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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Audiobooks to Try Even If You Think You Don’t Like Audiobooks

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is audiobook freebie.  Now in year’s past, I’ll be honest — I probably would have skipped this topic because audiobooks have historically been a struggle for me.  I’d lose track of what I’m listening to because I was trying to listen to them while I was working or else I’d just zone out because the narration was too slow for me.  It always bummed me out because I loved the idea of audiobooks and everyone else I know seems to love them.  Well, this past year, something finally clicked with me and now I can’t get enough of them.  Instead of trying to listen to them while I’m at work, now I listen to them in the car, or while doing chores, or even in the evenings just before I’m ready to go to sleep.  I also changed up the genres I was trying on audio and found that contemporaries were the best fit overall for me.  Technology helped quite a bit too.  Now that I can get audiobooks as mp3 files, I can speed up the narration to 1.25x, which really helps keep me focused on what I’m listening to.

Below are ten audiobooks that I’ve really enjoyed this past year.  If you’re struggling to get into audiobooks, I’d definitely recommend giving any of these a try.  I thought that the stories themselves were very compelling and that the narration in each case really added so much to the stories.  I was an especially big fan of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. The audio version just really helped make Evelyn seem larger than life.

 

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10 Audiobooks to Try Even If You Think You Don’t Like Audiobooks

 

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston

CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan

WHAT IF IT’S US by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

CATWOMAN: SOULSTEALER by Sarah J. Maas

I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman

LOVE & GELATO by Jenna Evans Welch

GIRL OUT OF WATER by Laura Silverman

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Agatha Christie

 

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Do you enjoy audiobooks?  Have you listened to any of these?

Discussion: Why You Should Give Audiobooks Another Chance Even If You Think You Dislike Them

 

I used to think that audiobooks were just not for me.  I had tried them several times over the years but each time came away disappointed.  My number one complaint was that I constantly found myself losing track of what I was listening to and having to backtrack to figure out the last thing I remembered listening to.

This year, however, I made it my mission to give audiobooks another try, especially since as a blogger, I’m reading so many more books than I used to and would love to be able to enjoy the potential for multitasking that audiobooks provide.

 

Guess what I learned?  I LOVE THEM!

 

So, why the change of heart?  What did I do differently this time that I had never tried before?

Well, what I realized was that it wasn’t an audiobook problem, it was a ME problem.  See, I had been trying to listen to them while I was at work, to help pass the time.  The problem?  Every time I was trying to concentrate on a job-related task, I would almost unconsciously stop listening to the book.  And since my job primarily involves proofreading, I was ALWAYS concentrating on job related tasks.  It was just dumb of me to even think that listening to audiobooks in that environment was a good idea.

So, how did I discover that audiobooks are actually fabulous if you’re audiobooking (Is that a word? It is now!) the correct way?

  1. I realized that while they may not work all that well while doing job-related tasks, audiobooks make mindless household chores like folding and putting away laundry so much more tolerable. They are actually a Godsend in this particular area.  I still hate doing chores, mind you, but getting lost in fiction while doing them helps so much.
  1. I learned that audiobooks are a fabulous way to pass the time while exercising. Maybe not with strenuous exercise, I’m not sure, but I’m a walker and for me, the worst part about walking is that it can be lonely and boring, especially since I have to walk for so long to burn a significant number of calories.  Listening to an audiobook while I’m racking up the miles really helps to make that time so much more enjoyable.
  1. I also discovered audiobooks can make a long commute to work or school go by so much quicker. I had never tried this before because my usual commute is less than 15 minutes.  This year, however, I have had to make several trips to some of my company’s other offices and those commutes have been well over an hour in each direction.  I ran the audiobook through the Bluetooth in the car and it made the long drive so much more enjoyable.
  1. I always tend to have trouble falling asleep at night. That’s the time when my brain seems to decide to run through any and all things I’m currently stressing about and then I end up too keyed up to sleep.  I’ve been finding it very helpful to have an audiobook handy for bedtime as well.  I start listening while I’m getting ready for bed, putting my PJs on, etc. and then I just get into bed and keep listening.  It soothes and relaxes me to the point where I usually fall asleep while listening.  So yes, there is some backtracking involved in the morning to find my place again, but that’s so much more preferable to tossing and turning and stressing out half the night.
  1. This is probably also another dumb ME thing, but I learned you can now change the speed of your audiobook narration. When I first started listening to audiobooks back in the day, another initial audiobook complaint of mine was that the narration was always so slow.  I found myself sitting there like ‘OMG, read it faster, please!”

 

via GIPHY

Most of the audiobooks I was initially listening to back then were CDs from the library, but now with the mp3 audio files you can download from the library, there are options to speed up the narration.  Best thing ever!  I use 1.25x and it’s the perfect speed for me.  Fast enough to move things along but not so fast that I can’t keep up.  Love it!

  1. Lastly, I realized that not all genres work well for me on audiobook so I just needed to find out which ones worked the best. What I discovered was that fantasy doesn’t work all that well on audio for me.  There’s something about the worldbuilding and sometimes the unique character names, etc. that I feel like I need the actual print book in hand to keep track of everything.  Again, another ME thing.  Man, there are lots of those, aren’t there?  LOL!  Anyway, while fantasies didn’t work well at all for me, contemporaries work beautifully!  I can breeze right through those on audio and don’t feel like I need the print book to refer back to.  I guess maybe it’s the familiarity that goes along with contemporaries since they’re set in our time, etc., but they are just such a great fit for me on audio.

So, there you have it.  Several reasons to consider giving audiobooks a second look even if you’ve rejected them in the past.

 

Question:  Have you tried audiobooks?  If so, what has been your experience with them?