Got a Short Attention Span? These Audiobooks Under 3 Hours Are For You
For people on the go, audiobooks are the perfect way to read books while keeping your eyes on the road. The problem: unlike a podcast episode, most audiobooks are too long to listen to in one sitting. Luckily, whether you're taking a road trip or commuting to work, there are still plenty of audiobooks you can listen to in a single day, and they're just as satisfying as longer ones. From exciting thrillers to swoon-worthy romances to thoughtful essay collections, we've rounded up some of the best short-and-sweet audiobooks under three hours that definitely won't leave you feeling bored.
Audible Plus is the all-you-can-listen membership that offers access to thousands of titles, including a vast array of audiobooks, podcasts, and originals that span genres, lengths, and formats. The exciting Plus catalog offers more than 11,000 pieces of content and more than 68,000 hours of entertainment for only $7.95/month after the 30-day free trial period. Check out the Audible Plus Catalog on Amazon to see which titles are included.
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
In The Grownup (one hour and 17 minutes) by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, a young psychic (who's actually a fraud) meets a woman named Susan, who introduces her to the eerie old home that houses much of Susan's trauma and grief. The unnamed narrator soon begins to question her disbelief in the paranormal, especially after she, Susan, and Susan's stepson encounter a menacing presence.
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
In Megan Hunter's debut novel, The End We Start From (two hours and two minutes), a woman gives birth to her first child just as London is submerged by a flood, forcing her and her baby to leave the city behind to search for a new home. It's a story of first-time motherhood challenged by dire circumstances, and it's sure to tug at your heartstrings.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds's Long Way Down (one hour and 43 minutes) tells the story of 15-year-old Will, whose older brother Shawn is shot and killed, prompting Will — who's been taught not to cry or snitch — to seek revenge. However, as Will pursues his brother's murderer, he learns there's more to the story than he initially realized.
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
Historian Timothy Snyder's On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century (one hour and 47 minutes) explores the new threats to modern democracy and offers guidance for resisting America's growing authoritarianism. This essay collection is a must listen for anyone who wants to learn how to better protect their freedoms going forward.
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
In And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer (one hour and nine minutes) by A Man Called Ove author Fredrik Backman, an aging man with dementia attempts to hold on to his most precious memories by revisiting them with his beloved grandson, Noah. Spoiler alert: this one will hit you right in the feels.
Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
Letter to My Daughter (two hours and 32 minutes), written by I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings author Maya Angelou, is an essay collection dedicated to the daughter Angelou never had, telling stories from her past and providing guidance for living well. If you need an audiobook that feels like a big hug, then this one is for you.
Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter
Karin Slaughter's Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes (two hours and 23 minutes) tells the story of Julia, a beautiful college freshman and aspiring journalist who becomes fascinated with stories of missing women after a fellow student is snatched off the street. Julia soon grows determined to pursue the unsolved cases, even if that means putting herself at risk in the process.
A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother by Anna Prushinskaya
In A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother (one hour and 40 minutes), Anna Prushinskaya explores the ways in which pregnancy, birth, and motherhood irrevocably change a woman's life. The essays in the collection are at once tender and humorous, covering everything from what-to-expect books to breastfeeding to social media scrutiny.
A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian
Cat Sebastian's A Little Light Mischief (two hours and 43 minutes) tells the story of Molly, a maid with a bad habit of stealing — especially when it comes to other people's hearts. Though Molly vows to be better, her resolve is challenged by her employer's new companion, Alice, who can't seem to keep her eyes off of Molly, either.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
In Binti (two hours and 30 minutes) by Nnedi Okarafor, a woman named Binti becomes the first of the Himba people to ever be admitted to the elite Oomza University. Though Binti is excited to attend, enrolling at the university means she'll have to leave her family behind . . . and also survive the vicious battle between Oomza University and an alien race known as the Meduse.
Sisters by Lily Tuck
Lily Tuck's Sisters (one hour and 28 minutes) revolves around an unnamed narrator who can't seem to stop obsessing over her husband's first wife, who's known only as "she." While going through the motions of her daily life, the narrator fantasizes about and compares herself to the first wife, and this tense story has a twist you definitely won't see coming.
The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories by P. D. James
The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories (two hours and 55 minutes) by P. D. James offers four never-before-published stories by the mystery writer that are sure to give you major Agatha Christie vibes. Though the four mysterious revolve around Christmas, these tightly constructed stories can be enjoyed at any time of year.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adapted from the TEDx talk of the same name, We Should All Be Feminists (51 minutes) by Americanah author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers a guide for feminism for the 21st century, drawing on her own experiences and understanding of sexual politics. With an emphasis on inclusion and awareness, everyone could benefit from giving this one a listen.
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
In Brown Girl Dreaming author Jacqueline Woodson's Another Brooklyn (two hours and 43 minutes), a woman unexpectedly runs into an old friend while she is in New York for her father's funeral. The chance meeting then leads to a recollection of her blissful childhood in Brooklyn, as well as her teenage years, during which Brooklyn revealed itself a darker place than she ever imagined.
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me (two hours and 47 minutes) is a thoughtful, hilarious take on "mansplaining," exploring why and how women are continually silenced by male voices. The book is both anecdotal and factual, and it's certain to open your eyes to the doubt, manipulation, and violence experienced by women every day.