Book Recommendation · Bookish List

Recommending My Favorite Audiobooks Pt. 2

Hello friends, Veronika here! As some of you know, I fell in love with audiobooks this year; they allow me to keep reading while I’m doing something else and, even better, they have kept me company even as I struggled with reading physical-books and ebooks. Because you all enjoyed my previous posts on audiobooks, I decided to write another one – this time, I brought you eight excellent audiobooks you should check out. Alternatively, if you dislike audiobooks but are still reading this post, you can view it as a simple recommendation post.

You can read my post about why I love audiobooks by clicking here, and you can read the first part of my audiobook recommendations if you click here.


THE BELL JAR BY SYLVIA PLATH
narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal

length: 7 hrs 24 mins

summary: The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical novel about Plath’s own experiences and her struggles with her mental health. It’s not a happy book – especially if you know what happened to the author later in her life – however, it is one I’m glad I read, as it’s extremely well-written and well-narrated. It’s also a short read I was able to get through really fast, so it might be suitable for those who are just starting to listen to audiobooks.


A MAN CALLED OVE BY FREDRIK BACKMAN
narrated by J. K. Simmons

length: 9 hrs and 13 mins

summary: A Man Called Ove follows an older (and very grumpy!) man, Ove, whose life is changed for the better by old and new friends. Ove reminds me of the elderly man from Up, the animated movie, so if you liked that character / story, you’ll also enjoy this one. This is a beautiful and emotional novel that highlights the complexity of humans; I loved every moment of it.


YOU HAD ME AT HOLA BY ALEXIS DARIA
narrated by Seraphine Valentine

length: 10 hrs and 27 mins

summary: You Had Me At Hola follows co-stars Jasmine and Ashton who both have their reasons for wanting to avoid media-attention. A relationship between two co-stars would surely make it into the news so, clearly, that is something they need to avoid at all cost.. even if their chemistry is off the charts. This is such an enjoyable romance novel with excellent characters – including an adorable kid – who I couldn’t help but love by the end.


THE HOW AND THE WHY BY CYNTHIA HAND
narrated by Phoebe Strole, Erin Spencer

length: 12 hrs and 16 mins

summary: The How & the Why is told by two characters; in the present, we follow Cass, a teenager with a sick mother, an unknown birth-mother, an uncertain future, and a new crush. At the same time, we can read the letters Cass’s birth-mother wrote to her baby while pregnant – letters that Cass, unfortunately, hasn’t got to read yet. The How & the Why is over-flowing with family and friendship, and it is a novel contemporary YA fans shouldn’t miss.


SWEETPEA BY C.J. SKUSE
narrated by Georgia Maguire

length: 12 hrs and 22 mins

summary: Sweetpea follows Rhiannon who, while quietly trying to fit into society, is working on a kill list.. and god help the people listed if and when she loses her cool. Sweetpea doesn’t have a super-concrete plot but I was okay with that, because following Rhiannon’s descent into becoming a serial killer was super-intriguing. In all honesty, I think I’d have minded the lack of plot more had the narrator not done such a fantastic job; she made it possible for me to feel completely engrossed in Rhiannon’s story.


THE HUSBAND’S SECRET BY LIANE MORIARTY
narrated by Caroline Lee

length: 13 hrs and 44 mins

summary: One day, Cecilia finds a letter written by her husband, addressed to her to be opened in the event of his death. That letter? It’s about to change Cecilia’s life and will influence the lives of two other women. While The Husband’s Secret had more woman’s fiction elements than I was expecting, – nothing wrong with that, I just thought this would be more of a thriller – it was still a captivating novel I finished relatively fast despite its length.


INTO THE DROWNING DEEP BY MIRA GRANT
narrated by Christine Lakin

length: 17 hrs and 15 mins

summary: Into the Drowning Deep follows an expedition that’s goal is to find proof for the existence of mermaids. But not just any mermaids… murderous mermaids, i.e. the best kind of mermaids. This book is fantastic! I was invested from start to finish and I loved the characters quite a lot. If you’re looking for a horror novel with fantasy elements and an F/F romance, Into the Drowning Deep is a good choice.


THE POPPY WAR BY R. F. KUANG
narrated by Emily Woo Zeller

length: 18 hrs and 57 mins

summary: I don’t think I have to introduce The Poppy War to you and even if I had to, I’m not sure how I would do it. It’s a complex, well-written fantasy novel that follows Rin, a highly morally gray and ambitious young woman. I don’t make it a habit to listen to fantasy novels as audiobooks – they can be quite difficult to pay attention to – but I had a really great time with The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic. The narrator was excellent and the audiobook helped me know how the characters’ names and place names are pronounced, which was a bonus.


Let’s chat!

Do you listen to audiobooks? Why / Why not? Have you read – not necessarily as an audiobook – any of these titles? What are your favorite audiobooks?

18 thoughts on “Recommending My Favorite Audiobooks Pt. 2

  1. Awesome! I’ve also only recently started loving audiobooks. I agree, it is so great for multitasking especially for a full time mom like me. Thanks for the recommendations. I was also thinking of listening to You Had Me at Hola, and I’m so glad to know you loved it ๐Ÿ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started loving them nearly two years ago at this point and I love them so much too. Recently I’ve really struggled with physically reading things and audiobooks have been so helpful! Hope you enjoy You Had Me at Hola if / when you pick it up! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  2. I don’t usually listen to audiobooks, but this post is making me want to! I was so happy to see The How and the Why on here though, because I read it a while back and really liked it but I haven’t seen too much talking about it before. ๐Ÿฅฐ Ahh, this is reminding me that I must read The Poppy War soon, because I’ve heard SO many good things. Great post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t listened to audiobooks for a long time (the last time I did it was the fourth Princess Diaries book on CD ๐Ÿ™ˆ) but I have been considering listening to them for classics and reading the book at the same time since I don’t have the greatest attention span in the world.

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  4. I still remember when I first got introduced to audiobooks, and I’ve been in love with them ever since! I don’t have any in common with you from this list, but I definitely relate to struggling with Fantasy on audio. I thought it was just me, but I guess it’s not! I find it hard to understand and picture such complex worlds in that format, and they’re usually so long that I don’t have the patience for the audio. What I usually end up doing is starting with the physical book and switching to the audio for snippets when I can’t/don’t feel like physically reading. That usually works well for me. Maybe I’ll give The Poppy War audio a try since it worked for you!

    Out of interest, what speed do you listen to audiobooks at? ๐Ÿ‘€ I usually have mine on at least 1.5x because I’m impatient and I also feel like narrators speak so slowly ๐Ÿ™ˆ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same, I’ve waited so long to give them a proper chance and when I did I was really impressed by how well they suit me. ๐Ÿ˜€ Fantasy is usually so difficult on audio for me, and I’ve seen others say the same thing so I don’t think we’re the only ones who feel that way. And yes, somehow seeing that a book is 20+ hours long is worse than seeing the page count, however large that might be. ๐Ÿ˜…

      I usually listen at double speed. ๐Ÿ™ˆ I know a lot of people find that too fast but I also talk a bit fast, so I think that explains why I like faster audio. If I’m doing something that involves having to pay attention I usually lower the speed a bit, and similarly, if I’m not doing anything that involves concentration (e.g. when I’m walking) or I’m bored of the book I can speed it up to like 2.5. And the narrator matters too – some are just easier to understand for me. (lol, that was a long answer, sorry!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Itโ€™s definitely worse seeing the hours than the page count, because then you know for sure just how much of your life youโ€™re going to spend on the book ๐Ÿ˜… Plus I think most people read faster than they speak, so audios generally take longer than reading would.

        It definitely depends on the narrator (and what youโ€™re doing)! I used to go for 2x speed all the time, and I even managed x3 once, but I found when I did that I tended to forget everything about the book once I finished it. So Iโ€™ve taken it down a bit, but I still like the idea of โ€œcheatingโ€ and getting through the book quicker than Iโ€™m supposed to ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol, I know what you mean. I’m fine up to double speed – though my current read I can’t speed up above 1.8 – but when I listen above that I’m sure I’m missing out on things. ๐Ÿ˜… But sometimes I can’t help it, especially if something is looong and not as good as I was expecting.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I listened to The How & the Why, and I thought the narration was great. I actually listened to almost all Backman’s books. The narration was wonderful on all of them. It sounds like the same woman for many , and she does a great job.

    Liked by 1 person

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