Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Audiobook Favorites

Today's list of favorites is audiobooks. As I mentioned yesterday, I listened to fewer audiobooks this past year. Now that I'm not driving to work, my audiobook time has gone down a bit. So I'm going to limit my list a bit this year. As with my previous lists, these come from audios I listened to this year, they may not have been published this year. Given that, here are my seven favorite audiobooks of 2013:

Reconstructing Amelia (written by Kimberly McCreight; narrated by Khristine Hvam) Hvam sent chills up my spine as she sent me back to the brutal world of high school. The fact that I felt my heart being ripped apart by the evil children can do to one another speaks volumes for the performance Hvam put forth on this production. Harper Audio

Point and Shoot (written by Duane Swierczynski; narrated by Pete Larkin) This is the final book and audio in Swierczynski's trilogy and all three have been exceptional listening experiences. They are fun stories and Larkin simply has fun narrating them. His humor and energy mesh with Swierczynski's style and the listener reaps the rewards. Hachette Audio/AudioGo

Gun Machine (written by Warren Ellis; narrated by Reg E. Cathey) Cathey had a great book to work with here, but he wove his interpretation into the very fibers of the story. I was especially impressed with his range of character. Gritty, hardboiled and fun! Hachette Audio

Dare Me (written by Megan Abbott; narrated by Khristine Hvam) I haven't had an opportunity to review this one as I listened to it late this year, but Hvam is quite masterful with the high school world as she took the narration lead on this one as well but gave it its own unique sound. I didn't make the connection that she had narrated Reconstructing Amelia until looking back later. She nails the attitude, the energy and most especially the perspective of the novel. Hachette/AudioGo

The October List (written by Jeffery Deaver; narrated by January LaVoy) If my list would have been longer than 7, the eighth audio would have been Killer Instinct. It introduced me to January LaVoy and she knocked my socks off, but I had to choose The October List first because she was as important in the surprise of the plot twist for me as the writing itself.  She knew and understood the story and played it perfectly. Hachette Audio

The Goldfinch (written by Donna Tartt; narrated by David Pittu) I'm still finishing this one up, but have been transfixed for more than 20 hours already (the full audio is over 30) and have run the gamut of emotions. Pittu's easy transitions between the many dialects is stellar and I'm especially enamored by his portrayal of females. What a great listening experience this has been. Hachette Audio

The Graveyard Book (written and narrated by Neil Gaiman) Can I just say, "wow! This one blew me away!"? Is that sufficient? I felt like I was there in the graveyard with Bod. And Gaiman's sound made me feel safe there. I'm always skeptical of an author performing his/her own audiobooks, but this one was flat out amazing. So thankful I finally listened to it. Harper Audio

And that does it for the favorite audiobooks of 2013! How about you? What were your favorites?


alex December 27, 2013 at 6:43 PM  

30 hours for the Goldfinch... I do want to read it... Just finishing 20 hours of Masters of Sex, I think I will read something quicker first :)

Beth F December 28, 2013 at 7:03 AM  

Reconstructing Amelia was a great audio, but the book itself didn't grab me as much as it did other readers.

Mike O December 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM  

My favorite audiobook listen of the year was David Freed's FLAT SPIN. It might not be for everybody but I am still smiling about it. For me, the witty sarcastic humor was great.

Karen Russell December 28, 2013 at 6:25 PM  

I got satellite radio in my car and stopped listening to audiobooks for a while. But now that the glamour has worn off, I just started listening to Thomas H. Cook's Sandrine's Case on the recommendation of a friend. Will check out a couple of these as well -- thanks!

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