Audiobooks I Listened to This Year So Far (Part One)

Audiobooks (1)

I fell in love with audiobooks this year and I thought that it might be interesting to look back on the audiobooks I have listened to so far and share a few thoughts about them. I have listened to 29 audiobooks so far this year, so I am going to post this in a few parts. Here are the first 10:

The Dinner by Herman Koch

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Narrator: Clive Mantle

Length: 8 hrs 55 mins

The Dinner was the first audiobook that I ever listened to, and while I definitely did not get along with the book itself, I did really enjoy the experience.  The narrator, Clive Mantle, has an excellent voice.  The book itself takes place over the course of one dinner and the problem I had with it is that none of the characters had any redeemable qualities and I could not make myself feel invested in the situation.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

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Narrator: Cathleen McCarron

Length: 11 hr 2 mins

This book is absolutely fantastic and the narrator, Cathleen McCarron, perfectly embodied that character of Eleanor Oliphant.  I think this book really worked as an audiobook because it almost felt like I was living inside the main character’s head.  I have saved many of the other books that McCarron has narrated simply because I enjoy her storytelling so much.  I have raved about this book so often and it is one that I will definitely listen to again in the future.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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Narrator: Cynthia Hopkins

Length: 4 hrs 44 mins

Every Heart a Doorway is surprisingly dark, but also very whimsical, and I think that is why it works so well as an audiobook.  The story feels like a fairy-tale, so it lends itself perfectly to being read out loud. Listening to Cynthia Hopkins narrate the story was such a pleasant experience and I can not wait to continue on with the series.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down

Narrator: Jason Reynolds

Length: 1 hr 43 mins

Long Way Down is a very short book and I would highly recommend listening to it on audiobook. This was my first experience with an author narrating their own novel, and I absolutely love that.  No one knows their characters more than the person who created them, so they have a unique ability to bring their story to life.  Jason Reynolds has such an awesome voice and this book has a huge impact especially considering it is so short and takes place over the course of one elevator ride.

I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh

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Narrator: Nicola Barber, Steven Crossley

Length: 12 hrs 13 mins

I Let You Go is the book that made me realize I need to listen to all of my thriller/mysteries on audio.  The story feels much more suspenseful when it is being told to you.  This was also the first book I listened to that had two narrators and I thought that really added to the experience.  There were a couple twists in this book that came out of nowhere and I LOVED it.  One of my favourite thrillers, and I am definitely planning to read more from Clare Mackintosh.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neal deGrasse Tyson

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Narrator: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Length: 3 hrs 41 mins

This is one of the few instances where I think I would have been better off reading the physical copy versus listening to the audiobook. I am definitely not science-minded so it would have been helpful to be able to read this book at my own pace and flip back and forth when needed.  A lot of this went over my head, and I think that could have been avoided if I had the physical copy.  I did still enjoy it and that is mainly because Neil deGrasse Tyson has such a soothing voice.

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

Puddin' (Dumplin', #2)

Narrator: Erin Mallon, Kyle Garcia

Length: 11 hrs 9 mins

This book is just really fun and I thought that the narrators did a great job bringing these teenage girls to life.  I much preferred Puddin’ over the first book, Dumplin’, but I am curious to know if I would have enjoyed Dumplin’ more had I listened to the audiobook instead of reading a physical copy.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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Narrator: Frazer Douglas

Length: 11 hrs 15 mins

Ah this book is so heart-breaking and wonderful!! I thoroughly enjoyed Frazer Douglas’ narration and I wish he narrated more books that I am interested in because he stands out as one of my favourite narrators.  This is the one book on this list where I am tempted to also buy the physical copy simply because it is beautiful and I love the story so much.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevado

The Poet X

Narrator: Elizabeth Acevedo

Length: 3 hrs 30 mins

If I had to recommend one book that you absolutely have to listen to on audiobook it is The Poet X. It is narrated by the author and she completely brings her main character to life. The story is told in verse and something about it translates perfectly in audiobook.  Even if you are not a fan of books written in verse, I think you would really enjoy this one. It is powerful and emotional.  I was completely engaged in the story, and it is a quick book as well!

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

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Narrator: Caitlin Kelly

Length: 8 hr 18 mins

Love, Life and the List was a cute story but nothing about it stands out to me.  I have already forgotten a lot about it but it was still fun to listen to.  I am undecided whether or not I enjoyed listening to YA romance novels on audiobook, or if they work better for me if I physical read them.  I will have to try another one some time soon!

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I hope you enjoyed this first look in to my audiobook listening! You will see when I post part two that I have discovered I really love listening to non-fiction on audiobook.  I am excited to share some of those with you!

Do you listen to audiobooks? I would love some recommendations!

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40 thoughts on “Audiobooks I Listened to This Year So Far (Part One)

  1. Sorry The Dinner didn’t work for you – I checked it out randomly on audio and absolutely loved it, even if every character is reprehensible (I think that’s kind of what made me like it). I agree the narrator was fab, though. I didn’t listen to I Let You Go, but I couldn’t put the print version down. So many good books on this list!

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    1. The Dinner has so many mixed reviews and that is what intrigued me so much about it. It is a book that I can see why some people would love and others would hate. It is actually kind of amazing in that way. Have you seen the movie? I am curious about it!

      I was so blown away by I Let You Go! Amazing twists!

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  2. Thank you for these super helpful recommendations – I have never listened to an audiobook and would really like to try it, so these will give me a great starting point 😊

    And I loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine too, she is such a special, memorable character!

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  3. I read Eleanor Oliphant really recently, and I’m glad that it works as an audio book- especially with the first person narrative, I would have thought it’d be quite tricky to get the tone right (does that make sense?!), so it’s great that the narrator embodied eleanor’s character (who I loved!)

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  4. That’s a nice bunch. I enjoy listening to audiobooks, but I have a weird relationship with them. I retain things better when I read the physical book, so I usually use audiobooks to reread stories. I’ve attempted to read new-to-me books via audiobooks but so far only these two worked for me and both are great: The Girl With All the Gifts – enjoyed it but I think I’d have loved it if I’d read the physical book, so I plan to do that; and am currently reading Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, which is surprisingly good and has me hooked. I’m not even a Springsteen fan and actually didn’t really know who he is when i started this earlier today. (Am familiar with his music but didn’t know his name).

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    1. I am an auditory learning so I think that is part of why they work for me. I have been planning to reread some of my favourite books by listening to them. I think that would be great! Bruce Springsteen’s books sounds really interesting. I did something similar with Anthony Kiedis’ book. I knew of The Red Hot Chili Peppers but didn’t know any of the band members names. He has lead a very interesting life. I think you’ll probably like that book too!

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      1. Oh that might be it. I’m visual so seeing a thing is always best for me.
        I might look into the Anthony Kiedis one. I’m pretty hooked on the Springsteen book. I think if I’d read the physical book, I’d have liked it too. There’s a rhythm to his prose that’s very captivating and makes me pay closer attention than I usually do when listening to audiobooks.

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  5. Great list of audiobooks, Kristin. I have only started listening to audiobooks later last year so I haven’t read that many of them either. My first was Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance and I think it was a great one for beginners. I’ve also read The Dinner in physical format and really enjoyed it, but I can imagine that it’s not for everyone if read in audiobook format.

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    1. Thank you. Modem Romance is high on my tbr. I have heard it’s a great audiobook. That is one thing that is strange about audiobooks. I often wonder if I would have enjoyed books I didn’t like more if I read the physically and if there was an audiobook I loved maybe I wouldn’t have liked it as much if I read it physically. Does that make sense?

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  6. I have also started listening to audiobooks this year. I have learned that I enjoy listening to nonfiction memoirs or autobiographies because they are easier to listen to. It’s like having a one-side conversation with the author. It’s not a surprise that you struggled with Tyson’s book about science. I have been trying to listen to Steven Hawking’s “A Brief History in Time” but it’s so laden with historical facts on science I am struggling to follow. It’s the first audio where I catch myself thinking about other things and realizing I missed a whole part of the book.

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