Can you believe we’re almost halfway through 2023? Time sure flies when you’re lost in the world of great stories. Today, let’s take a moment to celebrate the incredible audiobooks that have graced our ears so far this year.
We’ve handpicked a selection of the best audiobooks of 2023 (so far) with the help of Libro.fm and their community of independent bookstores. Not familiar with Libro.fm? It’s actually one of my favorite audiobook services because, among other things, it splits its profits with independent bookstores (read my Libro.fm review).
From swashbuckling adventures on the high seas to raw and unflinching memoirs to heartwarming tales that tug at your heartstrings, these audiobooks have made a lasting impression. So, grab your headphones, find a comfortable spot, and allow yourself to be transported to worlds both real and imagined as we dive into these top listens of 2023.
- Happy Place by Emily Henry
- The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
- Spare by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
- I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
- The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty
- Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto
- No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister
- Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
- Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
- Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Read by Julia Whelan.
“Another great beach read from Emily Henry! I found myself unable to stop listening to this book. Henry just knows how to write a love story that makes you go noooo then yeeees then whaaaat then yeeees! The story of Wyn and Harriet will make your heart throb. And Harriet’s journey to find herself and keep her friends will prove that self-love is worth fighting for.” – Rae, Titcomb’s Bookshop
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
Read by the author.
“A sweeping, enthralling and passionate multi-generational saga that’s difficult to put down (or stop listening to), this is a brilliant story of land, family and unforgettable characters in South India.” – Anne, Newtonville Books
Spare by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
Read by the author.
“I deeply relished every drop of the tea spilt in this memoir. I would recommend it on that alone. However, I was most impressed with Prince Harry’s clear passion for the things and the people he cares about. In his narration of the audiobook you can feel how much he loves his family, how proud he is of his time in the military, and how much he wants certain things (and certain people) to be different. This memoir is not just about a prince. It’s about a person coming into his own and finding the confidence to stand his ground and confront those he once assumed would always have his best interests at heart. I was riveted from beginning to end.” – Jenni, Mysterious Galaxy Books
I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
Read by Julia Whelan & JD Jackson.
“A scorching, compelling read, this is a calling out of violence against women: how it’s reported, poorly prosecuted, lightly punished, sensationalized, ignored, held against us, and so deeply ingrained in our culture. A New England prep school is the perfect setting for this collision of podcasts, old secrets hidden deep, racism, sexism, growing pains, and the lenses we have, shed, and change as we grow. Julia Whelan’s narration is, as always, phenomenal. I could not stop listening – this is a 10/10 for me.” – Ashleigh, Wellesley Books
The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty
Read by Lameece Issaq & Amin El Gamal.
“Conjuring the magic of The Arabian Nights, you can imagine yourself sitting around a campfire on a cool desert evening as Amina al-Sirafi tells of her adventures. And I hope you aren’t sensitive because she is brash, brazen, and foul mouthed! A truly singular and compelling voice, Amina reminded me of all the heroic tales I grew up reading. This is a must listen for anyone who fancies themselves a pirate, swashbuckler, magic hunter, and mother.” – Kristine, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Read by Eunice Wong.
“This book is a cozy mystery about the soul-healing power of found family. What hooked me was Vera’s indomitable personality – and her cooking. The descriptions of meals had my mouth watering. Jesse Sutanto weaves humor and lightness into a story about loneliness and finding yourself again after years of manipulation. With such likeable characters, I forgot I was reading a murder mystery!” – Courtney, Greene Books
No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister
Read by Barrie Kreinik, Braden Wright, Carol Jacobanis, Cassandra Campbell, Gabra Zackman, George Newbern, Jesse Vilinsky, Max Meyers, Rachel L. Jacobs & Stephen Graybill.
“A remarkable novel that appeals directly to our relationships with our books. Each chapter describes a different person’s encounter with the same fictional novel – from the original author to slush pile reader to student reading for class – and explores how no one reads the same book or gets the same experience out of a book. Some characters’ lives intersect with other characters in later chapters; others seem tied together only by the words on the page. Absolute catnip for readers.” – Ginger, Quail Ridge Books
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Read by Rebecca Soler & Teddy Hamilton.
“I have never in my life been on such an extraordinary roller coaster of emotions as I have with this book. I have never smiled this much, cried so hard, or felt my heart beat so fast while reading. Dare I say? This is the best fantasy book I have ever read. It is deliciously dangerous, dark, and full of fire and blood, with strong and stubborn characters who fight daily to survive the dangers, deceptions, and enemies at the Basgiath War College. Oh! And dragons. Lots of dragons. WOW!!! I wait with bated breath until the next book is released. This book consumed my every thought. I. Could. Not. Stop. Reading.” – Anna Rose, The Well-Read Moose
Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
Read by Marin Ireland.
“Funny and full of heart, this book follows three women in an affluent Brooklyn Heights family. While the Stocktons have extreme privilege, author Jenny Jackson has somehow made them relatable, and I found myself rooting for their happiness. Against the backdrop of an opulent home, the novel poses important questions about how wealth shapes a person, the responsibilities that should come with it, what belonging means, and the love of family, despite everything.” – Courtney, Greene Books
Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
Read by Maura Tierney.
“As a bookseller, it’s common to read through books at a breakneck pace; always on to the next tale, the next genre, the next page-turner. When you come a cross a book so achingly beautiful as Hello Beautiful…time slows. Or, you wish it would. I wanted to spend YEARS within this story. I adored the complexity AND simplicity of the sisters’ relationships with each other. Reading Hello Beautiful was like spending time with the friend who ‘knew me when…’ and the sister who knew me always. This book is the very definition of a GEM.” – Kathy, The Well-Read Moose
What are your picks for the best audiobooks of 2023 so far? Let me know in the comments section below!
PS – if you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out our guide to The Best Audiobooks of All Time.
6 thoughts on “The Best Audiobooks of 2023 (So Far)”
Only book from 2023 and i am actually still listening to it but it is truly an amazing listening experience is T.J. Klune’s In the lives of puppets.
Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll check it out.
I am listening to Demon Copperhood by Barbara Kingsolver, and it’s an incredible listening experience.
I haven’t got to this one yet but have heard great things! It has certainly been recognized with many awards, including the 2023 Pulitzer Price for Fiction. I double checked and the reason it’s not in this list is the publication date of October 18, 2022. Thanks for the recommendation though!
You’ve clearly not listened to Chain-Gang All-Stars…
Admittedly I have not. I take it you think it belongs here? I do plan to keep adding to this list throughout the year…