2012-2013, My Audiobook Year

Audiobook Week badge imageToday is the first day of We’re Listening: Audiobook Week 2013. Hosted for the fourth year by Jen at Devourer of Books, Audiobook Week runs June 17–21. It’s a fun way to find audiobook reviewers and see what everyone’s listening to. Click here to see other posts on today’s topic, My Audiobook Year.

Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience.

I’m an old fan of audiobooks for listening to in the car and around the house, but as the books I wanted to listen to became harder to find on cassette tape and I was facing a transition to CDs, my audio addiction started to seem like a problem. Where it had been so easy to pop a tape out from my old car’s tape player and pop it into the one in the kitchen, now I had to have one audiobook on tape for the car and listen to a different one on the CD player inside. CDs don’t save your place for you like cassette tapes did, and I was spending way too much time fiddling around or writing notes on where I had left off.

I wrote about this last year, too, but the truly inspired gift of an iPod Touch from my husband made listening to audiobooks so convenient! How could I not have one going pretty much whenever I was alone even for just a few minutes? But the earbuds were kind of a pain. This year, my latest audiobook-enabling device is another inspired gift from my husband – one of those Jabra Bluetooth headsets that clip on over one ear. (You may still hear a couple of Borg jokes even though these have been around for a while, but the convenience of these babies makes it worth it.) No more dangling earbud cords to catch on things. No more having to switch from car stereo to earbuds. Much more multitasking!

One downside about audiobook listening becoming easier and easier is that I only write, on average, I’m guessing, one review for every six audiobooks I listen to. I start the next one right away and never get around to reviewing the last one.

Briefly, then, here are just a couple of my favorites since last Audiobook Week:

This Is How You Lose Her audio CDThis Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
Read by the author
Penguin Audio
Sept., 2012
5 hours on 5 CDs

The author reads This Is How You Lose Her, a collection of linked stories related to failed relationships, so every inflection or stress is how he hears the sentences in his head. This literary authenticity and the author’s clear, comfortable familiarity with his own words more than justifies not having a professional audiobook narrator do this one.

Night Strangers on CD cover imageThe Night Strangers by Chris Bohjahlian
Read by Alison Fraser and Mark Bramhall
Random House Audio, 2011

This creepy story of an airline pilot traumatized by a plane crash moving with his wife and young twin daughters to a house in rural New Hampshire would make a good book club choice for October. The dual narration is great, switching between the perspectives of husband and wife.


27 thoughts on “2012-2013, My Audiobook Year”

  1. Well, IT was my favorite audio of the year (or last year? gosh when WAS that?!) and I would say that I’m super glad that I listened to Moby Dick.

    Beautiful Ruins just might be my fave from this year. LOVED it.

    1. I’m reading Beautiful Ruins for a book club meeting (tomorrow night, oops!) and didn’t have time to wait for the audio to come in, but it must have been great with all the Italian!

  2. Care’s comment makes me smile because IT is my favorite as well. Seems like such an unlikely choice but it’s just so dang good. I’ve never thought about cord-free earpiece but that’s a genius idea! Mostly I’m listening in the car so don’t have this problem but when I’m doing chores I usually thread my headphones through my shirt so they don’t get caught on anything but they still catch now and then. Great gifts from your husband!!

    1. I actually popped in an old Stephen King audiocassette in the car tonight because I accidentally didn’t have the whole audiobook I was listening to on my iPod. It’s Gramma, about a senile, bedridden, toothless, fleshy grandmother. (Scary, huh?) I can definitely believe IT was a great audiobook. Good idea to thread the headphones through your shirt!

  3. I’m with Trish – I also do a lot of listening in the car, but when in the house doing chores, those wires do get annoying. I might have to look into the wireless thingie.

    I’m going to have to check out The Night Strangers – sounds pretty good!

    My Audiobook Year

    1. One thing about the earpiece is that if I’m listening in the house, I can just leave it going, in the car, doing errands, etc. Everything but while I’m at work! 😉 A seamless listening experience.

  4. Ooh the cordless headset is a great idea! Both of those audiobooks look fantastic. I have a copy of This is How You Lose Her I need to listen to.

  5. My favorite technological advance was discovering that I could join cd tracks to make one disc = one track and then save my place so I could easily start and stop my audiobook on my phone without losing my place (the old way used to involve a lot of screenshots).

    1. Hmmm. I’ll have to try that in iTunes! I haven’t had the saving place problem so much since I converted to MP3s and stopped listening to the actual CDs, unless I switch around from one audiobook to another or listen to a podcast or something while I’m in the middle of an audiobook.

  6. This is How You Lose Her was one of my favorites of the past year, too. Can’t imagine reading this one, or having a narrator other than the author! Chris Bohjahlian’s books seem to work very well for me in the audio format. I’ve enjoyed a couple of them this way.

  7. It took me a long time to get a good audiobook player too. I eventually got a smart phone and now things are great. I used to listen on CDs in my car and like you said, no bookmarking options.

  8. I want to be like the Borg!!!!!!!!!! I need to have my DH hook me up like that.

    I have The Night Strangers at home and I don’t know how I missed that Mark Bramhall narrates. I absolutely love him to pieces.

  9. I had a hard time getting into This Is How You Lose Her in print – I wonder if I would be more successful in audio? Thanks for the rec – I will check it out.

  10. I know the last time I listened to a book was on a tape (it really was that long ago…) so even if I haven’t tried CDs I know what you mean about the ease of cassette. Even if you had to rewind it a bit it was much easier to gauge. I suppose CDs can have tracks but that wouldn’t be the same. Glad you’ve found something that works!

Would love to have you comment!