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Cleveland Park LibraryRead Feed

Have you heard?

Great books that make even better audiobooks

Audiobooks tend to be a divisive issue among book lovers: either you love them or hate them. Living in a city, I've learned to love them for providing entertainment while walking or waiting for the bus. At the same time, I don't think all audiobooks are created equal. Some stories really lend themselves to being a great audiobook and some do not. Here is a list of books I've come across that fall into the first category. 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I actual read the print version of this book and loved it but I think it would be even better as an audiobook. There is very little exposition instead consisting almost entirely of emails and IM conversations between the main characters. Given the amount of dialogue - as long as the readers were cast well - I think the audio version could add a lot to an already great story. Also (*mild spoiler warning*), there's an evil computer that I think would be super fun and creepy to listen to; I could already hear it in my head as I read. 

Available through the library as a physical audiobook and an e-audiobook.

Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

This is an easy leap to an audiobook since it is already written from the perspective of an outsider watching the events of the story unfold. Also, the narrator's voice and inflection add a lot to Death's dry humor.

Available through the library as a physical audiobook and as an e-audiobook.

Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink

I would argue that this specific book is only truly enjoyed as an audiobook. Fans of the popular podcast by the same name know "Welcome to Nightvale" is nothing without the sultry tones of Cecil Baldwin telling us the latest news of his hometown. I also wanted to include it as a representation of audio books that are narrated by the people they are known for. Cecil Baldwin makes this book great in the same way Amy Schumer or Amy Poehler make their books better - in my experience, it's totally worth listening to a book told by the person who knows it best. 

Available through the library as a physical audiobook or as an e-audiobook.

Feed by Mira Grant

This is by far my favorite zombie apocalypse book and I think Grant's world building and character development make the book enjoyable to even the most reluctant reader of the genre. The main character is a news blogger and war correspondent in the new post-zombie world which lends itself well to an audio format. Also, the ending is heartbreaking in any format but listening to it play out is one of the few times a book has made me cry on the metro.

This is currently only available through the library as an e-book. Send a request to the library through your account so maybe we'll purchase the audiobook!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Anyone who has seen this super-popular novel knows that it is a massive tome. I actually prefer to listen to super long books rather than read them - I think it has to do with not being able to see how little progress I've made at the beginning. And in this case, I think it was a smart choice because the narration made the book for me. I don't usually like books where the narrator uses vastly different "voices" for the characters - I find it very distracting. This book was the exception to that rule: the voice the narrator uses for the character Boris is divine.

Available through the library as a physical audiobook or an e-audiobook.

The Chilbury Ladies' choir by Jennifer Ryan

This is another example of a book whose style lends itself to the audiobook format. It is comprised of letters and journal entries from different citizens of the same small English town during World War II. The perfect book to listen to in small chunks of time since each chapter is so short.

This book is currently only available as a physical book but it is still relatively new so check back soon to see if they library has purchased the marvelous audio version.