Audiobook recommendations

Continuing the discussion from Commie Library of Memes:

Leave your recommendations for the community for good audiobooks here!

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Here is one for short fiction…

Of course, obligatory…

phaserstolove

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Basically all the Discworld audiobooks I rate five stars. Unfortunately some of the master tapes were damaged, so a few of them have rather poor audio quality (Equal Rites, and Thief of Time come to mind), but the performances are all top notch.

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Libro.fm is great – DRM-free and you can support your local bookstore (even in a pandemic!). It doesn’t have everything you’ll find in the Behemoth-Owned DRM-Enamoured online store (thanks to BODE’s exclusive publishing contracts; vertical integration is fucked up for consumers) but if you do have a choice…

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http://secretworldchronicle.com/
Available as a podcast or play in browser or on scribl
and as a bonus, it just finished the series so there is something like 200 hrs of audio available.
It’s written by Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, Steve Libby, Veronica Giguere, and others.
The premise is corny - super powers vrs space natzis - but it is a fun ride with engaging characters, with a good balance of plot, action, and romance.

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For weird fiction/horror I suggest Horrorbabble horrorbabble.com
available on youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIvp_SM7UrKuFgR3W77fWcg
or bandcamp
horrorbabble.bandcamp.com
Short stort readings of everything from Poe, to Lovecraft, to Tiptree.

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I just love Nigel Planer and Stephen Briggs.
Deft, sly, agile voice actors, you can hear their wit and Terry Pratchett’s.

For their performances, I agree.

However, I have very mixed feeling with Tony Robinson as a narrator, at least for the Discworld and Pratchett audiobooks. Further, the ones he’s done are abridged. Horrors!

ETA: oh hey lookit…

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Stephen Briggs does a great job in the Ankh Morpork novels centered around Vimes. But Nigel Planer is also very good.

I want to like Celia Imrie with the witch books, but she just doesn’t have much vocal range and a lot of the characters sound the same. You know it’s Nanny Og and not Granny Weatherwax because she’s talking about how much she loves fucking.

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As a Neal Stephenson fan, I can attest that the audiobook narrator choices his publisher picks are pretty good. I was surprised that Anathem as an audiobook included material (specifically, chanting and singing as mentioned in the printbook) that is additional and well-suited to the audio format.

That said, I could not force my way through all of Reamde as an audiobook because the narrator / voice actor was too effectively creepy when he read the parts of the villain. Effective enough to make my skin crawl. So, not for me.

If you are ok with creepy bad guys in an audio kinda way, go for it.

Was re-listening to the Snow Crash audiobook and also Zodiac audiobook. Still fun–though Zodiac feels a wee bit dated nowadays, and frankly Snow Crash is damn near a documentary at this point.

If you are a Richard Feynman fan, there are two autobiographies of his that we love to listen to on the road, as a family. “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” has a narrator who was, IIRC, handpicked by Feynman’s estate. Lively and fun and smart!

We also love “What Do You Care What Other People Think?” and here’s a sample:

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As long as I am doing the brain dump here re audiobooks, here are some that I love and are well done.

Read by the author herself. Witty, perceptive, and a boon to frustrated gardeners especially:

Also read by the author herself. Hilarity, science, trenchant social criticism. I love this book and am a fan of Dr. Jahren’s work. Plus, her humor is twisted in a way I completely get:

This next one is a “good for everyone” book even if it is considered juvenile fiction or young adult fiction (I can’t remember)… soooooooo thoughtfully presented and great choice of narrator:

I consider it something of a personal defect of mine that I appreciate and like to read Michael Pollan’s works, but I simply cannot abide listening to him read his material aloud. Something about his style or delivery just drives me turn the volume off, which, in an audiobook, is um everything, yes.

I don’t understand how they (the publishers? the dice throwers? the author? what?) picked the narrators for Mark Kurlansky’s Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, or his Salt: A World History but yikes! these guys just don’t nail it down.

Makes me appreciate the artistry and accomplished deliveries of …

… yeah the talented humans… all the more.

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