6 of the Best Fun and Happy Audiobooks

Kendra Winchester

Contributing Editor

Kendra Winchester is a Contributing Editor for Book Riot where she writes about audiobooks and disability literature. She is also the Founder of Read Appalachia, which celebrates Appalachian literature and writing. Previously, Kendra co-founded and served as Executive Director for Reading Women, a podcast that gained an international following over its six-season run. In her off hours, you can find her writing on her Substack, Winchester Ave, and posting photos of her Corgis on Instagram and Twitter @kdwinchester.

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If we’ve learned anything these past few months, it’s that living life during this time of social distancing is a marathon, not a sprint. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly been feeling the strain on my reading life. I’ve never had so many books going at one time! So until I’m able to focus like I used to, I’m going to need plenty of fun and fluffy audiobooks to pass the time. If you’re in the same boat, here are a few of my favorite fun and uplifting audiobooks that have helped me escape from the difficult realities of our current moment.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Narrated by Jenny Sterlin

If you’re looking for a story that feels like an adorable fairytale, look no further than Diana Wynne Jones. Jones writes stories that on the outset seem simple, but once you start peeling back the layers, you realize how complex her work really is. Howl’s Moving Castle mesmerized me from the first few pages. Sophie, a young milliner, is turned into an old woman when she crosses paths with a witch. Through an odd turn of events, Sophie finds herself working for Howl, an eccentric magic wielder with a demon in his fireplace.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling, Narrated by Kristen DiMercurio

Speaking of witches, I recently discovered These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. In this adorable YA novel, queer witches trying to find the culprit behind a series of strange events. There’s secret identities, vengeful ex-girlfriends, and lots of romantic heart fluttering throughout the story, making this the perfect happy read if you’re in the mood for YA. After all, is there anything better than a group of sapphic witches trying to solve crime?

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams, Narrated by Andrew Eiden and Maxwell Caulfield

When a professional baseball player’s marriage is on the rocks, his friend introduces him to the Bromance Book Club. This group of guys, who also happen to be some of the most well-known, successful men in Nashville, read romance novels and discuss them in the hopes of becoming better husbands and boyfriends. I loved how this romance celebrates its own genre while simultaneously poking fun at it. I found it so delightful, I immediately downloaded the next book in the series, Undercover Bromance.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby, Narrated by the Author

I’ve recommended every other book by Samantha Irby at this point, so are you really surprised she’s on this list? I adore how Samantha Irby can take really mundane situations and make them hilarious. And when she narrates the audio, she uses perfect comedic timing to make her essays even funnier. But be warned if you listen to the audiobook out and about: you may just end up laughing in the middle of the doctor’s waiting room (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything).

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals by Caitlin Doughty, Narrated by the Author

Mortician Caitlin Doughty performs each of her essays with her signature glorious dark humor and wit. In each essay, she answers questions children have asked her over the years, such as “Can my grandma have a Viking funeral?” or “Do people poop when they die?” She adds asides and nervous laughter to her narration, making the audiobook a complete one woman show. I had intended on getting a lot done while listening to this audiobook, but instead I ended up just sitting on the couch laughing so hard that I couldn’t catch my breath.

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul, Narrated by the Author

Scaachi Koul finds herself in a lot of awkward situations. In one essay she describes how she found herself stuck in a dress in a department store. As she’s trying to figure out how on earth to free herself, she contemplates how she got to this moment. She turns a humorous situation into a discussion of how today’s clothing isn’t made for women with curves. Over and over, Scaachi Koul tells her stories, performing each moment as if she’s sharing a hilarious anecdote at a cocktail party. But she turns each story back around to ask serious questions about the world we live in today.