Audible: saving my gray matter

I used to be a big reader. I mean BIG. I used to go through several books a week. And then I met knitting. And then, I met spinning. And then even worse, I met PLY Magazine. My reading has dwindled to online help forums that claim to be able to help me with subscription software programs and how to get quickbooks to balance. No more high literature, YA fiction, or trashy vampire novels for me. Up until about 6 months ago, I could feel my brain atrophying, freezing synapses, shedding vocabulary words, breaking connections. Dulling.

And so I signed up for Audible! I don’t know if the breakdown of my gray matter has ceased but I’m far more entertained than I was half a year ago.

The first thing I listened to was the 40-hour whopper, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I loved it and am always amazed by authors that can weave characters and complex storylines together with such patienace and skill. I cheered, literally. I also teared. Signs of a good book.

Since then I’ve listened to Skippy Dies, which I did not love; Goldfinch, which I thought was wonderful; Destiny of the Republic, some non-fiction about the assignation of Garfield, because I really like learning things; A Short History of Nearly Everything, which, if you haven’t read, do it! The kids and I listen to this over and over again and each time I can feel the universe and my brain get bigger!; and the Stephen King novel, 11/22/63, which may be my very favorite. Have you read this? I haven’t read anything by King since I was a teenager, when I spent years wrapping myself in his particular brand of horror, and I’d forgotten what a brilliant write her is. This is a good book. A book I couldn’t turn off. So completely engrossing. If you’ve got 40 hours to spare, read this book!

Right now I’m listening to 3 books. The first is Gone Girl. The second is Inkspell by Funke, I’m listening to this in the mornings when both the older kids are in the car with me but it’s mostly for Olive, who’s almost 8 and loves fantasy. It’s the 2nd in the series and it’s read by Brendon Frasier and though I’ve never been a huge fan of his movies, he’s great reading books! The last book is what Utah and I listen to if we’re in the car alone, it’s Stephen King’s book On Writing. It’s read by King, which I had to get used to, but the words are thoughtful and I think we’re both learning something.

So, what are you reading? Any Audible recommendations for me? I go through them quick so lemme have ‘em!

7 replies
  1. Laura Senator
    Laura Senator says:

    OMG Jacey, the 5 book “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin, probably over 200 hours all told. Fabulous narrator, so much much better than HBO’s Game of Thrones. I’ve listened to them TWICE and could not get enough.

    Also Ken Follett has another epic trilogy, The Century Trilogy, good listen.

    Anything by Michael Connolly.

  2. Becca
    Becca says:

    As a librarian, I almost exclusively listen to audiobooks because communing to and from work is the largest chunk of “unused” time I have every day. The Night Circus is BRILLIANT on audio (read by Jim Dale who also reads the entire Harry Potter series which you cannot get on Audible but is amazingly good.) If you like that, try Far Far Away with the kids. Anything Neil Gaiman has written and read himself is worth listening to – and a lot of them are kid/YA so you can have crossover there too. David Sedaris reads all of his own books and I couldn’t read them if I tried anymore (his voice is far superior to what happens in my head.) The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is really good but better for teens and adults (YMMV.) Bossypants by Tina Fey. Bronson Pinchot reads a lot of audiobooks and he is quite good. If you need more suggestions, just let me know. It’s what I do!

  3. Tracey
    Tracey says:

    No suggestions, but I had to laugh at your Stephen King remark:

    “I spent years wrapping myself in his particular brand of horror”

    Yep! Completely described me in my teen years as well! I haven’t read anything by him in over 25 years (eh hmmm…)
    May have to check out the Audible connection though. I have a Kindle and read it before bed, but I could use something while I’m knitting/spinning!

  4. April
    April says:

    The Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne is a really fun and enjoyable series. Plus, the narrator is amazing, and really bring the different characters to life.

  5. Cynthia Durbin
    Cynthia Durbin says:

    If you can’t afford the subscription to Audible, don’t forget your local library has MANY books available in audio format that you can download to your computer and or smartphone. I too am a librarian and sometimes it’s easier for me to download a book and listen to it from my computer when I’m at home cleaning, knitting or spinning to stay current on the newest books or older books that I just haven’t had time to read. Easier to sit and knit/spin when I have something to listen to rather then have the TV on.

  6. Heather B.
    Heather B. says:

    I just finished a trilogy by Deborah Harkness which starts with a book called “The Discovery of Witches.” I loved the entire series and have now read it twice. It is a blend of fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction which intertwine brilliantly within the story. But I read them so I don’t know about the narrator for the audiobooks.

  7. Elissa
    Elissa says:

    I’m a little late to this! My very favorite audiobook (aside from Harry Potter, which is not on Audible) is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. It is written in letters and the many wonderful readers really bring the story to life!

    Also, if you need of more to listen to with your kids The Tale of Despereaux is a favorite of mine for for the whole family. The Percy Jackson series and the Mysterious Benedict Society series have wonderful narrators as well. Did I mention I’m a Children’s Librarian? I could keep recommending forever (both books and audio).


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