Ask the grumpies: Recommendations for audiobooks?

Chelsea asks:

Also, I’d love to hear people’s favorite audiobooks. Right now I’m 1/2 way through the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which is fantastic, but in a mere 200-ish more hours, I’ll be done. What should I listen to next?

To Say Nothing of the Dog has a fantastic audible and is a fantastic story.  First top choice.

Redshirts was absolutely fantabulous.  Wil Wheaton is the perfect voice narrator for the book, and it’s funny until the codas and then you cry a lot.  But a good kind of crying.

We recently did Agent to the Stars on a roadtrip and it was a lot of fun.

Most Scalzi books have good audible, including his latest short piece, The Dispatcher.  We did end up not finishing Little Fuzzy though because it was kind of boring.

My DH likes both the Iron Druid and the Harry Dresden series on audible.  I’ve listened to the first two Iron Druids and the voice acting is pretty good, but I couldn’t handle any more of the series after [spoiler redacted].

Grumpy listeners, what do you recommend?

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10 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Recommendations for audiobooks?”

  1. Bardiac Says:

    A good long while ago, I listened to Salman Rushdie’s audio book of him reading *Haroun and the Sea of Stories.* It was GREAT!

    Even longer ago, I borrowed a reading by Kenneth Branagh of one of Gaskell’s novels. Also super good!

  2. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Action Item: I accidentally left my phone at home today (boo!). But a nice way to end the week would be to call Kellogg’s customer service line and tell them that they’re wonderful for pulling ads from hate-site Breitbart (their news aggregator had been placing Kellogg ads there without their knowledge). And maybe buy a treat from them you wouldn’t normally get next time you go grocery shopping. (Since this is an 800 number it’s ok for me to use my university phone to make the call.)

    1-800-962-1413
    Monday – Friday 9 AM to 6 PM ET

    If you remembered your phone at work, today is a good day to call your senators to tell them not to approve bigot Jeff Sessions. There’s been a lot more news media reports about horrible things he’s said and done that make him even more unfit for office than before. So even if you don’t care about his racism, there’s new things to complain to your senators about. Like his belief that we should execute criminals who are mentally incompetent.

    Say “Hi, my name is______ and I am calling to ask if Rep./Sen._____ opposes the appointment of Jeff Sessions, and if so has s/he made their opposition public. If s/he has not opposed and made the opposition public, I respectfully demand that s/he do so. Sessions has a long history of racism and is unfit to serve as attorney general.”

  3. Jay Says:

    If you like old mysteries, the recordings of Dick Francis books are delightfully British. I also like the audiobooks of the Joanna Brady series by JA Jance and the Deborah Knott series from Margaret Maron. For really lightweight mysteries, there’s Donna Adams’ Meg Lansglow series. In the Scalzi vein, “Ready Player One” is also read by Wil Wheaton – very good. Did you add “Lock In” to your list of Scalzi listens? That took me through a solo drive to NC (9 hours each way).

    On other subjects, if you like Sarah Vowell on “This American Life,” she narrates a couple of her own books and I enjoyed them. “Manhunt” is the story of the search for John Wilkes Booth, read by Richard Thomas. Riveting. I’m currently listening to David McCullough’s “John Adams.” I loved the audiobook of “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

    The Harry Potter series is read by Jim Dale, and they are amazing in audio. Friends of mine with kids adore the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary – Stockard Channing reads them.

  4. chacha1 Says:

    I think audiobooks will have to wait for the day (should it come) that my vision is too poor to read. I have tried a couple, and found them much too distracting to listen while driving. For some reason my audio input is really powerful (this is how I can read and “watch” TV at the same time, I guess). And when I’m at home, why not just read. :-)

    • Linda Says:

      I keep trying audio books, and my mind starts wandering at some point so I lose the story thread. The same happens with a lot of TV programs and sometimes movies, too. The only thing I can completely lock my mental attention on is a good book. Give me a good book to read and I will block out the entire universe (sometimes to my detriment.)

  5. grrlpup Says:

    Ruby Dee reading Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Wonderful performance and for me it worked better than reading the dialect in print.

  6. Chelsea Says:

    Thanks for the recommendations! Personally, I think that a great narrator can add so much to an (even an already great) book. I cannot say enough good things about Davina Porter who narrates the Outlander series. She does such an amazing job with the voices of the characters and it’s so helpful to hear her speak all the words in Gaelic, French and Native American languages that I couldn’t have guessed how to pronounced had I read them in print.

    While I’m not a big “re-reader”, I’m thinking I will give listening to Ready Player One a try because, while I didn’t particularly care for the book, so many people love it (and Wil Wheaton’s narration) that I think it may be worth revisiting. I also loved Americanah and will put that on my list as a “re-read” on audio.

    I’m looking forward to looking into the other recommendations as well – I do enjoy a good mystery.

  7. J Liedl Says:

    Richard Armitage reads a couple of Georgette Heyer’s books – Sylvester? Venetia, I’m certain. The Convenient Marriage is the one that I find perfectly suited his dramatic range.

  8. Rosa Says:

    We were having this discussion elsewhere and I was reminded how much I liked Crazy Rich Asians on audiobook. It’s not extra kid friendly and it’s trashy in the Jackie Collins/chick lit explosion way (which I like but might not be everybody’s cup of tea) but it’s PG enough to listen to around the kids, unlike most romance novels.

    The Vorkosigan books have a good reader too, I think, and Pratchett’s YA books – the Tiffany Aching ones and Maurice and his whatever rodents – were hits with the upper elementary kids in my car this summer.


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