Wednesday, June 22, 2016

We ❤ Audiobooks and Here's Why

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 with 6 comments

We're a little late with this post, but better late than never, right? :P We've discussed our love of audiobooks at length here on the blog over the years, but our devotion to this media continues to flourish. All summer long, we'll be sharing the current week's free downloads over at SYNC -- a great program providing free young adult and classic audiobooks -- but we also wanted to do our thing and wax poetic about the beauty of listening to a novel.

Jen: Audiobooks make a long day go faster. They make chores less mundane. And, to some extent, they help me maintain my TBR, or at least keep it somewhat manageable. I also really like audiobooks for the re-reads that I just don't have time for. Whether it's a re-read/listen of a favorite series or to refresh my memory before the next installment in a series or just to re-listen to a favorite contemporary to get myself out of a funk, audiobooks are my go-to solution. I enjoy listening to audiobooks so much that I sometimes invent more stuff to do so that I can finish listening to a book, foregoing actually reading a physical book.

April: I have a 45 minute drive to and from work. That can get tiring, but with Audiobooks, I almost look forward to driving to work. Almost. lol. It makes it less painful. Also, I do a lot of filing at my job. Filing is tedious, but I look forward to doing it because it's an excuse to get back to my book while on the clock.

Jen: A truly great narrator makes me forget that I'm even listening to a book. I love when I get so swept up in a story that I don't notice I've already done the thing I was doing when I pressed play, though maybe I should pay a little more attention when I'm driving, lol. But I just adore a narrator who does more than read the book to me. I want different voices for all of the characters. I want accents. I want a narrator who emotes. What I do not want is a narrator who is breathy or shrilly or just plain ridiculous in their performance.

April: I'm not too picky about Narrators. As long as they don't have annoying voices, then I'm good. But I guess a good narrator for me is one that sounds like how I feel the main character would sound. Not too old or too young. One that really gets into the character.

A couple of years ago, we went all out and suggested tons of our favorite audiobooks, but we've listened to quite a few since and have some new ones to recommend, besides our old stand-bys. :D

Jen: I think the audiobook I've listened to the most is The Scorpio Races, coming in at seven times. I would recommend it to anyone even considering listening to audiobooks for the first time. It's a brilliant story, and the narration is just fantastic.

As for newer recs, man that list is endless. I'm always discovering new listens, especially with the library literally at my fingertips. However, I did purchase the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima at the end of last year, and I've already listened to the whole series twice now. It's amazing and heartbreaking and utterly captivating. It made it that much easier for me to spend the money on the audio for her newest book, too. =)

For newbies who are looking for a suggestion that might make them love listening when they're predisposed not to, here are some that I've recently loved, as well as the sequels, where applicable:

Wolf by Wolf (Wolf by Wolf, #1)The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)Starflight (Starflight, #1)Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)The Star-Touched QueenA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Of course, feel free to check out the last post we did on audiobooks for other, backlist titles that we've loved.

April: Some of these are on Jen's list as well, but she recommended them so that makes sense. Illuminae might be my favorite Audiobook ever. I was so sucked into that book, and the narration is so on point. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is. Don't let stupid audible reviews discourage you about "Censoring bad words" Because that's just part of the book. It's not an edited narration. I almost didn't go with the audio because of those reviews and I'm so glad I ignored them and just tried it.

This year I also listened to all of the Twilight books. I know, I know... And I even started a post on my thoughts, but I still haven't finished writing it. While the audio books aren't the best.. I did enjoy re living the phenomenon. I've always wanted to do a re read, but no time for physical books. So the audio worked out well. I plan to listen to the Host this year since that's a fave of mine.

Illuminae (the Illuminae files 1Saint AnythingStolen: A letter to My CaptorRebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)The Star-Touched QueenDaughter of smoke and bone

Jen: Oh, damn. How did I forget Illuminae?!? I only JUST got it again from the library so I can refresh my memory and start Gemina. :P

Are you an audiobook aficionado? Tell us some of your favorites, the best narrators, the narrators you avoid, etc. We're always looking for recs ourselves. =D

Happy listening!


  1. I love that it affords me the luxury of doing housework and office work whilst listening to a book at the same time. I get so much done!

    1. OMG, THIS EXACTLY. I feel like I've accomplished nothing if I haven't listened to a book AND done my chores while doing so. :P

  2. From an author's point of view:

    Every book should be available in audio. One way for that to happen is for more people to listen, so that publishers realize the audio version is as important as the hardcover, which I truly believe. There are a lot of readers who need them--people who are blind or visually impaired, people with learning differences, and people for whom commuting or doing chores are their best or only reading times. For me, audiobooks are almost exclusively the way I read for pleasure, given that most of my "eyeball" reading time is devoted to research. When I hear about a fantastic new book, I'm dismayed if there's no audiobook available. It almost always means I won't find time to read it.

    Another way for every book to become an audiobook is for authors to ask for control of their rights. Even after winning a couple of awards, the audio of my novel MONSTROUS BEAUTY didn't earn enough for Macmillan to want to take a chance on an audiobook of PLUS ONE. After a year of my begging, the audio rights were reverted to me and I was able to produce PLUS ONE with Julia Whelan narrating. It was such a fun experience, I'm now on a one-person campaign to get my author colleagues to petition to have their audio rights returned, if their publisher hasn't produced the book or managed to sell the rights to an independent producer. Recording a book is relatively cheap, and companies like ACX have made it easy. I enjoyed the creative control, too: I was able to purchase cover rights for a song that appears in the novel, so that Julia could sing the lyrics (along with a ukulele) rather than chant or read them, my child wrote and performed an original intro instrumental and "credits" song, and we included the short-story tie-in, NOMA GIRL, as a bonus at the end.

    Narrator Amy Rubinate has gone as far as founding an independent audiobook production company called "Ideal Audiobooks." I think she specializes in ferreting out unproduced, quality novels (many of them YA), purchasing the rights, which are alarmingly cheap, and making sure the audiobook gets recorded with a talented narrator. Yay, her!

    And I'm so grateful to you, Jen and April, for highlighting audiobooks on your wonderful blog.


    1. THIS! I wish all books were available on audio, as well. I don't think I'll ever get to all the books I want to read if I can't find them in the audio version. And now, knowing your experience with producing your own audiobook, I wonder at why other authors haven't done the same.

      I was slow to realize how vital audiobooks are - and how enjoyable - but now they're a godsend to me. I'm ecstatic to highlight them here; I just wish there was something I could do to ensure that every novel got an audiobook equivalent.

  3. I love audiobooks so much I started a blog that focuses on them; and I am always happy to connect with other fans.

    My most recent post about them: Good Audiobooks Make Everything Better

    1. To be quite honest, most of what I feature here is audiobook content, unless it's a novel I received for review. But even some of those are audio versions. :) Always happy to meet another audiobook aficionado. :D


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