The Best Audiobooks I Listened To In 2017

Best Audiobooks I Listened to in 2017

Audiobooks are a relatively new, but welcome, addition to my reading life. It took me awhile to get into a good grove with them. I had to figure out what type of books worked best for me (lighter nonfiction) and the right times to listen (not while I’m exercising), but I’m now confident enough with my strategy to put together a Best Audiobooks I Listened to in 2017 list.

Even though I’ve been in a good listening groove for about a year and a half, you don’t hear much about audiobooks on the blog because I find it hard to review them (taking notes and marking favorite passages is inconvenient with audio!) and the pressure of knowing I’m going to write about them decreases my listening pleasure. But, I’ve been getting more and more requests for audiobook recommendations, so I’m going to try to be better about sharing my favorites here in 2018…most likely in round-up or extremely mini review format.

Audiobooks are also where I knock out lots of backlist books, so unlike my other Best Books of 2017 lists, this one includes books that were published before 2017.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link).

The Best Audiobooks I Listened To In 2017

A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold
Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold’s mother (Sue) shares her struggle following the shooting and Dylan’s suicide in this poignant memoir. I was initially skeptical of this one (would she just try to excuse her son’s actions?) and, while she did search for a “why?”, there was much more to this extremely complex story.

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Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s memoir about growing up as a mixed race child in apartheid South Africa is technically a celebrity memoir, but it’s actually not that at all. It is a heartfelt, funny, sad, and warm story about growing up as an outcast in an incredibly oppressive place.

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Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif
al-Sharif started the campaign for women to drive in Saudi Arabia and this book is the story of her life as well as a stark portrayal of the oppression women face in Saudi Arabia. This is one eye-opening, heart-breaking read and is perfect for anyone who loved The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg (my review).

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Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
My Mom gave me this book when I was pregnant with my first child seven years ago and it didn’t make much of an impact on me. But, Will Schwalbe made me want to try it again in his Books for Living. The second time, it spoke directly to my core…maybe because I had seven years of motherhood under my belt by then.

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Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
Listening to Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake was like seeing a therapist and falls into the same category as Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things. Quindlen has such a grounded, practical outlook on life that really puts things in perspective and this book could have made my overall Best Books of 2017 list had it been published this year! 

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My Year of Running Dangerously by Tom Foreman
After CNN Correspondent Tom Foreman’s daughter challenges him to train for a marathon with her, he ends up running 3 marathons, 4 half marathons, and an ultra-marathon in one year. Not only is this memoir about an impressive running feat, but it’s a sweet story of a father and daughter connecting over a shared hobby. 

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The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
The true story about Christopher Knight, the man who lived alone in the Maine forest for 27 years before finally being arrested for stealing food and essentials from nearby vacation homes, is strange, but completely captivating. It’s like a mash-up between a wilderness story and a study of the introverted personality trait and came extremely close to making my overall Best Books of 2017 list

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What I Talk about When I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami
This memoir is about running. But, it’s also about writing and the two are inextricably linked for Murakami.

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What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan
This heart-breaking story of a seemingly perfect (if you looked at her Instagram account) teenager who commits suicide during her freshman year on the Penn State track team is a must-read for parents of young athletes. 

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Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco
This behind-the-scenes memoir by President Obama’s former Deputy Chief of Staff is technically a political memoir, but it really doesn’t include any politics. It’s more a juicy, behind-the-scenes look at working in the White House and on Obama’s campaign trail sprinkled with tips on making the most of your career…all told through the voice of someone you’d love to grab a glass of wine with! 

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What are your favorite audiobooks of 2017?

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  1. Amanda wrote:

    What a timely post — my book resolution for 2018 is to start listening to audiobooks to and from work. I can’t wait to dig into these! Thanks 🙂

    Posted 12.28.17 Reply
  2. Angela wrote:

    I’ve only started listening to audiobooks in the last few months, and so far I’ve tried to stick to lighter books, like ones by comedians, that don’t really have much plot to keep track of. I too think I would find it hard to write a review for an audiobook!

    Posted 12.28.17 Reply
  3. Cori wrote:

    I love Audiobooks too, especially in the car. Thanks for a great list, I’m always looking for recommendations. Born a Crime is top of my audio list (if no library reserves come in). I’ll look forward to your reviews/lists in 2018.

    Posted 12.28.17 Reply
  4. I’ve never thought to divide my “best of” list into print and audio. I loved Born a Crime on audio!

    Posted 12.28.17 Reply
  5. Love this round up of great audio books. I haven’t had an audio going for a couple weeks now and really am missing listening. I’ve wanted to try Gift from the Sea for a long time and Who Thought This Was A Good Idea is another that I hope to get to. I know exactly what you mean about not liking to take notes, etc. while listening, but I’m glad you’re going to be doing more mini-reviews of audios. I know I’ll love that!

    Posted 12.28.17 Reply
  6. Tara wrote:

    I didn’t realize that you listened to Lots of Candles; what a great idea! I have a copy of Who Thought This Was a Good Idea (needed to spend some Audible credits!), and I’m looking forward to it.

    Posted 12.28.17 Reply
  7. Born a Crime is so great. I wish all audiobooks were that good! Also loved Daring to Drive and The Stranger in the Woods, though I read hardcopies of those. Great list!

    Posted 12.29.17 Reply
  8. hillary wrote:

    thank you for this list! I have only been able to understand audiobooks with my CI implant this year and I am excited to listen to more.

    Posted 12.31.17 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      That’s great news! Hope you get lots of listening in in 2018!

      Posted 1.1.18 Reply
  9. I don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks; I think I listened to one last year! But I keep hearing great things about the Trevor Noah book and that it is a great one to listen to, so I may give it a try!

    Posted 1.3.18 Reply
  10. Tina wrote:

    All of your lists are great! I listened to 3 of them and they are wonderful. I wonder how did you manage to gather all of these amazing books? Great review Sarah!

    Posted 4.10.19 Reply

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