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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.

18 Comments

  • At 2017.06.28 07:51, Karen Gagnon said:

    Wow, 48 years, that’s impressive! Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to your parents! 🙂 Thanks for the post! These books and narrators are all new to me and sound intriguing. I resisted audiobooks for a longtime since I know my mind tends to wander. But I gave them a try and now I’m hooked! They really add to the experience of a book making the emotions I love to feel even more intense! They are also so convenient as I can listen in the car, at work, shopping, doing things around the house, etc. My mind doesn’t wander like I first believed and I am always looking for more wonderful books to listen to! I will definitely check out these books! Well maybe not the evil one cuz that might scare me too much! Haha =D

    • At 2017.06.30 23:17, Jennifer said:

      I’ve found that reading takes practice no matter how you do it. It’s a different kind of concentration you have to develop. I sometimes will still find my mind wandering with audiobooks. When that happens, I listen to music for a while. If you try some of my favorites, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.

    • At 2017.06.28 08:27, Rhapsody in Books said:

      I’ve heard Joshilyn Jackson is a great narrator, but so far I have only read her books in hardcover. I don’t really have a “favorite” narrator but currently I am really enjoying the voice of Karen White (The Hemingses of Monticello). BTW you sure look like your dad! :–)

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      • At 2017.06.30 23:20, Jennifer said:

        Ha! My dad can’t deny me, can he? 🙂

        I love to listen to Karen White. She did a fantastic job with Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy. If you haven’t read that already, you won’t regret it.

        I got an email for an ARC of Joshilyn Jackson’s upcoming book in July. I’m opting to use an Audible credit instead. She’s always a fun read, but I know I’ll be in the mood for audio next month.

      • At 2017.06.28 08:33, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

        Oh my gosh, You on audio is sooooo good! Santino Fontana is Joe to me!

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        • At 2017.06.30 23:21, Jennifer said:

          Isn’t he? I don’t know if I could have read the book in print, but Fontana made it work. I wish there was another book, but I think Hidden Bodies is the end.

        • At 2017.06.28 08:33, Sheila/Bookjourney said:

          I loved YOU so much!!!!! It was fantastic on audio and so is the follow up. The rest of these I need to add to my list!

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          • At 2017.06.30 23:22, Jennifer said:

            Santino Fontana is so good I might just have to relisten to those books someday. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. 🙂

          • At 2017.06.28 09:12, Anne said:

            Your choices are wonderful. Thanks for this great giveaway and audio books are so special.

            • At 2017.06.28 13:15, Janie McGaugh said:

              Congratulations to your mother on father on their anniversary! I read a lot of audio books but haven’t read any of these, yet.

              • At 2017.06.30 23:24, Jennifer said:

                Congratulations to you! I just sent you an email. Google’s Random Number Generator picked 6. Let me know what you pick out with your free audiobook credits.

              • At 2017.06.28 20:24, MissPippi said:

                Thanks for sharing your favorites! I also highly recommend The Graveyard Book … both versions! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your June Is Audiobook Month!

                • At 2017.06.30 23:24, Jennifer said:

                  It’s sad that today is the end of JIAM. Luckily, every month is Audiobook Month when you listen. 🙂

                • At 2017.06.29 09:25, Susan said:

                  I’ve been meaning to check out the Robert Galbraith series. Can you read each one independently or should they be read in order? And congrats to your parents on their anniversary!

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                  • At 2017.06.30 23:26, Jennifer said:

                    I think you can read them separately from the standpoint of the mysteries. The development of Cormoran and Robin’s characters and working relationship is fun to watch evolve, though. I loved every single one of those audiobooks. You won’t regret listening.

                  • At 2017.06.29 15:19, KV said:

                    I haven’t listened to Robert Galbraith books yet, but they are on my list.

                    • At 2017.06.29 20:35, Nise' said:

                      It is always hard to choose between reading or listening to Joshilyn Jackson’s books. Loved Be Frank With Me. Outlander (the entire series) is on my all time favorite audio list too.

                      • At 2017.06.30 23:27, Jennifer said:

                        Joshilyn Jackson is so good. You’re right about it being a struggle to chose. I turned down an ARC of The Almost Sisters because I’m ready for another of her audiobooks. I hope it’s great.

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