The Best Audiobooks for Dads

Eric Rosswood (author of The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads) joins the audiobooks collection for dads and parenting inspiration.

Father’s Day is June 20th this year, which means it’s another opportunity to show our appreciation for fathers—whether they’re a birth parent, an adoptive parent, a father figure, or a dad-to-be. We all know how important these men are, and if you’re looking for the perfect gift for the dad in your life, an audiobook might just fit the bill. Whether dad is on his way to work, doing chores around the house, relaxing in the backyard, or working on a project, an audiobook adds that extra-something to his time.

No matter your dad’s favorite genre, you’ll find the perfect listen in our guide below, from informative histories to crime thrillers to touching memoirs to great celebrity comedies and beyond. So, if you’re on the hunt for a gift your father will love, or if you’re a proud papa searching for your next must-listen, look no further—these are the very best audiobooks for dads.

tiny father

Written by esteemed playwright Mike Lew, tiny father tells the touching story of Daniel, a freelancer without health insurance, who suddenly finds himself caring for his premature newborn daughter all alone. While struggling to grow into fatherhood, he befriends a neonatal intensive care unit nurse with a busy life and complicated family of her own. Actors Ali Ahn (Supernatural) and William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) lend their expert acting skills to the drama of navigating the joys and terrors of fatherhood with the help of a friend.

Dad Is Fat

Jim Gaffigan is an actor and comedian known around the world for his jokes about everything from Hot Pockets to manatees, and he’s also the contemporary champion of dad stories. And with five kids, he certainly has a lot of them. This is an uproarious listen, narrated by Gaffigan himself, of the silly, sweet, and gross things that go on in the Gaffigan household, and what it’s like to be overrun by children in your own home. Gaffigan’s real-life experience and truly hilarious yet encouraging insights might make Dad Is Fat even more useful than the standard parenting books for dads.

Dan Rather: Stories of a Lifetime

Emmy Award winner, former CBS News anchor, and Peabody Award-winning journalist Dan Rather has been reporting the news for so long, that it’s quite possible your dad watched him as a child. Rather has decades of amazing stories, from surviving a debilitating childhood illness to reporting on some of the most historic moments in history. He brings them all together in this Audible Original recording of his staged performance, Stories of a Lifetime.

Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir

On days like Father’s Day, it is important to recognize that not every dad has a good relationship with their father. This Audie Award-winning memoir is multi-talented actor Alan Cumming’s story of growing up with a disapproving, tyrannical father and how he got out from under the shadow of his father and family secrets, learning to be happy on his own. Not My Father’s Son is one of those tremendous father and son books that explores how each generation can be so different even when they’re so closely related. Cumming’s famed melodious voice lends itself beautifully to the narration.

Enemy of All Mankind

This is a perfect audiobook for fathers who are history buffs! In the 17th century, pirate Henry Every was a thorn in the side of the British government, which offered a huge reward for his capture—dead or alive. Every’s story is not that different from other notorious pirates of his time—he and his crew pillaged and plundered, and many of their adventures were greatly exaggerated—except for a staggering robbery. In Enemy of All Mankind, historian Steven Johnson traces one of Every’s crimes to a monumental shift in the global economy, with repercussions still felt today. Esteemed actor Jason Culp is the perfect narrator to take dads through every twist and turn of this fascinating pirate’s tale.

The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads

This audiobook is packed with parenting advice specifically for gay dads, whether he’s about to welcome his first baby or parenting older children. From navigating adoption and surrogacy to childproofing your home, from finding LGBTQIA+-friendly pediatricians and schools to answering your child’s questions about their birth and their mom, this fantastic dual-narrated guidebook includes advice from professionals in several fields to help any gay dad be the best dad he can be.

Pops

This collection from Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon started off with an essay in GQ about a trip he took to Fashion Week with his 13-year-old son, Abraham, and how it felt to realize his son was becoming a young man with his own interests and tastes. Chabon then wrote six more essays to form Pops. In this excellent collection about fatherhood, which he narrates himself, Chabon reflects on his relationships with his four children, his relationship with his own father, and the joys, frustrations, and mysteries of being a dad.

I Can’t Make This Up

Who doesn’t like to laugh? Over the last decade, Kevin Hart has had a meteoric rise to stardom, becoming one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world. But Hart’s early years were not easy, as he reveals in I Can’t Make This Up. He grew up in a home of violence and drug use, and had to fight to survive before he could turn his situation around. Hart narrates this story with humor and h(e)art, detailing how he beat the odds and believed in himself, to become not only a celebrated success, but also a dedicated husband and father.

Workparent

One of the most daunting tasks in parenting is the balancing act of career and raising a child. Working fathers are left to juggle the responsibilities of being an actively engaged parent with ensuring they remain productive and on task with work-life demands—no easy feat. If you or a dad you know is in need of a guide to navigating these roles, Workparent by Daisy Dowling is an excellent resource. With helpful tips on childcare, coping with feelings of guilt and self-doubt, and making it through day-to-day stressors, this listen is an absolute must for the working dad in your life.

Sweetgirl

Sweetgirl is a great novel for dads who love compelling, True Grit-esque tales of familial love and crime. It also happens to feature an excellent dual narration. 16-year-old Percy James is trying to locate her mother at a local drug dealer’s house before the storm comes when she finds something completely unexpected: an abandoned baby. Impulsively, Percy takes the child, which leads to her being pursued through a blizzard by a dangerous drug dealer. Helping Percy make her escape is a man who dated her mother for several years and was more of a father figure to her than anyone else, and still holds a place in his heart for her.

Unspoken

Listeners might be familiar with Luke Daniels as a beloved narrator and a member of Audible’s Narrator Hall of Fame, but not his personal heartbreak. Daniels found himself at a loss for words when his 21-month-old son passed away from breathing issues complicated by congenital birth defects. In Unspoken, the narrator and author tells the story of his son’s life and their short time together, using comic-book metaphors, Shakespearean references, and lilting Irish brogues to help him navigate his grief. This is a deeply touching audiobook, especially for dads who have lost a child.

The Splendid and the Vile

No Father’s Day book list is complete without Erik Larson, one of the most popular historians of our day. Known for The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake, Larson turns his attention to Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz in his latest release. The Splendid and the Vile includes information gathered from diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports to cover the 12 months of bombing. It also examines both Churchill’s professional side as prime minister and his private side as a family man with a son and daughter at home. The audiobook is expertly narrated by Larson and much-lauded audiobook actor and narrator John Lee. Plus, as a real treat for history buffs, this listen includes a recording of Churchill’s 1941 Christmas Eve speech!

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

Many books about fatherhood focus on fathers and sons, but far fewer are devoted to the father-daughter relationship. David Chariandy’s I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You is one. It’s written as a letter for his 13-year-old daughter, in which he tells her some hard facts about the past and life he wants her to know now. The son of Black and South Asian migrants from Trinidad, Chariandy explains to his daughter the truths about their ancestry and the legacies of slavery, indenture, and immigration. Reading his own letter, the author talks about the current world and the bigotry and hate that still surrounds them—but also expresses his hopes and dreams for her and a better world. This listen is a powerful testament of a father’s love for his daughter.

Every Tool’s a Hammer

If your dad is crafty, he’ll love listening to Mythbusters star Adam Savage talk about making stuff! With 40 years of maker experience under his (tool) belt, Savage has a lot of tips and advice for unleashing creativity to help any dad get started on a project, embrace the messes and mistakes he makes, understand the importance of taking time to cool down instead of overheating about a troubling issue, and more. Everything that happens when you’re making something is important to the process. Every Tool’s a Hammer also features advice on creativity and turning ideas into realities from other famous creators such as Nick Offerman and Guillermo del Toro.

Break Shot: My First 21 Years

The multi-Grammy-winning musician James Taylor has been making music for half a century now, which means he has been a favorite of dads for several generations. Taylor’s lyrics are often autobiographical and tackle many of the joys and losses in his life, including the death of his mother and his struggles with mental illness and addiction. In this Audible Original, Taylor focuses on his early years before fame, combining storytelling with musical performances. Taylor’s soothing voice throughout Break Shot is sure to create a one-of-a-kind listening experience that will please fans both young and old.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is another wonderful listen that proves there’s not just one way to define a father. Harvey is just six years old when her parents die in a car crash. Her only remaining family member is an uncle, Jason, a disabled felon with anger issues. But thanks to the instincts of a kind social worker, Harvey and Jason discover they are exactly what each other needs, and they help each other begin to heal. The story follows Harvey at six and also in the present as a young woman in Paris getting ready to return home for a visit. This novel will tug on your heartstrings, and it’s made all the more amazing by the voice work of the legendary actor Bronson Pinchot.

My Dad the Spy

A lot of kids dream about what it would be like if their dad was a spy—Stewart Copeland lived it. Copeland is best known as a musician, composer, and founding member with Sting of new-wave icons The Police. What many people don’t know is that Copeland’s dad actually was a spy. In this Audible Original podcast, Copeland takes listeners on a journey as he and his sister recall their pampered upbringing while moving around the Middle East and their naivety surrounding what their father did for a living, which came complete with dangerous espionage missions, home invasions, and shootouts.


The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads

Everything You Need to Know About LGBTQ Parenting But Are (Mostly) Afraid to Ask

Are you ready to have kids? More and more gay men are turning to adoption and surrogacy to start their own families. An estimated two million American LBGTQ people would like to adopt and an estimated 65,000 adopted children are living with a gay parent. In 2016, The Chicago Tribune reported that 10 to 20 percent of donor eggs went to gay men expanding their families via surrogacy, and in many places the numbers were up 50 percent from the previous five years.

Gay parenting: Having a kid is like coming out all over again, on a daily basis, especially if you have an infant. Was coming out stressful for you? It’s about to get more intense and you will have a child watching your every move and listening to your every word. If you stutter or pause, they may pick up on your discomfort and could start to feel like something is wrong about their family unit. The Ultimate Guide For Gay Dads is jam packed with parenting tips and advice to help you build confidence and become the awesome gay dad you were meant to be!

How Is This Parenting Guide Different From Others? Unlike other parenting books that have whole chapters focusing on things specifically related to mothers (such as how to get the perfect latch when breastfeeding), this parenting book replaces those sections with things relevant to gay dads. It covers topics like how to find LGBT friendly pediatricians, how to find LGBT friendly schools, how to childproof your home with style, how to answer awkward and prying questions about your family from strangers, examples for what two-dad families can do on Mother’s Day, and much more. The book also includes parenting tips and advice from pediatricians, school educators, lawyers, and other same-sex parents.