Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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I love Audible —

But that does not mean I want to renew my Platinum membership for next year. No. I got that kind of membership (24 books per year) because it was the most cost effective, but now! Now I am stocked up with audio titles. Plenty to last through the rest of next year and quite possibly the year after that, too. Especially given the special three-for-two deals and whatever else, so really I got more than 24 books last year and again more than 24 this year.

Anyway, I thought I had better use up the rest of my credits quick so I can cancel my membership before the end of September. I used a whopping 12 credits yesterday and have 4 to go, and of course now I find myself just a bit hesitant to use them up in case something else suddenly gets recommended to me.

So, anybody have a particular Audible title they especially love?

Some audiobooks I want on my laptop so I can burn them to CDs, which I prefer for listening to while driving; others I will download onto my phone to listen to while weeding. It turns out I prefer really! long! books for when I am weeding; my favorite length for in the car is 12 hours. That is the right length for listening to in just one dog show weekend, two at the most. The really long ones may as well stretch out over the entire summer, an hour a day or whatever.

This summer I listened to JOHNATHON STRANGE AND MR NORRELL while weeding, plus the drive to Indy and back. Craig, I can now see why some readers consider this an alternate history: it’s because magic was always sort of there, but there was a single major inflection point when the Raven King came out of Fairie and conquered northern England. This really is a beautiful book, but wow do you need to be patient while it unrolls. Eventually it does all come together and I really loved the cascade of events at the end.

I also listened to HOGFATHER by Pratchett. I liked this one much better than the earlier Death books, probably because Death was not dissolved in angst, but actually engaged in an important job. Since I liked Death better, I seemed to like Susan better, too. Even the wizards didn’t annoy me as much in this book as they did in SOUL MUSIC.

Okay, and I only just listened to GHOSTHAWK by Susan Cooper. Um, no one warned me? That it was basically a historical about the tragedy of the American Indians? This is the sort of thing that happens when you avoid reviews because you don’t want spoilers, but watching a tragedy unfold is not necessarily what I would have chosen. I’m hoping I like my next Susan Cooper book much better. Not that this was *bad*, but not what I expected or, frankly, would have wanted.

In case you’re interested, here are the audio titles that I have lined up for the next year or two. You see that I am not likely to run out for a while. All of these are on here either because someone recommended them and they were on my wishlist anyway — but I never make a note about who recommended what, because I’m not that organized, so I have no idea. Or else I got a few of these because Audible was having a special on certain titles and they sounded interesting. Quite an eclectic collection, really, when I line them up and look at them.

Started Early, Took My Dog (Kate Atkinson)

Cleopatra’s Moon (Vicky Sheckter, about Cleopatra’s daughter Selene)

Mistress of the Art of Death (Ariana Franklin)

Splendors and Glooms (Laura Schlitz)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Benjamin Alire Saenz)

Lhind the Thief (Sherwood Smith)

The Goose Girl (Shannon Hale)

Wicked Lovely (Melissa Marr)

Midnight Rescue (Elle Kennedy)

Discount Armageddon (Seanan McGuire)

Steelheart (Brandon Sanderson)

Wolf’s Cub (Mackay Wood)

The Palace Job (Patrick Weekes)

The Freedom Maze (Delia Sherman)

The Blood of Flowers (Anita Amirrezvani)

Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

The Devil’s Cub (Georgette Heyer)

Cotillon (SAA)

Four more credits to use up! Choices, choices.

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7 Comments I love Audible —

  1. Estara+Swanberg

    I’m not that good with fiction on audiobooks, they never sound like I imagine them, but the full-cast production of Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint, narrated by her, is excellent.

    I tend to go for BBC stuff: Collections of “I’m Sorry, I haven’t a Clue”

    I did get, but haven’t listened, to Tim Curry doing Garth Nix’s Sabriel and since you’ve got a Heyer on your list, how about the Sylvester audiobook abridged, read by Richard Armitage (that seems to be only on Amazon.co.uk), the unabridged version is narrated by Nicholas Rowe (might be the only one on Audible.

    Susan Cooper I will always love for the Dark is Rising Sequence.

  2. Craig

    Re Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the reason I don’t consider it alternate history is that the inflection point doesn’t actually result in lasting changes to history. Splitting England in two for several hundred years would have serious political repercussions, even apart from the intellectual effects of proving that magic is real and powerful. I don’t know what the results of that big splashy change would be, but I’m confident things wouldn’t revert to our history such that the Napoleonic Wars are happening just as we know them.

    (I actually started JS&MN as an audiobook, but my patience was inadequate.)

  3. Rachel

    Hi, Estara — I *know*, The Dark is Rising was wonderful (with some caveats about the ending). That’s why I wanted to pick up other titles by Cooper. Tim Curry reading almost anything sounds like it might be a good choice. And Sylvester — except now that I know there’s a version narrated by Armitage, it’d be a shame to be forced to get a version with anybody else.

  4. Rachel

    Good point, yes. Though I was surprised to see a major inflection point at all given that magic apparently always existed.

    I stuck with it because hey, an hour a day of weeding, that adds up. But I still did finish it off finally with the drive to Indy and back.

  5. Mike S.

    I really liked Audible’s editions of Middlemarch and Great Expectations. But those were also really cheap. :-) (Frequently, at least for old books, it’s *much* cheaper to buy the Kindle book plus the Audible edition than it is to buy the Audible book alone. Which seems perverse, but there it is.)

    (On the other hand, I found the voice of the narrator for Portrait of a Lady so indescribably annoying I had to stop listening to him. :-) )

  6. Mike+S.

    Oh, I can’t believe I forgot The Legend of Drizzt!

    I haven’t listened to it yet. Or read any of the underlying work; as soon as I read a blurb that included a (male) character named “Luthien Bedwyr”, I knew R.A. Salvatore wasn’t for me. But I have to believe that listening to luminaries like David Duchovny, Wil Wheaton, and Ice-T wrestle with so many assaults on euphony (“Drizzt” himself, of course, but also “Tos’un Armgo”, “Jarlaxle”, and especially “Thibbledorf Pwent”) will have to have a certain degree of entertainment value. And it’s free! (For a limited time only, presumably.)

  7. Rachel

    Hi, Mike — so far I haven’t found any narrator’s voice to be THAT annoying . . . but the one I’m listening to now, Discount Armageddon, is close. Plus I am really surprised Seanan McGuire wrote it; the writing quality doesn’t seem up to her Myra Grant books. But then, maybe this is just the annoying narrator interfering.

    Hah, it IS funny, thinking of having to pronounce Drizzt or avoid laughing when saying Thibbledorf Pwent.

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