Thursday, December 13, 2012

Best Audiobooks of 2012

In addition to adding a fair amount of fantasy and speculative fiction to my reading in 2012, I also really made a huge leap into audiobooks.  At the time of writing this post, I have "read" 24 audiobooks this year.  I'd go ahead and guess that I'll at least get one more completed in addition to these. 

When you consider that each audiobook is an average of 9 hours, that right about 9 days of my year spent listening.  It sounds like so much, but really it's mainly been done on my commute (about one hour a day) and while I do chores at home.  It's a great way to multi-task on projects that don't take much thought - the dishes, bathroom cleaning, etc.  I even listen at work sometimes when I don't have any students and I'm working on a task like data entry or inventory.

I chose my favorites, as usual, by both writing and entertainment value, but I also gave serious consideration to the narration as well.  There are some that I loved as books, but wouldn't necessarily recommend as audiobooks.  Taking those three things into consideration, here are my favorites:

The book is told in alternating voices by a male and female narrator.  For me, that is what made this perfection as an audiobook.  One critique I heard of the book was that it was hard to distinguish narrators.  In the case of the audiobook it was not a problem.  And the voices totally brought both characters to life.

Sweet, heartwarming story made all the better by an excellent narrator.

The narrator on this one blew my mind.  Probably the best narration I've heard on an audiobook this year.  And it didn't hurt that the book combined a great story with amazing writing.

This is one I actually debated with myself over.  On the one hand, the print version has pictures.  On the other hand, Kristen Chenoweth herself narrates the audiobook.  In the end, I decided to listen to the audiobook and get a print version for the pictures.  Best decision ever.

Not Yet Reviewed
I literally finished this one an hour ago.  But I knew from the first five minutes that it belonged on this list.  

Written and narrated by Andy Cohen.  NFT.

There really isn't anything I can think of that would make me love Joshilyn Jackson or her books more.  Perfect Southern fiction and I love that she narrated this one.  It adds something to the story when you can hear the author's own inflection.

This is another example of an amazing author who narrates her own book.  Her voices for the characters brought them to life.  I'll definitely reread it in print at some point, but I will always always read it with Libba Bray's voices in my head.

Not Reviewed
I probably won't go back and review this one because it has been so very long since I listened.  But it's the book that really got me back into audiobooks this year because I enjoyed listening so much.  For that alone it deserves a spot, but the book is also incredibly original and the narration is superb.

Not Yet Reviewed
This one really could have gone just as well to When You Are Engulfed in Flames, which I also listened to.  I gave this one a little bit of an advantage because Sedaris' family stories are my absolute favorites.  He also narrates his own books, and I love his voice.

And now it's your turn!  What would you change?  Any additions or subtractions?  I'm always looking for good audiobook recommendations!


  1. This is a gift! Thanks so much. I see several on here that I want to put on hold at the library this morning. Merry Christmas!!!
    Kim D from SC

  2. Would you say it would be worthwhile pursuing an audio book for a self publishing author?

  3. I've seen a lot of positive reviews for Beauty Queens on audio - it's on my wish list for next year. And I'm looking forward to trying a few more from your list as well.

    Tanya Patrice

  4. i was blown away by the audio versions of "the Fault In our Stars" by Jon Greene and "11/22/63" by Stephen King
    i am taking your suggestions and adding them to my list as well! thx