24 November, 2021

my journey with audio books (and some recommendations)

The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion by Kei Miller.

Up until this year, I had a really hard time listening to audiobooks. I got seriously distracted every time I tried, and would miss whole entire swaths of the books. The only ones that seemed to work were childhood classics or non-fiction, and that also depended on the narrator. I optimistically tried listening to the fourth Outlander book, and quit after about 10 minutes, because the narrator’s voice just didn’t work for me. I’m thinking that doing audio in the middle of a series was a bad idea: I already used my own voice in my head for the story, so another’s voice just felt wrong!

In 2021 I decided to give audiobooks the old college try again. I realised what I needed was to do something while listening, that wouldn’t distract me (household chores, or walking didn’t work). Turns out I need to do something that occupies my brain enough that I’m not distracted, but not so much that I don’t listen at all. The winner? Knitting and crochet!

Somehow, the combination of following a not too complex pattern, keeping my hand moving, left just the right amount of brain space to also listen to audiobooks. And I was on my way! I actually look forward to listening to them now. They are still my third place choice for consuming books, but they complement the rest of my reading life perfectly.

Here are some books I have listened to so far, that I recommend:

Behold the Deamers by Imbolo Mbue

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Clap When You Land and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

This One Sky Day (Popisho) by Leone Ross

Do you listen to audiobooks? Which ones would you recommend?