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Robin’s Favorite Audiobooks of 2015

I’ve started listening to audiobooks since I ride my bike to work and they’re a nice (and not loud, so I can still hear the outside world) way to pass the commute. Also, I joined a gym, so I can knock out even more audiobooks than I used to. Here are my favorites of 2015 (not necessarily published in 2015 though):


1. THE COST OF ALL THINGS by Maggie Lehrman, read by Sharmila Devar, Shannon McManus, Jesse Bernstein, and Nicholas Dressel

The cost of all things

I think I would have loved this book just as much had I read it instead of listening to it, but listening to it did give me an appreciation of the language Lehrman uses. Sometimes listening to audiobooks is difficult because you notice things you wouldn’t notice in print. Repetitive sentence structure, or five bazillion instances of “said” that just grate. However, THE COST OF ALL THINGS didn’t have any of those problems. I loved the words as much as I loved the whole novel, which follows a girl who pays a large sum of money for a spell to forget her dead boyfriend. I won’t go into further detail, because it’s nice to listen to the novel just unfold.

Voice cast also did a great job. Another thing that will kill an audiobook for me is the narrator. There are four here, though, and they’re all good, and they all seem to get their characters.


2. FUZZY MUD by Louis Sachar, read by Kathleen McInerney

Fuzzy Mud

Sachar is one of my favorite authors and I think his writing style translates well to audiobook. McInerney does a really great job here with the cast of fifth- and seventh-graders.


3. SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli, read by Michael Crouch

Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda

Funny, heartfelt, and a really good narrator.


4. FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE! by Tim Federle, read by the author

Five Six Seven Nate

I avoided this book for a while, because I’d really liked BETTER NATE THAN EVER and I was afraid the sequel wouldn’t hold up, BUT I WAS WRONG


5. MASTERPIECE by Elise Broach, read by Jeremy Davidson


Another book I avoided for far too long. I remember a lot of kids in one of my after-school programs reading this when it came out, so it’s always been in the back of my mind. However, I like to read physical books if they have illustrations, so I was holding off. I really shouldn’t do that! But I like looking at illustrations and they’re never included with my downloadable audiobooks.


6. KINDA LIKE BROTHERS by Coe Booth, read by John Clarence Stewart

Kinda Like Brothers

This one had maybe my favorite narrator of the year. He knew just where to put the emphasis, and even though his voice was clearly an adult man’s, he got the intonation and cadence of a preteen boy down PERFECTLY. I laughed out loud many times while listening.


7. IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE by Eric Gansworth, read by the author

If I ever Get out of here

I’m gaining an appreciation of authors reading their own audiobooks. It makes sense, they wrote it, so they’ve got the voice in their head already. Still, I know not everyone is the best reader. But Eric Gansworth is.

Coming up next: My favorite Graphic Novels of 2015!

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January Reads

I’m still hoping to read 100 books this year (aside from graphic novels), but I’m running a tad behind. Here’s what I read in January (in the order I read them):

1. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Corinne is another Amulet debut author and I was really excited to read her book. It has a diverse cast and a really imaginative fantasy setting. Also, Corinne did not disappoint! I loved the writing so much, in fact, that I had to read it slowly. This sounds weird, huh? But I needed to read it slowly to drink in every detail. Highly recommended! This comes out in June.

2. Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

A touching middle grade novel about a Japanese family interned in Arizona during World War II. I listened to the audio version of this while I washed dishes. It also includes a diverse cast of both Japanese and Mohave characters, as the land the Japanese-Americans are forced to live on happens to be on a Mohave reservation. I like it when I learn things from books!

3. I Heart Band #2: Friends, Fugues, and Fortune Cookies by Michelle Schusterman

After reading about Holly’s misadventures in I Heart Band #1, I was eager to get my hands on this second volume. I got so into it I burned the rice I was cooking. (Spanish rice, in case you’re wondering, since it’s a lot harder to burn plain old white rice.)

4. The Only Thing Worse Than Witches by Lauren Magaziner

I highly recommend this debut MG if only because after you read it you can go back on the 2014 Mad for Middle Grade posts and understand all of Lauren’s hilarious references to her novel. But seriously, this is a very funny book in the vein of Sideways Stories from Wayside School or the beginnings of every Roald Dahl book. I described it as “hilariously non-sequitur.” If you know any children, this would make a great read-aloud for them.

5. Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Laura’s imaginative and mysterious debut had me turning pages in a frenzy. I’ve only visited New York twice, but Laura made the city come alive for me in a way I’ve never felt before. Truly remarkable. Also, I loved the main character, Theo, and her voice.

6. The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina

My review of this is in my previous blog post! So scroll down or hit the previous page link. This was a magnificent book filled with gorgeous setting details and characters I didn’t want to let go of.

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