Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.
Image: Audiobook Week 2011 Button

It’s Audiobook Week!!! Envisioned and implemented last year by Jen from Devourer of Books, it is a time to celebrate our love of audiobooks and share it with others. Jen has some exciting events planned this week, along with a fabulous list of prizes, so you definitely need to head on over and check out all the fun. In the meantime, I’ll be gushing about them all week, sharing some of the things I have learned over the past year and trying to get you all to try them.

Last year, during the first Audiobook Week, I was a relative newbie to this particular medium. I had only listened to two or three and liked them a lot but had not become too fanatic about listening. That has definitely changed. Whether it is due to the novels to which I have been listening, the narrators, my openness to find new ways to enjoy novels or a combination of all three, I am completely in love with audiobooks. I listen to them at work and while driving alone, and that has made all the difference in whether I have a good day or not. It also is a great way to speed through the chunksters that are the Outlander series. A 48-hour audiobook is suddenly a lot more tolerable when one listens for five or six hours a day.

In the past year, I have found which novels work well for me on audio (those that do not require much effort or thinking) and those that don’t (those that require too much concentration). I have my favorite narrators – hello Bronson Pinchot and James Marsters! I have even felt comfortable putting aside an audiobook that does not work well for me. While I will never set aside a novel in print, I am not about to spend my day listening to a book where the narrator drives me insane. I did that once last year and realized that my irritation over the narrator was making me cranky. I vowed never to put myself through that again; it just isn’t worth it.

My favorite audio in the past year has to be Tina Fey’s Bossypants. I laughed until I cried, and since I was at work, it was all done silently. Choking down laughter and tears hurts quite a bit, but it was so worth it. Ms. Fey is an effortless narrator, and the memoir itself is absolutely hilarious. I highly recommend it to anyone who may be concerned about trying an audio.

I have found that I am sticking with series when it comes to audiobooks. The Harry Dresden series, the Thursday Next series, and the Outlander series are series I am working my way through via audio. James Marsters, as the narrator for the Harry Dresden novels, is amazing and pure auditory bliss. Davina Porter makes the 800 to 1,000+ page Outlander novels worthwhile with her mastery of the various accents. A good narrator makes all the difference, as can the right story when it comes to being able to concentrate and enjoy listening versus reading. When you get the right combination, it is a wonderful way to fill the silence while working.

Do you listen to audiobooks? What are your impressions? Any must-listen novels topping your list right now?

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