Still buzzing from the Disney+ release of Hamilton: An American Musical? SAME. For me, watching the filmed version of the original Broadway production has renewed an obsession that began when I first listened to the cast album back in 2016.
Combining my love of audiobooks with my adoration for this Tony Award–winning musical, I decided to compile a list of audiobooks narrated by the original Hamilton cast. I’m excluding the obvious ones—books written primarily by Hamilton cast members—because, come on, if you’re a fan, you already know about Hamilton: The Revolution, Gmorning, Gnight!, and Failing Up. But what about the hidden gems? Members of the original Hamilton cast have narrated an Afrofuturist novella, a YA romance, and a history of the Civil Rights Movement. Hamilton fans, how lucky we are to be alive right now!
Disclosure: several of these audiobooks are published by my employer, Simon & Schuster Audio, but all opinions are my own.
7 Audiobooks Narrated by the Original Hamilton Cast
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Read by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton)
In this coming-of-age YA novel, two lonely Mexican American teens meet at the swimming pool and spend the rest of the summer together attempting to unravel the mysteries of the universe and themselves. The way Ari and Dante wrestle with life’s big questions reminded me so much of conversations I had with my friends as a teen during similar summers. Not only is this one of my all-time favorite books, it’s quite possibly my all-time favorite audiobook. Hamilton’s title lead Lin-Manuel Miranda delivers such an empathic, nuanced narration of this tender story, that I sometimes forgot I was listening to an audiobook.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
Read by Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schuyler Hamilton), Alicia Keys, Ashley Judd, Danai Gurira, Janeane Garofalo, Esperanza Spalding, Samira Wiley, Mozhan Marnò, and Rowan Blanchard
Looking to inspire a generation of girls to grow up to be as fierce as the trio of Schuyler sisters? This audiobook offers one hundred brief biographies of incredible women from around the world who changed—or are changing!—history. Even better, they’re written in the style of fairytales to make for perfect bedtime listening. Nine talented women divide up the narration, including Hamilton’s first Elizabeth Schuyler, Tony Award nominee Phillipa Soo.
The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes
Read by Daveed Diggs (Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson)
Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs has also been lauded for his contributions to literature. His rap group clipping. received a Hugo nomination for their song “The Deep,” which imagines an underwater society made up of those descended from pregnant women who were thrown overboard from African slave ships. In this Afrofuturist novella, Rivers Solomon builds on this concept to tell the story of Yetu, the historian of her people. To bring everything full circle, Daveed Diggs offers a fantastic performance on the audiobook.
Like No Other by Una LaMarche
Read by Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) and Phoebe Strole
Devorah and Jaxon both live in Brooklyn, but these two teens are still from separate worlds. He’s an easy-going Black bookworm, and she’s a rule-following Jewish girl from a Hasidic community. Then the two get stuck in an elevator together, and pretty soon they’re sneaking away from their respective sides of Crown Heights to see each other. Leslie Odom Jr. narrates Jaxon’s portions of this sweet YA romance, taking on another role involving forbidden love—though in this story no one is cheating on their spouse.
The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker
Read by Jonathan Groff (King George III)
We’re all obsessed with Tony nominee Jonathan Groff’s hilarious portrayal of the murderous King George III, and let’s face it—many of us are also a little obsessed with serial killers. If you find yourself at the crossroads of those two fixations, then do I have the audiobook for you! Groff adopts a slightly more serious tone for his narration of the latest offering from the authors of Mindhunter. In it, criminal profiler John Douglas dives into the minds of four infamous murderers he interviewed during his tenure in the FBI, detailing how he came to understand the origins and motives for their horrendous acts.
In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende
Read by Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds), Dennis Boutsikaris, and Alma Cuervo
Remember in act two of Hamilton when Peggy Schuyler reappeared as Maria Reynolds and blew us all away with her vocals in “Say No to This”? Well, that goddess—AKA Jasmine Cephas Jones—also lends her voice to the audiobook for In the Midst of Winter. She narrates one of three perspectives in the novel: that of a young undocumented immigrant whose life quite literally collides with an aging academic’s when he hits her car during a Brooklyn snowstorm. What follows is a multi-generational tale of friendship, perseverance, and human rights, which—if you think about it—are also prominent themes in Hamilton.
The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement by Taylor Branch
Read by Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr)
If watching Hamilton made you want to dive more into American history, Taylor Branch’s writing on the Civil Rights Movement is essential reading. Parting the Waters, the first book in a nonfiction trilogy centered on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for history. If the 45-hour long unabridged audiobook seems a bit daunting, though, let Leslie Odom Jr. take you on a journey through just the key moments. This concise text compiles eighteen vital selections from the three volumes.
Here’s hoping for more audiobooks narrated by the original Hamilton cast in the future!