Ten of the best BBC audio books available free - what's on the list?

Friday, 12th June 2020, 12:53 pm
Updated Friday, 12th June 2020, 12:55 pm

The BBC has released a raft of new audio books available on its Sounds stream for free now.Topping the list is Booker Prize winner Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo.

It shared first place with Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, her sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.Girl, Woman, Other is a wonderfully hopeful story that portrays a group of interconnected characters, mostly women, black and British.

Also available are classic novels including Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady and Ivan Turgenev’s First Love.

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Historical fiction is represented by Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring.

Classic adventure The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan is also available to listen to, as is Sherlock Holmes mystery A Study in Scarlet.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine EvaristoIn the fi‌rst episode step into Amma’s world as a playwright, now in her fif‌ties, whose new play ‘The Last Amazon of Dahomey’ is being premiered at The National Theatre in London.

The 39 Steps by John BuchanClassic adventure story featuring Richard Hannay, a South African mine engineer, and his attempts to thwart a plot to start a world war.Includes chase scene across the Scottish Highlands.

First Love by Ivan TurgenevIt tells the love story between a 21-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy. It is based on Turgenev’s infatuation with a young neighbor in the country, an infatuation that lasted until his discovery that Catherine was his father’s mistress.

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.The first of four Sherlock Holmes novels, it introduces the reader to the amateur detective and his side-kick Dr Watson. The adventure ranges from foggy streets of London to the burning plains of Utah.

Portrait of a Lady by Henry JamesThe story of a spirited young American woman, Isabel Archer, who inherits a large amount of money.She subsequently becomes the victim of Machiavellian scheming by two American expatriates.

Queenie by Candice Carty-WilliamsBridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different.

The Seventh Test by Vikras SwarupA mystery thriller by the author of Slumdog Millionaire.The book is about a sales assistant in India who is offered a chance to change her life. But it comes with consequences she had not banked on.

The Fall of the House of Byron by Emily BrandThree centuries of family history of the most scandalous aristocratic lineages in Britain. The biography shows how Lord Byron’s ancestors set the example for truly nonconformist existence.

Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy ChevalierSet in 17th-century Delft, Holland, the novel was inspired by local painter Johannes Vermeer’s work. Chevalier presents a fictional account of Vermeer, the model and the painting.

Amongst Women by John McGahernConsidered his masterpiece. It tells the story of Michael Moran, a bitter ageing IRA veteran, and his tyranny over his wife and children, who both love and fear him. Shortlisted for the 1990 Booker Prize.