Monday, June 6, 2011

Welcome to Audiobook Week

As I've mentioned, June is Audiobook Month. Jen at Devourer of Books is hosting a special week dedicated to audiobooks this week and I'll be participating as much as I can. This will also be the first week of fabulous audiobook giveaways I will be doing. Some very generous folks from Hachette and AudioGo have provided me with great crime fiction audios to give away this month, so make sure you're checking in for those contests!

All right, so Audiobook Week...Jen's first discussion topic for this week is "2010-2011, Your Audiobook Year." And the description for this discussion topic is:

Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience. 

I have actually been listening to audiobooks for almost six years now. 2010 was the second year I kept records of my audiobooks. In 2009 I listened to 36 audiobooks, which was 38% of my total reading for that year. In 2010 I listened to 48 audiobooks, which was 48% of my total reading. This year at the almost half-way point, I've listened to 19 audiobooks, which is about 43% of my total reading.

What are the titles that stand out? Well any of the Walt Longmire books. They are all narrated by George Guidall, and he brings the book to life more than my own imagination did. They are simply incredible sound recordings from Recorded Books.

I also adored Steve Hamilton's THE LOCK ARTIST on audiobook. It was narrated by MacLeod Andrews. A great novel coupled with an amazing narration. And that was put out by Brilliance Audio.

ROOM, written by Emma Donoghue, was an audiobook that could have been a disaster, but was beautifully narrated by a team of readers: Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Suzanne Toren and Robert Petkoff. Hachette Audio gets the hat tip on creating that audio.

There are many, many wonderful audiobooks out there; the last one I'll mention for today's post is A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS. I listened to this one last year and with THE LOCK ARTIST, they were both my favorite books overall and my favorite audiobooks. A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS is written by R.J. Ellory and narrated by Mark Bramhall. Blackstone Audio put this one out and I challenge anyone to listen to this book and not be affected by it. It's incredible.

Those are some of my regular go-to recommendations right now as far as audiobooks. And for me, I listen to audiobooks pretty much any time I can't be reading a print book. So while I'm working out, I listen to audiobooks, driving in the car, working in the garden, doing housework, crafting, shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. I love to have great narrators reading me great books!

My great audiobook discovery last year, though, was my iTouch. I started listening to audios on the iTouch and for me it's revolutionary. I have an armband for it as well as a docking station with wireless speakers, so I can listen to it anywhere in the house. I have an outlet in my car that allows me to listen to my iTouch through the car speakers, so my iTouch literally goes everywhere with me.

A fun story to share about a learning experience with audiobooks this past year. I use an mp3 to iPod converter for my files. It converts the mp3 files to MPEG-4 audio files which are smaller (I can fit more books on my iTouch) and so incredibly easy to use on the iTouch. Anyway, I was having problems with some audiobooks where they would start out just fine and then all of a sudden I would lose all sound. I could not figure out what the heck was happening. But let me just tell you how frustrating that is. You get caught up in and book and then SILENCE! Well, turned out, I needed to stop making one big MPEG-4 file for the longer audiobooks and break them into 2 or 3 files. I'm not exactly positive why, but it fixed the problem, so I'm a happy audiobook listener now!

So there's my introduction to my listening habits. How about you all? What are the great audios you've discovered in the last year? Where do you listen to your audios?

If you don't listen to audios, I'd like to challenge you to listen to one some time this month. If you'd like to write about your experience, I'll be happy to post it here at the blog! But check out the recommendations from audiobook listeners blogging this month and find something that could be of interest to you and give it an honest try! I was one of those people who use to say, "I can't listen to audios; I'd never be able to pay attention. I have ADD for crying out loud." But, when I had to drive 45 minutes one way to work, I gave audiobooks a try. It was an adjustment, but now I can't imagine my life without them!

So today, I say to you all Happy Listening!!


Beth F June 6, 2011 at 8:00 AM  

I listen to one or two a year . . .

Jen June 6, 2011 at 8:27 AM  

HA! Candace, you're a funny gal. :-)

BettyB June 6, 2011 at 8:44 AM  

Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer, read by Adam Grupper, stands out for me. I listen to audiobooks while doing household chores and it makes them much more bearable! I've listened to 35 so far this year.

le0pard13 June 6, 2011 at 9:39 AM  

Fine post, Jen. George Guidall and Walt Longmire is hard to beat. And yeah, THE LOCK ARTIST is an excellent audiobook. One of the best I did last year. Thanks.

Kay June 6, 2011 at 10:10 AM  

You've convinced me to put the R.J. Ellory book on my list. I think I have it hardcover, but it doesn't matter. I have not listened to all that many audios for a while as I have no commute. However, with our move in the next couple of months, we will be several minutes from anything - gas, grocery, drugstore, etc. I'm excited to bring the audio back into my life.

Jen - devourer of books June 6, 2011 at 11:09 AM  

SO many people have mentioned the audio of ROOM today. I never did get to that, maybe I need to check it out on audio.

Teresa June 6, 2011 at 11:55 AM  

I love my audio book time. I'm interested to see what you get back from those who take you up on your challenge to try just one. I'll bet there will be more than one convert.

bermudaonion June 6, 2011 at 4:25 PM  

I started listening to audio books after I started blogging and I am hooked. I can't imagine a road trip without an audio book.

Molly (Restless Reader) June 6, 2011 at 4:55 PM  

You are the second person to recommend Room. Now I must check it out!

Jen June 6, 2011 at 8:01 PM  

Kay, I can't wait to hear what you think about A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS. It's an amazing book and the narration is just top notch!

Definitely, if you haven't listened to ROOM, it's a winner!! Check it out. :-)

Teresa, if I could hear one convert story this month, I'd be thrilled!! Earning listeners one audio at a time. :-)

Eileen K. June 6, 2011 at 8:51 PM  

Sorry I can't be your convert. I love audio books. My son and I subscribe to I usually have two books that I'm reading plus one I'm listening to. It gets confusing sometimes! Some faves: Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache books, read by Ralph Cosham; CJ Sansom's Shardlake books, read by Steven Crossley; Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak books, read by Jeff Woodman. I could go on. But I especially like to listen to a series with the same narrator. Right now, I'm listening to Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin, narrated by Kevin Kenerly--masterful book and masterful narration. Sorry I'm going on so long, but you've hit on something I'm crazy about.

Literate Housewife June 6, 2011 at 9:46 PM  

Okay, I've seen A Quiet Believe in Angels in 100 places recently. I've got to pick that up.

I've really been loving your audiobook recommendations on Twitter each day. :)

Sheila (Bookjourney) June 7, 2011 at 12:49 AM  

OOH Thats another vote for ROOM... I think I need to add that one to my TBL (to Be Listened?) LOL

Jen June 7, 2011 at 8:12 AM  

Eileen I love Ralph Cosham and Jeff Woodman, too! They're wonderful!!

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is an amazing audiobook as well.

Jennifer, I'm glad you've been enjoying my recommendations! I wondered if anyone even noticed them, but I wanted to keep going. :-) Will look forward to hearing what you think about ANGELS. I adore that book!

amy June 7, 2011 at 5:15 PM  

My sister got me hooked on listening to audiobooks on road trips and it makes the time go by so much faster! I don't usually do so at home, but I may have to take the suggestion to listen while doing chores and errands. Could squeeze in more fiction that way!

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