Marcia Strykowski

Audio Book Update

I’m a big fan of audio books. I listen to them coming and going from my library job and while waiting for my daughter at the train station. Sure, you can sometimes get distracted in traffic (since paying attention to the road is your main concern, of course 🙂 ) but the beauty of audio books is you can go back a track and catch up on what you may have missed. Other times, when you are able to listen carefully, you’ll be able to hear the rhythm and flow of sentences, the difference in character voices and feel the pacing of the story as a whole. Here are some of my recent ‘reads.’audio collage

I tend to choose a lot of historical fiction titles. As well as the above all being great stories, much of the enjoyment depends on who reads the novel. For example, you can’t go wrong with Sissy Spacek reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” or Reese Witherspoon reading “Go Set a Watchman.” For a special treat, listen to Jacqueline Woodson reading her own “Brown Girl Dreaming.” I’m only partway through “The Nightingale,” but I know I’ll continue to enjoy it because the reader’s voice is wonderful. Whereas “At the Water’s Edge” probably wasn’t one of my favorites. Great setting and concept, but it had a slow start and all it takes is a bit of an odd inflection in the reader’s voice to bring you out of the story. “Divergent,” like “Hunger Games,” keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the discs. And I’d be remiss to leave out the Penderwicks. All four books in the series are read to perfection.
If you click on the below picture of audio books you can learn about these favorites and more from my March 2014 post. How about you? Any favorite audios or novels in general?

audio favorites

34 Comments

  1. Love your list of books although I must admit that I haven’t read or listened to most. I have enjoyed all of Jan Karon’s Mitford Series both in book form and audio. The one that really stands out is Gone With the Wind. I found an audio version and it wasn’t the best recording. I did find a new appreciate and love of the story. I watch the movie several times a year and have read the book numerous times. The audio version gave me a new sense of the images and story. Looking forward to finding a better recording for Gone With the Wind!

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    • Thanks for your thoughts, Joyce! I’ll have to look into Gone With the Wind on audio. I notice on Goodreads there’s a 2009 recording. I wonder if that’s what you listened to. I’ll let you know if I try it or find a better one.

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  2. I like how you mention the pro of being able to “hear the rhythm and flow of sentences.” I haven’t listened to many audio books, but this is something I’m very interested in noticing these days. Thanks for the tip!

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    • Takes careful listening which isn’t always easy to do, but I feel audios often can bring more to the reading experience. If I really like a story, I end up reading it in book form, too.

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  3. I ‘read’ Beautiful Ruins by audio book a while back, and got together with friends for a book club discussion about it. Turns out I had absolutely fallen in love with this book and they had just ‘eh, liked it.’ I totally think it was because of the fact that the audio book was so well done that it made it the book even better!

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  4. clarehelenwelsh

    Since I usually have at least one child in tow, it’s either ‘The Gruffalo’ or ‘The Bear Hunt’ …I don’t mind though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love those books–lots of great audio books out there for young listeners. Good for you for introducing them to your children!

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  5. Thanks for the book recommendations! I’m way behind in my reading. Maybe audio books would help me catch up. 🙂

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    • That’s what I love most about audio books, I’m reading so many more titles than I would be able to fit in otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. mirkabreen

    I don’t have a lot of experience with audio books. But you are so right– it depends so much on who’s voice is on the audio.

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  7. Bette Norton

    Interesting insight into the benefits and enjoyment of audio books. I have never listen to an audio book, but maybe someday I will give it a try! Interesting post! 🙂

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    • Audio books are good for many activities besides driving (especially since a lot of people find them too distracting), such as knitting and coloring.

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  8. It’s strange but I’ve never been able to process audio books as well as printed ones. For short stories yes. Some great recs. Thanks.

    And I love that Edith Wharton wrote in bed. Some day, some day I will make a pilgrimage to a famous author’s home!

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    • It is easy to miss some of the story when listening to audio books. My favorites are often ones I’ve already read in printed form. Thanks for your comments, Vijaya!

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      • Well I think it also comes down to whether you’re an audio learner or a visual learner. Some people absorb things better when they actually actively read the words. Some better when they listen to them spoken out loud. Some do well with both.

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        • Good point. Probably why I like to do both for some books, a way to fill in the blanks. Thanks, Shana!

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  9. You may enjoy reading my book review blog. I wrote one post on “Listening to Literature.” I mentioned my favorite narrators. Your readers may be intrigued to know that some productions and directors of audio books choose more than one narrator. The one I just finished was Jodi Picoult’s “Leaving Time,” which had 4 narrators I did not know although one sounded familiar. Some of my friends only listen to Barbara Rosenblatt.
    http://www.BESTBOOKSBYBETH.com

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    • Thanks, I’ll check it out. Several of the books I talk about in my previous post (link is above) had full cast narration, love those! I don’t always remember the narrators’ names, but I’ll keep an eye out for Barbara Rosenblatt. 🙂

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  10. The covers all look so enticing! I’ve read several of them with The help, The Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society and To kill a Mocking bird being three of my favourites, but several others are on my must read list. Maybe I should change that to my must listen to list. I do enjoy a good audio book but have to admit it is years since I last listed to one. xx

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    • Great choices, Barbara! There’s definitely a more limited time & place factor with audio books, whereas printed books/eBooks work anywhere. I think you’ll enjoy many of these new ones in either form.

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  11. Great list of books 🙂

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  12. I’ve never listened to an audio book. Now you’ve inspired me to do so! I’m currently reading “Wonder” and it is, well wonderful. Thank you for a great post.

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    • So glad you’re enjoying “Wonder.” I’ve just finished reading “Absolutely Almost” by Lisa Graff. The main character, Albie, would be a great friend for Auggie.

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  13. Ashley

    These look like interesting ideas. I like historical fiction, too. Thanks!

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    • Thanks, Ashley. I hope you find some favorite new titles among them!

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  14. I haven’t listened to a story since my last (and only) audio book by Joan Aiken. This is a format that I’m not very at ease with so most likely, I’m not going to listen to another book anytime soon. However, I’ve heard that many people do, like you, Marcia, enjoy audio books very much. My library has got a growing section of audio books so I’m glad there’s a format for everybody to enjoy stories!

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    • I’m glad your library is building up their collection, yes, something for everyone. Thanks for your thoughts on it, Claudine!

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  15. You’ve inspired me Marcia! I’m going to check out what the library has for my long commutes to work 🙂

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    • Great! I hope you find some good ones. As you probably know, most libraries can easily borrow just about any title for you from other libraries. So if you don’t see something you like, tell them what you want. Good luck!

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