Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a reader; like a ‘can’t-live-without-books’ kind of reader. I panic when I don’t have a book on me and simply can’t imagine my life without books. A love of reading is one of the greatest gifts my mother gave me and now, one of my life’s simplest and greatest pleasures is a quiet afternoon with a cup of tea and a good book.
Years ago, I used to dream about having a home with space enough for a large library where I could be surrounded by all my books. But times have changed and carrying around physical books just became unreasonable. When I was traveling for instance, I would need one or two (sometimes three) books to see me through a trip. So the advent of e-readers and audio books became a practical solution for me. I could have as many books as I wanted, right at my fingertips, all held compactly on the digital devices I was already traveling with.
I really got into audio books from Audible on my morning commute to work. Sometimes morning radio shows would grate on my nerves. But when I discovered Audible, that dreaded rush hour drive to and from my office became something I really looked forward to. I could get lost in a book and the bad traffic wouldn’t even phase me. Sometimes I’d arrive at the office and wish my commute had been longer (when does THAT happen?!) I’ve been known to pull into my parking spot and sit there for an extra five minutes just to find out what happens next or to finish listening to a chapter.
Audible is easy to try. Simply sign up and you’ll get your first month free, so you can give it a whirl with no commitment. Take your pick of any audiobook. After 30 days, Audible is $14.95 per month for a new choice of book every month.
Audio book recommendations
Listening to audio books is a completely different experience than curling up with a book and reading. But the more books I listened to, the more I appreciated the differences in the experience. But because of these differences, I realized that I favored certain types of audio books over others. Here are my favorites:
I don’t normally read a lot of non-fiction but once I started using Audible, I blew through a long list of non-fiction reads. I listened to a number of books about the Kennedys and the Kennedy era that I don’t think I would have read otherwise.
Recommended read: Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill
Some of the most entertaining books I’ve listened to have been humorous books read by the comedian authors themselves. Ellen Degeneres, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling all have funny books out but the real treat is listening to them reading to you.
Recommended read: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
I love reading the classics but audio books bring them to life in a whole new way. The key is to find a great narrator whose voice you love. And once you do, you’ll find yourself getting lost in the lilting language of classic writing. Audible offers a wonderful selection of narrators, including Emma Thompson, Scarlet Johansson, Kate Winslet, James Franco and so many others.
Recommended read: Emma by Jane Austen
Books I’ve already read
I’ve read so many amazing books that it’s nice to go back and re-read them. Audio books allow me to experience a familiar story in a completely new way and discover things I’d missed the first time. And because I already know the plot line, I can focus more on the words and the storytelling. Listening to Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca, my favorite book of all time, I discovered so much more about the protagonist and her motivations, simply because I was listening and paying attention to different aspects of the story.
Recommended read: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
My summer reading list
So many books, so little time! But this summer, these are a few of the titles on my to-read list:
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
It’s performed by Colin Firth (enough said!) and recently won the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year. Definitely worth checking out!
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Narrated by Schumer herself, I’m thinking this should be good for a laugh!
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
Inspiration and motivation from the First Lady of Television – I’ll start the summer by saying ‘yes!’ to that.
So if you haven’t given Audible a try, I highly recommend it. Audio books are perfect for a long drive, a daily commute, a long (or short!) airplane ride, or even while you’re doing chores around the house. Plus, with a one-month free trial, you’ve really got nothing to lose … and so much to gain!
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.