All the Audiobooks (Including Recs!)
I resisted audiobooks for the longest time, and I'm not sure why! But now I'm hooked, and I do chores, drive, work on projects, clean house, fold laundry, and sometimes cook with a Beats earbud in one ear (this Lazy Genius hack doubles my time between charges and allows me to hear if anyone says my name). I've found that I look forward to mindless tasks more because they allow me to read! Plus, I've been able to double my book intake between my hard copy reads and audio reads. All audiobooks are not created equal--I had to stop Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden because the narrator had entirely too many mispronunciations to get paid for their work--but find the right voice, and the experience can be magical.
My Favorite Audiobook Platform
Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy introduced me to Scribd, and y'all, it beats Audible and the library on every level. Instead of purchasing books with a scrawny 2 credits per month or being limited by library holds, Scribd works more like Spotify for books. Once you are subscribed at 9.99 a month, you have unlimited (hear me? Unlimited!) access to both ebooks and audiobooks.
Want to give it a try? You can use my link to get 30 days free! (I'll also receive a credit for 30 free days, so it's a win/win situation!)
My Favorite Way to Listen
I got my Beats earbuds last year and they're my favorite. They're insanely comfortable, wireless, and with great sound. Each earbud has up to 8 hours of listening time with two additional charges provided by the charging case for up to 24 hours of combined playback. Yes, please.
Some of My Recent Audiobooks:
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, read by Saskia Maarleveld
Centered around the code-breaking girls of Bletchley Park in England, this book is 626 pages of magnificent character development and captivating storytelling. (Even if historical fiction isn't your thing, this tour de force of a novel is not your usual historical tale.) Mystery, unlikely friends, codes and puzzles, spies, love, the question of why friendships fail, and a delightful ending made this one of my favorite audiobooks of the year. Be aware that I cried. Hard. But it was worth it.
*sensitive readers should be aware of (discreet/sweet) open door romance*
The Guest List by Lucy Foley, read by Jot Davies and others
This one was so fun to decipher. Basically, it's what would happen if Agatha Christie wrote in the days of Instagram. And the setting was swoon-worthy--a storm-beaten Irish island with secrets of its own. I did end up guessing the ending by the last few chapters but I had to work hard for it and could have easily been wrong. The audiobook is read by a fantastic full cast, which makes the multiple POVs easy to track. Brillant and Celtic and creepy and indulgent in all the best ways. Great capture of the human psyche. *some readers will be sensitive to spicier open door romance, some triggering situations, and strong language, so do your research*
Less Is More, by Emily Ley, read by the author
This book addresses a first-world problem--too much, too fast, too loud--but it's a needed reminder from a voice in our generation. The fatigue and burnout of being a modern mother is real, and Emily's gentle nudge toward the "what if" of a simpler, quieter lifestyle is refreshing. (No Amish communities involved, promise!) I wouldn't say this book is revolutionary, but it was confirming. I wouldn't agree with every doctrinal conclusion but would recommend this book to a busy woman in search of encouraging light reading.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, read by Thandiwe Newton
This book speaks for itself. I was late to this classic until a friend twisted my arm (thanks Meghan!!) and recommended this lovely audio version. I believe I sped it up to 1.4 speed. Go listen to it if you haven't yet, or if you just want to revisit it!
Untangling Emotions by J. Alasdair Groves and Winston T. Smith, read by Lance Smith
I can't stop, won't stop singing this book's praises. I ended up finishing it in hard copy so I could underline but the audiobook read very well. Everyone should read this one for a healthy, Biblical view on understanding and engaging with our emotions.
Messy Minimalism by Rachelle Crawford, read by the author
Personally, I think this book could have been a blog series, but while a bit unoriginal, Rachelle is relatable and this book could be a good intro into balanced minimalism (although honestly, I'd recommend that you just start with anything by Myquillyn Smith.)
Awaking Wonder by Sally Clarkson, read by the author
Moms of younger kids, you'll either love or hate this book. I loved it, but with disclaimers. Her rose-colored glasses when it comes to her children's younger years can be a bit saccharine, but her thoughts on nurturing childrens' wonder and imagination, and instilling a love for learning and thinking, are pure gold. Consider yourself warned. (Also she reads slowly so speed it up.)
The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines, read by the authors
This one was FUN. If you have any interest in the fixer-uppers that took the world by storm and their down-to-earth, faith-filled story of success, you'll love the audio experience for this one. (Also it was scary and hilarious how alike Daniel and I are to Chip and Jo, personality-wise.)
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith, read by the author
The queen of cozy minimalism herself, Myquillyn Smith. This, her first book, focuses on loving where you live and working within your limitations to create a home-based on what matters. Especially helpful if you're renting!
Try Softer by Aundi Kolber, read by the author
I'd recommend this one to just about anyone, whether you think you might deal with trauma (either big "T" or little "t"), know someone who does, or just want to learn more. Trauma-informed therapist Kolber brings a sensitive, heartfelt approach to the topic and dives into the intricacies of neuroscience and its relationship with our spirituality. While I do think she takes some doctrinal points too far, I still think there is value here for those who want to understand why they live in survival mode and want to grow into a healthier place.
Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia, read by Jessica Almasy
Slightly goofy, eccentric, and a mixture of Glee, locked-hotel mystery, and teenage drama, this one was a RIDE. If you did any music in high school, you'll love this one. If you didn't, you'll like it anyway.
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke, read by Tom Parks
Currently in the middle of this one but it's good. Not doom and gloom like I expected--the author wryly admits he wrote part of the book on his phone. Advocates a balanced approach to the challenges of our techy generation.
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, read by the author
Truly gorgeous writing style. I've quoted this one many times but this collection of essays about why life deserves to be celebrated in spite of ourselves is one of my favorites.
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney, read by RICHARD ARMITAGE (and some British lady, but I only care about this guy's voice)
The PERFECT thriller. Clever, quotable, literary, psychological, propulsive, and set in a perfectly creepy Scottish Highlands setting. Alice Feeney lived up to her title as Queen of the Plot Twist--these came out of nowhere.
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner, read by Laura Kirman (may not finish, seems a bit cliche)
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (Daniel and I are listening to this together, and Julian Rhind-Tutt is a fantastic narrator!)
Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund, read by the author (I've cried my way through this one)