Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: Audio Books You Should Listen To

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme that is brought to us by The Broke & the Bookish. Check out the topic list here.

Audio books are an awesome invention. Ever since I got a subscription to Audible, I've been listening to more of them. I listen to them on my commute to one job, while working at the other, and sometimes when I have trouble sleeping I listen to an old favorite to help.

This week, I'm sharing with you ten of my favorite audio books, all of which are available through Audible for your listening pleasure.

10. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Narrated by Stephen Fry

This was a fun listen because I love Stephen Fry and he did a great job not only on this book but also as the voice of the Guide in the movie version of the book. While I didn't actually like the ending of the book all that much, that's a personal preference that doesn't have a bearing on Fry's performance of the work. He embodied the humor and the wit of Adams with ease; I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a quick listen that's still really good.

9. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda

This is probably the closest I'll ever get to hearing Lin-Manuel Miranda perform anything since he left Hamilton, but that's just fine. He had a heck of a job bringing two very different characters two life. Aristotle had a lot of anger and confusion to work through and Dante was apologetically himself and all that that entailed. To be able to switch back and forth between these two characters so seamlessly was an amazing thing to listen to.

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Narrated by Jim Dale

This isn't my favorite Jim Dale work to make this list, as you'll see later, but it is still very good. Not only is this a fantastically magical tale about a circus that appears and disappears in the night, has tents that makes the impossible come true, and performers that defy imagination, it is narrated by a man who has a great deal of experience weaving these magicial words into an invisible net that traps you in the story world. You won't want to leave until the very last word.

7. The Dresden Files Series by Jim Butcher, Narrated by James Marsden

Jim Butcher sure knows his way around supernatural fiction, so not only do you get a good dose of a smartass, whipsmart wizard who knows his stuff, you get the perfect guy to embody this guy. You might know James Marsters as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He's also appeared in Warehouse 13, Supernatural, and a whole host of other shows and each time his acting has shown that he can take on any persona. You see the evidence of that in his vocal work for this series.

There were a couple books in the series that he didn't narrate, if I remember correctly, but the ones he does are gems.

6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, Narrated by the Author

One of the things that I love about Neil Gaiman books are that when they get turned into audio books, the odds are good that he will narrate them. The books often have a creepy element to them and he has the perfect voice to narrate such a story. This and Coraline are two of Gaiman's stories that take the most advantage of his vocal talents.

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Narrated by Jay Snyder, Brandon Rubin, Fred Berman, Lauren Fortgang, Roger Clark, Elizabeth Evans, and Tristan Morris

This audio book has one of the largest casts I've ever heard. I started it last week and listened to it quickly because it was so good. Each person brought the personality of the character to life in a bang up way. My favorite was probably Kaz, that insane genius. :)

4. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, Narrated by the Author

Not only is Amanda Palmer an all around badass of a person and an author, but she narrated her book wonderfully. The music mentioned in the book is actually in the audio book version which added a whole other level of enjoyment for those of us that don't have the cds.

3. The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye, Narrated By Steve West

This book was magical already, but when Steve West positively nails the Russian accents of all the characters, I fell in love with him as a narrator. I especially loved his portrayal of Ludmila, the baker from Cinderella Bakery.

2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, Narrated by Jim Dale

Jim Dale is one of the best narrators I've ever come across. He can slip into any role with ease and boy are there a lot of them, especially in this series.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was already one of my favorite books, but hearing Kate Burton bring these characters to life with her narration really put it over the top. I have easily listened to this audio book five times. I finish it and I start it again, she is that good.

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