You know when you love a book so much, you want everyone to feel the same way? We challenged an unsuspecting co-worker to hear one of our personal faves and then waited for them to thank us profusely. Here’s what really happened… To learn more about a book, click the banner above its review.



"The last book that Laura so adamantly recommended to me was A Little Life and – while it left me broken hearted – it also ended up being one of my all-time favorites. So the bar was set high on this one. Now, I also feel the need to address the elephant in the room: The Nix was named Audible's best book of 2016. So, what took me so long? Well, with a few audiobooks from my favorites lined up in the queue, I bought this in print to switch it up and, I'll admit, it fell by the wayside. Now I'm glad for it, because the audio absolutely blew me away. Hill is one of those writers where you marvel at every sentence. But Ari Fliakos equally captivates, effortlessly voicing lame politicos, pampered college kids, lost souls, and stunted hopefuls. For me, Hill throws everything at the wall; Fliakos made it stick. Laura's two-for-two." -Doug


"A few weeks ago I was thinking that Lincoln in the Bardo was the wildest, most surreal book I would ever listen to. Well that didn't last long. Aside from the occasional Onion article, I don't really consume a lot of satire, and I'm not sure this one would have made my list for some time, so I absolutely have to thank Doug for bringing it to my attention (and for not dropping a Don DeLillo pick on me!). But in truth The Sellout is so much more than satire. It's a fever dream through the fictional town of Dickens, CA, in which our hero, a middle-aged black man, tries to re-establish segregation and slavery. It's horrific and deeply unsettling in the way that a lot of great literature is - where you know this encounter is good for you, but you feel the aches of revelatory growing pains. And even if you want off this ride the narrator won't let you. I'm pretty sure Prentice Onayemi can do anything: not only has he completely owned the narrative perspective, but he's peopled the strangest literary landscape of all time with flesh and blood voices, each unique in their concerns and personal histories. This is one of the most breathtakingly smart books you'll ever pick up, with every mundane moment turning suddenly startling, within every back-handed barb a veiled epiphany." -Emily


"Emily has been talking about the book Stoner for years, calling it a lesser-known but essential classic of American Literature. And while I can honestly say I’ve never gotten a bad recommendation from Emily, Stoner was unfortunately the easiest to put to the side under the deluge of newer, bolder, and more buzzed about books I’m surrounded by. Then came our editors book-swap challenge and I had no choice but to finally give Stoner its turn. As soon as I started listening I was struck by the voice – narrator Robin Field beautifully captures the stoic calmness of the main character, William Stoner, and I knew I could listen to this man’s thoughts and observations for a long time. This is a study of one ordinary man’s life – in its entirety – told with slow and often painful detail yet it held my attention and my heart throughout." -Tricia


"I like to think of myself as someone with a sunny disposition – other than a brief blip in my teenage years, I'm a pretty happy-go-lucky person. Because of this, there's a running joke among the editors about my affinity for really dark, heavy fiction or nonfiction about serious social issues. When Tricia suggested I listen to Mary Roach's Stiff, a book about cadavers, I dove right in. Stiff is so well-done. Roach's straightforward tone (complete with her honest, and strangely hilarious thoughts about the subject of cadaver research) allows this book to take the devastating topic of death, and turn it into a fascinating examination of post-mortem "life". This was my first time listening to Shelly Fraiser narrate, and she was perfect – effortlessly switching between Roach’s inner-monologue and what actually transpired during her research. Now I think Mary Roach is my spirit animal. And that worries me." -Laura


"In spite of its beautiful cover I didn’t think I would like Caraval, because it looks like one more version of The Hunger Games. I saw The Hunger Games movie on a flight once, and can say with certainty that it is just a nerfed rendition of Battle Royale. That being said, Caraval was a pleasant surprise. Author Stephanie Garber and narrator Rebecca Soler are really an excellent combo. Caraval is full of twists, intrigue, and nearly constant action and Soler has this great urgency to her voice that kept me absolutely riveted. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever listened to an audiobook like I did to Caraval (besides maybe Lincoln in the Bardo which is my all-time fave). Sure I sat through plenty of detailed descriptions of beautiful dresses – not to mention immaculately tanned/barrel-chested young men with devious smiles – descriptions that I did not fit the demographic for, but I didn’t mind. I was sincerely invested in Scarlett’s adventure until the very end, and I’m sure that for anyone who enjoys young adult, fantasy, or even mysteries this is an absolute home run." -Michael


"What Michael didn’t know when he picked this for me – is that I’ve been doing a lot of hiking. So I found myself on a long walk through the woods immersed in The Road. I like post-apocalyptic genre trash and I like highbrow fiction. But when this thing came out, it was so highly praised that I avoided it. I’m too contrary to follow trends. I am glad I waited. It’s quite an experience. Dark and weird. The characters must use the phrase "I know" two hundred times – and narrator Tom Stechschulte manages to make each one different. It made me think of Old Man and the Sea and Waiting for Godot, and may be the best audiobook ever for people who listen on a treadmill." -Frank


"I think it’s fair to say that listening to my first Philip K. Dick novel was a trip. (Not necessarily a bad one or a good one – but a trip, nonetheless.) I spent a lot of time wondering what was really happening to the characters, and what was a hallucination; worrying which elements of this future Earth (scorched so that no one can stand to be outside in the heat) might come true. But I had the excellent Luke Daniels as my guide – through space and time – and for that, I’m grateful that Frank picked this weird little book for me. Daniels has always been one of our most popular narrators, reaching beloved status with his performance of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, and I’m happy to have finally experienced his talent in taking on this book swap challenge." -Diana


"It’s well-known around Audible that Diana has excellent taste in books, so I was pretty thrilled to find out she had picked my name. While I wasn’t too familiar with Jessi Klein beyond her appearances on Comedy Central and VH1’s Best Week Ever, you can now go ahead and add one more name to her fan club. This essay collection from the head writer of Inside Amy Schumer was both hilarious and completely relatable – I wholeheartedly sympathized with her descriptions of herself as a young tomboy-turned-awkward-adult-woman and caught myself nodding along to her astute, often very feminist, observations about life. Having Klein narrate was a delight. In one moment, I would feel as if I was sitting front row at one of her stand up sets, and in the next, like I was leaning in at a coffee shop for an intimate conversation with a good friend. What Diana maybe didn’t know, is that like Jessi Klein, I too had childhood dreams of becoming a comedian. Though you won’t find me at any open mic nights anytime soon (though I’m not ruling it out entirely…), I felt like I found a new kindred spirit in this book. Thanks, Diana!" -Sam


"It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to a dystopian novel that didn’t also double as a fast-paced thriller of sorts – with children killing children, active rebellions, or an easily identifiable "evil" to rally against. Never Let Me Go is a slow burn, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s beautiful composition unravels the unsettling intricacies of this world with an eerie grace. Rosalyn Landor’s narration is so natural and her characterizations remarkably consistent; she brings a deep familiarity to the world and people so that you already feel a part of their reality even when you’ve just begun to listen. There’s no earth-shattering climax, and the truth is always lingering just there in the background – much like for the characters – so what you mainly take away is this exploration of what it means to be human, rather than a fear of this other, though not unimaginable, world. I’ll probably return to my fast-paced dystopias for now, but Sam has guaranteed that I’ll be seeking out more from Ishiguro in the future." -Katie