Audiobook Week, Day 4: Audiobooks for the Uninitiated

9 06 2011

Today’s discussion post for Devourer of Books is Audiobooks for the Uninitiated. I could spend a lot of time talking about the wonders of audiobooks, or argue that listening to an Audiobook is in fact just as valid a form of entertainment and self improvement as reading, but what’s the fun in that. Today I am going to talk about something that helped me transition from reading to listening. It’s really not a huge revelation, but something that is quite simple, and that is series.

When I first started listening I used audiobooks to either fill out series that I had read a few titles in, or I started listening to a series I had been interested in previously, but never read. I found it to be a good way to strengthen my listening skills. Here we have characters I can grow to know, follow their paths book to book, and become invested in their lives. Having this hook, allowed me to eventually move onto longer or more complicated listens, knowing that I have developed the skills of a good audiobook listener. 

So, below, you will find a list of series that I have enjoyed in whole or in part. You can use this list as a resource or find a series of your own.

Thrillers:

The Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child

Jack Reacher is an ex-Military Policeman, and current nomad, traveling the United States and getting involved in adventures. By the end of a Reacher novel, you know he will have killed or seriously hurt most of the bad guys and won the woman. Dick Hill narrates the series and really is the voice of Reacher.

First Novel of Series: The Killing Floor

The Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly

The Harry Bosch series is probably my favorite Police Procedural out there. Harry is a gruff but fascinating character. The series has had multiple narrators. The early novels are narrated by Disk Hill, while the majority of the latter are read by Len Cariou. I prefer Dick Hill,

The First Novel of the Harry Bosch series is The Black Echo.

The Hap and Leonard Series Joe R. Lansdale

One of my favorite series, equal parts brutality with humor. East Texas whiteboy Hap teams up with Leonard a gay, black vet. One of the best friendships in thrillers today. These novels are brilliantly read by Phil Gigante.

The First Novel of the Hap and Leonard Series is Savage Season.

The Myron Bolitar Series by Harlan Coben

If you have yet to experience Myron and Winn, run, don’t lightly jog, to the Library. One of the most fun series out there with a crazy cast of characters. Yet, Myron is the heart of the series. Myron is a sports agent who, of course, gets involved in adventures. Fan favorite Jonathan Marosz narrates the majority of the titles, until his retirement, when after one attempt by the author to narrate the book, Stephen Weber took over the duties.

The First Novel of the Myron Bolitar Series is Deal Breaker

Fantasy

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

My favorite Urban Fantasy series center’s around Chicago’s only Wizard for Hire Harry Dresden. This series is narrated by James Marsters. Yes, that would be Spike from Buffy. I hear the ladies find him dreamy.

The First Novel of the Dresden Files is Storm Front

The Emberverse Series by S. M. Stirling

What would happen if everything using electronic or chemical reactions just no longer worked. That is the basis of Stirling’s Post Apocalyptic Emberverse series. Todd McLaren Handles the narration.

The First Novel of the Emberverse Series is Dies the Fire.

Science Fiction:

The Honor Harrington Series by David Weber

One of my favorite Space Opera’s follows the career of a Female Officer in the Manticore Royal Navy. This space adventure is full of battles, politics, betrayals and treecats. Allyson Johnson is the narrator.

The First Novel of the Series is On Basilisk Station.

The Destroyermen Series by Taylor Anderson

Follow the adventures of the crew of the USS Walker, a steam powered WWII naval ship that is sucked into an alternate version of earth, and become entangled in an all out war against the Grik. This series is narrated by William Dufris.

The First Novel of the Series is Into the Storm.

Also, if you are game, check out Literate Housewife’s new Audiobook Challenge Shaken, Not Stirred, if following the James Bond series sounds like your cup of tea.

These are just a drop in the bucket of available series. Audiobook veterans who stop by, What are some of your favorite series that you would recommend to a newly converted Audiobook listener?