The Best Audiobooks to Escape the Mundane

One of the most common things you hear from readers who don’t listen to audiobooks is that their mind often wanders when listening. “I can’t pay attention,” they say. To prove these readers wrong, I’m here with five full-cast audiobooks you can’t help but fall into. These engaging audiobooks will make you wish you had more mundane tasks to do in order to find the time to listen.

Let’s start with some advice regarding the mindset you need to have in order to get into audiobooks.

  1. According to researchers from the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley, listening to audiobooks and reading books simulate the “same cognitive and emotional areas” of your brain. Though it’s early research with only a small group of participants, the argument that listening to audiobooks shouldn’t count as reading looks like it’s going to be debunked.
  2. You need to choose your activity wisely when it comes to listening to an audiobook. I recommend choosing something that allows you to use your hands but not your brain. By choosing an activity that you can do with little thought, you’ll be able to fully focus on the audiobook you’ve chosen. I love listening to audiobooks while cleaning and driving. Knitting or painting are also great activities that allow you to use your hands while also shitting off your brain in order to focus on your audiobook!

Hopefully with these two things in mind, you’ll be able to find an audiobook to fall into! There’s a lot to choose from, but my absolute favorite audiobooks are ones that have full casts. These full-cast audiobooks not only have voices for every main character as well as a collection of supporting ones, but sometimes they even include sound effects. The production value of these audiobooks are amazing, and you may find yourself listening late into the night.

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This writing duo merges science fiction, humor, and bits of horror in this novel with a misguided AI and the humans who fight to stop it. I recommend this one to readers even if they say they don’t like science fiction because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. This is one of the most intense audiobooks I’ve read because not only does it have a full cast, but the recording adds in sound effects that make you feel like you’re on the ship fleeing from disaster while dealing with several disasters on board.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuval. This is an adult science fiction audiobook similar to The Illuminae Files. This audiobook uses a full cast to really draw you in. Each of the character’s motivations change throughout the book, but ultimately they all are connected by their desire to seek answers about where the giant mechanical hand came from and if we’re truly alone in the universe.

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto. Another impressive full-voice cast, this novel has a rich background and history that really sets up the conflict between two sisters. With phoenixes, the threat of war, and the classic trope of hiding your identity to get what you want, this is a great listen for readers who like richly detailed fantasy.

Sadie by Courtney Summers. This is a YA mystery that is incredibly dark. It’s an intense read that should not be taken lightly, so take a look at the trigger warnings on Goodreads before listening. The format of this book is perfect for an audiobook, and the publisher even created a podcast as a fascinating way to follow Sadie’s story from an investigative perspective as well as Sadie’s own investigation.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I couldn’t resist adding another science fiction audiobook to this list. As mentioned above, this writing duo really knows how to use multiple points of view in order to craft a story that you can fall in love with. When a girl two hundred years out of her own time is discovered, the small group of Aurora Academy cadets are thrust on a path that has them realizing that they may be the only people who can save the galaxy.

I wish I had the space to recommend more of my favorite dual-narrator audiobooks because I have a lot that I absolutely love. I hope that these recommendations allow you to get into audiobooks as much as I have and that you’re able to get some cleaning done while listening!

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