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Listen Up

June 25, 2012
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Heard any good audiobooks recently?

I didn’t listen to audiobooks when I was a teen, back when they were only available on cassette tapes or CDs. Technology has changed since then, and now there is also much more variety in terms of titles available to listeners.

Basically, it’s a great time to be an audiobook fan.

Audiobooks extend the reading experience. A good narrator can draw you in to a story that you struggled with in print, or highlight nuances that you may have missed while reading the book. A great narration (and production) can make a good book even better, a funny book even funnier.

But maybe you haven’t tried an audiobook before. Maybe you don’t think it really counts as reading. Maybe some free audiobooks will change your mind?

Sync is a FREE promotion, giving away two audiobook downloads (a recent YA book and a classic) each week. This summer’s first set of downloads has already expired, but a full schedule of upcoming titles is available. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud is coming up later this week, then Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood the following week, and Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant near the end of the summer, to name just three of the books that will be available.

For more audiobook suggestions, try the Audies and the Odyssey Award lists, or the monthly AudioSynced roundups at Stacked and Abby (the) Librarian. And don’t forget to check out your public library’s audiobook collection!

As for what I’ve been listening to, Susan Duerden’s narration of Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook is excellent (I blogged about the print book earlier this year). Also, with the last(!) Artemis Fowl book coming out next month, I’ve been revisiting the audiobooks, read by Nathaniel Parker. Except for his pronuncation of the name Nguyen in the first chapter of book one, I love Parker’s narration. He gives each character a distinctive voice, using a variety of accents, and he really captures both the humor and adventure of Eoin Colfer’s books.

If you already like audiobooks, what have you been listening to?

Cross-posted at Guys Lit Wire.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2012 4:34 pm

    Hi Trisha. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the audios at podiobooks.com – which can be easily downloaded (for free!) from iTunes. Not too many children’s or YA titles there, but I enjoyed Forever Fifteen by Kimberly Steele (vampire, kinda steamy). And, ahem, may I mention my own titles there?

  2. June 25, 2012 5:51 pm

    Also, right now, if you sign up for Random House Audiobooks’ newsletter you get three free titles, including VIXEN by Jillian Larkin.

  3. June 25, 2012 10:12 pm

    @Joe Cottonwood – I’ve never heard of podiobooks.com. Thanks for sharing!

    @Liviania – Awesome! I think I’m already signed up for that newsletter (they had a similar promotion last summer, with Holly Black’s White Cat as one of the free titles), but I…uh…don’t actually read it.

  4. Harmony permalink
    June 27, 2012 4:54 pm

    I drive a lot so I listen to audiobooks in the car. I loved The Knife Of Never Letting Go, the reader is one of my favorites (Nick Podehl), he also read Will Grayson, Will Grayson which was awesome. I also loved Speak, that one made me cry very hard while driving. I just finished Bloody Jack, which was so fun. Oh, and one of my all-time favorite audiobooks is The True Meaning of Smekday, I could have listened to that one forever. The reader is so amazing, she also read The Mighty Miss Malone which is another “must listen.”

    • July 2, 2012 9:48 pm

      @Harmony – Smekday is one of those books that didn’t work for me in print, but I do want to try the audio. So many rave reviews of it!

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