If you're behind on your reading for the year or need to give your annual reading challenge a little boost, we’ve got just what you need: some super short audiobooks you can listen to in a day. Every book on this list clocks in at less than seven hours long, and most of them are only about four or five hours in length. Whether you've got a long commute or a lot of chores to do, you can complete these audiobooks in your free time on any given day.
Lots of readers love
listening to audiobooks on their commutes and at the gym, where they aren’t distracted by other sounds, but there's really no wrong time to listen to a great book. Sure, some books aren't best suited for certain locations or situations, but you can always fit in a few chapters if you have your phone and some earbuds handy.
With novels, short-fiction collections, memoirs, and other works of nonfiction, there's a little something for everyone here. Below, 18 super short audiobooks you can listen to in a day:
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 The Misdaventures of Awkward Black Girl Insecure creator Issa Rae’s bestselling essay collection may be a few years old at this point, but that just means that now’s the perfect time to revisit the uproarious Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.
Runtime: 5 hours, 49 minutes
2 Fault Lines
A wife and mother of two finds herself falling for another man in Emily Itami’s funny and tender novel. Life in modern Tokyo has begun to lose some of its appeal for Mizuki, who has found herself contemplating self-harm to get away from her boring life as a housewife. Everything changes when she meets Kiyoshi, but what will happen when Mizuki is forced to choose between her two lives?
Runtime: 5 hours, 23 minutes
3 We Can Be Heroes
Two girls who have always butted heads join forces to keep their mutual friend’s memory alive after she’s killed in a school shooting. Accompanied by the ghost of their late friend, Beck and Vivian begin a campaign to memorialize Cassie... a campaign that soon gets the attention of a powerful gun manufacturer.
Runtime: 6 hours, 40 minutes
4 Ring Shout
Set in the Jim Crow South, P. Djèlí Clark’s
Ring Shout follows three women as they face off against a demonic, white supremacist cult that plans to use the powers of Hell to drag the United States back to its pre-Civil War status quo.
Runtime: 5 hours, 35 minutes
Ada has been occupied by different selves since birth, but when she leaves her native Nigeria to attend an American university, Ada's identity moves to the background as her alters come forward to run her life.
Runtime: 6 hours, 42 minutes
6 Convenience Store Woman
In this delightful novel, a 36-year-old woman finds herself eyed with suspicion after she fails to advance beyond the trappings of her entry-level job at a Tokyo convenience store, so she enters into a sham marriage with a coworker to satisfy others.
Runtime: 3 hours, 21 minutes
7 Parker: Selected Stories
Containing seven Dorothy Parker short stories, including "Big Blonde" and "From the Diary of a New York Lady," this super short audiobook is perfect for the listener who doesn't have a lot of time to string together throughout the day.
Runtime: 2 hours, 57 minutes
8 Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity
In this essay collection, comedian Iliza Shlesinger examines how women think — particularly with regard to the seemingly contradictory "desire to be strong and vulnerable," or "curvy, but rail thin" — and why a woman's way of doing things is neither worse nor wrong.
Runtime: 5 hours, 31 minutes
9 Heart Berries
Based on the author's therapeutic writings,
Heart Berries is a memoir about growing up in a dysfunctional family on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation.
Runtime: 3 hours, 45 minutes
10 The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love
In this powerful audiobook, Sonya Renee Taylor argues for revolutionary acceptance of body, self, and body-as-self, as a form of activism and resistance.
Runtime: 4 hours, 49 minutes
11 Split Tooth
This novel from Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq focuses on a young woman growing up in Nunavut, gifted with shamanic talents, whose world grows immensely more complicated when she becomes pregnant.
Runtime: 5 hours, 31 minutes
12 The Friend
This National Book Award winner centers on a woman who works through her grief over the death of a friend and mentor by connecting with the dead man's dog.
Runtime: 5 hours, 59 minutes
13 Women Talking
Based on actual events, this novel revolves around a conversation between women in an isolated Mennonite community, who have shared, violent experiences they must confront and explain.
Runtime: 5 hours, 57 minutes
14 Calm the F*ck Down: How to Control What You Can and Accept What You Can't So You Can Stop Freaking Out and Get on with Your Life
From the author of
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck comes this self-help hit designed to help you handle everything from minor inconveniences to major grievances.
Runtime: 4 hours, 32 minutes
15 The Perils of Being Moderately Famous
Her father was a famous cricketer and a royal ruler. Her mother, brother, and sister-in-law are all famous actors. And then there's Soha, an actress, but not quite as famous as the rest. If you love self-deprecating humor, give pick up this memoir a listen.
Runtime: 4 hours, 29 minutes
16 Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
Named as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year in 2020, Emmanuel Acho’s
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man offers America a way forward at a time when public acknowledgment of police brutality is at an all-time high.
Runtime: 4 hours, 26 minutes
When a portal to a parallel universe opens up in a Swedish furniture store, an elderly shopper goes missing, and it’s up to a pair of ex-lovers, Ava and Jules, to go after her, in Nino Cipri’s
Runtime: 3 hours, 5 minutes
18 The Honjin Murders
First published in 1973, one of Japan’s most beloved murder mysteries is finally available for English audiences to enjoy. When a man dies following a wedding celebration in the wealthy Ichiyanagi family, an amateur sleuth named Kosuke Kindaichi steps in to crack the case.
Runtime: 5 hours, 10 minutes