I discovered a love for audiobooks in 2017 and while I didn’t read a ton, I did read sixteen in full and I DNF’d a few more, so I thought I would tell you my thoughts about some of them!
My favorites have been gushed about in other posts so I’m just going to mention them briefly here.
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo are narrate by a full cast and the full cast is absolutely amazing. The Diviners and Lair of Dreams narrated by January Lavoy are equally amazing and fantastic. Anyway, now I want to tell you a few of my thoughts on some other audiobooks I listened to.
In general, I really enjoy listening to memoirs narrated by the author and this year I listened to Why Not Me by Mindy Kailing, Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick, Modern Romance by Aziz Anzari (which is not really a memoir, but close enough), Bossypants by Tina Fey, Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner, and Hunger by Roxane Gay.
I would say that Modern Romance is an interesting read as an audiobook and is one that I enjoyed, but think I should have physically read because of the graphs. That said, I think listening made it better for me to read because it made it less academic.
Hunger is an audiobook that I think you just need to not be driving or at work while reading the first little bit of it because it’s so sad and you’ll want to cry and if you’re at work you can’t and if you’re in the car you should probably not. The others were all fine to listen to, but none really stand out to me upon reflection.
One thing I enjoyed with audiobooks this year was listening to long books that I was unlikely to muster up the motivation to hold a heavy book long enough to get through. So I listened to The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (as well as my favorites mentioned at the beginning of this post). I would actually recommend all of these on audiobook, though I will say that I think The Name of the Wind and the sequel could have been more atmospheric in production and voice in comparison to The Diviners. I think it’s a book that leant itself to that, but the audiobook production doesn’t lean in as far as I think they could have. I really enjoyed the narration for The Goldfinch, but I will say that Donna Tartt actually does the narration for The Secret History and I couldn’t get through it at all. So, that would be one I would not necessarily recommend to you.
I loved listening to Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo, which was narrated by Adjoa Andoh because I know that I would have completely mangled the pronunciation of the names had I not listened to the audio. The unfortunate part of listening to Stay With Me was that I wasn’t sure how to spell the names and I wanted to write down half the book because it’s so beautifully written, but couldn’t really do that as easily as if I had been reading it in physical form. I also really appreciated that the narrator changes her voice slightly for when she’s narrating as Akin as opposed to Yejide because it meant that I wasn’t as confused as I guess some people were who read this book in physical form.
The last two books that I read were The Raven King by Maggie Steifvater, which was narrated by Will Patton and The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani. I am in the minority in disliking Will Patton’s narration for The Raven Boys series, from what I can tell so take my opinion with a grain of salt. But for some reason, his narration got to me because I couldn’t’ figure out why a book with a central female protagonist was being narrated by a man. This wound up making me feel like the series was even more about Gansey than I felt anyway and it was just the wrong time of year for that to be a thing for me.
The School for Good and Evil was my final audiobook completed listen for 2017 and I don’t know that I actually have a full opinion on the narration because my thoughts about the book are so mixed. I think the voices for the girls could be annoying, but also, I found Sophie annoying anyway, so I’m not sure if that’s the fault of the narrator. I do know that I have not finished the audiobook listen to the second book in the series and am not sure I plan to do so.
I hope this post was helpful to you in some way, but let me know if you would like me to do more posts like this throughout the year or if you think I can just include a line in my wrap ups. What was your favorite audiobook of the year? Is there one I absolutely need to get to? Let me know!