Friday, June 25, 2010

Audiobook Week: My Favorites

Audiobook Week draws to a close today. Jen at Devourer of Books has assigned the task of sharing recommendations. I've broken my favorites down into categories, but it was still hard to choose just a few.

Fiction Favorites
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is my top recommendation. It's read by multiple narrators and is, quite simply, fabulous.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann - multiple narrators, in the running for my top audiobook of 2010
The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle - read by the author, a favorite of 2008
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri - outstanding collection of short stories
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - multiple narrators
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - multiple narrators, the first audiobook that made me cry
Digging to America by Anne Tyler - Tyler has become an 'audio author' for me
The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates

Recently, I've turned to classics on audio.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, narrated by Ruby Dee became an instant favorite
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, narrated by Frank Muller was also outstanding

Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspeare
(narrated by Rita Barrington)

General Non-Fiction
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (narrated by Scott Brick)
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (narrated by Scott Brick)
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (narrated by Rick Adamson)


My Life in France by Julia Child
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (read by the author)
Downtown: My Manhattan by Pete Hamill (read by the author)


Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (read by the author) Nobody can do David Sedaris like David Sedaris. Don't spend your time reading his books... let him read them to you. They are like nothing you've ever heard!

by Nora Ephron ( read by the author)
Again, nobody reads Nora Ephron as well as the author. This book was simply hilarious... especially if you are nearing "a certain age".


  1. I also loved The Help and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I laughed out loud at David Sedaris imitating his brother's accent.

    I might have to check out My Life in France. I've been interested in Julia Child since seeing Julie & Julia. I'm sad to say that I really didn't know anything about her before that movie, and she seems like she lived a fascinating life.

  2. So many choices!! thanks for the information on all of these!

  3. I can't even begin to comment, because all of your recommendations are excellent. We are definitely on the same wave-length!

  4. Wow, I bet The Help really is fabulous to listen to. You've got some great books on your list in general, audio or not.

  5. Their Eyes Were Watching God is what I'm currently listening to. I'm truly enjoying it. Ruby Dee is awesome. This is only my second audiobook. Some of your other selections are equally appealing.

  6. JoAnn...great job on this post. I LOVED that particular Sedaris book on audio, also the Ephron one as well. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Kristen - I knew almost nothing about Julia Child's life before seeing Julie & Julia. My Life in France was an excellent audio!

    Staci - You're welcome. There are so many great audios out there...

    Sandy - I always pay close attention to your audio recommendations... our tastes are very similar!

    Carolsnotebook - The Help was outstanding on audio! My mom and sister both read it, but they want to listen next.

    Jen - thanks!

    Donna - Ruby Dee did such a good job with that classic! I don't think I would have enjoyed reading it as much as I did listening. This is a great time to get into audiobooks - so many great recommendations this week with Jen's event. Thanks for commenting.

    Thanks, Diane. I think humor is better on audio than to read... especially if the author is the narrator!

  8. Thanks for all your recommendations. I can agree with some as I've also listened to them. I read I Feel Bad About My Neck in print but I'm going to see if the library has it in audio form. I bet it is hilarious with her reading it.

    BTW - I've enjoyed all your audiobook features this week.

  9. Margot - I hope your library has I Feel Bad About My Neck. If you liked the print version, just wait until you hear Ephron reading it!! Glad you enjoyed audiobook week.

  10. I bet The Help is a great audiobook...I loved reading it, so I might have to revisit it as audio!

  11. Thanks for the list of recommendations! I have read many of them in print but the ones that I have not I will check out on audio. Indifel has been on my list forever - maybe I will do that one in audio!

    Wholeheartedly agree on Sedaris - I had a few of his books on my shelf and gave them away so I could listen to the audio!

  12. Beth - The Help was so good on audio - definitely worth the 'reread'!

    Booksnyc - Infidel was excellent as an audio - the author reading gave it a whole added dimension. After hearing Sedaris live and listening to his book, I could NEVER simply read one!

  13. I totally enjoy audio of Let the Great World Spin so much better than the written word. Excellent list for me to explore more audio. It's a new thing to me.

  14. Matt - So glad you are starting to explore audiobooks! The audio of Let The Great World Spin was SO well done. It added a whole different dimension to the novel.

  15. I still have to read The Help. I did start listening to Their Eyes are Watching God and was loving it but had to take it back. You just reminded me that I'd better get it back. lol.

  16. I've recently discovered how easy it is to download books through my library, so I'll have to look out for some of these titles. So far the selection is limited but I bet I can find a few of these!

    I agree that Sedaris is such a great narrator. I just finished listening to When Engulfed by Flames and laughed out loud several times (when at work!). I've heard it isn't his best so I look forward to finding some others. I read one of his books last year and didn't get it--I think the tone is lost in written word.

  17. Darlene - I think I would have had a hard time getting into Their Eyes Were Watching God if I'd been reading instead of listening.

    Trish - I can't imagine that reading David Sedaris could compare to hearing him! My library now has audiobooks to download, and I'm hoping they will expand their collection soon.

  18. I just finished reading The Help, but think it would be so great to hear their voices! Loved that book.

  19. Kim - The Help was such a great audio, I would even recommend rereading at some point just so you can listen!


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