Recommed some audio books for me.

I’m taking a REALLY long trip next week and my friend made what I think is a good suggestion in that I bring along some audio books on my iPod. I used to listen to a lot of audio books so I know that it doesn’t always matter if the book is good, the reading has to be good too, so I’d like to hear if anyone has any recommendations.

I like all kinds of books…history, popular science, fiction, everything, really.

Particularly enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
Love the book and IMO it’s read really well.

I’ve already read the book…is the reading so good that it’s worth listening to anyway? If you’ve listened to Anansi Boys (hands down the best audio book I’ve ever heard), can you make a comparison?

Some of my favorites:

Connections and The Day the Universe Changed by James Burke

Any of the Rumpole of the Bailey stories (if read by Leo McKern)

Any Nero Wolfe books, preferably unabridged versions

Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, or Rocketship Galileo, all vailable unabridged.

The Robert Fahles translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey (although the Iliad is horribly abridged, for some reason)

The Penguin Audio edition of Frankenstein.

Frederick Forsyth’s The Careful Man and Money with Menaces.

The Harry Potter books read by Jim Dale are great. Malcolm Gladwell reads his own books and I find them to be really endearing readings.

I’ve done Dune, Ender’s Game, Ender’s shadow, Anathem (big, long, huge. I was sad when it was over)

David Sedaris (All of 'em). They’re read by the author with some parts live.

Lemony Snickett which are read by Tim Curry (who makes it even more wonderful).

Bill Bryson-A Brief History of Nearly Everything

I truly believe these librivox readings (and the novels themselves) are great, although they are done by volunteers (but are also free):

The Old Wives Tale - by Arnold Bennett, read by Andy Minter - comedic turn-of-century novel

The Scarlet Pimpernel - by Baroness Orczy - romantic adventure in the French Revolution

El Dorado - by Baroness Orczy - sequel to Scarlet Pimpernel

Typee - by Herman Melville - his first novel; he’s a castaway in the Marquesas Islands.

What have you got to lose?

I enjoyed the Stephen Fry audio version of the Harry Potter books personally.

I also really enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife read by William Hope and Laurel Lefkow.

They have released To Kill a Mockingbird read by Sissy Spacek. I’m not sure that there has ever been a more perfect combination of book and voice.

I have only just started Denis Leary’s Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, and even the intro is loud out loud funny. Mind you I really do like leary’s humor.

This makes it sound like Sam Kinnison-style humor.

Kyla, listen to the wisdom of Jimmy Chitwood. Harry Potter will keep you occupied - the whole series lasts 116 hours - and Jim Dale is absolutely brilliant.

Dangerosa, I’ll suggest The Screwtape Letters read by John Cleese. Just perfect. He really nails that urbane, oh-so-helpful-but-really-out-to-fuck-you civil servant attitude.

I’ve just finished Coraline and The Graveyard Book and I’m about halfway through Neverwhere, all read by Neil Gaiman. I haven’t heard either American Gods or Anansi Boys, but Gaiman reading his own stuff is a treat.

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, read by Derek Jacobi. Great story and Derek Jacobi’s wonderful voice. I’d listen to him read the Moscow phone book backwards in Pig Latin.

John Adams by David McCullough, read by Nelson Runger (unabridged - 30 hours) or Edward Herrmann (abridged - a mere 9 hours). I’m divided on these. I’m an unabridged audio snob, but I like Hermann’s voice better. Either way, one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Let me also recommend Old Time Radio shows for long road trips. Mysteries like The Shadow with Orson Welles or The Saint with Vincent Price. Science fiction like Dimension X and X Minus One with stories by classic writers - Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, Vonnegut. Orson Welles and The War of the Worlds. Comedy, westerns, dramatizations of classic literature. Tons of stuff, and a lot of it is in the public domain and available from the Internet Archive.

Then subtract a “loud” or two. Leary is not Kinnison loud. Cripes, (good God, I can’t even PRETEND to name a modern band that is also THAT loud!) Leary might suggest the full of catalog of The Who, and I’d suggest it to keep him from nagging for several hours.

ETA: Suggestions based on the volume of modern airliner cabins. and are great sources for free audio book
I recently did the whole Sherlock Holmes collection courtesy of librivox

Nigel Planer is a perfect match for Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld novels, I also enjoy James Marsters’ casual reading of the Dresden Files a lot.

Fisher Stevens accentuates the humor in Christopher Moore’s brilliant A Dirty Job perfectly, as does Tony Roberts with ** The Stupidest Angel**. If I had read The Fool, I might not have liked it much, but Euan Morton turned it around.

And Susan Bennett’s funny and sexy reading of You Suck saves the book. When she says “sweet, hot monkey love”, you know what she means; and when she reads from “the diary of Abby Normal”, it’s nothing but hilarious.

I wish she had also read the Thursday Next novels by Jasper Fforde but the performances by Elizabeth Sastre and Emily Gray are pretty good too.

Jim Wise’s reading of Catch 22 irritated me at first. But soon enough, it became apparent how perfectly he reflected the tone of the book and by the end of the second chapter, I enjoyed his performance as much as the book itself.

Also impressive is Tom Stechschulte’s take on The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

There are a lot of books I would never have finished reading or even started – but listening to them was still enjoyable.

Among them are some Ender books, already mentioned by Unintentionally Blank, also World War Z performed by a full cast and classical science fiction stories, like Haldeman’s Forever War, read by George Wilson, who is constantly good in all his performances.

Sounds interesting. I’ve listened to an audio version a couple of years ago but don’t own one. Time to change that.

Oh, I love Nelson Runger’s voice!

If you’re into history, then yes, John Adams, or The First American (Ben Franklin), or Truman, are all read by Runger, and all excellent.

Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” mystery series is a great easy listening. Evanovich writes funny books and you don’t need to read them in order.

“Reefer Madness” and “Fast Food Nation” by John Schlosser are excellent to listen to

“Rebecca” and oldie but goodie was one of the best books I listened to. Mrs Danvers is one of the classic literary villians of all time.

If you don’t have iTunes you can dowload the software and get podcasts. These you can use even if you don’t have an iPod. A lot of them are free and very good to listen to

Finally don’t forget the Internet Archive, you got lots of old time radio and it’s in public domain so you can download it for free. You can lots of Jack Benny, Burns & Allen, Lum & Abner among others like old newscasts and radio classics.

Audacity of Hope is read by Obama himself, my mom really liked it.

“American Gods” is on the same level as “Anansi Boys”, in terms of production value. Don’t need to tell you about the writing quality.

wintertime I was just going to recommend “Discworld” and “Dresden Files” as well. IMHO James Marsters has dome some of the best voice acting I’ve heard in an audio book.

I’d also suggest “Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrel”, a good long book, and “Angela’s Ashes”, the latter as read by Frank McCourt himself.

Oh, and as for author’s reading their own books, Douglas Adams does a wonderful job on his own Hitchhiker’s ‘trilogy’.