The roaring noise and the deafening silence of your day can be tuned out by simply pressing play. One of the first things we learn when we learn language is to speak. We practice speaking, and more importantly, speaking the truth. Listening and telling stories is how our shared love for language fosters and grows. Audiobooks are a gorgeous form of portable storytelling we can carry in our pockets.
Putting on my earphones and turning up the volume on glorious narration is one of my favourite means of escape. I love getting lost in fictional stories that excite me with their premise and move me with their emotion. I also love listening to marginalized voices, to step out of my skin and see things from underrepresented perspectives. I want to share my experiences of escape with you through this list of audiobooks.
This list contains engaging audiobooks belonging to various genres. Whether you’re in the mood for a short story collection, stimulating fiction, or thought-provoking nonfiction, you’ll find a refreshing rec for everything! Scroll on to find something that fits your current listening needs – all under 7 hours.
The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention – A Six Week Artist’s Way Programme by Julia Cameron (6 Hours 9 Minutes)
This book talked a lot about how important listening is and the part it plays in all kinds of professions. The tiny interviews with professionals were fascinating. I liked some of the tools she mentioned to tune into our listening – morning pages, artist dates, believing mirrors, and creating silence. There were some tools I didn’t entirely agree with. Either way, I think it has a little something for anyone lost and looking for creative direction. The audiobook is narrated by Eliza Foss and Julia Cameron, and it made me want to make a conscious effort to listen more.
Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community by Born This Way Foundation Reporters, Lady Gaga (6 Hours 17 Minutes)
Lady Gaga and the reporters from Born This Way Foundation have curated this wonderful collection of stories about kindness, courage, and resilience. It is filled with warm stories about a Christmas that was saved by a generous donation and an unbearable loss that was soothed by care. It talks about a student-run organization that provides menstrual hygiene awareness and resources to low-income communities. It also talks about the idea of writing a journal to remember all the happy memories after losing a loved one. The book brings to light stories of diseases, disabilities, and trauma. Each story is rooted in kindness, kindness for self, and kindness for everything alive. It is narrated by Lady Gaga, Cynthia Germanotta, and a full cast – lending each story its unique voice.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (6 Hours 30 Minutes)
Daring Greatly is a thought-provoking book written by shame researcher and professor Brené Brown. It explores vulnerability in its various forms. It discusses our trouble expressing it and emphasizes the need to do the same. She uses research data, anecdotes, and observations to back up her conclusions. She invites you to a conversation about vulnerability claiming it’s valuable in the way it fosters connection. The audiobook is narrated by the author. She reminds us that to truly connect, we need to let ourselves been seen, in joy, in grief, and in shame.
Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson (6 Hours 43 Minutes)
This novel is made of a fascinating blend of magical realism, humour, and sentimentality. It follows two twins that spontaneously combust when agitated. Add to the mix an absentee father, distant stepmother, and distressed babysitter, and you’ve got yourself a story! This novel is thoroughly engaging and delightfully heart-warming. The story is brought to life by Marin Ireland who won the Audie Award for Best Female Narrator for it.
Don’t Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body by Savala Nolan (6 Hours 46 Minutes)
This is a compelling collection of essays about a mixed-race woman trying to find a space for her body and voice in a world that isn’t comfortable with it. The author narrates 12 essays in which she opens up in vivid detail about various aspects of her identity. They are gripping, nuanced and offer a unique perspective. Savala Nolan’s voice is one that deserves to be heard in all of its courage and vulnerability.
Women And Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology by Jess Zimmerman (6 Hours 53 Minutes)
This riveting audiobook incorporates a fresh cultural analysis of female monsters from Greek Mythology. The author writes in the introduction, “We’ve built a culture on the backs of these monstrous women, letting them prop up tired morals about safety and normalcy and feminine propriety. But the traits they represent — aspiration, knowledge, strength, desire — are not hideous.” She explores the prevalent ideas in today’s culture that still hold women back. She urges us to look at the monstrous version of feminism in all its tainted glory and to learn to embrace it. Vanessa Moyen’s voice lends this exploration an additional layer of fierce determination.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Left Behind by Mikki Kendall (6 Hours 58 Minutes)
This book was extremely eye-opening in the way it portrayed the extremely flawed nature of mainstream feminism. It emphasized how, too often, mainstream feminism doesn’t fulfill the basic necessities of the majority and increases the privilege of the select few instead. It talks about how white feminism overlooks issues concerning race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and class. The book addresses issues like gun violence, hunger, poverty, and politics. It shows how they are extremely relevant from a feminist perspective and need to be a part of the conversation. Mikki Kendall’s fierce voice emphasizes the need for substantial change in the movement’s policies and priorities.