In my last post, I discussed the benefits and challenges of listening to audiobooks, and ways to make them work for you.
Although I suggested that children’s literature is most successful in audio, I’ve had success in multiple genres. Here are a few recommendations for audiobooks. Not only did the audio versions of these books really hold my attention, but in most cases, I felt that the audio really brought something special to the book.
Adult Fiction (Light): The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I thought The Help was soap-opera-y, and in book form, that would probably have been irritating. In audio, though, the combination of humor and drama along with its episodic format held my attention as I listened on my daily commute over three weeks.
Adult Fiction (Serious): The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. This is a great example of how a more thoughtful, character-driven book can still make for great listening. I finished this book with tears streaming down my face somewhere on the eastern leg of I-64.
Mystery: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall. I think anyone who is interested in this series should listen to at least one of its books on audio. The lyrical narration of Mma Ramotswe, performed by a South African native, adds to the overall picture of Botswana. Plus, the books are just plain fun.
YA Fantasy: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson. This is an example of a book that should have been handicapped by audio, because it was about magical drawings. However, the audio descriptions were effective and other elements of the book, like its amazing world-building, helped too. I actually enjoyed coming up with my own mental image of the rithmatists’ drawings, similar to how print books allow you to develop your own voice and image for the characters.
Readers: What audio books have you enjoyed?