I’ve read this year, and I definitely recommend the audiobook. It is a dual narrative and is read by two narrators; both narrators were amazing at not just narrating the book, but also capturing the emotions of the two characters. It felt ‘acted’ rather than just read aloud, and moments of frustration, tension, annoyance, and amusement all came through so well in the narration.
There are other Christina Lauren books also available on Scribd–I have The Unhoneymooners on my list to listen to soon.
5. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is one of my favourite books of the year and I got to listen to it early! Scribd is based in America, so ASOWAR was available about a month before the UK release. It is another dual perspective novel with two narrators and though it is a high-stakes fantasy with plenty of action, there is also a lot of character introspection, so listening to the audiobook was like being inside the character’s heads. I really loved everything about this book, so I recommend it in all formats!
A quick break to mention that I do have a referral code for Scribd that will give anyone that signs up using it a 60-day free trial. Disclaimer: usually, this would also give the referrer 30 days free, but since I’m an Apple user, who don’t allow this (why???), I don’t receive anything from sharing it.
6. All Boys aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
George M. Johnson narrates his own memoir: a poignant and incredible tale about what it means to grow up Black and queer. It is raw and honest, heartbreaking and uplifting and I thoroughly recommend it. It deals with some difficult topics, but these are all noted in a content warning at the beginning. I think audiobooks are a great way to experience memoirs, especially when they are narrated by the author. It’s like listening to someone tell you their life story, and it feels more personal than physically reading it.
7. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
This is a book that I reviewed recently and absolutely loved. Kristin Hannah is so amazing at depicting real life in fiction that I had a hard time reminding myself that this was only a work of fiction, not a dual-narrative autobiography. The audiobook was incredible. The amount of emotion displayed by the narrator was amazing, and I genuinely think I wouldn’t have been half as affected if I had physically read it. There is a specific scene–I won’t spoil what it is–where the narrator’s voice breaks mid-sentence and it just got me. I was practically in tears and I rarely cry at books. Plus, it’s a dual narration with only one narrator and yet I never found the voices confusing.
Kristin Hannah has written a lot of books, but quite a few of them are available as audiobooks on Scribd. The sequel to Firefly Lane–Fly Away–seems to have disappeared. :(but there are lots of others. I’m currently listening to Night Road and it is amazing and also heartbreaking).
8. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
This is perfect audiobook if you’re looking for something light and cute that still touches on some more serious topics. Liz falls for the new girl, Mack, in a drama-filled school year consisting of baking disasters, after-school band sessions and odd cafeteria lunches, all whilst trying to become Prom Queen and secure her future. I listened to it in one day; it was just a perfect cutesy read.
9. Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
This is a spooky Middle Grade that I think would be perfect as a Halloween read. Ghost Squad follows Lucely as she tries to save her father’s struggling ghost business and her ancestors–who take the form of firefly spirits–but accidentally awakens malicious spirits instead. Lucely and her best friend Syd transform themselves into ghost hunters and explore graveyards and abandoned buildings in an attempt to set things straight. It combined the humour typical of Middle Grade novels with a spooky atmosphere and it worked really well as an audiobook.
10. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney’s writing is amazing on the page and in an audiobook. I loved Conversations with Friends, which follows university student Francis as she begins an adulterous relationship with a married man and proceeds to have an existential crisis for 300 pages. The novel focuses on character introspection, so listening to the audiobook is like being inside Francis’ head, listening to her random musings and emotional turmoil as situations unfold around her. At certain points, Francis feels like an unreliable narrator: she is so consumed with her own thoughts that places and events are secondary to her emotions, and I thought it was really effective and engaging.
I find it hard to believe that this time last year I’d never really listened to an audiobook and didn’t think I would enjoy them at all. Now, I love them and will continue to recommend audiobooks I love. And, since a lot of them come from Scribd, I can’t not recommend them too!
As you can probably tell, these don’t follow any particular genre, but I hope you found at least one book you’d like to read in audiobook format. Let me know if you use Scribd and what audiobook you’d recommend. And let me know if you’re going to add any of these to your wish list 🙂