Audiobook Issues

I really want to like audiobooks, but I’m having some issues.

Here’s the thing: I started a job last year that has about a 25-minute commute. Nothing terrible or crazy, but long enough that I went from ecstatically rocking out every time Taylor Swift came on the radio (don’t judge, you know  you do it too) to getting really tired of all the repetitive songs and commercials. Audiobooks seemed like the perfect solution–I love books, and I have almost an hour of extra time each day that could be used to listen to them.

But! I’m a terrible listener. I don’t mean when I’m talking to someone one-on-one, but as part of an audience. In school, I always had difficulty paying attention in lectures; I always ended up teaching all of the material to myself later from notes and textbooks, unable to absorb things spoken aloud. I was a good student; it’s just that I’m not an auditory learner. And I quickly found this becoming a large hurdle to my audiobook enjoyment.

I’m an audiobook newbie; I’ve only listened to about five or so audiobooks total. But I’ve also started several that I’ve had to DNF because I was just not able to focus on them, for whatever reason. I have a hard time pinpointing why; I’m sure the narrator was doing a good job, and the stories were interesting enough, but my listening skills were just not up to par.

Only two audiobooks, so far, have really worked for me:

Why Not Me? by Mindy KalingReady Player One

I really enjoyed Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me? because Mindy is so conversational and relatable–I could easily focus on the book because it was like we were chatting, and I just happened to be feeling very quiet at the time. And Ready Player One was just so funny and action-packed that I never even had a chance to think about whether I was paying attention; I couldn’t help it.

I’ve also tried these, and although I finished them, they weren’t great for me:

BossypantsModern RomanceAnansi Boys (American Gods, #2)

The thing is, I’d love to keep audiobooks a part of my commuting routine, but I keep striking out with the books I try.

So I’m looking for recommendations–does anyone have any suggestions for me of audiobooks you loved?

8 thoughts on “Audiobook Issues”

  1. Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
    Yes Please! By Ann Poehler.
    Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
    Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
    This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

    I fell in love with audiobooks about 8 months ago, and these are some that I sped through. Hope you find the one that sticks!


  2. Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
    Year Of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    Yes Please! by Amy Poehler
    This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
    Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon
    Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

    I fell in love with audiobooks only about 8 months ago, and these were some that kept me going. Here’s hoping you find the one that sticks!


    1. Thank you soooo much for all of those suggestions! I’m glad that you’ve found so many audiobooks that you enjoyed. Notorious RBG would actually be perfect–I need to read a biography still for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge! And I’ve heard such good things about Shadowshaper.

      Also, I love Ann Patchett–have you read Bel Canto?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just got Bel Canto from the library so my plan is to read it this weekend. Notorious RBG was for my Read Harder task too, and its the perfect length if you’re trying to find audiobook hooks. Would love to hear how your audiobook adventure plays out!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope you enjoy Bel Canto–I absolutely loved it. 🙂
        That’s good to hear! I feel like I’m having better luck with short audiobooks. Also, I’m embarrassed that I don’t know enough about the Supreme Court justices and RBG in particular, and apparently they have it at my library. I will definitely keep you posted!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You should probably try out the book, Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein. According to me, it’s a 5-star book that I absolutely recommend, and so I would still want you to read a synopsis. The narrator (duo) has such a diverse accent, and I got really emotionally connected to the character via the audiobook. 🙂


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