Jan 17, 2012

Top Books I'd Recommend to Someone Who Doesn't Listen to Audiobooks

Top Ten Tuesday banner by The Broke and the BookishTop Ten Tuesday is a weakly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  They love lists as much as I do, so it's only fair to tip my hat.

This week I'd like to recommend my top reads for someone who doesn't read listen to audiobooks.  Personally, I grew up on audiobooks, they were a constant presence on family road trips (of which there were many), and I continue to listen to them today.  I love them!  Some books just work better orally, and I have a few suggestions to get you started:

audiobook cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
1)  The Harry Potter series has produced my all-time favorite audiobooks!  I mean it, these books are amazing.  I'm a natural contrarian, so naturally, I hated Harry Potter without even reading it when they first started getting big.  But then, cue thirteen-hour family road trip to visit relatives and me stuck in the back seat with very little choice but to listen.  I was converted almost instantly, and this remains my favorite audio series to this day.

2)  Speaking of Harry Potter, you know what made the audiobooks so awesome beyond J.K. Rowling's story?  The narrator--Jim Dale.  Jim Dale is hands down the best audiobook narrator to be had, and I cannot recommend his work enough.  If you're looking to try an audiobook and don't know where to start, just look at this man's backlog.  Whether you choose a childhood classic like Peter Pan, or a beautiful new work like The Night Circus, you won't be disappointed.

audiobook cover of Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner by Neil Gaiman Presents
3) You know Neil Gaiman?  That man we all dearly love?  He has been producing his own line of audiobooks entitled "Neil Gaiman Presents", and I hear they are fantastic.  I've heard great things about his production of Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint in particular, and am hoping to pick it up soon myself.

4) As I said above, some books sincerely work better when spoken aloud.  Two such examples are Libba Bray's Beauty Queens and Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why.  I'm not sure I could have read Beauty Queens, but listening to it was a blast, and Thirteen Reasons Why as a story focused on audiotapes works excellently in the spoken form.

audiobook cover of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
5) Journey stories work excellently as audiobooks, especially if you listen to them on road trips!  A great example of this is J. R. R. Tolkein's The Hobbit.  I also think that most middle grade tales translate excellently to audio. 


I realize audiobooks aren't for everyone, but I hope if you're thinking to try this list might help!  Audiobooks are perfect for commuting, long road trips, working out, or even listening to around the house while doing chores.  Think of all the extra 'reading' you can get done if you fill that extra downtime with audiobooks!

18 comments:

  1. I'm just getting into audiobooks and I'll have to check out these ones. I do have Beauty Queens on audio, so I'm excited to listen!

    Great list this week!

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    1. I liked that Beauty Queens was narrated by Libba Bray herself. Not all authors can also narrate like that, but when they can you know that you're getting the story delivered how the author thought it. I think that all of the commercial breaks and footnotes would have driven me nuts in a physical copy, but as audio they were a lot of fun.

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  2. Audiobooks are so awesome. I love listening to them. Thanks for sharing. I will have to check some of these out. =]
    Here is My Top Ten

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  3. What an interesting choice for your list! I've only listened to a few audiobooks, but I'm starting to listen to more now that it's summer here in Aus and I'm going on runs/walks a lot. Harry Potter was my first audiobook experience (after being a fan of the books for years) but my narrator was Stephen Fry which was the coolest thing ever!

    My list!

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    1. I may be a total Jim Dale fangirl, but I would LOVE to hear a Stephen Fry narrated Harry Potter (or any audiobook for that matter).

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  4. I've never listened to audio books to tell you the truth. I'll have to give them a chance. Here's my list: http://danicapage.blogspot.com/2012/01/teaser-tuesday-13-top-ten-tuesday.html

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  5. Oh I agree! Jim Dale was fantastic!

    The Muggle

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  6. I have never listened to an audio book! =/ I've been thinking recently that I should get some to listen to while on the treadmill. I love HP and audio would be a great way to kind of rediscover it. Great list!

    My Top Ten Tuesday!

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    1. HP audiobooks are a total gateway drug! Always worth rereading, and when you're listening while running, it can be nice to already know the story so that you don't get lost if you're not paying 100% attention.

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  7. I want to kidnap Jim Dale, put him in my pocket and bring him out to read me bedtime stories and talk at me whilst I drink a steaming cup o' tea. Love your list!

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  8. Yay for audiobooks! We have the same topic this week :) I hear Jim Dale is the best and I am eager to listen to Harry Potter soon. I read Beauty Queens, but I think the style is a great match for audio. That's a good point about Thirteen Reasons Why lending itself well to audio because of the tapes used in the book. Will have to seek out that one.
    Thanks for the great recs!

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  9. Oh my goodness, I have Swordpoint on my wishlist because it's a Neil Gaiman produced audio AND OMG I JUST WANT TO SPEND MY AUDIBLE CREDIT ON IT. Sorry, just the thought of that book makes me capslock-y.

    ALSO Jim Dale, I love him forever and ever. His Harry Potter audios were my gateway.

    AND can I just say that I am insanely jealous you come from a family that listens to audiobooks in the car.

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    1. ALL IN CAPS MUST BE TRUE! I don't have an Audible account atm, but have been considering getting the 30 day free trial just for Swordspoint.

      And YES. Not to brag, but my family is awesome, and because of them I have been exposed to a lot of books I never would have read otherwise.

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  10. Have you listened to The Help? It's absolutely fantastic on audio, and have multiple narrators really helps the story come alive.

    I'm listening to The Graveyard Book right now, read my Neil Gaiman himself. Love it!

    Loved your list :)

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    1. I haven't listened to The Help, but I saw it on several audiobook lists this week and added it to me tbr pile! I'm also planning on doing The Graveyard Book, since it's available read by him online. Waiting to be in the right mood. Thanks!

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  11. I should try The Hobbit on audio - I need to read it soon. I have read the LOTR books over and over, yet stilll haven't gotten to the The Hobbit.

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    1. I didn't like The Hobbit when I first tried reading it because it seemed too juvenile to me after reading LoTR (mind you, I was a juvenile at the time, so I was just being a 'I'm at a reading level much higher than my age' snob), but when my family got it on audio tape I thought it was great!

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