The Genius of Audiobooks (Part II) #LoveAudiobooks

Way back in the day, when I think I had listened to maybe 50 audiobooks, I wrote a post about how amazing audiobooks were. I felt like I had hit my stride when it came to listening and I knew what I liked and what I didn’t like. Now, I’ve hit OVER 200 audiobooks and I love them even more than I used to!

One of the things I love about audiobooks is that you can listen to them when you can’t physically read a book. Now that I’m a parent, I realize that the act of physically reading a book is so hard to work into my schedule. I’m lucky that my kids are growing up and go to bed good and get up at a decent time, so I definitely get at least 4-5 hours of reading time when I put my mind to it. Of course, there’s all the other things that come with being a parent and homeowner. I can’t just drop everything most days and read – there’s still lots of things that need to get done!

Between being a mom and being a homeowner and being a blogger, here are the many ways I listen to audiobooks:

  1. While cleaning the house.
  2. When doing the laundry.
  3. When picking random stuff up and moving it to the place it should be.
  4. When emptying the dishwasher.
  5. When making bread.
  6. When making breakfast/lunch/dinner.
  7. When cleaning up from breakfast/lunch/dinner.
  8. When driving.
  9. When doing me things like painting my nails.
  10. When I go grocery shopping by myself.
  11. When updating posts for my blog.
  12. When drafting posts for my blog.
  13. When making lists for my blog.
  14. When sending emails to people about my blog.
  15. When updating my reading spreadsheets.
  16. When randomly scrolling through Facebook or Twitter.
  17. When vacuuming.
  18. When mowing the lawn.
  19. When weeding the garden.
  20. When cleaning my car.
  21. When cleaning the garage.
  22. When doing the recycling.
  23. When organizing a closet.
  24. When working on paperwork.
  25. When doing a puzzle.
  26. When going for a walk.
  27. When “book shopping” on my library’s website.
  28. When wandering the library.
  29. When waiting in a long line up.
  30. When baking cookies.
  31. When cleaning the toilet.
  32. When backing up my phone or iPad.
  33. When dusting.
  34. When making up pages for the blog that don’t require lots of focus (like archives).
  35. When cleaning the fridge.
  36. When organizing my library.
  37. When washing the walls.
  38. When stripping the sheets & making the beds.
  39. When cleaning the play room.
  40. When the kids fall asleep in the car and I’m trapped with nothing to do.

And that’s probably only a handful of things you can do while listening to an audiobook! The beauty of them is that you’re really only listening to them when you can’t physically read a book, so if you find you’re not quite into the book or you don’t like the narrator, there’s really no time lost because you wouldn’t have been able to read at that time anyway. I mean, if I get a half hour into an audiobook while I’m driving and I just don’t like it, what loss is it to me? I’d be driving anyway and probably just listening to music. So, really, I could listen to the same National album I’ve listened to hundreds of times again, or try out a new book – no time lost to me.

The only real cons I can think of to audiobooks are:

  1. Having to explain to people that LISTENING TO AUDIOBOOKS IS THE SAME AS READING A BOOK. Sure, it’s a different experience, but if someone sits next to me and reads a book to me, does that mean I didn’t read the book? I can still tell you everything that happened, so you saying that it’s NOT reading is not really true.
  2. You will have just as hard of a time picking a new audiobook to listen to as you do picking out a physical book to read. Seriously, there are SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM.
  3. And speaking of a hard time, when you fall in love with a narrator you have to choose whether you’re going to read the physical book or listen to their narration – this is made even harder when you just learn that they narrate one of your favourite authors’ books. I mean, you loved reading the physical books but it’s THIS NARRATOR. What do you do??
  4. And speaking of narrators, your TBR list is just going to get bigger because once you listen to a few books by one narrator and you realize they’re amazing, you’re going to want to listen to everything they narrate. It’s basically the same as falling in love with an author. GOODBYE FREE TIME!
  5. And, lastly, and probably the more serious one, is that some libraries just don’t have a big selection of audiobooks. When I first wrote a post like this, I was getting CDs from my library to listen to – I don’t even think they had ebooks and audiobooks online, or if they did, I had no clue. CDs are big and bulky and you can’t speed them up or remember where you were when listening so listening to audiobooks through Overdrive or Hoopla is a LIFE CHANGER. I love that I can hook up my bluetooth headphones to my iPad and just go about doing my thing and NOT be carrying around a walkman. I mean, if I thought cleaning the toilet while reading a hardcover was awkward …

And, of course, the pros for audiobooks are endless:

  1. You can speed them up! I still listen to audiobooks slower than I would read a book, but I’ve gotten used to listening to most narrators at 2x the speed. 2x! Now, even listening to that sometimes feels too slow.
  2. You can sync devices so that you can listen on your phone AND your iPad! ALWAYS HAVE YOUR BOOK WITH YOU!
  3. You get to discover new narrators who are amazing! Seriously, narrators who just read the story to you are just okay, but narrators who PERFORM THE STORY are amazing.
  4. You will look like you’re listening to music when out in public, but then you’ll hit a funny part in the story and just start laughing uncontrollably and people will stare at you. Yes, this is a pro! You can then tell these people about the genius of audiobooks!
  5. You can READ when you CAN’T PHYSICALLY READ! ALL READING! ALL THE TIME!
  6. You can literally double the amount of books you read in a year! Just by driving in one week I can listen to 1-2 audiobooks. JUST BY DRIVING!
  7. You can listen to stories that your whole family will love! My kids are still little, but we can put on kids audiobooks that they might like, OR my library has those little beginner books that they can read where they still show the pictures but the story is read out loud and the words are highlighted as the story goes on. My kid LOVES these books!
  8. Your house will be spotless! You can literally listen AND clean and when you’re listening to an amazing narration, you will want to find things to do JUST so you can listen!
  9. You will get to know your city! Just like #8, you will be listening to an amazing narration and just have to KEEP DRIVING so that you can keep listening! I’ve done this to get to the end of a chapter!
  10. YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH AUDIOBOOKS! Seriously, when you find the right one for you, you will wonder where the hell they’ve been all your life.

What is something that you do while listening to audiobooks? Do you consider listening to audiobooks the same as reading a book? I talked of some of the cons of audiobooks, but what are your pros for audiobooks – what have you told readers about audiobooks that made them really want to listen to one?

[Audiobook Talk] Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari #LoveAudiobooks

Audiobook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Narrator: Aziz Ansari
Length: 6 hours 14 minutes
Read: June 2017

Synopsis:

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s most popular and sharpest comedic voices.

At some point every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet, and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were 24. Today people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the audiobook, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita.

My Thoughts

This is definitely one of those books that I probably would never have picked up in real life had I not first fallen in love with Aziz Ansari’s show Master of None. I remember watching the show last year, just a few episodes, and it was okay … I didn’t get too far in and got busy and never watched more, until this year when I binged the whole two seasons and thought it was so so good, and I was just a little bit in love with Aziz by the end of it.

Since I had wanted to pick up a new audiobook but didn’t know what to listen to yet, I figured I’d try out this one since I now knew who this Aziz Ansari person was and since he was funny in the show, maybe his book was funny too.

This book was awesome. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, which was a recount of Aziz’s experience in the dating world. Instead, it was a collection of data collected about modern dating, or modern romance, accounts of people trying to date in the digital age. Now, I consider myself lucky, since I met my husband well before the digital age took off. In fact, he didn’t even have a cell phone when we met and since the only thing you could do with a cell phone back then was phone someone (my phone was a flip phone, so texting was super annoying), it wasn’t totally necessary, but still weird. However, I feel like dating in this day and age, when lots is done over messaging and texting, people meeting through apps and forums and dating sites, I would honestly have no clue how to even get started.

So, even though I consider myself a married old lady by now, this book was still fascinating! Dating in the modern age is something I would never have even thought about. Sure I’ve seen other peoples’ struggles with dating, but it never clued in to me how hard it can even be. I pretty much loved everything about this book and honestly wanted to listen to it again once I finished. I think in the end, I just love reading books that deal with the human experience and even though I’m not a single millennial trying to date, this book was just a fascinating listen and I would definitely recommend it!

Audiobook Notes: 

Oh my gosh, hands down, this was a great narration. I mean, Aziz was definitely making fun of people who wanted to have the story read to them (lazy f****, he would call them) but I just loved listening to him read it! I think it’s because I fell in love with him after watching his show, but I think he just has a way of telling a story that sucks you in. I loved the little bits thrown in just for audiobook listeners and I think his narration is what made me want to go back and listen again. Plus, I usually speed up my audiobooks to 2x the speed, but Aziz’s pace and just listening to him had me turn it up to only 1.25x which is so rare for me! I would definitely recommend the audio version, even though I’m sure you’ll be sad to miss out on the charts.

But don’t take my word for it … read some other reviews! 

The Reading Date
Ms. Nose In A Book
Rebel Mommy Book Blog

[Audiobook Talk] Nimona by Noelle Stevenson #LoveAudiobooks

Audiobook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Narrator: Rebecca Soler, Jonathan Davis, Marc Thompson
Length: 2 hours 16 minutes
Read: June 2017

Synopsis:

An original full-cast audio adaptation of the New York Times best-selling graphic novel sensation from Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic.

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Adapted for audio, this brilliant production is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and graphic novel and is sure to win Noelle many new ones. This full-cast audio edition is performed by Rebecca Soler, Jonathan Davis, Marc Thompson, January LaVoy, Natalie Gold, Peter Bradbury, and David Pittu and features original music by Loren Toolajian, with sound effects throughout.

Nimona is an impulsive young shape-shifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

My Thoughts

Since I had already read Nimona last year, I hadn’t intended to pick it up again. It’s probably one of my favourite graphic novels of all time, Nimona being such a hilarious and fun character and her relationship with Lord Blackheart is just so, so funny and memorable. I was looking for an audiobook to listen to and just couldn’t make up my mind so I thought I’d go with a reread of this one – I’ve always seen graphic novels as audiobooks on the library’s website but I’ve never listened to one, so since this one was just over 2 hours long I thought I’d give it a go.

This was so much fun! Rebecca Soler (who narrates the audiobooks for Marissa Meyers’s Lunar Chronicles series) does an AMAZING job as our lead character, Nimona, and her snarkiness and crazy enthusiasm for all things villainy is just SO over the top and hilarious and her paired with the voice of Lord Blackheart was just too awesome to listen to. However, while I loved the narration, the sound effects, the music, just everything about listening to this, I think something would’ve been lost had I not already read the graphic novel. I could easily picture the diagrams in my head and I thought it might have been even more fun to listen to this while following in the book, but had I not read the book already, I’m not sure it would’ve been that good.

Anyway, this was so much fun to listen to and it made me interested to listen to more stories as full-cast narrations. I love the idea of sound effects and music – it’s almost like watching a movie, but not watching. The narration does help a bit to describe what’s going on, but like I said, it’s probably even better if you read the book along with listening — it would definitely add something to the enjoyment of the story.

Audiobook Notes: 

Like I said, the narration of this was awesome. Rebecca Soler did a FANTASTIC job as Nimona and was just over the top hilarious and exactly what I wanted her to sound like. This really made her become one of my favourite narrators, just seeing another side of what she can do. I also loved all the other voices and the sound effects and music really added another dimension to the book, making it so enjoyable to listen to.

But don’t take my word for it — read some other reviews: 

Reviews And Read-A-Thons
Foxclouds
School Library Journal