Recommended audiobooks?

KeskusteluClub Read 2011

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Recommended audiobooks?

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joulukuu 29, 2010, 9:36 pm

Dear Club Read-ers

I was lucky enough to get a subscription to as one of my Christmas presents - and while I am very excited, I just know that a bad reader would completely spoil my enjoyment of a good book, so I thought I would appeal to the combined taste and judgement to be found here ;-)

My first download was All Passion Spent read by Wendy Hiller, as recommended by Cariola recently. I have also hugely enjoyed the (abridged) Jackson Brodie novels read by Jason Isaacs, who does a great job, and Neil Gaiman's reading of his own The Graveyard Book.

I'm quite open as to what kinds of books are recommended, as long as the reading is good. (It's such a good thing that you can play short samples of the books on audible - there were a couple of books that I was quite keen on but I knew I couldn't listen to that reader for seven hours!)

Please make your recommendations!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 31, 2010, 3:14 am

The audio books I am recommending to you are not only great stories, but ones where I truly enjoyed listening to the readers. For me, if the reader doesn't put in enough emotion or if I can't distinguish the characters or if their voice is just plain annoying I won't finish the book.

Lisey's Story by Stephen King
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet (this one is a real whopper, 31 CDs!)
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

tammikuu 4, 2011, 8:17 am

I used to listen to alot of audio books when I had a long commute to the bookstore, so any recommendations I would have would not be of the most recent fiction. Oftentimes I listen to books I have also read (weird, I know), but here's some I enjoyed on audio:

To Kill a Mockingbird
The History of Love
The Hungry Tide
His Dark Materials (all three books)
Broken for You
Kite Runner
Year of Wonders

Some YA/Children's audiobooks great for all ages (I had my niece & nephew in the car a few times):
Tale of Desperaux
The Thief Lord
The City of Ember and People of the Sparks

tammikuu 4, 2011, 9:14 am

Thanks for the recommendations - plenty to investigate there! Is there just one version available, or do I need to know which readers you had?

tammikuu 4, 2011, 9:39 am

I don't know about Lois, but I can't imagine a better reader than Sissy Spacek for To Kill A Mockingbird. I think Spacek pretty much owns that book.

tammikuu 4, 2011, 10:12 am

Thanks - interesting the books people like to listen to.

Listening to a book adds in another factor, that of accent and intonation. I just could not get through the Spacek version of To Kill a Mockingbird - the accent was so thick and distracting for me, I couldn't focus on the content. I can listen to non-fiction, English accented books the best, especially one's read by the author such as The God Delusion.

Penguin did a beautiful classics series with gorgeous interpretive speaking (again all English accents) - so I guess it depends on the language/accent that is closest to your own.

I like choosing from audible - you can listen to sound bites to decide if the speakers voice is comfortable or interesting.

tammikuu 4, 2011, 10:24 am

I loved the narrator of Yiddish Policeman's Union. I've wondered if the reason I loved the book and many of my friends didn't is because I listened to it and they read it.

I also felt excerpts from Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf read by Heaney himself was probably better than the actual book.

tammikuu 4, 2011, 10:27 am

aulsmith - yes, I agree. Heaney has a fab voice that gives that extra dimension to Beowolf. His illustrated publication of the book is marvelous. I combined them for maximum effect.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 2011, 10:31 am

I recently picked upThe Highlander's Touch and Kiss of the Highlander though I haven't started listening to them yet. I think they should be good.They're being read by Phil Gigante. The Highlander's Touch has 9 CD's and is approximately 11 hours long & Kiss of the Highlander has 10 CD's and is approximately 11 hours long as well. I'll let everyone know how I like them once I've listend to all of them. This may even get me to start looking for and collecting all the books I can find by Karen Marie Moning.


tammikuu 4, 2011, 12:27 pm

This is a good idea. Let's keep this going for all of us. I haven't listened to too many audiobooks. I know this sounds crazy, but I'm very A.D.D. and the person's voice gets in the way of my absorbing the words. As I hear the words, I see the words, then have to read the words for myself in my head (it feels like a translation thing going on) and I find myself thinking, "If this person would just stop talking, I could concentrate on this book I'm reading."

OK, as I wrote that I realize that I'm getting better at listening to books. One that was a beautiful experience for me was The Things They Carried. And I couldn't get into Thirteen Moons at all until I heard it being read in a very slow drawl.

I'm very hesitant to listen to--rather than read-- a book that I think I'm going to love, or that I think will be a significant read. It would feel like watching the movie before reading the book.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 9, 2011, 1:25 pm

Oh, I just love! Since you took my recommendation for All Passion Spent, let me recommend a few more that I thought were particularly good.

All three of Pat Barker's trilogy: Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road, wonderfully read by Peter Firth.

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy, read by Alan Rickman. ALAN RICKMAN--Need I say more?

Dubliners by joycejamesjamesjoyce::James Joyce. Audible carries several versions; I recommend the one that features various Irish actors/readers, including Frank and Malachy McCourt, Stephen Rea, Ciarin Hinds, Patrick McCabe, Colm Meany, and Donal Donnelly. It's pure joy!

The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt, read by Rosalyn Landor.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson, read by Peter Altschuler.

Solar by Ian McEwan, read by Roger Allam.

The Secret River by Kate Grenville, read by Simon Vance.

The Autobiography of Henry VIII, as Told by His Fool, Will Somers by georgemargaret::Margaret George, read by David Case.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, read by Simon Vance.

by faulksebastian::Sebastian Faulks, read by Samuel West. (He also reads with another actor a wonderful compilation of Keats, Realms of Gold, if you like poetry.)

A Week in December by faulksebastian::Sebastian Faulks, read by Simon Vance. (Vance is a consistently excellent reader, often a winner of narration awards.)

The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy, read by Samuel West.

tammikuu 9, 2011, 1:30 pm

That should be Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, read by Samuel West. (LT seems to erase touchstones and post the item number if you go in to edit anything.)

tammikuu 9, 2011, 5:33 pm

Alan Rickman! No, you don't need to say any more. (I have an mp3 of him reading 'My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun' - shiver). That'll be the January selection then.

Many other good recommendations here too - thanks!

tammikuu 18, 2011, 10:11 pm

Being the life long reader of history that I am I have to recommend the The Civil War: A Narrative all three volumes. There is a total of 132 hours of playing time for the three books. Shelby Foote is an excellent writer and he spent decades of his life writing the history of the Civil War in great detail. The narrator has is an excellent speaker with a very soothing voice. Now that I have listened to all three volumes one time through. I can always pick up my iPod and find a section that I have not listened to in a while. I kick back in the recliner and relax and enjoy.

helmikuu 6, 2011, 9:11 pm

Just finished another really good one: Wait for Me! by Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire. I don't usually read memoirs, but this one was SO fascinating. And the reader was perfect.

helmikuu 6, 2011, 9:18 pm

I'll have to go back and look at my audiobooks to give more recommendations, but Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres, read by John Lee, was to me the perfect marriage of book and reader. (Frankly, I'd listen to John Lee read just about anything.)

(And now I'm rushing out to get Alan Rickman reading Return of the Native!)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 2011, 9:58 pm

16> Definitely agree with you about John Lee! He's a real master of accents--I've heard him do everything from Scottish to Chinese quite believably. Samuel West is another of my favorites.

huhtikuu 8, 2011, 7:49 am

Two recent audio nonfiction to recommend -- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (straightforwardly and reassuringly read by Edward Herrmann) and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (more toward performance -- by Cassandra Campbell, supplemented with higher-dialect voices).

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 8, 2011, 10:19 am

I'll add a few that I finished more recently:

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Dubliners by joycejamesjamesjoyce::James Joyce . I listened to and loved the version read by various Irish actors and writers: Ciarin Hinds, Stephen Rea, Colm Meany, Brendan Coyle, Frank and Malachy McCourt and others.

The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leandra De Lisle. Nonfiction, about Ladies Jane, Katherine, and Mary Grey.

The Deportees and Other Stores by Roddy Doyle. Just listened to this one again--I should have listed it above. Very moving at times, at others, one of those rare audiobooks that made me laugh out loud.

huhtikuu 13, 2011, 6:23 pm

I'm listening to A Woman in Black by Susan Hill on my iphone/ipod. My listening has been piecemeal, so I may have to start back at the beginning but I have enjoyed what I have heard.

>5 theaelizabet: yes, it was the Sissy Spacek reading. Just wonderful.

>11 Cariola: Cripes, I may have to get Alan Rickman reading Hardy.

I have a couple of train rides to NYC coming up...

huhtikuu 13, 2011, 11:11 pm

One of the best audiobooks that I've listened to lately is The Help by Kathryn Stocket, read by Cassandra Campbell, Jenna Lamia, Octavia Spencer and Bahni Turpin. I had read the book, but my librarian recommended listening to it too. Those four readers really made the story come alive!

huhtikuu 24, 2011, 12:33 am

Brideshead Revisited, read performed by Jeremy Irons is absolutely fabulous.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 28, 2011, 6:56 pm

22) OH MY GOD. I forgot that Jeremy Irons read Brideshead Revisted! Must download immediately! He's read Lolita, heck to the yes!

I have a bad habit of listening to multiple books at any given time, but here are some books I've listened to that I've loved.

Stardust as read by Neil Gaiman. I love that he reads a lot of his own stuff and he has such a smooth and expressive voice.

The Great Railway Bazaar as read by Frank Muller. Sure, he sounds jaded through the whole thing, but that's the tone of the book.

The Magicians as read by Mark Brahmall. The book's derivative, sure, but listening to it was so much fun I didn't care!

Johannes Cabal The Necromancer as read by Christopher Cazenove. Fun and funny!

The Eyre Affair as read by Susan Duerdan. This is one of my favorite books and I was worried that the audiobook wouldn't hold up to the way I hear the book in my head (I'm looking at you Outlander audiobook!) but I'm listening to it now and it's great! The book itself is so full of references and puns and is a play on the average mystery noel anyway that it's almost better as an audiobook. Everything flows better when you're listening to it.

toukokuu 8, 2011, 9:45 am

I've recently had the pleasure of listening to a friend's audiobook of Leo McKern reading the Rumpole stories of John Mortimer. Brilliant - no-one else should be allowed to voice Rumpole...

toukokuu 10, 2011, 7:28 pm

And another one, I have just finished Philip Pullman reading his own The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ. The book was more complex than I expected, and it was very well-read.

toukokuu 10, 2011, 8:03 pm

And I'm very much enjoying Elizabeth I by Margaret George, read by Kate Reading (wrong touchstone).

syyskuu 4, 2011, 11:17 am

I've just listened to another excellently read audiobook, Lennox by Craig Russell, read by Seán Barrett. It's a thriller, very noir and occasionally gruesome but also leavened with strong black humour, and Barrett reads it very well - whether he's making a character menacing, shifty or melancholy. I enjoyed it a lot.

syyskuu 4, 2011, 6:55 pm

Muriel Spark's A Far Cry from Kensington, read by Pamela Garelick, was wonderful.

marraskuu 30, 2011, 10:20 am

Jane Harris reading her own The Observations was great - it's a good story on its own, but her accents are fab and really added to my enjoyment. I went straight to audible to see if she'd read any of her other books but unfortunately not...