D.E.A.R. – Audiobook Week-Inspired TBL Pile (Sound Bytes)

Do you remember D.E.A.R? At my elementary school that meant “Drop Everything And Read,” something we typically did for 10 or 15 minutes every day. Best part of my day, really. As my TBR and Library piles are battling for supremacy and trying to sneak in around the review copies who have staked out places on my calendar, I’m thinking back to the simpler days of D.E.A.R., when I believed I had time to get to any book I wanted. And that, of course, got me fantasizing about a world where I really could just Drop Everything And Read for more than just 15 minutes a day.

The thing about Audiobook Week, it wreaks havoc on your audiobook wishlist. The good news for me is that in the next few days I’m going to have two infants, and I’m thinking that my ipod will be easier to balance while feeding them than my Nook – let alone than something in print.

Here are some of the audiobooks that most intrigued me as I perused Audiobook Week posts last week, in roughly the order I discovered them:

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, narrated by Khristine Hvam
Mentioned by: Oddophile, Alaskan Bookie, A Patchwork of Books, Reading Thru the Night
Bonus: This will be a free download from SYNC from August 2-8.


The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell, narrated by Tai Sammons
Mentioned by: Bay State RA




Cinder by Marissa Meyer, narrated by Rebecca Soler
Mentioned by: Unabridged Andra




Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, narrated by Libba Bray
Mentioned by: My Little Pocketbooks





I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, narrated by Charlie Thurston
Mentioned by: Books and Wine


Plus, a whole mess of books mentioned by Literate Housewife. I wanted to listen to everything she mentioned that I hadn’t already heard, because our tastes tend to be quite similar:

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor, narrated by Bronson Pinchot, Karen White, Mark Bramhall, and Lorna Raver
American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar, narrated by Ayad Akhtar
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian, narrated by Mark Bramhall

I encourage you to review your audiobooks on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

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Narrated by the Author Audiobook Giveaway – US-only

Audiobooks narrated by the author can be a little bit hit or miss, but when they’re good – especially with memoir – they are VERY good. Today’s prize pack consists of three audiobooks narrated by the author. Title links go to the audiobooks’ pages on the publishers’ websites.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake  by Anna Quindlen, narrated by Anna Quindlen from Random House Audio
Another Piece of My Heart  by Jane Green    Jane Green from Macmillan Audio
Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch narrated by Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett from Harper Audio

This is the last of five Audiobook Week prize pack giveaways, and it is available for listeners with US mailing addresses only. To enter, please fill out the form below by noon Central on Sunday, July 1st.

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Listen Up! – Audiobook Week Discussion

If you wrote a post on this or any of my other discussion topics today, Friday, June 29th please leave your link in the Mr. Linky before midnight Central time (US) and you will be eligible to win a prize.

Where do you learn about great audiobook titles? Find reviews? Buy your audiobooks? Share your secrets with the rest of us!

Here are some of my favorite audiobook resources:

Audiofile Magazine

I’m slightly biased, because I review for Audiofile Magazine, but I think they provide a really great audiobook resource. There is an actual, physical magazine that will introduce you to many audiobooks you might otherwise never have heard of. The magazine comes every other month, and a year’s subscription is under $20, or two years’ subscription costs less than $30. You can check out the reviews and some of the content for free online. When I’m considering getting an audiobook, I often go first to AudioFile to see what the reviewer there thought about it, to decide whether or not it is worth my time.

Audiobook Jukebox

Do you want to know what a bunch of bloggers think about an audiobook? Audiobook Jukebox is the place to find that out. You can add links to your reviews, and find links to other people’s reviews. A must-visit if you want to determine what the blogosphere’s consensus on an audiobook is.

Sound Bytes

Another one where I’m biased! If you want the audiobook camaraderie of Audiobook Week all year ’round, check out my Sound Bytes meme, started after Audiobook Week last year. Every Friday I review an audiobook (or occasionally have other audiobook-related content). I encourage other bloggers to review their audiobooks on Friday as well, but I welcome links to any and all audiobook reviews/content from that given week.

What are your favorite audiobook resources?

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Audio Drama Audiobook Giveaway – US-only

Audiobooks have a proud lineage, from oral storytelling to old radio drama shows. While most audiobooks that I listen to have one narrator (or occasionally up to three or four), we have not completely moved beyond the days of the old radio drama, and audio dramas are still very popular. Today’s Audiobook Week prize pack consists of two audio dramas from Blackstone Audio, both of which were nominated for the Audio Drama Audie – The Mark of Zorro was also nominated for Distinguished Achievement in Production. Title links go to the audiobook’s page on Blackstone Audio’s website.

The Mark of Zorro based on the novel by Johnson McCulley, dramatized by Yuri Rasovsky, narrated Val Kilmer and a full cast
We’re Alive: Season 1  by Kc Wayland, narrated by a full cast

This is the fourth of five Audiobook Week prize pack giveaways, and it is available for listeners with US mailing addresses only. To enter, please fill out the form below by noon Central on Saturday, June 30th.

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What Makes a Good Narrator? – Audiobook Week Discussion

If you wrote a post on this or any of my other discussion topics today, Monday June 25th please leave your link in the Mr. Linky before midnight Central time (US) and you will be eligible to win a prize.

Who are your favorite narrators and why? What do you look for in a narrator? Have a preference between male or female narrators?
Alternate suggestion: Narration preferences – single narrator, multiple narrators, full cast, etc.

What I Look for in a Narrator

  • The very most important thing to me is, does the narrator fit the audiobook? There are some narrators that are great, but just don’t really fit. For instance, Carolyn McCormick narrating the The Hunger Games series. She’s undoubtedly a talented narrator, but in my opinion she sounds way too old for a first person narrative from the point of view of a teenager, even though she does a wonderful job with the rest of the voices. I know not being cast well is not a narrator’s fault, but it makes a huge difference in my enjoyment of an audiobook
  • Expression: what exactly this means will depend on the book you’re listening to, but is the level of expression appropriate for the book? Do they avoid falling into melodrama? Do they provide enough emotion to make you invest in the story? If they are narrating nonfiction, do they sound interested in their subject matter?
  • Accents and vocal differentiation: Are any necessary accents believable? Can you tell one character from another?
  • Voice: Do I want to sit and listen to this person for 8-20 hours?

Some favorite narrators (a by-no-means exhaustive list):

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