Up to 2021, I'd only listened to five audiobooks. In 2022 I listened to 20! So far in 2023 - consults list of what I've read this year - I'm on my 7th audiobook.
So why the turnaround? I have enjoyed podcasts for a bit, but a certain audiobook made me a fan and a newly minted audiobookophile. It was by Rickie Lee Jones, and I listened to it during the 2021 lockdown. Singer Chronicles of My American FamilyRickie Lee tells the story of her life and career. She's saucy, raw and honest, a real character. And it really doesn't matter if you know her music. I didn't, only knowing the classic "Chuck E's in Love". To hear her life in her own voice - gravelly & giggly - what a joy.
So Rickie Lee was my gateway, but here are some reasons why the audiobook bug has stuck (and a selection of favourite listens):
Get a story - or info - without reading
If you are a fan of reading and books, audiobooks are a way of getting stories into your life in a different way. I see them as an addition and a supplement, not a replacement. I go for fiction, history, mystery, horror, social issues, music, science - all sorts!
Listen to books on the bus
I can't read on the bus, as this would bring on diabolical travel sickness. But I can listen to a story. I used to listen to music, or podcasts, but now I can chuck on an audiobook. Libby lets you download your book too, so it's not phone data troubling. Sometimes if something I'm listening to something profound or moving on the bus, there might be a bit of tears or misty eyes. Don't worry fellow bus passengers, it's just that my book has moved me (as has the bus)!
As a fan of the pedestrian commute, or weekend ramble, I can listen while I walk. Sometimes this puts atmosphere into your wandering. Boy friends by Michael Pedersen - as told by Michael himself - is such an intimate story of grief. I can remember where I was walking down near the river when I listened to parts of this story, and the place and the story have combined to become a memory that is physical.
Audiobook while you do the housework
Multitasking at its finest.
Having someone read to you - it's great. And that's what you get with an audiobook. Having a memoir read by the person who wrote it brings a whole new level of intimacy to the proceedings. Listening to Miss Memory Lane by Colton Haynes you hear the catch in his voice as he tells you what happened, and how he felt - it's devastating.
Same with the disarmingly honest Jennette McCurdy reading her memoir I'm glad my mom died
Then there's Liberation Day by George Saunders - one story read by Saunders himself - but others read so perfectly by Tina Fey, Melora Hardin, Jack McBrayer, Michael McKean, Edi Patterson, Stephen Root and Jenny Slate.
Special shoutout for Rosie Perez who was on narration duties for Ronnie Spector's memoir Be my Baby.
I put on a good audiobook at home sometimes and run it through a bluetooth speaker. Other family members get well into the story, and get grumpy when I hit pause.
I'm happy to have added audiobooks into my story suite.
I've experienced the books of Lee Child and Val McDermid for the first time. One Lee Child was enough for me but I will be back for more Val.
My current audiobook: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix. Getting lost in the haunted Ikea type megastore Orsk.
The next audiobooks I've got lined up:
Get in on the Audiobook Action
Visit our page about eAudiobooks to find out how to get started with Libby, BorrowBox, and uLibrary eAudiobooks.
Want more audiobook recommendations? Here is a list of my faves from last year:
Sometimes a story is something you listen to, not read. These are my favourite audiobooks listened to in 2022.
I bought the book from Scorpio, and then borrowed the audiobook from the library. Jennette McCurdy's story has been a smash hit and she more than deserves the plaudits. She lays out her story with disarming honesty. It is composed of short sharp chapters that are as incredibly frank and everything she says is raw and real. Brava, Jennette, brava.
Wow this was such a wild ride. Emotional, scary, gross, fun - all the things! I was utterly absorbed,
This is a unique book about friendship and grief. I listened to the audiobook and it was beautiful to hear Michael's story in his own words. And as a poet with a gorgeous Scottish accent and uncanny skill with words - Woah. His language and observations hit me hard, and whirled about my mind between listens. There was so much in it - about different people and places, yummy meals shared, Mahoody wine, Scotland & South Africa & Spain. Most of all, there is love, friendship, and 'colossal connection
I don't know much at all about classical music. Doesn't matter when it comes to a book like this. Kate Molleson brings into the light stories of ten artists who aren't part of the canon, but are astonishing in both their music and personalities and lives and stories. I was particularly absorbed in the story of Ruth Crawford. mother of famous folk artist Peggy Seeger. I listened to the audiobook which is read by the author Kate Molleson. She tells the stories with such verve and enthusiasm, you can't help but be carried away.