June 2, 2010

Happy Audiobook Month

I love audiobooks (check out my gush here). I normally have one going on my ipod so I can listen to it while I am walking or if I am ever lucky enough to be in the car without my children. Right now I am listening to The Mortal Engines. It's pretty good, but not the best I have ever listened to. Recorded Books recently did a top 20 audiobooks poll--the results have not been posted, but there are a lot of good suggestions in the comments section.

There are several ways to get your audiobooks. Audible has a good program where you pay a monthly fee and then can download books for much cheaper than retail. I did this for a little bit, but have since found easier ways.

Your local library probably has tons of books on CDs, which are great if you have a CD player, but not if you have a digital player. You can rip tracks into itunes, but sometimes this can be a bigger headache than necessary. Luckily, your local library probably has joined forces with a audio.digital library where you can check out audiobooks and put them on your ipod (or other mp3 player) all from your computer. Ours is called MontanaLibrary2Go. It is awesome. It takes a bit of work to get it on your ipod, and normally you only have the book for 14 days. BUT, once it's on your ipod you can technically keep it there until you are done, as long as you don't sync your ipod after the 14 days are up. This is a great option if you are going on a family vacation and just need a bunch of books lined up to listen to in the car.

You can also buy them right through itunes. Normally prices are pretty good and if I cannot find a book any other way I will do this, but it is my last option. I have found some great deals on there though. I also found an website called Sync that is offering free downloads for the summer--one classic and one contemporary each week. The list is found here. They are offering Bloody Jack in July and The Hunger Games in late July/early August. Both are very well done.

I listen to books because it is just another way I can get one more book read. Sometimes, when I am really into a good audiobook I will find myself making up excuses to listen more--extra walking or mowing the lawn or vacuuming. This summer I plan to listen to:
Morpheus Road: The Light by DJ MacHale
World War Z by Max Brooks
and possibly Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson (I have the print version of this but it is read by Jim Dale and he is amazing).

Here are some of my favorites:

*all of the Harry Potter books done by Jim Dale. The only problem with these is that if you start out listening to Jim Dale it is hard to move onto any other narrators. He is wonderful. (He also does the Peter and the Starcatchers books)

*the Henry Huggins books. Neil Patrick Harris narrates there, he is so good and funny. We listened to all of these are decided that Neil does a better Ramona than Stockard Channing, who narrates the Ramona books.

*Airborn, Skybreaker and Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel. These are full cast audiobooks which can be hard to get used to after a single narrator, but the guy who voices Matt Cruse is wonderful and makes the transition easier.

*The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I tried and tried to read this one and could never get into it. So finally on a trip to Oregon I just did the audio version. I listened to The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, but by just had to buy The Amber Spyglass because I could read it faster and I had to know how it ended!!

This is just a start. Do you have any favorites?

5 comments:

  1. Our library doesn't have digital access, but we do have Playaways. They are self-contained mp3 players, about the size of an ipod, with one audio book loaded on each. Patrons don't have to own an mp3 player to use them. They just plug in headphones and pop in a battery and they're good to go.

    I always have an audiobook going too. Two of my faves were Feed by M.T. Anderson, and 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (the same one Christine reviewed today on Searching!), because both of those books had elements that translated particularly well to audio. I agree about the Jim Dale ones, though.

    Also, I've liked audio books done by Full Cast Audio. Goose Girl by Shannon Hale was one, and there are several of Bruce Coville's titles because he is president of the company. They have a whole cast of readers, so it's like listening to a play.

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  2. I love Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard because he reads it himself and it comes alive in his voice! The Harry Potter books also rock with Jim Dale, I agree.

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  3. Oooh! Yes! Neil Gaiman. Although I listened to Coraline, not the Graveyard Book. And I thought of another one. The Book Thief is also fantastic on audio.

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  4. I was so excited when I learned our library had audio books for download! I love it - a bit cumbersome to do but I've got it down now.

    I was telling my stuents they could do this and they looked at me like I was crazy :) I said if you bob your head now and again no one will know you're listening to a book - they'll just think it's music. They laughed at that!

    And thanks for the link to the site that giving out free ones this summer! Awesome :)

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  5. If you love having Jim Dale read to you then pick up Dicken's A Christmas Carol. He is simply suburb in this! We listen to it all the time. Another great set of audiobooks are the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Prachett: The Wee Free Men, Hatful of Sky and Wintersmith. Not only are the books hilarious but the man that performs them is simply delicious! He really gives Jim Dale a run for his money. We also have all of the Charlie Bone books on audio and those are really good as well. My daughter is blind and disabled and audio books are practically air and water to her. I've been wanting to get the Beacon Street Girls series for her but they are soooooo expensive!
    BTW, love your blog! Have you read the Fablehaven books yet? They are fantastic and even better than HP!!

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