Top Ten (lol) Audiobook Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is really timely, since I’m getting back into audiobooks after a six month hiatus. I’m almost done with the first one I’ve listened to since March. Woo! I forgot how nice it was to audiobook while I get ready for the day and drive around. πŸ™‚

Audio Tips

Whether you’re new to audiobooks or maybe just trying to get more into them, I have some tips that might prove helpful. Audiobooks are most popular for long commutes, and they’re definitely great in the car. I actually get most of my audiobook listening done while performing chores (scooping the cat box or washing dishes, for example), getting ready for bed, or performing my morning routine. Basically, any time that you’re alone and performing an activity that doesn’t require reading, consider turning on an audiobook so that time away from reading can now be reading time.

gif-chores-incredibles

My other top tip for audiobooks is to be picky as hell. When I choose audiobooks, I use Audible’s samples heavily. Check out the narrator’s voice and cadence and see if it works for you. Some of the most popular audiobook narrators really don’t work for me (see The Raven Cycle, for example), and that’s fine. A narrator that doesn’t work for you can totally poison a story; if you don’t like the narrator, wait and read that title in print. If I’m not into the narration, I often find I struggle to focus on the story at all, so it’s really best to know what you like and do that.

My Top Recommendations

As I mentioned above, my audiobook tastes don’t necessarily always seem to align with what’s popular. My favorites are those with British narrators, multiple narrators (for multiple POVs), and celebrity narration. All of these are the combination of an amazing story with fabulous narration. They’re so good you’ll find yourself wanting to do chores just to get more reading time. πŸ˜‰

The Graveyard Book/Stardust/Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman

Stardust - Neil Gaiman gift ed. Audio
Fortunately, the Milk - Neil Gaiman

Remember how I’m a total sucker for British narration? Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard book was my second audiobook ever (my first attempt when I was a kid and they were new and on cassette tapes left me with no interest) and required for class. It was a shame to miss out on the illustrations but also totally worth it. Gaiman’s a fantastic narrator, and audiobook tends to be my favorite format for his stuff.

Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan

While I’m sure the whole series is fantastic, I switched to the print book after book one because I had a print ARC of Behemoth and an eARC of Goliath. Alan Cumming narrates this trilogy and he does amazing British and German accents, so it’s basically perfection. You might also want the print copies from the library to check out the illustrations. I may reread these on audiobook someday bc of how seriously amazing they are.

Better Nate Than Ever/Five, Six, Seven, Nate! – Tim Federle

Better Nate Than Ever - Tim Federle
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! - Tim Federle

Author-narrated audiobooks are up there with celebrity narration in theory, because who could possibly know the stories and characters better than their creator? However, not every author has a voice made for radio. Federle, however, is brilliant. I’ll probably listen to every book he writes just because he’s too fabulous at narrating them for me to give that up for the print book. And, obviously, these books are hilarious and adorable too.

Golden Boy – Abigail Tarttelin

Golden Boy - Abigail Tarttelin

Told from multiple POVs, with a remarkably well-cast narrator per POV, Golden Boy will wreck your emotions. The main character, Max, is intersex, and I really don’t want to tell you about what’s going on because damn is this book an experience if you go in knowing nothing. Be warned though that the opening scene will be massively intense. If you’re worried about triggers, this book may not be for you, but it’s a beautiful read and very much recommended for people who love books that make them feel deeply.

Dairy Queen/The Off Season/Front and Center – Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Dairy Queen - Catherine Gilbert Murdock
The Off Season - Catherine Gilbert Murdock

The Dairy Queen trilogy takes place in Wisconsin and the narrator, Natalie Moore, does the accent. It’s so adorable and it really adds to the character. I definitely would not have been able to hear that accent in my head. I also didn’t love the writing when I’d tried it in print a few years before, but on audiobook everything was perfect.

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

There’s no doubt I would have liked this story in print too, but the narration matches so incredibly perfectly. What I love about audiobooks is how much more alive they can make the characters, and Don Tillman felt so very very real.

The Screaming Staircase – Jonathan Stroud

The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud

Fair warning: this audiobook is amazing, but this series is plagued by narrator changes. The first book’s the best one, thus far, though I’ve stuck with the audiobooks and I do still like them. This alternate paranormal England is so cool, and I just really loved Miranda Raison’s narration. Too bad she didn’t stick around (for whatever reason).

When I Was the Greatest/The Boy in the Black Suit – Jason Reynolds

When I Was the Greatest - Jason Reynolds
The Boy in the Black Suit - Jason Reynolds

To be very clear, these books are not a series. However, I audiobooked both, and they’re both amazingly cast. I’m sure they’re amazing in print, but, after getting an audiobook of When I Was the Greatest, I’ll probably audio all of Reynolds’ books, unless one doesn’t get an audiobook just because I tend to stick to a format.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

Back in high school, I tried to read Perks and really hated the writing. In trying again, an audiobook was the perfect choice, and I loved the story in this format. Be careful, though, because there are multiple editions. I loved the narrator I listened to but hated the sample of the other. Could be opposite for you but make sure that you check out both and grab the one you prefer.

Soulless – Gail Carriger

Soulless - Gail Carriger

Here, I have another caveat. I did listen to the whole series, and the narrator doesn’t change (though a pronunciation does between books one and two for no reason whatsoever #editing fail). Emily Gray’s consistently amazing, so for narration alone the whole series would be on this list. However, I hated a major plot point in book two, and that colored my enjoyment for the series as a whole. I’d definitely recommend Soulless, but I’m a bit less sure about the rest. Soulless can standalone pretty well though.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet – Bernie Su & Kate Rorick

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet audiobook

Rare for me, but I’ve actually read this book in print and in audio, since I couldn’t wait for the audiobook to read it. It’s super excellent both ways, but I will always love the audiobook more because IT IS LIZZIE. I’ve yet to listen to the companion, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet, though I did purchase, but I’m sure I’ll feel the same.

One Plus One – Jojo Moyes

One Plus One - Jojo Moyes

British narration for the win again! One Plus One has four POVs and four perfectly cast narrators. It’s an adorable story of romance and family and nerdiness.

Virgin – Radhika Sanghani

Virgin - Radhika Sanghani

I’d been on the fence about Virgin, but the audiobook had a British narrator, so you bet I tried it. This book is HILARIOUS, though you will probably do some blushing as you listen unless you’re really calm about frank discussions of sex. Faye Adele’s narration is on point.

Like No Other/Don’t Fail Me Now – Una LaMarche

Like No Other - Una LaMarche
Don't Fail Me Now - Una LaMarche

Both of these standalones were fun reads last year. They’re a bit heavier than my usual contemporary favorites, but the voices are so good. Like No Other has dual narration by the girl and boy involved in a romance. Don’t Fail Me Now is single narration. Both work so very well. Also, diverse af. Both feature interracial couples.

Written in Red/Murder of Crows/Vision in Silver/Marked in Flesh –Β  Anne Bishop

Written in Red - Anne Bishop
Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop

Ending here because Bishop’s The Others series is probably my favorite audiobook series. They’re not perfect (a pronunciation changes after book oneβ€”and it was right the first time) and they’re long, but I really love Alexandra Harris’ work on this series. I think it’s that she gets Meg, cinnamon roll extraordinaire, so freaking perfect. Also, SHIP. This series will be completing in March so now is a GREAT TIME TO CATCH UP.

If you want more recommendations, here are some more of my favorite listens.

One response to “Top Ten (lol) Audiobook Recommendations”

  1. Carriger’s books WERE fantastic audiobooks, I almost forgot I listened to those. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet was also fantastic. And yes.. I really need to catch up on The Others series. So many more recs though I need to check out. πŸ˜€
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