In Part I of Audiobooks as Leisure Time, I discussed considering the hours I spend in the car commuting back and forth to work leisure time. Sounds crazy, right? But I think there’s something to it. Over the last six months I have listened to (and enjoyed) 24 audiobooks. So, here are my thoughts on 13 thru 24.
13. Half Magic by Edward Eager
MG fantasy. This was actually narrated by a full company of actors, including kids. Felt more like a radio play than a novel. The story was silly, but it was fun to listen to.
14. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
MG mystery. This book appealed to my nerdy self. M/F protagonists solving a centuries old mystery about the artist, Johannes Vermeer. They use pentominoes, 12 different shapes named after letters that fit together like a puzzle, to solve the mysterious goings-on in their town and classroom. If you have never used pentominoes before, they are super fun if you enjoy recreational mathematics.
15. The Seer of Shadows by Avi
MG ghost mystery/historical fiction. Incredible from start to finish. Haunting. M protagonist apprentice to a photographer who realizes there are ghosts in the pictures. Plus, I love Victorian fiction. Amazing.
16. May Bird and The Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson
MG fantasy with a F protagonist. Takes a long time to get to the alternative universe, but once you’re there, its worth the wait. One of the strongest characters in the story is a cat.
17. The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer
YA sci/fi. Protagonist, Cosmo Hill (great name), is stuck in a horrible, and dangerous, orphanage. He sees his way out and ends up with the Supernaturalists, who are on a mission to eradicate invisible creatures that suck the life force from people about to die. And that’s just the first two chapters. So many twists and turns, every time I thought the story had worked itself out, there was another wrench in the protagonists world.
18. Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell
MG Fantasy. F protagonist who steps into a broom closet and ends up in another world. It was like Little Red Riding Hood with mind reading abilities meets Alice in Wonderland.
MG Fantasy. If you liked Harry Potter, then you will enjoy Erec Rex. In fact, the first book has so many similarities, that I was sceptical for a moment of its merits. However, once the story gets going, it finds its own voice and Erec’s world opens up in a very imaginative way. Erec, on many quests to become the ruler of Alypium, also starts taking on qualities of a dragon. He makes many hard choices, often at his own detriment, but for the good of the people and because it’s the right thing to do. Only three of these books are on audiobook, so I’ll have to read the rest in paperback.
MG Fantasy. Easily my favorites of all of the books I have listened to over the last six months. Wizards, castles, dragon boats, bogarts, talking message rats, more than one mistaken identity, a fearless princess, inventive charms, and magic! Lots and lots of magic. The authors use of a omniscient point of view allows her to tell the story from every angle, every nook and cranny of this magnificent world. And the main character’s name is Boy 412. Ha! I just picked up Book 4, Queste, and I can’t wait to listen to it.
Okay… so here’s two more. It has been a month since my last post.
25. The Giver by Lois Lowry
YA Fantasy. The 8th grade students in my school read this in English class, and I heard them talking about it, so, I picked it up. I’m surprised that I hadn’t read it before. Deeply poignant and heartbreaking, M protagonist is given the most difficult job in his community. Sometimes the truth does not set you free.
26. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
MG Fiction. The first of a long series. Everything in the book is very unpleasant and unfortunate. However, it is told with a witty narrative, tongue in cheek. Great vocabulary builder, and read by Tim Curry, and who doesn’t love Tim Curry? The interview with the author at the end of the book is odd and wonderful.
Lightbulb Moment Update
So far, I have had 16 audiobook narrators audition for the audiobook of The Smith Family Secret Book 1 through Audible’s ACX Platform. I will be choosing one shortly. More on my experiences creating an audiobook to come…