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Audiobook Appreciation

It’s Audiobook Appreciation Month and since there are great portions of my life that would be unbearable without audiobooks, I thought the holiday deserved a mention. Audiobooks are the primary way many people read because of reading difficulties, preference, or simply a busy life. Audiobooks make books more accessible and they bring them to life. Your favorite book with the right narrator can be *chef’s kiss* life-altering. 

To show my appreciation for audiobooks, here are 3 quick top 3 lists. 

  • Scorpio Races
    • First off, Maggie Stiefvater is a goddess. Second, I’m convinced that narrators Steve West and Fiona Hardingham are actually Sean and Puck. There is also a lovely bagpipe intro and outro that was composed and performed by Maggie Stiefvater herself. I’ll take this book in any format but the audiobook is it’s own art form and I highly recommend it.
  • Hunger Games Trilogy narrated by Tatiana Maslany
    • My older daughter has discovered the Hunger Games recently and she’s obsessed. We plan to read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes together once she’s finished reading the original trilogy so I needed to re-read it myself to refresh it in my brain. Since she’s reading my physical copies, I looked into the audiobooks. Tatiana Maslany narrates the Special Edition audiobooks that came out in 2018 on the book’s 10th anniversary. She is a perfect Katniss and her performance is powerful. It’s a very moving and realistic portrayal.
  • The Night Huntress series narrated by Tavia Gilbert
    • Jeaniene Frost has created an absolutely perfect fun and wild romp. I could almost swear she wrote it just for me. I adore Cat and Bones and these books are easy to get into, easy to understand and multitask to, with the perfect choice of narrator. These are adult books (urban fantasy romance) so consider yourself warned or summoned depending on who you are. It’s a book that’s tricky in terms of characters with accents and very *intimate* situations. Tavia Gilbert handles the challenge with skill. 

Top 3 Audiobook-Related Products I Love

  • Libro.fm
    • Libro.fm is a way to support your favorite independent bookstore while listening to audiobooks. (Confession time: I sometimes use that big monster one, too. But for the most part, I want to give my money to booksellers. I want to support businesses that focus on books, treat authors fairly, and employ my neighbors. Consider whether that’s worth something to you when deciding where to spend your money.)
  • Libby
    • If you haven’t tried the Libby app yet, you are missing out. It’s a free app offered through your local library that allows you to borrow digital materials. There are tons of ebooks, magazines, and audiobooks available. You may have to wait awhile for new or super popular books, but you can put them on hold and enjoy one of many other titles while you wait. 
  • My earbuds
    • I cannot overstate how much easier it is to enjoy an audiobook with earbuds or earphones that fit you well and stay put. This is especially important if you’re doing household chores or working out. You don’t want to drop them in the dishwater or onto the lawn you’re mowing. For me, it’s the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. These ones are a generation or two older than Samsung’s newest offering, but they fit me so well I forget I’m wearing them and I’ve never had one drop out of my ear. The battery life is great, too. But, whatever works for you, go for it when you can afford it. It’s an investment in your comfort and happiness. 

Top 3 Things to Do While Listening:

  • Chores
    • Laundry, vacuuming, dishes, shower scrubbing, mowing. Whatever the monotonous chore, it can be made better with an audiobook in your ear. 
  • Crocheting
    • I enjoy crochet and often make projects for myself and my kids or gifts for family and friends. A good book, a good hook, and some pretty yarn makes for the perfect evening. 
  • Exercise
    • I listen while walking my dogs, while walking the indoor track at the gym, and while using gym equipment. If I ever buy a pair of those fancy waterproof earbuds, I’ll probably listen while I swim and SUP, too. I know a lot of people love and prefer music to keep them hyped while they work out. But I’m more likely to keep at it if I’m waiting to find out what happens to a character I’ve connected with. 
  • (Bonus!) Driving
    • Here’s one where an audiobook can also help keep you safe. I’ve been on plenty of long road trips and quite a few shorter ones at odd times of the day. Sometimes music hits just right, but sometimes the shuffle is against me and it doesn’t keep me wakeful and watchful. An exciting new book or even an old favorite that I love to relive, can get those brain synapses firing and keep me alert.

As always, I would love to hear from you. What are your favorite things to do while you listen to an audiobook? Who are your favorite narrators? Do you have a favorite app that I don’t know about?

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