Friday, March 30, 2012

Audiophilia: Who would narrate my audiobook?

I've been listening to a lot more books than usual this year, due to the fact that many digital books appear in my library as audiobooks far before they make their debut as Kindle ebooks. Some of them I absolutely loved as audiobooks. Others were much more "meh" or even "ugh" and I'm trying to figure out why. Maybe it was my mood/busyness level ... maybe it was the narration style ... maybe the story would be better read than read aloud ... maybe the book just wasn't my cup of tea.

With audiobooks there are just so many more variables. I might really love a novel, but find myself walking away from the audiobook yawning or just plain irritated. I've learned several important things about myself so far in this audiobook sojourn: 

(1) I'm not as good at multi-tasking as I think I am

Audiobooks + [vacuuming] and/or [dishes] and/or [emailing] and/or [blog updates] and/or [facebook] .... all these things sound good in theory, but inevitably I catch myself about every 15 minutes thinking: Crap. What just happened in the story?

(2) Making a cup of tea takes a really long time

You can't really speed up boiling water or steeping. So it's either running back and forth from audiobook room to kitchen, or balancing laptop on arm while making tea (not recommended).

(3) Highly dramatized readings are dangerous to my laptop's health

I've discovered that I really really really can't stand it when the narration gets hyper-emotional. Thankfully the largest object that has been thrown at Lappy to date is a pillow.

To date (minus a few randos years ago), I'm now
15 audiobooks in. I've uncovered 7 yays, 5 mehs and 3 ughs!  And I have a serious addiction to Julia Whelan's readings. I think she could read my "Policy Responses to Social Exclusion" textbook and I'd be fascinated. Hmm .... now there's an idea! I wonder if she'd consider it ...

What about you? Do you love audiobooks? Hate them? Who would you like to narrate your novel?


Partials by Dan Wells
Audiobook Yays!

CINDER - Marissa Meyer   
(read by Rebecca Soler)
FORGOTTEN - Cat Patrick   (read by Julia Whelan)
LEGEND - Marie Lu    (read by Mariel Stern)
PARTIALS - Dan Wells  (read by Julia Whelan)
STARTERS - Lissa Price   (read by Rebecca Lowman)
STORK - Wendy Delsol   (read by Julia Whelan)
TEMPEST - Julie Cross   (read by Matthew Brown)

Under the Never Sky by Veronica RossiAudiobook 'Mehs'
Possible causes: lack of sleep, leaf-blowers, failed attempts at multi-tasking?

A LONG LONG SLEEP - Anna Sheehan   
(read by Angela Dawe)
I CAPTURE THE CASTLE - Dodie Smith   (read by Emilia Fox)
RUBY RED - Kerstin Gier   (read by Marisa Calin)
THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE - Jeff Hirsch   (read by Dan Bittner)
Shatter Me by Tahereh MafiUNDER THE NEVER SKY - Veronica Rossi    (read by Bernadette Dunne)

Audiobook 'Ughs'

Possible causes: bad mood, over-emotional narration, personality conflict, improperly brewed tea?

A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA - Ursula K. Le Guin (read by Harlan Ellison)

HEREAFTER - Tara Hudson   (read by Emily Eiden)
SHATTER ME - Tahereh Mafi   (read by Kate Simses)

YA Audiobook Addict has a great blog dedicated to  audiobook recommendations. Reading Teen also has an awesome page for this. 
Check them out!


  1. I'm personally not a huge audiobook fan. I will listen to them if I already know the book, but I think the writer intends the words to be read. At least when I write, I try to play with the pace of sentences so that the reader reads them quicky, races through them even, at the suspenseful parts, and slows at the parts meant to be slow. I feel like you can't get that in an audiobook.

  2. I used to listen to audiobooks when I drove long distances but I quickly grew bored. I never did listen to them at home.

  3. I listen to audiobooks during certain tasks at work. My favorite YA reader is the girl who does the Paranormalcy books. She is perfect for Evie (Evy? I don't know because it's an audiobook). My favorite adult reader is James Marsters for the Dresden Files. My favorite audiobooks in general, though, are the full-cast audio ones. They make a huge difference (compared to the same person reading different characters' voices)

  4. i think all my favorite audiobooks were read by the authors themselves (malcolm gladwell, bill bryson, elizabeth gilbert, etc). maybe YOU should do it yourself!

  5. Tam! I didn't realize you started a blog! Very excited to see what you post. New follower!

    You know Rob and I had plans to start a sustainability focused one too. Never did get around to it, but one day we will!



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