Audiobooks (and podcasts) FTW

a book cover with red textEver since I was a child I’ve loved to read. Growing up if you were looking for me there was a good chance I’d be curled up in a chair, book in hand. It wasn’t unusual for me to finish 10 or more books in a month before I had kids. Fiction, self-help, nonfiction, biography–it didn’t matter, I wanted to read them all!

Unfortunately these days between kids, job, and travel, I’m lucky if I finish one book every three months. I still love to read but there are so many things that need to get done! For the past few months a lot of my work trips have involved driving rather than flying. Normally I love to jam out to music while driving, but my sister suggested I try an audiobook. She sent me some suggestions, and I was able to spend my last two drives “reading” three different books. Woohoo!

(Pictured: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. As good and engrossing as the movie was, the book is one million times better.)

Don’t get me wrong–I still love to drive with the music turned up loud. But I noticed that listening to books has made trips pass more quickly with less chance of distraction or tiredness. Now I’m basically addicted. I listen to books while I’m folding laundry, doing dishes, or just driving to the grocery store. It makes me feel “productive” while I’m doing chores–doing something for myself while simultaneously dealing with the one million things on my to-do list.

My sister introduced me to Audible, which I love–get one free book per month and discounts on other books (right now they have a deal where you can try Audible for a month and get two free books). Another option–get free audiobooks from your public library (just like with eBooks). I’ve also started listening to podcasts on my drives, but I’ll save that conversation for another day.

Readers, do you like audiobooks? Anything good you’ve “read” lately?


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  1. Hey there! So, to enhance your love of reading and audiobooks…I work for a company called “OverDrive”. Check it out….guarantee you’ll like it. 🙂

  2. I work from home 3 days a week, and twice a week, I have to go in to the office, which is a 4 hour round trip commute. The drive can be a drag, but I love to listen to podcasts and audiobooks to pass the time. And when my husband is out of town for his job, I just keep listening when I get home.
    I’ve found that for me, the best audiobooks are either non-fiction histories (a recent favorite was Steve Inskeep’s Jacksonland), or mysteries. I’ve gotten addicted to Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series – they’re detective novels that all center around Dublin murder detectives. There are many characters that overlap among the books, and a little bit of reference to the other stories but I listened to them out of order before I realized it was a series and I didn’t find it confusing. They’re riveting!
    And as for podcasts, I like a few of Slate’s political/current events podcasts, Washington Post did one called Presidential last year – each episode is about a different president. WAPo is now doing a series called Constitutional that I love. Each episode focuses on a different amendment from the Bill of Rights and tells the stories behind the cases and people who refined what each amendment means. I’m a lawyer and a Constitutional nerd and I find every episode incredibly moving. I also like Call Your Girlfriend (conversations between long-distance besties), Modern Love, Dear Sugar, Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure (a couple who is going through IVF and infertility), and my very favorite of all is The Longest Shortest time, which is stories about parenting and families and kids but even as a non-parent, I find that I can relate to so many of the stories and I enjoy them so much.

    I listen to a lot! I hope you can find some gems in there too.

  3. Audiobooks and podcasts are a godsend for those of us who get airsick or carsick when we read! I just finished the audiobook of Olive Kitteridge and loved it. This week I’m back to my fave podcasts.

  4. If you are interested in true crime, I recommend the podcasts S-Town (which is not really true crime, but so hard to describe and so very compelling) and Serial.

    Audible, I have enjoyed the Bobiverse series immensely and also there’s a lot of Georgette Heyer on there, which I’d never even heard of before a friend was talking about her works to someone else. And also the Outlander series, which are aobut 50hours long each book and STUNNING value for money.

  5. I finally got the audiobooks thing working from the public library, and I’m listening to Rob Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton. Since it’s such a long book (I even got the abridged version), I have 7-8 more hours of entertainment before I need to find something else. I finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants the other day.

    Podcasts that I like: Pod Save America, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and My Dad Wrote a Porno (obviously not kid friendly, so can’t listen in the car with the family)

  6. Late to this conversation, but Audible helped me immensely when I found myself getting more and more enraged with my commute to work. I experimented a bit and found that even though I much prefer reading fiction, I did not enjoy listening to it at all. So, I’ve listened to the (unabridged) Hamilton (fabulous!), Hillbilly Elegy, and Bill Bryson’s “At Home” (I highly recommend anything at all by him).

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