It’s been about a year since I started dabbling in audiobooks and I’ve discovered some real gems. I love getting to read at times when I usually wouldn’t: doing housework, walking, last thing at night when I’m too tired to physically read. And I've actually ended up reading some books I've been putting off for years. Here are some of my favourites.
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Read by: Donna Tartt
Donna Tartt’s incredibly well-loved debut was actually only the second audiobook I listened to and I was blown away. The story of a group of classics students in a privileged university in North America is compulsive, tense and atmospheric and I love, love, loved it. Donna Tartt’s narration is also perfect for the tone of the novel.
Read by: David Thorpe
Oh man, this book… Though I'd had a physical copy of this on my shelves for a good few years, I knew it was unlikely I'd get to it anytime soon. Am I glad I decided to listen to it. This novel is beautiful from beginning to end. The story of young Patroclus and Achilles from their first meeting to their tragic ending at Troy is a complete delight and now I want to re-read it…
The Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson
Read by: Michael Kramer
I was 100% intimidated by this huge trilogy. Each books comes in at over 650 pages and though I'd heard nothing but amazing things about this high fantasy where the magic system is based on the powers given by swallowing metals. And I love it. Michael Kramer’s narration is wonderful. Each of the characters has a slightly different accent or voice that reflects their position and origins in the world and quite possibly the best narration I've listened to so far.
Read by: Felicia Day
I'm a big fan of Felicia Day. She's smart, funny and a bit of a hero for girls and women wanting to strike out into geekdom. This memoir revealed a lot more about Felicia’s mental health struggles and the rocky path to her career that I had never even heard whispers of before. She's brutally honest about everything she discusses without ever sounding dramatic or over the top and I came away from You’re Never Weird on the Internet rather in love with Felicia.
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
Read by: Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Cassandra Campbell
I was told to read this years and years ago by my mum and I finally got to it last year. Each of the three main characters – Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny – were read beautifully and it didn’t take me long to become completely absorbed in their story. I fell in love with all of them and their distinctive senses of humour and I was surprised by the violence of 1960s Mississippi.
Read by: Patricia Rodriguez
This debut was one of my favourite books of last year. Small Angry Planet is a soft, bumbling space opera about family, friendship, and acceptance in the diversity of Ashby’s crew and the places that they visited. When Rosemary joins the Wayfarer, a ship who builds wormholes, she doesn’t expect much, but she slowly falls in love with her new life, and so did I.
The Martian, Andy Weir
Read by: RC Bray
I don’t really think The Martian needs any introduction, but I was a little late to the party, bingeing it only in time to watch the film. It was the first book in a while to genuinely make me laugh aloud. RC Bray has exceptional comedic timing, delivering Mark Watney’s sass and witticisms so perfectly and in a way that I can't imagine it being as successful in print.
What are your favourite audiobooks? Are there any that I need to listen to immediately?