My New Found Love…Audiobooks

I have tried audiobooks before now, but I found that I couldn’t get through one that wasn’t a book I had read a million times before, i.e. Harry Potter. I could zone out when someone was reading Harry Potter to me and it didn’t matter because I know all of those books so well. (See my post on rereading books). I wasn’t holding out much hope for audiobooks when one of my friends gave me a list of eight audiobooks on her iPod for my trip out to Big Bend National Park. She gave me Matched by Ally Condie, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Scarlet by Melissa Myer, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi, and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. I started with Shatter Me for the trip. I HATED it. I didn’t like the narrator. I didn’t like the world. I didn’t like the main character, whose name I can’t remember. Mafi uses a strikeout throughout the novel that I think would have been effective in print, but listening to it was annoying and distracting. It definitely left a negative impression on me.

Even with that bad experience, I decided to audiobooks another try. I had heard so many good things about Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (for a review please go here.)  and I couldn’t find a copy to read, so I finally decided to listen to it instead. I was doing deliveries at work and needed something to listen to while I sat in traffic. It was brilliant. I loved the narrator. She did the voices so impressively well that I don’t know if I want to read the sequel or listen to it. (This is a serious question for me because audiobooks are expensive to buy.) While I know I still would have enjoyed Shadow and Bone immensely, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it as much as I did listening to it. The Darking’s voice was so sultry and sexy. I couldn’t have ever come up with that voice on my own.

What I discovered while listening to Shadow and Bone is that sometimes it’s nice to be apart of how someone else perceives the novel. Usually reading is just between reader and author. The contract between author and reader is unique. Both the author and reader being an integral part to the process of reading. Listening to an audiobook brings someone else into this contract. The narrator brings his or her own ideas about the book and shares it with the listener. In a way, listening to the audiobook allows me to do less work while reading. Someone else has already transformed the world. I can just relax and enjoy.

Even though I loved listening to Shadow and Bone, I was still hesitant of audiobooks when I started listening to The Raven Boys. I wasn’t yet the audiobook advocate that I am now. I loved the narrators voice in Shadow and Bone. Her voice was beautiful and captivating. The narrator of The Raven Boys is a man. (For a review go here.) I wasn’t sure how I felt about his voice at the beginning, but it ended up being just as enthralling. After listening to The Raven Boys, I was fully converted into an audiobooks lover. I have now finished The Selection (review coming soon), am in the middle of Seraphina and can’t wait to be able to start the rest of the audiobooks my friend gave me. I highly encourage everyone to give audiobooks a try. Even if you don’t like the first one you pick up, try again.  I’ve come to the conclusion that people who don’t like audiobooks are like reluctant readers; they just haven’t found the right one.

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4 Responses to My New Found Love…Audiobooks

  1. Hi.
    I recommend that you download your audio books from if you are in the USA or if you are in Britain or Ireland. Slightly more expensive in the US, but a far better selection. Often a good actor makes an audiobook amazing. I have many recommendations for you, but for now (not knowing your age or interests) I shall only suggest two:’ The adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, written by Mark Twain as I’m sure you know but most importantly read by Pat Fraley, whose performance really brings the book to life. Secondly, I strongly suggest ‘Lolita’ written by Vladimir Nabokov. This modern classic(1955), is somewhat shocking in subject matter, a man in his forties deeply and pervertedly in love with a girl child aged 12years and 7 months at the beginning and 14 years when he loses her. Don’t let this worry you as the writer is neither lewd nor graphic, but has in fact a beautiful style of prose. Again here as before, it is the narrator that makes all the difference. The only version of this to get is Jeremy Irons reading. You may well know him as a famous British actor, up there with Allan Rickman and sir Ian Mc Kellan. I am old and have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and have discovered that when I read a printed book, sadly all the characters sound like me and I can’t do accents of people from places I’ve never been. Actors can and do. You may well get through so many more books this way than you ever imagined.
    By the way I like what you wrote in your blog.
    Best of luck.

    • emmadeboer says:

      Thanks! That’s where my friend gets all of her books. I’ve always wanted to read Lolita but have never got around to it. Maybe that will be next on my list.

  2. Anna says:

    Check your library. Many libraries have audio books available – on CD or MP3 CD or available as a digital download from the library website.

    I listen to audiobooks when I walk. I do enjoy them, though I still find myself feeling like I’m not getting it all because I can’t see it. I especially have a hard time with names because I can’t see them spelled.

    One series I’d highly recommend as an audio book is the Bloody Jack series by L. A. Meyer (Read By Katherine Kellgren) because the narrator is amazing. I’d listen to anything she does. This is one series I’ve never read a single one of but have listened to the whole thing. I don’t think they’d be the same in print. The series is written for young people, but it’s a lot of fun for anyone.

    • emmadeboer says:

      I’ve read the Bloody Jack series and I loved it. I’ll have to check those out from the library after I finish Seraphina. Thanks for the recommendation.

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