Jose’s Favorite Audiobooks

Jose's Favorite Audiobooks

June is National Audiobook Month and as part of the celebration Kristen and I are listing our favorite audiobooks. Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy books when it’s not convenient to read them, like during commutes to and from work or when you’re working outdoors. The best audiobooks help provide an extra dimension to books, giving the characters and the plot more life than just letters on a page.

Here are some of my favorite audiobooks:

Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Narrated by Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, Neal Stephenson)
I had first listened to Anathem after hearing how great an audiobook it was from other science fiction fans. The narration does a great job in pulling you into the story, and the emotions felt by the characters come through amazingly. Another nice touch is the Gregorian chant songs that are played in between parts of the book, it adds to some of the story elements that tie religion to the scientific world. Read my full review of Anathem here.

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin (Narrated by Steve Martin)
I’ve always been a big fan of listening to autobiographies narrated by the authors; the best ones actually feel like you’re having a conversation with the author. Steve Martin achieves this in the audio version of Born Standing Up (see my review for more details). I especially liked that Martin breaks out the banjo and plays a few tunes throughout the book, it’s a side of him I hadn’t seen before and it was a nice touch.


Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers (Narrated by Ilyana Kadushin (Books 1-4), Matt Walters (Book 4))
A few years ago, you couldn’t have paid me enough to read a book about teenage vampires. Kristen was actually the one to get me to listen to the audio version of Twilight while on a long road trip. Ilyana Kadushin is excellent as Bella and really lets you become lost in Stephenie Meyer’s story. Just like Kristen, now when I read any of the Twilight novels, I hear Kadushins voice in my head. That’s the sign of a great audiobook.

More Information than You Require by John Hodgman (Narrated by Narrated by John Hodgman, Ricky Gervais, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Dick Cavett, Sarah Vowell, Ira Glass, Rachel Maddow)
What separates Hodgman’s book from other audiobooks is that it’s not so much a recording of him reading his book, but has more of a feel of a comedy stand up routine with lots of invited guests. There are lots of fun moments where Hodgman goes “off script” and interacts with the other narrators, making it more of a special experience that you wouldn’t get from just reading the book. Of particular note is the accompaniment of Johnathan Coulton on a few musical numbers, including the jingle for Dick Van Patten’s Hobo Chilli for Dogs. The audiobook also contains a recording of him reading 700 molemen names and their occupations (Hodgman devotes a significant portion of the book to the molemen and their steeds), and 365 short podcast like recordings titled “Today In the Past” which act as a one-a-day type calendar, but just in audio format.

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer (Narrated by Nathaniel Parker (Books 1-5)
To be honest, on the book quality alone, Artemis Fowl would not make this list. It’s a good book and all, but the real reason I love the audiobook is the narration. Parker brings a good Irish accent to the story that seems authentic and gives an added maturity to Artemis Fowl’s voice.


What are your favorite audiobooks? Where do you listen to your audiobooks?

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