I find that I am very easily distracted while listening more than I am when reading, so I need to be listening to something where it’s not the end of the world if I miss a sentence or five. The latest audio that I listened to where this wasn’t even as in issue was The Monster of Florence – true crime, I was absolutely terrified and slept with the lights on for two days.
Since my recommendations are pretty paltry at the moment, I recruited my friend Miriam Parker (Marketing Director, Mulholland Books) to give her views on just which audiobooks are the best listening experiences. Take it away Miriam.
I’ve listened to a number of audiobooks in my time, both in cars and on headphones and I’ve come to a few conclusions about what makes me happy in an audio experience.
1. Comedians make the best readers, even if what they are reading isn’t funny. Case and point: Born Standing Up by Steve Martin is actually quite a melancholy book, but he reads it so well, that it is completely captivating.
2. Used up all the funny? Choose a British reader. I “re-read” all of Jane Austen’s books and fell in love with The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark following this rule.
3. Books that might be repetitive in print make fantastic audiobooks. I can’t tell you how many times Tom Wolfe describes the various ways that universities cater to high-profile basketball players in I Am Charlotte Simmons, but it made for fascinating listening. I had a “driveway” moment almost every morning when I got to work.
4. There’s nothing like a pithy essay to make an audiobook stand out. Some of my favorites include Me Talk Pretty One Day, America (The AudioBook) and anything by Bill Bryson. I almost crashed my car (in this context, being that I no longer drive, take this as a compliment) when listening to I’m a Stranger Here Myself because it was so hilarious (and spot on.)
Now I just have to get Miriam back here so that she can explain to me what a “driveway” moment is.