It’s no secret that we are audiobook queens around here. We love them and totally see the benefit of listening to a book for so many different reasons. But if you’re new to audiobooks, you might be wondering where to start. Here are 5 of our favorites that will totally get you hooked on audiobooks.
5 Audiobooks We Recommend for (N)ewbies
The Help, Kathryn Stockett; Narrated by: Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell
The narrators (all of them) did an amazing job in immersing us in the setting of The Help. The life of these maids and the people they worked for, the racism they experienced, the humiliation and the pride at doing something to .. clap back … all came through because the narrators put us in the book and kept us there. They became the characters. Each one had a unique voice and attitude to go with it. Yes – years after reading The Help, I still think the audiobook is better than the book. Audiobook Length: 18 hrs and 19 mins
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why?
A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman; Narrated by George Newbern
Kim put it on her list of 3 Contemporary Books With Quirky Characters and when I finally read it, I couldn’t agree more. A Man Called Ove is one of my favorite character driven books. It made Our Fa(V)e #SummerReads2017 list, and it’s because the audiobook narration by George Newbern PERFECTLY conveyed the grumpiness, loneliness, sadness, quirky nature, capacity for love and hapiness of Ove. Listen to the audiobook to get the proper promounciation of his name! Audiobook Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (The Millennium #1), Stieg Larsson; Translated by Reg Keeland; Narrated by Simon Vance
It’s no surprise that there is a book narrated by Simon Vance one this list – he is after all, one of our favorite audiobook narrators. Somebody described this as moody pstychodrama and with all that’s going in, the audiobook is the only way to go. Plus I think audiobooks are especially suited to translated novels, as you’ll get the correct pronounciation of names and places for a truly immersive experience. Audiobook Length: 16 hrs and 19 mins
Island Beneath the Sea, Isabel Allende; Narrated by S. Epatha Merkerson
Another translated work (from Spanish). It’s sometimes hard to read books about slavery because it’s heart-wrenching to see the story of people living through a REAL dystopia. Island Beneath the Sea was incredibly well written, with vivid details of life in Haiti, the relationship between Valmorain and his slave, Tete, a well detailed history of Haiti interwoven throughout, including the revolts and revolution which led to Haiti being the first country to abolish slavery. There was so much thrown into this book, but Allende was so adept at crafting the story, that in no way did it seem like too much.
Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman (Author and Narrator)
The audiobook of Neverwhere, narrated by the author himself, will transport you to London below – a magical alternate reality where good and bad things happen – and there is no such thing as a boring day. The audiobook is seriously the best way to experience this novel – the characters and the settings – both are unforgettable.
Which audiobooks would you recommend to newbies?