Maybe you're trying to keep the current strain off of delivery workers by switching from paper books to audio ones. Maybe you're social distancing alone and need some background noise right now. Maybe you just need a distraction of any kind. Whatever the case, if you find yourself longing for the sounds of someone, anyone talking, it might as well be a celebrity, right? And yes, they're all doing live streams on Instagram, but that medium is the definition of chaotic. If you’re looking for some more soothing sounds, ones that might actually allow you to unplug and escape for a while, there are a ton of audiobooks read by celebrities that are just sitting there waiting for you to find them. Your favorite celebrity reading a classic book or a new favorite could definitely be the huge mood boost you need right now.
The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood, Narrated by Claire Danes
Every single day we get one step closer to going full Handmaid’s Tale, which is pretty scary. What’s not scary is Claire Danes reading the classic by Margaret Atwood. If you're going to dive into dystopia when the world is a mess, at least do it with the help of a soothing celebrity timbre.
Heartburn by Nora Ephron, Narrated by Meryl Streep
If there was ever a need for a Nora Ephron story like Heartburn, it’s right now. Now add in the unstoppable Meryl Streep reading her iconic prose and the words feel like one big hug. If there was an option to listen to this for the next five months, I’d choose it.
The Baby-Sitters Club Books By Ann M. Martin, Narrated by Elle Fanning
It’s always a good time to dive back into The Baby-Sitters Club, and Elle Fanning reading the stories of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey is exactly what we all need right now. Fanning also graces the newly-done covers for the audiobooks and they are perfect.
The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald, Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal is definitely having an interesting moment right now (thanks in great part to John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch), and maybe it’s time to go full Gyllenhaal. He certainly commits his all to reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story that’s so much more than just about a far-off green light.
The Odyssey By Homer, Narrated by Ian McKellen
The Odyssey is a very long story, so if you’re going to listen to all of it you better have a pretty amazing name attached to it. Thankfully, Ian McKellen steps for those duties. Remember how you didn’t exactly finish this book in high school? Now’s the perfect time to revisit it.
Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling, Narrated by Mindy Kaling
If you've read Why Not Me? it’s safe to assume that at some point in time, you wanted Mindy Kaling as a best friend (at least in your head). While that, unfortunately, won’t happen any time soon for most of us, it can certainly feel like Mindy is sitting on the couch with us, telling us an amazing story as she narrates her own book of essays. The audio also includes an appearance by Mindy’s real BFF, B.J. Novak.
Yes Please, By Amy Poehler, Narrated by Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes Please is full of great stories about her life in front of and behind the camera. There’s only one person in the world who could narrate the story, and that’s Poehler herself. You’ll laugh with her, you’ll cry with her, and in the end you’ll love Poehler so much more. There's also a cameo by the one and only Mike Schur (creator of Parks & Recreation and The Good Place).
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz By L. Frank Baum, Narrated by Anne Hathaway
Everyone knows the story of The Wizard of Oz, and you’ve probably seen the movie half a dozen times so far. If you’re looking for a change of pace when it comes to Dorothy Gale’s story look no further than Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway reading the classic tale, giving her own spin on the Wicked Witch of the West.
Matilda By Roald Dahl, Narrated by Kate Winslet
Know what the story of Matilda has been missing this whole time? The soothing voice of Kate Winslet reading the classic Roald Dahl tale like she was born to do it. This will be a little bit of a different journey than one where you imagine Danny DeVito as Matilda's father the whole time (as he is in the '90s movie version), but it's a lovely alternative.
Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen, Narrated by Rosamund Pike
Maybe all we need right now is a little bit of Jane Austen. You’ve probably read Pride and Prejudice before, and heck, you’ve probably watched an adaptation of it at least a dozen times at this point in your life. Well, make some space for another version of it, this time narrated by Rosamund Pike, who actually played Elizabeth Bennet's sister Jane in the 2005 movie.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them By J.K. Rowling, Narrated by Eddie Redmayne
An actor reading from the book his entire Harry Potter franchise is based on? We love to see it, and we also love to hear it. This isn’t the novelization of the movie, but rather the actual “textbook” that was "written" by Newt Scamander himself. And clocking in at just under two hours, that’s about a half-hour shorter than the actual movie and the audiobook, unlike the movie, is all Newt all the time.