If you need a distraction while you workout, cook, or clean your room, an audiobook just might be the perfect solution. And here's a secret: some of my favorite
audiobooks are actually narrated by celebrities. That's right, big name stars like Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Sandra Oh, Kate Winslet, and even Molly Ringwald have all used their talents to record some great books for your listening pleasure.
Let's face it, the performance of an audiobook can make or break your enjoyment of it. That's why it's so exciting when a talented actor lends their time and talents to record an audiobook. Some of today's biggest stars have embraced their inner book nerd, bringing out the best in some remarkable works of literature. On this list you'll find plenty of beloved classics, as well as some striking contemporary books, all narrated by a name you're sure to recognize.
You may know many of these celebrities from their work in Hollywood, but it's time to enjoy their work on an entirely new platform. Here are 14 audiobooks narrated by celebrities that you'll absolutely adore. Be prepared to download all of them, because you have got some seriously good listening ahead of you:
'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood, narrated by Claire Danes
Clare Danes breathtakingly narrates this modern classic, set in a world in which women have been stripped entirely of their rights. Even if you've seen the Hulu adaptation, you should read (or listen!) to the book.
Click here to buy. 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' by L. Frank Baum, narrated by Anne Hathaway
L. Frank Baum's classic follows a farm girl named Dorothy as she travels to the strange and colorful fantasy world of Oz, where — with the help of a rag-a-tag group of friends — she goes on an adventure in a desperate attempt to get home to Kansas. You probably know the film version, but the book is even more wonderfully weird, and Anna Hathaway brings something truly special to the narrative.
Click here to buy. 'Go Set a Watchmen' by Harper Lee, narrated by Reese Witherspoon
The sequel to Harper Lee's
To Kill a Mockingbird, this book follows Scout as an adult, who returns home after building a life in New York City. Click here to buy. 'To the Lighthouse' by Virginia Woolf, narrated by Nicole Kidman
This classic follows the Ramseys and their assorted guests as they vacation on the Isle of Skye and complex tensions between the characters roll in with the tide. Narrated by Nicole Kidman, the audiobook version will certainly sweep you up into Woolf's characteristically witty and profound prose.
Click here to buy. 'Thérèse Raquin' by Emile Zola, narrated by Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet lends her extraordinary voice to this "tale of adultery and murder" among the lower classes in 19th century Paris. Thérèse's lover, Laurent, kills her husband in hopes that the two can live a happy life together. But as time goes on, the couple finds themselves continually haunted by that act of violence.
Click here to buy. 'Heartburn' by Nora Ephron, narrated by Meryl Streep
The only thing that could make this Nora Ephron book about food and heartbreak more comforting is hearing it read by Meryl Streep. Seven months into her pregnancy, a cookbook writer named Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. Her emotional journey is interspersed with recipes that will make your mouth positively water.
Click here to buy. 'Human Acts' by Han Kang, narrated by Sandra Oh
The latest book from the author of the award-winning
The Vegetarian is not to be missed. Narrated by Grey's Anatomy and Killing Eve star Sandra Oh, this heart-wrenching book examines the aftermath of a violent student uprising in South Korea, following how the historic event reverberates through the lives of a cast of characters. Click here to buy. 'Anna Karenina' by Leo Tolstoy, narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal
Leo Tolstoy's classic is considered one of the greatest novels of all time, and in the hands of Maggie Gyllenhaal it truly comes alive. Countess Anna Karenina is a noblewoman and socialite, who embarks on an affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. After the two run off together, they find themselves shunned by Russian society.
Click here to buy. 'Anne of Green Gables' by L.M. Montgomery, narrated by Rachel McAdams
If you can't get enough of Netflix's
Anne with an E, you obviously need to hop on this audiobook ASAP. The marvelous Rachel McAdams narrates this effervescent story of a very special orphan girl who comes to live in the country. Click here to buy. 'Matilda' by Roald Dahl, narrated by Kate Winslet
This favorite from your childhood is read by the magnificent Kate Winslet, and it is definitely the perfect thing to listen to on a rainy day. Precocious bookworm Matilda lives with horrible parents, and goes to school under the helm of a diabolical principal known as "The Trunchbull." But with her smarts, and the help of her teacher Miss Honey, Matilda will find a way to rise up out of her situation.
Click here to buy. 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë, narrated by Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton narrates this timeless classic, which tells the rich story of Jane, orphaned at a young age and now arriving at Thornfield Hall, where the brooding Edward Rochester has hired her to care for his ward Adèle. But things take a major turn when Jane falls hard for Mr. Rochester. If you've been meaning to give
Jane Eyre a read, listening to this audiobook is the perfect way to do it! Click here to buy. 'Fledgling' by Octavia E. Butler, narrated by Tracey Leigh
In this book by one of sci-fi's most legendary authors, Shori is a young woman who slowly realizes that she is actually a vampire. As she tries to piece together the circumstances of her old life and discover who killed her family, Shori finds herself dangerously pushing her own boundaries. This captivating and groundbreaking book will give you chills, particularly when performed by Tracey Leigh.
Click here to buy. 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem' by Joan Didion, narrated by Diane Keaton.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Didion captures the revolution of the '60s through essays that cover everything from kidnappings to mass murders. Diane Keaton is the perfect person to read it, and you won't be able to turn this off until she speaks her final words. Click here to buy. 'Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures' by Emma Straub, narrated by Molly Ringwald
Protagonist Elsa Emerson is born in 1920 in an idyllic Wisconsin town. But as she grows up, she develops a gift for acting, and as a teenager, she decides to run away to Las Vegas under the pseudonym Laura Lamont. Under her fake name, she becomes a superstar. This is exactly the riveting, old-fashioned Hollywood story you need to get through the final weeks of summer.
Click here to buy.