When lockdown was enforced in 2020, made of us went into isolation vowing to make the most of the enforced free time by learning a host of new skills. (How is that sourdough starter coming along?) Of course, the crushing realities of lockdown have probably at least partially got in the way of those aspirations - but here's one easy way to self improve: listen to an educational audiobook.
This is something you can do on the school run, on your commute, or even the time spent in bed that was formerly your commute. Listening to words, it turns out, is a whole lot less demanding than reading them - and if you're in search of audiobooks, Audible is the place to go.
Whether you want to brush up on your languages skills or learn more about the lunar landing, our round-up of the best educational non-fiction audiobooks has you covered. These are all available as one-off downloads, but if you really want to commit to audiobooks, an Audible subscription is almost definitely the wisest course of action - especially you can enjoy a free 30-day trial before the £7.99-per-month expenditure begins.
For more information on the service, and differing subscription costs, don't miss our how does Audible work explainer. And for a more comprehensive list of the titles available to download, be sure to read our best audiobooks on Audible article.
Listen for less – Audible deals in the Prime Early Access sale
From the 10th October until 18th December, you can get Audible for just £2.99 a month! For your money, you’ll get one monthly credit to spend on an audiobook of your choice, plus access to countless free audiobooks and podcasts.
Whether you want classic literature, cracking comedy or true crime – there’s something for everyone.
8 of the best educational non-fiction audiobooks
By: Yuval Noah Harari
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Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Sapiens is one of the most highly regarded and influential modern books of its kind. Here the work of Yuval Noah Harari is narrated to explore human beings from the Stone Age to now and some of the things that have made people so intelligent and yet so destructive.
Beginner’s Spanish with the Superpolyglotbros
By: The Superpolyglotbros
As twin brothers and professional language coaches the “Superpolyglotbros” will take you through the basics of learning Spanish over 10 hours in a fun and engaging way. Great for anyone who struggles to learn off the page alone and needs something with a little more personality to stay interested.
The Space Race
By: Colin Brake, Patrick Chapman, Richard Hollingham, Richard Kurti, Sue Nelson, Helen Quigley, Andrew Mark Sewell
Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
This docu-drama focuses on the first moon landing and was created to celebrate 50 years since the momentous event. Including conversations with space legends such as Buzz Aldrin and Tim Peake, the story title brings to life the amazing first steps of man on the moon.
Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets
By: Stephen Fry
Narrated by: Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry peels back the curtain to the seedy underworld of Victorian era and exposes everything from social scandals to murder. Over 12 episodes, Fry recounts real events and stories which demonstrate the dangerous and shocking lives of Victorians in Britain.
Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
By: Matthew Walker
Narrated by: John Sackville
We spend a huge portion of our lives asleep but there is still so much that we don’t understand about it. In the first book of it’s kind, Professor Matthew Walker explores the mystery of the meaning of sleep and what effects it has on our body, including during REM (dream state) sleep and the consequences of caffeine and alcohol.
Talking To Strangers
By: Malcolm Gladwell
Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
Have your assumptions challenged in this audiobook as author and narrator Malcolm Gladwell uncovers the darker side of attempting to decipher lies and motives of others. By examining real encounters, false convictions and psychology, Gladwell turns expectations on their head.
By: Bill Bryson
Narrated by: Bill Bryson
This book explores the amazing ways in which the human body functions. Credited for making science understandable while still being entertaining, author and narrator Bill Bryson shares amazing facts and insight into our human biology.
By: Stephen Fry
Narrated by: Stephen Fry
The heroes of Greek mythology have endured right through to the modern day in plays, books, films art and almost every aspect of culture across history. Here, Stephen Fry takes the listener through those famed first tales of quests, adventures and scheming gods.
Want to listen to Audible while doing the washing up? Take a look at our best smart speaker round-up.