Hear all about it – audio books – yay or nay?

Posted On 26 March 2019

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 21 responses


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

Audio Freebie

Audio is still a relatively new experience for me and in fact I really need to get into the habit of carrying my earphones around with me and pressing the play button more often on my phone – I’m pretty sure I could listen to an audiobook at least once a week when I’m cooking or shopping or walking the dog!  Anyway, each book I’ve tried has taught me different lessons and I’m still on a learning curve.  I think one thing that I have spotted, and this is a major flaw on my part, is that out of the ten books below I’ve only reviewed three of them.  Of course these were my own books and not review copies but I’d still like to have reviewed them!  I think because these were books that I fit into my schedule unexpectedly I just never got round to posting reviews for them.  That’s something I need to fix in the future if I intend to listen to more and in fact I really need to leave reviews for the other seven books – perhaps mini reviews – but here’s my audio experience so far:

Borderline, The Arcadia Project by Mishell Baker – I really enjoyed this, it was my first audio experience and it was so good. I thought I’d drift off and miss chunks of information if I was listening to a book, like you can do with music sometimes – you relax and switch off but that didn’t happen here.  This was a great first book to listen to and made me want to try more.  In fact I went on to buy the second in series (Phantom Pains) on audio which was just as enjoyable.


Thunderbird by Chuck Wendig.  I love the Miriam Black series but I think buying this on audio, mid series, was definitely not a good idea for me and was one of those things I’ve had to put down to experience.  I think because I’d read the previous books in series, well, I guess I had an idea of how the people would sound inside my head and then hearing a totally different voice (voices) just threw me for six.  As it is, I ended up not really enjoying Thunderbird and I’m not sure if that’s because of the book or because I started listening to the audio mid-series – it’s not something I would do again.  I think the lesson here was that if I’m planning on listening to a series I need to pick up the audio from the start so there are no contradictory voices running round inside my head – does this sound insane?  Of course, once I’ve listened to the first I don’t think it would be a problem to read the second or third book in a series.


How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper – I have to confess that this was a lot of fun.  I wanted to try audio from the library and this was a sort of trial run.  It was so easy to listen too.  I was actually decorating at the time and actually listened to virtually a full book in one sitting (or standing, painting) – which made the work just fly by.  The message here, if you’ve got something mind numbingly easy to do then definitely break out an audio book – it will make the work and the time fly by.


American Gods by Neil Gaiman – this is a book that I’ve owned for ages – the physical copy, but something stopped me from picking it up, even though I love so many books by this author.  I think I was scared somehow.  Don’t ask me to explain.  Then I decided to buy the tenth anniversary audio book which has quite a few narrators including Gaiman.  I loved it.  The narration is just amazing and seems to really bring the book to life.  What a rush.


The Boy on the Bridge by MR Carey.  I felt a little bit wary going into this book.  To be honest I always thought The Girl with All the Gifts was a standalone so I was surprised to find another book set in the same world.  I really didn’t need to worry – I admit that it took me a little longer to get into this one and I really had to pay attention to the cast but once I got into it it was great.  And the ending!


Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse.  This book is perfect for audio.  Just perfect.  The narration is fantastic and what I really enjoyed was listening to somebody give all the names and places the correct pronunciation – it just made things seem much more authentic in my head than the botched up version I probably would have come up with.  I do have the second book waiting to be read which I’m very excited to start – it’s not an audio book but as I already experienced the first book in that format I think the switch round will be easy and hopefully all the names and places will just flow.


The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso.  I enjoyed this book, the audio was good, but, I think this might have been a book that I would have enjoyed reading – only in that sometimes I like to make notes and kindle makes it so easy to either highlight text or make reference points – perhaps you can do this on audio but I have no idea how to?  Anyway, I’m going to pick up a copy of the second book at some point but think I’ll go for the print version and see how the experience compares.


Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers – now you may be thinking ‘hang on, didn’t you say you couldn’t jump into audio mid-series’ and yes, yes I did.  But, all the Becky Chambers books are separate stories and so I think the earlier ruling doesn’t apply.  Or I’m just making things up as I go along and cheating with my own rules.  Regardless, I enjoyed this, it did take me a little while to get into and maybe sci-fi is going to be something that I have more of a struggle listening to – it’s not my comfort zone after all so that makes sense in some ways.


An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris.  This was the perfect book for audio.  Seriously.  Light, fun, plenty of action, great narrator.  I loved this from start to finish.  This sort of book just makes audio seem like a doddle and makes me wonder why I’m not listening to so much more.  Give me more of this.


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.  I don’t know why but I really struggled with this one and I just can’t put my finger on what the problem was.  I think it was ‘me’ to be honest.  So many people love this book but for some reason I was unable to find myself really absorbed in the listening experience.  Laini Taylor has such a wonderful way with words and I think maybe I wanted to see some of the sentences on the page – to go over them once or twice and linger a while.  There were a number of occasions where I was really struck with the particular way something was phrased and yet in spite of this the audio version left me unfulfilled. I think I may have to try again with this one but on the kindle.


That’s my audio experience so far – how about you??



21 Responses to “Hear all about it – audio books – yay or nay?”

  1. Tammy

    These are great ideas for newbies like me. I need to start with something easy so I don’t get scared away!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I’m definitely still a newbie and learning things as I go along.
      Lynn 😀

  2. waytoofantasy

    Honestly, ever since I started listening to audiobooks three years ago, I’ve been hooked. They’ve probably doubled the amount of books I read too. Also, sometimes I get into slumps because of my depression and audio usually keeps me going. It took a while for me to get used to them because I tuned audio out all the time before, and some books can still be a challenge, but overall I really love audiobooks. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It takes a bit of getting used to at first – when you’re reading you’re aware of other things going on round you – tv, conversations, etc, but when you’re listening to a book you do have to pay attention and shut out the background noise but I’m enjoying it – maybe it will make me a really good listener!
      Lynn 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Audiobooks are not exactly my cup of tea, since they don’t allow you, like written books do, to lift your eyes for a moment and ponder any given passage, or plot twist or a particularly fascinating sentence. Still, I’ve often thought about re-visiting the October Daye series in audiobook form, because it would be fun and because the books are narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal, another favorite writer, and that would certainly be an amazing experience… 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Ooh,I like the sound of the Toby Daye audio – although it would break my rule of not listening to the audio after already starting the series – I could give it a try to see if that’s a hard and fast rule.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Zezee

    I might listen to the Boy on the Bridge audiobook. I really enjoyed the Girl with All the Gifts audio.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you like it – I thought it was really good with a great ending.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Jen | Book Den

    I love audiobooks! I find I burn out easier on a book in this format, though. They take longer to read, and I’m not able to speed them up very much and still pay attention to them.

  6. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I have done both print and audio for the Miriam Black series – it just seems to me though, when the books started going downhill so did the narration. When I listened to Thunderbird, I almost thought they switched readers, but nope, still Emily Beresford, who was INCREDIBLE with Blackbirds and Mockingbird. Or maybe it had been too long between books, who knows 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I don’t really think it was the narration, I think it was me, I don’t think I can pick up a book mid series, it just feels weird somehow like the people aren’t speaking the way I imagined. There is of course the possibility that I also just didn’t like Thunderbird as much!
      Lynn 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know, I mean, I jumped in at the mid way point which I don’t think is a good idea but if you didn’t love it too then maybe it’s more the ‘book’.
      Lynn 😀

  7. PerfectlyTolerable

    You could just do a Audio book mini review post and do a short review for the 7 you are missing 😀 Haha its awesome that you are getting into Audiobooks! I love audiobooks

  8. jessicabookworm

    I used to absolutely love audiobooks and stories when I was a child – I have very fond memories of listening to The Adventures of Portland Bill at bedtime 🙂 However as an adult I rarely to never listen to audiobooks, except for the three Harry Potter audiobooks I have narrated by the wonderful Stephen Fry 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Ahh, I can imagine that Stephen Fry makes a wonderful narrator.
      Lynn 😀

  9. downrightdystopian

    Great list. I’ll have to check some of these out.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks – hope you get the chance. I don’t read a lot of audio so I like recommendations for what’s good or not.
      Lynn 😀

  10. Carmen

    You are allowed to cheat with your own rules, Lynn; after all, they are yours. 🙂 Anyways, I’ve been listening to science podcast, which is a lot easier to do than audiobooks, but the message here is that perhaps science or nonfiction are better listens for me than a novel I attempted and spaced out in the first paragraph. I’m a visual person but short snippets of facts and news do stick with me, so perhaps a novel is not my format at all. I confess though, that I own two more audiobooks (novels) but I’m afraid to try them.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Ooh, which two novels do you own in audio?? Curious minds???

      • Carmen

        Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward and Beloved by Toni Morrison. The one I attempted and zoned out with was Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kannon.

      • @lynnsbooks

        I’ve only read Beloved out of those. It’s a very good book although I’m not sure I would have liked to pick up the audio version – although who knows?
        Lynn 😀

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