Books

Coronavirus lockdown: the best free audiobooks on Audible

Lockdown life getting you down? Try listening to one of these brilliant audiobooks… 

The UK is in coronavirus lockdown – and there’s no denying that staying indoors is absolutely the best thing we can be doing right now. Not only are we easing the strain on our NHS, but we’re protecting those who are more vulnerable than us and (hopefully) flattening the Covid-19 curve.

Still, though… it’s boring, isn’t it? We can’t mindlessly chomp through snacks, because panic-buying has led to us rationing everything in our cupboards, and our health anxiety makes it difficult to concentrate on a book or film long enough to get through it.

Thankfully, Audible has the answer. Free audiobook, anyone?

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That’s right: Audible has made hundreds of its titles free to help us while away the hours in coronavirus lockdown.

On its new Discover page, Audible lists a whole host of gems to add to your reading list. There’s a focus on titles for young kids and teens – in a statement on its website the company said that they’ll be available for as long as schools are closed – but there are also tons of adult-friendly titles, too.

“[We recognise] that people are at home, in many cases with children home from school, and that stories have the power to entertain, teach and to keep minds active, alert, and engaged,” says Audible.

Here’s just a few of our favourites…

  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

    “It is a truth universally acknowledged that…”

    Put away the DVD and listen to Jane Austen’s original text, ASAP.

  • Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne

    Winnie The Pooh illustration

    It’s a children’s book, sure, but we know you’re all fans of Winnie-the-Pooh. So what better time to leave the real world behind you and visit our favourite bear and his pals, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Little Roo, deep in The Hundred Acre Wood? Peter Dennis narrates.

  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

    Read by Rachel McAdams, this classic coming-of-age story is all about Anne Shirley, a brave outsider who, against all odds, fights for love and acceptance and her place in the world.

  • Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

    Alice in Wonderland original film still

    Scarlett Johansson lends her voice to this timeless tale of a curious little girl who tumbled down the rabbit-hole and into Wonderland.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    Outcast Jane’s courage is tested when she arrives at Thornfield Hall to care for the brooding, proud Edward Rochester’s ward Adèle, only to uncover a terrifying secret in the attic. Somehow, this story is even better when narrated by Thandie Newton.

  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    A tale of betrayal, revenge, loyalty, and redemption, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a true classic. 

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

    Somehow simultaneously a Gothic thriller, passionate romance, and cautionary tale about the dangers of science, everyone knows the story of Frankenstein by heart. But let Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens read it to you anyway, for old times sake.

  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

    les mis

    Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables (upon which the award-winning musical was based) follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving family. Sounds pretty apt for these panic-buying days, eh?

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? Let Michael York help you figure it out as he brings this timeless sci-fi tale to life once again.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    This is one of those books everyone pretends they’ve read, but absolutely haven’t (unless, y’know, they’d done an English Literature course). Put that to rights with Simon Vance’s narration of Dorian Gray’s story, and find out what happens to that handsome and narcissistic young man when he makes an ill-considered Faustian wish.

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Image: Lauren Kashuk/Unsplash

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