|What I'm listening to now. I LOVE it.|
As an Audible Platinum user ($22.95 a month, worth every penny since you get 2 credits (or two audio books per month)), as well as someone who spends a significant amount of time sitting in a car, I have ample time to listen. Unfortunately, non-fiction tales, documentaries, self-help stuff puts me to sleep (not good when I'm driving a car).While I started listening to tons of free audiobooks available via Librivox and other sources, I soon found myself exhausting content.
What I Look For in an Audio Book
To make sure you and I are on the same page, here's what I'm looking for in an audio book:
- A science-fiction, fantasy, or zombie tale with heap of adventure, humor, and insurmountable odds. While a little romance is OK, I hate long love scenes. The more sword-n-sorcery, shotgun wielding defying zombification, the better.
- I like LONG multi-book stories. When you're in the car, I don't want to run out of content mid-way since that necessitates pulling over and loading a fresh book.
- Did I mention humor and adventure?
- Awesome narration (like R.C. Bray does)
Free Audio Books to Get You Started
While I switched to Audible after a bit of listening to these free audio books, I would be remiss to say that you can find free audio books online. Here are a few of my favorite tales if you're not quite ready to pay for Audible (well worth it!) subscription:
Nathan Lowell's entire Trader Tales series and Shaman Tales
- Astreya: The Voyage South - An engaging tale that kicks off the trilogy!
- Astreya: The Men of the Sea -
- Astreya: The Wanderer's Curse
A Few Favorites via Audible.com
So here are my picks. I'm not going to give you a long-winded book review. These are great stories and will certainly keep your blood pressure up. Each of these holds a special place in the pantheon of awesome tales. While the narrators like R.C. Bray, Bronson Pinchot, James Fouhey and John Lee are top-notch, other narrators may not be. It's up to you to decide.
These audiobooks wouldn't be listed below if I didn't think they were AWESOME. That said, I've put italicized my favorites at the top.
- Craig Alanson's Expeditionary Force series, narrated by R.C. Bray
- This is a laugh-out loud funny sci-fi series. I can't wait for the next in the series to come out.
- One of the best narrators out there and MOST of his stuff is worth listening to. You'll see that my favorites are often that because of great stories and R.C. Bray as narrator!
- Michael Stephen Fuchs' The Arisen series, narrated by R.C. Bray
- OMG (that's Oh, Miguel Guhlin!), this is an AWESOME 13+book series. I pretty much listened to this for a year (well almost).
- A zombie apocalypse that is freakin' awesome, amazing, and engaging
- Terry's Mancour's Spellmonger series, narrated by John Lee
- This is an awesome story that I would have inhaled if I were reading it in print. John Lee's sardonic voice, although a trifle old for the main character in his late twenties, grows on you. By the second audio book, the main character has grown into John Lee's voice, if that makes sense. I HIGHLY recommend the narrator and Mancour's tales. It's this story that made me go Audible Platinum.
- Nicholas Sandsbury Smith's The Extinction Cycle, narrated by Bronson Pinchot
- Smith is a fantastic storyteller, and has a twist on killer mutated humans/zombies that will have you at the edge of your seat, clutching your steering wheel. Watch out for those state troopers!
- Nicholas Sandsbury Smith's Orbs series, narrated by James Fouhey
- Smith's story is focused alien invasion.
- J.S. Morin's Twinborn Trilogy Collection, narrated by Shawn Compton
- This is a heck of a LONG story (well, all of the ones mentioned here are), but Twinborn just seems to go on and on and on, which is wonderful. Some have complained about the narration, and he does make a few mistakes, but hey, reading something this long is bound to result in a mistake here and there.
- If you focus on the story, even the so-so narration (such as by Shawn Compton (which still isn't bad, so stop dogging the guy listeners!) as many have characterized it, no big deal.
- This story has some intriguing concepts about magic, dual worlds and is well thought out.
- Keith C. Blackmoore's Mountain Man series, narrated by R.C. Bray
- This series is famous. I read the books but listening to the stories has completely changed my perception of the Mountain Man in multiple tales. Yes, it's a zombie apocalypse story.
- It's almost too gritty a story.
- Michael Anderle's The Kurtherian Gambit, narrated by Emily Beresford
- This is not your typical werewolf, vampires and space aliens (oops, spoiler) type story.
- And, it's laugh out loud funny, too. Not as funny as Expeditionary Force, but I couldn't stop listening to Emily as the main character, The Queen Bitch.
- B.V. Larson's Undying Mercenary series (10 books), narrated by Mark Boyett
- This is another funny series following the adventures of James McGill
- Lots to laugh about here. Not as much as some of the other series above, but well worth the credits.
- Joshua Gayou's Commune series (4 books so far), narrated by R.C. Bray
- An engaging tale without zombies focused on community and survival
Listening Has Advantages OVER Reading Text
“Listeners and readers retain about equal understanding of the passages they’ve consumed,” says Melissa Dahl, citing research in this New York Magazine article, which is another key point for listening to audio books as well as reading them. Here are some research-based benefits of audio over text reading:
- Fiction read aloud encourages your brain to picture the scenes.
- Listening to audio books enhances listening skills as ears strain for the next word.
- Audio book “reading” can be done on the go, which may match the needs of certain busy people in our lives.
Pay attention. You are going to simply love any or all of these stories. What are YOUR favorite audio books on Audible? Share in the comments.
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure