2016 Hub Reading Challenge discussion

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Amazing Audiobooks

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message 1: by Jenni (new)

Jenni Frencham (jennifrencham) I loved Lair of Dreams and Illuminae - they were both amazingly well-narrated, but I just could not get into Trollhunter or Library of Souls, both of which were narrated by the same person. His narration style was not for me. Has anyone else tried these books yet?


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Chappell | 3 comments I just started Trollhunters and recognized the narrator from last year (I think) - he read Skink - No Surrender. I'm not a huge fan of him either, based on that (though I've heard much worse).


message 3: by Jenni (new)

Jenni Frencham (jennifrencham) I think you're right - he may have read Skink, too. I knew the voice sounded familiar, and I agree that I have heard much, MUCH worse. I always check out audiobooks in pairs so that I have a backup.


message 4: by Emily (new)

Emily Childress-Campbell (ms_librarian_) | 5 comments Just wanted to let people know that The Dead House is a really original and supremely creepy audio. Haven't seen a lot of people posting about it on the Hub or here. I think it needs more love, especially for audiolovers. Not even halfway through yet, but hooked!


message 5: by Anna (new)

Anna Chappell | 3 comments Jenni wrote: "I think you're right - he may have read Skink, too. I knew the voice sounded familiar, and I agree that I have heard much, MUCH worse. I always check out audiobooks in pairs so that I have a backup."

I'm sure it was him who read Skink - I checked. :) I think the problem is that, while I think he does character voices well, the narration/voice he uses for the main character I really don't like much.


message 6: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Lopez (jennaray) | 5 comments Emily wrote: "Just wanted to let people know that The Dead House is a really original and supremely creepy audio. Haven't seen a lot of people posting about it on the Hub or here. I think it needs more love, esp..."

I've had a hard time locating the audio version of Dead House. I read the book as a digital galley and couldn't quite follow. Then I saw the print version and LOVED the notes, and reports "taped" inside. The visual was much more appealing!


message 7: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Lopez (jennaray) | 5 comments Anna wrote: "I just started Trollhunters and recognized the narrator from last year (I think) - he read Skink - No Surrender. I'm not a huge fan of him either, based on that (though I've heard much worse)."

I am enjoying Trollhunters on audio. I do have issues with the narrator speaking quietly and then yelling; Oh, my ears!! I am listening to it in the car and get quite a jump when he screams!


message 8: by Jenn (last edited Mar 07, 2016 03:47PM) (new)

Jenn Lopez (jennaray) | 5 comments I really enjoyed What If? on audio. I love that Wil Wheaton reads this one, and LOVE the last story that ends the book on a high note. I wouldn't have listened to this one, the Hub Challenge opens my eyes to all kinds of books!


message 9: by Emily (new)

Emily Childress-Campbell (ms_librarian_) | 5 comments I got The Dead House on Audible. That's really cool that the "reports" are taped in. The audiobook does similar things with the "taped interview" with the therapist. It sounds like a cassette tape and has sounds effects for door, footsteps etc. There will also periodically be really creepy music when something intense happens. I do agree that it's hard to follow. I've got 2.5 hours left and I'm starting to wonder if there will be any resolution. I definitely like the audio performance more than the actual text.


charlene.librarian (charlenelibrarian) | 4 comments I really enjoyed Lair of Dreams read by January LaVoy who is a truly amazing reader. She captured numerous characters in different fitting voices with little to no mistakes. Top notch audiobook. I still do think the book was too long. Also loved What If? narrated by Wil Wheaton who was perfect for this potentially tedious non-fiction title. He brought the book to life! Illuminae was my number 1 audiobook this year. I want to get to Trollhunters and Dead House next (two titles that were highly rated by the Amazing Audiobooks committee but were not assigned to me). Also, don't miss out on Half Wild which was better than the first title's audiobook, Half Bad.


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan Melfi | 2 comments I finally finished Lair of Dreams last night. I started it the first week of the challenge. I agree that the reader was amazing. I usually hate when narrators try to do voices for the characters but LaVoy was amazing. I noticed that you listened to Illuminae.
I read that book and I'm curious how the audiobook deals with the varied formats of the writing in the book (redacted reports, lists, etc.). Maybe I'll listen to Illuminae. next.


message 12: by charlene.librarian (last edited Mar 26, 2016 07:05AM) (new)

charlene.librarian (charlenelibrarian) | 4 comments SM: I definitely encourage you to try the audiobook for Illuminae. They were very clever narrating the redacted parts and other things. Everything was effective and amazing. I loved the creativity of the print version too.


message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate (capn2381) | 1 comments SM: The audiobook was amazing! There were different actors reading the IMs, emails, memos etc. Some of the audio was digitized(?) to sound more like a computer for the file notes that were attached to the different file elements.

I actually switched back and forth between the audio and the print book. I loved the visual of the book with the different formats and the additional creativity like the 2 page spread of The Scream painting. But I also loved listening to the different speakers to get a lot of the emotion of the characters.


charlene.librarian (charlenelibrarian) | 4 comments I completely agree. Being a visual person as well as liking audiobooks, I looked at the print version as I was listening.


message 15: by Stephany (new)

Stephany (newsysteph) | 7 comments SM: I'm seconding the amazingness of Illuminae. I listened to and I have recommended it to five people at least who have listened to it and loved it. It's fantastic!


message 16: by Nicole (new)

Nicole McLaren (mclarenbhs) | 1 comments I want to recommend Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. The audiobook is fantastic. The narrator uses multiple voices and accents for the characters in Gabi's journal. I laugh out loud with some of the things she says and other times you want to be able to hug Gabi. Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero


message 17: by Lucie (new)

Lucie | 5 comments Based on the high reviews here, I checked out Illuminae. I thought it really stood out from other audiobooks because it was more like a radio story than a regular audiobook, with so many voices/narrators and sound effects. It was like being in the scene! At first I wasn't quite into the plot, but wow, by the end I was riveted. The AIDAN narrator in particular did a great job.

I think I will also check out the print version for comparison. Seems like Illuminae in either form would be a hit with reluctant readers.


message 18: by Jmrunninglib (new)

Jmrunninglib | 7 comments I have listened to a couple of audiobooks and will definitely echo the thumbs up for Illuminae - it was amazing.
I also listened to Waistcoats and Weaponry and loved that too. The only issue with this might be if you haven't listened to the previous books in the series you might be lost. Though I would recommend them all. The same person reads them all and does a great job. It's a really interesting story with spunky characters.


message 19: by Jmrunninglib (new)

Jmrunninglib | 7 comments I just finished Echo yesterday and would recommend it. It is 4 stories that blend together based on a fairy tale of old. At first I was confused when the different stories ended without a firm ending, but that is what part 4 is for - it brings them all together. It is read be several different people and because at the heart of the story is a harmonica there is music throughout too. Very heart warming - I highly recommend.


message 20: by Jen (new)

Jen (ohmygoose) I realize that Shadowshaper is from Quick Picks rather than Amazing Audiobooks, but I HIGHLY recommend it as a listening experience. The narrator is fabulous.


message 21: by Stephany (new)

Stephany (newsysteph) | 7 comments Jmrunninglib wrote: "I just finished Echo yesterday and would recommend it. It is 4 stories that blend together based on a fairy tale of old. At first I was confused when the different stories ended without a firm endi..."

I am so happy to hear that! I told my friend it should be renamed The Most Evil Book in the World because of those insane cliffhangers!


message 22: by Stephany (new)

Stephany (newsysteph) | 7 comments I just finished Echo. What a beautiful book!


message 23: by Stefanie (last edited Jun 24, 2016 04:27AM) (new)

Stefanie Hughes | 5 comments I agree with many of the posts about Dead House. I am actually reading this one and not listening to the audio. Dead House is a conglomeration of interviews, videos, pictures, diary entries and narrative interactions. That in itself makes this an interesting work, and and audiobook would add another format to the list. Add to it that this is part psych, part horror, and part fantasy/magic pushes the postmodern forward. Unfortunately, I felt like this work is "everything but the kitchen sink." The formatting elements work together to help piece the mystery together, but they fall short for adding depth to the story, especially the pictures. There's just too much going on here to get any real depth of character development or setting. After the novelty wore off, it was just a string of short pieces of each format a string of facts and a string of horror for the sake of horror.

The ambitiousness of this work against story development, and it often left me confused. Maybe that was intentional, for the the secondary characters are also very confused about their encounters with Carly/Kait. But more importantly, there are a few holes in the story that makes it implausible. For example, how does Kaitlly escape from the mental facility?

Carly/Kaitlyn was the most developed because one sees both sides of her split personality. This clicks with me because I think we all have different aspects of our personality that comes out at different times depending on the setting: classroom, professional, church/temple (etc.), home, amusement park; you get the idea. But after awhile, even that got boring because it took way too long to get any real insight into the cause of her split personality. For too long it was superficially "good" Carly in the day and superficially "risk taking" Kait in the night. All of the characters are "types" and not fully developed.

There are some interesting insights, such as how do all the different pieces of ourselves fit together. Are we lying when we change our behavior for other people? Do the lies actually become truth? Do they become functional cages or prisons? Can we trust teenagers, and why not? When do we become trustworthy? After all, some of the adults become unreliable?


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