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11 compelling audiobooks narrated by Julia Whelan

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She knows how to bring a story to life. Whether she’s narrating it, like she has for over 600 audiobooks, or writing it, like one of her bestselling novels, Julia Whelan is a true storyteller. And go ahead and add screenwriter, actor, and Grammy-nominated audiobook director to that résumé.

Julia Whelan
Photo by Kelly Puleio
You’ve probably heard her before without even realizing it. Her critically-acclaimed voice has narrated everything from the smart, modern romance by Emily Henry to the lost stories of women’s history by Kristin Hannah. Dubbed “the Adele of audiobooks” by The New Yorker, Whelan’s voice achievements are many. You’ll especially want to check out her powerful performance in Educated by Tara Westover that won her the Best Female Narrator Award in 2019 at the Audie Awards.

Also be sure to check out her recent work narrating Emily Henry's Funny Story, a shimmering, joyful new novel about a pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common.

RELATED READ: The best voices in audiobooks: 6 narrators you have to hear


Julia Whelan booksPenning her own stories and narrating them too, Whelan shines with her witty and clever writing style in her debut novel, My Oxford Year, and her sophomore release, Thank You for Listening about a former actress turned audiobook narrator (sound familiar?).

Whether she’s narrating her own books or someone else’s, she always strives to stay true to the author’s intentions with her voice acting. In an interview on the Professional Book Nerds podcast, Whelan and Emily Henry, whose books she often narrates, chat about Happy Place, their favorite romance tropes, their happy places, mocktail hour, and more.


More must-listen audiobooks narrated by Julia Whelan

You’ll love listening to Whelan’s soothing voice paired with these enthralling stories — from psychological thrillers to feel-good romance, a journey through Old Hollywood to small-town Kentucky during the Great Depression. Here are just a few more you can listen to for free from your library on the Libby app.

The WomenThe Women by Kristin Hannah

An intimate portrait of coming of age in a dangerous time and an epic tale of a nation divided.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

An entrancing and "wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet" (PopSugar) as she reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.


Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

An instant classic psychological thriller about a marriage gone cold and dark secrets that both husband and wife have been hiding.


Part of Your WorldPart of Your World by Abby Jimenez

A refreshingly modern fairy tale that Love Hypothesis author Ali Hazelwood hails as "an uplifting, feel-good, romantic read."


I Have Some Questions for YouI Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

A stirring investigation into collective memory and a deeply felt examination of one woman’s reckoning with her past, with a transfixing mystery at its heart.


My Year of Rest and RelaxationMy Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

From one of our boldest, most celebrated new literary voices, a novel about a young woman's efforts to duck the ills of the world by embarking on an extended hibernation with the help of one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature and the battery of medicines she prescribes.


The Giver of StarsThe Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

A breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond in Depression-era America.


*Title availability may vary by library & region.

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Published Jul 03, 2024

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About the Author

Annie Suhy has been working in the book industry since 2006. When she’s not working, practicing yoga, or petting cats, she’s doing paint-by-numbers and buying more plants. An avid poetry fan, her favorite collection is "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel.

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