Popular Non-Fiction Audiobooks Read By Their Authors


I got thinking about audio again and the power of hearing directly from an author.

I remember having Tom Peters’ The Excellence Challenge on cassette and listing to it over and over in the tape deck of my 1982 Cutlass Cierra. Each segment is 10-15 minutes and filled with Tom’s energy and excitement.  He was imploring you to think different and do different. I had to track down a set of the tapes on Ebay early this year, because you can’t find them anywhere anymore (now if I can just find a cassette deck…).

That got me about thinking about how often authors read the audio edition of their book. Many books never sell enough or have the potential to sell enough copies that warrants a the production of an audiobook (but that is changing).

In that small slice that do make it, I am surprised how often books are narrated by someone else.  Maybe I shouldn’t be.  With audiobooks, we judge the book and the performance. To take the role of narrator, you need to be able to perform the book. That is not a given with all authors, but in the space of business and popular non-fiction, so many have active careers as public speakers. Not narrating your audiobook feels like a missed opportunity.

There are exceptions too. When we decided to produce a audiobook version of The Phoenix Project, we brought in a professional narrator. Performing a novel is very different animal from performing a narrative. Pat Lencioni does the same thing on his fables.

I decided to make a list of the popular non-fiction audiobooks narrated by their authors.  This is not comprehensive list but if you like the energy of the author sharing their work, here are some suggestions.

Popular Non-Fiction Audiobooks Narrated by Their Authors


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