I took an accidental break from audiobooks in October: my general pattern is to ignore my favorite podcasts for a few weeks while I throw myself into an audiobook, then catch up on my podcasts while I figure out what to read next. An audiobook feels like more of a commitment than a regular book, and I struggle with the choosing.
But not this month. In November, I didn’t waste time debating what books to listen to: I got hooked on two long novels, and then stumbled across a short novel narrated by Colin Firth … which means I spent my time actually listening instead of debating what to read.
Note: this is way more hours of audio than I can usually handle in a month: the volume speaks to the quality (and page-turn-a-bility) of the two long audiobooks, not to my priorities or genius time management skills. (But hey, at least I finally folded all the laundry.)
I was shocked to discover this final installment to the blockbuster Lunar Chronicles series clocks in at 832 pages, or 23 hours of audio. That is absurdly long for a YA novel, yet it didn't feel too long while I was reading it. In this final installment, Meyer draws all her characters back to Luna to incite a rebellion against Queen Levana. All in all, this was a satisfying conclusion to a great series, and that's all I could hope for as a reader. If you're new to the series, don't jump in here: it's important to read these books in order. A word of warning: it's been a long time since I read the previous books in the series, and during the first half hour of Winter, I was a little concerned about how many details I'd forgotten. But as I listened, it came back to me. (23 hr 30 min) More info →
Several friends recommended this crime series by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling all at once last month, and I'm glad I paid attention—and that one of them urged me to try the audio versions. In this murder mystery, detective Cormoran Strike and his Girl Friday investigate a supermodel's suspicious suicide. I found the plot compellingly twisty, the characters interesting, the rapport between the two investigators my favorite part. I was leery to do this on audio because of the HSP factor, but aside from a few brief descriptions of the crime scene (and a whole lot of f-bombs) it was fine. (I wouldn't necessarily say that about books 2 and 3 of the series, which are more grisly. I read those in hardback.) Now I'm impatiently waiting for book 4 of the series... (15 hr 54 min) More info →
Graham Greene is frequently included in "novels everyone should read" and "best of the century" lists, and I've been meaning to read him for years. But I'd never made it a priority ... until I found out that Colin Firth narrates this version. This short novel might not hold the broader appeal of the other novels on this list, but I found it enjoyable and thought-provoking, and Firth's narration is pitch perfect. If you love Brideshead Revisited, read this immediately. (6 hr 28 min) More info →
Great news about Harry Potter
The entire Harry Potter series is now finally available on Audible. We’ve been checking the cds out of the library for years, repeatedly, but—at least for myself and my family—Audible is so much easier. These editions are fantastic: like so many readers, I first got hooked on audiobooks when I listened to Jim Dale read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone back in 1998.
Silas and I have been reading through the series out loud and he loves the idea of adding Jim Dale into the mix (especially because Mom’s voice gets tired). We just finished Azkaban in carpool line Friday morning (which has seriously been one of my favorite things this fall) and I promptly downloaded Goblet of Fire.