The winter holidays bring so many things, not the least among them seemingly endless chores like baking, cleaning, wrapping presents, more cleaning, cooking, decorating, and still more cleaning. If you’re looking for something to keep your mind occupied during these tasks, may I suggest an audiobooks to listen to — at least one or two or even twelve?
A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan
For me, there is nothing better than a smart, funny romance to kick of the Holiday season. Plus, this novella has some wonderful, sweet family dynamics.
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
Enjoy twelve shorter stories from some of the most popular voices in YA literature. At an average of a little over an hour each, these are perfect for keeping you entertained in short bursts.
Dreidels on the Brain by Joel ben Izzy (MG)
If you have younger kids around the house with curious ears, here’s an option for when they’re home. School Library Journal calls this “an entertaining, slightly over-the-top slice of Jewish suburban life in the 1970s, with the bonus of magic tricks and jokes.”
Neither this book nor this narrator require any introduction by me. What better to get you in the Holiday spirit than the classic Christmas book, narrated by a master?
Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
“A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays.” If you’re without your own family drama this season, snuggle on up to these fictional family secrets.
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
My friends say I take every available opportunity to recommend this audiobook and I guess I’m proving them right here. If you’re looking to completely escape the Holiday season, dive right into Sierra’s world of shadowshaping, a magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories.
Food & Drink
If your family, friends, and coworkers are anything like mine, most Holiday gatherings center around food and drink.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
This is a good one to listen to, while also having the physical book on hand for tables/charts, as well as the recipes. Take a listen to Nosrat’s insights about her four elements, then pick out a couple recipes to test your newfound knowledge.
A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage
Pass me the wine, please! This book “tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola.”
For many, political discussion is inevitable at the holiday dinner table. Either brush up on your disengagement strategies, or be ready to discuss some difficult topics with the help of these books.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
You’re going to want this book as soon as someone utters something like “It’s almost 2018. Racism doesn’t exist anymore.” I only wish Alexander had narrated this book herself because I honestly love hearing her speak.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein
With the recent natural disasters in Houston, Puerto Rico, and most of the Caribbean, this book is more relevant than ever. Klein “demonstrates how free-market ideologues welcome, and provoke, the collapse of other people’s economies.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
Stress and depression are two of the most unwelcome holiday guests we welcome into our lives every winter. These books might help you take care of yourself and focus on the joy of reconnecting with those most important to you.
The Power of No by James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher
Houseguests, work parties, events for your children, family gatherings, volunteering, religious gatherings, cooking, cleaning—demands on your time can be at their highest every holiday season. This guide seeks to help you take back the huge power of that tiny word, “no.”
Full Catastrophe Living by Jon-Kabat Zinn
Take some time for yourself with this updated guide, which “shows you how to use medically proven mind-body approaches derived from meditation and yoga to counteract stress, establish greater balance of body and mind, and stimulate well-being and healing.”
What are your favorite audiobooks to listen to while doing chores or other holiday prep?