The Best Audiobooks of 2020 from Canada and Around the World

A poster featuring a large collection of audiobook covers laid out over a navy background
11/30/2020

Listing the Leading Literary Listens –That’s Quite a Tongue Twister!

It’s that time of year again. The fall jackets head back into storage and the big coat makes its annual appearance. The 24/7 sounds of holiday hits permeate our public spaces, echoing through grocery stores and shopping malls.

And, for a few magnificent weeks, the internet is awash with best-of-the-year lists.

For many of us, the year goes by at a swift pace and it can be difficult to keep up with all the exciting new releases. Not all the buzzy titles, sleeper hits and big cultural phenomena cross our radar in the moment they launch, which is why we love best-of-the-year list season. It’s a chance to catch up with titles that we might have discovered yet and remind us of the titles we forgot were in our queue.

In the spirit of the season, Audible is introducing the best audiobooks of 2020 – a list of must-listens from here in Canada and abroad. Use this list as a shopping guide for your holiday gifts by giving your loved ones Audible credits or a membership, or simply add some titles to your own library to enjoy this holiday season!

2020 Had Something for Everyone

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday season? Want to show the listener in your life that you’re listening to them? This list of the best audiobooks 2020 had to offer can double as a holiday gift giving guide, featuring gifts you can share easily with your loved ones. Since audiobooks aren’t physical, they offer a simple way to shop for the holidays – an effortless way to show the loved ones on your list that you care.

In putting together this list, we wanted to demonstrate the sheer depth and breadth of content 2020 had to offer. The thrilling and the chilling. The brainy and the zany. The long, epic audiobook meals and the action-packed shorter form snacks. The most popular sci-fi audiobooks and the top titles in self-development. This year had something for everyone, from the grown-up giftees on your list to the littlest listeners.

Is there a Canadian literature lover in your life? Give them the gift of André Alexis’ brand new collection of short fiction, The Night Piece. Have a sci-fi & fantasy buff on your list? Stuff their virtual stocking with Audible's star-studded production of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, based on the DC graphic novels written by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Dirk Maggs. one of the most of the year. And for the budding meditator in your family, reach for a title like Jay Shetty’s inspiring and unassuming Think Like a Monk.

A poster showing off audiobook covers for 4 distinct genres, sci-fi, wellness, YA and Canadian fare

Hindsight Is 2020: Looking Back at the Best Audiobooks of the Year

It was a banner year for audiobooks.

Canadian creators were in fine form, turning out titles that made us think, laugh, cry and even shudder in fear. Audiobooks from literary visionaries like Souvankham Thammavongsa and Thomas King reaffirmed for us the power and eloquence of Canadian literature. Sci-fi and horror titles from brilliant authors like William Gibson and Silvia Moreno-Garcia proved that Canadian literature is popular around the world.

Beyond our borders, brilliance also abounded. Our neighbours to the south put out some instant classics and authors from all around the world contributed to the rich literary landscape of 2020. Grady Hendrix gave us a thoughtful, unconventional horror audiobook centred on a women’s book club in the America South. And Isabel Allende whisked us away to the frontlines of the Spanish Civil War to witness a fight between oppression and freedom that rings true in 2020.

YA and children’s authors like Suzanne Collins and Rick Riordan brought families everywhere together for exciting listening experiences. Sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks continued to dazzle and transport us, with heavy-hitters like N.K. Jemisin and Brandon Sanderson releasing career-high audiobooks. And self-development audiobooks from wellness whizzes like Jay Shetty and Mel Robbins brought us back to centre.

This year gave us a lot to listen to, a diversion we’ve been thankful for. It wasn’t easy whittling the abundance of great listening down to this list of the best audiobooks, but it’s been a joy revisiting the titles we loved this year.

A suitcase emblazoned with a Canadian flag brimming with Canadiana

The Best Canadian Audiobooks This Year

From far and wide, O Canada, you had a great year for audiobooks. Throughout the last 12 months, we’ve been treated to title after title of outstanding Canadian literature.

These Canadian listens have got us through work commutes, exercise routines, meal prepping and cleaning. They’ve been an engaging voice in distracting times, a calming presence in stressful times and an intelligent companion as we kicked our feet up in leisure. Most of all, they’ve reminded us of the wit, brilliance and beauty Canadians are known for.

In this section, you’ll find the 10 Canadian titles that wowed us in 2020. And if you’re in the mood for shorter form Canadian content, be sure to check out our Canadian Originals, like True North Heists, performed by Colm Feore, and The Revisionaries, Michele Romanow’s inspiring new business podcast!

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

The Glass Hotel

A devastating incident at a Toronto nightclub. An eerie message written in graffiti in a Vancouver Island hotel. A collapsing Ponzi scheme, a storm-blown shipping freighter. And at the middle of it all, a woman named Vincent.

Emily St. John Mandel, author of 2014’s stellar Station Eleven, knows how to sew together complex narratives into meaningful, thematically elaborate quilts. The Glass Hotel, recently shortlisted for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize, is no different. Its central story concerns a young bartender who meets a rich New York financier and is whisked away to a life of luxury. But this isn’t a romance. Rather, it’s a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, delusion and moral compromise, art and ghosts.

“Mandel’s gift is to weave realism out of extremity,” says the New Yorker, calling The Glass Hotel a “profound study of responsibility in times of crisis.”

The Glass Hotel: A Novel

Author:
Emily St. John Mandel
Narrator:
Dylan Moore
Length:
10:28
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

A poster featuring 8 popular Canadian audiobook covers

The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya

The Subtweet

When internet-famous singer Rukmini covers one of Neela Devaki’s songs, Neela can hardly believe it – she’s just an indie musician making music for herself. The cover becomes a viral hit and the two women enter into a blossoming friendship.

But as Rukmini’s fame increases, Neela’s stagnates, creating a rift between the two. It’s a rift that will eventually widen with one, solitary tweet – a short but explosive tweet that causes the collapse of a friendship and the destruction of a music career.

Vivek Shraya’s sharp, timely, satirical novel takes on a number of themes. It explores race, female friendship, cancel culture and, as Shrapnel Magazine puts it in their review of The Subtweet, “the art of BIPOC women in white spaces and the corruptive influence of social media.”

It’s a stirring listen that foregrounds characters and themes we don’t often see explored. And it’s one of the best Canadian audiobooks of the year.

The Subtweet: A Novel

Author:
Vivek Shraya
Narrator:
Nisha Ahuja
Length:
5:06
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout

Why Birds Sing

That Nina Berkhout’s brilliant Why Birds Sing found itself next to Vivek Shraya’s The Subtweet on this list is pure coincidence. But the two audiobooks make a great pair.

They are both about musicians forming friendships, and they both use those friendships as a launchpad for exploring bigger issues. The musician in Why Birds Sing is Dawn Woodward, an opera singer who recently experienced an embarrassing onstage flameout.

Dawn’s brother-in-law, Tariq, is undergoing cancer treatment and has recently moved in with her and her husband, bringing with him a squawking pet parrot. When Tariq and his parrot join the opera class Dawn is teaching, the two form an unexpected friendship. But as Tariq’s health fails and Dawn’s marriage begins to collapse as well, Dawn starts questioning the meaning behind everything in her life.

Why Birds Sing is a charming, quirky, funny and frequently profound audiobook. It will have you singing – or perhaps parroting – its praises to everyone you know.

Why Birds Sing

Author:
Nina Berkhout
Narrator:
Madeleine Lambert
Length:
6:48
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa

How to Pronounce Knife

The characters that make up Souvankham Thammavongsa’s debut short story collection are so precisely defined and emotionally realized that you’d swear they were real. She sketches vivid portraits of the day-to-day lives of immigrants and refugees – their love lives, hopes, fears, acts of defiance and the restlessness they feel being caught between cultures.

The stories bristle with life, demanding attention and compassion. They are human stories through-and-through, and listening to them can connect you with what it means to be a person.

Thammavongsa is well known in Canada for her poetry. That poetic sensibility is part of what makes How to Pronounce Knife so special. The language in it is magnificently poised – somehow both unsentimental and emotionally devastating.

Along with The Glass Hotel above, How to Pronounce Knife is nominated for this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize. Listen to both titles so you can be the judge!

How to Pronounce Knife: Stories

Author:
Souvankham Thammavongsa
Narrator:
James Tang, Kulap Vilaysack
Length:
2:58
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Indians on Vacation by Thomas King

Indians on Vacation

Bird and Mimi decide to take a trip to Europe. But theirs is no ordinary vacation. Inspired by a collection of postcards Mimi’s uncle sent nearly a century ago when he was part of a traveling circus, the two decide to retrace his steps. They are in search of a bundle of herbs and family heirlooms her uncle carried that was made by Mimi’s ancestors from the Blackfoot Nation.

What follows is a story both intimate and grand. Partly, the audiobook is a vacation romp – a funny, charming overseas adventure told through the perspective of a couple who’ve been together a long time. Partly, Indians on Vacation is about systemic racism, the historical mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and the present-day injustices they face.

Be prepared to laugh and think in equal measure. One way or another, Indians on Vacation will have you reaching for the tissue box.

Indians on Vacation: A Novel

Author:
Thomas King
Narrator:
Keith Sellon-Wright
Length:
8:34
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Agency by William Gibson

Agency

There was a lot of anticipation surrounding Agency. As William Gibson’s first novel since 2014’s best-selling The Peripheral, it had some big shoes to fill. Would it have Gibson’s trademark intrigue and imaginative flair? Would it continue The Peripheral’s sci-fi story, or strike off on its own narrative path? Mostly we wondered: would it be good?

Then January 2020 rolled around and all our worries were put to rest. Yes, Agency is every bit as intriguing and thought-provoking as we hoped. Yes, Agency returns to the world of The Peripheral, acting as both a sequel and a prequel. And yes, this is the kind of bold, unfailingly imaginative science fiction we’ve come to love from Gibson.

The story follows two timelines. One is an alternative history in which Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 election. In it, an “app whisperer” named Verity works on a powerful new AI project. The other timeline is 100 years in the future, in a post-apocalyptic London where plutocrats meddle with past timelines.

Sound complicated? That’s because no short synopsis can do justice to the sprawling, interconnected story Gibson weaves together here. You’ll just have to listen for yourself!

Agency

Author:
William Gibson
Narrator:
Lorelei King
Length:
10:12
Series:
The Jackpot Trilogy
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Two women happily share an audiobook as they walk down the street

The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole

The Skin We're In

Subtitled “A Year of Black Resistance and Power,” Desmond Cole’s The Skin We’re In documents the struggle against racism here in Canada in 2017. It follows Cole’s efforts as an anti-racist activist and explores the impacts of systemic racism in Canadian culture. Month by month, essay by essay, Cole shows how multiple forms of state violence – including policing and prisons – conspire to subjugate marginalized communities.

The Skin We’re In is part biography, part journal and part anti-racism guide. It’s also a stark wake-up call to Canadians who believe that at least things aren’t as bad here as in the States. In documenting just one year of the struggle against racism in Canada, Cole makes his point abundantly clear: year after year, tragedy after tragedy, news cycle after news cycle, this is an ongoing problem.

We are lucky to have Desmond Cole’s The Skin We’re In in 2020 – a bracing, urgent and necessary audiobook. Listen to the audiobook today, narrated by Desmond Cole himself.

The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power

Author:
Desmond Cole
Narrator:
Desmond Cole
Length:
8:14
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic

Upon receiving a worrying letter from her newlywed cousin Catalina, Noemí heads to the Mexican countryside to check on her. But from the moment Noemí sets foot in the imposing country estate, she can sense things are… wrong.

Catalina’s new husband, a handsome Englishman, is both flirtatious and menacing. His father, the ancient patriarch of the home, is obsessed with Noemí. And the house itself hides a dark family secret. What start as vivid nightmares for Noemí quickly become a gruesome reality.

Recently, we covered Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic for our roundup of the best horror audiobooks to listen to on Halloween. And here we are, at the end of 2020, compelled to recommend it again. This isn’t just an amazing horror audiobook – it’s one of the best Canadian audiobooks of 2020, period. It will leave you rattled, chilled and dumbstruck, in the best way possible!

Mexican Gothic

Author:
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Narrator:
Frankie Corzo
Length:
10:39
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

The Birth Yard by Mallory Tater

The Birth Yard

Normally, an 18th birthday is a milestone to celebrate – but not for Sable Ursu. The pivotal birthday means that she is ready to breed. In Sable’s world it’s a decision beyond her control, as a patriarchal cult called the Den controls female fertility and sexuality. Sable, along with her friends, are to be paired with “a Match,” and when they are pregnant, sent to a monitored facility known as the Birth Yard.

In the Birth Yard women are routinely drugged and if they get out of line, they are punished. But when Sable’s loyalty is questioned and her safety threatened in the Birth Yard, she is forced to rebel against the Den. To rebel against the life she knows – the life that has been designed for her.

Fans of Margaret Atwood audiobooks like The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments will find a lot to love in Mallory Tater’s debut novel.

Tater manages to saturate The Birth Yard with nail-biting suspense, while still weaving a compelling and probing meditation on pressing, present-day issues. If Mallory Tater produced one of the best audiobooks 2020 had to offer on her first go-around, we’re excited to hear what she comes up with next.

The Birth Yard: A Novel

Author:
Mallory Tater
Narrator:
Elizabeth Evans
Length:
9:45
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

The Night Piece by André Alexis

The Night Piece

In the 20-plus years since André Alexis’ debut, he has gifted Canada (and the world) an eclectic, expansive selection of audiobooks. He’s part philosopher, part raconteur, part classical composer. He began by winning the Canada First Novel Award and continued racking up accolades including the Trillium Book Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the coveted Scotiabank Giller Prize.

The Night Piece is something of a mid-career victory lap for Alexis – a collection of short stories, some old, some previously unheard, that display his range and might as a craftsperson of fiction. Some stories in The Night Piece are philosophically charged, recalling his 2015 masterpiece, Fifteen Dogs. Some bear the indelible surrealist impressions of last year’s magnificent Days by Moonlight. And others defy classification altogether.

A late entry to our list of the best Canadian audiobooks of 2020 (released in November) The Night Piece will keep us thinking and talking throughout 2021.

The Night Piece: Collected Short Fiction

Author:
Andre Alexis
Narrator:
Andrew Moodie
Length:
11:07
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

A world globe is pictured in the foreground with a man on his computer in the background

Worldwide Titles that Expanded Our Horizons

The easiest form of travel is to put on a pair of headphones, open your Audible app and allow an audiobook to transport you to a far-flung locale.

If you’re in the mood for jet-setting, check out these bold 2020 audiobooks that brought the world to our headphones. And if there’s a globetrotter on your list this holiday season, gift them one of these amazing titles.

Below, we’ve included titles from Chilean, Japanese, Indian, Irish and American authors, but – to be totally honest – these represent the tip of the iceberg. The world is filled with compelling stories that can expand our horizons, deepen our humanity and entertain our wanderlust. Visit Audible.ca to hear many more audiobooks from all around the globe.

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

It isn’t easy describing Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. But we’re partial to the publisher’s summary for this gem at Audible.ca, “Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula.” Couldn’t have said it better!

Patricia Campbell’s life is quiet, unintrusive. She plays the roles of loving wife, attentive mother and caring daughter, often finding herself overwhelmed by chores. The one thing she really has to look forward to is her weekly book club, when she and a clique of other Charleston women meet to discuss the latest true crimes and paperbacks they’ve read.

But when a mysterious, handsome newcomer joins their book club, and strange things start happening, Patricia learns that reality can be stranger than fiction. You may be inspired to start your very own audiobook club to discuss this boisterous, darkly comedic tale of evil in the genteel suburbs of the Southern US.

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

Author:
Grady Hendrix
Narrator:
Bahni Turpin
Length:
13:49
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

A Long Petal of the Sea

While A Long Petal of the Sea was released to the Spanish speaking world in 2019, English-speaking Canadians had to wait a full, breath-bated year to hear it. Then, early in 2020, it arrived. And it was every bit as breathtaking as we expected.

A decades-spanning, cross-continental story of war, love, home and family, A Long Petal of the Sea is epic in scope and intimate in detail. It follows Roser, a pregnant widow, and Victor, her deceased husband’s brother, as they flee the Spanish Civil War. Making a new life in Chile, they await the day when they can go back home.

A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel

Author:
Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor, Amanda Hopkinson
Narrator:
Edoardo Ballerini
Length:
9:46
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

Breasts and Eggs

Breasts and Eggs tells the story of three women: Natsu, her sister, Makiko and Makiko’s daughter, Midoriko. Natsu is living as a struggling writer in Tokyo when her sister and niece arrive from Osaka. Makiko has traveled to the capital to get breast implants and has brought Midoriko along.

The events that follow force each woman to confront their fears and frustrations – about their place in society and the trajectory of their personal lives. Does a woman’s ability to give and nourish life define her? Do her breasts and eggs determine her fate?

Breasts and Eggs

Author:
Mieko Kawakami
Narrator:
Emily Woo Zeller, Jeena Yi
Length:
15:21
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

The Henna Artist

Last spring when Alka Joshi’s The Henna Artist was listed as a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick, it received a big bump in exposure. A big, well-deserved bump.

Joshi’s vivid, eloquent audiobook follows 17-year-old Lakshmi as she struggles to make her way as a henna artist in vibrant 1950s Jaipur. Prized among wealthy clients for her henna artistry, Lakshmi slowly but surely starts making her way up in the world. But when the past comes knocking, in the form of her former husband and a sister she never knew she had, all she has worked for may be threatened.

Find The Henna Artist, along with other Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Picks, at Audible.ca.

The Henna Artist: A Novel

Author:
Alka Joshi
Narrator:
Sneha Mathan
Length:
10:56
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People

Did we cheat a little bit on this one? Yes. Sally Rooney’s moving, sensual Normal People came out a couple years ago. But for many people – including a few of us here at Audible – 2020 was the year we listened to it. That’s because this past spring the novel was adapted into a hit TV series, drawing new interest to the love story of Connell and Marianne.

Because many listeners found their way to Normal People in 2020, and because its achingly sweet, occasionally sad story of budding love was all we could talk about earlier this year, it deserves a place on this list!

Normal People: A Novel

Author:
Sally Rooney
Narrator:
Aoife McMahon
Length:
7:34
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

An astronaut surveys a fictional red planet with three moons in the distance

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Listens that Transported Us

It was a year for escapism in 2020. As many of us spent more time indoors, we sought listening experiences that could captivate us – carry us beyond our homes and into new worlds and futures. We found those listening experiences in science fiction and fantasy audiobooks.

The moment we hit play on these wonderful titles, reality melted away. And in its place, we were treated to mythical landscapes, advanced technologies and epic drama. We were no longer just taking a bath – we were piloting an aqueous spacecraft through the galactic abyss. We were no longer walking the normal route around the park by our house – we were trekking the verdant hills of an unfamiliar kingdom. And that phone in our hands was no longer a phone, but a phaser set to stun.

If you’re looking for sci-fi and fantasy titles to whisk you away this holiday season, or if there’s a genre fan on your gift list, check out these five enchanting titles at Audible.ca.

The Sandman based on the DC graphic novels written by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Dirk Maggs.

As far as 2020 listening experiences go, you can’t get much bigger than the Audible Original production of The Sandman.

Based on the game-changing, genre-defining comic books, this audiobook assembled the biggest names in entertainment. Kat Dennings, James McAvoy, Samantha Morton, Andy Serkis, Michael Sheen and more lent their talents to create an immersive and unforgettable audio experience.

The story follows The Sandman, also known as Lord Morpheus, as he escapes his earthly imprisonment and rebuilds his dominion, travelling (literally) to hell and back. Intricately plotted, tying together myth, history and comic book canon, The Sandman is 10-plus hours of pure, fantastical fun.

The Sandman

Author:
Neil Gaiman, Dirk Maggs
Narrator:
Riz Ahmed, Kat Dennings, Taron Egerton, Neil Gaiman, James McAvoy, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Andy Serkis, Michael Sheen
Length:
10:54
Type:

Heaven's River by Dennis E. Taylor

Heaven’s River

A new addition to Dennis E. Taylor’s wildly popular Bobiverse series? Sign us up and strap us in.

Heaven’s River loosely picks up where All These Worlds left off, with our protagonist, Bob, fearing civil war in the Bobiverse. Amid the chaos and in-fighting, Bob sets out to find one of his long-lost clones, but what he finds is so strange and complex that it could either save the universe – or destroy it entirely.

You can absolutely pick up the series by starting with Heaven’s River (though you may want to consult a few Wiki sites to catch up with the lingo). But for the best listening experience we recommend starting from the beginning with We Are Legion (We Are Bob). Trust us – you’ll be hooked from the moment you press play!

Heaven's River: Bobiverse, Book 4

Author:
Dennis E. Taylor
Narrator:
Ray Porter
Length:
16:57
Series:
Bobiverse
Type:

The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin

The City We Became

N. K. Jemisin, author of the multi-Hugo Award-winning The Broken Earth series, returned in 2020 with a decidedly different kind of fantasy audiobook.

Flexing her immense range as a novelist, Jemisin gave us The City We Became, a tale of New York City’s dark, mythical underground. Neil Gaiman, author of one of the other best sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks this year, had this to say, “It's inclusive in all the best ways, and manages to contain both Borges and Lovecraft in its fabric, but the unique voice and viewpoint are Jemisin's alone.”

Give the gift of this audacious, boldly original audiobook to any lit-lover, fantasy fanatic or New Yorkophile on your list.

The City We Became

Author:
N. K. Jemisin
Narrator:
Robin Miles
Length:
16:12
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

House of Earth and Blood

The year 2020 saw Sarah J. Maas launch her new Crescent City series and we’re unsure what makes us happier right now – this amazing first audiobook, or knowing that there are more to come.

Seamlessly blending fantasy and romance, House of Earth and Blood is a dazzling introduction to the world of Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar. The former is a half-fae, half-human who works selling not-so-legal magical artifacts. The latter is a notorious Fallen Angel and personal assassin to the Archangels. Listen as the two are thrust together in a search to find the demon that murdered Bryce’s friends.

Although their partnership is strategic at first – each reluctant of the other – neither can deny the spark between them.

House of Earth and Blood: Crescent City, Book 1

Author:
Sarah J. Maas
Narrator:
Elizabeth Evans
Length:
27:50
Series:
Crescent City Series
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War

Making the list in just the nick of time is famed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson’s late-in-the-year entry to his Stormlight Archive series.

Fans of the mega-popular series have waited a long, unbearable three years for Rhythm of War, and it sounds like all that patience paid off. Following the events of Oathbringer, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant, along with a coalition of human resistance, continue to fight a protracted war against enemy invasion. But when an arms race unfolds and dissent threatens the coalition, all might be lost.

Listen to this new release audiobook now at Audible.ca, or make the fantasy fans on your list very happy this holiday season with the gift of an Audible credit.

Rhythm of War: Book Four of The Stormlight Archive

Author:
Brandon Sanderson
Narrator:
Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Length:
57:26
Series:
Stormlight Archive
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

A man sitting on his yoga mat contentedly listens to an audiobook

Wellness Titles that – Deep Breath – Calmed Our 2020

Listening allows us to connect with what it means to be human. It lets us slow things down, look inwards and make daily improvements to our life.

Sometimes, it takes power to admit that we can’t go it alone – that we need uplifting, calming, insightful voices in our lives to help us through. It was hard whittling down the wealth of 2020 titles to decide on the best self-help and wellness audiobooks, but we think you’ll love these recommendations. These are the titles that helped us keep calm, focus up and ask ourselves some hard-hitting questions. In short, our 2020 was better because of these five audiobooks.

Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty

Think Like a Monk

Instead of attending his college graduation, Jay Shetty boarded a plane to India to become a monk. When he returned to London three years later and reconnected with school friends, he found stress, suffering and discontentment. Their jobs were great, but they weren’t fulfilled or happy.

That’s when Shetty realized that, in order to help others, he needed to share what he’d learned as a monk. He took to social media, where his honest, insightful videos racked up views, making him a viral success. In Think Like a Monk, Shetty shares his wisdom with an even wider audience – teaching us how to overcome negative thoughts and habits and access the calm, purposeful voice inside each of us.

Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day

Author:
Jay Shetty
Narrator:
Jay Shetty
Length:
10:54
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Start Here by Mel Robbins

Start Here

Think of Mel Robbins’ Start Here as a kind of pocket guide for overcoming whatever life throws at you. In it, Robbins tackles 13 topics, each in a half-hour podcast episode. Relationships, emotional eating, stress, money, family, etc. – the greatest hits of life’s hurdles, in other words.

Talking directly to you, she offers pep talks and actionable advice to help you cope with – and overcome – some of the most common roadblocks we all face.

Start Here with Mel Robbins

Author:
Mel Robbins
Narrator:
Mel Robbins
Length:
5:30
Type:
Podcast Podcast

Didn't See That Coming by Rachel Hollis

Didn’t See That Coming

The best-selling author of Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing is back, and this time she’s tackling grief and uncertainty.

The difficult periods in your life – job loss, death of a loved one, divorce – can seem insurmountable. You didn’t ask to have your future rearranged. But, as Rachel Hollis demonstrates in Didn’t See That Coming, even periods of grief and uncertainty can be opportunities for positive transformation.

One of the best self-help audiobooks of 2020, Didn’t See That Coming is inspirational, aspirational and a necessary reminder that beauty and uncertainty can co-exist.

Didn't See That Coming: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart

Author:
Rachel Hollis
Narrator:
Rachel Hollis
Length:
4:58
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Untamed

Number one New York Times bestseller. Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick. “An emotional gut punch,” says The Kirkus Review. “Phenomenal,” says Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. Will you add your personal favourite audiobook of the holiday season to Untamed’s list of accolades?

Part memoir, part electrifying wake-up call for women everywhere, Untamed is about forgetting what society expects of you – and learning to listen to yourself. This ultra-popular audiobook is perfect for the self-improver on your holiday gift list.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

Author:
Elizabeth Gilbert
Narrator:
Elizabeth Gilbert
Length:
12:49
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Love Is Not Enough by Mark Manson

Love Is Not Enough

Mark Manson practically invented the in-your-face, swear word audiobook title – Everything Is F* cked and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F* ck come to mind. In 2020, however, Manson put aside the four-letter expletives in favour of a simple, resounding assertion: Love is not enough.

In Love Is Not Enough, Manson talks to real people about their romantic (and unromantic) problems. He chats with a serial Tinder-dater, an intimacy-phobe and someone having an affair, attempting with each candid conversation to get to the root of universal problems surrounding intimacy and relationships.

It’s Mark Manson’s kind, gentle side – exactly what we needed in 2020.

Love Is Not Enough

Author:
Mark Manson
Narrator:
Mark Manson
Length:
7:33
Type:

A mother and daughter in their holiday sweaters look at their phones

2020 Titles for the Entire Family

As the holiday season approaches, we're all looking for a little something to do with our families.

What better way to spend time together than to gather around the fireplace, hang some decorations and, while we’re waiting for those cookies to bake, listen to a family-friendly audiobook at Audible. These five titles – ranging from kids’ audiobooks for the littlest listeners to exhilarating adventure audiobooks for the teen and YA-lover in your family – represent some of the best family listening 2020 had to offer.

The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends by Sesame Workshop

The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends

The year saw the introduction of a furry new friend on Sesame Street. Meet Foley, a loveable podcast host who can make surprisingly realistic sounds with her voice! Join her as she welcomes guests like Elmo, The Cookie Monster, Grover and more to sing songs, play games and tell jokes.

The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends is a rollicking, uplifting podcast you can share with your littlest listeners – the perfect family entertainment for the holidays. It’s also an Audible exclusive that you won’t hear anywhere else. Just make sure you don’t tip off The Cookie Monster as to the whereabouts of Santa’s cookies – you know that guy can’t help himself!

The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends

Author:
Sesame Workshop
Narrator:
Lindsey Briggs, Tyler Bunch, Ryan Dillon, a full cast
Length:
4:30
Type:
Podcast Podcast

A Tale of Witchcraft… by Chris Colfer

The second installment in Chris Colfer’s spellbinding Tale of Magic series, A Tale of Witchcraft… continues the adventures of Brystal Evergreen and her friends as they work to stop dark forces taking over the Academy of Magic.

An enchanting, engaging listen for kids in the upper-elementary and middle-school range, A Tale of Witchcraft… can be enjoyed as a standalone audiobook or paired with its predecessor, A Tale of Magic… for more magical fun. It was one of the best kids’ audiobooks 2020 had to offer and we can’t wait to hear what Colfer conjures up next!

A Tale of Witchcraft...

Author:
Chris Colfer
Narrator:
Chris Colfer
Length:
7:41
Series:
A Tale of Magic...
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The newest title in the Hunger Games canon, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes picks up at the beginning of the 10th annual Hunger Games. A young Coriolanus Snow (the antagonist in the main series) is tasked with mentoring a female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. With the odds stacked against him, Snow must do whatever is necessary to see his tribute victorious – and to win favour in the Capitol.

Perfect holiday entertainment for families with older kids, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is another YA homerun from Suzanne Collins. Give it as a gift to the young adult listener in your life or save it for story time this holiday season.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: A Hunger Games Novel

Author:
Suzanne Collins
Narrator:
Santino Fontana
Length:
16:16
Series:
Hunger Games
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

The Tower of Nero

Middle-school listeners love Rick Riordan’s The Trials of Apollo series. Parents love Rick Riordan’s The Trials of Apollo series. We love Rick Riordan’s The Trials of Apollo series.

So, when Riordan announced a new entry – not just any entry, but an action-packed finale – we got justifiably excited. The Tower of Nero brings a breathtaking close to a five-audiobook run of exhilarating, mythologically rich storytelling.

Will the Greek god Apollo, cast down to Earth to live as average teenager Lester Papadopoulos, finally regain his rightful seat at Mount Olympus? Listen on Audible.ca to find out!

The Tower of Nero: The Trials of Apollo, Book 5

Author:
Rick Riordan
Narrator:
Robbie Daymond
Length:
12:12
Series:
The Trials of Apollo
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Bob

Witty, humorous, with a heart the size of a silverback gorilla, The One and Only Bob is Katherine Applegate’s return to the world of the Newberry Award-winning, best-selling The One and Only Ivan.

The story follows Ivan, a captive gorilla who spent 27 years in a shopping mall enclosure, and his friends Bob, a self-deprecating stray dog, and Ruby, a baby elephant, as they set out to find Bob’s long-lost sister. But when a hurricane approaches, each must find the courage they didn’t know they had before it’s too late

Performed with irresistible gusto and keen emotional range by Danny DeVito, The One and Only Bob is a tender, moving addition to the kids’ audiobook landscape in 2020. Not only is it one of the best kids’ audiobooks this year, but it’s the kind of audiobook you pass down through generations.

The One and Only Ivan

Author:
Katherine Applegate, Patricia Castelao
Narrator:
Adam Grupper
Length:
3:46
Series:
One and Only Ivan
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Listening Forward to 2021

As we collectively prepare to greet 2021, we appreciate listeners following us on this annual trip down memory lane. It was no small task sizing up the brilliance, vision and literary diversity of 2020 audiobooks and bottling it all into a best of the year list. But we had a blast doing it.

Whether you’re exploring for your own pleasure, or for a listening loved one, we hope you found something you love on this list. If there’s an audiobook you raved about this past year that didn’t make the cut, let us know. And if there’s a 2021 audiobook you just can’t wait to hear, tell us about it. We’re always keen to swap recommendations and share our favourite listening experiences on social media!

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