Top Ten Tuesday: All About Audio

toptentuesday

I’m back this week after my summer hiatus from blogging! Yesterday I posted a review to one of my new favorite series, and today I’m talking about my favorite audiobooks and podcasts for Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday: All About My Favorite Audiobooks & Podcasts

Audiobooks You Can Listen to For Free!
*because who doesn’t like free entertainment?

  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – Michael Crichton’s books are already hard to put down, but when you stumble upon a perfectly narrated audiobook version, you will spend the next 13 hours with your headphones on, visualizing mad scientists, man-eating dinosaurs, and genetic experiments gone wrong. This was me last summer. My favorite part about this audiobook: William Roberts’s voice is exactly like the one you would hear narrating an actual Jurassic Park ride.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – I had a Shakespeare professor in college who said that plays are meant to be read aloud, and I wholeheartedly agree with that, especially after listening to this table read of Oscar Wilde’s hilarious play. It’s short (under 2 hours) and I guarantee you will laugh out loud at least once.
  • War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells – The fact that Orson Wells turned this famous science fiction book into a panic-inducing radio broadcast speaks volumes about it’s value as an audiobook. This Librivox version is read by an older British gentleman, and I love the juxtaposition between his calm and proper voice and the chaotic alien invasion he’s narrating.

Favorite Narrators

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – I know I will probably shock and disappoint a lot of people when I say this was only an OK read for me. As much as I laughed at the nerdy banter and satiric writing, there was something that kept me from loving this book. BUT, I will have to say that I really appreciated hearing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy narrated by the author himself, Douglas Adams. I’m having a hard time finding a link to that particular version, but I checked it out from the library so I know it exists!
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot – I know there are a lot of people who hate Anne Hathaway (which is crazy to me because my husband and I love her), but I really enjoyed her narration of The Princess Diaries audiobooks. She played Mia in the film versions, and listening to the audiobooks convinced me even more than she was perfect for the role of the awkward teenage princess. I’ve only listened to the first few books in this series, but my local library has the rest so I plan on finishing it sometime!
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These next two are recommendations from my husband (Matt), who listens to more audiobooks than I do!

  • 11.22.63 by Stephen King – Matt and I watched part of the Hulu 11.22.63 miniseries, but I was getting too creeped out by some of the characters, so we stopped and Matt downloaded the audiobook to listen to instead. It wasn’t his favorite book, but he did love the narration by Craig Wasson. He said hearing all the different accents really helped him visualize everything.
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  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – Matt actually listened to this audiobook in French (because it’s the epitome of French literature and when I asked him if he was listening to the English version he pretended to gag), but the narration must have been well done since he talked about this book for weeks after he finished it. Most of that praise probably goes to Victor Hugo himself, but I also know that an audiobook narrator has the power to make or break (or kill) a book.

Podcasts

  • Astonishing Legends – my favorite! I love to put in my headphones and listen to these podcasts when I’m cleaning or commuting to and from work. If you’re into mysterious and unexplainable happenings, this is a great podcast to binge listen to. Some of my favorite topics have been the Oak Island Money Pit, the Dyatlov Pass tragedy, The Knights of the Golden Circle conspiracy, and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
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  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – The name of this podcast pretty much says it all. Holly and Tracy talk about all sorts of interesting, mysterious, creepy, and legendary historical events and people, and each episode is relatively short (around 30 minutes) so it’s easy to listen to an episode while you’re cooking dinner or walking the dog. Some of my favorite episodes have been about early Danish monarchies and the Jelling Stones, The Great Vowel Shift, The Queen Victoria/Lady Hasting’s scandal, the disappearance of the Sodder children, and some other “history’s mysteries” episodes.
    Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • Rebel Force Radio – This is actually a podcast my husband listens to, but I’ve listened along to a few of them and I can totally see why he loves it so much. The few episodes I listened to were the Star Wars Oxygen podcasts where David Collins and Jimmy Mac analyzed John William’s soundtracks to all 7 of the Star Wars films. I was so impressed by how thoroughly they broke down and analyzed each track. I learned some really amazing facts about how the Star Wars scores add an incredible depth to the films.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

toptentuesdayYay! I haven’t done one of these in months!

Here are 10 popular authors I have not yet read, and yes, some of these I do feel ashamed about, but most of these authors are on my TBR list so that should count for something, right??

Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read (in no particular order)

Stephen kingStephen King – I know…he’s “The Master”. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t picked one of his novels up yet, but rest assured that there are plenty that I do want to read, including The Long Walk. One of his novels I don’t fancy myself reading is The Green Mile, because…tears. Although I haven’t read a single King novel, I’ve seen many movie adaptations, and The Green Mile is on my “Top 5 Movies That Make Me Bawl” list.

 

john greenJohn Green – Only recently have I gotten into contemporary authors. I’ve always been more of a classics girl, but there are a few John Green novels I’d like to read someday. The Fault in Our Stars is on my TBR list, but I’m saving that for when I’m feeling rock-solid. I can already tell this is the type of novel that will just hang on me for weeks–maybe months–after reading, and though I do love tear jerkers, I don’t think my fragile heart can handle TFIOS at the moment.

 

rick riordanRick Riordan – Okay, I’m cheating a bit here. I have started the Percy Jackson series, but I didn’t even finish the first chapter, and not because I didn’t like it, but because I was trying to read it in French. I only learned this after starting the book, but there is a special tense in the French language called passé simple and it is used only in books or to tell specific types of stories. So it took well over an hour to read as little as I did because I had to keep looking up practically every verb. BUT, I will not be thwarted in my desire to read Percy Jackson. I’m just going to procrastinate a little until I learn passé simple…

jodi picoultJodi Picoult – I don’t know why I haven’t read one of her novels yet, especially since I think I’d enjoy them. One in particular that I’ve had on my TBR list is The Storyteller. Does anyone recommend it?

 

 

victor hugoVictor Hugo – Arguably the most famous French author, I have been putting Hugo off for multiple reasons, namely being the fact that I’d really like to read him in French, but my level is just not high enough to do that. One of my goals this year is to read Les Miserables in French, or at least attempt to, so hopefully I can cross Monsieur Hugo off my list soon! And then I can finally watch the latest Les Miserables film (yes, I am one of those book-before-movie people).

leo tolstoyLeo Tolstoy – Another author on my TBR list for this year. I’m itching to read Anna Karenina and War and Peace, and I haven’t heard any mixed reviews for Tolstoy like I have for Hugo, so hopefully that compels me to dig into his novels sooner rather than later!

 

kurt vonnegutKurt Vonnegut – I think the reason I have yet to tackle a Vonnegut novel is because he intimidates me for some reason. I think it’s the satire. But, one of my friends recently recommended him to me so I will take that as reason enough to read one of his novels…someday.

 

 

oscar wildeOscar Wilde – If any Wilde books had been assigned reading for school I definitely would not have to include him on this list. But no The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Importance of Being Earnest for me. As a graduate of English Literature, however, I feel that Wilde is definitely a must-read. I know I’ve been missing out.

 

carl saganCarl Sagan – I’ve known about this beloved Sci-Fi author since I was a little girl. My dad loves him, and I personally adore the film Contact and can’t wait to read it one day.

 

 

jd salingerJ.D. Salinger – I’m not exactly sure why, but I have never been interested in reading Salinger. I will give The Catcher in the Rye a read one day though. It’s been on my TBR list for a while, but only because I’ve constantly seen it on must read book lists. Can anyone talk Salinger up a bit to make me more interested in reading him?

Which popular authors have you personally never read? Do any of yours make my list? (Please say yes!)