Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Sunday Salon and Listen it's May! or How about Listen it's an Audiobook...( Because this month is the Audio book awards!)

Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post! It's that day of the week bloggers from all over the internet get together virtually in a large gathering place called The Sunday Salon and talk books!  And at The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, in which more bloggers share their bookish news!

The weather is dreary in Connecticut today. It's rainy and gray. The kind of day to wrap yourself up in a quilt and read. But I just finished a wonderful book, a book I want to linger with a little more before cracking open the spine of a new one, so I'm thinking that relaxing with an audiobook might be the answer. Listening to audiobooks are a different "reading" experience. I'm not a big audiobook listener, but I have reviewed a few in the past that I absolutely loved. One of which is The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova.  There are actually 5 readers, one for each major character, which is a nice treat. And the story has a lot of the elements I like- a love story than spans time, it's a mystery and it's about art. (You can read my review by clicking on the link above). I reviewed Love & War by James Carville and Mary Matalin, a story about these two political powerhouses that fell in love an raised a family. It was alternately read by them both, and it was so good. (And I'm not one to read books on politics, but that was a very minor part of this story).

3 Things that make a good audiobook?
  1. A Great Narrator... A narrator that sounds great, reads well, emphasizes the right words, and has a sense of feeling for what's being told. And that includes whether or not the narrator is using an accent. There is nothing worse than a narrator whose voice is unpleasant to listen to and/or they are trying to read in an accent that does not sound authentic. And a pleasant voice is subjective, so listen to a sample of someone reading what you are considering, because you will probably be listening to that voice for hours!   
  2. An Interesting Story... A good narrator can make or break a good story, but choosing a genre that interests you or a story that sounds interesting will keep your attention.
  3. The Length of the Audiobook... Yes, there are audiobooks that are 30 minutes and then there are some that are 40 hours. Choose something that is appropriate for what your doing. Such as commuting or a roadtrip. If you choose that 40 hour book and you are commuting to work 30 minutes a day you'll be listening to that book for a long time and hopefully won't get lose your interest. 
In May, the Audio Publisher's Association awards the Audies, which are the awards for outstanding audiobook in about 30 catagories, ranging from Audio drama to Best female/male Narrator, all the way to Best Audiobook of the year. The catagories also include all the different genres, so that Fantasy isn't competing against, say Humor. The finalists have been chosen and you can see and listen to samples of all of them at Audiofile Magazine. Checking these out that may be a great way to dip your toe into the audiobook waters.

I have some problems with audiobooks...
  1. I Get Distracted... If I try doing something else besides listening, I more times than not, get distracted by what I'm doing and not hear part of the story. So, for me, it's relax while listening to the audiobook and enjoy just listening. I have enjoyed audiobooks while driving and on long roadtrips, though.
  2. I Get Bored... If an audiobook is too long, I can get bored. Especially if I'm not doing anything else. Taking breaks from listening can help this. 
What's the answer? Just like books, picking out an audiobook is trial & error. Getting recommendations from others is always a plus. And today, I'm going to share 3 of the audiobooks from the Audie finalists that sound pretty good. 

BTW, the first 2 of these audiobooks has already won an Earphone Award, which is the award given by AudioFile to truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text.

* Earphones Award Winner
by Paula Hawkins | Read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
Fiction • 11 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2014
Three talented narrators handle Hawkins’s debut psychological thriller, giving identifiable voices and personalities to the characters Rachel, Megan, and Anna. Rachel’s life is spinning out of control. She imagines the perfect life of “Jess and Jason,” people she sees from a train window on her daily commute. She actively believes in the fantasy, and when she observes something shocking, she determines to intervene. The three narrators alternate chapters, offering differing interpretations of events as seen by Rachel, who drinks excessively and is subject to alcoholic blackouts; Megan, who is having an extramarital affair; and Anna, who is married to Rachel’s ex-husband. When Megan disappears and the police investigate, listeners must decide how much of what the women report is reliable. Top-notch narration makes this perfect for audio.

Read by Jenny Lawson
*Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir • 8.5 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2014
In her second memoir, Jenny Lawson wears the hats of both author and narrator. While her reading isn't as polished as a professional performer's, her conviction makes this deeply personal content sound powerful and meaningful. Lawson's energy, passion, and furiously happy demeanor invite the listener into her atypical world of mental disorder, taxidermy, and family. Her ability to laugh at herself puts listeners at ease with her weighty issues, which she delivers with grace, insight, sometimes profanity, and the authenticity of a person who faces personal challenges daily. At turns funny and deeply moving, Lawson's accounts and genuine emotion will connect with listeners, whether they struggle with similar problems or not.

I started reading this book a while back and really enjoyed it. I had never heard of Jenny Lawson before, but she is funny and this book is funny. It seems that her humor towards mental illness has helped a lot of people deal with their own issues. I enjoyed the sample of Jenny reading her book too. I liked her voice and I liked that fact that she was reading her own story. This audiobook is up for Best Humor Audiobook 2016. And it also is a Earphone Award Winner. 

Mystery & Suspense • 12.5 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2014
There's a reason Joe Barrett succeeds as narrator in so many audiobooks. He has a particularly dynamic and intriguing style. Freeman's second Cab Bolton mystery is a soaring, complex thriller of political corruption and human failing. Set in Florida, it involves Cab with a campaign for governor and old crimes. Barrett voices just enough to give his characters definition. Where he excels is in imbuing all of them with feeling, passion, and temperament in sync with the storyline. It doesn't matter that his male and female voices differ little in pitch and intensity; the essential differences exist in timbre, intonation, and pacing. His delivery is complex, but Barrett never loses the thread of the story.

This Audiobook is up for Best Mystery Audiobook. I'm not a big "political mystery" reader, but I really loved Joe Barrett's voice as he read it. And, even though this is book 2 of the character Cab Bolton, I'm not sure these days you need to read book 1 to enjoy a book 2. 

Question... Do you listen to audiobooks? and if you do, What do YOU think makes a good audiobook?

Now that we've talked about how to pick out an audiobook, let's talk about where to buy them... and remember, these audiobooks are not generally physical CD's so you have to have a device that you can download them to... is an Amazon subsidiary now and you can join a monthly audiobook subscription through to get credits for 1 or more "Digital" books a month, starting at $14.95 for 1 audiobook a month. OR, check out's Daily Deals! Every day they have a new deal on an audiobook. Usually anywhere from $1.99 to $4.95. The other day I downloaded Woof by Spencer Quinn for $3.95. It sounded cute and of course I like dog stories. It's the teenage version of Spencer Quinn's adult "Talking Dog and partner" series. 

Downpour is a something I've gotten emails from about audiobooks. It appears that is an audiobook rental site. To join and get one audiobook rental a month is $12.95, but if this sounds like something you're interested in you should investigate a bit further because I'm not sure. The site was a bit mysterious in all it's details.

AudiobookStand... They sell audiobooks on CD's and MP3's starting at $6.

Audio Editions... Audiobooks on CD's and Tapes, prices vary.

YOUR Librairy! Most libraries have audiobook downloads AND audiobooks on CD's for you to borrow!

*Kim at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, just reminded me with her Sunday post about a great audiobook program from SYNC (part of Audible). It's is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. The 2016 season is May 5th - August 17th 2016. SYNC 2016 will give away 30 titles - two paired audiobook downloads a week! Go to Audiobooksync to sign up!

Hope you have found something tempting here, or at least some good audiobook information! June is Audiobook Month, and maybe we'll check out some audiobooks then too. If you've listened to a great audiobook, please share it! I'd love to hear about it!

Happy reading... (or listening)... Suzanne

P.S. That wonderful book I just read that the memory of won't let me immediately open another book is Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky! It is only 129 pages with each sentence speaking volumes! It is a love story, it is a story of the passions of our youth, it is a beautifully written novel. READ IT! 


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I loved Suite Francaise and Fire in the Blood so much, and have just been recently wowed by Lab Girl, so I understand your difficulty in picking up a new book. I decided to try a children's biography next, but I love your idea of taking on an audiobook.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Deb,
I have Suite Francaise in my TBR pile and now I can't wait! A friend read Fire in the Blood recently and told me how much he enjoyed it, so I decided I would read it too and I am so happy I did! Now I can't believe how long I waited to read anything by Irene N!

Molly said...

YAY... I'm glad you are going to give audio books one more try!

My husband is an audible member (he travels a lot and listens to at least a book a week) but I'm not sure he knows of the daily deal. I will pass that along...

Our library uses Axis 360 app. The selection seems mediocre (many titles have a 100+ day wait)... but it is a nice way to ease into a possible Audible subscription :)

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I can't even imagine a situation for me that would be conducive to listening to a book...I have no long road trips ahead...or if I did, I wouldn't be going alone.

Also...listening while doing other things. I would also get very distracted and get off track.

It wouldn't work for me in any conceivable situation. But for those who can manage it, I applaud them.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Greg said...

It's been rainy and blah here too. I'm looking forward to the weather improving this week (hopefully!). I don't read a lot of audiobooks either, as I tend to lose my attention focus, but under the right circumstances I think an audio would be a good way to go . I have the same problem with distractions...

Have you read (listened) to Girl on the Train? I read it a while back, I can see that one being good on audio (and nice to see it was recognized for the audio). I didn't love the book but with a good narrator, I ca see it geing a good audio.

Unknown said...

I had a 3 day weekend and the sun didn't shine. Figures. LOL I do that sometimes. Linger over a book once I'm finished. Never thought of listening to an audible. Going to try that.

My Sunday Post

Nise' said...

I love audiobooks! Now that I have been listening for years I am able to do other things (exercise, clean, scrapbook, drive, etc) while listening. A good story and a great narrator are a must for me!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

The Others is awesome on audio. I started with mystery and urban fantasy now I listen to everything. I have zero commute but listen when doing mundane chores even in the shower. .lol

Rachel said...

I've just started listening to Furiously Happy, and it's looking pretty good so far! I agree about getting distracted while listening to a book - that happens to me all the time. However, I figure that if I didn't listen to an audiobook while walking, driving, or doing monotonous work I probably wouldn't get that particular book read ANYWAY. Better to enjoy the book through audio even if I don't catch it all than to not ever get to it at all. And if I really love it, I can go back and read it the old fashioned way. :)

thecuecard said...

I just got into audiobooks this past year and now love them when walking my dog in the mornings. I usually download them for free from the library. Sometimes if I miss something when listening -- I go back & re-listen to parts of the story. I think a good narrator is essential.

Blogger said...

I must recommend reading the book The Girl on the Train: A Novel.
I just finished reading it today, and I think its a really interesting book to read.

I brought mine off Amazon and I got it in just 2 days.
Here is the link for the book on Amazon:
The Girl on the Train: A Novel

FSB Media Book Blogger Directory
my read shelf:
Suzanne's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
First To Read
Reviews Published
Professional Reader
Challenge Participant