Listening In: My Audiobook Year

Audiobook Week is an annual event hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books. If you love audiobooks or want some audio recommendations be sure to follow all the Audiobook Week discussion posts this week!

2011 is the year I got hooked on audiobooks. Before that, I would listen to audiobooks of some of my favorite books (a great way to become acquainted with audiobooks btw!) but last year something clicked with me and audiobooks and I haven’t looked back.

I listen in while I’m cooking or doing housework or working out, and listening makes those tasks something to look forward to. And I get in more “reading” time then I would have otherwise. When the narrator is just right, audiobooks can’t be beat, and take the book experience to another level.

I’ve also become more adventurous with my reading choices through audiobooks. In addition to YA, I like to listen to memoirs, historical fiction, urban fantasy, and my new favorite humor category.

Over the last year I’ve listened to 35 audiobooks, including 22 year to date. These are some of my favorites by category from the last 12 months:

Humor/Memoir: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, Tough Sh*t by Kevin Smith and my latest listen Bossypants by Tina Fey. All three books are read by the author.

Science Fiction: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton

Historical Fiction: A Good American by Alex George, narrated by Gibson Frazier

YA: Insurgent by Veronica Roth, narrated by Emma Galvin. Gilt by Katherine Longshore, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, narrated by Emily Klein. Cinder by Marissa Meyer, narrated by Rebecca Soler. A Million Suns by Beth Revis, narrated by Tara Carrozza and Lucas Salvagno. And Last Breath by Rachel Caine, narrated by Cynthia Holloway.

Middle Grade: Countdown by Deborah Wiles, narrated by Emma Galvin, and The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman, narrated by Julia Whelan.

What are your favorite audiobooks?


34 thoughts on “Listening In: My Audiobook Year

  1. fishgirl182 says:

    i am a fan of audiobooks. great for car driving and working out. i get to read all the time! 🙂 i am currently listening to ready player one right now and it’s a lot of fun. the one audiobook i always recommend that not many people have heard is city of thieves by david benioff. it’s read by ron perlman (yes, that ron perlman) and he is a great narrator and it’s a really engrossing story. it’s adult fiction and a really great read.

    thanks for sharing your faves!

    1. Lucy says:

      I looked up City of Thieves on audible and it sounds like an excellent audiobook. Thanks for the rec! Glad you are enjoying Ready Player One. And yes, listening to audiobooks does allow you to read all the time 🙂

  2. Thanks for all your recommends. I know you’ve impacted my view on audiobooks & which ones I listen to.

    1. Lucy says:

      Thanks Amy! You have been doing a lot of listening lately and have inspired me to look for more titles too.

  3. VeganYANerds says:

    I love that you’re so into audiobooks and I know I have said it already, but you really make me want to try some! But, my issues is that if I listen to them while driving, cooking or on the treadmill, I won’t really be able to take notes! How do you get around that?

    1. Lucy says:

      The note taking is tricky, Mandee. Sometimes I wish it was easier to go back a few pages or chapters for reference like you can with a book. I jot my notes down later when I’m able to and try not to forget what I want to say 🙂 Hope you get to listen to some of the free sync titles this year. I’d love to know what you think.

      1. VeganYANerds says:

        Thanks hun, I guess I could just try and keep a track of things in my head as I listen! I’ll let you know how I go 🙂

  4. Kristilyn says:

    Great choices — and you’ve read so many in the past year! I just got hooked this year and have read 15 or so … they’re wonderful! Ready Player One was AWESOME, as was Wonder and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I’ve been seeing the audio review for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened on so many blogs lately that I just put it on my Audible wishlist! I like the humour category … or memoirs — Jane Lynch’s Happy Accidents was pretty good!

    1. Lucy says:

      It’s great to see so many new audiobook converts this year! You’ve been listening to some awesome titles, Kristilyn. I definitely want to check out Jane Lynch’s book sometime. I read Wonder, but wish I had been able to listen to the audiobook.

  5. Leslie says:

    I love audiobooks. I’m a self-described audiofiend! Great choices on the favorites. I read Ready Player One as an ARC before the audio came out but I hear it’s fantastic. Since it’s one of my favorite books I’m going to have to do a re-read with the audio.

    1. Lucy says:

      Yes, I hope you do listen to the Ready Player One audiobook. It’s very entertaining. Thanks for turning me on to great audiobooks this year!

  6. Hi Lucy,

    I have to say that I am not a fan of audiobooks, for three reasons:

    There is just something about being ‘read to’ that I have never liked, even as a young child.

    I don’t get along with ear pieces of any description.

    Some of the people they get to narrate the stories, just don’t understand where the nuances and emphases in the speech need to be. I think that the only person who should narrate an audiobook, is the author, as they will know immediately if the wrong messaging is being given.

    I can see that I am in the minority on this subject, but hey! wouldn’t it be boring if we all liked the same thing?


    1. Lucy says:

      Thanks for commenting, Yvonne. Not all audiobooks are created equal, and I’m sorry to hear you’ve had some bad experiences with the format. The right narrator can make all the difference, and I know I rely heavily on blogger reviews for recommendations. I appreciate you letting me know about your experience though, and hey maybe someday the right audiobook will come along to change your mind 🙂

  7. emilysreadingroom says:

    Oh, I’m sure that Between Shades of Gray is amazing on audio. I loved reading that book last year.

    And, to Yvonne, I’d say that I rarely listen with ear pieces. I usually listen in the car with a CD. And, some of the BEST narrators know exactly how to tell a story so that it best reflects the author’s intentions. 🙂

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Emily, Between Shades of Gray is such a powerful and emotional audiobook- it had me tearing up. Hope you get to a chance to listen to it someday.

      I agree with you about audiobook narrators- the right one can really enhance the book experience.

  8. Hey Lucy,

    I have to say you have been one of my Go To blogs for audiobooks this year and I really appreciate it. Every time I am interested in a YA title, I check your blog to see if you’ve read it. I’m bad at leaving comments on a regular basis. but just wanted to know that you definitely are doing good work here, and I look forward to more!

    1. Lucy says:

      Thanks so much, Bob – that means a lot. Your blog is the gold standard for audiobook reviews and I’ve learned about so many great titles from you.

  9. I just discovered audiobooks within the last year and have fallen in love! Will Grayson X2, Ready Player One, and Bossypants are some of my favorites so far. But I haven’t hated anything I’ve tried so far. However, I tend to listen to books I’ve read before or nonfiction titles (science, psychology, and bio/memoir). When I’ve tried to listen to new-to-me fiction, I just didn’t have as much fun with it.

    1. Lucy says:

      You’ve been very lucky with your audiobook choices so far, Melissa! I love all three of the ones you mentioned. And I agree that nonfiction is particularly effective in the audio format. It took me some time before I was comfortable enough with the format to listen to fiction without having read the book first, but now I have no hesitations. Have you read The Help? That’s an excellent full-cast audiobook. And I hear The Night Circus is excellent too.

      1. Both of those are on my list! I also really want to listen to Harry Potter on audio, but the holds lists are SO long for the digital copies at the library.

  10. BermudaOnion says:

    I’ve read several of the books you mentioned but haven’t listened to any of them. I regret not listening to Bossypants or Ready Player One.

    1. Lucy says:

      You can still listen to them even though you’ve read the book 🙂 But I know what you mean, it’s hard to find time to re-read when there are so many books competing for your attention. I waited a long time for the audiobook of Bossypants – for some reason I just had to listen to Tina Fey, but it was worth it.

  11. Kristin T. says:

    I love audio books for the same reasons – I am able to get things done and get in more reading time!

    I tend to listen to mostly fiction, but within the fiction genre, I like women’s fiction, chick lit, historical fiction and thrillers.

    Kristin @ Always With a Book

    1. Lucy says:

      Yes, exactly! Sometimes I don’t have the time to read, but I can always multi-task and listen for awhile.
      Looking forward to getting some fiction recs from your blog. Thanks for commenting, Kristin.

  12. A whole bunch of your favorites are on my Audible wishlist (Ready Player One, Gilt, Between Shades of Gray) which makes me extra excited to read them someday! Thanks for highlighting your favorites!

    1. Lucy says:

      Hope you get a chance to listen to some of those titles soon, Em! Audible is great, and I love their sales. I mostly use the library to check out audiobooks, though. It can be an expensive habit 🙂

  13. We have a lot of overlap in titles we’ve loved! GILT, A GOOD AMERICAN, READY PLAYER ONE, BOSSYPANTS….

  14. Laurie C says:

    I’m finding so many new blogs and it’s just the first day of Audiobook Week 2012! I think everyone who liked Ready Player One on audio should listen to Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, narrated by Jonathan Davis. (If that doesn’t sound too pushy.) The Metaverse from that book is referred to in Ready Player One, and Jonathan Davis’ narration is incredible!

  15. Oh, I sooo want to listen to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened on audio! I’ve heard it’s hilarious! I really enjoy memoirs on audio. My favorite is The Lost Moon by Jim Lovel, also Bossypants by Tina Fey and recently, Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe! Here’s my Audiobook Year post! Happy AudiobookWeek!
    ~ Jen @ A Book and a Latte

  16. sawcat says:

    I love audiobooks for rereading. Its a great way to reread a novel, but not have to give up the time towards a new read. That’s how I started into audiobooks too. Ready Player One was an excellent audiobook, and Gilt was pretty good too.

  17. Another mention for Ready Player One… what am I waiting for?? A Good American is high on my list, too.

  18. I have heard so much about Ready Player One. I haven’t gotten into rereading because I have so many to read. I am currently 1q84 and it is over 46 hours long! AARRGHHH!!

  19. I love that you have such a great selection! I have Ready Player one listed as one of the best of the best as well.

  20. I can’t wait to try Ready Player One.
    Have you tried The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place?

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