The Handbook
The Handbook

In need of something to entertain you now that you’re commuting again? We’ve rounded up 12 of our favourite audiobooks for you to lose yourself in.

From classic literature to exploring the 200,000 year history of mankind, here’s what to listen to on your next commute.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood 

Narrated by Elisabeth Moss 

If you’ve fallen in love with the drama-enthused hit televised series, delve into Margaret Atwood’s original literature in a whole new audio form. 

Narrated by star of the tv series, Elisabeth Moss, you’ll be captivated from the outset. The United States of America has been replaced by a rigid, totalitarian state, the Republic of Gilead, and it’s a society that’s shunted freedom into a distant memory. Your every move is watched and scrutinised by the religious regime. Explored through the narration of Offred, enter on a journey of suspense, gender inequality and politics as Offred tries to break free from the rigorous regime. If you’ve yet to explore the endless possibilities of the tv series, begin your Handmaid’s Tale journey here before entering the dark, gritty series. 

How To Be A Woman – Caitlin Moran

Narrated by Caitlin Moran

Being a woman has never been easy. We’re constantly scrutinised in everything we do, whether that’s being struck down for not conforming to the stereotypical Westernised beauty standards or for being stereotyped as vacuous, unintelligent or fake if we are seen as “traditionally attractive”. Never one to hold back an opinion or feminised assertion, journalist Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman explores these issues deeper than ever before, and repaints what it means to be a woman in today’s society. 

The narrative takes on the role of part memoir, part rant as she delves into the cycle of womanhood, from a thirteen year-old victimised by school bullies to motherhood and why women are consistently asked the age old question: so when are you having children? It’s witty, smart and hugely hilarious. 

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

Narrated by Reni Eddo-Lodge

With the ongoing BLM activism that has recently resulted in marches across the world, more and more people are finally seeking out literature that can better educate themselves on the principles that these marches are founded upon. Due to this certain books have received a new lease of life, including Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.

Starting life as a humble blog post, Eddo-Lodge’s powerful words sparked up frustration, anger and opened up a much needed conversation about institutionalised racism. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race acts as a call to arms, a chance to rethink, educate and begin difficult but incredibly important conversations about race. 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind – Yuval Noah Harari 

Narrated by Derek Perkins 

If you’re looking to delve deeper into the history of mankind, jump into Yuval Noah Harari’s epic 443 page Sapiens, a novel that explores mankind in all of its 200,000 years entirety. 

Narrated by Derek Perkins, Sapiens takes a look at how every human species, from the Stone Age through to modern day, left and continues to leave its imprint on Earth. It’s a long listen, over 15 hours to be precise, but dip in and out on your daily commute because we promise you’ll be hooked from the outset.  

Modern Romance: An Investigation – Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg

Narrated by Aziz Ansari

With dating apps at the epicentre of modern love, what does it even mean to enter a journey of falling in love in today’s society? 

From aubergine emojis to risque nudes becoming the new normal, it’s easy to see why so many are confused, frustrated and angered by this new way of dating. Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari, with the help of NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg helps unpick what these messages mean and helps decipher what modern romance truly is. Through thick witted humour, centred next to statistics on behavioural data and surveys from focus groups and interviews, it’s unlike any book you’ll ever read or, in this case, listen to. 

Dirty Little Secrets – Jo Spain

Narrated by Michele Moran

From the outside, the gated community of Withered Vale looks faultless. Passersby see large gated properties, freshly cut lawns and expensive cars, but inside? There’s secrets lining the walls of these money-driven, privileged individuals and all six of the neighbours want Olive Collins dead.

If you fell in love with Jo Spain’s psychological thriller The Confession, you’re going to be clutching at your seats as narrator Michele Moran guides you through the haunting secrets of Withered Vale. 

Little Women – Lousia May Alcott

Narrated by Lauren Dern & full cast

Listen as Lousia May Alcott’s journey of discovery novel, Little Women, is performed in an entirely new way. 

You may have already fallen in love with award-winning actress Laura Dern’s performance in Greta Gerwig’s filmic adaptation of Little Women last winter, but listen how Dern helps to spark up new meanings and adventures of the narrative that follows four young sisters in New England. Expect tear jerking moments thrusted against laughter, wit and beautiful sisterly bonds. 

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor – Hank Green

Narrated by Hank Green, Kristen Sieh, Joe Hempel, Jesse Vilinsky & more

A follow up to his number one New York Times bestseller An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green’s A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is bursting at the seams with twists and turns that fans could not even begin to imagine. 

As a New Yorker millennial, April knew life as she knew it had changed dramatically when the giant metal statues mysteriously appeared across the world. April was the first individual to find the New York statue, who she named Carl and the video she recorded went viral. She becomes the backbone in their discovery and eventual disappearance. The only thing is that she disappeared with the Carls… 

If you’ve deemed science fiction novels boring in the past, this fun new take will sure make you rethink. 

The Weekend – Charlotte Wood 

Narrated by Brigid Lohrey

We all have those childhood friends that if we met today we probably wouldn’t be friends with. These relationships are riddled with frustrations and disagreements, but these friends know you inside and out. That’s exactly how Sylvie, Jude, Wendy and Adele bond. They’ve been friends for decades but it’s Sylvie that holds the fort together. When Sylvie sadly passes away, the remaining trio are confused and lost, and find themselves at Sylvie’s old beach house to clean out her stuff before it can be sold. 

Anger arises, frustration fuses and pain ties the three together during this time, and their friendship is on the edge of tatters. Narrated by Brigid Lohrey, see if the three can rebind their relationship or if they’ll be burying their friendship for good. 

Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams

Narrated by Shvorne Marks

Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, Candice Carty-Williams’ novel Queenie explores the struggles that every 20-something feels. Queenie, now on a break with her long-term boyfriend, is struggling to be seen and listened to by both her boss and family. It’s frustrating and is tearing her shreds. Find solace as you go through her daily struggles as if they were your own, constantly frustrated but gripped all the same. 

The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

Narrated by Rob Inglis 

If you’ve spent lockdown gripped to your seat tackling J. R.R. Tolkin’s episodic The Lord of the Rings trilogy, indulge in The Hobbit in a simpler format and be guided through Bilbo Baggins’ journey through Rob Inglis’s narration. 

A prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit follows Bilbo Baggins, a do-good hobbit who sets out to embark on a journey after 13 dwarves and Gandalf turn up at his humble hobbit home. It’s captivating from the outset, fall in love with the loveable Baggins and cheer him on on his winding journey. 

Daisy Jones & the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid 

Narrated by Sara Arrington, Jennifer Beals, Fred Berman, Arthur Bishop & more

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones & the Six manages to give a fictional insight into the rocky, often turbulent music industry of the 1970s. 

Inspired by the huge rock artists of the bygone days, the narrative follows the rise and downfall of the legendary band, Daisy Jones & the Six, in a fun, interview style narrative. Flick through the decades as they are recalled by the band members, tour managers and music journalists, and conjure up an idea of why we all deep down want to be a musician on tour. 


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