Welcome to our series Charleston Moms FAVORITES! In a season of parenting that feels especially hard, our team is excited to share some of the things that are making us happy and helping us get through the days.
I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm. I’m the friend who read the book before it was a movie. I’m the one who can tell you all the best local book stores, and I always have tons of recommendations in almost every genre if you’re having a hard time finding something to read.
But, with parenthood comes movement. Every time I get comfy with my blanket and book you can bet someone needs something, or there are chores to be done, or errands to be run. So, over the past few years, I’ve developed an audiobook habit. With apps like Audible and Google Play, or free library apps like Libby and Hoopla, I have probably listened to more books in the last year than I’ve ever had the time to sit down and read. I’ve decided to share some of my favorites from some of the most popular genres with all the other book-loving, multitasking, moms out there.
Some of My Favorite Audiobooks
The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang. This is the kind of romance novel that will get you excited about romance novels. It doesn’t follow all the normal tropes of the hero saving the damsel in distress. Stella is an autistic woman with a very successful career. She thinks math is the one thing that can unite the world and has decided that even though the thought of physical touch makes her wince, she needs more data on the subject. This is a great fun romance about a woman who doesn’t think she believes in love, until she does.
Runner up: Landline, by Rainbow Rowell. This book isn’t the steamy romance book you would normally think of in the genre, but it’s still an amazing love story. Georgie is a successful sitcom writer who’s struggling with her home life. When by chance, she starts talking to her husband from the past on an old landline before they were married. Throughout her conversations with him in the past, she begins to realize why she loves him so much in the first place.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton. This has seriously been my favorite audiobook for the last couple of years. I have relistened to it twice and bought the physical copy to have on my shelf. If you’re into a good mystery full of twists and turns this is the book for you! Evelyn Hardcastle will die at the end of the night. Aiden only has one way to escape the gala, and it is to solve her murder, while also realizing every person he encounters may not be who they seem.
Runner up: Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell. This is a great mystery with a story that will pull on the heartstrings of any parent. Laurel Mack’s daughter, Ellie disappeared a decade before, soon after her marriage fell apart, and Laurel can’t let go of the last clue that might lead to what happened to Ellie. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time, and you will not see the end coming at all.
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. If I’m being honest, I would put any Neil Gaiman audiobook in this genre. You can find a lot of his audiobooks with full-cast productions which make the characters seem more flushed out and real, and American Gods is no different. Bringing together the old gods from all over the world with the new American ones who have been slowly taking over, killing off the old. A war has started that has stuck the main character, Shadow, in the middle of something much bigger than he ever wanted to be a part of.
Runner up: The Magicians Series, by Lev Grossman. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Hogwarts was a college in America, filled with normal college antics and magic, this is for you. Quentin has always been kind of an outcast, obsessed with a fictional land called Fillory. When he is admitted to Brakebills School of Magic all of his dreams start to come true, but he finds out the fantasy he’s loved for so long may be more dangerous then he could have ever imagined.
Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay. I listened to this book two years ago and it still keeps me up some nights thinking about it. The Barrett family has agreed to let a documentary team into their home to help further understand the strange events happening around their daughter, Marjorie. 15 years later Marjorie’s younger sister is interviewed about what happened during that time and we see the curtain pulled back on what actually happened when the cameras were turned off. This book, like the movie The Exorcist when I was 17 is not allowed in my room, because I will not sleep if it’s there.
Runner up: My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix. This throwback to Charleston in 1988 is a great way to get some Stranger Things-type vibes into your audiobook sessions. Abby and Gretchen are best friends, but things get strange as something evil seems to be lurking in Gretchen, and it’s up to Abby to save her from the clutches of darkness. This did not keep me awake at night like Head Full of Ghosts but definitely gives you the spooky chills while listening.
The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. Starr is a 16-year-old girl dealing with being the only witness to the death of her friend, who was the victim of a police shooting. Listening to the all too familiar scenario play out through the lens of a teenager who has been thrown in the middle of it all while trying to keep a somewhat normal life is heartbreaking. This doesn’t have the same feel-good story as a lot of YA books, but I feel it’s a very important read for teens and adults.
Runner up: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. I love this series. Dash and Lily are teens who have yet to meet. When Lily leaves a mysterious red notebook filled with instructions for the right guy to find, Dash is the first one to find it. You get to follow them both as they dare each other back and forth through the notebook to do things out of their own comfort zones in New York City during the holiday season.
The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling. If you’re looking for something you don’t need to have headphones in for around the kids you can’t go wrong with Harry Potter. I love the idea of listening to books with my kids. And sharing this iconic series from my childhood with them is an awesome way to do that!
Runner up: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Meggie and her father, Mo live a quiet life with Mo working as a bookbinder. But one night Mo reads from a book he is working on called Inkheart and the villain from the story climbs right out of the book along with other characters. Now Meggie and her father have to find a way to harness the magic of the book and change the course of the story they have become a part of!
You Are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero. This is a little bit older of a self-help book, coming out in 2013, and Sincero has more of these books now, to help with money and the day-to-day motivation. But I really enjoyed listening to her narrate this first book. She really gets all of the pomp and circumstance out of the way that I usually end up rolling my eyes at in this genre and gets straight to business.
Runner up: The Wisdom of Sundays, by Oprah Winfrey. This is a book of conversations with people that Oprah says have helped her on her spiritual journey over the years. She goes through the chapters realizing her life has been full of challenges but knowing that she can get through them with perseverance and positivity about the future. She talks about everything from intention and mindfulness to the power of healing with love and what we call can do to change the world for the better.
Notorius RBG, by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. After Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed in September, I went back to this book that I had first listened to in 2016. She was a fantastic woman with such a great story. There are so many great memoirs about her now, but I love how this one not only shows her powerful personality, but also her lighter side, joking with other justices, and her family life from her childhood until motherhood. This is one of the shorter audiobooks about RBG, but I enjoyed it all the same.
Runner up: Untamed, by Glennon Doyle. The only reason I am putting this as a runner-up is that I really do not know anyone who has not read this book yet. If you haven’t had the pleasure to, please read or listen to it now! This is so much more than a memoir. It’s a love story, and a self-help book, a call to all women to wake up and uncover the voice inside of them. She talks about her struggles with trying to fit into society’s gender roles and how the only way she was finally happy was to break free and begin living by her own rules and make peace with our bodies and emotions that can feel like they are out of our control.
What audiobooks have you enjoyed recently? Let us know in the comments below!
Check out more in our Charleston Moms FAVORITES series!
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Charleston Moms FAVORITES: How to Look More Put Together at Home
Charleston Moms FAVORITES: Favorites Found in My Quest for Simplicity & Connection