Audiobooks are my summer reading go-to. Winter will find me in a scalding hot tub, reading for hours while soaking the bottom edge of whatever paperback I’m clutching. In the fall I’m particularly vigorous about evening reading with my children before bedtime, and in the spring I have all my students take their independent reading books out to the courtyard to read under the trees. But the summer is…busy. As an elementary librarian, I’m off work. My kids aren’t on a schedule. We’re taking day trips all over the state. And we’re listening to HOURS of audiobooks. Here’s the thing, though: Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks are such a very specific niche that it takes a little digging to find the good stuff.
For a hot second, I considered just spending way too much to buy them full price. But then I remembered how often an audiobook can flop (is the narrator just right? Does this title WORK for us when read aloud? ) and figured out a few tips for making the most of the Unlimited audiobook supply.
First, I learned I need to use this link: Books with Narration in Kindle Unlimited to make sure I was only browsing books with FREE narration included. (Pro tip: there will be a little orange pair of headphones next to the Kindle Unlimited label). There’s not a simple way to browse the free narration offerings by genre, so I did some tenacious investigating.
Below are 50 of the best Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks has to offer, but don’t take my word for it! Sign up for a free 30 day trial and let me know what books I missed.
Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks: Contemporary Fiction
1. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.
Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.
But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.
2. The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past.
Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation. Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.
3. I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan
Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.
Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.
What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?
4. The Best Girls by Min Jin Lee
Inspired by a true event, this powerful short story from the author of National Book Award finalist Pachinko explores the meaning of patriarchy and the cost of female silence through the eyes of a dutiful young girl.
An excellent student from a poor, traditional family in Seoul, the narrator has absorbed the same message her whole life: Only a boy can provide the family with dignity and wealth. Not her. Not her three sisters. Receiving approval only for uncomplaining sacrifice, she has resolved to take on her family’s troubles. She is a good girl. And she knows what good girls must do.
5. Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natasha Sylvester
The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he’s already dead—an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day. Her husband, Martin, still unforgiving for having been abandoned by his father years ago, confesses that he never knew the old man had died. So Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar’s family—especially his wife, Elda—to let him redeem himself.
Isabel and Martin settle into married life in a Texas border town, and Omar returns each year on the celebratory Day of the Dead. Every year Isabel listens, but to the aggrieved Martin and Elda, Omar’s spirit remains invisible. Through his visits, Isabel gains insight into not just the truth about his disappearance and her husband’s childhood but also the ways grief can eat away at love. When Martin’s teenage nephew crosses the Mexican border and takes refuge in Isabel and Martin’s home, questions about past and future homes, borders, and belonging arise that may finally lead to forgiveness—and alter all their lives forever.
6. Trophy Life by Lea Geller
For the last ten years, Agnes Parsons’s biggest challenge has been juggling yoga classes and lunch dates. Her Santa Monica house staff takes care of everything, leaving Agnes to focus on her trophy-wife responsibilities: look perfect, adore her older husband, and wear terribly expensive (if uncomfortable) underwear.
When her husband disappears, leaving Agnes and their infant daughter with no money, no home, and no staff, she is forced to move across the country, where she lands a job teaching at an all-boys boarding school in the Bronx. So long, organic quinoa bowls and sunshine-filled California life. Hello, processed food, pest-infested house, and twelve-year-old-boy humor—all day, every day.
But it’s in this place of second chances (and giant bugs), where Agnes is unexpectedly forced to take care of herself and her daughter, where she finds out the kind of woman she can be. Ultimately, she has to decide if she prefers the woman and mother she has become…or the trophy life she left behind.
Authentic and sharply witty, Trophy Life is proof that granny panties and mom coats might not be the answer to everything; they’re simply comfortable (if slightly unattractive) reminders of what happens when one life ends…and real life begins.
7. Matchmaking for Beginners: A Novel by Maddie Dawson
Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.
And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.
8. Life After Coffee by Virgina Franken
When globe-trotting coffee buyer, Amy O’Hara, assures her husband–who stays at home to watch the kids–that it is He Who Has it Harder… she doesn’t really believe it. That is, until the day she gets laid off, her husband locks himself in the garage to write the Great American Screenplay and she discovers she’s actually the world’s most incompetent mother.
Overnight Amy’s world is no longer one of farmer negations and upscale coffee tastings. Instead she’s spending her days attempting to discover where exactly she went wrong with her two resentful iChildren and trying to carve out a place within her local tribe of put-together neighborhood moms. However as their family dynamic begins to change in both fun and frustrating ways, she’s starting to ask herself the big questions: Can her marriage survive this kind of role reversal? How do you clean puke out from in between the seams of a car seat? And what does she really amount to when the job she thought defined her is removed from the equation?
One thing is certain: whatever happens, she’s going to need a lot more caffeine.
9. Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw
Olympic swimmer Jesse Austin is seduced and consequently edged out for a gold medal by her Australian rival. From there, Anshaw intricately traces three possible paths for Jesse, spinning exhilarating variations on the themes of lost love and parallel lives unlived. Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina, writes, “I found myself wishing I could buy a dozen copies and start a discussion group, just so I’d be able to debate all the questions this astonishing novel provokes.” A Reader’s Guide is available.
10. Mrs. Saint and the Defectives: A Novel by Julie Lawson Timmer
Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.
What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.
11. Halsey Street by Naima Coster
Penelope Grand has scrapped her failed career as an artist in Pittsburgh and moved back to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her ailing father. She’s accepted that her future won’t be what she’d dreamed, but now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizable. Old haunts have been razed, and wealthy white strangers have replaced every familiar face in Bed-Stuy. Even her mother, Mirella, has abandoned the family to reclaim her roots in the Dominican Republic. That took courage. It’s also unforgivable.
When Penelope moves into the attic apartment of the affluent Harpers, she thinks she’s found a semblance of family—and maybe even love. But her world is upended again when she receives a postcard from Mirella asking for reconciliation. As old wounds are reopened, and secrets revealed, a journey across an ocean of sacrifice and self-discovery begins.
An engrossing debut, Halsey Street shifts between the perspectives of these two captivating, troubled women. Mirella has one last chance to win back the heart of the daughter she’d lost long before leaving New York, and for Penelope, it’s time to break free of the hold of the past and start navigating her own life.
12. The Shelf Life of Happiness by David Machado, translated by Hillary Locke
Ripped apart by Portugal’s financial crisis, Daniel’s family is struggling to adjust to circumstances beyond their control. His wife and children move out to live with family hours away, but Daniel believes against all odds that he will find a job and everything will return to normal.
Even as he loses his home, suffers severe damage to his car, and finds himself living in his old, abandoned office building, Daniel fights the realization that things have changed. He’s unable to see what remains among the rubble—friendship, his family’s love, and people’s deep desire to connect. If Daniel can let go of the past and find his true self, he just might save not only himself but also everyone that really matters to him.
13. The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter by J.S. Drangsholt, translated by Tara F. Chace
Ingrid Winter is desperately trying to hold it all together. A neurotic Norwegian mother of three small children and an overworked literature professor with an overactive imagination, Ingrid feels like her life’s always on the brink of chaos.
Her overzealous attempt to secure her dream house has strained her marriage. She’s repeatedly reprimanded for eye rolling in faculty meetings. Petulant PTA parents want to drag her into a war over teaching children to tie their shoes. And an alarmingly persistent salesman keeps warning her of the potential dangers of home intrusion.
Clearly she needs to get away. But Russia? Forced to join an academic mission to Saint Petersburg to promote international cooperation, Ingrid finds herself at a crossroads while drinking too much cough syrup. Will this trip push her into a Siberian sinkhole of existential dread or finally give her life some balance and direction?
Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks: Historical Fiction
14. The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia, Translated by Simon Bruni
From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can—visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats—both human and those of nature—Simonopio’s purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined.
Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.
15. The Whisper of the Moon Moth by Lindsay Jayne Ashford
For nineteen-year-old Estelle Thompson, going to the cinema is more than a way to pass the time…it’s a way out. In 1931 in Calcutta, Anglo-Indian girls like Estelle are considered half-breeds, shunned by both English and Indian society. Her only escape is through the silver screen, where she can forget the world around her.
When Estelle catches the eye of a dashing American heir with connections to a major motion-picture studio, he also captures her heart. Soon, Estelle has a one-way ticket to London and a recommendation for a screen test.
To get to the top, she must keep her Indian heritage concealed—and so begins her new identity as movie goddess Merle Oberon. But just as her dreams are poised to come true, she discovers that her own family is keeping a much more shocking secret from her—one that changes everything she’s believed about her past.
16. Without A Country by Ayse Kulin, translated by Kenneth Dakan
As Hitler’s reign of terror begins to loom large over Germany, Gerhard and Elsa Schliemann—like other German Jews—must flee with their children in search of sanctuary. But life elsewhere in Europe offers few opportunities for medical professor Gerhard and his fellow scientists. Then they discover an unexpected haven in Turkey, where universities and hospitals welcome them as valuable assets.
But despite embracing their adopted land, personal and political troubles persist. Military coups bring unrest and uncertainty to the country, intermarriage challenges the cultural identity of Gerhard and Elsa’s descendants, and anti-Semitism once again threatens their future in the place they call home.
From World War II to the age of social media, one family’s generations find their way through love and loss, sacrifice and salvation, tragedy and triumph—with knowledge hard won and passion heartfelt.
17. The Daughters of the River Huong by Uyen Nicole Duong
Daughters of the River Huong by Vietnam-born, Houston-based writer Uyen Nicole Duong is a richly woven tapestry of family, country, conflict, and redemption. A saga spanning four generations of Vietnamese women, we discover lives inextricably tied to their country’s struggle for independence. Narrated by the teenaged Simone, a girl who flaunts convention and enters into a forbidden relationship of love and sensuality, readers are drawn to the lives of four of Simone’s ancestors, from Huyen Phi, the Mystique Concubine from the extinct Kingdom of Champa, to Ginseng, the Mystique Concubine’s second daughter and a heroine of the Vietnamese Revolution. Duong tells a tumultuous story of power and lust that transports us from the Violet City of Hue to the teeming streets of a Saigon at war, from the affluence of Paris’s St. Germain des Pres to Manhattan. Love, war, capitalism, revolution—this novel delivers a chronicle of history as fascinating as it is memorable
Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks: Thrillers
18. The Mask Collectors: A Novel by Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer
The alumni of an international boarding school have gathered at a campground in rural New Jersey when a scream breaks the silence of the woods. Classmates are shocked to find journalist Angie Osborne suddenly dead. The medical examiner’s report isn’t what anyone expects. Oddly, the death scene reminds anthropologist Duncan McCloud of a thovile, a Sri Lankan ritual he’s spent years studying.
When Duncan’s new employer, a pharmaceutical giant, sends him overseas under shadowy pretenses, and his wife, Dr. Grace McCloud, starts to receive anonymous warnings to doubt everyone and everything, the threads of a sweeping conspiracy begin to unravel. Risking more than their own lives, Duncan and Grace embark on a treacherous journey through occult ceremonies and their own hidden pasts to discover a secret worth killing for.
In taut, precise language, Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer’s debut novel The Mask Collectors tells a story about deception, the power of belief, and what is left unspoken between husbands and wives.
19. The Shotgun Lawyer by Victor Methos
Personal injury attorney Peter Game has a reputation: cynical, untroubled by ethics, and willing to take any case, anytime, in his pursuit of the win. He dreams of a sweetheart score that’ll make his name and net him millions. Then comes the lightning rod: a school shooting just outside of Salt Lake City. His client: the devastated mother of one of the victims.
What she wants is understandable—just not simple: to sue the manufacturers of the automatic weapon used in the mass killing. Game’s opponent, brilliant lawyer Brennen Garvin, is the least of his problems: the entire legal system, influenced by decades of pressure from powerful gun lobbies, is stacked against him.
For Game, this is the case of a lifetime. He’s just not sure his trademark rules will work in his favor. And he’s not sure he wants them to. As Game’s lust for victory gives way to a hunger for justice, he could lose everything—or win back his soul.
20. Don’t Even Breathe by Keith Houghton
Florida homicide detective Maggie Novak has seen hundreds of brutal murder cases, but when she is called out to investigate the charred remains of a young woman, in what appears to be a Halloween prank gone wrong, she is confronted with a twenty-year-old secret. The body is formally identified as that of school counselor Dana Cullen, but a distinguishing mark makes Maggie look again. She believes it is the body of her school friend Rita, who perished in a fire twenty years ago.
Maggie’s hunt for the truth behind the murder takes her back to a cruel high school trick she’s desperate to forget. And when another body turns up, Maggie realizes she too may be the target of a sinister plot creeping toward its final act.
Maggie needs emotional distance to do her job, but she’s so close to this case that she can’t even breathe. Will Maggie be able to uncover the truth of who wanted Rita dead? Or will her past mistakes catch up with her first?
21. A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang
Just beyond the Gilded Age, in the mist-covered streets of New York, the deadly Spanish influenza ripples through the city. But with so many victims in her close circle, young socialite Allene questions if the flu is really to blame. All appear to have been poisoned—and every death was accompanied by a mysterious note.
Desperate for answers and dreading her own engagement to a wealthy gentleman, Allene returns to her passion for scientific discovery and recruits her long-lost friends, Jasper and Birdie, for help. The investigation brings her closer to Jasper, an apprentice medical examiner at Bellevue Hospital who still holds her heart, and offers the delicate Birdie a last-ditch chance to find a safe haven before her fragile health fails.
As more of their friends and family die, alliances shift, lives become entangled, and the three begin to suspect everyone—even each other. As they race to find the culprit, Allene, Birdie, and Jasper must once again trust each other, before one of them becomes the next victim.
22. Search for the Buried Bomber by Xu Lei, Translated by Gabriel Asher
The X-Files meets Indiana Jones in Search for the Buried Bomber, the first in Xu Lei’s Dark Prospects series of thrillers steeped in archeological myths and government secrets.
During China’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution, the People’s Liberation Army dispatches an elite group of prospectors famous for their work uncovering rare minerals to the mountains of rural Inner Mongolia. Their assignment: to bring honor to their country by descending into a maze of dank caves to find and retrieve the remnants of a buried World War II bomber left by their Japanese enemies. How the aircraft ended up beneath thousands of feet of rock baffles the team, but they’ll soon encounter far more treacherous and equally inexplicable forces lurking in the shadows. Each step taken—and each life lost—brings them closer to a mind-bending truth that should never see the light of day. Pride sent them into the caves, but terror will drive them out.
Through the eyes of one of the prospectors, bestselling Chinese author Xu Lei leads readers on a gripping and suspenseful journey.
23. Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic: The Thirteenth Rib by David J. Schwartz
On an Earth that saw the weaponization of demons instead of uranium during World War II, a lone agent battles supernatural forces—and enemies within her own government—to unravel a conspiracy that threatens our very existence. This vivid alternate history sets the stage for a modern-day fantasy adventure that’s equal parts Harry Potter and The X-Files.
Across the world, a steady flow of illegally trafficked demons is fueling terrorist attacks known as “Heartstoppers,” which leave bodies lifeless but not technically dead. Authorities have identified Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic, a quaint school on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as a demon trafficking pipeline. Now it’s up to Joy Wilkins, a young agent from the Federal Bureau of Magical Affairs, to go undercover as a professor and find the source. But when her mentor turns up murdered and the clues point to a secret society known as the Thirteenth Rib, Joy finds herself in the middle of an ancient war that leaves our world hanging in the balance.
Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks: Science Fiction
24. Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war. Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep20. Dawn by Octavia E. Butler (poc)in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before.
The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations—whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.
Featuring strong and compelling characters and exploring complex themes of gender and species, Octavia E. Butler presents a powerful, postapocalyptic interplanetary epic, as well as a ray of hope for humanity.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Octavia E. Butler including rare images from the author’s estate.
25. Nexus by Ramez Naam
In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.
When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.
From the halls of academe to the halls of power; from the headquarters of an elite agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath Shanghai; from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok; from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand – Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion.
26. Damocles by S. G. Redling
When Earth is rocked by evidence that extraterrestrials may have seeded human DNA throughout the universe, a one-way expedition into deep space is mounted to uncover the truth. What linguist Meg Dupris and her crewmates aboard the Earth ship Damocles discover on Didet—a planet bathed in the near-eternal daylight of seven suns—is a humanoid race with a different language, a different look, and a surprisingly similar society.
But here, it’s the “Earthers” who are the extraterrestrial invaders, and it’s up to Meg—a woman haunted by tragedy and obsessed with the power of communication—to find the key to establishing trust between the natives and the newcomers. In Loul Pell, a young Dideto male thrust into the forefront of the historic event, Meg finds an unexpected kindred spirit, and undertakes an extraordinary journey of discovery, friendship, and life-altering knowledge.
Told from both sides of a monumental encounter, Damocles is a compelling novel about man’s first contact with an extraterrestrial race.
27. Black Rain by Matthew B. J. Delaney
In a darkly warped near future, lucrative disease cures are brokered on Wall Street’s Genetic Stock Exchange. And the hottest consumer products are artificially synthesized humans that serve as everything from domestic slaves to combatants in savage gladiatorial games. For Jack Saxton, the young heir to genetic design powerhouse Genico Inc., these Synthates are just a fact of life…until the murder of a high-profile genetic scientist leads a pair of seasoned NYPD detectives to Genico’s door.
As a small band of Synthate rebels steps up its attack on the status quo, Jack encounters a pleasure-parlor girl who opens his eyes to their cause. When he dares to sympathize with the rebels, Jack is hunted down and arrested for the murder. Sentenced to die in the brutal games on Bloomberg Island, Jack will be forced to fight—for his life, for the future of all Synthates, and for a chance to uncover the mind-bending secret buried in his past.
Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks: Mysteries
28. The Queen Con by Meghan Scott Molin
MG Martin thought she’d turned the last page on the dangerous Golden Arrow case. The bad guys are behind bars, and the rest is up to her detective boyfriend, Matteo Kildaire. But when Golden Arrow impersonators start popping up all over Los Angeles, the writer in MG can’t help but be intrigued. Are they impostors, or has the original Golden Arrow returned for another story arc?
A reemergence of drug crime has left the LAPD baffled, and golden arrows are once again being left at crime scenes. Matteo asks MG if she’ll resume consulting on all things geek, and she jumps at the opportunity. No need to mention that she may also do some sleuthing, with her friends’ help, right?
It’s rumored that the Golden Arrow will make a guest appearance at an exclusive queen party, and MG, Lawrence, and Ryan go undercover to sniff out the truth. But the sting goes sideways in a deadly way, and it’s up to their little crew to prove that the Golden Arrow might actually be the supervillain they’re chasing. Because looks can be deceiving, and every good writer knows the sequel is where the real plot twist happens…
29. The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White
He surfaced two years ago. Then he disappeared.
But Detective Angie Pallorino hasn’t forgotten the violent rapist who left a distinctive calling card—crosses etched into the flesh of his victims’ foreheads. When a comatose Jane Doe is found in a local cemetery, sexually assaulted, mutilated, and nearly drowned, Angie is struck by the eerie similarities to her earlier unsolved rapes. Could he be back?
Then the body of a drowned young woman, also bearing the marks of the serial rapist, floats up in the Gorge, and the hunt for a predator becomes a hunt for a killer. Assigned to the joint investigative task force, Angie is more than ready to prove that she has what it takes to break into the all-male homicide division. But her private life collides with her professional ambitions when she’s introduced to her temporary partner, James Maddocks—a man she’d met just the night before in an intense, anonymous encounter.
Together, Angie and Maddocks agree to put that night behind them. But as their search for the killer intensifies, so does their mutual desire. And Angie’s forays into the mind of a monster shake loose some unsettling secrets about her own past. How can she fight for the truth when it turns out her whole life is a lie?
30. The Heiress of Linn Hagh by Karen Charlton
Northumberland, 1809: A beautiful young heiress disappears from her locked bedchamber at Linn Hagh.
The local constables are baffled and the townsfolk cry ‘witchcraft’.
The heiress’s uncle summons help from Detective Lavender and his assistant, Constable Woods, who face one of their most challenging cases: The servants and local gypsies aren’t talking; Helen’s siblings are uncooperative; and the sullen local farmers are about to take the law into their own hands.
Lavender and Woods find themselves trapped in the middle of a simmering feud as they uncover a world of family secrets, intrigue and deception in their search for the missing heiress.
Taut, wry and delightful, The Heiress of Linn Hagh is a rollicking tale featuring Lavender and Woods—a double act worthy of Holmes and Watson.
Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks: Nonfiction
31. Periods Gone Public: Taking A Stand for Menstrual Equality by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
After centuries of being shrouded in taboo and superstition, periods have gone mainstream. Seemingly overnight, a new, high-profile movement has emerged—one dedicated to bold activism, creative product innovation, and smart policy advocacy—to address the centrality of menstruation in relation to core issues of gender equality and equity.
In Periods Gone Public, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf—the woman Bustle dubbed one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists”— explores why periods have become a prominent political cause. From eliminating the tampon tax, to enacting new laws ensuring access to affordable, safe products, menstruation is no longer something to whisper about. Weiss-Wolf shares her firsthand account in the fight for “period equity” and introduces readers to the leaders, pioneers, and everyday people who are making change happen. From societal attitudes of periods throughout history—in the United States and around the world—to grassroots activism and product innovation, Weiss-Wolf challenges readers to face stigma head-on and elevate an agenda that recognizes both the power—and the absolute normalcy—of menstruation.
32. The Dudes Abide: The Coen Brothers & The Making of the Big Lebowski by Alex Belth
In the autumn of 1996, Joel and Ethan Coen were a few months from filming their seventh feature film, The Big Lebowski. Their sixth, Fargo, was released that March to acclaim; awards would follow. Alex Belth, a 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker, landed a job as their personal assistant on Lebowski — and for the next year, was the fly on the wall as the Coens created the movie that would become an enduring movie classic. First as their personal assistant and then as an assistant film editor, Belth observed everything from the pre-production work of location scouting, casting, and rehearsals, all the way through filming and post-production. Belth witnessed when Jeff Bridges and John Goodman met for the first time and rehearsed their iconic roles as The Dude and Walter; when a private screening was held for Alan Klein, the Rolling Stones’ notorious former business manager; and long editing sessions with the Coen brothers in the editing room, as they tied their movie together.
The Dudes Abide is the first behind-the-scenes account of the making of a Coen Brothers movie, and offers an intimate, first-hand narrative of the making of The Big Lebowski — including never-before-revealed details about the making of the film, and insight into the inner workings of the Coen Brothers’ genius.
33. Beautiful Bodies by Kimberley Rae Miller
Like most people, Kimberly Rae Miller does not have the perfect body, but that hasn’t stopped her from trying. And trying. And trying some more. She’s been at it since she was four years old, when Sesame Street inspired her to go on her first diet. Postcollege, after a brief stint as a diet-pill model, she became a health-and-fitness writer and editor working on celebrities’ bestselling bios—sugarcoating the trials and tribulations celebs endure to stay thin. Needless to say, Kim has spent her life in pursuit of the ideal body.
But what is the ideal body? Knowing she’s far from alone in this struggle, Kim sets out to find the objective definition of this seemingly unattainable level of perfection. While on a fascinating and hilarious journey through time that takes her from obese Paleolithic cavewomen, to the bland menus that Drs. Graham and Kellogg prescribed to promote good morals in addition to good health, to the binge-drinking-prone regimen that caused William the Conqueror’s body to explode at his own funeral, Kim ends up discovering a lot about her relationship with her own body.
Warm, funny, and brutally honest, Beautiful Bodies is a blend of memoir and social history that will speak to anyone who’s ever been caught in a power struggle with his or her own body…in other words, just about everyone.
34. Emotional Rescue: Essays on Love, Loss, and Life—With A Soundtrack by Ben Greenman
What songs have made up your life’s soundtrack? Which have captured your every mood and deepest sentiments? Pop music, like no other form of entertainment or art, is capable of articulating our feelings, desires, joy, and pain. In a few soul-grabbing minutes, artists from every genre—from Little Richard to Lou Reed, Willie Nelson to Wu-Tang Clan, Sly and the Family Stone to the Rolling Stones—can help us understand our place in our own lives.
This collection of short, sharp essays by New York Times bestselling author Ben Greenman (Mo’ Meta Blues), organized around a thematic playlist of songs, serves as a reminder of the lyrical power of songwriting and the sonic ability of pop to capture the human experience. Greenman’s wit, insight, and honesty are as sweet and satisfying as the hits (and the deep cuts) at the center of each essay.
35. Women Who Don’t Wait In Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way by Reshma Saujani
Women Who Don’t Wait in Line is an urgent wake-up call from politico and activist Reshma Saujani. The former New York City Deputy Public Advocate and founder of the national nonprofit Girls Who Code argues that aversion to risk and failure is the final hurdle holding women back in the workplace. Saujani advocates a new model of female leadership based on sponsorship—where women encourage each other to compete, take risks, embrace failure, and lift each other up personally and professionally.
Woven throughout the book are lessons and stories from accomplished women like Susan Lyne, Randi Zuckerberg, Mika Brzezinski, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, who have faced roadblocks and overcome them by forging new paths, being unapologetically ambitious, and never taking no for an answer. Readers are also offered a glimpse into Saujani’s personal story, including her immigrant upbringing and the insights she gleaned from running a spirited campaign for U.S. Congress in 2010.
Above all else, Women Who Don’t Wait in Line is an inspiring call from a woman who is still deep in the trenches. Saujani aims to ignite her fellow women—and enlist them in remaking America.
36. The Age of Daredevils by Michael Clarkson
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a small but determined band of barrel jumpers risked their lives in one of the world’s most wondrous waterfalls. Only a few survived.
By turns a family drama and an action-adventure story, The Age of Daredevils chronicles the lives of the men and women who devoted themselves to the extraordinary sport of jumping over Niagara Falls in a barrel—a death-defying gamble that proved a powerful temptation to a hardy few.
Internationally known in the 1920s and ’30s for their barrel-jumping exploits, the Hills were a father-son team of daredevils who also rescued dozens of misguided thrill seekers and accident victims who followed them into the river. The publicity surrounding the Hills’ spectacular feats ushered in tourism, making Niagara Falls the nation’s foremost honeymoon destination, but ultimately set Red Hill Jr. on a perilous path to surpass his father’s extraordinary leaps into the void.
Like the works of Jon Krakauer and David McCullough, The Age of Daredevils explores the primal force of fear and the thirst for adventure that drive humans to the brink of death to see if they can somehow escape.
37. An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having: Travel Stories from The Hairpin edited by Edith Zimmerman
An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having is a collection of essays on travel selected by Edith Zimmerman, the founder of the colorfully offbeat women’s website The Hairpin. Like The Hairpin, these essays are funny, weird, adventurous, and moving. There are stories about following a mysterious stranger’s maps in Mexico, attending endless step aerobics classes in Buenos Aires, faking a terrible British accent in London, and navigating a nude spa in Stockholm. About loneliness, connection, and sunburn. And about daring ourselves to be brave and embracing being scared.
These stories are tied together by relationships: making them, losing them, how we behave in their absence. How we thrive when we’re far from home and falling in and out of love in all of the world’s beautiful places.
38. Ten Habits of Highly Successful Women edited by Glynnis MacNicol and Rachel Sklar
The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Women is a collection of essays revealing the secret career habits and hard-won wisdom of a diverse group of accomplished women, selected by Rachel Sklar and Glynnis MacNicol, co-founders of TheLi.st, the well-known network dedicated to elevating professional women.
Perhaps no group has experienced more upheaval in the last few decades than working women. In this series, each woman explores the one key habit or lesson that has made the difference in forging her career and attaining professional success.
Whether it’s CNN personality Sally Kohn’s exploration of emotional correctness or What Not To Wear’s Stacy London on the wear and tear of our aspirational “Culture of Extraordinary”; why millennial Nisha Chittal won’t tell you her age and what Cindy Gallop learned about sex while dating men half hers; how lessons from waitressing led Jenna Wortham to The New York Times or how Paula Froelich perfected the art of the “controlled burn” to start over after the end of a dream career—these essays uncover the challenges and delights of chasing, and finding, success in work and life as a professional woman.
Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks: Kid Lit
39. The Marble Queen by Stephanie J. Blake
Freedom Jane McKenzie isn’t good at following the rules. She doesn’t like any of the things that girls are supposed to like. She’s good at fishing, getting into trouble–and playing marbles. All she wants is to enter the marble competition at the Autumn Jubilee and show the boys in the neighborhood that she’s the best player.
If she can’t be the Marble King, then she’ll be the Marble Queen. First, Freedom has to convince her mother to let her enter. But there’s a new baby on the way, Freedom’s daddy is drinking too much, her little brother is a handful, and her mother is even more difficult than usual. Freedom learns that when it comes to love, friendship, and family, sometimes there are no rules.
Set in 1959, The Marble Queen, a 2013 Colorado Book Award finalist is a timeless story about growing up.
40. The Adventures of Shrinkman by R.L. Stine, Illustrated by Tim Jacobus
When Danny Marin isn’t playing basketball, he spends hours drawing Shrinkman, his favorite comic-book superhero, or watching Shrinkman movies. His hero can shrink to the size of a bug. But, whoa—wait. Suddenly, Danny finds himself shrinking, too! His parents are horrified, his friend Megan thinks it’s funny, and his doctor is baffled. With each passing hour, Danny gets smaller and smaller—until he’s the size of a sparrow. Soon he’s fighting for his life against a grasshopper, a colony of ants, and even his own dog. He isn’t safe anywhere. He has to find a cure—before he shrinks away forever.
Funny and terrifying and filled with BIG surprises, The Adventures of Shrinkman proves that it takes more than size to overcome impossible hurdles.
(Note: There are SEVERAL R. L. Stine titles available for the kids in your life or an any-age throwback!)
41. Stella Batts Needs A New Name by Courtney Sheinmel, Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
In Needs a New Name, Stella decides to change her name after a boy from her class keeps calling her “Smella.” How hard can it be to pick a new name? It’s not as easy as it sounds.
42. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
43. The Quest for the Diamond Sword: An Unofficial Gamer’s Adventure, Book One by Winter Morgan
Steve lives on a wheat farm. He has everything he needs to live in the Minecraft world: a bed, a house, and food. Steve likes to spend his mornings in the NCP village and trade his wheat for emeralds, armor, books, swords, and food. One morning, he finds that Zombies have attacked the villagers. The Zombies have also turned the village blacksmith into a Zombie, leaving Steve without a place to get swords. To protect himself and the few villagers that remain, Steve goes on a quest to mine for forty diamonds, which are the most powerful mineral in the Overworld. He wants to craft these diamonds into a diamond sword to shield him and the villagers from the Zombies.
Far from his home, with night about to set in, Steve fears for his life. Nighttime is when users are most vulnerable in Minecraft. As he looks for shelter in a temple, he meets a trio of treasure hunters, Max, Lucy, and Henry, who are trying to unearth the treasure under the temple. Steve tells them of his master plan to mine for the most powerful mineral in the Overworld—the diamond. The treasure hunters are eager to join him. Facing treacherous mining conditions, a thunderstorm, and attacks from hostile mobs, these four friends question if it’s better to be a single player than a multiplayer, as they try to watch out for each other and chase Steve’s dream at the same time.
Will Steve find the diamonds? Will his friends help or hinder the search? Should he trust his new treasure hunter friends? And will Steve get back in time to save the villagers?
44. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
On a drowsy afternoon by a riverbank, a young and distracted Alice follows a rabbit into a fantastical underground world that grows curiouser and curiouser. Dared, insulted, amused, and threatened by a succession of anthropomorphic creatures, the indomitable Alice falls deeper into a swirl of the imagination where logic has no place.
Referenced, resourced, analyzed, and embraced since its publication in 1865, Carroll’s masterpiece of the irrational has inspired such varied artists as Walt Disney, Marilyn Manson, Jerome Kern, James Joyce, and Tim Burton. It stands as one of the most extravagantly and ingeniously absurd works in the English language.
Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks: Memoir
45. Man Fast: A Memoir by Natasha Scripture
Shaken by the loss of her father, drained by her job at the United Nations, and conflicted over failed relationships, Natasha Scripture asked herself the question at the heart of her anxiety: What is my purpose? The answer was not about finding love; it was about recognizing its source. The result is Man Fast, a true and intimate spiritual detective story.
With courage, honesty, and wit, Natasha shares the story of her awakening. Starting with the decision to fast from dating, she embarks on a journey that takes her from New York to an ashram in southern India to toiling in a vineyard on Mount Etna to a solo safari in southern Tanzania. In stepping away from the modern demand to couple up, Natasha finally finds a reflective space where she can be fully aware: of her grief, of her identity, and of love as a mystical, ever-present force.
An antidote to a culture that prizes finding the right man, Man Fast is an emotionally charged journey that leaves us with a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
46. The Broken Circle by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller
Before the Soviet invasion of 1980, Enjeela Ahmadi remembers her home—Kabul, Afghanistan—as peaceful, prosperous, and filled with people from all walks of life. But after her mother, unsettled by growing political unrest, leaves for medical treatment in India, the civil war intensifies, changing young Enjeela’s life forever. Amid the rumble of invading Soviet tanks, Enjeela and her family are thrust into chaos and fear when it becomes clear that her mother will not be coming home.
Thus begins an epic, reckless, and terrifying five-year journey of escape for Enjeela, her siblings, and their father to reconnect with her mother. In navigating the dangers ahead of them, and in looking back at the wilderness of her homeland, Enjeela discovers the spiritual and physical strength to find hope in the most desperate of circumstances.
A heart-stopping memoir of a girl shaken by the brutalities of war and empowered by the will to survive, The Broken Circle brilliantly illustrates that family is not defined by the borders of a country but by the bonds of the heart.
47. A Beautiful Work in Progress by Mirna Valerio
Runners’ vocabulary is full of acronyms like DNS for “Did Not Start” and DNF for “Did Not Finish,” but when Mirna Valerio stepped up to the starting line, she needed a new one: DNQ for “Did Not Quit.”
Valerio has tied on her running shoes all across the country, from the dusty back roads of central New Jersey to the busy Route 222 corridor in Pennsylvania to the sweltering deserts of Arizona. When you meet her on the trail, you might be surprised to see she doesn’t quite fit the typical image of a long-distance runner. She’s neither skinny nor white, and she’s here to show just how misguided these stereotypes can be.
In this prejudice-busting, body-positive memoir told with raw honesty, an adventurous spirit, and a sharp sense of humor, Valerio takes readers along on her journey from first-time racer to ultramarathoner and proves that anyone can become a successful athlete.
48. Everybody Loves Kamau! by W. Kamau Bell
Kamau and Melissa’s love was real. But so was her grandfather’s prejudice. In this funny, moving essay, W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN’s United Shades of America, shares his very personal story of culture clash, family tradition, and racial bias.
When the black comedian first meets the beloved Sicilian grandfather of his Italian American girlfriend, Melissa, the wrong sparks fly. The most important member of her large family shuns Kamau. What follows is a bracing, true account of conflict and patience, in-laws and family heirlooms, as Melissa and Kamau deal with cold shoulders, rejection, and finally resolution.
49. A Well-Read Woman: The Life, Loves, and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport by Kate Stewart
Growing up under Fascist censorship in Nazi Germany, Ruth Rappaport absorbed a forbidden community of ideas in banned books. After fleeing her home in Leipzig at fifteen and losing both parents to the Holocaust, Ruth drifted between vocations, relationships, and countries, searching for belonging and purpose. When she found her calling in librarianship, Ruth became not only a witness to history but an agent for change as well.
Culled from decades of diaries, letters, and photographs, this epic true story reveals a driven woman who survived persecution, political unrest, and personal trauma through a love of books. It traces her activism from the Zionist movement to the Red Scare to bibliotherapy in Vietnam and finally to the Library of Congress, where Ruth made an indelible mark and found a home. Connecting it all, one constant thread: Ruth’s passion for the printed word, and the haven it provides—a haven that, as this singularly compelling biography proves, Ruth would spend her life making accessible to others. This wasn’t just a career for Ruth Rappaport. It was her purpose.
50. My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall
Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don’t know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood’s star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way.
My Mother Was Nuts is an intimate backstage pass to Penny’s personal life, her breakout role on The Odd Couple, her exploits with Cindy Williams and John Belushi, and her travels across Europe with Art Garfunkel on the back of a motorcycle. We see Penny get married. And divorced. And married again (the second time to Rob Reiner). We meet a young Carrie Fisher, whose close friendship with Penny has spanned decades. And we see Penny at work with Tom Hanks, Mark Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.
Throughout it all, from her childhood spent tap dancing in the Bronx, to her rise as the star of Laverne & Shirley, Penny lived by simple rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.” With humor and heart, My Mother Was Nuts reveals there’s no one else quite like Penny Marshall.
Need more Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks goodness? Check out last year’s round up to see what still qualifies. More tips for how to make Kindle Unlimited work for you? This post has you covered. Happy listening!
(All book descriptions from Amazon)