I keep a Goodreads shelf called the Audiobook is Better because sometimes listening to the audiobook can be a better experience than reading the physical book. This can be for many reasons – sometimes with science fiction or fantasy, it’s because the setting comes alive with a narrator who is able to fluidly pronounce the imagined names; sometimes the dialect and accents can roll off a narrator’s tongue better than I can imagine when reading; and sometimes, the nuances of a culture is better experienced when read aloud by someone more familiar with that culture. Here are 3 books that I recently added to my “Audiobooks is Better” shelf.
Daisy Jones and the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated by: A Full Cast including Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, Judy Greer, Pablo Schreiber
The book is written in “interview transcript style”. This turned out to be perfectly translated to an audio book format with multiple narrators representing each of the persons interviewed about this famous (but fictitious) band.
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.
This book was like a real memoir, and it feels like this was a real group. Jennifer Beals portrayal of Daisy Jones – fantastic! She had that raspy, rock-n-roll, bad-girl voice down pat! The rest of the cast were similarly great at portraying the members of the band, The Six, and various other people who interacted with them. This is truly a memorable story, made even better by listening to it read by a fabulous cast.
On the Come Up, Angie Thomas
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
I didn’t know what to expect from this 2nd novel by Angie Thomas. I loved her first, The Hate U Give, but am not really a fan of contemporary young adult novels in general. Well – Angie Thomas – you are a freaking rock star!! Or … should I say rap star (pun intended). On the Come Up is the story of a young girl coming into her own, in a family that has nothing except love for each other and the will to do battle with the harshness of life. Bri, her brother, mom, grandparents – every single character is written so that you come to know them – what they’ll do – how they’ll react. Do yourself a favor LISTEN TO THE AUDIOBOOK – the narration will bring out the story like the book can’t – the rap battles – how Bri expresses herself through her rap lyrics. The narrator is Bahni Turpin and she captured the essence of the character, and the story and the lyrical nature of this novel.
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes.
The Girl in Red, Christina Henry
Narrator: January LaVoy
Although I’m not usually a fan of “snarky teenagers”, thanks to LaVoy, I completely got the personality of the main character, Red, and wasn’t as annoyed as I would usually have been. The Girl in Red is an apocolyptic re-imagining of the children’s story, Little Red Riding Hood … and I was there for it! There were some cliche moments used to tie this book back to the original fairy-tale that I felt we could have done without, but overall, a really solid book and I look forward to exploring more novels from this author.
It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you’re participating in #AMonthofFaves [The 2019 Edition] link up to your blog post (or Instagram picture) below.