As winter reaches its zenith (we hope- it’s a million below zero this morning) and I realize I really need to add more activity to my life, my listening hours increase. I use audiobooks as reward for working out- I always go extra on the rower if there’s a great scene I want to finish before heading off to my day. I listen while doing a puzzle (6000 pieces, what was I thinking??). I listen while crafting gifts for family and friends. Audiobooks make life that much more fun- especially when I need to be not sitting my butt in a chair too much, as much as I love that, too.
I just finished listening to Those Who Wait by Haley Cass. 20 hours of intense chemistry read by Lori Prince. Definitely cause for extra time on the rower. Charlotte and Sutton come to life in 3D, the ups and downs of their relationship make for an intense book. I am usually not into angst, but this book has the angst I can stand. They work through their relationship together, bringing the reader along. Though long, it is not a slow burn, heating up the pages from early on and working through how to have a relationship under circumstances which are far from ideal.
Another long one which is an absolute favorite of mine, both for the book and the narrator is Jericho by Ann McMan and read by Christine Williams (who could read me the driest of instruction manuals and I would listen). This is also a 20 hour listen and a delightfully slow burn. As with Those Who Wait, there is a cast of secondary characters who enliven the book even more. Jericho is both touching and funny, making you laugh at one moment and smile for the sweetness at the next.
Some authors and narrators just go together really well- like Ann McMan and Christine Williams. I really love the way Brittni Pope reads Kris Bryant’s books. Taste gets a frequent workout in my ears. It was the book that hooked me on Bryant’s work and the audiobook hooked me on Pope’s voice. There’s food and a cute kid and great chemistry.
Two books that I mention every time someone says “what are your favorite listens?”: Angela Dawe reading Lee Winter’s Breaking Character. The book is already tied for favorite Lee Winter book (with Requiem for Immortals) and Dawe brings the characters to life exactly as I had imagined them from reading. Summer’s sweetness and Elizabeth’s coolness come to life vibrantly. The other is Georgia Beers reading her book Starting From Scratch. It’s a gift when an author has the voice talent to read their own work. Whenever I need to feel happy, I go on the journey with Avery interpreted as the author intended. Elena is one of the hottest characters I have ever read (right up there with Robyn from And Playing the Role of Herself). Steve the dog is hilarious and Max is the cutest kid ever.
As with everything, sometimes you don’t gel with the narrators, and sometimes the narrator reads the story in such a way that you connect with it even more than when reading it on your own. If you haven’t tried an audiobook, I recommend starting with a book that is new to you, rather than an old favorite. And listen to the clip to make sure the narrator’s voice is one you can stand. I narrate (list below if you want to listen to those) and my youngest kid can’t believe anyone would want to listen to my voice. Of course, she sounds just like me, so…
If you want my voice reading to you- all on Audible:
In Development by Rachel Spangler https://www.audible.com/pd/B07N142ZL4/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-140423&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140423_pd_us
Close to Home by Rachel Spangler https://www.audible.com/pd/B07Z3KRCX6/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-167886&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_167886_pd_us
Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler (coming soon!)
Fire and Ice by Rachel Spangler https://www.audible.com/pd/B0856WGZFS/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-183814&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_183814_pd_us
When the Stars Sang by Caren Werlinger https://www.audible.com/pd/B07TKMWNFT/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWU-BK-ACX0-156289&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_156289_pd_us
Invisible, as Music by Caren Werlinger https://www.audible.com/pd/Invisible-as-Music-Audiobook/B08DBZ6Z1K?source_code=GPAGBSH0508140001&ipRedirectOverride=true&ds_rl=1257028&ds_rl=1260658&ds_rl=1258208&gclid=Cj0KCQiAmfmABhCHARIsACwPRACFhyH_-3x16oVMnpFMDdl6qPZSwp2f6bWmpyZ8NeXOc4yT6POH-XwaAjVXEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
Face the Wind by Caren Werlinger (coming in summer 2021)
The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Companion-Audiobook/1799749630?source_code=GPAGBSH0508140001&ipRedirectOverride=true&ds_rl=1257028&ds_rl=1260658&ds_rl=1258208&gclid=Cj0KCQiAmfmABhCHARIsACwPRAAFYMFTsSTvt2xHmhEh3ir40Vme1ZDY59-emHnfrWNDbMyb402wGekaAsBMEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds