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The Best Adrenaline-Pumping Books To Listen To On Runs

Librarians share their top picks for audiobooks to listen to on the run. So turn off the tunes and tune into one of these exciting reads.

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If you’re looking to change up what you listen to on runs, audiobooks can open up a whole new world to you. Whether you’re looking for stories of inspiring runners or you would rather work out to a work of fiction, these librarian-recommended titles will be sure to help you forget about your running and get lost in a book.

An easy way to listen to them is through a free app called Libby—it allows you to access audiobooks (and e-books) from your local library–all you need is a library card! The app is simple to use and keeps all your borrowed titles well organized. (Visit for more information.)

Books About Running

  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
  • Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me about God and Life by Sanya Richards-Ross
  • Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down: Chasing Myself in the Race Against Time by Ida Keeling
  • The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion by Catriona Menzies-Pike
  • Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women’s Sports by Kathrine Switzer
  • The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training by Dawn Dais
  • The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and Resilience by Jennifer Pharr Davis
  • Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe by Becky Wade
  • Running: A Love Story by Jen A. Miller
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir by Haruki Murakami

Adrenaline-Pumping Fiction

Literary Fiction

  • Another Brooklyn: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Anthem by Ayn Rand
  • The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella by Fredrik Backman
  • The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang
  • Love Story: Love Story Series, Book 1 by Erich Segal
  • Shine (Short Story): A Short Story by Jodi Picoult
  • Walks with Men by Ann Beattie
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  • A Wild Swan: And Other Tales by Michael Cunningham


  • Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter
  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn


  • Enchanted Night: A Novella by Steven Millhauser
  • The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
  • The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
  • The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains: A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of All Kinds by Neil Gaiman
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman


  • And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer: A Novella by Fredrik Backman
  • Holy Cow by David Duchovny
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris

Short Stories

  • At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
  • The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories by P.D. James
  • Ninety-nine Stories of God by Joy Williams


  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • Second Variety by Philip K. Dick


  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Adrenaline-Pumping Nonfiction

Criticism And Essays

  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
  • Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger

Biography And Autobiography

  • Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) by Betty White
  • Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
  • Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way by Jon Krakauer
  • You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris


  • Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli


  • Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
  • The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon
  • Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. Mcraven
  • What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide To Making Over Your Mornings—And Life by Laura Vanderkam
  • Who Moved My Cheese: The 10th Anniversary Edition by Spencer Johnson


  • Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott


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