The Magic of Audiobooks

I’m a new convert to audiobooks, and as all new converts, I’m now a zealot. Oh, sure, years ago there were “books on tape” and then on CD, but it was just somehow not the same.

The Gateway Drug – An Irish Brogue

This past summer, on a much needed getaway to the Jersey Shore, I downloaded Sally Rooney’s “Normal People”, plugged in my earbuds and went for a bike ride. Reader, I was transported. Entranced. As I pedaled my way through blazing hot streets, I was only half in New Jersey. My brain half was in Ireland, wafted along by the narrator’s lovely brogue.

Surely audiobooks have gone through a renaissance since the olden cassette days! Gone are the sonorous soporific tones of actors intoning long passages. Or is it just my memory of them that makes them so?

The Favorites – So Far

In no particular order, here are the books I’ve listened to and adored in the past eight months:

Normal People by Sally Rooney, narrated by Aoife McMahon: Smart, Irish brogue. Lovely. I loved her narration so much that I downloaded Sally Rooney’s first book, Conversation with Friends, just to hear her voice again.

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe, narrated by Matthew Blaney: Northern Irish brogue. The narration is so intimate I felt I was sitting by a fireplace with a nice cup of tea and a hefty dose of whiskey thrown in.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway and The Turn of the Key, both by Ruth Ware, narrated by Imogen Church: clipped and sweet British voice. Perfect for the story

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell: wonderfully voiced with perfect Southern accents. Gorgeous.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor, narrated by Kevin R. Free. Each character gets a sensitively thought out voice and manner.

All of the above are, of course, superb books, extremely well written, but the talented narrations add an extra dimension that has been a revelation to me. I now find excuses to cook, clean, and go for extremely long walks, just so I can listen and travel to places far away and live different lives between my ears.

What have been your favorite recent audiobooks? Chime in on FB or Twitter!

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