Earlier this year, my friend Annie inspired me to sign up for Audible and listen to one audiobook (or more!) per month. I am really glad I invested in this service because I love reading but have found it increasingly difficult to sit down with a good book. Over the past few years, I have had to do a LOT of medical reading and other required reading, so the last thing I wanted to do is read more, even for leisure. The eyes do need a rest!
When I decided to give audiobooks a chance, I started listening during my commute to work. This was a refreshing change from the radio, and I now feel like the 35+ minutes in the car each way is useful and even enjoyable. I love that I can also listen during walks outside, at the gym, while cooking, on a plane ride, while doing chores, etc. I also love that you can speed up the narration or make it slower. It also syncs across your devices so you can switch between phone, tablet, etc. and pick up where you left off without losing your spot.
As 2016 comes to a close, I was looking back on the audiobooks I finished this year and am happily surprised by how many I was able to get through. These are books I probably never would have had time to sit down and enjoy. Some were more interesting than others, of course, and some were genres I usually would not pick up to read (e.g. suspense/thrillers). My absolute favorite was All the Light We Cannot See; it was beautiful, vivid, sad, and joyful. It was the best book I’ve experienced in a long time. I also loved The Girl on the Train; it was so suspenseful and well-written that it successfully distracted me on the treadmill! The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has helped me greatly on a personal level and motivated me to closely review my possessions and surroundings. I’ll talk about that one in more detail later. I also learned a great deal about health and nutrition from The Dirt Cure, which I talked about here.
My least favorite was The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — mainly because I think the writing lends itself better to being read than being listened to. Also, there was a lot of Spanish in it that I just did not understand. The other book I had a tough time getting through was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry because the narrator’s voice made me zone out. I had read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a few years ago and wrote about it here, but listening to it was a totally different and better experience. Below are all of the audiobooks I listened to, in order from first to last.
If you’re interested in Audible, your first download is free, and you can pause or cancel the subscription at anytime. Their selection is also vast, so you will probably find any book you’re looking for. Whether you want to stick to your favorite genres or venture into some new ones, this is a great way to get started. My goals for 2017 are to listen to less fiction (very hard for me to do) and more non-fiction and self-help type books. For me, the $14.95/month subscription has been well worth it!
And finally, I’m currently listening to: