10 summer audiobooks perfect for listening to on vacation

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Looking for the best audiobooks to listen to on vacation? Read on…

I’ve already shared my favourite beach reads and vacation reads for 2023, all of which you can find as audiobooks on Audible (and some, for free on Libby via your library).

But I also wanted to share the summer reads that are extra good to listen to as audiobooks, based on Audible ratings and reader feedback.

Featuring poolside fiction, gripping audiobooks for long flights, and laidback romances, here’s my pick of the best audiobooks to listen to on vacation, complete with top-rated narrators and production.

Get ready to load up your audiobook app with vacation-friendly audiobooks and look forward to a laid-back summer of reading…

Best audiobooks to listen to this summer for fun & relaxation

Murder in Tuscany by T.A. Williams

Listen to Murder in Tuscany for… a cozy new crime series set in beautiful Tuscany for your summer vacation.

Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins and narrated by Simon Mattacks

In this story of murder in paradise, Villa Volpone is home to renowned crime writer Jonah Moore and his creative writing course, hidden high in the Tuscan hills.

It’s also the last place retired DCI Dan Armstrong expected to find himself… until just days into the course, he’s pulled out of retirement with a body and a culprit to catch from eleven suspects: his fellow course students.

Darling by India Knight

Listen to Darling for… a witty story of fresh starts, courage, and feverish romance, offering a contemporary retelling of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love.

Length: 8 hrs and narrated by Sophie Winkleman

Teenage Linda Radlett feels destined for greater things – and a love story that she absolutely won’t find in her family’s sprawling farmhouse in Norfolk.

When she moves to London to become a model, Linda achieves a fresh start: but life is unromantic, dark, and complicated.

But one day, feeling at her lowest, she spontaneously boards the Eurostar train to Paris where love and transformation await.

Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola

Listen to Honey & Spice for… a fun romance debut sparkling with the excitement of friendship, relationships, and self-discovery.

Length: 12 hrs and narrated by Weruche Opia

Honey & Spice is one of the most popular novels of the last year, sharing the story of Kiki Banjo: a student radio show host and pro at ignoring the advances and sweet talk of men.

When she and handsome newcomer Malakai Korede find themselves shackled into a fake relationship to save their academic futures, however, Kiki makes the uncharacteristic decision to open herself up to the perils of players and heartbreak.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Listen to Daughter of the Moon Goddess for… one of the best new fantasy books for 2022 (with one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen) to escape into on vacation this summer.

Length: 15 hrs and 1 min and narrated by Natalie Naudus

In this enchanting book that draws inspiration from the tale of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, a young woman embarks on a mission to rescue her mother, setting her against the mightiest immortal in the realm.

This is Book 1 of the Celestial Kingdom duology that weaves ancient mythology into a sweeping adventure. (You can also now read or listen to the second book, Heart of the Sun Warrior).

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

Listen to The Shell Seekers for… a classic beach read that’s perfect for enjoying in summer, whether for the first time or as a re-read years later.

Length: 19 hrs and 26 mins and narrated by Hayley Atwell

I first enjoyed The Shell Seekers as an audiobook, which was the perfect way to immerse myself in this classic cozy, slow-living story that’s brimming with summer vibes.

Starting with a Bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, through an unhappy wartime marriage, and to the one man she truly loved, artist’s daughter Penelope Keeling has lived a full and varied life.

As she refuses to settle sweetly into life as a pensioner, Penelope discovers a small fortune – and it’s up to her who decides what her family should do with it.

The Summer Trip by Isabelle Broom

Listen to The Summer Trip for… an escapist, romantic, and heartwarming story of overcoming heartbreak and starting afresh on beautiful Corfu, offering the perfect lazy poolside read for summer.

Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins and narrated by Polly Edsell

Eighteen years ago, Ava spent an unforgettable summer on the Greek island of Corfu. She’s never forgotten what happened during those months, nor the person she left behind.

Now, Ava is single, distanced from her family, and about to send her daughter off to university. She feels far removed from the life she once envisioned as a teenager – a life her sister now leads.

When she decides to return to Corfu and confront the past, the buried secrets and rekindled emotions have the potential to profoundly alter everything.

Still Life by Sarah Winman

Listen to Still Life for… an intoxicating story of love, hope, and new beginnings in Florence. It reminded me a little of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (just with a parrot and more London accents).

Sarah Winman’s Still Life is a real delight to listen to as an audiobook – I’ve loved listening to it as summer emerges here in Denmark, and even added it to my list of the best audiobooks of all time.

In 1944, sheltering from the war in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, two strangers share an extraordinary evening.

From this moment, everything will change for Ulysses Temper, a young British soldier, and Evelyn Skinner, a 64-year-old art historian living life on her own terms.

My Lemon Grove Summer by Jo Thomas

Listen to My Lemon Grove Summer for… a cozy, warm, and sunny read that makes for the perfect summer audiobook for vacation.

Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins and narrated by Rachel Atkins

If you dream of starting over in Sicily, experience it second-hand through this light and easy summer audiobook.

In this story, a new beginning in a beautiful Sicilian hilltop town with her best friend could be just what Zelda needs to trust her instincts and embrace her heart’s desires.

Not everyone is pleased to see their arrival, but Luca, a local restaurateur, might be their key to finding a home and opening up new opportunities amidst the lemon groves.

The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley

Listen to The Vanished Days for… Scottish historical fiction that’s the perfect summer audiobook for you if you want Outlander vibes. It’s Book 3 in Susanna Kearsley’s The Scottish Series, but you can easily read it as a standalone.

Length: 15 hrs and 43 mins and narrated by Robert Ian MacKenzie

Escape into this captivating audiobook to return to the autumn of 1707, where old enemies from the Scottish Highlands and the Borders are finding common ground as they protest the new union with England.

Described by Diana Gabaldon as a “sure recipe for historical fiction that sucks you in and won’t let go”, it’s a gripping tale of intrigue, revolution, and a young widow’s secrets.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Listen to Malibu Rising for… an escape to Malibu in August 1983, where four famous siblings are throwing an epic end-of-summer party. Over the course of twenty-four hours, everything will change forever.

Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins and narrated by Julia Whelan

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books have an extremely high success rate – whether it’s Daisy Jones & The Six or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, you’re almost guaranteed to love them.

Contrary to the views of many top reviewers on Goodreads, Malibu Rising is probably my favourite Taylor Jenkins Reid book.

I just love the character of surfer Nina Rivas, the summer vibes, and the friendship between the siblings. I can’t wait to re-read it during summer as an audiobook.

For more of the best audiobooks for summer, you might like these gripping audiobooks you can’t stop listening to and my pick of the best audiobooks of all time.

Also, why not head over to my recommended best beach reads and vacation reads for 2023? Enjoy your time for rest and rejuvenation – you’ve earned it.

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