Audiobook Woes and Wows!

I have a conflicted relationship with audiobooks. Since I’m currently a wee bit sleep-deprived, this seems like a good time to attempt to explain and list my audiobook woes and wows! This is going to be epic, y’all! Whether it’s epically wonderful or an epic fail is yet to be seen… read on!

audiobook woes

friends listening
Mimi Thian on Unsplash

We’re starting with the audiobook woes so y’all walk away from this post on a high note (if you walk away before the end, that’s on you). I always want to be encouraging (it’s in the tagline, scroll up) but honestly, this post is more about connecting (also in the tagline, stay with me). Sometimes we as readers just need to share our experiences to say, “me too” or “wow, I didn’t know that about you.”

So here goes… I love books, therefore, logic dictates that I should love audiobooks (see the word “books” hidden in there? I love that word)!

Enter my personal hangup… I’m a visual person. I’ve come to the conclusion that there aren’t many things more torturous for me than listening to an especially fabulous story on audio (as far as reader life goes anyway, I’ve heard waterboarding is no picnic). With a book or ebook in my hands, I can simply read faster as the story intensifies or glance back to check a date or location or obscure aunt’s name (so empowering!) but with audiobooks, I’m mercilessly trapped by the cadence of the narration, afraid I’ll miss some critical nuance if I speed it up and shouting at the device when I can’t tell if the character is thinking to herself or speaking out loud. The following is a direct quote, the name of the character has been omitted to protect the innocent:


Malte Wingen on Unsplash

Audiobooks are deceptively convenient. I can multitask while enjoying a story but I’m probably going to wash the same plate half a dozen times in the process. Let’s catch up on storytime while resting my eyes after a long day… I’ll wake up the next morning with no idea where in the story I dozed off to the soothing tones of a professional. That’s a big one on my list of audiobook woes, I’ve abandoned stories for weeks over that cup of sorrow.

Just to add insult to injury, most of the little tidbits that help me write a coherent review slip through my mind like a sieve without those visual imprints I know so well. Despite all the reasons why audiobooks are arguably the bane of my reviewer existence, the reader in me can’t resist the temptation. Forget everything I said earlier about self-control… it’s all an illusion.

I own the ebook. I could have ended this madness with the swipe of my Kindle screen except my twisted version of self-control forbids pleasure reading while I have a stack of reviews past my self-imposed due dates. Don’t even get me started on stories ruined for me by certain grating character voices, I have enough trouble with the excellent narrators!

So will I stop listening to audiobooks? Probably not. Hi, my name is Beth and I’m a storyaholic. I will story here and there, I will story everywhere. Ebook, small print, paperback… even audio and that’s a fact.


audiobook wows

earbuds and smartphone on Unsplash

Despite the impression y’all may now have of my feelings towards audiobooks, I have listened to some good ones that are truly worthy of five-stars (I just can’t for the life of me explain why)! Audiobooks are absolutely essential for road trips! I’ve never experienced motion sickness while listening to an audiobook and I can’t say that about ebooks or print. Sometimes, I’m not sure about pronunciation or I wonder what a certain accent actually sounds like, yet another positive attribute of audiobooks. My husband doesn’t enjoy reading but he did enjoy a couple of audiobooks this year and that makes me absolutely giddy!

So there you have it, my complicated relationship with audiobooks in an overly large nutshell. Let’s get on to some recommendations, shall we?! The stories below are ones I own or have borrowed and would happily listen to again (but probably not until I’ve read them in a visual format first)!


my favorite audiobooks

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham At Home In Wishing Bridge by Ruth Logan Herne Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz

some of my favorite narrators include Becky Doughty, Mary Sarah Agliotta, Laural Merlington, Laura Jennings


Get more great audiobook recommendations from my book sister Carrie on Reading is My SuperPower. If you love audio or want to give it a try, I am quite impressed by the selection of inspiring, sweet romances available through the Audible Escape program! Y’all can use the link to pick up a free trial and be sure to let me know how you like it!

Share some of your audiobook woes and wows in the comments!

10 thoughts on “Audiobook Woes and Wows!”

  1. I’ve learned never to listen to a new book before going to sleep. Bedtime is for relistens only. If you absolutely must listen to a new book in bed, set the timer, it’s easier to find where you drifted off. I LOVE audiobooks! Audible has a “note” feature when you bookmark, I use it to jot down a favorite saying or something important I want to remember.
    I don’t like it when I come across a bad narrator. I recently returned a book because a girl of 18 sounded like an old lady that smoked too much. I like your fave narrators too. I also thought Lauren Ezzo did a magnificent job on Jen Turano’s Apart From the Crowd series. Same with Beverley A. Crick and Kristi Ann Hunter’s Haven Manor series.


    1. I just used the sleep feature for the first time today. “Read until the end of the chapter” – total game changer! Sounds like I need to explore some more features to improve my audio skills! Thank you for the tips!


  2. I love audiobooks having never thought I would, but an excellent narrator is crucial. I’ve loved four of your recommendations, too – Laura’s, Jody’s, and Joanne’s 🙂


  3. Oh, I definitely have a love-hate relationship with audio books. I am suuuuuuuuper picky about narrators and find I tend to only listen to classics on audio (or stuff with my kids—makes car trips so much more fun!). And I definitely can’t listen to audio to review. I highlight so much when I’m reviewing (favourite quotes, favourite scenes, pivotal scenes I want to remember when I need to jog my memory for a review…)

    And I inevitably come to a point in the audiobook where the narrator is just taking too long. GIVE ME THE ENDING AND GIVE IT TO ME NOW! That’s usually when I abandon the audiobook and finish reading it for myself. Plus I just like being able to see the words. There’s something about the visual act of reading that makes it a totally different experience for me. xo


  4. I always have an audiobook going. I usually pick books that I’ve somehow missed and know I NEED to read. A favorite I listened to this year was Mark of The King by Jocelyn Green. I also listened to Wedded to War this year and it is excellent too.


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