Audiobooks discussion

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Remember Your First Time?

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message 1: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 325 comments Mod
Do you remember your first time and who it was with? I'm not talking about THAT! This is a respectable group.

What I'm interested in knowing is who was narrating the first audiobook you recall listening to? I'm curioius as to who the reader was because if it was a bad experience out of the gate, odds are that you probably wouldn't be here hooked on audio today.

So, who was your first? The person that initially led you down the audio road?

For me it was a free book from Audible--Christopher Murney reading Collapse. I listened to it originially in 2005 and then re-listened in 2010. The topic was very interesting and the narration compelling enough to keep me an Audible subscriber all these years and now I read physical books, listen to audio, and read on Kindle with audio accounting for the majority of my "reads".

So, how about you? Who was your first and was it good for you? :-)


Leeri | 7 comments Davina Porter reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon was my first. The bar was set high.


Catie (nematome) My first was the hobbit, on tape, during one of our frequent crazy road trips (where my mom would pack us in a car, and take off for points unknown). It wasn't one of the radio versions and there was only one narrator, but I've never been able to figure out who he was. I loved it though!


MissSusie | 1392 comments Leeri wrote: "Davina Porter reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon was my first. The bar was set high."

Mine too!!


message 5: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 325 comments Mod
I'll admit it...I've listened to the Outlander series that Davina Porter has read. I won't listen to anything else in the series that she has not read. She is THE voice of the series...so much so that I won't even read the other books using my own internal voice for the characters. She is one of my all-time favorites.

Yada, yada, yada, agreed, that is a setting a high bar.


MissSusie | 1392 comments Grumpus wrote: "I'll admit it...I've listened to the Outlander series that Davina Porter has read. I won't listen to anything else in the series that she has not read. She is THE voice of the series...so much so..."

I read the last book Echo in the Bone in paper copy and it was still Davina's voice I heard.


Ruth (ruthm2010) | 1 comments For me it was the Harry Potter series - all seven books - narrated by Stephen Fry. An absolute joy! I started out using cassettes and CDs but have now become an Audible member and look forward to trying something new each month with my credit. I also enjoy ebooks and always have my kindle with me just in case a wee five minute reading opportunity should come my way!


Heidi *Listen. I'll just keep talking anyway. * | 1343 comments Megan Follows reading Anne of Green Gables was one of my first audiobooks.


☻Nikki☻ C | 26 comments My first was back in the early 90's and it was an audio of a Kathleen E Woodiwiss book. Don't remember which one but it was abridged and I hated it (partly because it was abridged & I had read the book so I knew what was missing, plus I didn't care for the narrator). I decided then & there that I didn't like audiobooks. Thank goodness 10 years or so later I tried Harry Potter narrated by Jim Dale & OMG!!! LOVED IT!! I have learned that the narrator makes all the difference in the world and I never listen to abridged if I can help it.


Javasapien | 250 comments I'm not totally positive what my very first audiobook was, but the first I can remember was Dick Francis "Blood Sport". My father had checked it out of the library on cassette to listen to on a long car trip that I was joining he and my mother on. My father loves horses/horse racing and most of the Dick Francis books involve horse racing in some way. We all loved it and went on to read and/or listen to tons more Dick Francis. Also, it (as well as many other Dick Francis novels) was read by Simon Prebble and to this day he is among my favorite narrators. Maybe only Davina Porter has topped him on my list!


Sandi (Sandikal) | 329 comments The first audiobook I tried to listen to was The Alchemist, narrated by Jeremy Irons. It's very short, but I wasn't able to get through the first hour. Fortunately, it had been an iTunes freebie, so I wasn't out any money. It took a long time before I gave audio a second chance.

(I tried listening to The Alchemist again last year and only got about an hour further along. It's just too new-agey for my taste.)


message 12: by CS (new)

CS (chrisubus) | 17 comments My first was The Pillars of the Earth, narrated by John Lee. I was hooked instantly!


Betty | 9 comments I reconnected with the joy of being read aloud to in the late 1970's via MPR (public radio). On Saturday mornings they presented The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (produced by BBC with multiple voices) . This was followed by productions of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings I loved that half hour of story telling before heading off to work!

In the 80's, we moved to Oregon and started listeng to OPB. Dick Estell's show "Radio Reader" was on during the evening right at dish washing time, our earliest books there were Cold Sassy Tree - Olive Ann Burns and Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman - Richard P. Feynman. I don't recall who the narrators were, but I was firmly hooked on the audio habit from then on!


Heidi *Listen. I'll just keep talking anyway. * | 1343 comments I love radio programs Betty. I actually go to the BBC iplayer even though I live in the States so I can listen to their mystery shows sometimes.


Betty | 9 comments I will have to check that out Heidi :-)


Stef (firecat) | 59 comments It was Hawkings' A Brief History of Time, published by Books on Tape, but I don't remember the narrator.


Barb (barbarajohill) | 1 comments Frank McCourt read his own Angela's Ashes to me.... Hooked.


Heidi *Listen. I'll just keep talking anyway. * | 1343 comments Barb wrote: "Frank McCourt read his own Angela's Ashes to me.... Hooked."

Loved that one too.


Chris Stanley (christinelstanley) I think my first audio book was Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre and read by David Tennent. Regrettably it was an abridged version but I loved it so much, I the read the book afterwards to see what I'd missed, Brookmyre is now one of my favourite authors. I also enjoyed the audiobook, but only listen to unabridged from then on.


Carol (peppersgirl) The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd read by Jenna Lamia.

I had tried to read a few audio books before this one and could never get into them. This is the one that got me hooked.


message 21: by aprilla (last edited Apr 19, 2011 02:53PM) (new)

aprilla | 232 comments how funny! I've just started to listen to that (The Secret Life of Bees)... sounds like a winner.

I started 'listening' to podcasts of radio programmes I missed. Audiobooks? hmmm I don't remember which was my first but I know it was non-fiction. My son would pass them to me and I obediently listened, sometimes with interest ;)
Then I listened to The Road which I loved, and started the Stephanie Plum series with One for the Money which made me laugh out loud... and I was hooked :)


Lori (twizzle777) | 204 comments I can't remember for sure. It was either Lord of the Rings narrated by Robert Inglis or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone narrated by Jim Dale.

@Catie - You might try The Hobbit read by Robert Inglis. I love it!


Karen White (KarenWhiteaudiobooknarrator) | 179 comments My first listen was George Guidall reading A Widow for One Year by John Irving. It was the first time since moving to Los Angeles that I didn't want to get out of the car! Author and narrator were just a perfect combination.
My kids' first listens were the Harry Potter series (with Jim Dale). At that time we only had a CD player in the middle of the house that they could use, so as my then 5 year old worked her way through the entire series it felt as though Mr. Dale had moved in with us. But he was a very welcome guest. (At least the first time through:)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


Mike | 5 comments Leeri wrote: "Davina Porter reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon was my first. The bar was set high."

That's how I turned my 1-book-a-year wife into a 1-Audiobook-a-week reader and kickin' my butt in the competition for annual literature consumption.


Janice (JaMaSc) | 549 comments My first listen was Memoirs of a Geisha read by Bernadette Dunn.

I was nervous about whether or not I'd like audiobooks so I bought one that was familiar to me. I thought I'd be able to follow along easily. I was hooked from that point on.


Janice | 172 comments I don't remember which was first for sure, but among the earliest audio books I read were: Carpool by Mary Cahill narrated by Barbara Rosenblatt, and Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik, read by Christina Moore. Following these I started George Guidall's readings of the Joe Leaphorn series by Tony Hillerman, and I was hooked!


Michael (mikedecshop) | 64 comments Oh Lord I can't remember my first, second, third....


Keri ♠ | 49 comments I'm pretty sure my first audiobook was actually on cassette. Dances with Wolves which was read by the author Michael Blake. I had seen the movie several times and really loved it. But when I listened to the book, I remember it changed how I felt about audiobooks (I didn't care for them much at that point--though I don't know why since I never had listened to one before). I absolutely LOVED the book more than the movie (which I hadn't thought possible!)

It was years afterward before I started to listen to audiobooks again, mostly because I didn't think about them/borrowing them from the library. When I did, the next one I picked up was one of the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum books, narrated by CJ Critt, not long afterward either the first Harry Potter book or The Da Vinci Code.


Keri ♠ | 49 comments Chris wrote: "I think my first audio book was Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre and read by David Tennent. Regrettably it was an abridged version but I loved it so muc..."

David Tennent from Dr. Who fame? I adore him from the show. I will have to look for the book you mention here or see if I can find anything else read by Tennent. :)


Chris Stanley (christinelstanley) Yep, that's the David Tennent. I don't think he has narrated many books, other than the Dr Who stories


message 31: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 2981 comments Mod
Janice wrote: "Following these I started George Guidall's readings of the Joe Leaphorn series by Tony Hillerman, and I was hooked! "

I can't remember what book I first heard (nearly 20 years ago!), but the Hillerman Navajo ones were among the early ones, helping me to get hooked on audio. Sue Grafton's alphabet series was there as well.


Janice (JaMaSc) | 549 comments John wrote: "Janice wrote: "Following these I started George Guidall's readings of the Joe Leaphorn series by Tony Hillerman, and I was hooked! "

I can't remember what book I first heard (nearly 20 years ago!)..."


I was thinking, "I don't remember saying that. I haven't listened to any Tony Hillerman's audiobooks."

I am not alone. LOL!


Janice | 172 comments Janice wrote: "John wrote: "Janice wrote: "Following these I started George Guidall's readings of the Joe Leaphorn series by Tony Hillerman, and I was hooked! "

I can't remember what book I first heard (nearly..."


Hi,Janice: that was me who made those comments, the other "Janice", or maybe one of the many other, "Janices" in this discussion thread. I am a big Tony Hillerman fan, and love the audio versions especially.


Janice (JaMaSc) | 549 comments LOL! Hi Janice. :)

I've read a couple of Tony Hillerman's books. I've also watched several of his movies and really enjoy them. I'll have to add them to my wish list on Audible.


message 35: by Lee (last edited May 01, 2011 02:41PM) (new)

Lee (lionstone) | 4 comments My first audio book was Prince of Tides narrated by Frank Muller, who it turned out became my all-time favorite narrator. I rented from Recorded Books in those days, often sharing with a friend. I will listen to almost anything Frank has narrated. Fortunately that has never been a problem since he has narrated many a fantastic story. I was saddened to learn that Mr. Muller passed away a several years ago (http://www.frankmullerhome.com/). May his memory and voice live with us for a long time!


message 36: by Ann (last edited May 30, 2011 12:46PM) (new)

Ann (AnnRumsey) | 115 comments My first audio book experiences were reading through the alphabet with Sue Grafton in the early 90's - Mary Peiffer, the narrator; and speeding through Stephen King's books that I missed in print, Frank Muller was fabulous, as were the ones read by Stephen King himself.
Some audio narrators are so memorable they read to me in my head too!
Susie wrote: "I read the last book Echo in the Bone in paper copy and it was still Davina's voice I heard. "


Shelly (Okily-Dokily) | 14 comments The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by David Colacci.


message 38: by Awesomevegan (AKA JenReads) (last edited Jun 19, 2011 06:15AM) (new)

Awesomevegan (AKA JenReads) (awesomevegan) | 60 comments I had to look through my goodreads books to figure this out. Late last year I found an audiobook on cd at the thrift store of The Hobbit. It was made for radio and had multiple actors. It was fun but I don't think it sealed the deal. Some of my other ones from early this year were Once Dead, Twice Shy (2 stars), Matched (4 stars) and the ones that really pulled me in... Crank and Glass by Ellen Hopkins. I was sitting there bawling my eyes out at some points, smiling or laughing at others. Both were narrated by Laura Flanagan.

I am sure I listened to books on tape as a kid but that was years ago. I am only thinking of recently. :)


Mike Ruth wrote: "For me it was the Harry Potter series - all seven books - narrated by Stephen Fry. An absolute joy! I started out using cassettes and CDs but have now become an Audible member and look forward to ..."

The Potter series was not the first for me, but it was up there early on. Jim Dale was the narrator for the ones to which I listened. He is excellent!


Mike Oh, an intersting side story to this one. I started out listening to it on CD in my car, but then by about the 5th or 6th book, my CD player was stolen from my van (smash and grab) while I was parked in Washington Heights in NYC visiting a friend. Fortunately, a disc from the audiobook was not in the player at the time. I don't the library would have pardoned me on that one even considering my troubles. Anywho, I then had to put the old stock radio back in the van, and that was a cassette player. So I had to finish the series out on cassette. No biggie, but certainly a little harder to find later HP books on cassette rather than CD. Thank goodness for interlibrary loan. :)


Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 334 comments Wow... I really don't remember at all... But it was probably a Meg Cabot? It's been a few years since I started listening. No. I remember now. It was Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites, and I could NOT stop listening. It drove my husband crazy cuz we were on a camping trip and I wouldn't go "hiking" or whatever. (In my book "hiking" is the H-word...)


message 42: by Margo (last edited Aug 22, 2011 06:00AM) (new)

Margo | 5 comments I am still on my 1st audiobook actually..haha.
The Time Traveler's Wife, narrated by William Hope and Laurel Lefkow. VERY fun (to me anyway) to listen to this story and feel I'll be more apt to try audiobooks (especially when I'm not able to read a hardcopy book - like while commuting, doing housework, etc.) I will probably (for now) stick to checking the audiobooks out from my local library.


Lisa (lisaspeechpath) | 16 comments I am listening toTo Kill a Mockingbird
I read this a long time ago (high school) and enjoyed it--but the audiobook narrated by Sissy Spacek, is amazing.
My husband is also hooked (quite a feat-trust me).


Michael (mikedecshop) | 64 comments Lisa wrote: "I am listening toTo Kill a Mockingbird
I read this a long time ago (high school) and enjoyed it--but the audiobook narrated by Sissy Spacek, is amazing.
My husband is also hooked (quite..."


Isn't that one a treat?


aprilla | 232 comments Margo wrote: "I am still on my 1st audiobook actually..haha.
The Time Traveler's Wife, narrated by William Hope and Laurel Lefkow. VERY fun (to me anyway) to listen to this story and feel I'll be ..."


Hey Margo! I hope you enjoy the experience... my first was just over a year ago and I've got totally addicted. Don't have to make time for reading anymore, it's a constant!


message 46: by Margo (last edited Aug 23, 2011 06:00AM) (new)

Margo | 5 comments Hi Aprilla - yes, I'm having a great time listening to this one in particular and feel I may become addicted too! haha. :D


Kelly | 215 comments I started listening to them in 1999 when I was 20 and had just landed a great job but had to commute 1 hour each way. I borrowed The Lost World from the library, read by George Guidall. Unabridged, on roughly 50 cassette tapes (joking, but not by much). I was hooked and borrowed that book several more times, in between listening to other books. I am so bummed they don't have it on Audible. They have the book but not by the "correct" narrarator. (Scott Brick may be lovely, but I want Guidall!)


Kathleen Valentine | 5 comments I had a 10 hour drive ahead of me and I rented Peter Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard from the library. The trip FLEW by and I was completely hooked. Since then I've listened to hundreds of them -- probably my favorites are the Harry Potter books read by Jim Dale and the James Lee Burke / dave Robicheaux books read by Will Patton.

Right now I am listening to The Sun Also Rises read by William Hurt. I read the book a long time ago but this is a completely different experience.


Jessica | 110 comments About 15 years ago I listened to Les Miserables on tape during a long road trip and loved it. But I lived in a place where I didn't drive much and it wasn't until I moved and commute 30 mins each way now that I became completely addicted.
I started looking at recommendations after having some bad experiences with narrators and listened first to a couple of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and The Cat Who series (read by the amazing Guidall) and enjoyed them, and then went through all the Harry Potters which were absolutely incredible.

I don't listen to audiobooks other than in the car for some reason (maybe because I don't have a good device yet) but I can't go without them in the car.
Right now I'm listening to Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

I've been realizing that audiobooks are great for "reading" books that I may not actually want to read. I would never read The Cat Who books but with Guidall narrating I'm happy to listen. I am also not much into Fantasy/SciFi but listening seems better.

I still am reading at least two books at the same time along with my audiobook so it gives me more variety.


Nancy (NancyU) | 10 comments Jessica wrote: "... I would never read The Cat Who books but with Guidall narrating I'm happy to listen."

Had to chuckle about The Cat Who comment, Jessica. I, too, read that series because George Guidall makes those funny/quaint/eccentric characters come alive. Sometimes, I'm not really sure what was concluded or if I followed the plot correctly, but the ride was grand!


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