15 of the best audiobooks you should listen to in 2021

Love a good story? We've rounded up some the best fiction audiobooks and how to listen to them.

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by Gabrielle Albert |

If you were lucky enough to be read to as a child, you’ll know there’s nothing quite as soothing as being told a story. Audiobooks – particularly those that can be directly downloaded from the internet onto a computer, tablet or phone – have never been so popular, and you might be surprised at the variety on offer.

From celebrities reading their autobiographies, to best-selling novels and even self-help titles, there’s a huge range of books available. Here’s a selection of the Yours team favourites.

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Best fiction audiobooks

Best classic audiobooks

Stephen Fry audiobooks

BBC audiobooks

Head over to BBC Sounds website (or download the app) and listen to bookshelf bucket-list classics, read by entertaining voices – all for free:

• Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

• Frankenstein

• Wuthering Heights

• Pride and Prejudice

• War of the Worlds

• Jane Eyre

How to listen to audiobooks

Audible: monthly audiobooks

With its giant library of more than 200,000 unique titles, Audible is undoubtedly the most popular place to find audiobooks. You can start a free 30-day trial and if you don’t cancel your subscription, you’ll pay a monthly fee of £7.99. This provides you with a single credit to obtain any audiobook every month, regardless of its price. Through this platform, you’ll also gain access to hundreds of Audible Original titles that you can’t be found through any other service.

How to listen: Audible books work on more-or-less any device – phone, tablet or laptop – including those running on iOS, OS X, Android, Windows, and Amazon Alexa.

Rakuten Kobo works almost exactly the same as Audible, offering a free trail and monthly credits to use against future purchases at a slightly cheaper rate of £6.99.

Google Play Books: pay as you go audiobooks

Google sells audiobooks individually with a straightforward one-off payment transaction, often at very affordable – and promotional – prices. This makes Google is a particularly good option if you’re unlikely to listen to more than a dozen books a year.

How to listen: The best way to listen to a Google audiobook is through Google Home or on any device that supports the Google Assistant tool. That’s because Google Audiobooks works with a variety of voice commands which allow you to jump chapters, pause audio and adjust playback speed without pressing a button.

Librivox: free audiobooks

If you’re watching the pennies and don’t want a monthly audiobook subscription, LibriVox could be a great choice for you. Unlike other services, you can find completely free audiobooks to download and listen to via this platform. It works by only offering public domain titles, which are typically based on novels or non-fiction works written decades ago. Some of its titles are often read and recorded by volunteers who make community submissions from anywhere in the world. You’ll also hear plenty read out by celebrities or authors too. Although it offers a smaller selection than its competitors, Librivox is an ideal place to listen to classic works.

How to listen: You can download MP3s or stream recordings in your browser. If listening via a smartphone, you can download the LibriVox Audio Books.

Prefer getting stuck into a physical book? Check out our pick of the best book holder stands to help you get comfy while you read.

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