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I love audiobooks. Do you?
They are hit and miss, of course, just like any book. But when I am on a long car trip, I have to have an audiobook if I need to drive for a long time. It’s just enough distraction to keep me from thinking about how I stillhavetodrivefourmorehoursandIamnevergoingtomakeitthereohmyword.
With an older toddler in my car almost all of the time now, my audiobook choices have become quite limited: those that don’t have anything I wouldn’t want her to repeat. Which leaves, well, basically nothing. On my last long car ride, I listened to Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator, from the teen section at the library. And it still had a (very) few choice words and phrases I would rather her not have heard.
But back in Ye Olde Days Before Toddlerhood, I listened to audiobooks almost constantly in my car. They really help quell the pain of a commute. An audiobook must be judged, however, not only by the style and interest of the story but also the skill of the reading.
I’ll never forget my deep fascination with the audio version of Plainsong by Kent Haruf. It’s a collection of intertwining stories from people in the same town, and the reader did wonderful voices, capturing my rapt attention. When I saw the sequel, Eventide, in the audiobooks at the library, I snatched it right up. But sadly I found it was not the same reader; the lack of voices or even expression made Eventide yawn-inducing, even with the same characters as Plainsong.
Here are some of my favorite audiobooks, with wonderful stories and great readers:
Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Patty Jane’s House of Curl by Lorna Landvik
It should be noted, of course, that one must never pick up an abridged audiobook. If the author wrote it, it was intended to be read as part of the whole.
Do you like audiobooks? Which ones are your favorites?