Why I love Audiobooks

Audiobooks and I haven’t always had such a good relationship. When I first downloaded Audible (yes, with a discount code from a Youtuber; I can’t evenaudiobooks remember which one it was now there’s so many), I used the free book I downloaded to help me go to sleep, which was a great help, but it was pretty hard to keep up with the story because I couldn’t keep up with what was happening in the story from one night to the next.

But, I persevered with it, and eventually got to the end of my first audiobook – Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It might have taken me a while – what with having to
keep going back a chapter to find the last bit I remembered and everything – but it was totally worth it.

And now, I’m hooked.

Listening to audiobooks means I can actually have two books on the go at once; something I could never do before, because it was too confusing for my wee brain. The experience is so different that I can keep up with both stories more easily; and I have a better chance of reaching my goal of reading thirty books this year!

Another plus is that now I have a new job which is a forty-ish minute walk away, I can use that time wisely by listening to a book on my way. Sometimes I might look a bit crazy walking along laughing to myself or holding back tears, but that’s a very minor downside I can definitely live with.

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Audiobooks also allow for reading when travelling without causing travel sickness; particularly on Virgin trains between Manchester and London which always make me feel queasy whether I’m reading or not.

Those are some of the practical reasons why I’ve grown to love them, but there are also reasons to do with the listening experience itself. One of these is that with the likes of Neverwhere, narrated by Neil Gaiman himself, you get to hear how he intended the words to sound,and how they are meant to make you feel; and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, also ready by the author, Maya Angelou, is especially interesting as it is a semi-autobiographical novel, and therefore hearing it in Angelou’s voice makes it all the more gripping.

I have also listened to books that have been on my to-read list for years: Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. artworks-000157543876-ntnu51-t500x500Firstly, the narrators in both of these audios were fantastic. They took Jonathan’s language and made the whole experience so immersive, it’s probably lucky I don’t have too many busy roads to cross on my way home! One particular part of Extremely Loud that struck me was when Oskar is telling ‘the renter’ about his dad’s phone messages; we hear ‘are you there?’  thirteen times (forgive me if that’s wrong, I think it’s thirteen) complete with the long pauses, and I thought about how if I had been reading those repeated questions, it wouldn’t have had nearly the same kind of powerful effect.

If you haven’t given audiobooks a go yet, I strongly recommend giving them a go, even if you don’t think it’ll be your thing.

P.S. I wish this was sponsored by audible, but sadly, it’s not 😉

P.P.S. Images not my own

To Read in 2016

I’ve seen quite a lot of posts and videos on this subject and was very interested in everyone’s lists, so I thought I’d have a go myself.

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I reached my goal of 20 books in 2015, and want to increase that in 2016 to 30. I’ve read three so far so I’m doing alright, but these are some books, some that I’ve had on my bookshelf for too long, some that have been on my Goodreads to-read list forever, others that have been very popular with Booktubers and bloggers in 2015; that I am determined to get through this year.

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

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I began reading this autobiography whilst in my second year at university, when I took a History module all about Britain in the First World War, and I, of course, chose to write about women’s roles for my essay (Gender, Women’s and Feminist Histories are my jam). It’s prettty long, so I only got a hundred or so pages in before having to move on, but I have finally got around to picking it up again and I am determined to finish it this time. It is super inspirational, Vera Brittain was an amazing woman and had such a talent for writing I don’t think it’ll be difficult for me to get through it.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

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Sticking with the WW1 theme, whilst I was studying it it happened to be 2014, the 100 year anniversary of the breakout of war. Lots of books were on offer, so obviously I stocked up, having fallen in love with the writing of and about that era. I also want to get through ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ as well, but ‘Birdsong’ is the big one.

How to be Both by Ali Smith

Something totally different now, this is one of the books I got for Christmas, because I’ve heard so much about it since it winning the Baileys prize for Women’s Fiction.

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American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

My friend did slightly put me off embarking on this one when she said she had to put it down because she was going to be sick… but I’m determined to read it this year.

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Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

This has very recently been added to my to-read list on Goodreads just after seeing it spoken about by a couple of Youtubers. The tag line ‘a funny book about horrible things’ and the fact that it’s about mental health has me intrigued, and that’s all I really know about it. Other than that the cover is a taxidermy raccoon. Which is obviously a huuge attraction.

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I believe this is just a book everyone should read? That’s what people say, isn’t it? I had to get some 19th century classics on the list, there’s always more to be read; especially ones by Victorian women.

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I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

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This is part of my plan to read more autobiography, especially by inspirational women, and I don’t think you can get more inspirational than Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala. I cannot wait to read her story.

The Drowning of Arthur Braxton by Caroline Smailes

I am very, very excited about Luke Cutforth (LukeIsNotSexy) making this into a film. I pledged £10 towards it, I’m that proud of the guy. So I figured I should read the book first and get even more excited about the whole project!

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I should probably stop writing this now and get on with the actual reading… even though my list is growing longer and longer, any recommendations would be gratefully received!