List of great audiobooks
I cannot recommend too highly listening to audio books, especially if you have any long drives in your life. I have listened to books I’ve never dreamt of reading, and never would have, if it weren’t for books on tape, cd, or digitally downloadable. The readers are not uniformly wonderful, but most of them are damn good. They give life to the books without taking them over. They are fine actors yet also subtly in the background of the authors of the amazing array of marvelous literature that’s out there.
Most of what I’ve read has been entirely courtesy of the public library. If your library is tiny and doesn’t have a big (or maybe any at all) collection you can download from the internet, you may have to resort to something like audible.com where you have to pay a monthly fee and can only download a book or two per month. (This might seam unimportant, but it’s nice to listen to a book for a while to see if you’re going to want to continue listening to it for hours to come.) Public libraries are much better if you have one that’s accessible to you.
Right now I’m listening to Neil Gaiman reading his own book, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” I’m not in love with it, but I’ll hear it through. It’s a fantasy through a child’s eyes. Certainly well-done but not quite right for me.
This is a list of those books I’ve found absolutely amazing to listen to, hour after hour:
Snow – Orhan Pamuk
Brothers Karamazov — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Fury — Salman Rushdie
Bleak House; The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club; Charles Dickens
Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami
Tooth and Claw (short stories); Talk Talk —. T. Coraghessan Boyle
East of Eden — John Steinbeck
The House of Mirth — Edith Walton
I, Claudius — Robert Graves
Moby-Dick — Herman Melville
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — Mark Twain
Lolita — Vladimir Nabokov
Lord Jim — Joseph Conrad
More audiobook recommendations:
An unusual detective novel: Wife of the Gods
And a science fiction novel: Ringworld — Larry Niven
And also Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem
Stranger in a Strange Land — Robert Heinlein
A Passage to India — E. M. Forster
Brave New World — Aldous Huxley
Saving Fish From Dying Amy Tan
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
To the Lighthouse — Virginia Woolf
Our Kind of Traitor — John le Carré
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell — Susanna Clarke
The Tragedy of Puddinhead Wilson — Mark Twain
Invisible Monsters — Chuck Palahniuk
Audiobooks that I found that, for one reason or another, I couldn’t quite get through.
The Brief Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao — Junot Diaz (I got sick of this adolescent’s miserable experience after a while.)
Atonement — Ian McEwan: Foreshadowing upon foreshadowing; way too much; You can see everything coming from a mile away.
Freedom —Jonathan Franzen: Never have I met so many unlikeable characters I don’t give a damn about,
The Women — T. Coraghessan Boyle: I love his writing, but found this slow to the point of tears
Age of Innocence — Edith Wharton: A good book, but nowhere near as powerful as House of Mirth
Beloved — Toni Morrison: With Apologies to those who love this book, I did make it through, but what a unutterably dreary and painful trek.
Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes tales — the master
The detective novels of Andreas Camilleri — always amusing, I’ve found
(I couldn’t take the reader, by the way, for the “Wallander” series of detective novels, so that one didn’t work for me.)