Today is the final day of Audiobook Week 2010. This fabulous event is the dream child of Jen of Devourer of Books. Be sure to read her Audiobook Week information post and the post listing the great prizes available for participants! (I'll be offering one of those prizes on Friday, so be sure to come back!)
For the first four days of Audiobook Week, I posted on the daily topic. Today, I am going take a different path. I hope you take the time to visit all the participating blogs; you can find them by checking out Jen's blog and clicking on the Mr. Linkys.
Today, I'm talking about picking your first audiobook, audiobook genres, and some of my favorite audiobooks.
I am often asked to suggest a good audiobook for someone new to the medium. Picking your first audiobook can be daunting, but it doesn't need to be. There are two principal questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge:
- Do you want an audiobook just so you can see if the medium is for you?
- Do you want to jump in the deep end?
Diving right in: If you just want to give audiobooks a shot and you're not in the mood for a reread, then pick the next book in a series you are reading or a title from an author you like. That way, it's the medium that's new, not the entire experience.
For the truly adventurous, I suggest picking a book you just can't wait to read and start listening. You may be surprised by how quickly you are drawn into the story.
One more tip: don't just sit in a chair in listen, get up and do something--that's one of the big advantages of auodiobooks.
Is there a genre that doesn't work in audio? Well, I haven't tried poetry, but I bet I wouldn't like it. Short stories and essays are also a problem for me on audio. Why? Because when I read a collection of work, I don' t necessarily read every piece and I don't always read them order. Audio would take away my ability to pick and choose.
I've heard some people say that nonfiction doesn't work on audio, but I've had great success with history and biography. It is true that I often pair my nonfiction audiobook with a print copy (usually from the library) so that I can see the maps, photos, genealogies, and other visuals.
In terms of fiction, I don't think there is a genre I wouldn't try. I'm more apt to turn down an audio because I don't like the narrator, because the book is abridged (should be against the law), or because it is advertised as a dramatization than because of its genre.
Do I have favorite audiobook genres? I love listening to mysteries and historical fiction on audio. I haven't checked my stats, but I would bet they are my two most-listened-to genres. Well, I've also listened to quite a bit of biography. And fantasy. And young adult. Okay, so maybe I don't pick my audiobooks by genre.
Here, in alphabetical order are some of my favorite audiobooks from the last few years, divided into nonfiction, adult fiction, and young adult.
About Alice by Calvin Trillin (read by the author)
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson (read by Edward Herrmann)
John Adams by David McCullough (read by Edward Hermann)
Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (read by George Guidall)
Stiff by Mary Roach (read by Shelly Frasier)
Ceepak mysteries by Chris Grabenstein (read by Jeff Woodman)
Jack Aubrey series by Patrick O'Brian (read by Simon Vance)
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (read by Kristoffer Tabori)
The Stolen Child by Donohue, Keith (read by Andy Paris and Jeff Woodman)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (read by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (read by Vane Millon
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (read by Debra Wiseman and Joel Johnstone)
Tomorrow series by John Marsden (read by Suzi Dougherty)
Willow by Julia Hoban (read by Kim J. Ulrich)
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (read by Jeannie Stith)
My All-Time Favorite Audiobook Ever
Wicked, Lovely by Melissa Marr (read by Alyssa Bresnahan)
There are many, many more audios that I have loved, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of the titles I've mentioned.