If you’re not used to listening to Audiobooks, it can be hard to get into them.
When I listened to my first book, I wasn’t all that impressed. In fact, I thought to myself, “How do people do this?” But the more I listened, the more I found what worked for me and my brain.
When I first started using audiobooks I could only listen to non-fiction. Fiction required too much attention to be worth it. If I zoned out for two seconds, the story would be lost on me.
Now that I’ve honed my listening skills, I do listen to fiction. However, I don’t choose literary fiction. I try to pick more genre-centric fiction because I’ve realized the pacing is different (usually faster), which makes it easier to keep the mind from wandering.
But no one can listen to a great book if the narrator sounds like a robot. I’ve suffered through a few just because I’d already managed to listen to a few chapters before the voice started being too much for me.
So here are some books that are worth the listen:
My all-time favorite audiobook is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, narrated by Dan Stevens. Stevens narration is the best I’ve come across so far. He makes the story come alive.
Since I spent most of my time listening to non-fiction, I was able to listen to books I would have never made the time to read..It also means most of my recommendations will be non-fiction. These are the ones that will stay with you long after the end:
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, narrated by Scott Brick.
“On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.”
Denali’s Howl by Andy Hall, narrated by Jim Manchester.
“In 1967, twelve young men attempted to climb Alaska’s Mount McKinley—known to the locals as Denali—one of the most popular and deadly mountaineering destinations in the world. Only five survived.”
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe, narrated by Matthew Blaney.
This is not only a favorite audiobook – it’s become one of my favorite books in general.
“Patrick Radden Keefe writes an intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions.”
When the Air Hits Your Brain by Frank T. Vertosick Jr. MD, narrated by Kirby Heyborne.
“Dr. Vertosick chronicles his remarkable evolution from naive young intern to world-class neurosurgeon, where he faced, among other challenges, a six week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22 caliber bullet lodged in his skull.”
And now here’s a few for fiction:
Pines by Blake Crouch, narrated by Paul Michael Garcia.
This is the first in the Wayward Pines Trilogy. I first discovered the world of Wayward Pines through the TV show on FOX. When I found out it was based on novels, I knew I had to read them. I knew I would never make the time if I just bought the book, so I took a chance and got the audiobook. I’ve listened to the whole trilogy and it’s awesome. It’s the series that helped me start being more comfortable listening to fiction.
“Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America–or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but sometimes feels…off. As days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers”
Bluff by Michael Kardos, Narrated by Julia Whelan.
“At twenty-seven, magician Natalie Webb is already a has-been. A card-trick prodigy, she started touring at seventeen, took first place at the World of Magic competition at eighteen, and never reached such heights again. Shunned by the magic world after a disastrous liaison with an older magician, she now lives alone with her pigeons and a pile of overdue bills in a New Jersey apartment. In a desperate ploy to make extra cash, she follows up on an old offer to write a feature magazine article―on the art of cheating at cards.”
The coolest thing about audiobooks is that it’s opened my mind to books that I would have never wanted to read. If someone had put Bluff in front of me I would have just said it wasn’t my type of book. But prejudices about certain books tend to go away when you’re looking for a story to keep your attention.
What do you think?
Recommend me your favorite audiobooks! I’m currently listening to the Narnia collection and I need a break.