I’ve recently started listening to audiobooks. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy them… well, some of them. Others, not so much. I haven’t listened to a ton of them yet, but I’ve listened to enough to give you a Top Five list. I’ve been getting most of them from the library, which keeps me listening to a fairly eclectic mix of books, books I typically wouldn’t listen to. Sometimes all the library has in are romance books, and sometimes they have pretty cool ones. I dally in all of them. I have one credit a month on audible, which I use for books that I’ve really been wanting to read (erm… listen to).
Anyway, out of the (small sampling) of audiobooks I’ve listened to so far, here are my top five favorites. I’d love it (seriously, LOVE IT) if people would add books that I should listen to to my list. I don’t care if I’ve read them before, I’m discovering that listening to an audiobook is a different experience. I can’t really “graze” it like I tend to with some books. I pick out details in the storyline that I might have missed before, etc.
(P.S. Forgive me for not having graphics to go with this. It’s late. I’m tired. You’ll have to cope.)
Without further ado, here are my top five favorites in no real order:
NOS4A2 – Joe Hill
Narrated by Kate Mulgrew
First of all, I read this book and absolutely loved it. It really blew my mind. When I saw it on my library’s website in audio format, I had to give it a shot. Kate Mulgrew is probably one of my favorite narrators. She has a really unique voice that drew me into the story. Furthermore, she had a way with reading that made each character more memorable, and different from every other character. Some narrators go way over-the-top with their voices, but Mulgrew doesn’t. It just happens. Her reading is organic and memorable, absolutely fantastic. I think I could listen to her read a phonebook.
Midnight & Moon Over Soho – Ben Aaronovich
Narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
This is one of those series that I’m slowly working through. I was kind of leery to start it because I’m kind of sick of the basic storyline, but Aaronovich has a way with telling a story that might sound old and done to start with, in new and absolutely wonderful ways. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does a stunning job narrating this one. He really brings London to life. The slang and accent isn’t forced (I don’t know the guy from Adam, but I’d guess he’s a native). He gives Peter Grant a really unique voice, and manages to make an already incredibly entertaining story even more entertaining. Seriously, I listen to these books (and will continue to work through the series) as much for the books themselves, as to hear Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s fantastic narration of them.
The Stand – Stephen King
Narrated by Grover Gardner
I’m not a huge King fan. In fact, I tend to not like his books at all. Except, I love this one. This is the only King book (besides his Dark Tower series) that I’ve read and couldn’t get enough of. I debated on getting it on audible for a while. The debate wasn’t because of the book, but because listening to it is a serious investment. It takes about 48 hours to get through this book, but let me assure you, every hour is worth it. Grover Gardner has an interesting voice. It’s deep and rich, and he can’t really do unique voices well just because of his voice, but that’s okay. In fact, I preferred it that way. It was easier for me to focus on the story. He is easy to listen to, and really brings the story to life. I enjoyed reading the book, and yes, listening to it takes A LONG TIME, but I think I actually enjoyed listening to it more, mostly due to Gardner’s narrating skills.
Leviathan Wakes – James S.A. Corey
Narrated by Jefferson Mays
I just finished this one today. It’s a re-read after reading this book when it was first released. This one was recommended to me by Patrick Hester, and I’m glad I took a chance on it. Jefferson Mays does an interesting job narrating. I think people will either love his style or hate it. He really, really doesn’t waste time on voices or stylistic differences at all. Well, sometimes he tries, but really not much. He just reads the book, and does his best job trying to make his reading of it easy to listen to. I had to get used to that at first, but then I learned that I really liked it. I liked not getting distracted by different voices and different styles. I liked his easy cadence, and the fact that he focused on reading rather than entertaining allowed me to absorb a lot of the details I either missed (or forgot about) from when I read it before. In fact, I started another audiobook today and the narrator is doing all sorts of different character voices, and I find it so distracting I almost feel like listening to Leviathan Wakes again.
Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by MacLeod Andrews
I got this book because it was on sale. Period. I have almost no interest in comics at all, and even less interest in young adult protagonists out to save the world (or city). However, it took about two minutes flat for me to realize that MacLeod Andrews was born to read this book. He took a story that I’d probably not read the whole way through (seriously, I probably would have returned this to the library after a chapter because I just don’t jive with this kind of story) and made me absolutely, completely addicted. He entertained the hell out of me, and absolutely brought this story to life. In fact, I’m anxious to listen to the next book in the series because of his skills with the first. MacLeod Andrews made me love a book I’m pretty sure I would have tried to hate, thus, he is amazing.
So there you have it, readers. There’s my Top Five (so far).
Please add some to my list.