Audiobooks are a great way to experience literature, history, and non-fiction works in a new and engaging format. For many people, audiobooks make it possible to "read" more books by listening during commutes or while doing other tasks. Reddit is home to many thriving audiobook communities full of recommendations and discussions. Looking at the most upvoted and discussed audiobooks on Reddit provides insight into the best audiobook listening experiences according to real enthusiasts.
In this post, we‘ll highlight Reddit‘s top 15 picks for the best audiobooks of all time, focusing specifically on titles related to history and computers. Get ready to add these highly rated audiobooks to your listening queue!
1. The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson
- Narrated by: Kathe Mazur & Dylan Baker
- Runtime: 18 hours
Walter Isaacson is well known for his biographies of famous innovators like Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein. In The Code Breaker, Isaacson turns his attention to Jennifer Doudna and the gene editing technology CRISPR. This fascinating audiobook explores the history and implications of CRISPR through Doudna‘s work decoding DNA. Isaacson brings scientific innovation to life through an engaging storytelling style.
2. Rise and Kill First by Ronen Bergman
- Narrated by: George Guidall
- Runtime: 20 hours
Rise and Kill First provides a thorough account of the covert targeted killing operations carried out by Israel‘s intelligence agency Mossad. Ronen Bergman‘s investigative reporting sheds light on the controversial history of Israel‘s use of assassinations and preemptive strikes. Narrator George Guidall lends his authoritative voice to bring gravitas to this dark and thought-provoking history.
3. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
- Narrated by: Alfred Molina
- Runtime: 17 hours
Another Isaacson biography makes Reddit‘s best audiobooks list, this time focused on Leonardo da Vinci. Isaacson paints a vivid picture of da Vinci‘s genius across diverse fields from art to anatomy to technology innovations. Actor Alfred Molina‘s narration adds color and flair to the story of this quintessential Renaissance man.
4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Narrated by: Derek Perkins
- Runtime: 15 hours
Harari‘s popular book explores the entire history of humankind, from evolution through the cognitive and agricultural revolutions up to the modern era. It provides useful perspective on how Homo sapiens came to dominate the planet. Derek Perkins brings enthusiasm to this sweeping audiobook that elucidates where we came from and where we might be headed.
5. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
- Narrated by: David McCullough
- Runtime: 10 hours
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough is considered one of the best historical biographers around. In The Wright Brothers, McCullough chronicles the lives and innovations of aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright. McCullough himself narrates the audiobook in his trademark gravelly voice that perfectly matches the time period.
6. Without Their Permission by Alexis Ohanian
- Narrated by: Alexis Ohanian
- Runtime: 7 hours
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian narrates his own audiobook, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the early days of Reddit as well as guidance for today‘s entrepreneurs. Ohanian advocates for an open internet and shares stories of innovators past and present. His personal involvement adds authenticity.
7. Einstein by Walter Isaacson
- Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
- Runtime: 22 hours
Isaacson makes another appearance with his lauded biography of Albert Einstein, detailing his personal life as well as scientific achievements that transformed modern physics. Actor Edward Herrmann was praised for his narration of this expansive profile exploring Einstein‘s thinking and character.
8. Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark
- Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
- Runtime: 13 hours
This audiobook by MIT physics professor Max Tegmark contemplates the possibility of advanced artificial intelligence exceeding human intelligence. Tegmark outlines possible AI scenarios, considering both risks and rewards. An important book for understanding the implications of emerging technologies.
9. The Idea Factory by Jon Gertner
- Narrated by: L.J. Ganser
- Runtime: 10 hours
The Idea Factory tells the pivotal history of Bell Labs and its amazing inventions that helped build the foundations of modern technology, from transistors to radio astronomy. Ganser‘s enthusiastic narration brings energy to this story of some of the 20th century‘s greatest tech innovations.
10. The Man Who Knew by Sebastian Mallaby
- Narrated by: Byron Wagner
- Runtime: 33 hours
This hefty biography chronicles the influential economist Alan Greenspan and his philosophy of libertarianism that guided global financial policy for decades. Mallaby provides perspective on Greenspan‘s deep impact on modern capitalism through copious research.
11. The Soul of America by Jon Meacham
- Narrated by: Fred Sanders
- Runtime: 10 hours
Pulitzer winner Jon Meacham examines critical moments in U.S. history when hopes for progress were challenged by division and demagoguery. Meacham offers perspective on how past crises can inform efforts to reunite America today. An insightful history audiobook for our current era.
12. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
- Narrated by: Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee & Danny Campbell
- Runtime: 9 hours
Grann investigates an early 20th century murder spree targeting wealthy Osage Indians that may have been motivated by a quest for oil. This true crime history sheds light on a devastating period for the Osage nation. The audiobook features several excellent narrators taking on different perspectives.
13. The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
- Narrated by: Nadia May
- Runtime: 19 hours
This Pulitzer-winning classic analyzes the events and miscommunications that led to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Tuchman vividly captures the first chaotic month when war began spreading across Europe. An enlightening glimpse into history‘s descent into global war.
14. 1776 by David McCullough
- Narrated by: David McCullough
- Runtime: 11 hours
McCullough dives deep into the pivotal year 1776 at the start of the American Revolution. He recounts in detail the events and players that led to the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence. McCullough‘s first-hand knowledge further enlivens the audiobook.
15. My Inventions by Nikola Tesla
- Narrated by: John Pruden
- Runtime: 4 hours
Visionary inventor Nikola Tesla recounts his groundbreaking work in electrical and mechanical engineering in this 1919 autobiography. It provides a window into Tesla‘s inventions and ideas that were far ahead of their time, as well as his unique and brilliant mind.
This collection shows the diversity of highly-regarded history and computer audiobooks according to Reddit, from captivating biographies to pivotal moments in history to thought-provoking explorations of technology. Listening to these well-produced audiobooks read by talented narrators transports you right into the heart of the subject matter.
Next time you need an audiobook for your commute, gym session, or a long trip, consider one of these Reddit-approved titles related to historical events or computer innovations. Learning more about history and technology has never been more convenient and engaging thanks to these expertly crafted audiobook listening experiences.