I’ve been getting so many reader/listener requests lately, so it looks like it’s time for a new “full-on” BIG FAVORITE AUDIOBOOKS list. We have one from a year ago, and a few mini “reader-favorites lists” (I posted those at the end of this post) but many of our fellow readers are just discovering the convenience and entertainment value of listening to a book instead (or have already gone through our older recommendations lists and are ready for more).
And I LOVE this list ’cause it includes so much personal introspection as to what makes a “great” audiobook. Namely, great narrators (but there’s a lot of “why” to it, too). Not all of ‘em are great ones, it seems. Even if the actual book was.
And there’s a reason for that.:
Leslie: I hope people try audiobooks. Even if its just free audible trial. Its def a thing you need to get used to. … anyone else who is trying audios…I recommend you try them while doing something (driving, cleaning, exercising, etc). If you first try them while sitting idle, you might get restless, bored or sleepy and tune out story and give up. (That’s what happened to me).
Suzan: I absolutely love audio books. I travel… A lot, 6 hours one way every week and I love how the time flies when engrossed in an audio book. The only drawback, I find, is that while new releases are available on e readers and paperback, it can take months or even years for the same book to appear in audio
Danette: I’m excited to see that Audible is getting more mention on your site & I thought add my 2 cents. The short, I Love Audible and Whispersync is the best invention ever!! Now I can listen to my books while doing yard /house work and when it’s finally time to sit down and relax I can pick back up reading my book! I get so much more done these days!!
Ashley A: Leslie – I commute to work and audio books saved my sanity! I highly recommend the Outlander series on audio; she really brings the story to life. The narrator does a beautiful job with all the voices and there is nothing worse than an audio book where you cannot stand the voice of the narrator.
Janet: I can’t recommend the audiobooks of the Outlander series enough. It’s SO well read with the Scottish and English voices. I go back and forth between reading at home and listening in the car.
Robyn: I don’t listen to audio books because I’m not sitting long enough anywhere to listen. But Outlander on audio could change my mind….both Scottish and Enlish voices….swoon!
Cheryl: Leslie- I agree listening to audiobooks is such a great use of time- I listen while running, cleaning the house, driving. Also, agree it does get weird when the narrator switches between the h and H. Can’t remember which one it was but I cringed or laughed every time the narrator, who was male, “tried” to speak as the h. Horrible!!
MichelleS: When a woman tries to talk like a man, then gets all breathy for the female dialogue… I just can’t!!! I stop listening to the story!
Fabi: Michelle, I know you like highlander books. I don’t know if you like audio books but you have to take a sneak listen to this one. Amazon has a sample you can play. This narrator’s brogue is so thick that he’s hard to understand in some places, but it adds so much authenticity to the story to hear it narrated this way. Highland Fire: Guardians of the Stone, Book 1 by Tanya Anne Crosby (Author), James Gillies (narrator) I’m loving it and just had to share!
Nay: I love to listen to audiobooks, but my faves are where the man does ALL the male voices and the woman all the female voices, but unfortunately, those audiobooks are few and far between. All but the first few of the Fever books are done that way, and there’s a mystery series I listened to that was done that way and I loved it. As long as both narrators are good actors as well as readers, this type of true dual narration sounds like you’re listening to a movie or a play because you don’t have to deal with the man or the woman trying to unnaturally raise or lower their voices.
Ashley D: I LOVE audiobooks as well! I listen to them while I am working, so I usually go through at least 5 a week. (And yes, I always have to listen to a sample if I haven’t listened to the narrator before because narration can sometimes make or break a book!) I’ve listened to most of the books on the list (some of them a few times, I’ve loved them all!) but I haven’t listened to Dumplin’ or Offside…. but now I’m curious. I just finished listening to Amour Amour by Becca and Krista Ritchie for the third time and Sustained by Emma Chase is always good go-to for me. Thanks for the recommendations!
Fabi: I try to keep a short list of audiobooks that are recommended because otherwise it takes me an hour to sort through and sample listen to what’s on my tbr. A bad narrator can ruin even the best book. …thank you Maryse for posting an audio book list. I wouldn’t have nearly the patience I have in heavy traffic if it wasn’t for my audio books. After all, why be in a hurry when you’re in the middle of a great book?
Nay: I’ve spent hours searching for good audiobooks with great narrators, and it will be SO nice to have a list for people like me to reference!
Tina: I would love a post full with Audible book recommendations. I know there was recently a short one but I need more. I could help with a few if you need but I’m addicted now. Please?! Maybe a post listing favorite narrators!
Maryse: You bet, Tina!!
Here are the latest “tried-and-true” audiobook recommendations:
Fabi: If any of you are looking for an audio book with great narration (like I always am), I highly recommend Porn Star by Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone narrated by CJ Bloom and Jacob Morgan. Two narrators so we get both the female and male voices. They are both great. Plus, it’s one of those sweet deals where if you have the book (or buy the Kindle book) you get the Audible version for $*.** Porn Star narrators are speaking true to gender, not only at changing chapter POVs. I can’t believe how good this book is. I honestly bought it on a lark thinking it would languish in my tbr forever.
Nay: Fabi–that’s me! I usually listen to at least one audiobook per week, sometimes more when I’m doing a lot around the house. And I’m ALWAYS looking for the ones with great narrators, so I will definitely check this out. I was just looking at your ‘audible’ shelf on GR and it looks like we both like to listen to the PNR audiobooks. Well some of mine are PnR, but many of mine are UF since I don’t have to worry as much about a bad narrator ruining the romance/sex scenes. I got really behind on marking my ‘audiobook’ shelf the past 18 mos, so they aren’t all there now, but give me a few days and maybe you can get some suggestions from my shelf. I’m getting ready to go through yours–you have TONS of them! Squee!!
Caren: To anyone that listens to audio books: Remember to keep ear buds plugged in! Because the powers that be are just waiting for the perfect moment to unleash your naughty romance book into a packed quiet room! And yes it will be the naughtiest part of the book! And no, no buttons will work to turn it off! — feeling shocked.
Jennifer: My favorite audio book was My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry: A Novel by Fredrick Backman.
Tina: Favorite audio – The Player: The Game Maker, Book 3 by Kresley Cole
Ashley: Underneath It All: Walsh Series #1 by Kate Canterbury… It’s another one that is whispersynched so you can get the audiobook at a discounted rate. It’s one of my favorite audiobooks.
Fabi: Speaking of audio books. I am still FLOVING Keystone. I think Nicole Poole may be the best narrator I have ever listened to!
Cheryl: I’ve listened to many audiobooks; …One of my favorite series to listen to was the That Boy series-the narrator was great; had me laughing out loud.
First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1 by Darynda Jones <— Alicia: “I have the Audible editions and every time a new book comes out I start back at the beginning and listen all the way through. Good thing audio files never wear out.”
R: Has anyone listened to Wolfsong on audio? I heard back from S. Ann last night and she said the “narrator was stellar” and she’d heard he was a first timer. She said he “MADE” the audio book.
Lisa: The narrator for the Immortals After Dark series is probably the best I’ve ever heard. His Scottish accent is veeerrry sexy. That’s a wonderful series too. I’m also listening to The Edge series by Ilona Andrews. They are a great writing team (husband and wife). The Edge is a very interesting world. It’s not too heavy on the romance but the characters usually start out either indifferent or hating each other. It’s fun to watch them progress to lovers and the narration on the audio books is pretty good.
Lisa: Evernight by Kristen Callihan. She is a great writer and all the audio books in this series are well narrated. OMG the accents are fabulous. And the interplay between the characters is entertaining and nuanced. So much fun. That series has a lot of dark/damaged males.
Amy: Romance novels Jim Frangione does The Black Dagger Brotherhood, would say he does a pretty good job. Ok so outside of romance novels The Harry Potter series read by Jim Dale is great. The Last Apprentice series read by the late Christopher Evan Welch is the best audiobook I’ve ever heard though. I mean this guy does witch voices that will creep you out in the most awesome way ever.
Tracie: The JD Robb “In Death” series is great on audio. I’m on book 31 and totally in love with all the characters. The narration is awesome with all the different voices and accents. Plus the narrator is always the same.
Rebecca: I too listen at least one each week, usually while in the kitchen or cleaning. I too leave my audio listening for other genre’s, preferring to Read romance. For the Urban Fantasy favourites, … Jeaniene Frost’s series, narrated by Tavia Gilbert? Starting with Half Way to the Grave. One of my favourite narrators.
Fabi: I bought Dirty English from Audible today and it’s narrated by Summer Morton and John Hartley. She is a great narrator and he has a sexy English accent. I’ve only just now started it but I can already tell it’s going to be fantastic.
Tasha: So I finally decided what to read and went ahead and finished Salt to the Sea. Highly, highly recommend! I had gotten this as an audio book with the free trial, it was the best book out of samples I had tried to really ‘catch my ear’, lol. It’s a little hard for me to connect with audio books but I thought it might help me ‘read more’ I guess and multi task. I cannot multi task while listening. My thinking voice turns out is too strong and my children too loud and demanding, thus I got a nice pair of headphones. Haha. So though I really liked the first quarter, I walked away as it turned out to be too difficult to really listen. Well I was in an indecisive slump and committed to finishing, and so through a couple naps and bedtime, I finished. And I’m so glad I went back, it was a great book and once I got in the rythm of it, I was enthralled. It’s told from 4 different narratives, Florian, Emilia, Joana, and Alfred. And in the audio book, 4 different voices, which I thought was cool. Set in the WWII era, there’s heartbreak, tragedy, a bit of romance, secrets, and friendships. My only complaint was it was a bit of an abrupt ending. Though you get closure, I would have liked to see a little more of how they got there.
MichelleF: I commute over an hour per day during the week so I love audio books! Some of my favorites have been Outlander: Outlander, Book 1, The Nightingale, The Law of Moses, The Girl on the Train: A Novel, and the whole ‘Burg Series. I’ve also listened to several of Karina Halle’s books and several of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books but they’ve hit and miss with the narrators. I’ve found I definitely need to sample a listen first to make sure I like the narrator.
Teri: I’m so glad I’m not the only commuter that ‘listens’ to a book while reading another at night (before work, at lunch…you know!) My very favorite of all time is the audio version of Outlander. Davina Porter should get an Oscar for her narrations. She is truly remarkable.
Rebecca: I love audibles! I’ve always got my headphones on while in the kitchen cooking or cleaning, or while commuting. I’ve been doing the classics that have been redone with contemporary voices: Jane Eyre narrated by Thandie Newton, Pride & Prejudice narrated by Rosamund Pyke. And I find this is the best way to read YA fantasy or PNR as the narrator’s take you away to another world. A Court of Thorns and Roses, and A Court of Mist and Fury have been brilliant on audible. The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar still remains one of my favourite audio’s.
Fabi: A Kind of Truth (A Kind of Stories Book 1) by Lane Hayes <— For lovers of M/M romance and music or rock star themes, this one is top notch. The book and the audio version are both excellent. I was not able to pull myself away from this for even a few minutes. I had to read it from front to back without pause.
Fabi: The one I ended up listening to is Wireless by L.A. Witt. It’s a freebie I bought the audio for. I can’t believe how good it is! It’s M/M but depending on where the story goes it may venture into erotica territory. It’s a dystopian world where skin to skin contact is outlawed. Sex allowed only in Sim machines with VR. Of course, there’s an underground. If the flapper generation created an underground for illigal liquor, you can imagine a society with illegal sex is going to do the same.
Jenn: On the Island <— Own the book and the audiobook……one of my favorites
Tammy: Until Friday Night: Field Party, Book 1 <— I just finished the audiobook a few days ago. It was great!!!
Fabi: I love audio books and always have one I’m listening to even if I’m reading a different one. Sometimes the one I’m listening/reading is so good that I have to use the whispersync to continue the story because I can’t wait.
Grey: I need help!!! Question for the Audible book users – we are going to Disney/Universal (driving) for the holidays…and my husband wants to listen to books vs listening to satellite radio. He is looking for some good ones, as well as looking for a narrator that won’t drive him nutty because it’s a LONG car ride. Any suggestions for HIM?!? In the past, he has listened to Tom Clancy and Robin Cook. He’s not normally a reader (I know…the shock and horror…) so no worries that he’ll have already read/heard it. Thanks in advance, everyone I really appreciate it!
Nay: Grey–if he likes scifi, I highly recommend ‘Dawn of Destiny: Epic, Book 1’ by Lee Stephen. My husband is not a scifi guy normally, but he does love military, so since it (the ebook) was free with KU, he tried it and loved it. I remember hearing the author talk about it taking almost 5 years to produce the audiobook–it has sound effects and over 30 actors. It’s almost 10 hours long and is only $14.95 on Amazon (I say ‘only’ because an audiobook that’s so well produced, it’s usually much more), so y’all could check out the sample to see if you like the way it’s done. Grey–oh, forgot to mention. Check my top 10 audiobook list that I just mentioned. There are quite a few ‘hubby-friendly’ audiobooks/series on it, and some are cheap with Whispersync.
Grey: Nay, thank you! We are relative audiobook/whispersync newbies… I’m not really sure how it works, so any help would be appreciated. I see on Amazon that you can get 2 books for free. …What is this whispersync thing you speak of??? (see complete notice!)
Nay: Grey–when you buy the kindle book, the audiobook can also be purchased for a bargain price (Usually…. If you have kindle unlimited, the ebook is free and then you can often get the audiobook for $1.99–that’s how quite a few on my fave audiobook list are priced. With the Audible freebie audiobooks, I *think* you can only get 2 books per address, even if you have different Amazon accounts, but I’m not positive–just check it out. You know you can at least get 2 for sure, though.
bev: Grey, did you check out the Matchmaker link Maryse has? …It matches up your ebooks to the audible version and shows the sale prices. I haven’t bought any yet, but it’s kind of fun.
R: How does that work if you read books on a kindle app on your phone? can I put it through the speakers like when I play my music?
Fabi: R. do you connect your phone to your car for music? If so, then all you do is play the Audible file instead of the music list and you’ll hear it through your speakers. You can’t listen to music and the book at the same time though.
Tamika: Don’t forget Holter Graham who narrates Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series! He’s amazing!!
AUDIOBOOK LVERS ➜ For those going on a road trip soon, or maybe you’ve got some projects that require both hands this weekend but still allows you to “listen”… check out the free audible trial + 2 free audiobooks deal —>
AND! Here’s the fun-tool again! —> Find out which of YOUR Kindle ebooks are available as audiobooks at a BARGAIN-PRICE! <— This thing is so cool (Amazon calls it “Matchmaker or Whispersync“)! It’s an Amazon feature, that scans your Kindle books and will list all of the ones you have that are also available as an audiobook at a discounted price (not normal audiobook prices). This way, you can switch back and forth, seamlessly between your ebooks and your audiobooks. !!! VERY COOL!
- Reader Favorites – Fabi’s Favorite Audiobook List
- Reader Favorites – Nay’s Top Ten Audiobooks
- Reader Favorites – Danette’s Favorite Audiobooks List
- Reader Favorites – Jackie’s Favorite Audiobooks List
- Reader Favorites – Leslie’s Favorite Audiobooks
- Audiobook Addiction: Our fellow readers weigh in on their favorites…