I like funny memoirs, like Bossypants and Yes Please and Modern Romance. It’s awesome (and even funnier) getting to hear them read by the comedians themselves and it can be as low effort as you want - if you miss a few details it won’t affect the overall understanding. Plus goofy jokes are totally what I need at the end of a long day.
I avoid audiobooks written with a lot of fluffy flowery language describing sunsets in detail and stuff. Adjective rich audiobooks are not great.
I find Orson Scott Cards 'Enders Game' series to be a good as audiobooks. He comes from a theater background so focuses more on dialogue.
That's probably the key right there: dialogue over description.
Game of Thrones is a really good audiobook series. The narrator is amazing.
Simplistic writing styles are good too. Like 'Mr. Penumbras 24 Hour Bookstore' and 'Ready Player One'.
Hope that helps.
I only listen to audiobooks that are non-fiction stories/biographies recorded by the author. So far I've only listened to a couple books by actors such as Aziz Ansari's book Modern Romance, Amy Poehler's book, etc. Though, the Martian worked perfectly in this format, as well.
Anything that's more people talking to me first person through the audio rather than somebody trying to describe a landscape, tell a story from someone else's eyes, etc. is what I have no problem listening to. The same way I can listen to This American Life for a couple hours no problem, I can listen to these types of books on audible.
Anything fiction or anything with really flowery writing, I just can't.
World War Z. The cast for the complete edition is extremely talented (including such greats as Mark Hamil, Simon Pegg, Alan Alda and **MARTIN SCORSESE**), and the diversity on show really does make the epidemic feel global.
I'd love for someone to provide an animation alongside it, to make up for the movie!
First off, if you have the ebook version you can get the Audible version for way less than just buying the Audible version from Amazon. It's called Matchmaker and you can listen to a sample so that should help you decide. I have one audio book where the reader uses a thick accent and it was a poor choice. That was the only version I found less than excellent.
Also, there are a number of volunteer reads available and you can listen to them before hand.
I listen mostly to non-fiction as I am going to sleep and I just rewind until I have gotten through the chapter and understand it.
For what you are talking about, maybe mysteries or more light fare might be ideal. I recommend Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen. It's very funny and easy to follow.
I like mystery/suspense for audio. I went through Nevada Barr's entire Anna Pigeon series (19 books!) and have started on Lisa Gardner's DD Warren series. Both are light on sex scenes, which is a plus when listening in public or while driving. Having a familiar character book to book is . . . comforting?
I'm not too hard on myself for mentally drifting while I listen. It's a pastime, not something I'll be tested on.
I've listened to some of the official Star Wars audiobooks and they are full of music and sound effects. They're great.
I like action/ sci-fi fluff for commutes. Anything that you can pretty much guess the last minute or two of if you get distracted works great. Zombie apocalypse stuff is really good because its all the same stuff.
I also listen while I work, and that is more of a historical, nonfiction time, for me, anyway.
**Fahrenheit 451** read by actor Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redemption, Mystic River) was a fun treat.
If you haven't read them yet (and are into dragons), the Game of Thrones books work great in audiobook format. Has a sitting-around-the-fire vibe, which works with the content.
I'd highly suggest you listen to Sea of Rust as an audiobook. It's about AI's that take over the Earth (I know that sounds so generic, but trust me it's better then I make it sound.) The person who reads it does such a great job of giving each character a voice and the language isn't too over the top. Strict and to the point, but performed so well it's tempted me to go back and listen to it a second time.
Novels that are not too complex and that don't have too many characters. Books that don't require or benefit from frequent re-reading of passages ("Who was that guy again?"). Depends on the book, too. I listened to A Man Called Ove and the narrator's cadence and tone made it awesome; better than reading it, I imagine.
Try plays, which are meant to be listened to, and work well when driving etc. A starter suggestion would be the plays of David Mamet, well known for his dialogue.
Long serials are great to listen to when you find a great reader (or readers) you’ll want to listen to them for many hours. The Wheel of Time books are an example.
Anything read by Scott Brick is also great.