Morning Meanderings… So You Want To Review Audio Books…

Good Morning.  Note that Audio Book Week has invaded Book Journey.  My morning posts this week will have to do with the topic of the day that the delightful Jen from Devourer Of Books has put up.  This morning I will have another post up soon, a fun one that Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) and I came up with.  And forgive me but more than likely there will be a third post today, later an audio review with a giveaway. 

SO todays question is:

Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?


Audio reviews.  You know I have become better at reviewing them lately.  I used to just review them like one would a book, and for the most part that is true… but really there should be a few extras.

As an audio book listener, then reading a review here is what I would like to know:

  1. The Narration.  I am still new enough to audio that I can not pull many narrators out of my head, but I like hearing about them, and I hear a few gushings about great narrating I know to watch for what they are reading.  I also want to know on a narrator I am not familiar with (errrr…. most of them) how they were during the reading.  Honestly, a good audio book will not sounds like someone is reading out of a book.  Instead – you will get lost in the language, the rhythm and the story itself. 


        2.  Length.  Sometimes I am in the mood for a longer audio book, and I will invest the time if it is a book that I have really been wanting to get into.  However, I like to know up front just as much as a 4 hour audio might make me go… huh… why so short, an eighteen hour audio will make me really want to consider if I want to dive into audio on that one or go with the book.


Those are my two big audio review tips for today.  😀  I am getting ready for work this morning, and will be back later this afternoon to check out what you are all doing.

My question I leave you with is – if you listen to audio books, what do you like about them.  If you do not listen to them, what is holding you back?

44 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings… So You Want To Review Audio Books…

  1. Well, you probably know that I don’t like listening to things unless there is something visual to accompany the experience, like with TV and movies.

    I am primarily a visual person, and things I hear (without the visuals) don’t stick with me as well as things I see. Perhaps this is a skill that requires practice….but when I am not seeing something, my mind will wander. I’m distracted.

    As for multitasking, that sounds good on the surface, but with my difficulty in attending to things I “hear,” without the visuals, I am afraid I would have to play “repeat” a few times. Not a good use of time for me.

    1. Laurel, I have a suggestion… try a memoir, one of someone you really, really like. It worked for my husband who is a TV type guy. I gave him a memoir by one of his favorite rock stars and he didn’t have a problem staying focused. In fact, he loved it. He still doesn’t like the novels though.

      1. Good point Jen – It does take work and I hadn’t even realized it at first I was just happy to be enjoying the story… but as time has gone on I have noticed more things and find I am more attentive to the details.

  2. I listen to audio, because it’s better than the radio on my commute. But, more than that, I love to have someone read to me. My dad read to me as a child every night, and now sometimes I can con my husband into reading to me.

  3. I think I am getting old and crotchety because I don’t like listening to the radio anymore when I drive. I don’t like most of the music and I don’t want to listen to commercials or DJs who think they are funny or callers who just prove to me that people are idiots. 🙂 I like words when I’m driving so I listen to either podcasts or audiobooks.

  4. I listen to audio books in my car on my way to and from work or on long trips. My one issue is that I am picky when it comes to narration. I also tend to prefer listening to audio books that I’ve already read in print. That way I can pay attention to the road 🙂 Sometimes listening to a book in audio is like watching it as a movie. It brings the characters to life. The Harry Potter books for example 🙂

    What is important for me with audio books is the narrator. If the narrator does a poor job of reading the story and portraying the characters believably then that would ruin the story for me. I’ve found that it is sometimes hard for me to listen to a female narrator who has to portray a male character especially in a romance situation. Another situation is with accents that are rendered poorly.

    1. Christina, I enjoy listening to audio book s I have read as well.. its fun to picture them again… The Harry Potter books are a fine example and are always a comfort read or listen for me. I hope to own them all in audio some day!

  5. Thanks! I will include time on my audio reviews from now on. I hadn’t thought of it before, but now that you mentioned it, it seems like a no brainer. 🙂

  6. You know I’m one of those audio hold-outs. And now, with a babe in the house? I feel like audio fits even less into my life. I have no commute, I don’t have a set time for getting ready, and I’m wary of using headphones/earbuds lest I miss his plaintive cries. Plus, any audio I listen without headphones would also be going into the LO’s head. So that’s another level of screening required, *sigh*.

    I do think I’d be using an ereader if I had one right about now, though.

    1. I was going to recommend cd audio books, but yeah.. I get what you mean with baby there. UNLESS (I am always pushing audio! 😛 When little one is sleeping and you are crocheting in another room 😀

  7. As everyone says, narrators are very important and the number of listening hours and who is narrating. Something else that might be useful is the difficulty level of following the plot. I’ve been noting that with my rating on audio reviews now. Easy – Intermediate – Difficult or somewhere in between. And then an explanation of that in the review.

  8. I am currently listening to The Shoemaker’s Wife and I love it that the narrator has made me feel like I am right there in Italy with the lovely accents and romantic language. The characters have made their way to American and I am still right there with them. If I was reading the print book, I would not be as swept away because I would not be able to pronounce words correctly or get the accents right.

  9. I tend to shy away from the longer audiobooks too- 12 hours is a perfect length for me. And you’re right that when the narrator makes you forget you’re listening to a book it’s high praise. I got hooked on audiobooks by listening to some of my favorite books and they have now become one of my favorite ways to “read.” Thanks for sharing your thoughts on audiobooks. Happy listening, Sheila!

    1. I love turning on an audio from where I left off and suddenly – I am right back it the action… in the middle of a new world, a different country, a scenario I would never find myself in yet here I am….. 😀

  10. I don’t usually pay any attention to the length of an audiobook. If I’m working, I can get through an average length audiobook (8-10 parts/disks) within 2-3 days. Odds are I can’t do that with the print or ebook copy unless it is just that good. That would explain why I am 3/4 through my goodreads goal.

  11. yep- another listener!
    but a discerning one at that 🙂
    i can not tolerate poor narrators.. some voices just grate, others are w/o expression, some can NOT get the story’s atmosphere , etc…
    so def, trial and error – library borrowing is the best opp to test out audios and see for yourself what you do or don’t like about them. that will also help listeners find new material or oldie but goodies, like the agatha christies i personally love + sherlock holmes 🙂 my mystery faves..

  12. Pingback: Audiobook Recommendations - Miss Remmers Reviews

  13. There’s lots I like about listening to audiobooks…I’ve been listening to them for over 15 years and been reviewing them for about 10 years. I’m an avid reader…I love reading and could spend the rest of my life, just reading books–nothing else…and I still wouldn’t get to half the books I want to. Audiobooks allow me to be exposed to that much more than I otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to because the daily routines and requirements of life.

    However, I’m also enamored with hearing a good audiobook…Scott Brick, William Dufris, Stefan Rudnicki, Barbara Rosenblatt, Allan Sklar, et al are wonderful companions that have informed me of a great many things over the years. One of the things that audiobooks taught me that I had trouble in learning as a young reader is tone. I had lots of trouble with certain tones of writing that I know pick up with ease because I can (and have) heard it.

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