It goes without saying that self-isolation has been hard on all of us, especially if you had plans to travel somewhere this year. There’s nothing that can truly replace travel experiences, but I’ve been looking for ways to fill the void of that loss. I’ve found myself gravitating toward audiobooks in order to escape. It’s definitely not the same––there’s nothing like the excitement of traveling to a new place and smelling the differences in the air for the first time, or that little thrill you experience when you first step into the sun of a new country––but with audiobooks, I’ve managed to forget for a while that I’m sitting on my couch.

Before self-isolation, I only really listened to audiobooks in the car, but now I find myself listening when cleaning or taking a walk. When I find myself unable to focus on a book, audiobooks allow me to read while I keep my hands busy or just zone out. Sometimes all I need is to have someone else read to me, the words of the story taking on a life of their own with their narration, in order to get out of my slump. So if you’re like me and miss traveling––or merely need to escape your current couch situation––these are some audiobooks to help you escape to a different place.

Explore the Stars with Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Though the characters remain on Earth, there’s nothing mundane about this full cast audiobook. Sleeping Giants explores what it means to be human when a discovery shows that we’re not as alone as we thought.

Discover Family with Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Two girls with no idea the other existed soon find themselves thrown together in shared loss. Suddenly sisters, this novel-in-verse explores what it means to be family. As a bonus, this audiobook is read by the author!

Expand Your Knowledge with Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

After a worldwide apocalyptic flood, Dinétah was reborn in a world where monsters and gods are now real. This urban fantasy explores what it means to confront your past and starts right in the action, so it’s a good one to jump into and you’ll learn more about Dinétah while reading.

Run the Iditarod with Iditarod Nights by Cindy Hiday

Iditarod Nights is an Ooligan title with a little bit of romance and a lot of adventure! If you’re interested in dog sledding and the world of the Iditarod, or if you just want to imagine you’re in a cooler place for a while, Iditarod Nights will let you escape to the cold wilderness of Alaska.

Explore History with Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This historical fiction novel explores friendship and what people do to survive. It’s set during the Second World War and is a harrowing audiobook of two friends who will do anything to save the other. I recommend it if you enjoy historical fiction.

There are far more audiobooks to explore than the five mentioned here and I urge you to explore your favorite genres. I love finding audiobooks with full casts as they really allow you to truly experience the book. Happy reading!

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