Audible Book Recommendations - Post yours here


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HUGE fan

I just got my iPod and was happy enough with loading my entire music collection on it, but just discovered and now am blown away by how many books I can get on the thing.

Anyone have any favorites that they can recommend? I just bought Pure Drivel by Steve Martin. Laughing my a%#$ off.



New member
My Top Ten Audible favorites

Great topic. Tastes are very subjective, so its hard to make general statements, but here are some of my all-around favorites in no particlular order. Its hard to compare Fiction and Non Fiction so when I get more time, I'll edit this to break out top ten by category.

1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
2. A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
3. Car Talk
4. SeaBiscuit-Laura Hillenbrand
5. The Company- Robert Littell (historical fiction / espionage)
6. A Beautiful Mind-Sylvia Nasar
7. Catch Me if You Can- Frank W. Abnagale
8. eBoys-Randall Stross
9. Ava's Man- Rick Bragg
10. Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates-Tom Robbins

11. Longitudes and Attitudes-Thomas Friedman
12. The Lexus and the Olive Tree- Thomsas Friedman
13. Rich Dad, Poor Dad- Robert Kyosaki

14. Charlie Wilson's War
15. The Lexus and the Olive Tree
16. Rich Dad, Poor Dad
17. Sound Money

I look forward to hearing recommendations of others?

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New member
Parannoya--I also love Bill Bryson's Walk in the Woods!!

I still haven't read the Hitchhiker's Guide, but it is definitely on my to do list!!

Some other audible books that I can throroughly recommend:

Memiors of a Geisha (unabridged)--by Arthur Golden
Lion's Game (unabridged)-by Nelson Demille
The Secret Life of Bees (unabridged)-by Sue Monk Kidd
Catch Me if You Can (unabridged)-by Frank W. Abagnale

Another audio book at the top of my list is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Unfortunately this title isn't available from Audible (at least it wasn't last time I checked).

dordale :)


New member

Did you listen to Bryson's "In a Sunburned Country?" The description of cricket on the radio is priceless.

Catch Me If You Can- yeah that was a really good one too.


New member
I've been a member of their book club (2 books a month) for a few years so I am a reasonably happy customer, but you will find that their customer service leaves a lot to be desired.
I agree.


New member

I did listen to In a Sunburned Country--and I agree with you about his description of listening to cricket on the radio.

Bill Bryson is one of those very rare authors that can make me laugh outloud with frequency while reading or listening to his books!

dordale :)


New member
CarbonLogic, did you find that the guy reading Snow Crash mispronounced a lot of things and had a terrible cadence? His voice was fine, but it was like he didn't get the sentence structure sometimes and just read things all wrong. Good audiobook, though.


Lurker with Benefits
Some of my favorite Audible choices to date (all books unabridged):

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
The Human Stain by Philip Roth
NPR's This American Life
And another vote for the Hitchhiker's Guide series...


New member
Snow Crash and The Diamond Age by Stephenson are both excellent and very well narrated. But Cryptonomicon tends heavily toward the pedantic, even the sophomoric, when it strays (all too often) from narrative into critique.
Dreamcatcher is wonderful and excellent narration.
Seabiscuit is exciting.
PD James' stuff is great but very British (with a new one posted just now)
Oryx and Crake--well worth persevering through the dystopia
Life of Pi--incredible
Walter Mosely's stuff is all wonderful.
Alanna by Tamora Pierce is nice, and well done, though it is teen fantasy
A Day No Pigs Would Die is also wonderfully done


New member
P.G. Wodehouse is great for comedy...

I love the P.G. Wodehouse on Audible with my favorite's being the Jeeves and Wooster books.

I also have enjoyed Robert Ludlum's series of Covert One...they are:
1.The Hades Factor
2.The Cassandra Compact
3. The Paris Option which was both my hubby's and my favorite
4. The Altman Code, which wasn't nearly as good as the first 3.

One I just listend to was called Time and Again which was very enjoyable! I'm always a sucker for a time travel book.

Finally I really enjoyed both:
The Eyre Affair
Lost in a Good Book


Robert's Audio Book (mostly Recommendation List

Having maxed out on length allowed for post, this post now contains only a sample of what you will find in Robert's Complete Audio Book Recommendation List (click here) or on link 7 in signature below). The titles are sort of literary or non fiction -- few mysteries, fantasies, or page-turners. One sci-fi.

Partial List of Really Liked Audio Books (4-5 stars):

5+*Reading Lolita in Tehran UA Azar Nafisi
Click here Interview with author A true account of seven young women gathering in authors home once a week as their lives intertwine with discussion of literary characters of forbidden Western literature.

5+*Washingtons Crossing UA David Hackett Fischer. National Book Award nominee. Non-fiction reads like excellent novel. Follows Washington & the Continental Armys increasing competence & effectiveness in the first crucial year of Revolutionary War. Newly discovered material brings understanding to many of institutions & practices developed then & now taken for granted.

5+*The Kite Runner UA Khaled Hosseini. Novel about friendship & betrayal, redemption, the price of loyalty, & the bonds between fathers & sons. Set in recent Afghanistan.

5+*Balzac & the Little Chinese Seamstress UA Dai Sijie. During Cultural Revolution, narrator & best friend exiled to the countryside for "re-education," find their meager distractions are a violin, the daughter of local tailor, & forbidden stash of classic literature. Surprise ending elevates the seamstress importance.

5+* Life of Pi UA Yann Martel A realistic, rousing adventure & a classic meta-tale of survival. Winner of 2002 Booker Prize. Best book I read in 2003.

5+*The Otori Trilogy UA Lian Hearn, Books 1-3,:
Across the Nightingale Floor, Bk 1 New York Times Notable Book of the Year, one of Book magazine???s best novels of the year, & one of School Library Journal???s Best Adult Books for High School Readers. Medieval Japan with magic thrown in. Brilliant! Finely developed characters & plot! The three books flow seamless from one to other, must begin with book one. Medieval Japan warlords fight & intrigue with a young contender. Modicum of magic & fantasy thrown in.
Grass for His Pillow, Bk2
Brilliance of the Moon: Tales of the Otori, Bk3 Book Browse Link to author Lian Hearn pseudonym of noted female Aussie playwright&author of children's books. Click here for a (Fascinating) Conversation With Lian Hearn

5-*Cloud of Sparrows UA Takashi Matsuoka. Much like the Otori Trilogy w supernatural powers limited to visions of future.

5+*No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency UA Alexander McCall Smith. Enigmatic Botswana lady detective. Warm, clever, and fun.

5*Bel Canto UA Ann Patchett Opera's most revered soprano mesmerizes the guests with her singing at a party for a visiting Japanese dignitary. Perfect until terrorists take party. Love, great singing (Bel Canto), endurance, and surprise ending.

5*The Heart is a Lonely Hunter UA Carson McCullers
This novel written in and of the 1930's is as fresh as it was when the author wrote it in 1940 at age 23. Wonderfully real characters, including the main 4, placed artfully in depression era GA mill town. Not a page turner or all happiness.

5*The Cider House Rules UA by John Irving "Gardner serves up the beautiful prose and fascinating characters with considerable aplomb." (AudioFile)

5*The Known World UA Edward P. Jones, African American, first novel. 2004 Pulitzer Prize Fiction Winner. More than blacks owning blacks -- complex story of American slavery that involves good people, bad people, & wonderful & terrible things happen. "Property" are slaves. Well-developed, easy to identify with characters. Story line woven in elaborate time warps & beautiful language.

5* Pompeii UA, Robert Harris. Historic Fiction about the eruption from viewpoint of the engineer of the aqueduct.

5*The 9-11 Commission Report - National Commission Final Report. "We Have Some Planes" Chapter accounts for every step of the four hijacked planes -- gripping &, in & of itself, worth the price. Goes on to describe the organization of the plot. Non-fiction surpassing most suspense writing. Well-written & narrated. Fitting & permanent reminder of those who were lost. free m4b file at & in pdf at -- includes maps & end notes.

5*The Piano Tuner A Daniel Mason. 18th century adventure of piano tuner going to Burma to tune a grand for an eccentric British Officer. I wish I had gotten UA.

5*Angelas Ashes UA, - Frank McCourt. Pulitzer Prize-winning story of how Frank endured. Irish immigrant parents in US, later raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Well read by author

5*Heart of Darkness UA dark Joseph Conrad classic.

5*The Bonesetters Daughter UA - Amy Tan. Mother & daughter discover themselves backward from modern San Francisco to mother???s tumultuous times in a village in china.

5*Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight UA Alexandra Fuller’s poignant and delightful autobiographical remembrance of her white-African childhood. Beautifully narrated & told with sharp insight into herself, family, Africa & the people who inhabit it, & dramatic changes occurring during transition from colonial to native rule.

5*John Adams UA David McCullough

5*The Namesake UA Jhumpa Lahiri enriches the themes that made her Pulitzer Prize-winning Interpreter of The Maladies an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, &, poignantly, the tangled ties between

4++*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time UA Mark Haddon Endearing & poignant glimpse, with heart-stirring grit of daily life, into the life of a 15 year old boy afflicted with an autism-like condition. Written from the boys viewpoint. Well narrated (same as Life of Pi). Pathos, humor, reality, & insight.

4++*Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell UA Susanna Clarke
"Harry Potter" for adults is more Austen than Rowling, a witty social commentary and fantasy tale of good vs. evil. Clever, endlessly intriguing, rich, luxurious epic story of two unusual magicians with faux history of magic woven into 19th century England history has feel of being written (and narrated) 200 years ago. Large supporting cast of beguiling D_ickens and Austen character types. -- Adapted from a review by Greg Changnon The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/26/04

An engaging must-read, do not let its languorous beginning pace or 32 hour length discourage you -- it eventually unfolds briskly.

4++*Alexander Hamilton UA Ron Chernow provides thorough insight into the life and times of Hamilton. Hamilton’s difficult childhood, his prodigious intellectual writings and incredible accomplishments, and all his many shortcomings are fluidly described in 35 hours of captivating audio.

4++*Follow Your Heart A Susanna Tamaro. Not audible. Death encroaching, Italian grandmother write letters of love, confession and advice to estranged granddaughter living in US. Relives past and reveals secrets.

Complete list of Robert's Audio Book Recommendations (click here)
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Robert's Audible Audio Recommendations -- CONTINUED

Having maxed out on length allowed for post, this post has been stripped and the post above now contains only a sample of what you will find in Robert's Complete Audio Book Recommendation List (click here or on link 7 in signature below). The titles are sort of literary -- few mysteries, fantasies, or page-turners. One sci-fi, a few fantasies.

See next post for How to find good books at Audible

Always, always listen to the sample (click the sample button just under the cover illustration on to see if you like narrator and also to get a feel for book content and writing style.

Robert's Complete Audio Book Recommendation List (click here)
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How to find good books at Audible

I would like to share and receive advice on how to find good books at It seems that I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for good books. Ultimately there is an ample supply at Audible, but distinguishing between the good and bad is not easy. The publisher's write up is a beginning, but obviously slanted to make you choose that book.
I would agree with earlier posters -- if you think you would like a book, buy the unabridged edition. Almost every time I have selected an abridged version, I feel shortchanged. There are exceptions for very wordy authors, long works which you read long ago and may just want a refresher on, but for the most part if a book is worth reading, it is worth reading in its entirety.

One place to begin is prize winning books. Audible does a very poor job of telling you which books are prize winners, but you can go to "Award Winners" link on the left side of an audible page and get (only books available from Audible):

Awards Categories:
Audie Awards | Booker Prize | Edgar Awards | Grammy Awards |
National Book Awards | National Book Critics Circle Awards | PEN/Faulkner Awards |
Pulitzer Prize | Tony Awards

Also this link to American Book Prizes:

Link to all Award Winning Books:Alphabetical listing of award winning books. When click on link to book it gives the award in SOME descriptions, but at least a comprehensive list of award winning books.

Book Awards: Links to book awards by Award and Year. Unfortunately, have to go to link to get each year?s winners:

An award Winning book is not guaranteed to be good or that you will like it. I personally disliked American Pastoral, which is the 1998 Pulitzer winner, so much that I could not finish it. I passed it over several times, but let the prize sway me. Likewise, Young Man From Atlanta was a drama Pulitzer winner in 1995, but just average in my mind (it is, after all, very much a matter of personal taste). On the other hand Killer Angels and John Adams are two of my favorites.

The Book Report Network recommendations:

So, caveats:
1. Read several reviews from several places, including reader/listener reaction to the book. You may learn that the narrator is poor or that the book has too much detail on unrelated matters, etc.
2. Click on Hear Sample link directly under the Audible Jacket cover to learn if the narrator is good and get to a flavor of the prose.
3. Create a wish list of books you think you want to buy in the future. I paste and click reviews and story descriptions into an email to myself and file them in a folder called "Wish List" so that I can easily refresh myself on the book. Make some notes in the email so that you will remind yourself what attracted you.
4. Make a list of your wish list in priority order.
5. Download enough books on your iPod to have other books that you wish to read available in the event that you make a selection that you don't like.
6. Discuss your reading with friends and acquaintances and write down what they like if they also mention books that you have read and like.
7. Visit book stores and browse the best-seller racks. Being a best seller is no guarantee, especially those paperbacks marked MM (mass market) on the price tag and which are selling for under $10.
8. While you are at the book store, look at their audio selection. Some logic to that book store audios will at least be popular. (Added 12-26-03)

Go to the following links to get reviews -- professional and amateurs alike -- at these sites (anyone know other sites?)

1. Audible for its description of books and reader reviews and length of book, and if abridged or unabridged.

2. Bookbrowse at
look at media reviews and reader evaluations, and perhaps there will be an excerpt. You will likely find the author's bio (insight) and sometimes an interview with the author (more insight). Don't read the reader's guide reading until after you have read the book so that you don't spoil the ending for yourself. You may want to subscribe to the Bookbrowse weekly email that informs you of current reviews. look for reviews,recommended reading lists, and suggestions.

3. Booksense (the independent booksellers' site) look for reviews,recommended reading lists, and suggestions.
2004 Book of the Year award winnersand finalists at:

Most of the winners and finalists are available at audible and the ones I have listened to are excellent!

and Reading Group List from book sense, another list of extraordinarily good books:

also contains a large number available at

4. Look for reader reviews and average ranking, Amazon's description, the Amazon sales ranking of the book. Also Amazon has a page that lists its top reviewers, as voted by site visitors ranking of their book reviews at this page of their site: Amazon Top Reviews (click here) The top 50 reviewers are listed on the opening page and you can go deeper into the list if you click a link. Look at the reviewer lists and the books and and reviews they have done and pick those who have similar tastes to yours (bookmarking them) and use this as lists for researching audible books. The problem is that many of the books reviewed will not be available on Audible.

5. Barnes and Noble

6. Time Warner Books: You will find reading guides and excerpts there. New to me, so just exploring this one.

7. Reading guides:
for guides, recommendations, and more.
The Book Report Network

8. New York Times Book Reviews (click here) I downloaded Pompeii immediately when Audible announced it was available because I knew about it ahead of time. You can subscribe to NYT Book email Subscribe to New York Times Newsletters (click here) . Free, but requires registration. You can also read sunday book review free, but requires registration, on line. Look for NYT notable books in book section (not infallible) and research them.

9. For more guides

Copy and paste the Audible description page into an email and copy and paste all the pertinent information that you find useful or interesting from the other sites into the same email. Perhaps highlight key information like "narrator mumbles or has difficult accent, or boring, or whatever. Perhaps add your own notes about what appeals to you and what turns you off about the book. E-mail it to yourself and move it into a single folder for follow up. I am also keeping a 'rejected book' folder for those books/audios that I don't like after checking them out. There are so many books that I get them confused and like having a central repository that I can look to about what I liked and didn't like.

Subscribe to Audible Ultimate Listener Plan (click here for Thread) (unless you are grandfathered in at a lower price) and pay $120 up front for 12 books which you can buy over a one year period. (If you read your 12 before the year is up, you just buy another 12 when that happens. That way you can go thru the evaluation process less often and fill your ipod less frequently and have fresh audios at hand for any need to fill your time. They will tell you about this plan and put you on it if you email customer service. BTW, I have had very good response from Audible customer service. I use the live chat mostly, but also email them.

Would love to hear how others select books and to see your lists.

Keep some short selections (3-4 hours or short stories) on hand for short trips and listening with someone else. Also, it is not against the rules to continue to listen to a book after you exercise, drive, wait in the doctors office, etc.

A couple may want to have a total of three books going at one time -- one for each to listen to alone, and one together.

Download quality children's books for children or grandchildren for trips or bed time. Better to read aloud to them if you can, though.

Happy reading/listening. Hope you found this helpful
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New member
I've been an Audible subscriber for about a year, the 2 boks a month option, and am happy with the service. I've gotten the entire Hitchikers quadrilogy, and as another poster said, it's great when it's ready by Adams himself. I'm a bit disappointed that I haven't been able to find an unabridged version of Lord of the Rings just yet.

I'm also a big fan of the original Audible content done by Robin Williams (the commedian). The guy is simply hilarious, and his interviews with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal as well as other comedians and actors are insightful as they are funny. They also have a recording of his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton. I just have to be careful not to laugh out loud when I'm listening to them on my iPod, otherwise I get stared at.



New member
Ooh! Fun thread and I'm getting good ideas. Do you find that about a week before your new subscription comes due you're perusing the sight trying to decide what book to get? It's like a present every month!

Books I loved:
Life of Pi
The Drawing of the Three (listening to it right now, excellent)
Me Talk Pretty One Day
The Devil Wears Prada
The Green Mile
The Secret Life of Bees
My Losing Season (outstanding)
Catch Me If You Can
21 Dog Years (absolutely hilarious, even went and saw the play)
Timeline (forget the movie, read or listen to the book)
The Red Tent
Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot
Skipping Christmas
The Fourth Hand
A Painted House
White Oleander
Drowning Ruth
Angela's Ashes
Educating Esme
I Rant, Therefore I am
The Hobbit
Hearts in Atlantis
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
Beach Music
The Shipping News
Open House
On Writing
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (all I can say is, 42)

Didn't Finish:
Dirty Girls Social Club
A Wrinkle In Time (I will finish it as I love the book, but some authors just should not read their own books...I find her voice SO irritating)
The Measure of a Man (self serving, boring)
Logan's Run (not nearly as good as I remember it when I was a kid)
Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (I'm sure it's good, but it didn't keep my interest and it wasn't loud enough)
The Salmon of Doubt (while I love the Hitchhiker books, not all of the essays in this collection should have been published...many were boring, some were offensive <to me, at least> and I don't think Adams would have been happy to have had them published without polishing)
Lucky; a Memoir (didn't finish her book "The Lovely Bones" either)
Don't Know Much About History

Looking forward to listening to:
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
The Buffalo Soldier

Looking forward to getting back to:
A Beautiful Mind (fascinating)
Fierce Invalids from Warm Climates
The Star Trek ones (the sound is amazing, like a TV show just about...why I haven't finished them is beyond me)
Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (which is no longer available)


New member
The Da Vinci Code

This book was awesome! I highly recommend it. Great historical fiction and the narration is the best. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down..I mean turn it off. :p


New member
wow! I havent checked this site for a while

Im getting great ideas here!
I loved The Night Listener! by Armistead Maupin. It was one of the best books I've heard so far.
Besides that I also loved Middlesex, and The Bonesetters Daughter by Amy Tan.

I will be checking out your suggestions too.