11 fascinating non-fiction audiobooks more satisfying than any podcast

We share eleven non-fiction audiobooks that are more captivating than your favourite podcast. 

16/06/2022
2 minutes to read
The audiobooks for Rogues, Broken Heartlands and The Rise and Reign of the Mammals superimposed in front of a background of illustrated headphones.

In the last few years, non-fiction podcasts have had a meteoric rise in popularity – with Sarah Koenig’s investigative journalism series, Serial, having been downloaded over 340 million times. But sometimes, eight or so episodes just aren’t enough to scratch that curiosity itch . . . If you love podcasts but are looking for a more in-depth exploration of your favourite subjects, then an audiobook might be just the thing for you. Here, we share eleven fascinating non-fiction audiobooks, perfect for the naturally inquisitive, that we guarantee will be more satisfying than even the very best podcasts. 

Once you've binged all eleven of these incredible audiobooks, you might want to check out the best fiction audiobooks that bring incredible storytelling to life. 

Rogues

by Patrick Radden Keefe

Book cover for Rogues

Avid true crime fans will absolutely adore this intriguing audiobook from one of the most decorated journalists of our time, Patrick Radden Keefe. Rogues tells twelve unbelievable and totally enthralling true stories of killers, grifters, rebels and crooks. Each of these meticulously reported investigations will have you absolutely hooked. 

Bad Blood

by John Carreyrou

Book cover for Bad Blood

There have been several great podcasts about the meteoric rise and fall of the blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder Elizabeth Holmes. But if you want the full story, with every little detail, then you can't miss the Bad Blood audiobook. 

Written by John Carreyou, the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the bitter end, and read by Will Damron, Bad Blood is the story of one of the biggest corporate fraud cases of the 21st century. In 2014, Theranos promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing both faster and easier. The business was backed by serious investors and valued at more than $9 billion. The problem was, the technology didn’t work . . .

Read our guide to the Theranos scandal.

Scary Smart

by Mo Gawdat

Book cover for Scary Smart

If you binge-listen to the latest technology podcasts, then Scary Smart is the perfect audiobook for you. With more than thirty years experience working at the cutting-edge of technology, Mo Gawdat takes us on a mind-blowing journey into the world of artificial intelligence, examining the problems that currently plague AI and the steps we need to take to safeguard our future.

Read author Mo Gawdat's insights on the future of artificial intelligence.

The Rise and Reign of the Mammals

by Steve Brusatte

Book cover for The Rise and Reign of the Mammals

Are you intrigued by natural history? Then The Rise and Reign of the Mammals could be the perfect audiobook for you. Palaeontologist Steve Brusatte explores the history and evolution of our mammal ancestors, telling the stories of the iconic extinct mammals – the mammoth and the sabre-tooth tiger – as well as introducing us to incredible new species that few of us have heard of. 

Broken Heartlands

by Sebastian Payne

Book cover for Broken Heartlands

Is your podcast library filled with shows all about politics and current affairs? Then you won’t want to miss Sebastian Payne’s essential and compelling audiobook, Broken Heartlands. Lauded by Robert Peston as,‘ A must-read for anyone who wants to understand England today,’ this is the story of Labour’s Red Wall and how it came falling down . . .

War Doctor

by David Nott

Book cover for War Doctor

In the same way that the best podcasts introduce us to the most extraordinary stories, War Doctor is an audiobook that opens our eyes to the life and career of a remarkable man and his unfaltering dedication to helping people in the direst need. War Doctor is the extraordinary story of David Nott, the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world, and his experiences on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and volatile places.

Read an extraordinary extract from David's autobiography.

How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch

by Harry Cliff

Book cover for How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch

Ever wondered how the world as we know it came to be? Inspired by Sagan’s famous line, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe,” Harry Cliff ventures out in search of the ultimate apple pie recipe, tracing the ingredients of our universe through the hearts of dying stars and back in time to a tiny fraction of a second after our universe began.

Crying in H Mart

by Michelle Zauner

Book cover for Crying in H Mart

We're not alone in our love for Crying in H Mart, in fact we were in good company as Barack Obama named it one of his favourite books of 2021. And the audiobook is truly one not to be missed, as it's read by Michelle Zauner herself. A lyrical writer (and front-woman of the twice Grammy-nominated band, Japanese Breakfast), Michelle Zauner tells a story of family, food, grief and endurance in this memoir about growing up mixed-race, re-discovering her Korean identity, and a personal reckoning brought on by the loss of her mother to terminal pancreatic cancer. 

Michelle Zauner on her bestselling memoir of mother-daughter love and grief.

I Heard What You Said

by Jeffrey Boakye

Book cover for I Heard What You Said

For fifteen years, Jeffrey Boakye, co-presenter of BBC Radio 4's Add to Playlist, taught English in British secondary schools. Often the only black, male teacher at a school, Boakye had a unique perspective of the British education system. Through a series of eye-opening anecdotes, Jeffrey provides a timely analysis of how we can dismantle racism in the classroom and do better by all students. 

Queer Intentions

by Amelia Abraham

Book cover for Queer Intentions

What is it like to be queer in the 21st century? With gay marriage legal in many countries across the west, Ru Paul’s Drag Race now one of the most popular programmes on TV and Pride celebrations endorsed by some of the biggest global brands, some might think it’s an easy life. Amelia Abrahams’s audiobook delves into the experiences of those across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, beyond these positive but limited changes, and reveals the battles for progress that queer communities continue to fight for across the world. 

The Psychopath Test

by Jon Ronson

Book cover for The Psychopath Test

You might already be familiar with Jon Ronson’s BBC Radio 4 podcast So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, based on his groundbreaking non-fiction read of the same name. If you’re looking for more of Jon’s incisive investigative journalism, or just want to listen once again to his dulcet tones, then you’re sure to love The Psychopath Test, an utterly compelling audiobook adventure into the world of madness.