Contributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace
While there is something to be said for snuggling under the cover with a good book and reading until your eyes get gravelly, there are numerous benefits to forgoing the printed word and succumbing to the soft lyricism of a well narrated audio book.
Audio books can be listened to in the bath (without worrying about waterlogged pages!), in the car (without fear of citations for reckless endangerment!), or while cooking, working out, or pretending to work. Here is a list of amazing books that you can read anywhere.
10. Interview with a Vampire – Anne Rice
Before they sparkled and turned vegetarian, vampires were sensual and fierce and haunting. You can do your part to help vampires regain their hauntingly seductive mojo, and you can regain some of your own “undead cred,” by revisiting the vampire LeStat–and leaving his glittery counterpart and other popular teen vampires to stalk sulky teenagers.
9. Smoke and Mirrors – Neil Gaiman
As this talented and prolific author continues to add to his already impressive offerings with a new children’s book and an adult novel, some are calling this The Year of Neil Gaiman. If you have not already discovered Gaiman the Great, consider taking in some of his short stories to give you a better idea of his quirky sense of humor…as well as his darker edge. This collection is worth it just for the short story “The Price,” about a stray cat that wages war on darkness to keep his unwitting family safe.
8. Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin
Sure, the cable television show is good…but the books are even better! Get inside the characters’ heads, read the scenes and details that didn’t make it into the shows and (best of all) you can read ahead in the series and find out what happens without having to wait until the next televisions season. Game of Thrones is not for the faint of stomach, but it is worth a read if you can handle a powerful story that doesn’t hide the bad stuff.
7. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
If you long for a classic—a book where good is rewarded and scoundrels get their come-uppance, consider revisiting this beloved book by Jane Austen. During a time when so many books extol the bad girl, the manipulative diva, and the scrupulous vixens, it is refreshing to return to a time when honesty and honor was its own reward.
6. The Shining – Stephen King
While the movie is considered a “classic” by many, Stephen King has stated that the movie ignored important themes of the book, such as the disintegration of the family and the dangers of alcoholism, and that the supernatural elements were downplayed. Add this to your book “bucket list” and find out for yourself.
5. The Borgias – G.J. Meyer
The Borgias name has long been synonymous with corruption, libertinism, nepotism, and treachery. Meyer dusts off the ancient stories and digs through the myth and speculation. Whether this reputation is well deserved or simply a product of historical fabrication and age-encrusted legend is explored in depth…and history has never been sexier.
4. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
Before the blockbuster movies, there was a simply an enchanting tale, set in a rich and detailed world, that told of good and evil, of friendship and loyalty. Embark on the journey again with The Hobbit, a super option in audiobook, e-book or plain old paper.
3. The Cold Dish – Craig Johnson
Take a dash of a “modern-day western,” and add a heaping helping of “good old-fashioned mystery,” and you have the perfect recipe for a good read. Craig Johnson’s Longmire have a devoted following, and have even spawned a hit television series. It is the perfect time to find out what makes this tormented lawman so intriguing!
2. Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
This simple tale may well be the perfect dystopian novel. Wonderful wrought characters involved in a compelling love triangle, a stark and desperate landscape, and a villainous government which pits youth against youth sets the stage for this phenomenal book. The Hunger Games is one of those books that can be read and reread, and is perfect for listening as an audiobook.
1. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
What happens when you combine a WWII era nurse, Scotland, and timey-wimey stuff? No, not an episode of Doctor Who—you get Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This is the first book in the series of genre-crossing offerings which are part romance novel, part historical fiction, and part fantasy combined in a compelling and intricately woven story.