Recommend Some Good Audio Books

I love to read but also love to listen to audio books from my ipod as I drive and do housework. However, I find that an audio book has to be less detailed and easier to follow than a regular book since I tend to lose the plot when there are too many characters and situations and I can’t refer back through the pages.

In other words, fast moving where I can be distracted for a moment but can pick it back up pretty easily.

My favorites so far have been Memoirs of a Gesha and Secret Life of Bees and I just listened to Water for Elephants which totally fit the bill. Mysteries are out unless they are easy to follow. I love reading them but I got lost too fast when I am listening. I do not like romance either and it is always an added bonus when the narrator does a good job.

Anyone have anything that have listened to that they would recommend? Since my commute is a long one, many suggestions would be most appreciated.

The looming tower
Call of Cthulhu
Born to Run
American Gods
Day by Day Armaggedon
The Ghost Brigade
God’s Debris
God’s Problem
Panic in Level 4
The Stranger
World War Z
13 Things that don’t make sense.

P. G. Wodehouse is fun, especially in audio.

For lots more suggestions, look through these older threads:
What’r your favorite audiobooks?
Recommed some audio books for me.
What should be my first Audiobook?

the thunderbolt kid (a memoir by bill bryson)

very unlike the other stuff you’ve mentioned but worth your time.
it’s funny enough that you’ll laugh out loud sometimes.
other times you can zone out without really losing your place.
it’s very episodic.

oh… there’s occasional lusty/curious teenager sex stuff that may not be appropriate if you have a young kid listening too. (not sex, if i recall, just desires.) also some “bad” language.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Janet Evanovich’s, Stephanie Plum series of books is just what you want. They’re easy to follow and funny. They are mysteries though not to hard to solve, and it’s about Stephanie who is an inept bounty hunter. The real enjoyment is the side cases Stephanie goes on and the humour in those

His other non-fiction works really well in audiobook format too. I particularly recommend At Home, basically a history of small things.

Young Adult books might work well too; the Harry Potter series as read by Stephen Fry is famously good.

I love both of these books (and some of Bryson’s others), but his voice really grates on me. YMMV. If you go to (even if you’re not a member) you can listen to samples of audiobooks and see if you like the narrator or not.

I think he doesn’t have a particularly wonderful voice, but is a good reader. The Bryson history of the universe book that’s on Audible is read by someone else, and he has a nice voice but is a little too perky - he sounds surprised half the time. Bearable, though.

Listening to samples is a must.There’s one book where I ended up asking for the money back because the narrator was so bad (and I happened to be on the phone to Audible anyway). This was before I realised how important it is that you like the style of reading as well as the style of writing.

Anansi Boys is the best audio book ever, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it in each of those linked threads, and I don’t care because it is good enough to warrant mention in every audio book thread.

Can you tell I like it?

I had fun recently listening to a Dr. Who story narrated by Anthony Head:

Oh and podcasts are great for housework too. Dinner Party Download, Reasonable Doubts, Parenting for Humanity, and Radiolab are some of my favorites.

Just because I posted it in one of those linked threads is no reason not to say it again here, right?

I was going to link to it, but it looks like it’s being sold with a different narrator. :frowning:

Also, the best one I heard recently was The Help, by Katherine Stockett. If I had read it on paper, I wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much, but the readers were amazing.

Stephen Colbert’s “I Am American (And So Can You)” is pretty fragmented - jokes in a sort of stream-of-consciousness format, much like his show minus the current events/politics. The David Sedaris audiobooks might also fit the bill - they’re all short stories, I believe, so it’s not like you have to follow much of a plot.

Bonus: they’re both hysterical. :slight_smile:

Two that I’ve really enjoyed:
-Kidnapped! by Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s a pretty fun story, but the reader has such a delicious Scottish brogue that you don’t really care about what’s happening in the story, it’s just a delight to listen to.
-Gentlemen of the Road, by Michael Chabon. Again, the reader really makes it: it’s a story about two Jewish mercenaries in the early medieval period getting caught up in court intrigue, a very fun story, and the dude who reads it has a rich, deep voice that’s a pleasure to listen to.

Anything by David Sedaris will knock your socks off. He reads them himself - brilliantly. Except his latest, something about a chipmunk. I hear it sucks.

His books are all short stories, and he made a name for himself by reading these short stories out loud at readings and on NPR, so they are totally suited for audiobook.

I just downloaded “A Game of Thrones” for a car trip - it was fantastic!

I know the OP requested more of a light read/listen but I was blown away how easy it was to listen and carry on doing other things. I’m a drafter and I’ve found I can listen to audiobooks at work - different parts of the brain I guess.

I’m only into my second audiobook but I’ve found that the narrator makes a huge difference in enjoyment - the guy who narrates “A Clash of Kings” rather sucks.

They absolutely would fit the bill if I hadn’t already read them. :frowning:

Thanks for those who made suggestions. I looked at many of them and checked for samples on audible.

Many do seem to require far too much thinking though. Really if it has more than 2 or 3 characters, I end up losing the story if I am not reading it. Must have poor listening skills.

I’d suggest the Traders Tales from Nathan Lowell: Quarter Share; Half Share, Full Share, Double Share; Captain’s Share; Owner’s Share.

Free podcasts via iTunes or Podiobooks.

“So, for once, the hero isn’t the Captain of the ship. He’s not even an officer. He’s a broke, uneducated, orphan from a backwater planet at the edge of no-where. He’s not a “hidden prince” and he wasn’t adopted. He’s just an average Joe trying to make it in the universe when his mother is killed in a mindless accident and he’s suddenly left to his own devices.”