Best Audiobooks of 2023: Booklist Editors’ Choice: Adult Audio

By Jennifer Rubins | December 20 2023 | Audiobook News

It’s all about empathy. As Booklist shares, “Across this year’s wide-ranging ‘best’ selections, from historical fiction to contemporary satire and personally insightful nonfiction, these productions are unified by an element so vital to audio: empathy. Narrators who empathize with their subjects and convey that in such a way that listeners can sink deeper into understanding another’s perspective are the best of what audio offers us.” View their full list here. Check out our five phenomenal BOT productions from the list below—just click on the covers to hear a clip. Interested in Booklist‘s top picks for Youth Audio? Click here.

Crook Manifesto
A Novel

Read by Dion Graham

“Graham, who narrated Harlem Shuffle brilliantly, returns to continue the tale. . . Graham has a deep, melodious voice that pairs well with Carney’s cynical nature. . . The setting, described in gritty detail, becomes a character itself. Whitehead can create a world, and Graham is the ideal guide.”—Booklist starred review

The First Ladies

Read by Robin Miles & Tavia Gilbert

“Narrator Gilbert brings to life Eleanor’s personality, characterized by her exuberance and high-pitched voice. Although listeners are likely more familiar with Eleanor, after hearing narrator Miles’ portrayal of Mary McLeod Bethune’s precise, carefully- modulated soft speech, and delightful pronunciation of ‘Eleanor,’ they will be enticed to learn more about her. . . [an]  important, insightful audio that should not be missed.”—Booklist starred review

I Have Some Questions for You
A Novel

Read by Julia Whelan and JD Jackson

“Reader Whelan is once again in top form as she spins this increasingly complex web. Her characters are each believably distinct and her reading is flawless. . . A deep-toned JD Jackson voices Omar’s portion of the podcast. This story is riddled with references and excerpts from podcasts which make the audio version especially effective and offers an element of realism that distinguishes it from the print.”—Booklist starred review

In Memoriam
A novel

Read by Christian Coulson

“Coulson does an absolutely marvelous job. . . The audio is top tier, expertly produced and immersive, and leaves nothing in the way of the listener becoming enveloped in the story. Coulson’s pacing is exceptional.”—Booklist starred review

The Wind Knows My Name
A Novel

Read by Edoardo Ballerini  & Maria Liatis

“Elevated by the dual narration format, the performances by Ballerini and Liatis are perceptive and layered. Their voices are the gravitational pull that draws listeners into the lives of vivid and resilient characters.”—Booklist starred review