Monday, September 2, 2013

[Coffee Shop Talks] Are You An Audio Book Fan?

Q: Audio book sales are on the rise. Are you an audio book listener? 
If so, which books and/or narrators would you recommend? 
If not, tell us why. 

I've been listening to audio books since January and it has been a great way to get caught up on series that I've had on my TBR list for ages. I decided to start an audio book subscription after seeing so many really good reviews from my blogging buddies and ever since then, I've been hooked.

At first, I thought it was going to be really expensive, but my subscription through is only $9.99 a month. Some new kindle books run more than that, so it's not a bad deal. Then I found Amazon's reduced pricing for audio books and I've been on a buying spree ever since. 

If you buy a kindle book for a reduced price, for example Rot & Ruin is currently $1.99, then you can also purchase the audio book for $3.99. That's less than $6.00 for both instead of the $26.95 that it would cost to buy the audio version without credits. Pretty sweet, right? And I'm a visual person, that's why I like having both. If there is a name or city or magical term that I'm not sure how to spell, then I can always look it up using the kindle version. 

But the down side to audio books is bad narrators. They can completely ruin a story. Some female narrators have HORRIBLE "man voices" or they can make a heroine sound whiny and irritating. And some are really, really bad with accents. That's one of the reasons I've learned to avoid paranormal romance when it comes to audio books. There is often a male love interest with some sort of accent and it rarely ever works out. What is supposed to be sexy becomes silly instead. 

Emma Galvin (Divergent, Poison Princess, Beautiful Disaster) and Rebecca Gibel (Splintered, Of Poseidon, Undeadly) are fantastic narrators and I wouldn't hesitate to listen to one of their stories. They're definitely my favorites.

I've listed below my best and worst audio book experiences and I would love to hear your opinions as well. I'm always looking for recommendations or even suggestions on which ones to avoid. 

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AquarianDancer said...

I love audiobooks! I started listening to them about a year ago, maybe a bit longer. I started with The Hunger Games trilogy right after the movie released. Here are my Best & Least Favorite ones.

1. Alison Larkin narrating the London Steampunk series by Bec McMaster*****My favorite so far*****
2. The Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunters series by Nalini Singh

Read Instead:
1. A Ghost of a Chance at Love by Terry Spear, narrated by Cathy Schrecongost
2. Thrillseekers Anonymous by Julia London, narrated by Renee Raudman

Traci Horton said...

I haven't started on any audio books but I've really been considering it after hearing other bloggers talk about it. But whatever I'm reading/listening to is my main focus so that cuts out listening to it in the background.

Lisa (Lost in Literature) said...

Ohmygoodness, I'm a total audiobook junkie!! Though I can't say I have any favorite narrators yet.

I most enjoy contemps on audio for some reason. They're just so easy to get into while I'm driving, which is where I do most of my audiobook listening. I really loved Ten Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie, which I recently listened to on audio.

I didn't enjoy Sylo at all... I actually DNF'd it at about 40%. Not sure that it was the fact that it was on audio or I just didn't care for the story, but it didn't hold my attention at all.

Great post! :)

Stephanie Huff said...

My husband is a huge audiobook fan and if I know he will enjoy a book and/or series, my best bet to get him to read it is to find it in audio. We are big visitors to our local library. I've found that while I don't always like to listen to new books on audio, because if I get distracted I miss huge chunks, I love to use them to re-read series or favorite books! I have often had at somewhat of a commute to work (currently between 30-45 minutes), so audiobooks are perfect for that. I love the narrator for Kim Harrison's Hollows series. The same narrator has done all but The Outlaw Demon Wails. I also love the one for Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series. She does great voices for the characters and really brings the Downspeak to life. I actually listened to Unholy Ghosts first and when I read the rest of the series I was hearing her voice for Bump and many of the other characters. From the other end of the spectrum, I love the guy who does the Harry Potter books as well! I haven't listened to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, but i've heard great things about that narrator, including from my husband.

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

I'm not sure what it is, but I can't stand audio books. They are too slow for me and I just can't concentrate on the story. I'd rather see it for me in a book :) It's a shame though, because I can see that they can be a great addition to reading.

Carmel @ Rabid Reads said...

I love audio books but unless the narrator is phenomenal, they usually take me a lot longer to finish so I tend to pick and choose which novels I opt to listen to. I find audios are great for re-reads because they offer a different perspective on a story you already love. Some of my fav narrators include Renée Raudman (Kate Daniels), Lauren Fortgang (Elemental Assassin) and Lorelei King (Charley Davidson).

Beth W said...

I've recently become hooked on audiobooks for the same reason! I get mine for free, through the library, which is awesome.

Some narrators are distracting in that they pause during dialogue at the wrong places, or they seem to have not previously read the script (and know what tone of voice the character is supposed to be speaking in). And some, like The Doctor's Wife, flip between a female narrator and a male narrator, which was distracting for me.

I agree about Divergent..other favorites include: Kill Me Softly (narrator: Kim Mai Guest...currently my FAVORITE), The Rosewood Casket (narrator: CM Herbert), and Don't Breathe a Word (narrator: Lily Rains).

I did not care for the narrator of The Dark and Hollow Places (Allyson Ryan, her male voices were not believable, and distractingly so) and Madapple (Kirsten Potter, her voices all sounded the same to me).

Honestly, now, as an actress and an audiobook fan, I really want to get a job as a book narrator. :)

Sharonda L said...

I just got into audio books recently and I gotta say, I'm starting to enjoy are right though, narrators can totally ruin the experience for you. I tend to listent to the sample before I buy now. Sometimes that help.

Eveline V said...

I tried a few audiobooks, but I tend to fall asleep or just lose concentration during it, because of which I miss half the story:) And indeed some narrators can be so annoying to listen to! They are just really boring or try to do weird voices.

Eveline's Books

ahz1 said...

The narrator makes all the difference in audio books. I tried to listen to The Raven Boys and was bored out of my mind. I loved LA Meyer's Bloody Jack series narrated by Katherine Kellgren (hope I spelled that right). That woman could read the phone book and make it interesting.

Braine TS said...

I'm not an audio book listener. I tried it before but I felt it's too slow for my taste. I applaud those who can though.

Keep-Calm Read-Romance said...

I love listening to audiobook but only when I want to re-read a series. I don't thik I could listen to an audio of a book that I have never read. It's just too hard for me to follow along when reading a new story on audio.

I haven't listened to very many book series on audio but my favorites are the BDB and Fever series. Jim Frangione just MAKES those BDB audiobooks come to life. He's amazing. If you love the BDB series, then you definitely need to listen to the audiobooks. I also really enjoy the Fever series on audio with the exception to the first 3 books. I didn't enjoy Joyce bean narrating but once Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante took the them.

Another series I really enjoy on audio is Jillian Dodd's That Boy series. Lisa Cordileone is AMAZING as Jaden and she sounds just like how I imagined JJ to sound like. The books are hilarious and Lisa just makes it even funnier.

Debbie @ Keep Calm & Read Romance

Mariya said...

For me I don't like audio books. I just can't concentrate on the book b/c the voice seems so monotone and slow to me and takes away what I'm imagining while actually reading the book. I"ve tried a few audio books of some of my favorite series like Fever by KMM, Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost & Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews. I couldn't really get into it. I think it's something that is just not for me.

Jennifer TheBookNympho said...

I LOVE audiobooks. But a great narrator is key to enjoying them.

Here's a list of some of my favorite narrators.

Kristine Hvam – Jane Yellowrock series & Jane True series (books 4-6)
Xe Sands – Dreg City series
Lauren Fortgang – Elemental Assassin series
Renée Raudman – Kate Daniels series
Amanda Ronconi – Molly Harper books
Lorelei King – Charley Davidson series
Bahni Turpin – Downside Ghosts series
Allison McLemore – White Trash Zombie series
Robert Petkoff – IAD series

Kari said...

I listened to Insurgent as my first ever audiobook {long car trip with my hubs and baby}, and I got hooked. I've definitely heard some not-so-good narrators, though, too.

One of my favorites so far has been Mark Deakins for the Maze Runner Trilogy {although it sounds kinda funny when he does Theresa's voice}.

Tina B said...

I am not an audio book listener. I find that I cannot focus on the story and it just becomes background noise for me. :(
I have the whole Mortal Instruments on audio, but haven't been able to read them. Oh, well. I guess I will have to get the regular books. :)
Glad that it works for you, though.

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