Updated: Oct 26, 2022
June is Audiobook Appreciation Month. Give these five books a try.
It seems the audiobook debate is rearing its ugly head. Again. For what seems like an infinite time since I've been a part of the book community. Rather than beating a horse that is so far past dead, it's fertilizer at this point, I'm going to say it doesn't matter how you consume a book, just consume them. And I'm going to give five recommendations of audiobooks that had me hooked from the first time I heard them.
by Neil Gaiman
The Quarter Storm
by Veronica G. Henry
Keeping with the New Orleanian theme, The Quarter Storm does a brilliant job of spinning a tale of magical realism. Maybe a native of New Orleans can tell the difference but to my ear, Robin Miles' accent is on point. It sounds to me exactly like someone who has fallen into the speech patterns and cadence of a person who has lived most of their life in one place but has history in another. That, plus the wonderfully animated narration woven with mystery ensures that you'll be listening well past your bedtime.
The Starless Sea
by Erin Morgenstern
If you know me in real life, you know that this book had me in an absolute chokehold -- I'm convinced that the audiobook is at least partially responsible for that. The use of narrators to audibly layer what layered storytelling was a brilliant decision. And the narrator for the Sweet Sorrows, Dion Graham has a voice like warm honey. One of the things I first struggled with when I began listening to audiobooks is the voices of the actors not matching up with the ones in my head. The casting for this audiobook absolutely nails it so much so that sometimes I found myself trying to scroll to the next page because I forgot I was listening.
by Julie Otsuka
Julie Otsuka writes novels like poetry. The prose are short and precise, switching between observational and participant. The narration is conversational, almost as if the narrator is leaning over to tell you about the various patrons of this pool. The shortest book on the list, this listen is just around four hours long making it a great option if in search of a great story but don't have much time to devote.
by Will Smith
Say what you want about Will Smith but one thing you cannot say is that he isn't a masterful storyteller. Memoirs, particularly of the very famous, can tend toward the myopic. An exercise in navel gazing that results in a book that says nothing at all. This is not that. This is an unflinching look at Will Smith's life where he doesn't seem to hold back much of anything. I never thought I would find myself relating to a movie star, particularly one I grew up watching, but there is a universality in his story, like someone's uncle you would find holding court at the cookout.
Have you listened to any of these audiobooks? Are there any that you would add to the list? Comment below!
Wednesday, June 1 is the beginning of Audiobook Appreciation Month.