I have to be honest, I have been late the the audiobook game. I have had an account with audiobooks.com for a long time, but only got to support one of my favorite podcasts - Books on the Nightstand. It used to be my pattern to download books but never listen to them. Then I started to go to the gym regularly, and decided that I did not want to waste the time there not reading. So, I thought I would give audiobooks another go. And, to tell you the truth, I have never looked back.
I will say, I am picky. Unlike a novel, I cannot forgive a bad narrator. I will stop a book after a few minutes and never go back if I don't like the audio. For example, the other day I started a book where they made the choice to play music in the background as some one read the book. That did not work for me, which is too bad because I was really looking forward to that book.
So, I thought that I would give you four audiobooks that I have really enjoyed. As an aside, I am currently listening to Paper Menagerie by Ken Lui and am loving it - but since I am not finished it is not on this list.
The Bees by Laline Paull may get the credit for the book that changed my mind about audiobooks. There was something about this book that when I listened to it - I would sit in my car just to get another few minutes in and it would lead to half an hour of just sitting there.
The book is about one bee and her life in the hive in which she is born. Flora 717 is born a drone - but a drone that can speak. This rare feat leads for her to be given different opportunities in the hive. She gets to take care of the young produced by the queen, she becomes a gather of nectar and going out into the world to help produce honey for the hive, she gets to help take care of the male bees prior to their attempt to mate with the queen. Through all of this, you learn about bee hierarchy and the inner workings of the bee world.
I know what you are thinking - how exciting can a book about bees be (like my pun?). I was on the edge of my seat - the narrator, Orlagh Cassidy, does such an amazing of keeping you on the edge of your seat. There was a seen when wasps attack the hive that had me breathing hard and getting nervous for Flora 717! I really cannot recommend the book enough - and the audio does it the story such justice. I highly recommend this one if you don't think you are into audiobooks - I think it will change your mind - it did mine.
I started to listen to this book because my friend Ryan told my book group that Lin Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame was the narrator. I love him! Also, I knew that this book had one an award for how it dealt with gay themes. And I am all about a YA book that tackles these issues.
This is the story of two teenage boys - Aristotle and Dante that find each other at the local swimming pool and develop a friendship that will change their lives forever. It also has a lot to do with the Hispanic family and how they deal with conflict and how much the adore and love their children. My mom is a latina and I could see her in both of the mother's in this book. I loved how it focused not only on how the boys dealt with each other, but also how they dealt with their parents as they determined who they are and who they are going to be.
I think that this book is beautifully written, and Lin-Manuel has a way of reading it that makes it all sound like poetry. This is not a long book, but it made my time at the gym fly by. I have recommended it to a number of people and have heard nothing but good reviews.
This is going to be my non-fiction choice. This book is by Shonda Rhimes - of tv fame - and read by Shonda Rhimes. And I think that is what makes it so special. This is her personal tale of making a choice to change her life. As she reads it to you, it feels like your best friend is telling you a story. Shonda Rhimes is that truth telling friend we all want to have.
This book is powerful. It is all about facing your fears, saying yes and trying new things. And it is flat out hilarious. I cracked up a number of times out loud on the floor of the gym. There is one section where she reads a commencement speech she gave - that had me walking away from the free weights and taking a break.
But it also has a very powerful message that I really appreciated. I am often scared of new things. I rather stay to routine and what I know, so that I am not surprised or disappointed. Shonda taught me that there are a lot of amazing things out there in the world that I would will never get to do if I don't say yes to them first. And that I will learn more about myself from the failures than some of the successes.
This audiobook holds a very special place in my heart, because I listened to it on a road trip with the husband. Narrated by Flinty Williams in the most perfect gentle British accent - this is a novel about zombie and the end of the world. This may be the one and only audiobook my husband has ever listened to - and he loved it so much that he bought M.R. Carey's second book as soon as it came out
This is the story of a child zombie, who can think and talk and interact with people. It is also about the relationships she forms and how the world is not always the way people think it is. Flinty does an amazing job of creating tension during the action scenes, but also being so gentle during the sentimental moments.
This book has now been turned into a movie, but I am not sure I would see it. The audiobook was such a vivid experience for me that I feel like I have already seen the movie version. If you like a good zombie action book - this is the audiobook for you.
So there you go - four audiobook recommendations from me to you. If you have any audiobooks you think I should listen to, please let me know in the comments. Listened to any of these? Tell me what you think. Until next time - have fun listening!