Let’s Talk Bookish: The Makings of A Great Audiobook…

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join, check out the April 2022 prompts and May 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

THE MAKINGS OF A GREAT AUDIOBOOK

(SUGGESTED BY MIKAELA @ MIKAELA READS)
Prompts: Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, what makes a good audiobook? Is it the narrators or does it depend on the genre? What are some of your recommendations for amazing audiobooks? If you don’t listen to audiobooks, why not, and do you ever plan on doing so?

LISTENING TO AUDIOBOOKS

I listen to audiobooks but not very often. I remember trying one for the first maybe 4 years ago and it just didn’t work for me. I can’t recall which book it was but my attention drifted so quickly that before I knew it, 20 minutes had passed and I could recall nothing of what I’d just heard. I quickly realised that I needed to focus all my attention on listening otherwise I wouldn’t retain anything. Audiobooks also worked for me if I read along with the physical/ebook as it helped me to keep focused. Honestly, every time someone mentions actively doing something while listening to audiobooks I’m left in awe because how?! I truly wish that I could work or do other things while listening and be able to remember and process everything that happens but my brain, she says no.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THEM FT. MY FAVOURITES

Aside from having to intensely focus on the audio, the narrator is probably the most important factor in determining whether or not I’ll enjoy an audiobook. I love narrators that are able to create clear and varied tones for the different characters—the ones who are able to embody them and really make their various personalities shine through. Accents, I find, are also very important and I find it incredibly distracting when an accent comes off weirdly but I do love when narrators have accents that fit the story (like with Shuggie Bain (Scottish) and Milkman (Irish)!). I also don’t mind if there are sound effects, like in full productions, as long as they don’t overshadow the narration or become overly repetitive or distracting.

What I love about reading audiobooks is how much more engaged I feel with the story and how the narrators bring the characters and settings to life. I also love how quickly I can get through a book when listening to it—I’m most comfortable listening at x1.5-x1.9 speeds although I’ve tried faster speeds but again, my brain says no. 🤣


Full cast productions are by far my favourite and I don’t think there’s anything I don’t love about them. Sadly, I haven’t read too many of them but I’m always on the look out for more so if you have any recommendations I’d be keen to know what they are! These are some of my favourites:


Nonfiction books that are narrated by the author are usually a win for me but I have found one or two where I’ve struggled a bit to follow along but that’s mostly because my brain just can’t sync up with their fast cadence. I’m not much of a NF reader but audiobooks work best for me when I do pick them up. Some of my favourites are (the latter two aren’t narrated by the authors but they were very engaging narrators!):


As for the genres, I tend to mostly listen to nonfiction, fantasy or contemporary fiction. Funnily enough I haven’t yet listened to a contemporary romance audiobook but I do have one or two lined up that I’m looking forward to trying. Here are some of my favourite audiobooks so far:

Do you listen to audiobooks a lot or do you also struggle a bit like me? What do you love about them or what is it you struggle with most when listening to audiobooks? Do you listen to specific genres or all of them? What are you favourites? I’d love your recommendations, please! 💜

17 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: The Makings of A Great Audiobook…

  1. Great post, I’ve always struggled with audiobooks as i zone out really easily and would miss so much of the book that I may as well have not read it. I have recently listened to books I have already read physically and they worked a lot better as I didn’t need to be focused the whole time on the book to know what was happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to know I’m not the only one who zones out very easily. I think that’s why I’m very particular with audiobooks! I’ve actually done re-reads with audiobooks too (did that for the first time last year) and I ended up loving the reading experience even more. It’s so great that we can consume books in so many different ways 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The max I can do is 1.5X. I bow down to you all who can listen at higher speeds. I heard amazing things about the production of the Illuminae books. I read them, but my daughter checked Gemenia out of the library just to hear the Lollypop song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I usually move the speed up in increments but I do spend a good amount of time listening at 1.5 speed while getting used to the narration and story. The Illuminae books are fantastically produced and it made me love that series even more. Haha, I have to admit that I also bought the audiobook for Gemina cos I wanted to hear the Lollypop song! 🤣 Glad I’m not the only one who did that!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s all about the narrator for me. I usually listen between 1.4 and 2.0. I try to go as high as possible without missing anything. I know people who listen at like 3x and I don’t know if I could do that.
    Great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wouldn’t say I am a super regular listener of audiobooks. Sometimes I know I am not in the mood and I will zone out completely. Other times they work so well for me! Typically listening when walking my dog or cleaning the bathroom! I like how they can add a unique spin on books with full cast narrators and sound effects. The Starless Sea being one of my favourites 😍 I tend to lean into audiobooks for books out of my comfort zone, especially as I get them from my library for free. I think non-fiction ones are great in audio and I love it when it is the authors themselves too! I loved this post and I hope trying out the romance ones goes well ❤️🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, I do have the Starless Sea audio on my list so I’m glad to hear that it’s one of my favourites! I definitely can’t wait to check that one out. Most of the time I have to lie down and do nothing while I’m listening to an audiobook otherwise I’d get way too distracted but I agree it also depends on my mood. I’m still amazed sometimes by how quickly I can fly through an audiobook when I enjoy it! And I totally agree that audiobooks help me get through books out of my comfort zone too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Full casts are literally the best! I feel like the audiobooks I love the most have more than one narrator. If it is a single narrator I need their voice to not be bland, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg yes, full cast audios are SO good! I definitely agree about the voice not being bland with one narrator. I love when they’re able to bring all the characters to life through different voices, accents, etc. though. Truly amazing what they do 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I listen to audiobooks a lot, but I kind of go through phases; some weeks or even months I’ll read almost exclusively physical books, other times the only thing I’ll be interested in is audiobooks. I also really like to speed up audiobooks to get through them faster, and I totally agree that full casts are so awesome to listen to!! Great post 🥰

    Like

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