The 10 Best-Selling Audiobooks of All-Time

Audio Books

There isn’t a simple and straightforward answer for what the best-selling audiobooks of all time are. This is because no one is adding up the numbers from every single audiobook seller that can be found out there. Instead, interested individuals will have to make do with guesses from less authoritative sources, which might nonetheless be useful by providing them with a general idea of things.

10. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People isn’t the first self-help book ever released. One can make a very good argument that particular honor goes to The Maximums of Ptahotep from the Fifth Dynasty of ancient Egypt. However, there can be no doubt about the fact that How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the most famous self-help books ever released. For proof, look no further than the fact that it was released in 1936, meaning that it possesses a degree of staying power that few books can hope to match.

9. Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis

It is very common for self-help books to show up on these lists. As a result, interested individuals shouldn’t be surprised by the presence of Girl, Wash Your Face, which is aimed at women. It was marketed as a Christian book. However, Girl, Wash Your Face puts a huge emphasis on people being responsible for their own problems. Something that has caused it to come under criticism from certain quarters.

8. Fifty Shades of Grey – E. L. James

Amusingly, Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fanfiction. However, it proved to be very popular, with the result that a bit of retooling enabled it to become a very popular book in its own right. Whatever one might think about its literary merits, Fifty Shades of Grey has managed to sell very well, which is before one factors in the movies based on it and its follow-ups.

7. The Fellowship of the Ring – J. R. R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which had such a huge impact on the fantasy genre that the latter was flooded with Tolkienian imitators for decades and decades. Nowadays, the fantasy genre has grown beyond that for the most part. However, The Fellowship of the Ring and the other two books in the trilogy remain foundational to it. Having said that, the audiobook might be one of the better ways to experience it because there are a lot of people who find the written language to be too archaic for them.

6. The Girl On the Train – Paula Hawkins

This is one of the more recent releases that can be found on this list. For those who are curious, The Girl On the Train is a psychological thriller that came out in 2015. Subsequently, its movie adaptation also managed to do quite well, as shown by how it made $173.2 million at the box office on a production budget of $45 to $50 million. In any case, The Girl On the Train is centered on three women with serious relationship problems because of the controlling and even coercive men in their lives. The most important of the three is a woman named Rachel, who also suffers from alcoholism that has a neat twist to it.

5. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

Speaking of which, Where the Crawdads Sing came out even more recently in 2018. In its case, it consists of two parts, both of which are focused on the same character but at different points in time. The first covers the childhood of Kya, a girl who grows up in the North Carolina marsh under very isolated as well as very impoverished circumstances. Meanwhile, the second moves the timeline a bit further forward, starting out with Kya at the age of 19 but covering events that happen in her 20s. The movie adaptation of the book is expected to come out very soon.

4. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

Outlander is the first book in the series of the same name. Romance provides it with much of its appeal. However, the Outlander series also mixes in adventure, historical fiction, and a fair amount of outright fantasy. After all, its premise is that a woman from post-war Britain travels back to the Scotland of a time when Jacobitism was still something that people would fight for rather than a somewhat interesting bit of historical trivia. Outlander was popular enough to spawn not just a book series but also a multi-media franchise. Currently, there is a TV show based on it, which has had a seventh season confirmed to be in the works.

3. Becoming – Michelle Obama

Becoming is Michelle Obama’s most recent book. It is a memoir, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it covers a wide range of subjects over the course of her life. For example, it covers her childhood in the South Side of Chicago. Similarly, it covers the law education that enabled her to become a lawyer at Sidley Austin. Naturally, Becoming covers her time as the First Lady of the United States as well, which includes a reflection on optimism in the lead-up to Donald Trump’s inauguration.

2. A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

Game of Thrones was based on the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The name came from the first book in the series, which was called A Game of Thrones. Nowadays, much of the series’s momentum has run out. The latter seasons of the show floundered without the guidance of the books. Furthermore, it is looking as though the books will never be finished. Still, A Game of Thrones managed to reach a lot of people, which presumably explains its position on this list.

1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

This is a self-help book that took aim at what the author Mark Manson believed to be the mindless positivity that permeates most self-help book. Unsurprisingly, he takes a different tack, as shown by his recommendation that people focus on values that they can control as well as his recommendation that people focus on bringing joy in the moment rather than creating a legacy. In a way, the book is very existentialist, though there are clear signs of other philosophies’ influence in it as well.

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