one of the best books I've read in the last 6 months is . . .

@sweetgum, was the book that came after The Glass Hotel? If so, I read both and didn’t realize there were crossover characters. But then again, I read Station Eleven a while ago so wouldn’t even remember the characters if they were repeated in another book.

Yes. I think that was it. It wasn’t much of a crossover character but I think the shipping company and the boss is mentioned in Station Eleven.

Can someone give me a recommendation for a great audio book? I’m starting a long three day drive tomorrow and would like to listen to an engaging book. I recently listened to the first book of the Shetland series which was not a great audible experience. Also Born a Crime which was OK. Not sure if I just don’t like listening to books (I skim when I read when things get boring or alternately when things are very exciting) or if I just haven’t found the right kind of book to listen to.

@LeastComplicated, seeing your post reminded me that Anne Bogel posts each year about her favorite audiobooks in her Modern Mrs. Darcy blog. If I were picking one from the 2021 list, I would probably pick the Stanley Tucci . I don’t listen to audiobooks, but maybe I should try that one since I love him. She has a weekly podcast about reading as well, so you could check for episodes about audiobooks. It’s called What Should I Read Next.


The Shetland books are one of the rare cases where the book is not as good as the TV show. Don’t know who narrates that but that can make or break an audiobook experience too.

If you like mysteries I have enjoyed all of Ian Rankin’s books. They should be read/listened to in order, though. I also like JK Rowling’s (aka Robert Galbraith) mysteries. I think they are a wee bit darker than the Shetland series but not super dark.

A lot of people like Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. I tried one (random one in the middle, which is definitely not the best place to start) and it really did not do it for me but I’m just throwing it out there because so many people seem to love those books.

I’ll ask my husband later. He listens to audiobooks all the time when he runs.

(edited to add: I asked him and he said the Ian Rankin books are well narrated, but declined to give other recommendations w/o knowing the person he was recommending for.)

I enjoyed Stanley Tucci’s Taste book. I was also very hungry listening to it so make sure you ate or are on the way home to eat.

If you like mysteries, give Lucy Foley The Guest List a try. The distinct Scottish accent with multiple narrators kept my interest and made it easy to follow the plot.

On a May road trip, I “read” my book club novel via Audible and enjoyed it - When the Stars Go Dark, by Paula

For folks that have Audible, I highly recommend the short bio by James Taylor. Also good was the short bio by Yo Yo Ma. Both had interwoven music.

David Sedaris works very well on audio, but I get tired of him after a few stories in a row. I remember listening to Carl Hiassen’s Skinny Dip (old 2004) is one of the funniest things I’ve ever listened to. I enjoyed listening to Americanuh, but you might find the American accents a bit irritating. The narrator ( Adjoa Andoh who played Lady Danbury on the TV show Bridgerton,) has to cope with British and Nigerian as well both of which appeared to be fine to my ears.


Thank you! Very helpful!

Thanks! I’ve actually read all the Shetland books but one, and liked them overall, the audible version had a really bad narrator plus I think I picked one of the more tedious ones to listen to with my husband. Ann Cleve throws in oodles of red herrings and my husband said the book would have been better if it had been four hours shorter, lol.

I think I’ve got one of the Rowling books on Kindle so I’ll read it to see if I like the series, and if so, try an audio version. Or maybe I can just upgrade to an audible version.

I’ve read a few Louise Penny books, they aren’t one of my favorite series.

I actually just started watching the Rebus series so I think I’d enjoy the audio books!

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The Lucy Foley one sounds interesting! Thanks!

I love James Taylor and have been to three of his concerts! Thanks!


Thanks everyone. I’m on the first day of my journey and didn’t have time to read the comments before I left so I decided to try The Lincoln Highway. It’s much better than the Shetland book but I still get irritated by the narration. Some characters have their own narrators but others don’t, including the young boy character and the narration for him is awful. The older brother isn’t done well either IMO - he sounds stiff, but others are fine. The young female neighbor has her own narrator for parts of the book which were very good, but not for the rest, which is weird. But again, better than my first audiobook experience probably because its also a much better book, IMO.

I think I would need individual narrators for each character to find the audio experience equal or better than the reading experience for most books. But they are still worthwhile for long drives. I’ve got about five more days of driving (round trip) so thanks again for the suggestions!

I’ll give Skinny Dip a go!

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Daisy Jones and the Six has a full cast of narrators, as does The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.

I thoroughly enjoyed both.


Oh, I think I would love to listen to the …Potato Peel Society! I loved that book and I read it a long time ago so it would be like listening to new book.

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I borrow all of my audiobooks from the library and have learned my lesson to preview the book before I check it out. The narrator can make a book by a beloved author an enjoyable read or a DNF. Some narrators have a neutral voice, others are so annoying that they are on my never, ever again list.

I’ve had success looking at current and past winners of the “Audie Awards.” There are nominees and winners in fiction, non-fiction, genres, age groups, etc.

Something I read in the past few days is that a number of new authors pay little or nothing for narrators, using some sort of exchange. A quality narrator commands $200 or more/finished hour.


This is too true and some authors who read their own work are great like Neil Gaiman and some are not so good.

We listened to a lot of kids’ audiobooks when our kids were little and one reader was so outstanding I searched for other books she read. The one that got us hooked on her was “The True Meaning of Smek Day” by Adam Rex. Her name is Bahni Turpin and she is just an amazing reader for that book. She does all kinds of voices and is just really perfect. When I looked for other books read by her at our library I found that she does both adult and kids’ books. I must confess that I haven’t listened to her narration for books for adults because I don’t usually listen to audiobooks now that the kids are grown(ish). My husband listens to audiobooks when he runs or walks, but I hate earbuds and usually just listen to the radio (SiriusXM, no commercials) or a podcast in the car.


Just read "The fortnight in September " by R.C. Sherriff. It was written in 1931. It’s the story of a family’s annual seaside holiday in England.

It’s stood the test of time well. Not a fast-moving plot but observations about people, families, change, etc. that are no less accurate with the passage of time. Very readable.

Having wanted a vacation over Christmas and not having gotten one, this was a good alternative for me!

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Finally got around to reading Malibu Rising. I would not have picked it up except for the positive reviews here. I loved it! Thanks!