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At our company, we are passionate about audiobooks. As fans of the medium ourselves, we understand the value of a good story, expertly narrated. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the best audiobooks of 2016. From top audiobook adventures to essential audio narratives, we’ve got you covered.

So, what makes an audiobook one of the best of the year? For us, it’s a combination of factors. Of course, an engaging storyline is a must. But equally important is the quality of the narration. A skilled narrator can bring a story to life in a way that even the most vivid imagination can’t quite match. And when it comes to the best audiobooks of 2016, we think you’ll agree that the narrators are just as important as the stories themselves.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the top audiobook experiences of 2016. Discover the best audiobook stories that captured our hearts and minds, and join us on a journey through the memorable characters, gripping plots, and unforgettable performances that made 2016’s audiobooks truly exceptional.

Essential Audio Narratives of 2016

In 2016, we were lucky enough to experience some exceptional storytelling in the world of audiobooks. From heartwarming tales to thrilling adventures, these essential audio narratives captivated us from start to finish. Here are our top picks for the best audiobook stories of 2016:

Title Author Narrator
The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead Bahni Turpin
Homegoing Yaa Gyasi Dominic Hoffman
The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Benjamin Alire Sáenz Lin-Manuel Miranda
Dark Matter Blake Crouch Jon Lindstrom

These audiobook stories are essential for any avid listener. Not only do they feature captivating plots, but they are also brought to life by talented narrators who transport listeners into the heart of the story. The standout audiobook from this list has to be The Underground Railroad, written by Colson Whitehead and narrated by Bahni Turpin. This powerful story of a young woman’s journey to freedom is a must-listen.

Another standout from this list is Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda’s performance truly brought the characters to life, and the unforgettable story left a lasting impact.

These essential audio narratives from 2016 offer something for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for a heartwarming coming-of-age story or a thrilling mystery, these audiobooks will not disappoint.

Memorable Audiobook Playlist from 2016

In this section, we have curated a memorable audiobook playlist from 2016. These audiobooks are the best of 2016 listens and offer a diverse range of genres and authors, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From heartwarming stories to spine-tingling thrillers, this playlist has it all. So sit back, relax, and let these captivating stories transport you.

Title Author Genre
The Nightingale Kristin Hannah Historical Fiction
Born a Crime Trevor Noah Autobiography/Memoir
The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead Historical Fiction
The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins Thriller
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot Science/History
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child JK Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne Fantasy
The Nest Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney Fiction

These audiobooks offer outstanding performances by their narrators and bring each story to life in a unique and unforgettable way. It’s no wonder they made it onto our best of 2016 listens playlist.

Unforgettable Characters and Performances in 2016

2016 was a year of exceptional audiobooks that left a lasting impact on listeners with their unforgettable characters and performances. Narrators brought stories to life in remarkable ways, immersing listeners in the narrative and creating an emotional connection to the characters.

One standout audiobook in this category is “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. Noah’s memoir depicts his upbringing in South Africa during apartheid and explores the complexities of identity, race, and class. His narration is both humorous and poignant, perfectly capturing the essence of his storytelling.

Another notable performance is in “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Bahni Turpin. Turpin’s stunning portrayal of Cora, the protagonist, brings the character to life and adds depth to an already complex narrative. Her performance brings a sense of urgency to the story, making it impossible to put down.

In “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher bring the three female protagonists to life in a gripping performance. Their collective narration adds layers to the characters, highlighting their flaws and strengths in equal measure. Their performances add to the suspense and overall impact of the story.

These are just a few examples of the unforgettable characters and performances that made the audiobook experiences of 2016 truly exceptional. Each audiobook brings something unique to the table, showcasing the incredible talent of both authors and narrators.

The Best of 2016 Listens

Looking back at 2016, we can confidently say that it was a fantastic year for audiobooks. From heart-wrenching memoirs to gripping thrillers and everything in between, there was something to cater to every listener’s taste. We have handpicked a few of the best of 2016 listens that have left a lasting impression on us.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Best of 2016 Listens

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, The Underground Railroad narrated by Bahni Turpin is an epic historical fiction that reimagines the escape network of the American slaves as a physical underground railroad. Turpin’s narration brings to life the vivid landscapes and characters of Whitehead’s masterpiece, making it an unforgettable audiobook experience.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing, narrated by Dominic Hoffman, spans over three centuries and tells the stories of two half-sisters and their descendants. The audiobook takes the listeners through the slave trade in Africa to the plantations in the South and the Great Migration to the streets of present-day Harlem. Hoffman’s narration is impeccable, making this heart-wrenching debut novel a must-listen.

The Fireman by Joe Hill The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Narrated by Kate Mulgrew, Joe Hill’s The Fireman takes place in a world where a deadly spore has set most of the world on fire. Mulgrew’s narration is chilling, making this apocalyptic thriller all the more engaging. Amy Schumer’s hilarious and candid memoir The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo is narrated by the author herself. Her wit and comedic timing make this audiobook an absolute delight to listen to.

These are just a few of the best of 2016 listens that we highly recommend. They offer a wide range of genres and stories to cater to every listener’s taste. So, sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the world of audiobooks with these 2016’s audiobook essentials.

Genre Highlights of 2016

In 2016, audiobooks offered a range of thrilling adventures across various genres. Here are some of the standout audiobooks that left us captivated:

Mystery and Thriller

“The Widow” by Fiona Barton was a gripping mystery that kept us on the edge of our seats. With a talented narrator and a hauntingly dark plot, this audiobook was a standout in the genre. Another notable mention is “The Trespasser” by Tana French, an atmospheric and intricately plotted thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.


If you’re a fan of romance, “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne is a must-listen. This enemies-to-lovers story is full of witty banter and steamy moments, brought to life by a talented narrator. “One True Loves” by Taylor Jenkins Reid is another standout audiobook, with a heartwarming story of love and loss that will leave you feeling all the emotions.

Fantasy and Science Fiction

“Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman, narrated by the author himself, is a masterful retelling of classic Norse tales. With Gaiman’s signature storytelling and captivating narration, this audiobook is a must-listen for fantasy fans. Another standout in the genre is “Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch, a mind-bending science fiction thriller that will leave you questioning reality.


“Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah is a powerful memoir that sheds light on the comedian’s upbringing in apartheid South Africa. With Noah’s humor and humility, this audiobook is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Another standout nonfiction title is “The Gene: An Intimate History” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a fascinating exploration of the science of genetics that is both informative and accessible.

Young Adult

“The Sun is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon is a beautifully written YA romance that tackles big themes like fate, love, and immigration. With a talented narrator and two unforgettable protagonists, this audiobook is a standout in the genre. Another notable mention is “This Savage Song” by Victoria Schwab, a dark and thrilling fantasy that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Hidden Gems: Underrated Audiobooks from 2016

Looking for new and exciting audiobooks to add to your listening lineup? Look no further than our list of the most underrated audiobooks from 2016. These hidden gems may not have received as much attention as some of the more popular titles, but they are equally deserving of a spot on your memorable audiobook playlist.

Audiobook Title Author Narrator
The Last Days of Night Graham Moore Jeremy Bobb
The Risen Ron Rash Richard Ferrone
The Forgetting Time Sharon Guskin Susan Bennett, David Pittu
Age of Myth Michael J. Sullivan Tim Gerard Reynolds
Dark Matter Blake Crouch Jon Lindstrom

Each of these audiobooks offers a unique and captivating listening experience. From thrilling mysteries to heartwarming stories of family and friendship, these underrated titles have something for every kind of listener. So why not add them to your best audiobooks 2016 list and discover your new favorite listen?

Don’t let these hidden gems go unnoticed any longer. Take the time to give them a listen and experience some of the best storytelling of 2016. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Audiobooks That Pushed Boundaries in 2016

When it comes to audiobooks, there are always stories that play it safe and stick to traditional storytelling methods. However, in 2016, we were introduced to some audiobooks that truly pushed the boundaries and challenged our perceptions of what an audiobook could be.

Essential Audio Narratives

One of the most notable examples of an audiobook that pushed boundaries in 2016 was ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders. This extraordinary audiobook experimented with form, structure, and narration to create a truly unique listening experience.

Another standout audiobook from 2016 was ‘The Underground Railroad’ by Colson Whitehead. This powerful story tackled the difficult subject of slavery in a way that was both thought-provoking and deeply emotional.

Top Audiobook Adventures

In addition to these essential audio narratives, there were several other audiobooks from 2016 that pushed the boundaries of storytelling. One such audiobook was ‘The Lonely City’ by Olivia Laing. This book combined memoir, biography, and cultural criticism to create a truly original listening experience.

Another audiobook that challenged conventional storytelling methods was ‘The Fireman’ by Joe Hill. This thrilling adventure story was brought to life by a talented narrator and a creative use of sound effects and music.

Pushing the Limits

These audiobooks, and others like them, represent a new wave of storytelling that is pushing the limits of what we thought was possible in an audiobook. By experimenting with form and structure, these audiobooks are changing the way we think about storytelling and the role of the narrator.

At their core, audiobooks are about storytelling, and these audiobooks from 2016 prove that there is no limit to the ways in which we can tell stories.

Standout Narrators of 2016

When it comes to audiobooks, a skilled narrator can take a great story and make it unforgettable. In 2016, we were lucky to have some truly standout performers bring their talents to the audio world. These narrators breathed life into complex characters and transported listeners to different worlds with their skilled storytelling. Here are some of the top audiobook stories of 2016 that were made even more special by their exceptional narrators:

Title Author Narrator
The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead Bahni Turpin
Born a Crime Trevor Noah Trevor Noah
Hamilton: The Revolution Lin-Manuel Miranda Mariska Hargitay, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter

Bahni Turpin’s performance in “The Underground Railroad” was nothing short of stunning. With her empathetic, emotive voice, she brought the novel’s protagonist, Cora, to life in a way that made her struggles feel all the more real. Trevor Noah’s narration of his own memoir, “Born a Crime,” was equally captivating. With his trademark wit and charm, he took listeners on a journey through his childhood in South Africa.

Finally, the narration in “Hamilton: The Revolution” was a true standout. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mariska Hargitay, and Jeremy McCarter all lent their voices to this exploration of the hit musical, and together, they created an audiobook that was just as engaging as the show itself.

These are just a few examples of the top audiobook experiences of 2016 that were made even more memorable by brilliant narration. With so many talented performers bringing their skills to the world of audio storytelling, it’s no wonder that audiobooks are more popular than ever before.


In 2016, we were fortunate to experience some of the best audiobooks in recent years. From heart-pumping thrillers to heartwarming romances, the top audiobook adventures of 2016 offered a diverse range of genres and stories that truly captivated listeners.

Through our exploration of essential audio narratives, memorable audiobook playlists, unforgettable characters and performances, and genre highlights, we were able to compile a list of the best audiobooks of 2016. These standout listens not only entertained but also challenged our perceptions of storytelling and pushed conventional boundaries.

Furthermore, the standout narrators of 2016 brought these stories to life with their skillful performances and captivating voices. Their talents added an extra layer of depth to already exceptional audiobooks.

And while there are some hidden gems that may have gone unnoticed, we can confidently conclude that the top audiobook experiences of 2016 made for an unforgettable year in audio storytelling.

So, whether you’re new to audiobooks or a seasoned listener, we encourage you to explore the best audiobooks of 2016. Their storytelling prowess, memorable characters and performances, and innovative narrative styles make them essential additions to any audiobook lover’s collection.

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