Daily Archives: June 26, 2012
Today’s topic is reviewing audiobooks. Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?
Since this is only my second year listening and reviewing audiobooks, there are many more experienced bloggers better equipped to address this topic. But, there are some things I look for in audiobook reviews to help me make a decision whether to listen or not, and I strive to hit these points in my reviews as well. I’ve listened to about 50 audiobooks so far and am getting a feel for what works for me with audiobooks and with that experience I’m starting to get a little more comfortable with my reviews. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s opinion on this topic and hopefully will come out of it a better reviewer.
Just a few things I look for in audiobook reviews:
1. The Basics – Name of the title, author, and narrator, and running time. A short summary about the book is helpful too. I try to write my own book summary and keep the spoilers to a minimum.
2. The Narrator – This is honestly what I want to read about most in audiobook reviews. Is the audiobook multi-voiced or does it have a single narrator, does the narrator use different voices for each character, and is the voice appropriate to the character and style of the book? How is the narrator’s reading pace, are there any awkward pauses or anything else that stands out with the narration? Sometimes I find there’s not much to comment on regarding the narration, so even a short sentence or two is fine.
3. Book vs. Audio – Why seek out this book in audio format – what special quality can you get from the audio vs. the book? Did this audiobook make you want to go out of your way to keep listening? (Do more housework/gardening/drive the long way home) Or was the audiobook a struggle to get through? Even though I love audiobooks, sometimes the audiobook doesn’t do the book any favors, so you may suggest picking up the book instead.
4. Personality – Like reviewing a book, share your experience with the audiobook and what worked and didn’t work for you personally in your own style.
5. Sound Quality & Special Effects – Are there any special effects or music in the audiobook – did they enhance or detract from the book? Any technical issues stand out for you?
What do you look for in audiobook reviews?
Audiobook week happenings for today at The Reading Date:
Audiobook review: Bossypants by Tina Fey.
Audiobook Giveaway of two best selling thrillers: Stolen Prey and The Storm. Giveaway ends June 28th.
Audiobook Info: Memoir/Humor,, Audio length: 5.5 hours, Read by the author.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
I have been eager to listen to Bossypants by Tina Fey for ages, but had a hard time tracking it down at the library. The book format just would not do – I had heard too many good things about the audiobook. Finally I found a copy, and it came just at a time when I needed a little more laughter in my life.
Since I’m very late to the Bossypants bandwagon I’m not going to summarize the book too much. Tina Fey uses self-deprecating humor to talk about her life in entertainment and her experience as a wife and mother. Her stories are very amusing and at some points even laugh out loud funny. She talks about her upbringing and also her experiences as a woman in comedy and being the boss on 30 Rock. And though I was most interested to hear Fey talk about her career and SNL horror stories, what I ended up liking the most were her personal observations about beauty, weight, if she’s going to have another baby (she did!) and her experience as a cover girl.
I always like when authors narrate their own memoirs, and especially when the author is as witty as Tina Fey. Fey has a conversational tone and speaks at a pleasant, brisk pace. She does sometimes make a reference to the fact that you are listening to an audiobook and I always wondered if she was ad-libbing at all. Her voice trails off at times in her reading, but for the most part I thought she did a great job with the narration. Since I listened to a library copy I did not have access to the PDF that Fey refers to many times, and I’m tempted to check out the print copy sometime to see the photos I missed.
The audiobook is broken up into short segments on different topics ranging from Sarah Palin to 30 Rock to balancing work and motherhood. She gives props to her famous co-workers including Alec Baldwin and Amy Poehler, and also to the writers on 30 Rock, including favorite lines and episodes. The book is well balanced between personal and career highlights, and the only topic I wished she touched more on is her experience making Mean Girls.
Bossypants is an inspiring and humorous audiobook, and worth the wait. It is one I made time to listen to. Oh, by the way I listened to Bossypants in the Playaway format, which is a first for me. A Playaway is an all in one audiobook/mp3 player, and you supply the battery and earphones to listen. It is a pretty great format but I haven’t seen them around too often. Give one a try sometime! At just over 5 hours long, Bossypants is a quick and enjoyable listen, perfect for fans of memoirs, humor and of course, Tina Fey.