Again, as noted in my Best Read Books in 2017, this list contains titles not necessarily published in 2017. (In fact, I don’t think most of these were published in 2017?)
Best Audiobooks of 2017
I’m doing a separate list for audio this year because I found my groove again for audio in 2017! In the year before or so, I found myself greatly distanced from audiobooks, nothing was appealing to me and I was in a serious slump. It was a significant enough slump where I altogether stopped listening to them. 2017 saw me slowly re-enter the audiobook world and almost all of them became great listening experiences! The ones mentioned below were the very best I listened to this year:
The Best Two
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society: Seriously, I still say this one is 25 stars out of 5 stars. You cannot get a better listening experience than this one. I loved and adored Guernsey when I read the book many years ago, but the audio, SWOON. It elevated this story to superstardom. I told everyone about it, told them they must, absolutely must listen to the audiobook. This is audio done brilliantly. The multi-casting of narrators is perfection. Please, oh please, let this movie adaptation be great.
- Beautiful Scars: I still need to write a full post about this one, that is definitely coming soon, but for now all I can say is that if you’re going to read Tom Wilson’s memoir, you absolutely should get your hands on the audiobook. Wilson reads his story and it was one of the best listening experiences I had this year. I laughed, I cried, and then I really cried – but that was after I picked my jaw up off my lap (those sex, drugs and rock and roll parts are astonishing).
The Three Other Bests
- A Great Reckoning: After saying I could never listen to another Louise Penny in audio after her dedicated narrator, Ralph Cosham passed away, I found I missed having her books read to me. There is just something comforting about listening to this Gamache series…And while Robert Bathurst does a lovely job narrating, it’s the voices he’s given to the characters that I’m still not all that thrilled about. But I do have to say listening to A Great Reckoning was wonderful. I was so involved in this story though, that I switched to my hardcopy so I could burn through it!
- The Good House: I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook! The character of Hildy Good was an excellent one – even though she was rough around the edges and in constant denial of her alcoholism. Mary Beth Hurt’s narration perfectly embodied Hildy Good. She made me laugh out loud many times. This is one of those audiobooks where the story is elevated by the narration, and I’m certain I enjoyed this far more over having just read the hardcopy.
- On Turpentine Lane: A second novel of Lipman’s I read, and the second one in audio too. This was delightful – both the story and the narration by Mia Barron.
I also have to give kudos to two Non-Fiction audiobooks I listened to this year (see, I read a lot this year in the non-fiction categories!) :-)
- The Soul of an Octopus: I saw a review by someone that said they just loved this audiobook, so I decided why not give it a try? I learned so much about the octopus! Sy Montgomery reads her story with great enthusiasm and love. It was not something I would ever consider picking up, but I really am glad I did.
- Once We Were Sisters: Sheila Kohler reads her story about the death of her older sister, Maxine. It’s a death she feels is intentional, done at the hands of her abusive husband. She has a haughty South African accent that made this enjoyable, despite the sadness of her story. Sheila explores their close bond, their upbringing, their fateful marriages and the immense loss she continues to live with 35 years after her sister’s death. She also experiences great guilt – for why didn’t she do anything to help her sister escape the hands of her abuser?
I’m still not at optimum audiobook listening as I have been in the past, and I’ve found that being choosier and not constantly feeling there must be an audiobook on the go has helped me return to them and find enjoyment in listening to books again. There were some duds for sure this year, but not so many as to throw me back into the slump I was in previously.
Did you listen to any great audiobooks this year? I would love to hear your recommendations! (Hoarder Elizabeth will chime in with Britt-Marie was Here as a recommendation, because she’s already suggested it! :-) )