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Old 10-26-2009, 04:16 PM
Polerius is offline
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Recommend audiobook


My wife has a long commute every day, and I want to buy her an audiobook to make the time go by more easily. I don't want to ask her what she wants because I want it to be a surprise.

Some facts:
1) She's in her early forties
2) Would prefer fiction
3) Does not like sci-fi
4) Would prefer contemporary novel over a classic

Based on the above facts, what recommendations would you guys make?
  #2  
Old 10-27-2009, 07:25 PM
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No recent novels you guys have read/heard that you would recommend?

Maybe this thread would have fared better in IMHO.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:30 PM
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I am currently working my way through Bill Bryson's travel novels. I prefer to read but listen to audiobooks at night when going to bed. While they aren't fiction, they are laugh out loud funny at times and informative. I also adore the guy who does the readings. I would recommend starting with "Notes from a Small Island."
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:32 AM
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This really is a personal choice, and most of my choices are the exact opposite of your wife's -- I prefer classics, non-fiction, and science fiction (good SF is fiendishly hard to find on audiobooks).


But here are some she might like:



Janet Evanovich -- I think every single Stephanie Plum book is on audio, along with most of her other stuff. Easily entertaining.

Rex Stout -- I like the Nero Wolfe mysteries, and most are available unabridged. at least three different readers.

John Mortimer -- I haven't seen them on audio disc, but a lot of his Rumpole of the Bailey stories are on audio. Leo McKermn read them for three different companies, and at least two other people have read them, as well. You can also get his Titmuss on audio

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs -- the guys responsible for The Relic and a lot of other incredibly far-fetched thrillers have an obscene number of books on audio. So does equally far-fetched

Clive Cussler.

Frederick Forsyth -- One of my favorite thriller writers, but not enough of his stuff is easily available on audio. I'd love to have Day of the Jackal on audio, but I've never seen it. Nevertheless, you can easily find The Afghan or The Negotiator or other recent books.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:36 AM
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I’m starting to be afraid someone will punch me for recommending this audiobook at every turn, but: Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. It was an amazing audio book experience for me; first, because the reader (George Guidall) is so great; second, because the story is so riveting; third, because it’s so wonderfully long. I loved it so much, I listen to it again every couple of years…

P.S.- I'm 39, and all your wife's other criteria apply to me as well.

Last edited by Dung Beetle; 10-28-2009 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:08 AM
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It's not exactly contemporary, but I'm currently in the middle of To Kill a Mockingbird (as read by Sissy Spacek) and enjoying it quite a bit.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
It's not exactly contemporary, but I'm currently in the middle of To Kill a Mockingbird (as read by Sissy Spacek) and enjoying it quite a bit.
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I've heard that version, and will second it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:23 AM
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The Historian's audio version just got a good review; it wasn't praised in book form but the audio apparently leaves out the slow parts and has great acting.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:06 AM
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I just started listening to audiobooks on my commute. The librarian recommended Jeffery Eugenides' Middlesex, and it was wonderful. I has read it before, and listening to it added another dimension to the book.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:59 AM
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My number one audiobook of all time is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. It's a highly amusing reweaving of traditional mythologies, with a nice theme of storytelling and identity. And what puts it over the top is Lenny Henry's awesome performance. It is (appropriately enough, given it's relationship to American Gods) divine.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:22 PM
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If she doesn't like Sci fi, does she also not like fantasy? That would be a pity, because most of Terry Pratchett's books are available on audio.

Does she like mysteries? There are a ton of mystery books on audio.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:23 PM
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I second Middlesex and Sissy Spacek's perfect reading of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon
and Family Matters, by Rohinton Mistry are all excellent audiobooks.

If she likes mysteries, Tony Hillerman's Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn mysteries, Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley books and The #1 Ladies Dectective Agency series, by Alexander McCall Smith are also great to listen to.
  #13  
Old 10-29-2009, 08:55 AM
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While not a specific recommendation, check with your library to see if they have a subscription to the downloadable audiobook systems. I use my library's connection to OVERDRIVE.COM with a Sansa-Clip by Sandisk. The Overdrive system is particular as to which systems can be used, but there is a large choice, and many of them are not very expensive. Once the device is purchased, the downloads are free, and fairly wide in their selection.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:07 PM
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in Nighttime. An excellent book, and an excellent reading job. There are also lots of Dick Francis mysteries on audiobook, a few of which we've listened to, and which are also good.
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