More and more I have found myself enjoying the slow and steady work of hand-quilting. It can be quite meditative – the rocking of the needle, the feel of the fabric and the smooth length of thread between my fingers. All of these elements work together to create a wonderfully relaxing environment...for about an hour.
And then...well, and then I can get a little bored. Silent meditative stitching can be wonderful, but hours upon hours of meditative stitching puts me right to sleep! That's why it's imperative to have a good running list of things to listen to while sewing.
Yesterday on my Instagram stories I asked you for audiobook recommendations. I love immersing myself in a good audiobook possibly even more than sitting down with a paperback. I'm obviously not alone in that because I got TONS of recommendations from you. So you can take part in my new wealth of knowledge, I have compiled a list so next time you sit down to do some stitching, you'll know exactly where to reference for a great audiobook.
At the end of this audiobook list, I have a handful of podcast recommendations too. That's because some of you can't follow the rules and gave me podcast suggestions even though I clearly asked for audiobook suggestions. Don't worry, I still love you.
Audiobooks Recommended to Me that I Recommend to You
These are books recommended by you that I've also thoroughly enjoyed and can put my Suzy Stamp of Approval on each of them. These audiobooks are in no particular order.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Once you read one of Christie's books, you will most likely need to read at least 5 more. I highly recommend And Then There Was None. Soooo good.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat Pray Love is also a good one recommended by you that gets the SSA.
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
Read by the author, I can't recommend this book enough. Lawson is real and raw and funny – just go listen to it now.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (YA)
I love listening to Young Adult Fantasy books while sewing because they are usually easy to jump into and extremely fast paced. A few others you might enjoy include: Three Dark Crowns, Throne of Glass series (#1-6), and His Fair Assassin series (#1-3)
Audiobooks Recommended by You
I haven't listened to most of these, but I trust you people and I bet this is a great list. I'm excited to dive in!
- Exit West by Moshin Hamid
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
- My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
- The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
- Love Your Life Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- It and The Stand by Stephen King
- The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
- The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
- Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
- Eleanor Oliphant in Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- Still Life by Louis Penny
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (anything she writes)
- Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
- Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
- Into the Wild by John Krakauer
- The Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer
- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
- Yes Please by Amy Pohler (I listened to this last year and thought it was pretty good. Doesn't quite get the SSA, though)
- Walking back to Happiness by Lucy Dillon
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
- You'll Get Over It by Jessie Klein
- The Goldfinch by (This book maaaajorly bummed me out so I stopped half way through. Even though I can't give it the SSA, I know most people liked it.)
- Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg (I really wanted to love this but didn't. No SSA)
- The Passenger by Lisa Lutz and Madeleine Maby (it's weird that both names use alliteration, right?)
- Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Very good. Toootal tear jerker. SSA)
- The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
- My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
- Not A Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
Podcasts Recommended by You (+ a few SSA)
- The Popcast
- Pod Save America
- How I Built This (SSA)
- Modern Sewciety (SSA)
- Science VS (SSA)
- My Dad Wrote a Porno
- Up and Vanished (I just listened to this, so all of my thoughts are fresh. Yes, it is very captivating and is well produced. I do have two small criticisms: 1. The commercials are soooo frequent and the transitions are startling. In one breath the host will be building suspense about DNA findings and then in the next he's talking about printing business cards at Vista Print. What?? Don't throw me for a loop like that, Payne! And 3 commercial breaks in a 30 minute podcast? ugh. 2. It gets really obvious about half way into the podcast that the host is getting a lot of positive feedback. I don't want to elaborate too much, but it seems like if anyone pays him a compliment, chances are, he will edit that into the podcast. Now go listen to it so we can talk about that mysterious black truck!
Phew! I apologize for any typos. I'm rushing to get this posted so I can go to a BBQ. Sadly, it's probably the last outdoor BBQ of the summer, so I better make it count!
I hope you enjoy these lists and please comment below with your recommendations and reviews. I love hearing from you and love adding to my audiobook list! xo
30 thoughts on “What to Listen to While Sewing”
Thank you so much for including the Modern Sewciety podcast and giving me your SSA! You are the best!
What a fun topic! More suggestions:
• All of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and also everything else narrated by Davina Porter
• Everything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
• Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
• Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
• All the Harry Potter books (narrated by Jim Dale)
• The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (TV show True Blood was based on these)
• Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
• Wild by Cheryl Strayed
• The Gap Year by Sarah Bird
• A Long Time Gone by Karen White
• Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
• Dracula by Bram Stoker
• Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
• The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
• A Song for Issey Bradley by Carys Bray
I can’t believe I missed this! I’ve listened to most of Dickens whilst hand quilting. I’m listening to Middlemarch now. Fabulous!
Here are a couple more…craftlit for classic books and crafty talk…threadcult for interesting sewing related interviews … craftyplanner for many quilt related interviews….
Okay seriously loved And Then There Were None!!! Have you read any Kate Morton? I haven’t listened to her audio books but any of her novels are incredible!!!! Highly, HIGHLY recommend The Secret Keeper! If you listen to it, let me know what you think!!
I haven’t but now I definitely will! Thanks so much for the rec! I’m excited!!
Oh I’m so excited for you!! 😃
Yes! Hillbilly Elegy was great! Also The nightingale!
This is a great list! I can’t wait to dive in. One more podcast I highly recommend: Clever, hosted by Jaime Derringer and Amy Devers. It’s all about design and it’s a joy.
What a great topic. Audio books and sewing, a perfect marriage. I get excited to go and sew and especially if I am into an interesting audio book. Another suggestion: “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd. This excellent story even has a quilting connection. Love your Blog. I read excerpts to my husband and we laugh and laugh!!
I highly recommend the audiobooks for Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series. (1st book also know as Midnight Riot in the US). The narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is so good at doing all the accents and character’s voices that the author started writing in more and more specific dialects just to mess with him. Sample here: https://soundcloud.com/orionbooks/rivers-of-london-by-ben
That sounds awesome!! haha
I loved these audio books so much that I hear Kobna’s voice when I am reading them as well. I just can’t imagine anyone else narrating these stories, which are good by the way.
A quilter AND A reader? You are the whole package, Suzy! Would love to follow you on Goodreads, how can we find you?
Awwww you’re too sweet 🙂 My Goodreads account is – goodreads.com/SuzyQuilts. xo
A good fantasy 1 night read are the Trylle series by Amanda Hocking; and then one of my favorite romantic fantasy series Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Suzy – give Goldfinch another stab. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Also pretty much anything by Anne Patchette – Bel Canto would likely be good as audio, but I’ve only read her. 1Q84 is brilliant too!
Great list, Suzy! Please do read or listen to The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo at your earliest convenience. It’s my favorite book. I have a very good feeling you will love it too!
Who designed the fabric in the picture? It’s beautiful!
Suzy! Can you post a video sometime, or even just an instagram story of how you hand quilt? Not really even a tutorial, because I know HOW to hand quilt, but in pictures you’ve posted of your hand quilting it looks like you have the quilt lying flat on a table or something? I’ve only done it while sitting on the couch with the quilt bunched or draped on my lap. Is there a better way?! I’m dying to know!
Started to listen to Furiously Happy last night and love it! Thank you. Here is one if my favourite audio books in return:
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubinstein.
Why Not Me and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me are both are written and narrated by Mindy Kaling and excellent!
I usually like to listen to books I can learn from So much of my selections are non fiction. Since I am particularly interested in diet and nutrition, since becoming a WFPB advocate, I listed to books like The Veganist,, Emotional Intelligence, The Political Mind. I also use “Hoopla” to borrow books for free, since I go through several books every week if I am working. ( my job is monitoring security cameras, so I listen while watching) But when sewing I have my Sirius radio on the “symphony channel” or the “progressive talk channel”
Hey how about us machine quilters? Love the thoughtful list. Thanks
I have listened to audio books for a few years while quilting. Always enjoy any book by author Louise Penny. Barbara Kingsolver is another good author. Loved Magpie Murders it’s very interesting murder mystery. Thanks for the list.
I hated The Goldfinch. I’m currently listening to Ken Follett’s Column of Fire. Pillars of the Earth is also wonderful. For just romance with a touch of fantasy, I recommend “Outlander”.
I recommend listening to any book narrated by Frank Muller. (With the exception of Left Behind books which I am not interested in) I could listen to Frank read the phone book…amazing range of voices. Before he died in 2008 he was doing audiobooks for best selling authors like John Grisham and Stephen King as well as some classics like Jack London and Dickens. Book you shouldn’t miss? Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute. Guaranteed to take you back to a simpler time with characters that will stick with you.
Thanks for the recommendations!
Hi, Laura and Suzy.
1. What does SSA mean in the 14 reference above between blog post and comments?
2. What is the app Suzy uses to rent audiobooks from the library for free? I remember her saying it before… maybe a blog, maybe on an IG live… can’t recall.
I’m done buying credits on audible… looking for a more economical way to listen to all these books.
Hey Angie! SSA means “Suzy’s Stamp of Approval” lol! 😉
I love listening to audiobooks through my library using the Overdrive app. My library also uses Libby, but I haven’t switched over to that one yet. Another fantastic app is Hoopla. That one doesn’t have access to all of the books your local library will probably have, but you never have to wait for what they do have. The library, however, only has a certain number of licenses, so if you’re looking for a really popular audiobook, you may have to wait.