It can get super busy during the day, and try as you may, it can be downright impossible to sit down and enjoy a good book. Between work, exercise, kids, and other duties, it’s really tough to find the free time to read.
That’s the beauty of audiobooks! You can connect one to your car via Bluetooth and tune in during your commute, or if you have the ability, you can listen to one while you’re at the office.
Here are some of the best audiobooks to listen to at work.
#1: Harry Potter Books 1 to 7
Author: J.K. Rowling
Enter the magical world of Harry Potter, whether you’re visiting Hogwarts for the first time or the hundredth! This series has sold more than 500 million books all over the world, and in 80 languages. The audiobooks, meanwhile, have logged 4 billion minutes of listening time and are narrated by the vocal talents of actors Jim Dale and Stephen Fry.
Why It’s Great for Work: “Harry Potter” is a seven book series, so it will last you for a long time. Not to mention, you’ll have something you can share with your kids when you get home later in the day!
#2: Rose Madder
Author: Stephen King
It can be difficult to find work-appropriate novels to listen to, especially if they’re written by Stephen King. You may be familiar with “Cujo” and “IT,” but check out “Rose Madder,” one of King’s most underrated gems. It follows a woman named Rose who is desperately trying to make a new life for herself after leaving her abusive husband. Meanwhile, a mysterious painting is causing the line between the real and make-believe to blur.
Why It’s Great for Work: Stephen King is a popular author and many people are familiar with his books, or the movies and shows inspired by them. “Rose Madder” is a hidden gem, which means excellent water cooler conversation.
#3: Men We Reaped
Author: Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward is a bestselling author known for novels like “Salvage the Bones”and “Sing, Unburied, Sing.”In 2013, she took a break from fiction to tell her life story about growing up in the rural south as the only African-American girl in a family struck by multiple tragedies. It’s an incredible true story that’s written by an extremely talented and authentic voice.
Why It’s Great for Work: Work could be stressful, and maybe you’re getting bogged down by trivial things that don’t really matter. “Men We Reaped” puts things into perspective.
#4: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Author: David Allen
Self-help books aren’t for everyone, but they might just be a great way to give your life a little boost. Pick up this bestseller if you find yourself always frazzled and in need of time management assistance. The book was written and narrated by David Allen, a productivity expert in Chicago that gets paid as much as $600 a session to help people get on better track with their time!
Why It’s Great for Work: David Allen offers practical advice that you can actually use while you’re on the clock. You’re going to increase your output, and as a result, maybe get that pay raise you’ve always wanted!
#5: The Farm
Author: Joanne Ramos
In this socially conscious book, a retreat for surrogate mothers has been built in the middle of New York. You will follow a Filipina woman named Jane as she comes to stay at this resort, quickly finding out that things aren’t always as they seem. It’s a provocative, heart-wrenching story that made the list of one of the most influential books of 2019.
Why It’s Great for Work: “The Farm” is an intriguing read that brings up all kinds of real world issues about race and gender. You might just find a new way to relate to your diverse team of co-workers after listening to this audiobook.
Author: Elton John
You’ve danced and sang along to his famous songs like “Tiny Dancer” and “Crocodile Rock.” How much do you know, though, about the legend – Elton John? Look through all the glitz, glamour, and glitter to learn more about this iconic artist! You’ll love the narration by Taron Egerton, the actor who played Elton John in the movie, Rocketman.
Why It’s Great for Work: Elton John is a well-loved musician with a ton of fans. You can take inspiration from his insanely fascinating life story, especially if you work in a creative field like architecture or marketing.
#7: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Are you nostalgic for 80’s culture? You know – things like Back to the Future, Robocop, and The Iron Giant. If so, you’re going to love “Ready Player One,”a novel about a futuristic dystopian society where everyone has abandoned the real world in favor of a virtual reality video game.
Why It’s Great for Work: Even if you weren’t around in the 80’s, there’s likely someone in your workplace who grew up in that decade. “Ready Player One” offers plenty of great icebreaker topics.
#8: Haunted Nights
Author: Edited by Ellen Datlow
Genre: Horror Anthology
If you’re looking for a good audiobook around Halloween, you’re going to love “Haunted Nights. ”It’s an anthology with creepy short stories that gives the original “Tales from the Crypt” a run for its money. You’ll get it all – haunted houses, monsters, home invasions, and a whole lot more. Get lost in the horrific world of this amazing anthology!
Why It’s Great for Work: Set up a few bowls of candy corn and maybe decorative ghosts and listen to this anthology in your office or cubicle. It’s a great way to get into the Halloween spirit!
#9: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Genre: Classic Fiction
For those who skipped high school English class, here’s your chance to finally read this Harper Lee classic. It tells the story of a young girl named Scout Finch who is navigating a world filled with not only cruelty and prejudice, but also kindness and friendship. As an added bonus, the audiobook is narrated by actress Sissy Spacek.
Why It’s Great for Work: You might have always wanted to read the classics, but maybe never got a chance. Listening to this audiobook at work is a great way to check it off your reading list.
#10: Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Before you check out the Hulu series, listen to the audiobook version of “Little Fires Everywhere.”The story is about a custody battle that divides a Cleveland suburb. You’ll gain a new respect for motherhood, adoption, and community, all while getting caught up in the crazy secrets and trust issues that plague this town.
Why It’s Great for Work: “Little Fires Everywhere” was one of the most talked about books in 2019. You can recommend this novel to your co-workers and try to get an office book club set up in the process!
#11: Julius Caesar
Author: William Shakespeare
Did you binge-watch all 8 seasons of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”? Go back to the play that inspired it all! Once you get used to the Old English, you’ll be able to enjoy all kinds of political intrigue and backstabbing. Richard Dreyfuss and Kelsey Grammar are a few of the voice talents to lend a hand to this Shakespearean classic. Et tu brute?
Why It’s Great for Work: “Julius Caesar” is all about friends becoming enemies and enemies becoming friends. Do you work with someone who is more dictator than leader? Take this classic play as inspiration of what you shouldn’t do.
#12: A Brief History of Seven Killings
Author: Marlon James
Jamaican author Marlon James wrote about the attempted assassination of folk singer and icon Bob Marley. Many people are familiar with Marley’s music, but few know there were multiple attempts on his life. Be on the lookout for an HBO series inspired by the novel in the near future.
Why It’s Great for Work: This audiobook is 26 hours, which will take up a good chunk of your work week. After you finish this audiobook, bring up some of the most interesting facts to your co-workers. You can then suggest going out to a trivia night in a nearby restaurant. Consider it team-building at its finest!
The audiobooks in the list above are perfect for any work environment, whether you’re listening to them out loud through speakers or popping in earbuds to tune in instead. They’re not too literary or verbose, which is great when you need to work and listen at the same time.
Are you not sure where to stream your audiobooks? Try downloading these apps:
Some tasks are a little too intensive, so you might not be able to always concentrate on audiobooks at the office. However, if you’re working on something repetitive or menial, a good audiobook could be a nice break from your typical podcast or music playlist.
Go ahead and download these audiobooks! Before long, you’ll be wanting to add even more to your “to read” list.
Perrin, A. (2019, September 25). One-in-Five Americans Now Listen to Audiobooks. Retrieved from, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/09/25/one-in-five-americans-now-listen-to-audiobooks/
Wolf, G. (2007, September 25). Getting Things Done Guru David Allen and His Cult of Hyperefficiency. Retrieved from, https://www.wired.com/2007/09/ff-allen/?currentPage=1
Wizarding World. (2018, February 1). 500 Million Harry Potter Books Have Now Been Sold Worldwide. Retrieved from, https://www.wizardingworld.com/news/500-million-harry-potter-books-have-now-been-sold-worldwide
Walsh, M. (2020, April 13). 8 Ways to Listen to Audiobooks for Free. Retrieved from, https://nerdist.com/article/8-ways-to-listen-to-audiobooks-for-free/