The Best Audiobooks of 2022: Audie Awards 2023 Finalists
The Audie Awards 2023 audiobooks were announced! This means we now know the contenders for the best audiobooks of 2022.
The Audie Awards honor the best audiobooks in each category that was published in 2022. The winners and finalists are known to be outstanding listens.
If you are new to the world of audiobooks, this list is one to peruse carefully! These books are perfect for dipping your toe into the listening experience – they are all exceptional!
Below, we have the Audie Awards 2023 finalists and winners that we have read and recommend. There are tons more choices, but often in categories we don’t read. Don’t worry! We linked to those options too.
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The Best Audiobook of 2022: Audiobook of the Year Winner
Finding Me by Viola Davis
April 2022 Oprah’s Book Club Pick
Viola Davis’s life story had me entranced as I learned what she needed to overcome during her childhood, college, and her early career to become the powerhouse she is today.
Her thoughts on life in Hollywood were enlightening. Her deep love for her family and her roots shone through. And her story made it very clear that she takes nothing for granted.
Viola worked damn hard to be successful and she deserves every accolade she’s received and more. Her narration even earned her an Audie Awards 2023 nomination.
The Best Audiobooks of 2022: Audiobook of the Year Finalists
The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones
I read the 1619 project during the banned book month of our 2022 reading challenge. Created at first for The New York Times Magazine, this collection of essays was expanded upon for the book.
I enjoyed listing to this full-cast audiobook featuring many of the writers themselves doing the reading! With essays on sugar, capitalism, music, healthcare, and even traffic, I learned so much about how much of American society is built around racist ideals.
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
May 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
I haven’t read a novel with as much heart as this one in quite some time.
Elderly, recently widowed Tova loves her job cleaning the aquarium in town in the quiet of the night, especially because of her fondness for Marcellus, the octopus. She finds solace in the aquarium as it makes her feel closer to her son, Erik – a marine life lover – who disappeared on a boat when he was 18.
But when she hurts herself and is unable to return to work at full capacity, she grows close with her replacement, Cameron, a young man who newly arrived in town looking for his birth mother.
Meanwhile, Marcellus knows what really happened to Erik and he wants to help Tova find the closure she needs. His narration is interspersed with Tova and Cameron’s for a story that is compelling, heartwarming, and utterly unique.
I will be shoving this book into the hands of everyone who asks for a book recommendation because it’s my favorite book of 2022 and my pick as one of the best audiobooks of 2022. And if you are looking for more family drama books like this, check out the Ultimate List of Feel-Good Books to Brighten your Day. This contemporary fiction book is a 5-star read.
Best Audiobooks 2022: Non-Fiction
Wow. I did not know that Molly Shannon had such trauma in her early childhood. She grew up without her mother and with an alcoholic father.
The fact that she is able to maintain such a positive outlook and continue to make others laugh seems amazing to me. Molly’s story is a very powerful one. And even though this non-fiction book was heavier than I thought it would be, it was definitely worth the read.
Waypoints by Sam Heughan
In this memoir, Sam Heughan tells the story of his life while embarking on a multi-day hike across Scotland. While I found his life story to be fascinating, I was less interested in hearing about his wet socks or what he was eating to keep up his strength on his hike.
Still, Heughan is a gifted storyteller and his narration of the memoir is clearly why it’s an Audie Awards 2023 finalist. I liked his last non-fiction book better though.
Best Audiobooks 2022: Celebrity Book Club Picks
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
Picoult’s books are always so readable and this one is no exception. Olivia McAfee has had to start over and raise her son alone after leaving her abusive cardiothoracic surgeon husband.
She is raising her son Asher alone and always hoping that she left in time- before her son would remember the abuse. Now, Asher’s girlfriend, Lily, is dead and Asher is the prime suspect.
There were so many things about this book that made it so readable, I can see why it was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award for 2022 and is an Audie Awards 2023 finalist. However, there were a lot of parts of the book that left me with questions.
Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb
February 2022 GMA Book Club Pick
WHAT A MYSTERY! The Violin Conspiracy opens with a man’s 14 million-dollar Stradivarius violin being stolen and the drama doesn’t let up.
Ray McMillian is a young black musical prodigy who just so happens to have inherited his grandpa’s busted-up fiddle – which turns out to be a rare violin built by one of the greats. But when the origins of the violin come into question along with Ray’s claim to the instrument, the plot keeps thickening.
Truly the story was a gripping page-turner I could not put down. Slocumb’s ability to weave a multi-faceted tale was astounding. When it comes to novels about music, this is a must-read mystery book!
Best Audiobooks 2022: Mystery and Thriller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Jess has arrived in Paris to stay with her half-brother, Ben while she gets back on her feet. While he reluctantly agrees to help, he doesn’t answer the door when she shows up to move in.
Soon she gains entry into his apartment and begins the hunt to find out what happened to her brother. With secrets lurking around every corridor and the other residents being shady and elusive, Jess begins to think something sinister happened to Ben.
The first half of this story was a little slow while the character groundwork was laid out, but once the big reveal comes halfway through, I was reading the rest of the chapters at lightning speed. This is the only thriller on our list of books set in France and it’s a doozy! Lucy Foley is always a great pick from summer reads 2023.
The Maid by Nita Prose
January 2022 Good Morning America Pick
Molly works as a maid in a grand hotel and gets joy from leaving things orderly and pristine. Molly struggles with reading social cues and has had even more trouble since her gran can no longer help.
When Molly finds a dead body in a room at the hotel, she becomes a prime suspect and will need all her friends to help her.
I loved the description of this book and I hoped it would live up to my expectations. I did that and more. I loved every minute of this feel-good book from the ultimate list of mystery books and closed the last page smiling. Definitely add this one to books for book clubs to read.
Best Audiobooks of 2022: Fiction
Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore
I absolutely loved the GMA book club pick Oona Out of Order and it was on our list of the best of the year. I was so excited to read this book and it did not disappoint.
When the famous magician Violet Volk disappears without a trace, nobody can figure out where she went. Now, a decade later, her sister is wondering if Violet will finally reappear and if she can get some answers. Her fans still love and adore her but Sasha wants answers. Their relationship has left so many questions. As Sasha searches for answers, she will have to come to terms with the past.
I loved this book. It is so original and unlike anything that I have read. It is magical realism at its best which is not surprising coming from this author.
Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour
This is a beautifully written book about two women, their pasts, their stories, and their journey toward each other. Sara runs away from home at 16 after her best friend dies, leaving her brother behind. Emily is unable to find direction in her life as she jumps from major to major in school and from job to job.
This novel is a slow build that is very character driven. I enjoyed the writing and the last half of the book flew by.
Best Audiobooks of 2022: Romance
Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
Bee is a brilliant and unconventional scientist who lives by a strict code “what would Marie Curie Do?” She even has a secret Twitter account to help other female scientists in a male-dominated workplace.
When she is offered her dream job at Nasa, she cannot wait to start until she realized that she is not the lead scientist. She is the co-lead with her work nemesis Levi Ward. To make matters worse, he seems to be sabotaging everything that she tries to do. Could there be a better pick for enemies-to-lovers books?
Ali Hazelwood does an amazing job of writing office romances while still including the struggles that women have to deal with on a daily basis. This book was a clear choice for Books Like The Love Hypothesis. It’s an Audie Awards 2023 finalist and a perfect pick for beach reads 2023.
You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
Don’t be fooled by the beachy vibe of this novel’s cover. Emezi has astounded once again with a searing novel about grief and the messy business of moving on after the death of a spouse.
Set against the lush backdrop of the Caribbean island, this contemporary fiction story finds Feyi traveling to stay with Nasir, whom she is sort-of dating while exhibiting her artwork. But when she meets his father, famed chef Alim, her interests are torn.
As she tries to heal away from her life in Brooklyn, her life becomes messier than she could have imagined. I loved Emezi’s raw prose about grief and was thoroughly entertained by the story they wove. I totally get why this Audie Awards 2023 nominee is considered one of the best audiobooks of 2022.