In 2019 I read 538 books and 66 of these were Audiobooks. I got these books mostly from my Library via Overdrive or Hoopla. However, I have had a ten-year running subscription to Audible, and have used just about one credit per month in 2019. I also used Scribd for seven of these reads. In 2020, I have already used Scribd three times, so I am very likely to surpass my 2019 usage.
I was inspired to write this article because I decided to join the Audiobook challenge hosted by Eline at Lovely Audiobooks.
Before I talk about some of my 2019 favorites, I must comment on Scribd. Scribd is my last choice for audiobooks, although it costs less than Audible. This is because Scribd has always been quick to put limits on the audiobooks that I sometimes choose to listen to. I will say that being a bit more organized with my TBR has really opened up my library usage, so I am not frustrated with Scribd. So far, in just this first week of 2020, Scribd hasn't been troublesome to me, and I am now listening to two audiobooks from them.
Also, one might question why I use Audible and Scribd when I have access to so many audiobooks via Overdrive and Hoopla. Well, I curate my TBR very carefully month after month. Whether I am working on the toppling mountain of digital and print ARCs, working on my humongous series spreadsheet or am influenced by recommendations from other readers and bloggers, I am and will always be impulsive. So, I will set my TBR for 2-6 weeks in advance, and if I discover an ARC that I am about to read has already been released, I will grab it via audiobook where possible. As far as my series by authors like J.D. Robb, Leslie Meier, Iris Johansen, Joanne Fluke, to name a few, I am trying to fit these books in each and every month, and it is my preference to read them as audiobooks. In most cases, these books are not available via the library - again, my impulsiveness rules - so I use Audible or Scribd.
So now, what are some favorites? Hands down any J.D. Robb books rule. Another happy find I have discovered are the James Patterson books. I listened to The President is Missing and discovered it had a full cast and sound affects! This definitely influenced my rating. Then I wanted to catch up on the Alex Cross series. I was delighted to discover that although there was just the one narrator, the sound effects were really exciting. Until the last two books in the series I have read, The People vs. Alex Cross and Target: Alex Cross, I had read the entire series via print or ebook. I do have Criss Cross to read, and will most likely do so via audiobook when I can get to it.
Other favorites: The classic Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier will always be a favorite. As I listened to this book, I felt like I was listening to a movie. The Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke is always a delight. I have only had time to listen to 4 out of the 26 available titles, but the narrator always does a fine job at keeping my attention. Another series I started in 2020 is the Eve Duncan series by Iris Johansen. I discovered this series mid-2019, and have been delighted to have listened to the first 6 books. With 27 available in the series to-date, I have a lot of fun listening in store going forward.
The last series I will mention here is the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Daniels. The books I have listened to so far are Burn for Me, White Hot and Wildfire. These books are an urban fantasy series and that is a new genre to me. Well, what a way to jump into something new, because I truly loved those books and know that one day I will re-listen to them. I look forward to listening to the next book in the series, Sapphire Flames, sometime this month.
An honorable mention to my love of audiobooks goes back a couple of years. I remember listening to all three books in the Hunger Games series, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. It has been a few years but I still remember each and every book in that series, as well as the emotions garnered while listening to them.
I am going to be honest. I am a major multitasker. I will often work my jigsaw puzzles, and even surf the web while listening to audiobooks (or even text-to-speech via the Kindle Fire for ARCs). While this might be difficult for some, it comes second nature to me. I review most of what I read (or listen to), and always write my reviews weeks later (and in batches), and can always remember what I read and how I felt while reading.
What is more is that I do faster speeds. For example, some books only go to 2x, so that is what I use. While in some cases, speeds up to 3x (or 4x, with TTS), and so that is what I use. It still makes me laugh when my husband or daughter comes into my office and they ask what I am listening to, and how I could possibly understand. I am sure I am not alone, but I simply cannot listen to 1x. It is far too distracting in that case, because my mind drifts.
While I love most of the audiobooks I have listened to, I have been annoyed with some narrators or the style of narration. One major pet peeve I have is when there are dual narrators, but the narrators alternate chapters and then do both female and male voices depending on the chapter being narrated. I really dislike that. I have no problem when there is a single narrator and the narrator does all the voices of the characters. But to have male and female narrators and then all of a sudden the female narrator is doing both voices, and the next chapter the male character is doing both voices takes my enjoyment out of the book Other than that, I have had no complaints with the many audiobooks I have had the pleasure of listening to.
I will just add that whether I read or listen, it is one and the same and every book counts towards my yearly Goodreads goal.
So, what is in store for 2020? My overall Goodreads goal is 500 books. I do plan on catching up on the longer series, so I hope to surpass at least 100 audiobooks this year.