Monday, June 25, 2012

Audiobook Week 2012 Kick-Off

Welcome to Audiobook Week 2012 hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books. I love audiobooks and have participated in this event for the past two years. Each year, I've made new friends and discovered some great audiobooks. The week ahead will be filled with discussion, reviews, and prizes, and promises to be just as exciting.

Today's topic/discussion: 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.

Let's get started with my 'listening background'. I first turned to audiobooks in 2002, when I was spending exorbitant amounts of time in my car. The library was my sole source of audiobooks and I listened to whatever happened to be on the shelf. I didn't pay much attention to narrators and never considered listening outside the car.

Ten years later in 2012, most of my audiobooks come from audible.com. I have come to understand just how crucial the narrator is to a good listening experience and have developed a short list of personal favorites. I never select titles haphazardly. Instead, a thoughtful choice is made from my wish list of over 150 titles. Most of my listening still happens in the car, but I often use my iPod to listen...

on the treadmill (a good book often leads to an extra mile),


in the kitchen, especially while chopping fruits and vegetables,


while cleaning (the better the book, the cleaner the house),


and working outdoors.


I have experimented with listening while walking Zelda, our greyhound, but that didn't work out - she prefers my undivided attention.


2012 is already shaping up to be my best year ever for audiobooks. Favorites so far include:



You Know When The Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon
You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen (review coming soon)

What kind of audiobook year are you having?

Visit Devourer of Books for links to others posts on this topic.

55 comments:

  1. I feel like I'm at the beginning of your journey :-) The library is my sole source of audiobooks, although I've been toying with the idea of an Audible membership! And I totally agree - the better the book, the cleaner the house (and the more quickly the laundry gets done - washed & folded).

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. Tanya - I love audible, but really need to figure out how to get Overdrive to work so I can borrow books from the library, too. Technology is not really my strong point ;-)

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  2. I have never tried it. I don't think it is for me. It would be great on a long trip. I don't like headphones or earbuds, so I don't know how I would do it without annoying others.

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    1. Brenda - I definitely prefer listening when I'm alone in the car, but have recently gotten used to 'ear hook' earbuds. They have made a big difference for me.

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  3. (having trouble posting...hope this works)

    I love all the pictures of where you listen! How funny that your dog doesn't accept anything less than your full attention. My dog has a serious problem with my listening on my iPod as well - it's ok out loud from the iPad or from the speaker, but not from ear buds. It's like he's saying, "mama! Stop that noise!!"

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    1. Alison Skap - Exactly! My dog knows when she doesn't have my full attention and will do all she can to let me know she's not happy.

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  4. That Samuel Lake book is one that has caught my eye. It's good to know that the audio was awesome! I only listen to audio's in my car. I thought about putting them on my ipod and bringing that with me when I walk, but I enjoy the sounds of nature too much.

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    1. Jo-Jo - The Homecoming of Samuel Lake is amazing. I hope you get a chance to listen! I have a hard time listening when I walk outside (mostly because of the dog), but I always listen on the treadmill.

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  5. I also have narrators that I prefer. If I know that a narrator that I love is going to narrate a book I'm interested in, sometimes I'll wait until the audio is available to listen to it then. I listen on my commute and while cleaning the house. But, only while my baby is taking a nap. Otherwise she demands my attention.

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    1. Emily - I'll wait for the audio if one of my favorites will be narrating, too. My kids are all in college now, but I could never listen when they were young... I could barely read either!

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  6. I love this post! Such great pictures!

    Wasn't You Know When the Men Are Gone great in audio? I think that Cassandra Campbell was robbed of an Audie (not that I've listened to the others in that category... but that's neither here nor there. LOL!)

    You're recommendations are gold to me, so the other audiobooks are now on my TBL.

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    1. Literate Housewife - I am totally in awe of You Know When the Men Are Gone and certainly felt Cassandra Campbell deserved an Audie! The others I mentioned were also amazing, and I feel the same way about your recommendations:-)

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  7. You and I must have the same routines, because that is exactly how I get all my listening hours in too. It makes everything better and more exciting! I loved "You Know When the Men Are Gone".

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    1. Sandy - Our routines my be the same, but you sure get through a lot more audiobooks than I do... maybe that's why you're the one wearing the 2 piece bathing suit ;-)

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  8. Yes, I'm in! Thanks for the heads-up on Twitter, or else I wouldn't have known about this. ;)

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    1. Arti - I'm so glad! Will be by to read your post this evening.

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  9. I have the Anna Quindlen book out on audio from the library right now - need to put it on my MP3 player soon!

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    1. Carrie - I loved Quindlen's book! You may need to be 50 (or at least approaching) to appreciate it fully... I suspect you're far from there ;-)

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    2. I turn 40 this year - is that far from 50? lol

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  10. Hi Zelda! *waves* Did you say 150 titles?! I feel like such a newbie. I struggled and struggled to listen to audio and now I have the hang of it but still struggle with WRITING about the audios.

    Still wanting to listen to You Know When the Men Are Gone. You're one of my top audiobook recommenders! ;)

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    1. Trish - Yes, 150 titles on my wish list and it's kind of embarrassing. A few date back to when I joined audible in 2004! It seems like more of us blog about them now, so they add up even faster. Hope I don't let you down with this latest batch of recommendations:-)

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  11. The better the book, the cleaner the house! It should be the mantra for all housewives! LoL

    Happy AudioBook Week!

    Dorothy - The Alaskan Bookie - Squeak
    Blog ~ http://alaskanbookie.blogspot.com/
    Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/AkChocoholic

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    1. Squeak Torres - Funny, but true;-)

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  12. I love your pictures of all the places you listen - I tend to listen while doing all those things, too - and I agree with the extra mile thing on the treadmill. I actually did an extra half hour because that's what I needed to be able to finish a book!

    I tend to get my audios from the library or from book sales, but I don't have too much of a system when it comes to what I will listen to. I have found some narrators that I love, some of whom read whole series (CJ Critt does Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and Jennifer Van Dyck does a lot of Iris Johansen's books) but I haven't done any research into what else they narrate - need to get on that soon!

    Kristin @ Always With a Book

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    1. Kristin - I've never noticed audiobooks at our library book sale, but will ask this year! Thanks for the idea. I need to figure out how Overdrive works so I can download books from the library, too... seems to be harder with a Mac.

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  13. All wonderful opportunities to listen to an audiobook. Thankfully, with the dogs I walk, I am able to have one earbud in to listen.

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    1. Nise' - Another problem with earbuds while dog walking is that I always seem to run into people that want to talk... I hate to seem rude!

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  14. Wow that is a great idea! Why didn't I think of that? Listening while cleaning. I am a car only person at the moment. And tons of loud music for cleaning. Humm!! Thanks for that one!

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    1. Alysia - I was a 'car only' listener for years. Once you break out of the car, possibilities are endless!

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  15. I just finished Swimming to Elba, which was narrated by Cassandra Campbell. She did such a great job that I was looking through her back-list but after seeing the comments here, I might just go directly to You Know When the Men are Gone and put that in my Audible cart.

    I almost wish my dog was the one jealous of my time with audiobooks but unfortunately that is the rest of my family. I understand, I really do, but sometimes I'm in the middle of such a good part that I simply refuse to take my earbuds out!

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    1. Oddiophile - Cassandra Campbell is one of the first audiobook narrators I identified as a favorite. You Know When the Men Are Gone is a fabulous book and her reading adds even more power to the stories. My kids are in college now, so they aren't quite as demanding of my time but I don't even try to plug in when my husband is around ;-)

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  16. I love this post!! :) I am one of those newbies to audiobooks who does just as you describe (go to the library, pick what is on the shelf with no regard to anything like narrator, etc.). I have been checking out audible.com and I would love to be able to listen to a book while I run!! What a great idea!! :)

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    1. Medicineforthesoul - I think it's a gradual process - listening, becoming more discerning, and gradually expanding audio horizons. I'd love to listen to a book while I run, too, but for now I power walk ;-)

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  17. You're an audiobook veteran! I haven't actually read any of your favorites - I must check them out.

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    1. Michelle- I hope you get a chance to enjoy some of these!

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  18. My wishlist is going to be out of control at audible.com!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Staci - I'm sure it will be! I've added several more to my list after reading all of today's posts.

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  19. Reading your post makes me want to take out my old MP3 player and listen to some audio books again! Great post!

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    1. Vasilly - Hurray! Dust off the old MP3 player and start listening :-)

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  20. I like your comment - your house is cleaner the better the book! :)

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    1. Sheila - It can get pretty dusty around here when I'm between audiobooks ;-)

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  21. Great post, I love how you did with the pictures.

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  22. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I loved the Anna Quindlen book, I read it. You must try the Joshilyn Jackson, start with her first, Gods in Alabama, it's wonderful!

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    1. Anita - Thanks for the advice. Summer seems like a great time to discover Joshilyn Jackson.

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  23. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I have to agree with what you said about narrators being important--a narrator can make or break an audiobook!

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    1. Melissa - Absolutely! A good reader is key. Thanks for visiting:-)

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  24. I am putting some of your suggestions on my list...have been wanting to read "The Homecoming of Samuel Lake".

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    1. Debbie - The Homecoming of Samuel Lake was amazing. I hope you get a chance to read/listen.

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  25. What does your pup do if you don't give her attention? :)

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    1. Juju - She was a rescue, and you wouldn't believe all of the unusual behaviors she had when she came to us. They all come back (along with a little aggression toward other dogs) if she doesn't have constant reassurance during our walks.

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  26. Wow! You've definitely been listening to audiobooks for a very long time. I love how they make chores so much more enjoyable, and your statement that a good book makes for a clean house is SO true!

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    1. Michelle - Even with a good audio (North and South By Elizabeth Gaskell now), I'm having trouble keeping up with all the clutter/mess from a holiday weekend, lol!

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  27. I love audiobooks and wish I could listen during all of the perfect times that you do! Hard to do when I have a 20 month old running around :) I do make Gage listen to audiobooks in the car though. I have to have some fun.
    I have not been good about keeping track of favorite authors. I need to start doing that!

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    1. Stacybuckeye - I never even considered listening to audiobooks when the girls were Gage's age, but am quite certain it wouldn't have worked!

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