While some may say the longer the book the better, we believe there is a lot of value in short audiobooks. Some of the best nonfiction is short and powerful, while short sci-fi stories and fantasy novels are just the thing when you want to escape the world but don't have time to get absorbed in a 30-hour tome.
Time and attention spans are short these days, so we've got you covered with some of the best audiobooks under seven hours across multiple genres. Here’s your guide to your next great short listen, no matter what you're into.
Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Audiobooks Under Seven Hours Piranesi
Narrated by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor,
Piranesi took the Audie Award for Best Audiobook of the Year—and that's just one of its many accolades. It's about Piranesi, a being who lives in the House alone. He keeps meticulous records and has an unwavering routine. When messages begin appearing in the House signaling that Piranesi is no longer alone, he's curious: Is this newcomer an ally or about to destroy the careful life that Piranesi has built? The Black Tides of Heaven
Mokoya and Akeha are twins who were sold to the monastery when they were infants. Although they are as close as twins can be, they're also different. Mokoya has a prophetic gift, while Akeha has a gift for seeing the strings behind the manipulations in their world—and both sense a growing darkness within the monastery. When the time comes for the twins to act, will the coming war separate them for good? Nancy Wu narrates
The Black Tides of Heaven, an imaginative and inclusive fantasy that's he first in a series of novellas. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Stephen Fry narrates this classic sci-fi comedy about Arthur Dent, an everyman who is plucked from Earth by Ford Prefect, his (extraterrestrial) friend and writer of
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, just moments before Earth is set to be demolished. Together, they navigate the twists and turns in the universe and encounter a memorable cast of quirky characters in order to discover the answers to the universe.
Best Memoir Audiobooks Under Seven Hours Calypso
Written and narrated by the wonderfully sardonic David Sedaris, this collection of essays consists of the author's ruminations on middle age and aging. Sedaris buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, hoping for peace and relaxation, but he finds it tough to escape the reality that he's getting old and crankier. Listen in to
Calypso for all of the hilarious and dark observations that go along with this revelation. Dear Girls
In this memoir with a message, written as a letter to her daughters, comedian Ali Wong (who first made headlines when she appeared eight months pregnant in her Netflix special,
Baby Cobra) shares advice and hard truths about being a woman and succeeding in a male-dominated field. She covers a lot of ground in Dear Girls, including dating, work, and the lessons she's learned onstage and off as a mother. The Fixed Stars
Molly Wizenberg proves that sexuality is fluid and our sense of self is never stagnant in
The Fixed Stars. After being called up for jury duty, she found herself drawn to a stranger—a woman lawyer—and this fascination left her questioning everything about her 10-year marriage to a man. When she inevitably decided to ask for a divorce, come out, and figure out the new trajectory of her life, Wizenberg realized that our fates are never fixed. Erin Mallon narrates this moving and thoughtful memoir. Save Yourself
Comedian and actor Cameron Esposito reveals the bumpy, funny, and sometimes angst-filled journey that took her from a closeted, Catholic schoolgirl to an out and proud queer comedian. Covering everything from her misadventures in coming out at a Catholic college to joining the circus,
Save Yourself is an often hilarious and never boring memoir narrated by the author.
Best Self-Development Audiobooks Under Seven Hours Super Attractor
Longing to be happier, healthier, and more at home in who you are?
Super Attractor shows how to make that happen. Narrating her own work, Gabrielle Bernstein talks and walks you through letting go of the pain of the past and fear of the future to truly be present, accept the flow of your life, and receive the opportunities you want. By following Bernstein's guidance and learning to trust yourself, you'll find miracles in the everyday and become the person you're meant to be. You Are Your Best Thing
Best-selling author Brené Brown is widely known for her work in vulnerability and self-development—but its applications haven't always been easily accessible to people of color. Tarana Burke, activist and founder of the Me Too movement, joins forces with Brown in
You Are Your Best Thing to acknowledge the experience of trauma and shame that so many Black people face, and create a space to address these hurts and make a better world. This collection features contributions from other writers—Kiese Laymon, Laverne Cox, Jason Reynolds, and more—and is narrated by a full cast including Tarana Burke, Brené Brown, Mirron Willis, Bahni Turpin, JD Jackson, and L Morgan Lee. The Body Is Not an Apology, Second Edition
In the second edition of this groundbreaking work, Sonya Renee Taylor argues that systems of oppression thrive off of discord and the inability to relate to others despite differences. Radical self-love is a form of resistance to that oppression, and as Taylor shows in
The Body Is Not an Apology, when we stop feeling ashamed of our bodies, we can dismantle these harmful systems. The author narrates this audiobook, which now includes more personal anecdotes about her own experiences and activism.
Best YA Audiobooks Under Seven Hours A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Tahereh Mafi may be known for her fantasy novels, but her contemporary debut,
A Very Large Expanse of Sea, is just as breathtaking and, narrated by Priya Ayaar, achingly beautiful in audio. Shirin is a teenager in the US in 2002, a turbulent and dangerous time for a young Muslim woman who wears a hijab, which makes her a very visual target amidst heightened Islamaphobia and fear. Shirin is used to putting a wall between her and the rest of the world, but when she meets Ocean James, she must risk letting down her guard or losing out on love. Love in English
Ana is a newly arrived immigrant to America from Argentina, and at first, she finds life in the US overwhelming and just longs for home. But soon, she discovers two very different chances at romance: with Harrison, the American boy in her math class, or with Neo, the Greek Cypriot boy from her ESL classes. Living a life in translation is hard enough, but add love into the mix and you have a funny, painful, and beautiful story of a girl looking to find her place in the world. Earphones Award-winning narrator Frankie Corzo voices it all in
Love in English perfectly. The Voting Booth
In this listen, two teens with very different views on voting find their lives collide unexpectedly. Marva has been waiting for Election Day for weeks, and now she's not going to waste her opportunity. Duke just wants to vote and go about his day. But when he's turned away from his polling location and Marva witnesses this injustice, she becomes determined to see that Duke can vote, no matter what. Robin Eller and Cary Hite tag team this dual POV novel in an energetic performance that will have listeners cheering and checking their voter registration.
Best Fiction Audiobooks Under Seven Hours Their Eyes Were Watching God
Originally published in 1937,
Their Eyes Were Watching God is an American classic and one of the most important novels of the 20th century. It's skillfully narrated by Ruby Dee, who captures the beauty and rhythm of Zora Neale Hurston's language as she embodies Janie Crawford, a Black woman who tells her story of coming of age in the South in the midst of oppression, and how she fights for her voice and the chance to steer her own destiny. Nothing to See Here
Performed by actress Marin Ireland, this Audie Award winner tells the story of Lillian, an aimless 20-something who is stuck in a dead-end job. She's still in contact with her best friend from high school, Madison, who has recently married a senator. When Madison writes and asks Lillian to come help her take care of her new stepchildren, Lillian agrees. It turns out there's a pretty big catch: the kids light on fire when agitated.
Nothing to See Here is a definite must-listen. Milk Fed
Narrated by its author, Melissa Broder,
Milk Fed is a compelling short novel about Rachel, a young woman with an eating disorder and other problems. She is happy to keep calorie-counting and exercising to exhaustion until her therapist encourages her to take a break from her mother, the main impetus behind Rachel's struggles with food. Enter Miriam, an Orthodox woman who is intent on feeding Rachel. The two embark on a transformative relationship that will change Rachel's life.
Best Nonfiction Audiobooks Under Seven Hours What If?
Could you hit a baseball traveling at the speed of light? What if we pointed a laser at the moon? If you've ever wondered about some of life's more unconventional what if's, Randall Munroe has an answer for you—all steeped in science. Munroe is the creator of xkcd, a popular webcomic devoted to offering scientific answers to wild conjectures. A collection of his most absurd and interesting questions and responses,
What If? is narrated by Wil Wheaton, making for an informative and hilarious listen. Sex, Race, and Robots
Sci-fi movies like to portray robots as either the answer to all of our problems or the downfall of humanity. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, according to Dr. Ayanna Howard's research into the future of artificial intelligence. In
Sex, Race, and Robots, a compelling audiobook narrated by actress Amandla Stenberg, Dr. Howard reveals how AI has the potential to make our future better, but also calls critical attention to how our very real biases and stereotypes can affect our development of AI for the worst. The Story of More
Hope Jahren, the scientist whose memoir
Lab Girl became a bestseller, is back with a short nonfiction title about climate change, how we got to where we are now, and what we can do to safeguard our planet for the future. Jahren has a calm but firm voice as she recounts personal anecdotes and explains scientific research in The Story of More. Her serious but approachable demeanor and extensive knowledge empower listeners to move towards change in actionable steps that feel doable. The Witches Are Coming
Lindy West is a comedian, cultural critic, and the author of
Shrill, which was adapted into a television show for Hulu. In her latest essay collection, she examines everything from cancel culture to the Me Too movement, skewering societal assumptions and systems of oppression with her sarcastic and oftentimes profane humor. The Witches Are Coming is an awareness-raising listen that will have you laughing and leave you thinking.