If You Like….

Happy news! The audio version of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation just came in #4 in All About Romance’s Favorite Romance Audiobook poll.

I have to confess, I haven’t listened to an audio book since a friend gave me a Nancy Drew novel on cassette for my birthday back in second grade. I gather the technology has improved greatly since then.

So, since this is a topic about which I know very little, which audio books would you recommend?

If you like audio books, you’ll probably like….


  1. Julie H on July 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I actually listen to audio books a lot. I read paper or kindle books at home, then I always have an audio book going for when I’m doing mindless stuff at work and for during my hour-long commute.

    The reader is what makes or breaks an audio book for me. If there’s a bad reader, no matter how good the book is, it won’t come across.

    I listened to the audio versions of all your Pink books. Kate Reading does a fantastic job! On the downside, I fear that Night Jasmine is one of my least favorite Pink books because it was read by someone else. I need to read it myself and give it another chance.

    As for other good audiobooks, Diana Gabaldon’s books are all fantastic in the unabriged audio versions – both the Outlander and Lord John books. Hearing the voices and the accents adds all new life to the already great stories.

  2. Riley on July 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve grown to love audiobooks recently. Some of the best ones I’ve listened to have been:
    1) Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett
    2) The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir
    3) The Captive Queen by Alison Weir
    4) The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl

  3. Katie on July 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    The Harry Potter audiobooks are absolutely wonderful! I think they may be some of the most well done audiobooks I’ve ever listened to.

  4. Georgia on July 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    The Historian is great as an audiobook, as is Rules of Civility, and Chemistry for Beginners (truly hilarious!). Simon Vance does great classics — I really liked his version of the Three Musketeers and David Copperfield, and A Dance to the Music of Time.

  5. Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm on July 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I LOVE audio books.

    Yours are fun on audio! (Although that boat scene in Pink Carnation was a bit awkward since I was listening in my office…) Sophie Kinsella’s are equally fun, and occasionally equally awkward.

    Longer listens: Tana French’s books are AMAZING on audio. I’ve also enjoyed some of Henning Mankells, and depending on the production Jane Austen’s stuff is a lot of fun. All the King’s Men (read by Ben from Lost) was fantastic. The Harry Potters (read by Jim Dale) are superb productions.

    Shorter listens: Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series (read by Orlagh Cassidy) is excellent. I also recently listened to the whole Little House on the Prairie series (read by the lady who plays the President on 24, Cheryl something?) and they were really good too. I particularly enjoyed the fiddle music in those.

    I could go on, but those are probably enough recommends for now. 🙂

  6. Pam on July 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I am a big fan of audiobooks! They are the ideal companion to a lazy soak in the tub, nights when I can’t get to sleep, and long trips.

    The Pink audiobooks are really excellent (Kate Reading does a great job, Justine Eyre–Night Jasmine–slightly less so. I have a really hard time with her continued mispronunciation of “Eloise”). I’ll echo the endorsements of the Historian (in which Ms. Eyre does quite well) and of Tana French’s books. The narration of The Likeness might be the best I’ve heard, Heather O’Neill is truly SUPERB. Ditto Jim Dale for the Harry Potter books.

    Other ones I’ve especially enjoyed are A Discovery of Witches (Jennifer Ikeda’s rendition of Ysabeau is spot on), Rebecca (read by Anna Massey, who incidentally played Mrs. Danvers in the 1979 film), and also Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel (narrated by Jonathan Pryce). Vanessa Maroney does a great job with A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I wish Emilia Fox’s rendition of I Capture the Castle weren’t abridged…

    The audiobooks of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia books are pretty good. I think my affection for them is more rooted in the books themselves rather than the telling of them in the audiobooks. The first three each have a different narrator and their accents are uneven, but they each do fairly well as storytellers.

    I’ll have to get my hands on those Little House audiobooks!

  7. CĂ©line on July 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve been told that there are a few Georgette Heyer books that are read by no other than Richard chocolate-voice Armitage.
    All I can tell, is that my friends have all swooned over them!

    Oh, and a friend of mine listened to Into the wilderness and she loved it!

  8. Emily on July 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I have to echo all the praise for Kate Readings versions of the Pink Carnation books. Love them.

    While I have read the hard copy, I also have listened to the audio version of the Hunger Games read by Carolyn McCormmick. She did a really good job.

    My other favorite audio series (and boy I know this is cheesy) is the Nora Robert’s Bride Quartet series (Vision in White, Bed of Roses, Savor the Moment, and Happy Ever After), especially the last 3 read by Angela Dawe.

    In terms of writers reading their own stuff – you can’t beat Tina Fey’s reading of Bossy Pants. I also really loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s readings of her story in both Eat, Pray, Love and in Committed. I’ve both physically read and listened to Eat, Pray, Love and I felt more connected to the audiobook because Gilbert really did a good job of conveying in both her words and tone what she was feeling during specific events.

    I will admit that listening to a writer read their own stuff doesn’t always endear you to their work – I was completely disenchanted with Julie and Julia after listening to Julie Powell read her follow-up Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession. She just came off as very unlikeable.

  9. Christine on July 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Jon Stewart Presents America had me laughing at out… at work. It was not pretty.

    I’ve had some bad experiences with audiobooks – particularly ones where men do women’s voices, and one appalling one where the reader mispronounced several very standard Latin legal phrases and kept pronouncing the name Nguyen as “Nuh-goo-yen.”

  10. Rebecca P on July 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I just finished listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, read by Jim Dale. It was a really neat story and Jim Dale’s voice was AMAZING. I loved it!

  11. Kiley on July 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson – it is hysterical because he narrates the book himself. I also backpacked a section of the AT and could relate to a lot of what he experienced.
    Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain is pretty good too.

  12. Joanne M. on July 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    I second The Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) series on audio read by the wonderful Davina Porter. I like to listen to them when I’m working in my home office or doing mindless kitchen chores/cooking.

    I’ve also heard the Amelia Peabody books are very well done on audio. I’ve been meaning to check them out.

  13. Beth G on July 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Barbara Rosenblat narrating Elizabeth Peters’ books — she reads both the Amelia Peabody series and the Vicky Bliss series, and they are all spot-on.

    C.J. Critt narrating the Stephanie Plum books — these have made me laugh so hard I had to pull the car over.

  14. leslie on July 24, 2012 at 1:03 am

    Lauren, I think you would love Susan Elizabeth Phillips audios. Anna Fields best reader ever! Natural Born Charmer is so good. Dream a Little Dream is also a good one.
    Barbara Rosenblatt’s narration of early Amanda Quick books is also good. Wicked Widow comes to mind.
    Best audio ever, Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy done with an entire cast of readers while Pullman narrates.Super Recording!

  15. Mary on July 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society! It is FABULOUS on tape-read by a cast of characters, and I think better audio than reading the book.

  16. Yvette R on July 26, 2012 at 1:35 am

    My favorite ever, from someone who owns several hundred audio books (cassette, CD, and mp3), is The Lord of the Rings, unabridged. All three books together took 46 discs (each 65 to 75 minutes long). They were read by Rob Inglis (brilliant!!!). It was a major commitment, but it was wonderful. LOTR while driving, doing dishes, sweeping floors, cleaning kitty litter boxes, etc.

    I haven’t listened to any abridged Georgette Heyer, but I have over 20 of them including cassette copies of The Grand Sophy & False Colors, both wonderful & unabridged.

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