Favorite audiobooks of 2013

These are audiobooks that I listened to in 2013, but were not necessarily published in 2013. The quotes are from my reviews, which are linked in the titles.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple: “It is full of awesome-ness, and I couldn’t stop listening to it until I finished. It takes a blazingly brilliant audiobook to make me want to just sit and listen, instead of multi-tasking, and this is one of those books – I sat on the couch and just soaked it in. I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I loved the inventive way the story was told – in e-mails, faxes, and letters.”

Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister: “Angela Brazil is one of my new favorite narrators! I loved this story of a woman who is haunted – willingly – by the ghost of the wry and acerbic Dorothy Parker, and Brazil’s reading brought it to life. I have never read Parker, although I’ve heard many of her short poems and witticisms, and I am now determined to read some of her work, as well as one of the many biographies written about the woman.”

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: “I loved both Ben’s and Cassie’s storylines, and the narrators Brandon Espinoza and Phoebe Strole were both excellent. First person narratives lend themselves especially well to the audio format, and when you have a great narrator, it is like someone is telling you their personal story directly.”

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter: “Walter pulled me right in, though, and I was immediately hooked. I loved every single storyline, and enjoyed the different ways in which the story was told: a chapter from a novel, a section from a play script, part of a memoir. Walter is a genius, and so is Edoardo Ballerini, who brought each and every character to life. You must read this book, and if you do audio, you must listen to it.”

The Good House by Ann Leary: “This was another pure delight to listen to, because of Ann Leary’s charmingly acerbic main character as well as narrator Mary Beth Hurt’s perfect characterization.”

Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine: “I also loved the way the author gives the reader a peek into the politics and issues of the time period, like the Civil Rights Movement, women’s rights, changes in education, and the Vietnam War. The three settings – Fin’s Connecticut farm, Greenwich Village, and the Isle of Capri – are beautifully rendered, and place Fin and Lady’s story firmly in reality.”

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: “I love Gaiman’s work, and I love it even more when he reads it himself. The man did not disappoint. I don’t quite know how to characterize this book. The narrator through most of the book is a young boy, and yet he is dealing with very adult issues. This is a dark fantasy, but also one that deals with family dynamics, the difficulties of childhood, and self-sacrifice. I absolutely adored it.”

Defending Jacob by William Landay: “Don’t worry about what I have to say, just go get your hands on this book. And if you can get the audio edition, read by Grover Gardner, then all the better. This book has so many things I absolutely loved: an unreliable narrator, twisted family dynamics, intricate courtroom drama, and an ending that simply blew me away. You have to read this one!”

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: “I loved everything about this book. I loved Cath. I loved her love for Simon. I loved the passages from the fictional Simon Snow novels. I loved the passages from Cath’s fan fiction. I loved her complicated relationship with Levi, her attempts to discover who she is without Wren, her anger at her mother, her worry for her father, her ambivalence about writing other fiction. I loved Rebecca Lowman’s narration. I have nothing else to say, except that I’d be willing to pay Rainbow Rowell to write a sequel, because I miss these characters.”

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith: “This isn’t a fast-paced thriller, but more of a slow burn of a mystery, designed to introduce the readers to Cormoran and his new assistant, Robin. Even though it isn’t quick moving, I never found myself bored, because I wanted to know who Cormoran was and what had brought him to this point in his life. Plus, the narration by Robert Glenister is absolutely fabulous. I hope he reads the next book in the series.”

The Diviners by Libba Bray: “The setting in the 1920s, during Prohibition, makes for a terrific historical read, but the addition of the paranormal makes it a riveting – and extremely creepy – story. January LaVoy does a terrific job with the narration, as well.”

This entry was posted in audiobooks and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Favorite audiobooks of 2013

  1. Three of those books are on my best list too (coming up at the end of the month) but not on audio. So far I only listen to nonfiction on audio. Maybe I will change that next year!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Rhapsody – I’ve listened to some nonfic on audio, but the majority is definitely fiction.

  2. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    I loved the audio of Where’d You Go, Bernadette too!

  3. Kailana says:

    Shoot. I was going to listen to Where’d You Go, Bernadette, but I got the paperback instead. 🙁 I do have the audio of Fangirl, though. The Diviners was good reading, too. I would like to do Libba Bray on audio at some point, though.

  4. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks

    Lots of great books which are on my wishlist! I’ll have to try to find some of these on audio…

  5. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    I loved several of these in audio too! And I’m adding the ones I haven’t gotten to yet to my list.

  6. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I’ve read most of these on audio too, and would totally agree, even though not all of them made my top listens. OMG wasn’t Fangirl incredible on audio? Isn’t Rainbow Rowell incredible in general?

  7. I am so glad Defending Jacob made your list of favorites. 🙂 It would have been my favorite audio had I not listened to Lionel Shriver’s book this past year too. 🙂 I’m excited to see you also really liked The Good House in audio so much. I think I have that one.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Wendy – The Good House is perfect on audio – and it’s being made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro!