I am a huge fan and proponent of the audiobook. I know there's a lot of naysayers out there, but for me, with my busy life and my tendency to give up on reading paper books before I make it 10 pages in, the audiobook has been a godsend. They keep me reading long after I would have returned a book and add an extra incentive to doing mundane household chores.
I've read everything from classics, to non-fiction, from horror to Pulitzer prize winners. Here's a few that I've loved and would make a good entrance into the world of audiobooks. Click the provided links to place a hold on any of the audiobooks below.
It by Stephen King
Read by Steven Weber
This book had been on my "to read" list for years; likely since I had seen the underwhelming TV movie they made of it in 1990, which I found terrifying at the time. I was daunted by the size of the book, but this October I finally bit the bullet and began to listen to the audiobook. The 44 hours might as well have been 44 seconds the way I devoured It. I think it's King at his finest, creating brilliantly realistic characters that generally do fall in good or evil camps, but who feel like photographs rather than rough sketches. As always, kids are King's best subjects and he juggles a huge cast of them deftly. Weber, the narrator manages to give each individual a unique voice which is quite helpful as the story contains at least 8 main characters in two major time periods. The book is quite scary, but the strongest feeling I came away with was nostalgia for the tight-knit friendships that can only be woven by 11 and 12 year olds.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Read by Jeff Woodman
The spectacular looking film is coming out this weekend and I do hope it does this book justice. There were moments while listening to Life of Pi where I caught myself holding my breath, not knowing how the situation was going to turn out. One of the books main themes is the value of storytelling, and I would say this book has the transformative power that the character of Pi speaks of at the controversial end of this book.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Read by Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, Robertson Dean
I went on a Gillian Flynn tear for awhile and I think this was my favorite one. She always deals with dark stuff, especially what people are capable of doing to each other and themselves. The main character in this one, Libby Day, the survivor of a family massacre blamed on Satanic ritual in the 1980s is a classic Flynn character. She's supposed to be someone you feel pity for, but it turns out that a life supported by a trust fund created because people felt bad for you is no life at all. She's lazy, anti-social and unmotivated, that is until she meets some true crime enthusiasts who compel her to look into the murder. This recording sports three narrators, which I quite enjoyed.
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Read by Scott Brick
Another serial killer book here. This fascinating listen is about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and the serial killer, Herman Mudgett who operated in the city during the fair. I was astounded at both the feats of engineering carried out by the World’s Fair participants and the lengths that Mudgett went to gain access to victims, carry out his crimes and cover his tracks. You’ll learn a lot by listening to this book, some of it amazing and some of it disturbing.
Vittorio The Vampire by Anne Rice
Read by Alan Cumming
Available at Ferndale Library: CD BOOK RICE
This is the only abridged audiobook on my list. Normally, I wouldn’t touch an abridgment with a ten-foot pole, but Alan Cumming’s reading of this one-off vampire novel is simply too good to resist. His voice is such a pleasure to listen to (ever hear the phrase, “I could listen to him read the phone book”?), and he breathes life into the sensual characters that Rice is so adept at creating.
Ferndale Patch thanks Head of Circulation Kelly Bennett for contributing to Patch! Check back soon for more ideas from library staff. Are you looking for recommendations on something specific? Email email@example.com, and we'll pass on your questions to the library.