Friday, January 2, 2009

It's Been An Audio Year

For the past few months, I haven't had any time to read. I can probably count the number of books I've finished on one hand. Wow. That's just nuts when my TBR pile continues to grow to monstrous proportions!

Anywho -- I've been listening to a ton of books on audio, so I thought I'd do a brief rundown of the ones I've listened to -- and would recommend.

The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling -- all seven. Jim Dale narrates and does a FANTASTIC job. I became completely enchanted with the series all over again. Even if you've read them, go out and get the discs. I promise you'll enjoy them.

The Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer -- all four. I have to admit, it was a real struggle to get through the first two books. Not sure why. I think it's a combination of the story dragging a bit and the narrator. She doesn't do voices, so everyone sounds the same. After 10-15 hours of it, it tended to get a bit old. For whatever reason, it wasn't a problem in the second two books -- which also added a male narrator for Jacob. His voice was pretty cool and I tended to think of Jacob as more of an adult because of it.

The Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich -- all fourteen. I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed these books. The voices, while a bit spotty at times(there are two different narrators for this series -- at least at my library) are HILARIOUS -- especially some of the secondary characters. I laughed out loud a gazillion times, making my co-workers raise a few brows in my direction. I will tell you this -- the voices get better the further into the series you go. I didn't know if I could listen to these based on the first book, but I gutted my way through and really enjoyed them. The comic timing when they're read is just 'em.

The Host by Stephenie Meyers -- I thought this book was great on audio. The narrator has this airy, clipped tone that sounds how you'd think an alien would sound. (g) I greatly enjoyed it.

The Outlander Books by Diana Gabaldon -- the first three (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Voyager). The narrator of these books is fantastic -- and of course, the story is great. I haven't continued in the series yet -- mostly because it's quite a time committment when you listen to one. I think Drums runs over 40 yeah, I'm working my way up to it again. :) Very enjoyable, tho.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -- I blogged about this a couple of weeks ago. Go. Get it. Now. It's fantastic. The narrator is one of the best I've listened to.

The Firm by John Grisham -- I've never read a Grisham. Shocker, I know. I've seen several movies -- including this one -- and even own at least a half dozen of his novels. Alas, this was my first read/listen. It was good -- not great, but a solid listen. I thought the ending to the movie was much better. :)

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton -- This was an okay book. It was hard to follow in parts, but I blame that on the media and my tendency to lose track of what's going on in a book I haven't read before. All in all, I would probably listen to another, though they probably wouldn't be first on my list.

Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson -- Anne Heche narrated this book, and she's got a great voice for it. I found the book a little sickly sweet, but he always manages to get a few tears out of me -- no matter how hard I fight them. (g) It's a short book -- 4-5 hours tops, so if you want a little sentimental listen, this is the book for you.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova -- I started this book a while back and got sidetracked mid-way through it. I'm about 4/5ths of the way through it right now and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It has a male and a female narrator. The man is solid, but the female narrator is EXCELLENT. She does fantastic accents. I will say it's a little hard to follow in this format, but I'm still managing to get the gist of what's going on.

So yeah....34 books in the past 4 months or so. I'd say I'm getting my fill of literature despite cracking only a handful of "actual" books. (g)

Next in the queue:

The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
1st to Die by James Patterson
The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon


Hélène Boudreau said...

I'm listening to 'The Book Thief' right now (the narrator is sooo good) and also listened to the first three of the Twilight series (good) and read the fourth (bleh), plus the first Harry Potter (must get the others), The Life of Pi, A Wrinkle in Time, The Bridge to Teribithia...I'm sure there are more.

I'm like you, time is tight, so listening to audio books during my power walks is a great way to get my 'reading' in.

I LURVE audio books.

Happy New Year, Jen!

Jennifer Hendren said...


YAY for the Book Thief!!!:) He's sooooo good -- agreed.(g)

Oh, A Wrinkle in Time and Teribithia!! I must see if my library has those. :)

I never thought I would be able to work and listen, but I find it actually helps me stay on task -- with music I tend to want to sing along, so that quickly turns into a disaster. LOL.

Yay audio books! You'll have to let me know what other good ones you come across.

Happy New Year to you, too!


Tara Parker said...


"A is for Alibi" was one of the first mystery-with-a-snarky-heroine books I ever read and I managed to get through to "M".

Once I discovered Stephanie Plum, I never went back to Kinsey.

Jennifer Hendren said...


Huh--maybe that's what I found off about the book. It wasn't SP and I WANTED it to be. (g) Oh well -- I'll probably try another one -- if it still doesn't hook me, it will be time to move on.


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