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Editors' Picks: Top 10 Must-Listens

As Audible's editors (and resident book nerds), we get to do a lot of listening. Sometimes the books are good; and sometimes they are so engrossing and compelling that we have to tell anyone and everyone about them. Whether it’s an author's thrilling story or a narrator’s passionate performance, there is something about these books that strikes a chord. These are our most recent "Must-Listens", and we hope you like them too!

  • Into the Darkest Corner

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Elizabeth Haynes
    • Narrated By David Thorpe, Karen Cass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape.


    Emily C. on Into the Darkest Corner: I’ve listened to exactly two thrillers in my life and this one – the second of the two – may have me converted to the genre. In this complex psychological thriller, Haynes creates a subtle and realistic portrait of how an abusive relationship unfolds in all its terror. Add in a pair of utterly terrific narrators, and this was seriously un-put-downable listening. And, a word for all you Fifty Shades fans: This may be the perfect antidote to Christian Grey. In case any of you ladies out there need a reminder as to why a controlling boyfriend is bad news, look no further.
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Don't Get Killed By This Place"

    Chris D. on 14: This book is absolutely, 100% engrossing and a thrill to listen to. It’s smart, it’s dark, it’s funny, it’s self-aware, it’s layered – I can’t say enough good things about Peter Clines’ story of a mysterious apartment building and its curious inhabitants who are determined to understand what’s going on around them. The pacing is fantastic, and though our heroes start out on a fun, fact-finding mission, the creeping spookiness becomes overwhelming until we find the stakes are MUCH higher than we originally thought. I haven’t listened to a “sit-in-my-car-for-an-extra-15-minutes” book in a while, so I’m really glad to have found this.
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"

    Diana D. on Beautiful Ruins: Thanks to Beautiful Ruins, Edoardo Ballerini is my new favorite narrator. His performance caught my attention right away, as the novel starts out with a description of the Cinque Terre along Italy's coast and is made even more beautiful by Ballerini's impeccable Italian. Talk about being transported away.... The book continues to captivate, telling the story of intersecting lives and flipping back and forth between present-day Hollywood and the previously mentioned Italian Rivera in the 1960s. This is a story of love, disillusionment, friendship, and the realities of responsibility that I won’t soon forget.
  • Ruby Red: Ruby Red Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Kerstin Gier, Anthea Bell (translator)
    • Narrated By Marisa Calin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who, in the middle of class, takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon, the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential.

    Anna says: "A suspenseful, funny YA with stellar narration!"

    Emily C. on Ruby Red: I’m always on the lookout for a good cross-over YA series. They make for light and fun listening when I’m at the gym or washing dishes, or slogging through another equally un-fun but necessary activity. My latest recommendation is a book that’s already a phenomenon in Germany and made it’s US debut last year. Ok, so it’s the start of another trilogy, and sure it’s about a teen who discovers she has unknown magical powers (in this case time traveling), but don’t be deceived – this is a fresh and delightful book. Gier’s heroine is charming in her utter normalness, and she’s got a real sense of humor. Unlike the brooding Katniss, or the naive Lena, or the so-tough-she’s-almost-an-idiot Tris, Gwyneth is absolutely ..
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Theodore says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"

    Diana M. on Gone Girl: "Sick, twisted" were two words that the publisher used to describe Gillian Flynn's latest novel, Gone Girl. I've been meaning to try Flynn for awhile, and wow, this was some introduction. I switched back and forth between reading and listening so I could unravel the story in every spare minute I had (which had my husband asking, "What are you listening to? Fifty Shades??"). The insights Flynn has into marriages, psyches, society—and her raw, fresh voice and blindsiding plot twists—will leave your head spinning. I can't wait to dig into her previous thriller, Dark Places.
  • Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It'sNever Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jen Lancaster
    • Narrated By Jen Lancaster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Such a Pretty Fat, Jen Lancaster learned how to come to terms with her body. In My Fair Lazy, she expanded her mind. Now, the New York Times best-selling author gives herself - and her generation - a kick in the X, by facing her greatest challenge to date: acting her age. Jen is finally ready to put away childish things (except her Barbie Styling Head, of course) and embrace the investment-making, mortgage-carrying, life insurance-having adult she's become.

    T. Snyder says: "Jen Lancaster does it again!"

    Kelly F. on Jeneration X: I've loved all of Jen's memoirs to date, and Jeneration X is no exception. Actually, it may be my new favorite (dethroning Such a Pretty Fat). Even though I'm a Gen Y-er, I tend to agree with her assessment of my generation. Jen's narration is the best thing about this audiobook. I wish she had narrated her other books as well!
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    AudioAddict says: "Wonderful Poignant Story"

    David L. on The Fault in Our Stars: Sure, the protagonist is a terminal cancer patient and, yes, you will cry, but don’t let that scare you off. This is a great book, with issues, feelings, and characters we can all relate to, whether cancer has been a part of our lives or not. Writer John Green and narrator Kate Rudd together create characters that feel incredibly authentic, people I came to care about and wondered about well beyond the book’s end. So good. I will be looking for more books from both of them in the future.
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    B.J. says: "I'm not a runner ..."

    Morgan M. on Born to Run: Born to Run is an amazing and captivating book, written and narrated by Christopher McDougall, about a remarkable race between our country’s greatest Ultra-Runners and the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons. Throughout the novel I felt the author’s frustration, understood his disappointment, and shared in his happiness. This is one of the best books I have ever listened to and is full of interesting facts about our country’s most talented runners and a culture that has lived unchanged for over 400 years. McDougall’s work has inspired me to begin training for marathons of my own!
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."

    Chris D. on Divergent: This dystopian YA hit definitely gives The Hunger Games a run for its money. The protagonist doesn’t waste time waffling or worrying about problems; she acts. The world the characters inhabit is rich yet dark: each faction is clearly defined, and though everything seems peaceful, you just know that there is so much to be uncovered. Narrator Emma Galvin provides the teen heroine with the right balance of strength and self-doubt. This was a great first entry in the series, and I’m looking forward to starting the sequel soon.
  • The Informationist: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Taylor Stevens
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information - expensive information - working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she's never looked back. Until now....

    Diana - Audible says: "What a start!"

    Diana M. on The Informationist: I first read The Informationist in print, and after recently revisiting it in audio, I was just as hooked as when I read it for the first time. Sitting in my parked car (while a woman outside wondered why I wasn’t getting out!) and even finishing up while working on the Hear & Now newsletter, I can see why reviewers compare heroine Vanessa Munroe to Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander. She’s tough, she’s feisty, and yet vulnerable enough that you can’t help relating to and rooting for her. I started the sequel, The Innocent, and can’t wait to get back to it.