Monthly Recommendations: Audiobooks

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Audiobooks are tricky for me. I know there are some people that listen to multiple audiobooks a month at double speed, but I am way too picky for that. If I’m listening to an audiobook, it’s mostly for the experience so I need it to be engaging and interesting enough for me to continue listening on my own time. I am lucky to have a very short commute to work every day, so most of my audiobook and podcast listening occurs when I’m at home doing chores (and I’m a bit lazy). At the moment I’m obsessed with The Adventure Zone podcast, a D&D playthrough, so I am not currently listening to an audiobook.

Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group created by Kayla Rayne and Trina from Between Chapters, and obviously this month’s topic is audiobooks. The following are the audiobooks I have listened to and adored, as well as a couple I plan to listen to in the future.

 

C U R R E N T   F A V E S

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (BBC Radio 4) | I absolutely love both of these authors and was obsessed with this book in high school. I listened to the BBC Radio show to see if it held up, and it didn’t matter anymore because the cast is fantastic. It’s been a minute since I’ve listened to this one, but the fact that it includes a cast of characters, sound effects, and music was fantastic.

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris | This is a recommendation for anything by David Sedaris, really. He has a dry voice which works perfectly with his dry, humorous essays. Here’s an example of a story about his French class attempting to explain Easter to a Moroccan student in their limited French. My words can’t do him justice, so just listen to that clip to get the full effect. His narration brings his stories to life and I can’t read his physical books anymore without hearing his voice.

The Diviners by Libba Bray | Oooh this audiobook, man. It’s narrated by January LaVoy who gives every single character their own unique voice in a way that sometimes I would forget it was all the same narrator. The story takes place in 1920’s New York City with a diverse cast of characters, and I found myself using 20’s slang and accents while I was listening to this one

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | I’m not gonna lie, I picked this one up solely because I heard it was narrated by Christian Coulson, who I found out was the kid who played Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets. Such a cutie. And his voice worked perfectly for Monty.

 

P R E D I C T E D   L O V E S

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman | I tried listening to one of Neil Gaiman’s short story collections and got too busy to finish it. While I’ll probably go back to it eventually, I’ve been interested in mythology and Neil Gaimain also narrates this book. His book is so gravelly and nice and I love it.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher | I started this one last year and got too busy again, but here is another audiobook narrated by Carrie Fisher. The hour I listened to was extremely interesting, but pretty sad every time you remember it’s the last book she wrote before she and her mother died. I’m saving this one for a memoir day.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein (BBC Radio Drama) | Who would’ve thunk, it’s another BBC Radio Dramatization! I just love the in depth productions, particularly for these epic fantasy stories. I’ve been in a Lord of the Rings kick lately, and would love to re-read The Hobbit in a new way because I’ve been wanting to actually finish the trilogy. As a kid I read to about halfway through the Return of the King.

 

So there you have it! I hope you’ve discovered some audiobooks that piqued your interest and if you see any of your favorites please let me know! As always, any recommendations you may have are gladly accepted.

 

Birthday Book Haul

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T H E   H A U L

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Stardust and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman |I found these absolutely stunning covers on Book Outlet and knew I had to have them. I haven’t read any Gaiman since high school, but Stardust is still one of my favorite books/movies of all time. This is one of the few movies that I can rewatch constantly and I am, in fact, watching it right now. I don’t quite remember Neverwhere, but these covers are still fantastic. They’re very 70’s mass-market fantasy cover and I’m living for it. Here is some more info from Gaiman’s blog.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones | This book/movie was one of my favorites as a kid and I remember loving the whimsical, fantastical writing style. I’ve been re-reading all my old favorites lately (Harry Potter, the Tortall series, etc.) and this one has made the list, so I can see how it’s held up since it is another movie that I can rewatch constantly and never get bored. Also, my cat’s name is Calcifer. I may eventually purchase the last two books in the series, but again, this one happened to be super cheap on Book Outlet.

Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki | The trend so far is books that remind me of young Sarah, and this one is not an exception. In high school, I was obsessed with Memoirs of a Geisha, the book, and the movie. I even did a major project in my history class about the history of geisha as a result. Since then, I learned about some inaccuracies and fabrications and have been wanting to pick this up for a while. Mineko Iwasaki is the woman that Arthur Golden interviewed for his book, but she was upset with his portrayal and so this book was produced. I’m super excited to read it.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore |If you like/are interested in magical realism in YA, this is your girl. I read her book When the Moon Was Ours last year, then promptly read her first book, then ordered this one. She weaves beautiful stories about family and love and growth with diverse characters and poetic imagery.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe | I was looking up road trip books one day (I had a craving) and stumbled upon this recommendation, then eventually realized the title of this book was in the lyrics of this song:

If I have to be honest, that’s the main reason I bought this book when I saw it in my favorite used bookstore. I may read it this October when my husband and I rent a van in California to road trip to a couple music festivals.

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A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle | My most amazing, beautiful, wonderful, generous best friend in the whole wide world gifted this copy to me for my birthday. We’ve fallen in love with the Folio Society editions of books, but they’re pretty pricey so I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Of course my best blob came through.

Legendary Ladies by Ann Shen | My other bestie gifted this one to me. It’s a collection of goddesses in different cultures and contains the most beautiful art. I’m pretty pumped to see what’s in it.

Let Them Eat Chaos by Kate Tempest | Kate Tempest is an amazing poet/musician/writer/artist in general. This collection is paired with her album of the same name and the song above is one of the tracks. It’s definitely worth a listen, but beware because you’ll become super jaded.

erotic poems by e. e. cummings | This one I bought for the story. My husband was with me at my favorite bookstore and asked me if the author’s name was a joke. The title combined with the poet does seem made up, I’ll give him that.

The Pleasures of the Damned by Charles Bukowski | Lastly, I broke down and bought a Bukowski poetry collection. I know, I know, he’s a misogynistic asshole. I liked his poetry in college and hey, he’s not alive to take my money so at least I’m not supporting a total asswipe of a human being. Thanks, Book Outlet!

I N   C O N C L U S I O N

I had a very successful birthday month! Only two of these were actual gifts, the rest were gifts to myself because I’m worth it.