With the countdown to Christmas underway, we are posting a festive clip from a different Booker-nominated audiobook each day until 24th December

Here you’ll be able to listen to each of the clips as they appear, as well as finding out more about the featured books and authors - and how to download each audiobook.

Extracts selected by James Walton

Publication date and time: Published

1st December

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo is an Anglo-Nigerian author of books of fiction and verse. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other won the 2019 Booker Prize.

Evaristo’s work explores aspects of the African diaspora: past, present, real, imagined. Her writing also spans short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for radio. She lives in London.

Teeming with life and crackling with energy, Girl, Woman, Other follows 12 very different people - mostly women, mostly Black - across the miles and down the years, through different generations and social classes, in this ever-dynamic, ever-expanding and utterly irresistible novel of our times.

Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Anna-Maria Nabirye. Buy it here

2nd December

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Douglas Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow. His widely acclaimed debut novel, Shuggie Bain, won the 2020 Booker Prize

After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, Stuart moved to New York City, where he began a career in fashion design, writing in his spare time. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and on LitHub.

Douglas Stuart’s blistering and heartbreaking debut is an exploration of the unsinkable love that only children can have for their damaged parents. It’s 1981, in Glasgow, Scotland. When her philandering husband walks out, leaving her with three children, Agnes turns to alcohol for comfort. The children try their best to save her. Yet one by one they have to abandon her in order to save themselves. Shuggie still holds out hope. But Shuggie has problems of his own. Agnes desperately wants to protect her son, but her addiction has the power to eclipse everything. And everyone.

Audiobook published by Picador, narrated by Angus King. Buy it here

3rd December

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood 
Margaret Atwood is the world-renowned author of more than 50 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and won the Booker Prize. She has also been shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize 2005 and 2007 for her entire body of work.

Atwood’s 1996 novel Alias Grace is a captivating historical fiction about the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery.

One-time maid Grace Marks is serving a life sentence in a penitentiary for her involvement in the murder of her employer, the wealthy Kinnear, and of Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent, others think her evil or insane. After an interlude in a lunatic asylum, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

Audiobook published by Bolinda, narrated by Sarah Gadon. Buy it here

4th December

Us by David Nicholls
David Nicholls’ first career was as an actor, under the stage name David Holdaway, before becoming a novelist and scriptwriter, adapting his own works and classic novels for screen. 
Nicholls stopped acting when he realised he had committed himself ‘to a profession for which I lacked not just talent and charisma, but the most basic of skills’. However, he found considerable success with his film adaptations of his own novels Starter for Ten and One Day, among many others. 
The comic history of a family in jeopardy, Us is recounted over the course of what may well be their final weeks together. Douglas Petersen’s 21-year-old marriage to Connie is almost over. When autumn comes around, their son will leave for university. Connie has decided to leave soon after. But there’s still the summer holiday to get through. Over the course of this epic journey, Douglas devises a cunning plan to win back the love of his wife and son. 
Audiobook published by WF Howes, narrated by Justin Salinger. Buy it here

5th December

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle 
Roddy Doyle is the author of 11 novels, a collection of stories, and Rory & Ita, a memoir of his parents. Doyle has written five books for children and several anthologies. He has also written for the stage. He lives and works in Dublin.
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha is Doyle’s funny and poignant novel about a young boy trying to make sense of the world. It won the Booker Prize in 1993.
It is 1968. Patrick Clarke is ten. He loves Geronimo, the Three Stooges, and the smell of his hot water bottle. He can’t stand his little brother Sinbad. His best friend is Kevin. They play football, lepers, and jumping to the bottom of the sea. But why didn’t anyone help him when Charles Leavy had been trying to kill him? Paddy sees everything, but he understands less and less.
Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Aidan Gillen. Buy it here

6th December

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and spent 20 years as an actress before writing her first play for radio. Her first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, was written when she was 50. She currently writes in a shepherd’s hut near the Gloucestershire valley where Laurie Lee was born. 
Harold Fry, the unassuming hero of Joyce’s life-affirming story, is a man on a mission – to walk more than 600 miles to save a friend.
When he nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.
Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Jim Broadbent. Buy it here

7th December

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Hanya Yanagihara is an American novelist, editor, and travel writer. Her novel A Little Life was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015. She was born in California, has lived in Hawaii and Texas, and now lives in New York City. In 2016, she joined the PEN America Board, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the New York Times Style Magazine.
A deft depiction of heartbreak becomes a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance in Yanagihara’s A Little Life
In middle life, and by degrees, an enigmatic, brilliant and terrifyingly talented litigator becomes an increasingly broken man. Despite his successful career, his mind and body remain deeply scarred by an unspeakable childhood. He becomes progressively more haunted by what he suspects is a degree of trauma he cannot overcome, and that he fears will define his life forever.
Audiobook published by Picador, narrated by Oliver Wyman. Buy it here

8th December

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín is an Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet. He is the author of nine novels and has been shortlisted for the Booker multiple times. He was born in County Wexford, Ireland and now lives in Dublin.  
Brooklyn is a tender story of deep love and devastating loss, and of the heartbreaking choice between two sides of an ocean, personal freedom and duty.
In a small town in the south-east of Ireland in the 1950s, work is hard to find. Eilis Lacey escapes to forge a new life for herself in Brooklyn, America. Young, homesick and alone, she gradually buries the pain of parting to find a sort of happiness. But when tragic news summons her back to Ireland, she finds herself facing a terrible choice: between love and happiness in the land where she belongs and the promises she must keep on the far side of the ocean.
Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Niamh Cusack. Buy it here

9th December

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Peter Carey is an Australian author who has won the Booker Prize twice, for Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang. He was also shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize in 2009 for his entire body of work. He was born in Victoria, Australia, and lives in New York.

Carey’s rich and endlessly inventive tale, Oscar and Lucinda, about two unusual characters in 19th-century Australia won the Booker Prize in 1988. Oscar is a young English clergyman who has broken with his past and developed a disturbing talent for gambling. A country girl of singular ambition, Lucinda moves to Sydney, driven by dreams of self-reliance and the building of an industrial Utopia. Together this unlikely pair create and are created by the spectacle of mid-19th-century Australia.
Audiobook published by Bolinda, narrated by Steven Crossley. Buy it here

10th December

Ending Up by Kingsley Amis

A novelist, poet and satirist, Kingsley Amis wrote more than twenty novels, six volumes of poetry, a memoir, various short stories, as well as literary criticism. In 2008, the Times ranked Kingsley Amis 13th on their list of the 50 greatest British authors since 1945. He is renowned as one of the finest English comic novelists of the second half of the 20th century.

Kingsley Amis’ deliciously malicious tale Ending Up tackles twin irritations: the inevitability of growing old, and living in a world inhabited by others.

At Tuppenny-ha’penny Cottage in the English countryside, five elderly people live together in rancorous disharmony. Adela Bastable bosses the house, as her brother Bernard passes his days thinking up malicious schemes against the baby-talking Marigold and secret drinker Shorty, while kindly George lies bedridden upstairs. The mismatched quintet keep their spirits alive by bickering and waiting for grandchildren to visit at Christmas. But this festive season does not herald goodwill to all.

Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Fergus Craig. Buy it here 

11th December

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the author of more than 20 novels. She has been nominated twice for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for her entire body of work in 2011. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Anne Tyler’s narrative spools back through three generations of Whitshanks, revealing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that shape a family in A Spool of Blue Thread.

The whole family are on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They’ve all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself.

Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Kimberly Farr. Buy it here

12th December

The Gathering by Anne Enright 

Anne Enright has written two collections of stories, one book of non-fiction and six novels, including The Gathering, which won the 2007 Booker Prize. In 2015 she was appointed as the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, and in 2018 she received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature.

The Gathering is a family epic about love and disappointment. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn’t the drink that killed him - although that certainly helped - it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother’s house, in the winter of 1968.  The Gathering traces the line of hurt and redemption through three generations - starting with the grandmother, Ada Merriman - showing how memories warp and family secrets fester.

Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Anne Enright. Buy it now

13th December

The Promise by Damon Galgut

Damon Galgut is a South African playwright and novelist, who wrote his first novel aged 17. He’s been shortlisted three times for the Booker Prize and won in 2021 for his ninth book, The Promise.

Galgut is a multi-award-winning author, and two films have been made of his book The Quarry. He grew up in Pretoria, where The Promise is set, and now lives in Cape Town. 

Brutal emotional truths hit home in Damon Galgut’s deft, powerful story, The Promise, of a diminished family and a troubled land.

The narrator’s eye shifts and blinks, deliciously lethal in its observation of the crash and burn of a white South African family. On their farm outside Pretoria, the Swarts are gathering for Ma’s funeral. The younger generation detests everything the family stands for, not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land, yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled.

Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Peter Noble. Buy it here

14th December

Normal People by Sally Rooney


Sally Rooney was just 27 when Normal People sent the reputation she had won for her first book, Conversations with Friends, stratospheric. The huge success of the ensuing television series, for which she was a screenwriter, only sent it higher.

A love story about how one person can change another’s life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully in Normal People.

In school, Connell and Marianne affect not to know each other. People know that Marianne lives in the white mansion with the driveway and that Connell’s mother is a cleaner, but no one knows of the special relationship between these facts. Despite these social tangles, a connection grows between them and when they both get places to study at Trinity College in Dublin it lasts long into the following years.

Audiobook by WF Howes, narrated by Aoife McMahon. Buy it here

15th December

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

David Mitchell has written nine novels and adapted his work for screen and stage. He was born in 1969 on the Lancashire coast, but was raised in Malvern, Worcestershire/ Mitchell has now been longlisted for the Booker Prize five times. In 2018, he won the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, given in recognition of a writer’s entire body of work. He lives in Ireland with his family.

Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us in Cloud Atlas.

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified ‘dinery server’ on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation. Six stories that echo and impact on each other, and that together point to a terrifying vision of the future.

Audiobook by Hodder & Stoughton, narrated by Garrick Hagon, Jeff Harding, Steve Hodson, Regina Reagan, Liza Ross and David Thorpe. Buy it here

Production (P) Copyright 2007 RNIB Publishing

16th December

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Claire Keegan is a novelist and short story writer, whose work has won numerous awards and been translated into 30 languages. Keegan was brought up on a farm in Ireland. 

Small Things Like These was shortlisted for the 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize. It won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2022.

Small Things Like These is a tender tale of hope and quiet heroism is both a celebration of compassion and a stern rebuke of the sins committed in the name of religion.

It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him - and encounters the complicit silences of a small community controlled by the Church.

Audiobook published by Faber, narrated by Aidan Kelly. Buy it here

17th December

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Jon McGregor, aged 26, became the Booker Prize’s youngest nominee when his first novel was longlisted in 2002. His second and fourth novels would also go on to be nominated.

In Reservoir 13, an extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Jon McGregor tells the story of many lives haunted by one family’s loss.

Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The search for the missing girl goes on. But so does everyday life. Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuse to subside.

Audiobook published by HarperCollins, narrated by Matt Bates. Buy it here

18th December

Possession by A.S. Byatt

A.S. Byatt won the Booker Prize in 1990 with Possession and was shortlisted in 2009 with The Children’s Book. Antonia Byatt published her first novel in 1964 and, apart from an interlude as an academic, has been writing them - and short stories, essays and critical appreciations - ever since.  Writing, she says, ‘is simply the most important thing in my life’.

Two modern-day academics uncover a secret affair between famous fictional poets in A.S. Byatt’s gloriously exhilarating novel of wit and romance, Possession.

Maud Bailey is a scholar researching the life and work of her distant relative, a little-known 19th-century poet named Christabel LaMotte. Roland Mitchell is looking into an obscure moment in the life of another Victorian poet, the celebrated Randolph Henry Ash. Together, the two uncover a dark secret in Ash’s life: though apparently happily married, he conducted a torrid affair with LaMotte. As Maud and Roland dig deeper, they too find themselves falling in love.

Audiobook published by Audible, narrated by Samuel West. Buy it here

19th December

Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester, England. He is widely recognised as one of the world’s finest and most versatile novelists. His work includes criticism, scripts and translations, and a Broadway musical. His books have been published all over the world. 

Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess’ sweeping historical fiction is a dramatic tour de force that often surprises and sometimes shocks, but never fails to entertain.

As told by the central character himself, Earthly Powers chronicles the life of eminent novelist Kenneth Toomey - from the First World War to the final years of sun-drenched idleness in Malta. A gay man who is unable to reconcile his nature with the teachings of the Church, Toomey opts for a life of loneliness and exile - from the Paris of James Joyce and Ezra Pound to Hollywood at the height of its glamour and corruption - encountering the best and worst of human nature along the way.

Audiobook published by Audible, narrated by Gordon Griffin. Buy it here

20th December

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel was nominated for the Booker Prize four times, winning it twice. Her first win was for Wolf Hall in 2009 and her second win was for Bring Up the Bodies in 2012.

Mantel was a highly-regarded novelist long before winning the Booker but becoming only the third novelist – after J.M. Coetzee and Peter Carey – to scoop it twice raised her profile to stratospheric heights. She died in September 2022.

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel’s truly great novel peels back history to explore the rich intersection of individual psychology and wider politics in Tudor England.

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe oppose him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Son of a brutal blacksmith, Cromwell is a political genius, a briber, a bully and a charmer. He has broken all the rules of a rigid society in his rise to power, and is prepared to break some more.

Audiobook (abridged version) published by HarperCollins, narrated by Dan Stevens. Buy it here


21st December

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

Born in Ghana, William Boyd is the author of one work of non-fiction, three collections of short stories and thirteen novels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2005, he was awarded the CBE.

Any Human Heart is William Boyd’s entertaining story of a life apparently lived to the full turns into a journey deep into a very human heart.

Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary - but Logan Mountstuart’s is more extraordinary than most. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in 60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness.

Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Darren Boyd. Buy it here

22nd December

How to Be Good by Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby is the bestselling author of eight novels, including Just Like You, High Fidelity and About a Boy, and several works of nonfiction including Fever Pitch. He has also written numerous award-winning screenplays for film and television.

A wife struggles to cope with her selfish husband’s sudden conversion into a much better person, in Nick Hornby’s wise and funny novel, How To Be Good.

London GP Katie Carr always thought she was a good person. With her husband David making a living as ‘The Angriest Man in Holloway’, she figured she could put up with anything. Until, that is, David meets DJ Goodnews and becomes a good person too. A far-too-good person, who starts committing crimes of charity like taking in the homeless and giving their kids’ toys away. Suddenly Katie’s feeling very bad about herself. If charity begins at home, then maybe it’s time to move…

Audiobook published by Penguin, narrated by Clare Higgins. Buy it here

23rd December

English Passengers by Matthew Kneal


Born in London, Matthew Kneale is the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including Sweet Thames which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. He and his wife live in Rome with their two children.

His ambitious historical novel, English Passengers, won the 2000 Whitbread Book of the Year Award and was longlisted for the 2000 Booker Prize. Narrated by over 20 voices, it brings a past age to vivid and memorable life.

In the summer of 1857, determined to prove the literal truth of the Bible against atheist geologists, the Reverend Geoffrey Wilson sets out from England on an expedition to find the Garden of Eden, which he is convinced lies on the island of Tasmania. Unknown to him, others in the party have very different agendas. To complicate things further, the ship that Wilson has hurriedly chartered is, in fact, an ill-starred smuggling vessel packed with contraband brandy and tobacco.

Audiobook published by W.F. Howes, narrated by Ron Keith, Simon Prebble, Gerard Doyle, Gianfranco Negroponte, Jenny Sterlin, Patrick Tull and Davina Porter. Buy it here

24th December

Snowdrops by A.D. Miller

Born in London, A.D. Miller studied literature at Cambridge and Princeton. He worked as a television producer before joining the Economist. His debut novel Snowdrops was shortlisted for the 2011 Booker Prize. He lives in London with his wife and children.

Snowdrops is the chilling story of love and moral freefall: of the corruption, by a corrupt society, of a corruptible man.

In a riveting psychological drama that unfolds over the course of one Moscow winter, a young Englishman’s moral compass is spun by the seductive opportunities revealed to him by a new Russia. This is a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical dachas and debauched nightclubs; a place where secrets - and corpses - come to light only when the deep snows start to thaw.

Audiobook published by W.F. Howes, narrated by Kevin Howarthday. Buy it here