The Best Audiobooks Under 6 Hours

Looking for an audiobook but don’t want to commit yourself for days... or weeks? To help, we’ve compiled a list of great listens that come in under six hours.

Are you new to audiobooks? Do you have a short attention span, or not a lot of time to devote to listening? Maybe you're making the leap from podcast episodes to audiobooks, or perhaps you just want to listen to as many books as possible to meet your goals. Whatever the reason you might have for seeking out short audiobooks, we've got you covered with some of the best audiobooks under six hours in a wide variety of genres. 

These audiobooks may be short, but they're big on action, adventure, passion, knowledge, heartfelt feeling, and thought-provoking insights. Get ready to build your library and experience some of the best short fiction and nonfiction listens available.

 

Best Sci-Fi Audiobooks Under Six Hours

Remote Control

Sankofa has spent years wandering, searching for an extra-terrestrial object that was given to her and then taken away suddenly. Sankofa is both feared and revered for her unique and terrifying ability—she can cause death without even having to touch a person. But as she searches, she also looks for the truth about her past and the person she once was. In Remote Control, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor draws listeners into a coming-of-age story with supernatural twists. Seasoned audiobook narrator and Bridgerton actress Adjoa Andoh voices this audiobook, and you won't want to miss her Earphones Award-winning performance.

All Systems Red

A security droid has gained sentience in the darkly humorous and unexpectedly charming All Systems Red. Murderbot, as the droid refers to itself, can't stand humans. It just wants to figure out who it is, and what it could be if it weren't programmed to serve humanity. But when a group of scientists on an exploratory mission find themselves imperiled, Murderbot will have to help them survive. Kevin R. Free narrates Martha Wells's gripping novella and its sequels, which you'll want to download immediately because this series is the perfect dose of dark wit mashed with sci-fi adventure.

The Deep

Yetu belongs to a group of water-dwelling people who are descendants of the African women thrown overboard by slavers. She is the only one in her society who bears the traumatic memories of their past, the rest choosing to forget. But when the weight of all of her knowledge becomes too much to bear, Yetu flees to the surface, where she finds a completely different world than her own. Based on a song by Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes, this novella was written by Rivers Solomon with the trio's blessing; Daveed Diggs further lends his talents to The Deep by narrating the audiobook.

Remote Control

Sankofa has spent years wandering, searching for an extra-terrestrial object that was given to her and then taken away suddenly. Sankofa is both feared and revered for her unique and terrifying ability—she can cause death without even having to touch a person. But as she searches, she also looks for the truth about her past and the person she once was. In Remote Control, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor draws listeners into a coming-of-age story with supernatural twists. Seasoned audiobook narrator and Bridgerton actress Adjoa Andoh voices this audiobook, and you won't want to miss her Earphones Award-winning performance.

All Systems Red

A security droid has gained sentience in the darkly humorous and unexpectedly charming All Systems Red. Murderbot, as the droid refers to itself, can't stand humans. It just wants to figure out who it is, and what it could be if it weren't programmed to serve humanity. But when a group of scientists on an exploratory mission find themselves imperiled, Murderbot will have to help them survive. Kevin R. Free narrates Martha Wells's gripping novella and its sequels, which you'll want to download immediately because this series is the perfect dose of dark wit mashed with sci-fi adventure.

The Deep

Yetu belongs to a group of water-dwelling people who are descendants of the African women thrown overboard by slavers. She is the only one in her society who bears the traumatic memories of their past, the rest choosing to forget. But when the weight of all of her knowledge becomes too much to bear, Yetu flees to the surface, where she finds a completely different world than her own. Based on a song by Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes, this novella was written by Rivers Solomon with the trio's blessing; Daveed Diggs further lends his talents to The Deep by narrating the audiobook.

 

Best Memoir Audiobooks Under Six Hours

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Written and narrated by the legendary humorist David Sedaris, this collection of essays tells stories from Sedaris's life, beginning with his childhood in North Carolina and continuing through adulthood as he made a career as a performance artist and writer, moving from Chicago to New York to France. This audio edition of Me Talk Pretty One Day also includes live recordings you won't find anywhere else.

Bossypants

In Bossypants, comedian and television star Tina Fey shares stories from her life, spanning from her childhood and the early days of her career to her time on Saturday Night Live, as well as hilarious anecdotes about marriage and motherhood. Fey narrates this pause-resistant, laugh-out-loud audiobook, which also includes bonus, never-before-recorded content.

Heart Berries

Therese Marie Mailhot is a writer, mother, and citizen of the Seabird Island Band. Her short, experimental memoir, Heart Berries tells of her dysfunctional upbringing, complicated relationships, and struggles as a mother and woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. Rainy Fields narrates Mailhot's beautiful and painful story with reverence and passion in a performance that is utterly captivating and at times discomfiting.

The Rules Do Not Apply

In The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy expands on her viral essay Thanksgiving in Mongolia, which first appeared in The New Yorker, to tell the story of how she grew up to become a writer and risk-taker, only to find tragedy. While in her second trimester of a long-awaited pregnancy, she flew to Mongolia on assignment and suffered a devastating miscarriage. With raw honesty, the author narrates her at turns uplifting and harrowing memoir, spanning from her childhood secrets and anxieties to building her career, from forging a new path with her wife to her troubled marriage and the aftermath of loss.

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Written and narrated by the legendary humorist David Sedaris, this collection of essays tells stories from Sedaris's life, beginning with his childhood in North Carolina and continuing through adulthood as he made a career as a performance artist and writer, moving from Chicago to New York to France. This audio edition of Me Talk Pretty One Day also includes live recordings you won't find anywhere else.

Bossypants

In Bossypants, comedian and television star Tina Fey shares stories from her life, spanning from her childhood and the early days of her career to her time on Saturday Night Live, as well as hilarious anecdotes about marriage and motherhood. Fey narrates this pause-resistant, laugh-out-loud audiobook, which also includes bonus, never-before-recorded content.

Heart Berries

Therese Marie Mailhot is a writer, mother, and citizen of the Seabird Island Band. Her short, experimental memoir, Heart Berries tells of her dysfunctional upbringing, complicated relationships, and struggles as a mother and woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. Rainy Fields narrates Mailhot's beautiful and painful story with reverence and passion in a performance that is utterly captivating and at times discomfiting.

The Rules Do Not Apply

In The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy expands on her viral essay Thanksgiving in Mongolia, which first appeared in The New Yorker, to tell the story of how she grew up to become a writer and risk-taker, only to find tragedy. While in her second trimester of a long-awaited pregnancy, she flew to Mongolia on assignment and suffered a devastating miscarriage. With raw honesty, the author narrates her at turns uplifting and harrowing memoir, spanning from her childhood secrets and anxieties to building her career, from forging a new path with her wife to her troubled marriage and the aftermath of loss.

 

Best Self-Development Audiobooks Under Six Hours

The Myth of the Nice Girl

Fran Hauser knows that the struggle is real for women with big career ambitions in a sexist world and job market. In The Myth of the Nice Girl, she shares her strategies for how women can be assertive and chase after their dreams without compromising on their values. Hauser narrates this candid guide, advocating for kindness and authenticity in the workplace and showing how those traits can be assets—not liabilities—for any woman at work.

When Things Fall Apart

When bad things happen to us, our instinct can be to shy away from them. But in this heartfelt and honest listen, Pema Chödrön argues that the only way out is through, so we need to embrace life's adversities and the lessons they teach us. Hall of Fame narrator Cassandra Campbell narrates When Things Fall Apart, a profound book about facing difficult times together and finding strength and grace in our connection with others.

Yoke

Known as the fat Black queer yogi, Jessamyn Stanley believes that yoga is for every body and means so much more than poses on the mat. In this contemplative audiobook, which she also narrates, Stanley digs into the how and why of yoga in every day life. Yoke is an essential listen for anyone looking to deepen their yoga practice and find connections in yoga and everything we do.

The Gifts of Imperfection, 10th Anniversary Edition

Best-selling author and down-to-earth social scientist, Brené Brown narrates the 10th anniversary edition of her groundbreaking first book. The Gifts of Imperfection encourages listeners to take a closer look at their own lives, misconceptions, and imperfections, and then follow 10 guideposts that will help them let go of unrealistic expectations to embrace happiness and find more fulfillment. This anniversary edition also features a brand new foreword, written by the author.

The Myth of the Nice Girl

Fran Hauser knows that the struggle is real for women with big career ambitions in a sexist world and job market. In The Myth of the Nice Girl, she shares her strategies for how women can be assertive and chase after their dreams without compromising on their values. Hauser narrates this candid guide, advocating for kindness and authenticity in the workplace and showing how those traits can be assets—not liabilities—for any woman at work.

When Things Fall Apart

When bad things happen to us, our instinct can be to shy away from them. But in this heartfelt and honest listen, Pema Chödrön argues that the only way out is through, so we need to embrace life's adversities and the lessons they teach us. Hall of Fame narrator Cassandra Campbell narrates When Things Fall Apart, a profound book about facing difficult times together and finding strength and grace in our connection with others.

Yoke

Known as the fat Black queer yogi, Jessamyn Stanley believes that yoga is for every body and means so much more than poses on the mat. In this contemplative audiobook, which she also narrates, Stanley digs into the how and why of yoga in every day life. Yoke is an essential listen for anyone looking to deepen their yoga practice and find connections in yoga and everything we do.

The Gifts of Imperfection, 10th Anniversary Edition

Best-selling author and down-to-earth social scientist, Brené Brown narrates the 10th anniversary edition of her groundbreaking first book. The Gifts of Imperfection encourages listeners to take a closer look at their own lives, misconceptions, and imperfections, and then follow 10 guideposts that will help them let go of unrealistic expectations to embrace happiness and find more fulfillment. This anniversary edition also features a brand new foreword, written by the author.

 

Best YA Audiobooks Under Six Hours

Clap When You Land

Elizabeth Acevedo has won a National Book Award for Young People's Literature, among many accolades, for her works of YA fiction. Narrated by Acevedo and Maria-Luisa Marte, Clap When You Land is a novel-in-verse, and an Odyssey Honor Audiobook, that tells the powerful story of two half-sisters who meet after a tragedy. Yahairo Rios, who lives in New York City with her parents, and Camino Rios, who lives in the Dominican Republic with her mother and lives for the summers when her father visits, discover each other after their beloved father dies in a plane crash, forcing them to decide what it means to be sisters.

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

With powerful dual narration by Brittany Pressley and Channie Waites, I'm Not Dying with You Tonight reveals the lives of Lena and Campbell, two teens who attend the same high school but are worlds apart. Lena is Black, outgoing, and popular, with many friends; Campbell is white, has just moved to town, and struggles to connect with anyone. When a fight at a football game escalates into a riot in the streets, Lena and Campbell must rely on each other to get home safely. The audiobook is tense, and the pace relentless as it takes place over the course of a single, life-changing night.

Pet

Pet is the award-winning YA novel by acclaimed author Akwaeke Emezi about a utopian world where the monsters of old have long been defeated. Jam, a trans girl who is loved and accepted for being herself, is shocked when a creature emerges from her mother's painting and tells her there is one monster left—and it's hurting her best friend's family. Narrated by the book's editor, Christopher Myers, this audiobook tells a powerful allegorical tale about recognizing monsters for what or who they really are and speaking up.

We Are Okay

Jorjeana Marie narrates We Are Okay, a Printz Award-winning novel about grief, friendship, love, and second chances. Marin left everything behind, even her best friend Mabel, when she left California for college on the east coast. Now it's Christmas, and her dorm is emptying out, and Mabel is coming to visit. Marin both longs for her best friend and is terrified, because seeing Mabel again will force her to face the truth about the grief that she's been running from, and Marin isn't sure she's strong enough to bear it alone.

Clap When You Land

Elizabeth Acevedo has won a National Book Award for Young People's Literature, among many accolades, for her works of YA fiction. Narrated by Acevedo and Maria-Luisa Marte, Clap When You Land is a novel-in-verse, and an Odyssey Honor Audiobook, that tells the powerful story of two half-sisters who meet after a tragedy. Yahairo Rios, who lives in New York City with her parents, and Camino Rios, who lives in the Dominican Republic with her mother and lives for the summers when her father visits, discover each other after their beloved father dies in a plane crash, forcing them to decide what it means to be sisters.

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

With powerful dual narration by Brittany Pressley and Channie Waites, I'm Not Dying with You Tonight reveals the lives of Lena and Campbell, two teens who attend the same high school but are worlds apart. Lena is Black, outgoing, and popular, with many friends; Campbell is white, has just moved to town, and struggles to connect with anyone. When a fight at a football game escalates into a riot in the streets, Lena and Campbell must rely on each other to get home safely. The audiobook is tense, and the pace relentless as it takes place over the course of a single, life-changing night.

Pet

Pet is the award-winning YA novel by acclaimed author Akwaeke Emezi about a utopian world where the monsters of old have long been defeated. Jam, a trans girl who is loved and accepted for being herself, is shocked when a creature emerges from her mother's painting and tells her there is one monster left—and it's hurting her best friend's family. Narrated by the book's editor, Christopher Myers, this audiobook tells a powerful allegorical tale about recognizing monsters for what or who they really are and speaking up.

We Are Okay

Jorjeana Marie narrates We Are Okay, a Printz Award-winning novel about grief, friendship, love, and second chances. Marin left everything behind, even her best friend Mabel, when she left California for college on the east coast. Now it's Christmas, and her dorm is emptying out, and Mabel is coming to visit. Marin both longs for her best friend and is terrified, because seeing Mabel again will force her to face the truth about the grief that she's been running from, and Marin isn't sure she's strong enough to bear it alone.

 

Best Nonfiction Audiobooks Under Six Hours

Bygone Badass Broads

If you want to dive into a history of influential and powerful women that you probably haven't heard of, then Bygone Badass Broads is the audiobook for you! Mackenzi Lee shares the stories and achievements of brave, bold women pioneers throughout history, spanning from the fifth century BCE to present day, who are often overlooked. Lucy James narrates the sometimes informal and often funny accounts of these trailblazers and their remarkable contributions to the world.

The Future We Choose

Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, negotiators for the Paris Agreement, have laid out a straightforward path to what the world can do now to avoid catastrophic climate disaster. While cautiously optimistic about the future, they stress that our choices and actions over the next 30 years will be critical for our planet's future and the fate of humanity. Both authors narrate The Future We Choose, delivering two scenarios for 2050: one describing what life on Earth will be like if we act now, with 10 concrete actions to lead the way—and the other that shows what will happen to the world if we don't.

Thick

If you're looking for a short nonfiction audiobooks that goes deep into thought-provoking territory, Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick is the answer. Cottom is a sociologist, author, thinker, podcaster, and all around insightful observer of life and society. Her eight essays included in Thick cover a range from beauty standards to infant mortality, while her consistent feminist viewpoint explores the many intersections of race, identity, culture, politics, and the sense of self.

On Juneteenth

Karen Chilton narrates Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Texas native Annette Gordon-Reed's concise but impactful account of the sweeping importance of Juneteenth in American history. Now a federal holiday, observed on June 19th, to commemorate the day that the news of emancipation finally reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth has not always gotten the recognition it deserves. On Juneteenth expertly reveals how this essential piece of history informs so much about our society and our nation, and provides a sobering reminder that the fight for equality is ongoing.

Bygone Badass Broads

If you want to dive into a history of influential and powerful women that you probably haven't heard of, then Bygone Badass Broads is the audiobook for you! Mackenzi Lee shares the stories and achievements of brave, bold women pioneers throughout history, spanning from the fifth century BCE to present day, who are often overlooked. Lucy James narrates the sometimes informal and often funny accounts of these trailblazers and their remarkable contributions to the world.

The Future We Choose

Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, negotiators for the Paris Agreement, have laid out a straightforward path to what the world can do now to avoid catastrophic climate disaster. While cautiously optimistic about the future, they stress that our choices and actions over the next 30 years will be critical for our planet's future and the fate of humanity. Both authors narrate The Future We Choose, delivering two scenarios for 2050: one describing what life on Earth will be like if we act now, with 10 concrete actions to lead the way—and the other that shows what will happen to the world if we don't.

Thick

If you're looking for a short nonfiction audiobooks that goes deep into thought-provoking territory, Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick is the answer. Cottom is a sociologist, author, thinker, podcaster, and all around insightful observer of life and society. Her eight essays included in Thick cover a range from beauty standards to infant mortality, while her consistent feminist viewpoint explores the many intersections of race, identity, culture, politics, and the sense of self.

On Juneteenth

Karen Chilton narrates Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Texas native Annette Gordon-Reed's concise but impactful account of the sweeping importance of Juneteenth in American history. Now a federal holiday, observed on June 19th, to commemorate the day that the news of emancipation finally reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth has not always gotten the recognition it deserves. On Juneteenth expertly reveals how this essential piece of history informs so much about our society and our nation, and provides a sobering reminder that the fight for equality is ongoing.

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The Best Audiobooks Under 5 Hours

Looking for an audiobook that can be finished in just a few sessions? These standout listens will immerse you for a few hours with captivating storylines and unforgettable performances. These are the best audiobooks under five hours.