If you're behind on your reading for the year, or need to give your annual reading challenge a little boost, I've got 15
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.
listening to audiobooks on my commute and at the gym, where I'm not 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 — like the time I tried to listen to What I Talk About When I Talk About Running on the treadmill — 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 on the list below. Check out my recommendations for the best super short audiobooks to boost your reading challenge, and share your favorite quick listens with me on
Twitter! 'The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — and How to Make the Most of Them Now' by Meg Jay, read by the author
Perfect for anyone who thinks that their 20s are just a stepping stone to bigger and better things, Meg Jay's
The Defining Decade will make you rethink young adulthood and its possibilities.
Runtime: 5 hours, 28 minutes
Click here to buy. 'Moving the Mountain' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, read by Chloe Boyle
Originally published in 1911, this prequel to Charlotte Perkins Gilman's more famous utopian novel,
Herland, centers on an American explorer who finds his home country changed entirely after he spends three decades in Tibet.
Runtime: 4 hours, 58 minutes
Click here to buy. 'Crudo' by Olivia Laing, read by the author
The Lonely City author Olivia Laing comes this funny novel about a 40-year-old writer who comes to terms with her impending marriage in the age of Trump and Brexit.
Runtime: 3 hours, 39 minutes
Click here to buy. 'Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, read by January LaVoy
Written as advice to a friend on raising a feminist daughter, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's
Dear Ijeawele is a must-read for anyone who needs a feminist rejuvenation.
Runtime: 1 hour, 1 minute
Click here to buy. 'Freshwater' by Akwaeke Emezi, read by the author
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
Click here to buy. 'Convenience Store Woman' by Sayata Murata, read by Nancy Wu
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
Click here to buy. 'Parker: Selected Stories' by Dorothy Parker, read by Elaine Stritch
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
Click here to buy. 'Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity' by Iliza Shlesinger, read by the author and Mayim Bialik
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
Click here to buy. 'Heart Berries' by Terese Marie Mailhot, read by Rainy Fields
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
Click here to buy. 'The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love' by Sonya Renee Taylor, read by the author
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
Click here to buy. 'Split Tooth' by Tanya Tagaq, read by the author
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
Click here to buy. 'The Friend' by Sigrid Nunez, read by Hillary Huber
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
Click here to buy. 'Women Talking' by Miriam Toews, read by Matthew Edison
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
Click here to buy. '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' by Sarah Knight, read by the author
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
Click here to buy. 'The Perils of Being Moderately Famous' by Soha Ali Khan, read by Mary Joseph
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-depricating humor, give pick up this memoir a listen.
Runtime: 4 hours, 29 minutes
Click here to buy.