2013 Audiobook Roundup

2013 Audiobook Roundup

Of the 19 audiobooks I listened to in 2013, I reviewed exactly one of them. I think it’s time we remedied that, no?

Purple Cow, by Seth Godin (Audio) – 1/2/2013
A slightly outdated business book by one of the gods of the internet, Seth Godin. It was about the fact that you need to make your product really stand out – like a purple cow. This one just didn’t do much for me.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling (Audio) – 2/5/2013
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling (Audio) – 3/20/2013
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling (Audio) – 4/17/2013
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling (Audio) – 5/29/2013

Sigh. Harry Potter. How do I love thee? I really just love this series, and I really enjoyed my first time through the audiobooks. The narrator, Jim Dale, is great. And the stories are great too. What’s not to love? I highly highly recommend these and will be looking to purchase them.

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (Audio) – 3/25/2013
I had read the book before and really liked it. The audiobook confirmed it. I am in like with this book.

The Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell (Audio) – 6/20/2013
From the Mixed-Up Fixes of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg (Audio) – 7/11/2013

These two were nostalgia rereads for me. My brother and I both loved these two books as kids (and still do as adults). It is clear that these two books deserved the Newbery Awards they received. Interesting, too, that they share the theme of kids fending for themselves – one a girl left alone on an island, the other two siblings living alone in the Met. Such great books. Read them!

Best Friends Forever, by Jennifer Weiner (Audio) – 7/29/2013
This was a bit of summer fluff for me. I enjoyed it for the most part, but thought it went on entirely too long. I can remember only the slightest hints of plot now, so it didn’t make that big of an impression either way.

Of Mice and Magic, by David Farland (Audio) – 8/19/2013
I “read” this for Utah Book Month, since this author is local. Sadly, I did not enjoy this book. It was a little too weird for my tastes. It’s about a boy who inadvertently gets turned into a mouse.

A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck (Audio) – 9/23/2013
The Teacher’s Funeral, by Richard Peck (Audio) – 10/15/2013

These were my first experiences with Richard Peck. I truly loved A Year Down Yonder. What a lovely book. It’s about a teenage girl who goes to live out in the country with her grandmother during the depression, because her family cannot afford to feed her. So good. I did not, however, particularly enjoy The Teacher’s Funeral. It was a little too tongue-in-cheek for me. This one was mostly about pre-adolescent boys, so maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much.

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park (Audio) – 10/1/2013
Another win for the Newbery! This book was riveting and so so good. It’s about a homeless orphan in Korea trying to survive. All he wants to be when he grows up is a potter, but he has little-to-no chance of being one because of his lack of class status. When he is caught spying on the best local potter, his life is completely changed.

Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt (Audio) – 10/28/2013
I never did read this as a kid. And I wish I had. The magic was a little lost on me in favor of the practical repercussions of everything. This is about a family who drinks from a particular well and becomes immortal and the little girl who discovers their secret. I liked it but did not love it.

Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers (Audio) – 11/4/2013
Pretty good, though completely different from the Disney version. The parents in this one are completely disinterested in their children, and Mary Poppins comes off as a bit harsh. But still a fun book. I don’t know if I’ll be seeking out the other books in the series on my own, but it might be fun to read to my daughter at some point.

The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Audio) – 11/13/2013
Loved this book! So many twists and turns here. The main character, Sage, is an orphan and about to run away when he gets an offer he can’t refuse. This was really well written (and read). I’m so pleased both because of the joy of discovering a great book and because Jennifer A. Nielsen is a local Utah author.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo (Audio) – 11/17/2013
I really enjoyed The Tale of Despereaux, the only other work I’ve read by Kate DiCamillo. But I felt like this one was a little uneven. There were times that I cared deeply about Edward, and other times when I didn’t care at all. That said, I do think this would be an awesome one to read aloud to kids. In fact, I’ll hazard a guess that all of Kate DiCamillo’s books are that way. I am currently reading Because of Winn-Dixie to my daughter, and it is a hit.

Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie (Audio) – 11/25/2013
Here’s the entirety of the mini-review I posted previously: “I was eager to read this source material, since I was previously only familiar with the Disney version. Surprisingly, the Disney version is fairly true to the material. I liked the asides in the book about how Peter Pan is very selfish – as most children are.” After hours and hours of Harry Potter, it was a little disconcerting to have Jim Dale read this too, but I ended up liking the narration.

Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck (Audio) – 12/20/2013
Still reigning as my favorite Steinbeck book, I really enjoyed listening to this one. This time around, though, I got more irritated with Mack and the boys and their selfishness. Poor Doc. This is a great entry into Steinbeck, if you haven’t tried him yet. It’s short and awesome.