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
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
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
Funny, heartfelt, and a really good narrator.
4. FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE! by Tim Federle, read by the author
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
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
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!