Three months into 2021, and so far, I have six read books under my belt. Juggling two jobs and edits, I’m amazed with this progress toward my twenty book goal on Goodreads, though I’m aware of the irony. When I only had one job, I was lucky to even read ten books in a year. Perhaps, it’s the lack of free time that truly makes me appreciate what time is available. Maybe it’s the carrot of my local library’s Break into 2021 Book Reading Challenge. Or perhaps, after a rough couple of years, I really need a bit of escapism. No matter why, audiobooks have been my saviors.
My love affair with audiobooks began while traveling with my brother and sister-in-law to Indy. It was a Dresden Files audiobook, and it wasn’t even at the beginning, but narrator James Marsters (yes, Spike from Buffy) had me sold. Thanks to Overdrive, I dove into the Dresden Files audiobooks from the beginning, even loading my cellphone with them for a work trip to Florida.
James Marsters set a high bar for future audiobook narrators, but I did branch out. Having fallen in love with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, I wanted to read the books, and audiobooks became the perfect outlet for doing so. By this time, I’d started an Audible account and used my credits to collect Phryne Fisher books. Narrator Stephanie Daniel does a fabulous job and gives an equal performance as Phryne to Essie Davis, who portrays her on the TV show.
James Marsters set a high bar for future audiobook narrators.
There have been audiobook disappointments along the way, but overall, I haven’t found a narrator who has failed me with their performance. I pop in my earbuds at my second job while cleaning DVDs or returning books to the shelves. It makes the time go by so fast. Currently, I’m listening to Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, and more than once, I’ve had to bite down laughter amongst the bookshelves. It is so hard NOT to laugh out loud when shit is literally being lit on fire in a driveway with people surrounding it, praying to chase off a demon (emm … Trevor) that dumped it in the Noah’s house.
I also love launching an audiobook while doing house chores–if I’m not in a music mood. This is particularly true when it’s time to wash dishes. It’s my least favorite chore, and audiobooks make it more bearable. Music dominates my car, but if I’m in the middle of a really good audiobook, it will take precedence.
A common complaint with audiobooks is an inability to focus on them. Some audiobooks are a struggle to focus on. I wish I’d chosen to read the physical book for The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, because some of the information got jumbled in my head. It wasn’t the fault of narrator Tanis Parenteau. It was just a case of a nonfiction book that I really needed to see versus listen to. But beyond the most intensive nonfiction or fiction novel, I believe finding the right book and narrator is key to uncovering the joy of audiobooks. I highly recommend searching for that narrator and story that speaks to you–that will hold your attention. Try different settings for audiobooks, too. This could be in the car, while doing chores, an hour before bed in quiet stillness, etc.
I’m eternally grateful I was introduced to the right audiobook. It has launched a long-lasting love affair.