June Is Audiobook ~ Recent Audiobook Favorites and Giveaway

I am so happy to be today’s #loveaudiobooks host for the Audio Publishers Association’s 30 day June is Audiobook Month blog tour. I have been asked to highlight my five favorite audiobooks. As a host, I have a pair of earbuds and a code for three audiobooks (in an adorable carrying case that I am so jealous of!) from Audiobooks.com. Leave a comment for your chance to win. I will randomly draw the winner on June 30th. Good luck! After you leave a comment, be sure to visit the APA for the complete list of the #loveaudiobooks tour. If you haven’t already, follow Audiobook Community on Facebook and Twitter.

I’m glad that June 28th was selected as my day because it’s extra special to me. Today my parents are celebrating their 48th anniversary. I love you, Mom and Dad!

Today would also have been my mother and father-in-law’s 70th anniversary. I am so thankful to both couples for their legacy of love.

On to audiobooks. They have been my passion since 2010 and I do not want to imagine my life without them. Over the past seven years, I’ve listened to hundreds of audiobooks. As part of a Twitter conversation a couple of years ago, several avid audiobook lovers identified their Audiobook Pantheon, or their 10 favorite audiobooks. Narrowing that list down was difficult. In preparation for writing this post, I reviewed my list (they are listed at the end of this post) and couldn’t pick just five. I decided to take a different approach. Today, in no particular order, I’m presenting my five favorite audiobooks since I came up with my Audiobook Pantheon.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles, narrated by Grover Gardner

This short audiobook was selected because I was in a funk, it was short, and I trust Grover Gardner. I never knew that there were people who traveled from town to town reading the news to those who couldn’t read or couldn’t find or afford the newspaper. I fell in love with this book and its characters. I chose this audiobook because it was short. I found that I didn’t want it to end. Grover Gardner is amazing. If I won the lottery, I would hire him to read the news to me every day.

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

This audiobook was fun from the very beginning. I appreciated this story about Alice, a publishing professional drafted to help a reclusive, acclaimed author, Mimi Banning, finish a promised second novel. Mimi only agreed to write this second novel because she lost her fortune. Alice quickly discovers her job is to care for Mimi’s son Frank. Tavia Gilbert’s narration was perfect for this story. It was funny and sad and she never missed a beat. I would have enjoyed this book in print, but Tavia Gilbert made it shine. Audie Judges agreed, naming Be Frank With Me the winner of the Best Female Narration Audie Award.

You by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana

I am a sucker for an unreliable narrators. I am even more a sucker for unreliable narrators who are snarky creepers. Joe, a judgmental psychopath of a bookstore clerk, has a unique outlook on life, especially the women in his. While it’s never good to be in Joe’s sights, eavesdropping on his outlook is hilarious and addictive. He is crude and he is selfish. All the same, I couldn’t get enough of him. Santino Fontana’s performance was out of this world. Hidden Bodies was equally delightful. After finishing these audiobooks, I have dubbed Santino Fontana “King of the Creeper” audiobook narrators. Long may he reign.

The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson, narrated by the author

Joshilyn Jackson is one of my favorite narrators. What makes this special, in my mind, is that she is an author as well. In general, author narrations outside of memoirs are underwhelming. Where so many authors stumble, Jackson shines like a jar full of fireflies. She has her finger on the pulse of Southern life and the mothers and daughters who inhabit it. This book made me laugh and feel all warm inside. I would recommend any of her books in audio, but this one is my favorite. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for The Almost Sisters to hit my earbuds in July.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith, narrated by Robert Glenister

I love, love, love the Cormoran Strike series. The third installment, Career of Evil is my favorite thus far. I was sitting on the edge of my seat biting my fingernails all along the way. The ending left my hanging and I’m trying to be so patient for Galbraith (Rowling) to hurry up and publish it already. Robert Glenister has narrated all three books in the series. His narration has always been top notch. His voice is Cormoran Strike’s voice. If there were to be a narrator change in this series, I’m not sure I could cope.

Those are my 5 most recent favorite audiobooks. If you haven’t already, please give them a listen. I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re interested in the original 10 in my Audiobook Pantheon, here they are:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, narrated by Simon Vance
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, narrated by Michael Kitchen (currently unavailable – BOO)
Trespass by Rose Tremain, narrated by Juliet Stevenson
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan, narrated by Will Farrell
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, narrated by a full cast (although the version narrated by Neil Gaiman alone is amazing, too)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter
An Unnamed State by Roxanne Gay, narrated by Robin Miles
Schroder by Amity Gaige, narrated by Will Collyer
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, narrated by Anna Massey
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson, narrated by Bronson Pinchot
Born with Teeth written and narrated by Kate Mulgrew
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash, narrated by Nick Sullivan, Lorna Raver, & Mark Bramhall

I hope that June is Audiobook Month has been full of great listens and that your TBL is overflowing with potential. We live in a glorious age, my friends.

#LesMisLovesCompany Check In

I hope that everyone participating in this read along enjoyed the first section as much as I did. I’ll be answering the questions in the comments, but overall I was pleasantly surprised by how easily and quickly it read. 

Here are the questions I came up with for Section One Books 1 – 6. Feel free to respond to one or all of them. If you have questions of your own, please share them, too.

Leading up to this challenge, what was your experience with Les Misérables and Victor Hugo?

What, if any, were your expectations of this book when you began?

How was your reading experience with our first section (Section One Book 1 through Book 6)? What stood out to you the most?
Why do think that Hugo named the first section Fantine, especially when so many of those pages were focused on the Monseigneur of Digne and Jean Valjean?
What are your thoughts on Fantine? She loved the father of her child, but he left her. She then, in order to find work, left her daughter with complete strangers. Does this say anything about her character? Would her fate have been any different if the Thénardiers were kind people or would she have ended up on the streets as she did eventually? What did Monsieur Madeleine see in her?
What are your thoughts on Jean Valjean and Monsieur Madeleine? What role did society and the French penal system play in his changes from youth to middle age? What do you think might have happened to him had he not found Monseigneur of Digne? What did Monseigneur of Digne see in Jean Valjean? Was Monseigneur of Digne the only factor that made Jean Valjean turn his life around?

Les Mis Begin!

The day has arrived. I’m about to begin the 1304 page journey that is Les Misérables. I can’t remember the last time I attempted to read a book this thick. I hope I’m up for this challenge. Since Les Mis loves company, feel free to join me. I don’t plan on reading this straight through. […]

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APA Announces 2017 Audiobook Blogger of the Year Contest

For the third year in a row, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced their Audiobook Blogger of the Year contest. As the first recipient in 2015, I can tell you first hand that winning this contest was the highlight of my blogging career and definitely one of the most exciting experiences of my life. […]

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Announcing the 2017 Audie Finalists in the Multi-Voiced Performance Category

My favorite perk of being named the APA’s 2015 Audiobook Blogger of the Year is to help announce the Audie Finalists each year. It is such a treat! What better way to kick off Armchair Audies season, right? This year it is my great honor to present the #Audies2017 Finalists in the Multi-Voiced Performance Category. […]

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Literate Housewife Turns 10!

It’s hard to believe, but today my blog turns 10 years old. What began as a way to keep myself honest about reading 52 books in on year became the best habit I’ve ever picked up. It has added friends, great reads, great reads, audiobooks, author and narrator friends, and trips to New York and […]

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The Twilight Wife by A. J. Banner

The Twilight Wife by A. J. Banner Published by: Touchstone Published on: 12/27/2016 Page Count: 304 Genre: Fiction My Reading Format: ARC won from the publisher on Litsy Available Formats: Hardcover and eBook Summary from the Publisher: Thirty-four-year-old marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form […]

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News of the World by Paulette Jiles ~ Audiobook Review

News of the World by Paulette Jiles Published by: William Morrow Published on: October 4, 2015 Page Count: 224 Genre: Historical Fiction My Reading Format: Audiobook Published by: Brilliance Audio Narrator: Grover Gardner Audiobook Length: 5 hours 58 minutes Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook Summary from the Publisher: In the wake of the Civil […]

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High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby Published by: Riverhead Books Published on: August 1, 1996 Page Count: 352 Genre: Fiction My Reading Format: Personal paperback copy Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook Summary from the Publisher: Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left […]

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Les Mis Loves Company

There was a small book (more of a pamphlet really) at my local public library up that listed books that should be read before you go to college. I made countless lists and reading plans based on that pamphlet over the course of my last two years of high school. There was one book that […]

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