How long have you been listening to audiobooks?
When I was little kid I had a bunch of books that came with records (yes, actual vinyl – I’m old). The idea was you played the record and read along in the book. There would be a chime on the recording to tell you when to turn the page if you couldn’t read yet. Eventually the technology moved on to cassettes. I listened to those endlessly.
I remember getting books on CD from the library back when cars had CD players in them. So I guess I’ve been listening to audiobooks in a bunch of formats for most of my life.
When do you listen to audiobooks?
I listen mostly when I’m driving. I also listen in my car during my lunch break. I never listen to the radio. It is always an audiobook or a podcast.
I also listen a lot when I’m sewing. If I’m walking with just my dog I listen to audiobooks too.
The husband and I listen to audiobooks when we are working on jigsaw puzzles.
How do you listen – what app/device?
I mostly use Libby to find books from my library. I’m a mood reader so I browse what they have available. I have Audible if there is a book I want but the library doesn’t have.
Do you have a favourite narrator?
My goal with audiobooks is not to notice the narrator. If I’m thinking about what the narrator is doing, I’m too distracted to pay attention to the story. Most of the time I don’t know who the narrator was. The exception to that is if the narrator is an actor. I love James Marsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He narrates The Dresden Files and I love his narration on those. I like Wil Wheaton too. Phillipa Soo of Hamilton fame did a great job on Lily Chu’s books. Looking those books up I realized there is a new one that I haven’t heard yet. They are free if you have an Audible subscription.
What was the last audiobook you finished?
I reviewed A Fever in the Heartland yesterday. It was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend this one.
What is your current listen?
I actually have three audiobooks in progress right now.
My audiobooks tend to be either nonfiction or urban fantasy. Right now my Libby apps on my phone and iPad aren’t synchronizing so I have a different book going on each device.
I’m listening to Cheech Marin’s memoir in the car. I’m listening to a book about political extremism in the evangelical church while sewing. The husband and I are listening to a lot of Kelley Armstrong books.
What do you think you’ll listen to next?
I have a lot of audiobooks on hold from the library that show up in my app. I decide at the time if I’m going to have time to listen to them now or if I should have them delivered later. I think the next one that is going to show up again is a book about Siskel and Ebert. I also have Kelley Armstrong’s first Otherworld novel, Bitten ready for puzzle time when we finish the current one we are listening to. I also downloaded a new Lily Chu book while writing this post.
Is there an audiobook you haven’t got on with?
Oh, tons. Usually it is a narrator issue. If the voice doesn’t fit the story I can’t listen. Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series was one I loved to read so I tried it on audio. There is a talking dog in that series. The narrator used this horrible, slurpy voice for the dog. It made my skin crawl. I couldn’t listen.
Other times I decide that is a subject that would work better for me if I’m reading instead of listening. Sometimes that’s because of the pacing of the story or if there is a lot of description that slows down the plot when it is read out loud. I’m picky.
What’s your favourite audiobook so far this year?
Besides A Fever in the Heartland, these were really good.
What one audiobook would you recommend to a friend?
My go-to recommendation for nonfiction fans has always been Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King. It has so many “Wait… what?” moments in it. It is a story where the truth is way stranger and worse than fiction. I may need to put A Fever in the Heartland in the same category. It has a lot of the same themes and facts that are quite shocking.
For fiction I was a huge fan of Ready Player One, especially for anyone who remembers the 1980s.