Spectacular Audiobooks by Spectacular Female Authors

Romance: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

What happens when the first son of the US falls in love with the prince of England? This is pretty much the perfect feel-good romance with loads of literary love-letters, pining, a lovely cast of characters you’d like to hang out with (YES for a female president and latinx representation!) and really good writing. This is EXACTLY what we need more of: dramatic but happy queer love stories. The narration done by Ramon de Ocampo is absolutely beautiful too. For more LGBTQ romance available on audio form try Leah of the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (an YA novel featuring a fat bisexual female protagonist) or for something more historical and definitely more steamy, go for Think of England by KJ Charles (TW: xenophobia, racism, homophobia and antisemitism explored in this book). For a straight rec, I would go for The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (narrated by Carly Robins) if you want something saucy. Otherwise, You can’t really go wrong with Jane Austen, and her books are widely available in audio book form.

Black Lives Matter: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This is a very important and thought-provoking book. It’s stunningly written, moving, revolutionary, funny and altogether unputdownable. It’s about a girl who loses a friend, the raging racism African Americans face, friendships, family and what happens when poverty and racism intersect. If you have read this one already, still give it a listen just because of the stunning narration by Bahni Turpin. Otherwise, try Thomas' newer On the Come Up (also beautifully read by Bahni Turpin), which is just a good, just as gripping, and just as important. These two should be on EVERYBODY’s TBR list.

Short Story: 'The Library Window' by Margaret Oliphant

A beautiful look into the 19th century life of women, a spectral window and an imagined future. This amazing short story allows for different interpretations, and it’s a short listen, so definitely give it a go!

Thought-Provoking: The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

These books are beautiful and horrible and stunning and complex and full of pain and endurance, just like it’s main characters Lenù and Lila. Starting from a 50s Naples, it spans almost the lifetime of this female friendship, exploring themes such as violence, poverty and social class. Truly a magical yet harrowing set of books, beautifully read by Hillary Huber.

Historical YA: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

A bisexual witty English lord, his super smart sister and best friend/ love-interest are doing the grand tour in the 17th century Europe, and things are going to get really interesting: alchemy, royal scandals, theft, fantasy and romance included. It’s absolutely beautifully narrated by Christian Coulson, who has the perfect Monty-voice. It's hilarious and exciting and sweet and gripping, so definitely give this one a go.

Satire: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

A true classic, Northanger Abbey is Austen wit at it’s best. In this rather different novel of hers, she satirises the Gothic genre, playing with its tropes. It’s both really satisfying from a literary history perspective and just absolutely hilarious. Currently, my favourite Austen book! I very much enjoyed the adaptation by Anna Lea narrated by Emma Thompson.

Modern Classic: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the queen of dystopias and The Handmaid’s Tale is again one of those everybody-really-should-read-this type of books. As an audiobook, it’s not altogether pleasant, but then again, it’s not supposed to be. It is, however, very real, frighteningly suffocating and heartbreaking and filled with uncertain glimpses of both fear and hope (TW: rape, violence). I definitely recommend the version read by the author herself.

Memoir: Hunger by Roxane Gay

Read by the author herself, Hunger explores the experiences of Roxane Gay, her body, disordered eating and sexual violence. Not an easy listen by any means but an important one. A voice that demands to be heard. Every body deserves to be respected, and before you ever doubt that, go listen to this book. Seriously. Be mindful of the potentially triggering content, though (eating disorder, rape).

Non-Fiction: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

History of racism in the UK. Tons of knowledge of racism, colonialism and black history, narrated by the author herself. Again, everybody should read this book. Especially all white people. So just go purchase this audio book and educate yourself.