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The 12 Best Audiobooks of 2018

These Audible titles will keep you from leaving your car, the treadmill, or wherever else you plug in to escape. Our roundup has something for everyone, from thrillers and fiction debuts to self-help books and memoirs.

 The President Is Missing Audible Audiobook – UnabridgedVia

The President Is Missing

This high-profile collaboration between former President Bill Clinton and James Patterson got marks for (naturally) being a very “insider” White House thriller. A grave threat looms on American soil when the president himself disappears. Narrated by a full cast that includes actor Dennis Quaid. Taking a road trip? Don’t miss the top family-friendly audiobooks.

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Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White HouseVia

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

President Donald Trump’s legacy will surely be studied for its temperament and tone. One of the earliest and most notorious accounts of “45” is Michael Wolff’s bestseller, narrated by Holter Graham. AudioFile Magazine lauded his narration, saying, “[Holter Graham] uses his deep, elastic voice to punctuate key ideas, and he speeds up and slows down to create tension … The result is a wonderful performance of a most important audiobook.”

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Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Via

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

In Brené Brown’s latest inspirational self-help blockbuster, she studies the characteristics that allow great leaders to lead. This guide packages her research into practical and anecdotal tips for readers. Narrated by the author. Don’t miss the top 10 books everyone lies about reading.

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The OutsiderVia

The Outsider

In Stephen King’s latest thriller, a small town is turned upside down when a local coach is arrested for the brutal murder of an 11-year-old boy. Detective Ralph Anderson has some very personal reasons for getting to the bottom of it. Narrated by Will Patton, recipient of the Best Male Narrator Audie Award. Did you know Amazon Prime members get to stream original podcasts for free? Check out the 16 other Amazon Prime benefits you might not know about.

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Educated: A Memoir Via

Educated: A Memoir

Born to survivalist parents in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover lacked a formal education. In one of the most breathtaking trajectories to hit the written word since The Glass Castle, Westover breaks orbit to find a new life, earning a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Narrated by award-winning actor and narrator Julia Whelan. Don’t miss these other memoirs by women who overcame the impossible.

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The Woman in the Window: A NovelVia

The Woman in the Window

A. J. Finn’s page-turner of a thriller, inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, garnered accolades from the genre’s finest, including Stephen King, Louise Penny, and Gillian Flynn. The story of Anna Fox, a recluse who likes to spy on her neighbors, is set to become a film starring Amy Adams and Julianne Moore. The audiobook is narrated by actress and seasoned thriller-narrator Ann Marie Lee. Check out 12 other books to read before you see the movie.

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Emma: An Audible Original DramaVia


It’s true that Emma, Jane Austen’s masterly comedy of errors, is over 200 years old, but a glorious new exclusive adaptation brings it to life once more. The Audible book features a full cast that includes Emma Thompson, Joanne Froggatt (of Downton Abbey fame), and many more. Not all classics are as wondrous as Emma; check out 9 that some call overrated!

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The Reckoning: A NoveVia

The Reckoning

In John Grisham’s latest bestseller, he returns to the fictitious post–World War II town of Clanton, Mississippi, to tell the story of a bizarre murder of a reverend. In true Grisham fashion, he goes deep and covers the subsequent trial. Narrated by actor Michael Beck. Check out these 10 true-crime books you won’t want to miss.

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Everything Here Is BeautifulVia

Everything Here Is Beautiful

In Mira T. Lee’s gorgeous debut novel, two sisters, Miranda and Lucia, face hard truths when a cloud of mental illness settles over their lives following the death of their mother. Lee’s book was selected by the American Book Association as a top ten debut for Winter/Spring 2018. It’s narrated by a full cast that includes Cassandra Campbell, a beloved and seasoned narrator. Check out the 11 best debut novels over the last half century.

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Something in the WaterVia

Something in the Water

Catherine Steadman (who played a recurring role on Downton Abbey) debuted her first book, a psychological thriller, as a selection of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club. On a dream honeymoon in Bora Bora, a glam couple discovers something in the water that will shake them to their core. The actress-author narrates the audiobook, too (these are the best audiobooks for the whole family).

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Song of a Captive BirdVia

Song of a Captive Bird

This splendid debut novel by Jasmin Darznik, based on the life of the great female Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, explores the family dynamic of a feminist trailblazer who defied tradition to fulfill her destiny. The audiobook is narrated by actress Mozhan Marnò. Peruse more recommended audiobooks to read right now.

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Author Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize–winning presidential historian, studies four presidents who have captured her imagination for over five decades: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. What makes or breaks these great leaders? Is it their intellect or their ambition? It’s narrated by actor Beau Bridges. Don’t miss these 12 biographies you should have read by now.

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Reader’s Digest editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of revenue from our partners, such as Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected] 

Rachel Aydt
Rachel Aydt is a part-time Assistant Professor of writing and literature at the New School University. Her writing has appeared in publications that include Time, Prevention, Redbook, the New York Post, and the New York Times' Motherlode blog. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Find her on Twitter at @Rachelrooo.