Listening to Books + My Current Favorite Audiobooks
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It’s back to school time and while I’m not jealous of the upcoming exams, I am reaaally jealous of new school supplies and fresh books! Granted, I don’t think I read for pleasure for a while after high schoo. We had to annotate the crap out of all of our literature, buuuut I have been easing back in to reading as of late! Well…do audiobooks count as reading? I think I should at least get partial credit for it! Side note - when people talk about The Handmaid’s Tale and if I watch it, I’m like no… That book scarred me as a teenager, as I actually had to read it in high school!
ANYWAY, back to the topic at hand! I’ve never had a short commute to work. This spring/summer, my commute essentially tripled, so I started getting into podcasts and audiobooks to help ease the ride. It totally helped. I even found myself wanting to drive longer, so I could listen more! I recently shared some of my favorite podcasts here, but haven’t really talked about yet audiobooks. You know, how I listen to them, what I’ve listened to, etc. HENCE TODAY’S POST!
I began thinking about audiobooks prior to my new commute, just because I realized books take up a lot of space and most I never read again. A few I would keep and some are sentimental, but overall, I’m a one and done kind of girl. I’ve been a strong supporter of holding actual books when reading, so I have always poo-pooed the thought of a digital reader or audiobooks; however, Marie Kondo has me on a straight audiobook kind of feeling now! I do think actual reading is important, but I’d rather experience and digest books audibly than not at all.
First of all, if you have a good, local library, check out that! Personally, I grew up going to the library and loved it! I have very fond memories of my mom, my sister, and I heading to the library during the summer and devouring books faster than we could breathe. Currently, I don’t have one super close to me, so I haven’t taken advantage of one in a while. If you do have one you like and have time to at least get a library card there, you might see if they have/use Hoopla. It’s site that lets you check out audiobooks (movies, music, and more too!), just by using your library card. Not all libraries are a part of it, but it is a good thing to check out (pun intended) AND it is super budget friendly, as it is FREE. You can use them on mobile or desktop, plus smart TVs! (Roku, Apple, Amazon, and Andriod.)
Personally, Nick and I use Audible. We are very much an Amazon household, so it just makes sense. We have a subscription for $14.95 and that gives us 1 book credit a month. They have other options like $22.95 per month for 2 book credits. If you want to go bulk, you can buy 12 credits or 24 credits up front and bet them for a low as $9.50 per book! Audible has an app that syncs with all your devices, has the largest selection of audiobooks, and they often have several interesting freebies throughout the month too! If you want to try it out, you can get a free 30 day trial, plus 2 free books, risk free!
A couple other options are Audiobooks.com and Scribd. Audiobooks.com is owned by Google, so it does run well and has a good user experience. It pretty much works like Audible, and for the same price ($14.95 per credit), I’d go Audible! They have only the one subscription option, but you can buy more credits. If you’re doing that though, it’s better to go Audible anyway, as you get a discount. If you do want to try out Audiobooks.com, they have a free 30 day trial and 3 free books up front. Scribd is the budget friendly option for sure, as it is only $8.99 per month and you get unlimited everything! Their library isn’t as extensive, but you get what you pay for. They also have unlimited news and magazines to view, which is unique to their platform.
I love listening to these by myself, but they are more fun with others! Nick and I sometimes listen to a book together, as does our church home-group. One of my college besties and I started a “book club” where we pick one out and then talk about it together after we’re done listening. It’s a great way to keep in contact with people or start a virtual book club.
Here are some of the ones I’ve recently listened to and what I thought about them!
Educated 4..5/5. This is a popular title as of late. I really liked it and loved that it was a true story. Not giving it a 5/5, just because it started out very slowly.
Next Year in Havana 5/5. I devoured this and wanted more! It is historical fiction, which I love! I’m more of a non-fiction kind of girl, so with these kind of reads, I get the best of both worlds!
When We Left Cuba. 4.5/5. This is the sequel to Next Year in Havana. It as very good, just didn’t give it a 5/5, because it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, after reading the first book.
Shoe Dog 4.5./5. This is Phil Knight’s autobiography! It was kind of slow in the beginning, but worth it and interesting if you like Nike at all.
Something in the Water 5/5. This is my favorite book I’ve listened to thus far. It is a thriller and I hope they make a movie about it. I loved it!
Mistress of the Ritz 4.5/5. I didn’t really know what I was about to read, so that’s kind of on me, but that’s why I gave it a 4.5. It is very slow, but is historical fiction that I think should be spoken about more. Their story really happened, but not much is known about it, so I applaud Melanie Benjamin for writing it.
One Day in December 5/5. This was the easy read I needed after reading such a heavy book like Mistress of the Ritz. It is a love story and is fun!
Where the Crawdad’s Sing 4.5/5. I liked it! It was a good story, but the end. WOW. I probably would have given it a 4/5, but the ending changed that for me. It was an overall sweet story and I can see why it has been a best seller.
Whisper Network. 5/5. I liked this one a lot! It is based in Dallas and they mention Tri Delta, so I like the emotional connections. I also think it’s a topic that really needs to be addressed. If you feel like you don’t like it at any point, read the epilogue. I think it will make a lot of sense.
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