Finding Audiobooks

Now that I’ve talked up audiobooks all week and you are dying to get your hands on one, you may be wondering where to begin. Well, aside form the awesome flowchart I posted earlier this week, I have some thoughts for you.

How I Find Them:

I find audiobooks the same way I find print books. I listen to what my wonderfully bookish friends are saying. I think I’ve only taken one audiobook for review, so for the most part I am free to listen to anything at anytime. Which I love. Some of my go-to people for audiobook recommendations:

and of course

And the professionals that I enjoy following on twitter:

Where I Find Them:

Almost all of my audiobooks come from the library. The CDs are pretty expensive and I haven’t given in to an Audible subscription yet, so I get what I can from my local library. Luckily, we have a great library system in Pinellas County and I’ve only been unable to find one or two titles. If you haven’t done so, check our your library’s audiobook selection. You might be surprised.


Last summer, I posted about why I am a genius (i.e., how I mark my place in audiobooks). If you have an iPhone and you listen to audiobooks, you should read it.


Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

How Audiobooks Keep Me In Shape

My general advice to those new to audiobooks is to just keep listening. Over time, your brain will figure out how to interpret them and you will enjoy listening as much as reading. But it does take a little bit of effort at the beginning before you get to the point where you can do the dishes and listen without missing anything.

And now I will tell you where I learned to really enjoy audiobooks. Gather round.

I was new to audiobooks last year but this is the year that they really became a staple in my reading life. It is also the year that I started running. And the two interests have created some kind of synergy that keeps me in physical and intellectual shape. I look forward to my runs because of audiobooks and I read more audiobooks because of running. It is a fantastically rewarding relationship. I listen to audiobooks in the car and while I’m cleaning and when I can’t sleep in the middle of the night, but running is the majority of my audiobook time these days. Two years ago I would have laughed if you told me I would soon be addicted to both running and audiobooks. Now I can’t imagine life without them.

End Story Time.

What about you? Do you listen to audiobooks when you exercise? Are you going to try it now to see if you find similar motivation? Have you found some other task that audiobooks make bearable?


Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

The Little Stranger [Audiobook Review]

The Little StrangerTitle: The Little Stranger
Author: Sarah Waters
Narrator: Simon Vance
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0143144804
Pages: 358
Audio: 15 hours
Year: 2009
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Source: Library
Rating: 2.5/5

My Thoughts:

Ever since Jennifer from The Literate Housewife started raving about him, I have wanted to experience an audiobook narrated by the great Simon Vance. I put a few on hold at the library and The Little Stranger was the first to arrive. Sarah Waters has also been on my list of authors to try and I generally love a good Gothic novel so I was excited to begin.

When Dr. Faraday returns to Hundreds Hall, where his mom once worked as a maid, he becomes endlessly entangled in the lives of the Ayres family. When things start to go wrong – Jib, their the calm dog, attacks a girl, objects move from their normal places, small fires start – Dr. Faraday tries everything to help the family.

Unfortunately, it was not the amazing experience I was hoping for. I thought Vance did a great job with the narration but the story was just too slow for me. It felt like lots of little things were always happening but I kept waiting for more. And at 15 hours, it was a lot of waiting. I can’t really put my finger on what it is that didn’t grab me but something was missing.

I know a lot of other people who loved this book so it may just be me. Have you read it? What did you think?

[Note: I am skipping the “Others’ Thoughts” and “Buy It Now” sections for audiobook week only. They will return soon.]


Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

The Thirteenth Tale [Audiobook Review]

The Thirteenth TaleTitle: The Thirteenth Tale
Author: Diane Setterfield
Narrator: Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 416
Audio: 15.6 hours
Year: 2006
Publisher: Recorded Books
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5

My Thoughts:

I read The Thirteenth Tale a few years ago and fell in love with it. It’s as delicious as those 19th century Gothic novels and full of mystery and suspense. You can read what I had to say about it here.

There were two narrators. One for Margaret and one for Vida Winter. This worked well. I especially liked the narrator for Ms. Winter. She reminded me of the narrator for Rebecca which added to that Gothic feel that I loved so much. As I was running by palm trees and through warm sea air (you really should all be jealous of where I live), I felt like I was in the English moors at wintertime. That’s pretty impressive.

Even though I had read this before, I found myself captivated by the story and eager to listen to it. I highly recommend this audiobook for those who want to reread The Thirteenth Tale and I think it would be a great way to experience the book for the first time as well. But beware, there is an abridged version out there and you don’t want to miss any of this book.

[Note: I am skipping the “Others’ Thoughts” and “Buy It Now” sections for audiobook week only. They will return soon.]


Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

Audiobook Week Mid-Week Meme

Current/most recent audiobook: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (narrated by Cassandra Campbell with Bahni Turpin)

Impressions: Loving it. Like the narrator. Like the subject. Finding the whole experience enjoyable.

Current favorite audiobook: Stardust by Neil Gaimain (narrated by the author) or America, America by Ethan Canin (narrated by Robertson Dean)

One narrator who always makes you choose audio over print:

Robertson Dean. Mr. Dean, please start narrating more books that I want to read. Your voice is so dreamy.

Genre you most often choose to listen to:


If given the choice, you will always choose audio when:


If given the choice, you will always choose print when:

Reading YA


Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

Audiobook Preferences

Some quick thoughts on audiobook presentations:

Sound effects: I am usually not a fan. I want my audiobook to be more like a regular book than a radio program.

Multiple narrators: I like it when the book is in first person. Otherwise give me one narrator. I mean, the voice in my head is always female and I still manage to successfully read books about boys.

Changing narrators over the course of a series: I find it jarring at first. If the new narrator is good, I can adapt, but I prefer consistency with a series.

Other things I’ve discovered:

  • I usually prefer male narrators. I hate saying this, being not male myself, but it’s true. I still listen to plenty of female narrators but some of the men just have these TERRIFIC audiobook voices (*cough* Robertson Dean *cough*).
  • Nonlinear novels are tough for me in audio. Unless there are good markers, I get confused.
  • Books that I would put down in print because they get slow or are a bit long, I can continue to listen to for far longer. Which is great at getting to those nonfiction books and classic novels.

What do you like in your audiobook?


Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

Bossypants [Audiobook Review]

Author: Tina Fey
Narrator: Tina Fey
Genre: Memoir
ISBN: 1609419693
Pages: 288
Audio: 5.5 hours
Year: 2011
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5

My Thoughts:

Bossypants was a smart and hilarious book. I say smart first because I think that is the feeling I was left with at the end. Yes, Bossypants is hilarious. Yes, Tina Fey had me cracking up while driving to work. But it was, to pull from the Boston in me, wicked smaht.

It is a memoir in the sense that Fey takes us through her childhood, her teen years with her gay best friends, her time at Second City in Chicago, her life as a writer on Saturday Night Live, and finally in her current role on 30 Rock (with a brief Sarah Palin intermission). But it is also filled with “helpful” advice, like what to wear to your glamour photo shoot or how to handle the often-violent breast-feeding/formula debate.

Throughout it all, Fey infuses her own unique, sarcastic sense of humor. Any fan of hers will enjoy Bossypants for that very reason.

The most interesting part of the book to me was her brief stint as Sarah Palin on SNL: how it began, why she was hesitant to do it, and how it was received. I was a LITTLE busy during the 2008 campaign season so I did not see all of it as it happened but I know it occasionally provided some much needed breaks/laughs for those of us working the campaign.

The audio production was very well done. Tina Fey, of course, did a remarkable job narrating. There were times that the text would alter as a result of the medium. For instance,  she would acknowledge that we were listening and refer to the book as an audiobook. She pointed out which images on the included PDF corresponded to the images she was currently discussing. And we had the treat of actually listening to the first SNL sketch that featured her as Sarah Palin (and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton).

Overall, it was a pleasant listening experience. I’d recommend it for anyone who likes a good laugh. Unless you think women can’t be funny. Then you should probably skip it.

[Note: I am skipping the “Others’ Thoughts” and “Buy It Now” sections for audiobook week only. They will return soon.]


Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

My Audiobook Flowchart

If you are new to audiobooks or if you are just looking for your next read, I can help. These are the books I have listened to and enjoyed in the past year (or so) compiled into one helpful little flowchart. It’s also a pretty good summary of my audiobook life.

How To Choose Your Next Audiobook
(from my limited experiences)

[Click to enlarge – I know it’s tiny here]

Let me know which book you got in the comments! (This is better than a cootie catcher, right?)

PS – I inadvertently left off two Neil Gaiman audiobooks I loved: Stardust narrated by Gaiman and Anansi Boys narrated by Lenny Henry. But you should just all get those two anyway. Because they’re pretty amazing.


Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

Suite Scarlett [GIVEAWAY!]

I meant to include a giveaway of Suite Scarlett with my review yesterday, but I guess my brain is still a little sleep-deprived.

While I did enjoy listening to Suite Scarlett, I doubt I’ll be listening to it again, so I thought I would end audiobook week by passing it on to one of my readers.

NOTE: Keep in mind that this is an MP3-CD.

As much as I love making you leave something interesting in the comments for contests, the google form makes my life much simpler. So IF YOU’D LIKE TO (it is not required), please tell me what your favorite audiobook is in the comments.

  • Open internationally (because I love you all!)
  • You must fill out the google form below to enter (only one entry per person)
  • The contest will run until midnight EDT on July 7, 2010.
  • I will use to pick a winner on July 8.

Suite Scarlett [Book Review]

Title: Suite Scarlett
Author: Maureen Johnson (narrated by Jeannie Stith)
Genre: Young Adult
ISBN: 1423381068
Pages: 384(12.5 hrs audio)
Year: 2009
Source: Publisher (provided at Book Blogger Convention)
Rating: 4/5

Summary (from Powell’s):

Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City. Her nineteen-year-old brother, Spencer, is an out of work actor facing a family deadline to get his career in order. Eighteen-year-old Lola has the delicate looks of a model, the practical nature of a nurse, and a wealthy society boyfriend. Eleven-year-old Marlene is the family terror with a tragic past.

When the Martins turn fifteen, they are each expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. For Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn’t quite know what to make of this C-list starlet, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.

With Mrs. Amberson calling the shots, Spencer’s career to save, Lola’s love life to navigate around, and Marlene’s prying eyes everywhere, things won’t be easy. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deception.

The show, as they say, must always go on . . . .
My Thoughts:

I’d never read any of Maureen Johnson’s books before I went to the Book Blogger Convention. She opened the day with her keynote address and was simply HILARIOUS. After listening to her speak, I knew I had to remedy that asap. So when I saw that a copy of Suite Scarlett was generously given to each of us by Brilliance Audio, I made it my next audiobook (I also picked up another one of her books in print).

Suite Scarlett took me a little while to get into. At first I thought maybe I wasn’t liking it. But at some point, I found myself looking forward to getting in the car again or putting on my headphones as much as possible.  Suite Scarlett is full of quirky characters and I love me some quirky characters (Spencer was my favorite in this book). I think I can safely say that the book was more about the characters than about the story. The plot was interesting, but if you think about it, not that much really happened.

I will admit that I did get that fun first love feeling that you often experience when reading YA a few times, but then I also got a little annoyed with Scarlett’s decisions re: that first love (just like I often experience when reading YA).

Suite Scarlett was funny and entertaining. I’m excited to read some more of Johnson’s works, including the sequel, Scarlett Fever.

Other Reviews:

Don’t forget to head over over to Devourer of Books for more audiobook week reviews and discussions today!