Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find the prompts here.
This week’s topic was a freebie, so I decided to go back into the Top 10 Tuesday archives and pick a topic that I had missed. Since I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately, I thought that the All About Audio topic from September 2016 would be a good one to tackle. I did write about the topic then on my old blog, but I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks since then and added a few more to my library for future listening, so I thought it would be a fun one to rewrite.
These are some of the audiobooks I’ve enjoyed the most recently and some that I think sound great from their samples and think we should all check out.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Narrated by Michael Crouch
When I finally got around to reading Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda this year, I couldn’t believe that it had taken me so long. I think my problem was that the beginning of the novel was a bit slow for me and it took awhile for the action, so to speak, to take off.
The narration helped me get through the bulk of the story, though, when before I had tried to read it from the hardcover. I only picked up the hardcover again for the last 30 pages or so. I think Michael Crouch was a good choice for Simon because his voice doesn’t sound like it has an age to it, really. I’m not sure how old he is, but he could voice a character from his teens, like Simon, to a character in his 30’s and I’d think he’s just as good. I like that versatility in a narrator.
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Katherine Kellgren had the best voice for this book and I’ll tell you why. Her accent aside, she was the rights parts funny and posh sounding that it all sounded ludicrous and yet humorous at the same time. The combination of writing and storytelling was a pleasure and if the three authors ever write another book together, I hope they get Katherine Kellgren to narrate that one as well.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Narrated by Allan Corduner
I’ve only listened to a chapter of this so far and I love it, but I also know going into this that it will likely break my heart. When the narrator in the book is Death, how can I expect anything else? Allan Corduner sounds like he’ll do an excellent job and though I have no idea what he looks like, I have no problem imagining that Death, in this instance, looks like Julian Richings, who played Death on Supernatural.
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow, Narrated by Julia Whelan
I read an ARC of Girl in Pieces last year and once the preorder link was available on Audible, I used one of my credits and hopped on that train as well. Why? Because much of Girl in Pieces is about Charlie’s voice and her experience. Hearing it and processing the story in this manner added another layer to the experience. Yes, I cried, but I’m happier for it because it gave new depth to Kathleen Glasgow’s debut.
A Little Life by Hana Yanagihara, Narrated by Oliver Wyman
I’ll be honest, the initial reason I bought this in part because it was on sale for $4.95 or something like that. Just like when an ebook or a physical book is on a steep discount, I get suckered in when something is only that much.
Having said that, I’m enjoying Oliver Wyman’s performance of this book. His voice is very mellow and flows with the narrative. He’s the type of narrator I picture listening to on a rainy afternoon, watching the rain through the window while you let the words tumble around in your brain.
This is the longest audiobook I own (32+ hours) so it’ll take more than one or two rainy afternoons to get through it, but the fact that it also takes place in NYC is another weakness that had me hooked.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Narrated by Rebecca Soler
Cinder is the first book in a series that I am so far behind on that it’s actually been completed already. I guess that’s something because now I won’t need to wait years for the next book to come out.
Rebecca Soler has the same quality about her that I liked in Michael Crouch’s performance of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda: she’s got a voice that could be anywhere from a young girl to a young/middle-aged woman.
I’m curious to see how she’ll do when I get to the evil characters showing up, particular Levana, but I have to say that I love her portrayal of Iko (hands down my favorite character). That little android is the sweetest, funniest character I’ve encountered so far.
Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, Narrated by Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Retta, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner
The thing that I like best about this book is that they got the actors from the podcast to do at least some of the voices for the book, particular Cecil Baldwin. I can’t speak for all the narrators, but Cecil is the voice of Night Vale, so his narrating the book is Reason #1 to pick it up if you have ever listened to the podcast. If you haven’t, you’re missing one of the trippiest rides. I’m still catching up on the podcast itself (they did release a couple of volumes in print), but this book is a novel taking place in this little desert town where the dog park is always open but no dogs allowed and the Glow Cloud is always watching.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Narrated by Jay Snyder, Brandon Rubin, Fred Berman, Lauren Fortgang, Roger Clark, Elizabeth Evans, Tristan Morris
Sometimes I find it hard to separate multiple points of view and in this book there are six very different ones to pick from. The company that put together the audiobook made a great choice when they hired separate narrators for each character because I think it helps give each of them more of an individual personality. Narrators can, of course, do multiple voices, Jim Dale being a prime example, but the separation of the voices also gives the dynamic of this gang another facet. They’re dueling personalities at first because of the situation under which they come together and you can really feel that listening to the assembled cast.
This is another series that I haven’t finished yet and I’m glad I haven’t because the sequel is now out so I’ll be able to get right through this book and straight into Crooked Kingdom.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Another book that I got because for some reason NYC books are my thing, but did I also mention this is narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda? Oh yeah! I bought this around the time I started listening to Hamilton, but hadn’t yet gotten the soundtrack because I was curious what the big deal was about Miranda.
I loved how into character he got, how much he embraced Ari & Dante and brought them from ink and paper to something entirely other. Like I said about My Lady Jane, when there’s a sequel to this, I hope they get a repeat narrator.
The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey, Narrated by Finty Williams
This is a unique take on a classic monster story and I’m very anxious to read/listen to it. I borrowed a copy from the library awhile ago, but I never got to finish it. I bought this around the time I heard that there was a movie coming out in 2016, which I don’t think ever got the press it should have. Maybe that’s a good thing, since most adaptations that receive a lot of advance praise tend to disappoint.
In any case, I’m not 100% sold on this narrator yet, but I think what is pushing me more toward listening to it than reading it is because the narration is going to set the eerie tone that this book deserves.