Culture
46 voters

The Best Authors Who Narrate Their Own Audiobooks

Updated December 27, 2019 275 votes 46 voters 1.3k views26 items

List RulesVote up the authors who are the best narrators for their books.

In this fast-paced world we live in, it seems not everyone has time to actually sit down and read a book. Though audiobooks were once viewed as little more than multi-part cassettes filled with motivational wisdom, in the last decade or so they've enjoyed a renaissance. Along with an increase in audiobooks is an increase in authors who narrate their own books. As there's often no one better to capture the tone of a book than the person who wrote it, finding the best audiobooks can come down to finding an one that's read by the author themselves. From fiction to memoir, Stephen King to Elizabeth Gilbert, you can listen to an author read their book to you.

These days a great audiobook can be a form of entertainment all on its own, as the best stories come to life complete with emotion and a vibrancy that can be missed in the written word. In many cases, audiobooks have even eclipsed their written counterparts, partially because they bring stories to life in a new way and partially because it's so easy now to carry a whole audio library around with you. The best audiobooks narrated by the author are filled with passion and enthusiasm, and you can be sure you're hearing the book the way it was meant to be heard. With every pause, emphasis, or breath, the author-narrated audiobooks on this list are captivating and authentic from start to finish. Try Audible and get two free audiobooks - allowing you to easily indulge in the voice of your favorite author-narrator.

It's time to put away your paperback, stop licking your thumb, or worrying about papercuts - pop in your headphones, and vote up the authors who've done the best narrating their books.

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  • 1
    Maya Angelou
    21
    5

    Maya Angelou

    Dec. at 86 (1928-2014)

    BirthplaceSt. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

    Books Narrated: 

    Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, And Still I Rise: A Selection of Poems Read by the Author, A Song Flung Up To Heaven, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Hallelujah! the Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer, Letter to My Daughter, Mom & Me & Mom

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  • 2
    Toni Morrison
    21
    6

    BirthplaceLorain, Ohio, United States of America

    Books Narrated: Song of Solomon, Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Sula, A Mercy, Who's Got Game?, Jazz, God Help the Child, Paradise, Home, Love

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  • 3
    David Sedaris
    21
    8

    BirthplaceBroome County, Contiguous United States, New York, United States of America, United States

    Books Narrated: Me Talk Pretty One Day, Calypso, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Theft by Finding,  Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Barrel Fever and Other Stories, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall, David Sedaris: Live for Your Listening Pleasure

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  • 4
    Amy Poehler
    16
    6

    BirthplaceNewton, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Books Narrated: Yes Please

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  • 5
    Logic
    13
    4

    Logic

    Age: 30

    BirthplaceGaithersburg, Maryland

    Books Narrated: Supermarket

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  • 6
    Barack Obama
    13
    9

    BirthplaceHonolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

    Books Narrated: The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, Dreams from My Father

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  • 7
    Neil Gaiman
    8
    2

    BirthplacePortchester, United Kingdom

    Books Narrated: Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book, Stardust, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Coraline, Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, Trigger Warning, The View from the Cheap Seats, Fortunately, the Milk, M is for Magic, Odd and the Frost Giants, A Study in Emerald, American Gods, The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains, Art Matters, Instructions, The Monarch of the Glen

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  • 8
    Stephen King
    9
    5

    BirthplacePortland, Maine, USA

    Books Narrated: Salem's Lot, On Writing, Needful Things, Skeleton Crew, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Elevation, The Wind Through The Keyhole, Bag of Bones, Desperation

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  • 9
    Barbara Kingsolver

    BirthplaceAnnapolis, Maryland

    Books Narrated: Unsheltered, Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, Small Wonder: Essays, Prodigal Summer

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  • 10
    Khaled Hosseini

    BirthplaceKabul, Afghanistan

    Books Narrated: The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed

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  • 11
    Carrie Fisher
    1
    1

    BirthplaceBeverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016) was an American actress, writer,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    Douglas Adams
    5
    1

    Douglas Adams

    Dec. at 49 (1952-2001)

    BirthplaceCambridge, United Kingdom

    Books Narrated: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Life, the Universe and Everything, Mostly Harmless, Dirk Gently, Restaurant at the End of the Universe, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 6: Hexagonal Phase

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  • 13
    Elan Mastai

    Books narrated: All Our Wrong Todays

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  • 14
    Elizabeth Gilbert

    BirthplaceWaterbury, Connecticut

    Books Narrated: Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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  • 15
    Jacqueline Woodson

    BirthplaceColumbus, Ohio

    Books Narrated: Brown Girl Dreaming, Harbor Me, If You Come Softly, The Day You Begin, Show Way, Visiting Day

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  • 16
    Lauren Graham
    1
    0

    BirthplaceHonolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

    Lauren Helen Graham (born March 16, 1967) is an American actress and author. She is best known... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    Mindy Kaling
    1
    0

    BirthplaceCambridge, Massachusetts, USA

    Vera Mindy Chokalingam (born June 24, 1979), known professionally as Mindy Kaling, is an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    Nick Offerman
    1
    0

    BirthplaceJoliet, Illinois, USA

    Nicholas Offerman (born June 26, 1970) is an American actor, writer, comedian, and carpenter... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 19
    Ray Bradbury
    5
    2

    Ray Bradbury

    Dec. at 92 (1920-2012)

    BirthplaceWaukegan, Illinois, United States of America

    Books Narrated: Farenheight 451, Ray Bradbury Himself Reads 19 Complete Stories: The Grand Master of Inner Space and Outer Space

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  • 20
    Rob Lowe
    5
    5

    Rob Lowe

    Age: 56

    BirthplaceCharlottesville, Virginia, USA

    Books Narrated: Stories I Only Tell My Friends, Love Life

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  • 21
    Thomas Harris
    5
    5

    BirthplaceJackson, Tennessee

    Books Narrated: Cari Mora

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  • 22
    Tina Fey
    1
    0

    Tina Fey

    Age: 50

    BirthplaceUpper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Elizabeth Stamatina "Tina" Fey (born May 18, 1970) is an American actress, comedian, writer,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    Lauren Groff
    2
    2

    BirthplaceCooperstown, New York

    Books Narrated: Florida

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  • 24
    Lisa Genova
    5
    2

    Books Narrated: Still Alice

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  • 25
    Rachel Kushner

    BirthplaceEugene, Oregon

    Books Narrated: The Mars Room

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