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Constant Reader > Audiobooks

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message 1: by Sherry, Doyenne (last edited Dec 23, 2007 10:30AM) (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments I just finished listening to Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. I enjoyed it immensely. It was mentioned in the Audiobook group as being a book that is better heard than read the old-fashioned way. I doubt that I would have enjoyed the book half as much if I had read it. I listened to the Recorded Books version with Frank Muller reading. He did a wonderful job. This is a very funny book and the Tourette's outbursts fit right in with the story. It's also a kind of mystery and a kind of love story, although very unconventional.

message 2: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments I always make sure I listen to unabridged versions of books. When I first started listening, I didn't know that it was the custom to label "unabridged" on the case, but if a book was abridged, it didn't mention it. That seemed backwards to me. After getting burned a couple of times, I then made a point of checking.

Several years ago, I listened to the Recorded Books version of Empire Falls and it was amazing. I think the book would have been amazing either way, but the narrator, Ron McLarty, did an excellent job. What I especially liked, was that there was an excellent interview with Richard Russo at the end. So even if you've read the book, I recommend the audio version.

message 3: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 1278 comments I agree with your comment about abridged versions. What's the point I ask myself? It is like coffee without the caffeine, beer without the alcohol etc.

message 4: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 9444 comments I don't do a lot of audio books, usually just when I'm walking, and not always then, but I would never listen to an abridged book, any more than I would read a Reader's Digest Condensed book.

Or for that matter, eat just one chocolate out of a box full.


message 5: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bevjackson) | 23 comments oh, thank you~! Sherry! I'm a newbie to audio books and wouldn't have even thought about them being abridged. (like Readers Digest???? ack!)
I haven't made any major purchases yet, so thanks!

message 6: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments I rarely purchase audiobooks--just get them from the library. I HAVE downloaded a couple from iTunes. If and when the library ever runs out, I'll subscribe to

message 7: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments Ah, one of my favorite subjects, audiobooks. And, my husband just got me a new mp3 player for Christmas so I'm going to be able to use the downloadable audiobooks through my library (they don't work with my old iPod). Bev, be sure and check your library before buying anything. Most libraries have wonderful collections now and unabridged audiobooks are very expensive.

At the risk of repeating myself, I will once again recommend Jim Dale as a reader. He does all of the Harry Potter books and has also done A Christmas Carol. I love Frank Mueller and Lisette Lecat as well. LeCat also read Don't Let's Go Out to the Dogs Tonight and Scribbling the Cat. Both are excellent. In fact, I think that Recorded Books has the best readers these days. They are also the ones who do the downloadable books with the libraries.


message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 9444 comments What kind of an mp3 player did you get, Barb?


message 9: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bevjackson) | 23 comments I just joined, but managed to totally screw up the setup process so that my first month's credit ("free" book) downloaded into cyberspace. I have to now call them and try to sort it out. I just wasn't properly set up before downloading. Ack. I shall also check with the library, Barb,
many thanks.

message 10: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 1278 comments Bev
I'm a member of and it works great. My purchases are always stored at audible so I can download them again if I loose them from disk drive or mp3 player or if as in your case the download didn't quite work. Look under My Library, there are 3 tabs New Heard, Archived and it should be under one of those, assuming the .com works the same way. It is one of the things I liked about audible and dilike about other sites like itunes where I've completely lost things I've bought before when I've scrubbed, crashed a disk. Hope it works for you.


message 11: by Barbara (last edited Dec 26, 2007 05:18AM) (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments Ruth, I thought my iPod had died about a month and a half ago. The circle in the front that you use as a control had stopped working. Since Tom knew that I wanted a non-iPod for audiobooks, he did a lot of research and decided that the newest 80GB Zune by Microsoft was the best choice for everything I like and bought it for my Christmas present. But, a few weeks ago, we took the iPod to the Apple store just to see if there was anything they could do about it and it started working when they plugged it into the charge. So, he decided to keep the Zune for me anyway since my iPod is now three years old and that seems to be a long life span for it.

So far, I love the Zune. It has big print, great sound, good storage for pictures and a surprising wi-fi connection that updates from my computer without a cord. I think that the new iPods now have all of that except the big print. So far, my only problem is the controls. I remember people complaining about the iPod controls but I don't think I had much problem with them. These seem less intuitive to me. But, next year, at this time, I'll wonder what I was talking about (hopefully).

message 12: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 9444 comments Thanks, Barb. I'll check it out. I love it when other people do my research for me. Thanks, Tom.


message 13: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 9444 comments Ack. My library's free audiobooks are not supported by Zune. Darn.


message 14: by Rob (new)

Rob McMonigal You guys have me wanting to try audiobooks again, something I've not done for ages!


message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments Oh my God, Ruth, mine aren't supported by Zune either! All of these library audiobooks are coming from Recorded Books so they're all the same. Tom relied on me for the audiobook information and, on the initial webpage, it only says that iPods aren't supported. Ah well, I love this little thing anyway.

I think the problem is that the books have to be downloaded to Windows Media Player and Zune uses its own software, just like iPod does--which seems really strange since Zune and Windows Media Player are both produced by Microsoft. I think I am going to start a barrage of emails to them. I now find that my new library has a list of mp3 players that have tested compatibly with the audiobooks. Does yours? If not, I will copy and send it to you.

message 16: by Ruth (last edited Dec 26, 2007 04:33PM) (new)

Ruth | 9444 comments My stepdaughter is convinced she can find a way around the problem. Something like dling to iTunes and then switching it to something else before putting it on the iPod. She promised to try it, but I'm not holding my breath.

My grandson just got a Zune. Maybe I'll ask him to try a workaround.

Thanks, Barb, but my library has that list. Since there's stuff there priced from $400 to $40 tho, I haven't a clue which one would be best.

One thing I liked, reading about the Zune, is that it gets FM radio.


message 17: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bevjackson) | 23 comments Sheila, many thanks. I called, and they have the BEST support team, and had me working in no time flat. The book is now on my iPod. I got something by Jonathan Safran Foer called "Extremeely Loud and Incredibly Close" (anybody here read it?)
It had five star ratings by readers on Audible, so I thought I'd try it, since I haven't read Foer at all. Since I use the iPod at the gym, it will likely take me six months to get through this book.

message 18: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments Bev, I use my iPod when I wash dishes, take walks and anything else mindless. I'm sure you'll find a way to get through that book sooner.

message 19: by Barbara (last edited Dec 27, 2007 07:33AM) (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments I was thinking this morning that my consumption of audiobooks has cut way back since I discovered podcasts and now that I'm carpooling. I miss it in the car but my friend told me a long time ago (before we were carpooling) that she doesn't like audiobooks in the car, so I haven't even suggested it.

Listening to something, whether it is podcasts, audiobooks or music helps me immeasurably when it comes to getting through housekeeping and yard work.

message 20: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments Barb, would your commuter buddy object to your listening to audiobooks on you iPod while you commute, or would that be unfriendly? Of course you couldn't do that while you were driving.

message 21: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments I don't think she would like that. She and I have been good friends at work for over 30 years and I think she likes the conversations we have in the car. I do too, but it would be fun to share a book with her sometime. She's a reader too and some of our tastes mesh. I'm going to suggest it to her at some point. In the meantime, I'm saving a lot of money on gas!

message 22: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hart | 705 comments I THINK I would like audiobooks, although I'm such a visual person that I would have to concentrate so that my attention didn't wander. During lectures at school, it wasn't a problem as I was taking notes. That provided something for my eyes to latch onto. However, I know that I was read to constantly while growing up, so my brain must have worked like that at some point.

My real problem is my life. I don't know when would be a good time to listen. My 'commute' is all of 7 minutes, 10 if there's traffic, and although some days when I drop the girls off at school (and therefore have a little longer drive), they are always wanting to listen to their music, so I lose the place on the CD when I take it out. As far as housework, they're always around, so they're either helping or talking to me. I think I'll have to wait until my life is a little bit different to tackle the great world of audiobooks.

message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hart | 705 comments K--finally, someone else who has read English Passengers! Wasn't it incredible? I've tried a couple of times to nominate it for our reading list here, but it's never won. I loved that book.

message 24: by Rob (new)

Rob McMonigal Okay, I got out an audio book today! Going back to my youth, I went and grabbed myself some Tony Hillerman, who I used to listen on audio with my Mom a long time ago.

Paying close attention is a bit hard, but it is fun to have someone doing voices for me, and the reader (George Guidall) is doing different tones for the different characters.


message 25: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments I love George Guidall. I listened to those Tony Hillerman audiobooks just because Guidall was reading them. So, your mom was an audiobook lover too?

message 26: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 9444 comments I can't play close attention at all to an audiobook unless I'm doing something else at the same time, like walking, driving, needlepoint, weeding...

So Rob, this is a good time to clean the garage.


message 27: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (Target) | 8 comments I've listened to one audio book, Wicked, and Iliked it ok, but I've heard some others and didn't like how the reader made some of the charecters sound. I'd like to give it another go at audiobooks though, mostly because I'm trying to excersize more, and you can't read while you're walking... Is there anything ya'll can direct me to?

message 28: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments I have never been disappointed by anything that Recorded Books has done. They always have unabridged editions and their readers are top notch. I would look on their website to see what they have that interests you, then try to find it from your library.

message 29: by Sherry, Doyenne (last edited Dec 30, 2007 06:12AM) (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments Now K and Sarah, you've made me want to add ANOTHER book onto the toppling TBR mountain.

message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hart | 705 comments Sherry--you MUST read this book. Where is Steve W? I think he would love this book. My uncle mailed it to me out of the blue--don't know where he heard about it--I couldn't put it down & mailed it to my dad. Everyone that I've talked into reading it (which isn't everybody--I haven't found the right marketing method) has loved it. I tried and tried to get CR to read it. It has great discussion possibilities. K, I did indeed have a teeny crush on the Captain. My.

message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hart | 705 comments Sherry, I'll send you my tattered copy if you want it. That's how much I love this book. Have to share.

message 32: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments Well, Sarah, I might just take you up on that. I'll send you my address. What a friend!!

message 33: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (Target) | 8 comments Thanks Sherry, I'll check it out.

message 34: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments Sarah, just in case you don't get my email, I bought my own copy of The English Passengers. I'll start reading it next week when we go for a short vacation.

message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hart | 705 comments I did get it, Sherry, although there seem to be some other messages from you in my box that i wasn't able to access yesterday. I was going to send it tomorrow--but I'm glad you have your own copy. Enjoy it and your vacation, and let us know what you think of EP when you get back!

message 36: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments I don't think I said anything profound in any email from me you couldn't access. EP hasn't arrived yet, but is due on the 4th. I'm looking forward to it.

message 37: by Rob (new)

Rob McMonigal Barb wrote: "I love George Guidall. I listened to those Tony Hillerman audiobooks just because Guidall was reading them. So, your mom was an audiobook lover too?"

Yes, and at one point, all three of us were doing it, even my not-so-bookish father. (I think Moby Dick might have broken him.) We listened to an awful lot of westerns that way.

message 38: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments It's fun to share books with your family. That would have been neat for my dad but the controls might have defeated him. He had a hard time with a VCR we got him during the last 5 years of his life.

message 39: by Alan (new)

Alan | 56 comments The only library copy of Empire of Sighs was audiobook, and so I have been listening as I drive on errands.

Finished Yiddish Policeman that way not long ago, and The Secret of Lost Things, Kite Runner.

Occasionally I just can't stand the reader, usually I let it work on me for awhile and I appreciate the voice, like an old friend.

message 40: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments I'm currently listening to Tipperary by Frank Delaney. It's read by Delaney too and he does an excellent job. I'm skeptical about author/readers. They often do a terrible job. But, Delaney has been a radio and TV personality in Ireland so he knows about delivery. Sherry told me about his Ireland audiobook which I loved. Tipperary is not up to that standard but still enjoyable, primarily because of Delaney's reading. It's a long book though and taking me a while since I carpool now. Next week, I'm driving by myself and actually looking forward to it because I should be able to finish.

Then, I'm on to Pardonable Lies and Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear. Both of these include interviews with the author, almost always fun. These are Maise Dobbs mysteries and I learned them about here. She's a private investigator just after WWII in England. I listened to the first two and liked them a lot.

My library ordered all 3 of these audiobooks after I requested them which impressed me enormously. I just moved here this summer and was missing my old library, but this more than made up for the change.

message 41: by Barbara (last edited Feb 01, 2008 08:57AM) (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments I finished Tipperary this week and wanted to add that it really picked up at the end as Delaney started incorporating the Easter Rising and the beginning of the Republic of Ireland into the story. He just used too many points of view for me; it was a bit confusing. And, the beginning and middle went a bit slow. He needed those well defined characters to make the ending work, but I think he could have done it in less time.

I've started the Pardonable Lies audiobook and Maise Dobbs is just as compelling as she was in the previous 2 books.

message 42: by Alan (new)

Alan | 56 comments I am still listening to Bridge of Sighs. It takes a couple days to get through each disk. So far I like it less than other Russo books, maybe because of the boy's point of view. I get the upstate New York stuff; it's approximately when and where I grew up and I remember the neighborhood milkman, and riding shotgun with him. The economic shifts, too, I was aware of them. Now they are stark monuments.

A copy of Tipperary came in last night. I saw Barbara has been listening to it. The number of disks is intimidating. I haven't decided whether to put it on iPod or carry CD player, but I have some waiting time in airports coming up.

message 43: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments Alan, I would love to hear what you think about Tipperary when you are finished or even while you are listening. Delaney incorporates literary and historical figures into the story in a very convincing way. Some of the names I can remember just now are Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, W.B. Yeats and Michael Collins. I only gave it 3 stars on my review here but that was because I thought that the changes in viewpoints were confusing and that the beginning and middle dragged a bit. It didn't need to be that long. However, I thought the ending was very good and I was glad that I listened to all of it in the end.

I usually find that authors do a good job of building characters and creating a beginning but don't know how to write effective endings. In this case, I thought Delaney was much stronger in the conclusion which surprised me.

message 44: by Celia (new)

Celia (celiap) Barbara, I've been listening to the Maisie Dobbs books on my mp3 player and loving them - they're great books to listen to. After listening to a couple of them, and quite a few Elizabeth Peters' novels (the Amelia Peabody books, also quite gentle funny mysteries), I started listening to Minette Walters' "The Sculptress", which was a bit of a shock! It's a bit weird having someone describe a violent murder in your ears while you're trotting along on the elliptical machine.

I started listening to audiobooks because my library only had an audio version of a book I wanted to read (I think it was "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyers). I surprised myself by really enjoying it - I thought I would find it a frustratingly slow way of 'reading' a book, but discovered it made a lot of other things much more enjoyable (like going to the gym and hanging out the washing!). Now I nearly always have a book on the go which I listen to whenever doing dull chores or at the gym - "The Sculptress" is excellent, by the way, although if you're squeamish I wouldn't recommend listening to it!

message 45: by Sherry, Doyenne (last edited Apr 05, 2008 07:36AM) (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments I just finished a good mystery on audio, What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. Barb, I think you would enjoy this. The narrator is very good. I've never heard of Linda Emond before, have you? This is not a Tess Monaghan book, but a stand-alone. The characters seemed very real and well-developed. The "mystery" was believable and not easy for the reader to solve beforehand. Some mystery writers seem to be in a power struggle with their readers to make sure they don't solve it. But this seemed quite natural and also suspenseful. I really wanted to finish it quickly.

message 46: by Barbara (last edited Apr 05, 2008 09:49AM) (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments Thank you, Sherry! I will look for it at my library. Have we talked about Laura Lippman here before? I feel like I should know her writing, but I don't. And, I don't know anything about Linda Edmond.

And, thank you for The Sculptress recommendation, Cee. I seem to have missed your note before.

message 47: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments Lippman is a Baltimore writer, and uses the city and surrounding area in her stories. Her husband is David Simon, the producer of The Wire. I just saw that this book is the first to make the NY Times Best Seller list, and it deserves it. Her Tess Monaghan series is a little more light-hearted and fun, but enjoyable. I haven't caught up with them yet, though.

message 48: by Barbara (last edited Apr 05, 2008 10:39AM) (new)

Barbara | 6029 comments My library has some of the Tess Monaghan ones. Most are produced by Recorded Books (a good sign) and one is done by BBC audio. I'm writing down this title and will request that they buy it. I just checked it here at goodreads and Harper Audio did this one.

message 49: by Sherry, Doyenne (new)

Sherry | 7720 comments I think they did a good job, although there was music at the end of each CD and it kind of startled me. I wasn't expecting it.

message 50: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (Sureshot26) | 11 comments I find that humorous books make the best audio listening because it lets you catch all of the small jokes you might just gloss over while reading. Christopher Moore's are excellent (especially A Dirty Job and You Suck), as are Jasper Fforde's - both have wonderful readers that get the author's style just perfect.

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