Note: This post is not sponsored or affiliated with Scribd in any way. Whilst that would be incredible, I just really love the app and want to share my recommendations.
I love Scribd — an ebook and audiobook subscription service where, for £9.49 a month, you get access to a huge selection of books, including really recent releases. I have been subscribed to Scribd for about 6 months and they are my favourite subscription-based book platform. For me, it’s better value for money than platforms like Audible; I can access far more titles per month and have more than enough selection on Scribd. You don’t keep audiobooks in a ‘library’ like you do in Audible, but that’s something I’m personally not interested in. With Scribd, there’s easily enough audiobooks available to me that makes picking the ones I want to read each month extremely difficult.
Scribd has really fostered my love for audiobooks over the past few months and whilst I’ve listened to lots of great titles, there have been some definite favourites among them. Below are 10 books I really loved on Scribd that really lend themselves to the audiobook format. Whether it was the narrator, the narrative style or genre of the book, there is a reason (for me) that these books worked so well as audiobooks.
I’ve also sneaked in a couple of extras by combining a whole series of books into one and highlighting a few different books by the same author that are all equally amazing. So, here are 10(ish) audiobooks I recommend downloading 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. I particularly loved the way the narration changed to match the pace and emotion of the book: loud outbursts of anger and rage; quiet moments of reflection; quickening voices during moments of tension and fear; slow, drawn-out voices adding to the suspense. It was brilliantly achieved, bringing each character to life in a way I hadn’t come across in audiobooks before. My favourite element was a perspective that listened intently to the conversations of others and the audiobook captured this by using indistinct chatter that simulated the experience of being overwhelmed in a crowd. I loved Lanny, but it was the audiobook that brought it to life. It was so good that I had to buy a physical copy to reread alongside the audio version.
2. The Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire
If you’re just starting to get into audiobooks, the Wayward Children series is the perfect starting point. Each book is more of a novella (about 4 hours of listening time) and each explores fantastical other worlds and different viewpoints. The audiobooks are incredibly immersive, with a lyrical writing style that draws you in from the first page. They also feature amazing representation, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ characters. Currently, there are 5 books in the series and they are all available on Scribd — with a 6th coming out in 2021 — and they are definitely worth getting into.
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 and 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, speaking directly to the reader in a way that feels like a personal conversation. Opposite of Always is an amazing, fun and cute time-loop romance and is a perfect audiobook.
Justin A. Reynolds’ latest release, Early Departures, is one of my most anticipated releases for 2020, releasing 22nd September. I hope the audiobook will be available.
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 read by two narrators. Both were amazing at capturing the emotions of the two characters as well as just narrating the book. It was an audiobook that felt almost acted rather than simply read aloud and moments of frustration, tension and amusement all came through really well. Scribd has lots of Christina Lauren books available to read and 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 2020 and I got to listen to it earlier than its UK release date! Scribd is American so ASOWAR became available to read almost a month before its release date in the UK, which I was very, very excited about. ASOWAR is another dual narrative with two narrators that were amazing at conveying emotion and introspection in this extremely tense, high-stakes fantasy novel. ASOWAR was action-packed, intricate and cleverly woven together in an incredible depiction of West and North African mythology. The portrayal of mental health in this book was particularly captivating and I highly recommend it — in any format.
There is also a content warning at the beginning of the book, something I hope becomes more and more normalised.
If you made it this far, I do have a referral code for Scribd that will give anyone that signs up using it a 60-day free trial.
Disclaimer: this should also give the referrer 30-days free but since I am an Apple user, who don’t allow this (why I do not know), I don’t receive anything by sharing it.
6. All Boys aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
If you’re looking for a non-fiction recommendation, All Boys aren’t Blue is the most amazing memoir that I highly, highly recommend everyone reads. 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 cannot recommend it enough. 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.
It does deal with some extremely difficult and potentially triggering topics, but these are all noted in a content warning at the beginning of the memoir.
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 broke me. I was practically in tears and I rarely cry at books. I have to also credit the voice actor’s ability to switch between the dual narration in a way that never confused me.
Kristin Hannah has written a lot of books and quite a few of them are available as audiobooks on Scribd. The sequel to Firefly Lane — Fly Away — seems to have disappeared, but Night Road is available and is another heartbreaking yet equally captivating read.
8. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
This is the perfect audiobook if you’re looking for a light and cute sapphic YA romance that also touches on more serious topics of race, class and sexuality. 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, cute read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
9. Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
This is a spooky middle-grade novel that I think would be the perfect 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. This is a book about ghost hunters exploring graveyards and abandoned buildings in the name of friendship, family and adventure. It really combines the light-hearted humour of typical MG with a spooky atmosphere that worked really well as an audiobook.
10. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
And finally, I had to recommend Sally Rooney, whose writing is amazing on page and spoken aloud. I loved Conversations with Friends, a frank and witty depiction of university student Francis having an existential crisis for about 300 pages. The novel focuses on character introspection, which works brilliantly in audio form; throughout I felt as though I was inside Francis’ head, listening to her random musings and emotional turmoil as situations unfold around her. She is an unreliable narrator, so consumed with her own thoughts that events and places are secondary to her emotions. I found it incredibly effective and engaging and cannot wait for another Sally Rooney novel.
It’s difficult for me to believe that last year I had never really listened to an audiobook beyond the His Dark Materials trilogy in the car on a summer holiday when I was younger. I didn’t think I’d enjoy audiobooks and I was completely wrong. I really can’t recommend the books above enough — regardless of what form you read them in — and I would recommend Scribd as a brilliant platform for audiobooks.
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 🙂