Entertainment and stock photography aren’t the only industries suffering from a lack of diversity. White authors continue to dominate the literary world. In an effort to uplift underrepresented voices and expand my audiobook library, I’ve focused on listening to more works by people of color.
Here are a few popular audiobooks by POC authors I found that have made it to Amazon’s current Best Sellers and continue to climb the ranks.
Just a heads up, this post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Thanks for your support!
1. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
What it’s about: The South African comedian who took over Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 2015 has a memoir and it is an inspiring rag-to-riches story you don’t know whether to laugh or cry over. Noah recounts growing up as a mixed-race child of a resilient single mother against a backdrop of complex issues, such as poverty, apartheid and otherness. Similar to his engaging stand up performances, he navigates through his experiences with grace and wit.
What people are saying: “I didn’t expect it to captivate me in the way it did. His true understanding of human nature shines through as he tells his tragic story.” – Joanna Loveluck
2. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
What it’s about: This is another memoir that has listeners on the edge of their seats. “The Last Black Unicorn” details Haddish’s journey to comedic success. She hilariously makes the best of situations. Some of which include an abusive marriage, a stint with Scientology and becoming a pimp. Haddish is unapologetically raw in her telling of survival and hope, as though speaking with a close friend.
What people are saying: “[Grow roses out of the poop] are the last six words of this unique memoir, and they truly encapsulate the author’s indomitable spirit in the face of the many potentially soul-crushing misfortunes that have afflicted her since her inauspicious birth.” – Gretchen SLP
3. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
What it’s about: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy find their blissful life thrown after Roy is sentenced to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. While her husband is behind bars, Celestial takes comfort in her childhood friend Andre.
Jones plays on the idea of “The Odyssey,” telling a tale about a man’s arduous journey home to his wife. However, Jones envisions a more active role for the fiercely independent Celestial and her suitor. Told in multiple perspectives, the Oprah-endorsed novel delves into the unsettling truths about the criminal justice system, parenting, race and loyalty.
What people are saying: “Shocking, beautiful, human. This story rips apart fairytales and challenges what we believe is ‘real’ between two people who decide to be married.” – Mia Garret
4. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
What it’s about: If you’re looking to expand on how you look at the world, then this might be for you. It highlights major ideas and discoveries behind astronomical phenomena. Tyson offers a quick tour of the universe in a way that is both entertaining and thought provoking.
What people are saying: “If you are willing to take the time, this book is a wonder. He helps you understand a bit of the immensity of space in which we reside, and the extraordinary discoveries we have made in the course of trying to make sense of it all.” – Lili
5. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
What it’s about: Within the picturesque suburb of Shaker Heights live the Richardsons. The story begins with their house on fire, but the drama is set ablaze when the affluent family rents out their guesthouse to enigmatic mother-daughter duo Mia and Pearl Warren. A custody battle divides the community, putting Mrs. Richardson and Mia on opposing sides.
“Desperate Housewives” fans may find this one riveting. Secrets slowly unfold in the novel. Ng explores the intricacies of relationships. It is a psychological mystery that tackles class, identity and motherhood.
What people are saying: “Even though each character seems to be somewhat of a ‘type’ initially, as the narrative deepens we see how multifaceted each participant in this story is and I found myself feeling more and more empathy for each of them as the story developed.” – Robin Cohen
What audiobooks are you listening to?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’m almost finished with “The Last Black Unicorn.” It’s wild.