Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Twelve Favorite Audiobooks

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is an All About Audio freebie. I love audiobooks so much that I couldn't quite narrow it to ten, so here are my twelve favorites! In March, I did a list of my favorite teen audiobooks, so there's some overlap but definitely check out that list for more suggestions.

1. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, narrated by Philip Pullman and a full cast
This was pre-blog, and one of my first audiobook experiences. I've also read the whole series in print, but I keep thinking of re-listening. Ever since my coworker named her daughter after the main character, it has become even more prominently on my mind. Perhaps after I finish the Harry Potter series...

2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, narrated by Tanya Eby Sirois
The review I linked the title to is my second reading, which was in print. My first review is here, and though I don't even mention the audiobook narrator, her voice has really stuck with me and I always hear her in my head when I think of this book.

3. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you are probably familiar with the name Rebecca Lowman as she is my most favorite audiobook narrator. I'd listen to her read an instruction manual, a shopping list, or a James Patterson novel (ok, maybe not that last one.) Rainbow Rowell writes books that are almost magically wonderful, so the combination of the two is pretty much perfect.

4. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee, narrated by Orlagh Cassidy
Again, a perfect marriage of author and narrator. Lee has only written two novels so far (her other is the more recent The Expatriates) but she has completely won me over and I'll read everything she ever writes for the rest of my life. Orlagh Cassidy is another favorite narrator, and if you want to hear more of her, I highly recommend Before I Go To Sleep or The Bees. (If you don't want to listen to more of her, you are wrong.)

5. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, narrated by Noah Galvin
I loved this book so much. I have a soft spot for stories about angry, misunderstood teen boys. (See also: Reality Boy.) The beauty of Galvin's narration is that not only does he sound like an actual teenager, he also sounds more like he's telling the story than reading it. I hope to listen to more from him.

6. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, and Robertson Dean
To be honest, I had completely forgotten the other three narrators until I looked back at my blog post about this book. I just remember Rebecca Lowman as Libby Day. I should probably mention that for some reason I've always pictured Rebecca Lowman as a dark-haired Charlize Theron (despite the fact that I know what she actually looks like) so the fact that Theron was cast in the movie version of Dark Places felt inevitable to me. Also, isn't Gillian Flynn due for another novel?

7. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, narrated by the author
This satirical, feminist novel is pretty brilliant, but the narration really took it to another level. I think Bray was channeling Sarah Palin (or Tina Fey as Sarah Palin) in parts.

8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, narrated by Kate Rudd
I've listened to this book, read the print version, and watched the movie but it is Rudd's voice that I always hear in my head.

9. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
This is a beautiful story anyhow, but Ballerini's lilting Italian accent makes it truly transportive.

10. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat
One of my earliest audiobooks, I've listened to this (and the follow-up Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) numerous times. It's hilarious every time and always cheers me up.

11. The Good House by Ann Leary, narrated by Mary Beth Hurt
For some reason when I began this book I expected the main character to be younger (around the age of Leary herself, I guess) so I was caught off guard by the narrator who sounded to be in her sixties. But I got over it quickly when I realized how perfect she was to read this story about a sixty-something woman with a drinking problem.

12. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, narrated by Rebecca Lowman
Again with Rebecca Lowman, but there is good reason why she appears on this list three times. I highly recommend this atmospheric novel set in the 1930s, and when you're done go grab his new one, A Gentleman In Moscow.

There are so many great audiobooks out there it's hard to pick favorites, but these are the standout titles I thought of right away. And I keep thinking of more great audiobooks as I compose this but I'll refrain from throwing more on the list.

What are your favorite audiobooks? Do you have a favorite narrator?


MeezCarrie said...

my favorite audiobook narrator is Jim Dale, no question :) My TTT

3goodrats said...

I'm currently listening to the Harry Potter books on audio and he is really great!