Best Audiobook Listens of 2013

Over the past year and a half, I have REALLY gotten into listening to audiobooks. They have helped me get through work shifts, chores around the house, and commutes to work and school. They are like MY BEST DISCOVERY EVER! It’s like killing two birds with one stone, multi-tasking at its finest! Seriously, you can get in so much more “reading” by listening to audiobooks. And if you have a fantastic narrator, the experience of listening to a book is incomparable!

Here is a list of fantastic audiobooks I have listened to this year!

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)

A Song of Fire and Ice Books 1-3 by George R.R. Martin
A Game of Thrones (2010 minutes), A Clash of Kings (2340 minutes), and A Storm of Swords (2808 minutes), narrated by Roy Dotrice

Why You Should Listen: Okay, I start out by featuring these hunk-a-books because they are intimidating in length. But, if you have any interest in reading this series but don’t want to commit to spending all of your reading time to them, I cannot recommend this series on audio enough! Roy Dotrice is a fantastic narrator, winning the award for the most unique voices in a performance. He makes this story come alive, and his audio performance is super engaging! So, I am telling you, if you want to read this series, listen to it, because it is AWESOME! And totally EPIC! =)

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
408 minutes, narrated by Jeff Woodman

Why You Should Listen: Quite frankly, this is just a fun and entertaining listen! Jeff Woodman makes Colin come alive in a way that other audiobooks have not allowed characters to develop. Honestly, this is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. Mr. Woodman made the humor pop straight off the page, and I just spent the 400+ minutes laughing aloud. Quite the humorous and engaging performance!

Bridge to TerabithiaBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
210 minutes, narrated by Robert Sean Leonard(?)

Why You Should Listen: Okay, let me start by explaining my question mark above. I listened to this when I was packing back in May, and so I didn’t take as many notes as I normally do when I finished it. But I could SWEAR to you that this was narrated by a woman! And yet, I cannot find a version that is! So I will investigate. ANYWAY…….I never read this when I was younger, so imagine my surprise when ALL THE FEELS came out!This was such an emotional performance, and it was really easy (as easy as such an emotional story can be) to listen to!

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
616 minutes, narrated by Suzy Jackson

Why You Should Listen: If you want a road trip adventure to listen to on your own road trip adventure, then this is a perfect audio for you! This was surprisingly deep and emotional, not simply a road trip but also a story of emotional growth. This story has all of the best qualities for a YA realistic fiction read, and Suzy Jackson is the perfect narrator for Amy. This book was a really compelling listen!

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
678 minutes, narrated by Stefan Rudnick and Harlan Ellison,

Why You Should Listen: First of all, the 20th Anniversary version has a FANTASTIC Post Script, spoken by Orson Scott Card himself about how he created this book. It is quite fascinating to hear an author talk about his work so in depth. In this interview he talks about how he wrote this book in a style that was meant to be listened to, and after listening to it, I concur! This story is brought to life through an intricate audio performance, and all of the narrators do a fantastic job! The only qualm I had with this performance was the lack of chapter introductions, which made it hard to follow the transitions at times. But this was such a fast-paced read with a lot of character development, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

See You At Harry’s by Jo Knowles See You at Harry's
349 minutes, narrated by Kate Rudd

Why You Should Listen: Because I seem to pick up audiobooks that are FULL OF THE FEELS, why not add this one to your list, too! This is such an emotional story, full of love and grief and acceptance. This is a story that completes a well-developed story arc, centering around a family who owns an Ice Cream parlor. A great audio performance by Ms. Rudd–she really captures all of the emotions of this story.

Dad Is FatDad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
324 minutes, narrated by Jim Gaffigan

Why You Should Listen: If you are looking for a new humor listen, PICK UP THIS BOOK! Jim Gaffigan is my favorite comedian, and listening to this audio is like listening to a 6 hour comedy routine! In this book, Mr. Gaffigan delves into the world of parenting and being a dad, and it is QUITE HILARIOUS! A great listen for when you need a pick-me-up!

Joyland by Stephen King Joyland
453 minutes, narrated by Michael Kelly

Why You Should Listen: What a fantastic novel! This has all of the elements of a great and eerie crime mystery, set in a a 1970s amusement park. And not only is this a mysterious story, it is also more than that. This is also a “new adult” coming of age story with such a unique and beautiful narrative style. Michael Kelly did a phenomenal job making this story come to life in the audiobook format. I never wanted to stop listening! Absolutely wonderful!

Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter, #1-7)Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Sorcerer’s Stone (480 minutes), Chamber of Secrets (558 minutes), Prisoner of Azkaban (720 minutes), Goblet of Fire (1237 minutes), Order of the Phoenix (1590 minutes), Half Blood Prince (1114 minutes), Deathly Hallows (1299 minutes)
Narrated by Jim Dale

Why You Should Listen: I plan on writing more about my audio journey through Harry Potter after the new year, but for now I will just say–if you have not listened to Harry Potter before, DO IT! For me, it was like reading them for the first time all over again. Jim Dale is BRILLIANT! What a wonderful audio experience for me. LISTEN TO THEM NOW!

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill Meant to Be
590 minutes, narrated by Shannon McManus

Why You Should Listen: BECAUSE IT IS SO DANG ADORABLE! Shannon McManus has become one of my favorite narrators, for sure! Lauren Morrill’s debut novel is so incredibly cute with a side of FEELS! This was a listen that I didn’t want to stop listening to! I enjoyed every second of this! It is definitely a lot lighter than most of the other listens this year, but it is such an adorable story I just couldn’t help but fall in love with it! ❤

~*~*~*~*~*~

Well, those are my audio recommendations to you! If you have not had the pleasure of discovering the wondrous adventures that audiobooks can take you on, I HIGHLY recommend it! I don’t know what I would do without listening to audios! It doubles my reading time, that’s for sure!

Have you listened to any of these? Do you have a favorite audio you would recommend? PLEASE TELL ME! I need MORE!!! =)

Love and Elementary,
Jennifer

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