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Culture > Entertainment

Audiobooks to Try While Online Studying

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Susqu chapter.

Struggling through your online classes? Want to change up your routine? Whenever I’m in a reading slump (or let’s be honest, a life slump), I start listening to audiobooks. If you’re used to listening to music while studying, audiobooks aren’t that much different. It’s a wonderfully immersive experience, as well as a way to read all the books you want while still working hard in school. I love audiobooks, because after a long day of studying and attending classes, I have little motivation to read anything else. Reading becomes a chore. With audiobooks, I can read a book a day! I’ve listened to many books over the past couple of years, both good and bad, and here are some of the best audiobooks I’ve relished.

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Her Campus Media

1. The Witch of Dova by Leigh Bardugo

This read is perfect for fans of Russian mythology, fairytales, and young adult fantasy books. It’s a short story, only 52 minutes long, but beautifully ethereal in its rendition. The plot involves three strong-willed women all with opposing personalities. The character interactions feel real! The language is gorgeously detailed. The story is by Leigh Bardugo, a famous storyteller who wrote the Six of Crows duology and the Shadow and Bone series. Due to the recent quarantine, Audible has made this book one of the audiobooks available for free. Also, you’ll love the plot twist at the last five minutes of the story.

2. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

I was able to listen to this audiobook through the Overdrive library app. It’s truly an experience, and you won’t want to stop listening. Throughout the story, there are subtle and unique sound effects, such as dwarves working in the mines. You haven’t heard the sounds of a forest till you’ve heard it here! Even better is the instrumental music in intervals. These play at just the right times, and you feel as if you’re listening to an epic movie soundtrack. The voice actors are brilliant as well– especially the voice of the Queen, which sounds naturally royal. I’m so glad that this was the first Neil Gaiman story that I read!

Anthony Tran
Anthony Tran / Unsplash

3. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Want to try reading nonfiction but don’t know where to start? I loved this book because it’s easy listening. This memoir is so transformative and inspiring, it’s almost too funny to listen to. I loved this book so much that I couldn’t get it out of my head for days. Kendrick is an entertaining and relatable narrator. She’s kind and lovely and isn’t afraid to tell the truth. She has a Gilmore Girls style wit that is hilarious. The book is also super short in duration and you can borrow it from your local library. This is a clever book about an inspirational woman, and hopefully it will inspire you.

4. When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney

This audiobook is a nonfiction book about six powerful historical women. Cooney is a consistent, strong narrator and it’s always wonderful to hear an author read their own work. It’s history told through the lives of women and I think it’s about time history was told this way! For a nonfiction book it’s not very long, only nine hours. This book might take you a couple of days, but so far I’m enjoying it. I also love how Cooney will pause the narration and say “this woman was awesome.” I was able to purchase this audiobook on sale from the Chirp audiobook app, and even though the sale is now over, make sure to check out the app.

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Abby Chung

5. In Praise of Difficult Women by Karen Karbo

Speaking of inspirational and powerful books, this one’s great too. What makes this book different is that it contains essays on historical and contemporary women. Cheryl Strayed, one of my favorite memoirists, wrote the book’s foreword. Some of the women discussed are Frida Kahlo, Carrie Fisher, Shonda Rhimes, Nora Ephron, and Elizabeth Taylor. This book highlights women that are often forgotten, underestimated, and ignored. This book proves that all women have made significant contributions. It’s eleven hours, but it’s evenly divided into chapters for the reader. You can pick up anywhere in the book! 

I'm part time yoga teacher and a full time reader. I never miss an opportunity to listen to audiobooks on a car ride, or to read ebooks during breaks in my classes. I'm a senior at Susquehanna University where my major is creative writing with a minor in women and gender studies.
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