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Fast, Easy Ways to Gift Audiobooks, Plus Top Recommendations

With just a few clicks you can give friends and family a listen they’ll love


spinner image a pair of headphones next to three audiobook covers the last devil to die by richard osman then the heaven and earth grocery store by james mcbride then the wager by david grann
Carol Yepes/Getty / Penguin Audio (2) / Random House Audio

​​The best gifts are fun to shop for, offer plenty of choices to suit different interests, and are easy to send and receive. Audiobooks check those boxes nicely, including a vast number of genres and styles available from an array of online sources — and no wrapping necessary!

The following audiobook sellers allow you to give individual titles or to purchase credits or memberships for recipients, who can then choose their own audiobooks.

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Audible: Audible’s online store has a huge selection of audiobooks (its parent company is Amazon, after all) that can be played through the free Audible app. Select your title through amazon.com or audible.com, click the button Give as a gift and schedule a time when you’d like your gift delivered by email. You can also give someone an Audible membership (one, three, six or 12 months, $15–$150), so they can select their own audiobooks.

Libro.fm: Gift specific titles as well as credits (2 to 24 credits $30–$342; one credit per audiobook) for audiobooks, playable through the free libro.fm app. As with Audible, you can schedule a time when you’d like the gift delivered by email. Bonus: Purchases through libro.fm support independent bookstores.

Apple Books: To gift an audiobook through Apple, open the Apple Books app on your iPhone or iPad (it's already installed when you purchase Apple devices). Select an audiobook, click the gift icon (it looks like a little wrapped present), then type in the recipient’s email address, a gift note and when you’d like it sent. You can also send someone an Apple gift card to use how they wish.

Audio Editions: This is a great resource if you want to give audiobooks on CDs. Purchase individual titles from audioeditions.com and have them shipped to your recipient. Many are available as an MP3 CD as well. (You can also buy audiobook CDs from Amazon and other sellers.)

Gift ideas

At AudioFile Magazine, where I’m editor, we review and recommend more than 2,000 titles each year. Here are a few top-notch audiobooks from 2023 to consider giving your favorite book-listener.

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, read by Meryl Streep

Who wouldn't love having Meryl Streep read this wonderful novel to them? The actress narrates with sensitivity and shifting rhythm and tone in this story centered around a woman who reflects upon a long-ago love affair. It’s written by the masterful Patchett, a Pulitzer finalist for her 2019 novel The Dutch House. (11½ hours)

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride, read by Dominic Hoffman

Narrator Hoffman illuminates this captivating historical fiction, from the author of 2013’s National Book Award winner The Good Lord Bird. Set in the 1930s in the Chicken Hill neighborhood of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, the story explores themes of racism and antisemitism, the immigrant experience and the power of community. It’s the 2023 Barnes & Noble book of the year. (12½ hours)

The Wager by David Grann, read by Dion Graham

​The ill-fated voyage of HMS Wager involved mutiny, murder and betrayal on the high seas off South America in the 1740s. Grann, the author of the 2017 bestseller Killers of the Flower Moon (now a Martin Scorsese film), offers the drama and adventure history buffs love. A “Golden Voice” narrator (per AudioFile), Graham provides mesmerizing cadence and impeccable timing. (8½ hours)

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Role Playing by Cathy Yardley, read by Chris Brinkley and Elyse Dinh

Grumpy empty-nester Maggie and upbeat Aidan, both middle-aged online gamers, begin a virtual relationship that involves quite a few misunderstandings about their identities before they finally meet face to face. The two narrators beautifully capture their friendship and romance, including their online role-playing. (10 hours)

The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman, read by Fiona Shaw

​The amateur British sleuths of the Thursday Murder Club are at it again in the series' fourth book, in which they face a new array of puzzling schemes, from drug-smuggling to a crooked antiques business. Narrator Shaw expresses the story’s humor, as well as the nuances of the octogenarian characters’ personalities and clever dialogue. (11 hours) 

DIVA 2.0: 12 Life Lessons From Me for You! by Sheryl Lee Ralph, read by the author

The Emmy-winning star of ABC’s Abbott Elementary (who was recently featured in AARP The Magazine) engages listeners with delicious anecdotes about her life in theater and the music business, along with reflections on what she’s learned along the way. Her lively narration showcases what she calls her DIVA — Divinely Inspired, Victoriously Awesome — spirit. (4¾ hours) 

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