Calling an Audible on Audio

audio

I did something in 2014 that I had never done before…I listened to audio books!

For me I have always been a more visual person. I need to see the word or watch something on a screen to really grasp what is trying to come across. But I took a chance last year and listened to Anna and the French Kiss on audio. Then I listened to Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. After that it took a life of it’s own and I ended up listening to 11 books on audio, 10 of those rereads. Really it was the perfect way to get a reread done as I can listen at work (I have my own office) and not have to 100% pay attention as I know what happens. I did learn one thing though, it is all about the narrator.  Here are my brief reviews of these audios:

audio1Anna and the French Kiss/Lola and the Boy Next Door/Isla and the Happily Ever After

audio2Throne of Glass/Crown of Midnight

audio3Since You’ve Been Goneaudio4Jellicoe Road

audio5White Cat/Delirium

audio6Mockingjay

audio7The Kissing Booth

Do you listen to audio books? How do you pick which to listen to? Is the narrator a big part of this?

*stay tuned for more audio posts.

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17 Comments

  1. I haven’t managed to make friends with audio yet, I think part of the problem is figuring out WHEN I would listen to them – my commute isn’t that long at all, so not sure when I would schedule them in to my normal routine… and also because narrators really do make it or break it, and I think the ones I’ve tried and sampled so far have all just fallen short for me. I love the idea of using audio for rereads though, I think part of my problem was not knowing how I’d be able to keep track of the story in my mind, but like you say, with an audio reread you don’t need to be paying super close attention – so that could work… R x

    https://confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/what-do-you-do-while-listening-to-an-audiobook/

  2. I love, love, love audiobooks. I’ve loved them for a long time, but in 2014 I actually listened to 50, which is more than I ever have in a year. I think anyway, because I’ve never kept track of the number before.

    Anyway, I’m glad that you ended up liking them. Definitely the narrator makes a big difference. And the thing with narrators is that it is so subjective. What someone loves another might hate.

    I do have some books that I thought the narration was amazing though. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. That narration – whoa it’s amazing. Also, I really enjoy Molly Harper’s books on audio (narrated by Amanda Ronconi). Those two make a terrific team.

    But there are others where I listened to just a few sentences and had to stop. I tried listening to Rebel Belle on audio, but the narrator had this strong southern accent (Which makes sense since it takes place in the south) but I couldn’t stand to listen to it. So I stopped.

    I have listened to two of these audiobooks – Lola and the Boy Next Door and White Cat. I can’t remember a lot about my feelings for the narrator of Lola, but I don’t think I loved her narration, although I didn’t hate it either.

    I did love Jesse Eisenberg’s narration for White Cat, though. It was perfect and spot on. I think I ended up loving the book more because of her fantastic narration.

  3. I listen to a lot of audiobooks (also at work!) and I usually really like them. For me enjoying and audiobook comes down to two things.

    First is what you mentioned, the narrator. And it can be a totally personal choice, but if I don’t like the way the story is narrated I’m going to fixate on that over the words of the story. Like I didn’t like the narrator for Exquisite Captive so I didn’t like the audio as much. But I loved the narrator for Steelheart. My personal favorite is when the author narrates their own work. You get a real sense of the tone of the story and it’s fantastic. Libba Bray narrating Beauty Queens is phenomenal for example.

    The other thing that decides if I’ll like an audiobook is the genre. And again this is probably a personal preference as well but I always prefer the audio for Fantasy, SciFi, and Mysteries over Contemporary and Lit Fic. For me really plot-driven stories with vivid world-building make better audiobooks. Like Ready Player One which has tons of action (and a great narrator) is amazing while the audio for Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and The Fault in Our Stars didn’t capture my interest (maybe I should because it wasn’t the John Green version).

    On the whole I think it’s about picking the right audiobooks. Rereads are definitely a good way to experience audio. I’m a big fan and I’m glad you enjoyed some. I may actually check out Since You’ve Been Gone. I’ve been meaning to read that book anyway!

  4. I’ve been reading audiobooks for several years now (mostly because I can listen while I’m at work most days), and it can definitely be a huge gamble. The female narrator for The Scorpio Races nearly spoiled the book for me. If she had been the only narrator, I’m sure I would have stopped listening after just a few chapters. But then there are the people who just make the beauty of a book that much more evident; my favorite audiobooks are probably Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Night Circus.

  5. I do listen to audiobooks. Especially classics because I find it easier for me to understand what is going on if I’m listening as well as reading, which is something that I’ve done for almost every audiobook that I’ve ever listened to with the exception of Tina Fey’s Bossypants. I do listen to audiobooks without a book in hand on occasion, if I’m on the treadmill or something, but for the most part I’ve found it easier to focus if I can occasionally glance down and see what is going on in the page in front of me.

    You’re definitely right about narrators though. If I don’t like the narrator than the chances of the story being ruined for me are pretty high. So I take advantage of the sample feature on Audible and listen to the beginning of the stories to see if it is a narrator I think I’m going to like.

  6. I LOVED the narrator for Jellicoe! She also narrates Marchetta’s book Saving Francesca. I thought it would feel like the same person, but she made both girls sound distinct to me. Or maybe that was Marchetta’s masterful writing. (She’s my favorite.) 🙂

  7. I love audiobooks. I have just this week listened to Anna and Lola – I liked the reader for Lola more than the one for Anna, although they were both good. I recently tried to reread Mockingjay via audiobook and just couldn’t get more than a page or two into the book because of the narrator! I’ve heard this several times! Agree about Sarah Drew – we’ve talked about this on Twitter! Love her.

    I tend to choose an audio read (and follow along with print/ebook) if the audio is available. I will read a book with an audiobook before I will read a book that is available to me in print only when I’m looking for my next read, just because of how busy I seem to be right now in my life. I listen to so many that I can *almost* listen thru even the bad narration but I get excited and squeal when I see that my favorite narrators read something, and I will read books that I’ve never considered or heard of because of a particular narrator.

    Audible and Netflix, my two favorite things that I don’t need. I love to hear what other people are listening to and enjoying, and why. (:

  8. I love that you are getting into audios now…as you know I’ve been a big fan of them for years and like you feel that the right narrator can make or break a book. I keep a list of narrators on my blog and make a mark on my feelings of him/her and reference it often when I am looking for a new audio. I also love that audible has samples as that really helps in choosing my next audio.

    My Narrator Index

  9. I first started hearing audiobooks when I won the Me Before You audiobook in a giveaway late 2013. The narrator was so good! If it wouldnt have been for that audiobook, I wouldnt have bought the book and would have missed out on one of my now adult fiction favorites. The narrator is a big part for me. Before I buy an audiobook, I listen to the preview and if i like how it sounds, I buy it. This was how I was able to finish Pawn because for the day of me I couldn’t motivate myself to read it so on my long commutes I would listen to it and it actually made the book enjoyable!
    I really want to get into listening more audiobooks. I’ve TFiOS twice, Me Before You once, and Pawn once as well. Oh wait I forgot, I listened to The Fiery Heart as well! I give it a B+. Lol

  10. I’m always afraid to try out audiobooks fearing I won’t like the narrator, thus making not enjoy the story. Really I find myself going for audiobooks that are narrated by the author. Which tend to be books by comedians, which some are to die for funny!

    But I do listen to Chris Colfer’s series on audio because he narrates it and it’s perfection!

  11. I’m not a huge audio book listener. The narrator can affect my feels about the book so much it doesn’t seem fair to the author.

    I do LOVE the narrator for Rainbow Rowell’s last three books. On her recommendation I did my first reread of E&P listening to the audio and loved it. Did the same thing w Fangirl.

    With whispersync on Amazon I’ll add the audio if it’s reasonable because I like being able to listen for my commute and the pick back up reading.

  12. This was a fun post! I really liked how you graded the anrrations, although I would’ve loved to know the names of the narrator so I’ll know to avoid them or to look out for them. I also listened to my first audiobook on 2014, and I am hooked! I was very sceptic at first, but loved them right away. I haven’t listened to a book I’d read before though, and I’m very jelous you get to listen them at work. I can’t do that, even if I have my own office, because I can’t seem to concentrate in two things that require my attention at a time.

    Sadly, I haven’t listened to any of the books you listed, although I plan to read most of them, hopefully this year. In my experience the best narrators I’ve encountered are Luke Daniels (narrates the Brilliance Saga by Marcus Sakey), Sasha Pick (narrated Rose Under Firfe by Elizabeth Wein), Lucy Gaskell and Morven Christie (narrated Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein). The last two books are meant to be listened to, not read. Seriously! The narrators add so much to an already awesome story. They are perfect.

    I haven’t listened to any famous person narrate an audiobook before, but I plan to listen to Ready Player One really soon, which is narrated by Will Wheaton. It only makes sense though,t hata ctors make great narrators. They have to bring a story to life.

  13. I never listened to an audio book and, honestly, I’m afraid to listen to one. I don’t know if it’s because in my country we don’t have that “tradition”, but since I started reading bookish blogs I’m really intrigued by them. I tought about buying Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in audio so I could try, and, like you, I think starting with a reread is easier because you don’t have to be so focused on the story.

  14. I actually (finally) own the entire Throne of Glass series (so far) on audio, and intend to reread via audio while I’m at work too. Here’s to hoping I do it sooner rather than later (and don’t die of all the feels while I’m at it).

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