Audiobook Recommendations

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.


Audiobook recommendations:

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 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.


Repeat winners:

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.)

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