My mother was an avid reader, so you can imagine how devastated she was to lose much her eye sight. Around the same time, audio books on cassette had come out and because she missed reading so much she gave them a try. They couldn’t replace a physical book, but all that mattered to her was being able to immerse herself again in stories.
In choosing what to listen to, she gravitated back to the classics of her youth, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights to name a few. This was how she lured me to audio books. A lot classics are often heavy on words and can be tiresome to read. But listening, she said, means the story is told to you by someone else, where you can sit, listen and relax or busy yourself with other things. It is reading with your ears.
Some favorites of mine:
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – Good to start with a classic especially if it’s one you’ve read before. I’ve listened to this twice already.
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King – Actors are great narrators. Kathy Bates reads this one.
The Secret River by Kate Grenville – Australian novel about the early settlers read by Simon Vance, one of my favorite narrators.
The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – Autobiographical and read by the author. Sometimes this type of narration can be a hit or miss, but Alexie nails it here.
Dead Wake by Erik Larson – Skeptical at first because I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Lusitania, but I was riveted. Lots of good historical info. Read by Scott Brick
Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood by Trevor Noah – My absolute favorite so far. If there was one audio book I would recommend, this would be it. Read by the author.
What I’m listening to now:
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien – Slow going. War stories are not a favorite of mine, so I do a couple of stories at a time. Read by Brian Cranston
The Return Of The Native by Thomas Hardy – The only audio book read by Alan Rickman. Typical Hardy so another slow one.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – A first listen of my favorite book. So far it might be a close second for all time favorite audio. Thandie Newton narrates.