Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Thanks to Liz at A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy, I was alerted to some best audiobooks lists and awards. I adore listening to stories and so I always have an audiobook on the go. (Currently, it's Three Little Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, read by the author.)

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex has won the Odyssey Award, as well as making the ALSC Notable list. I look forward to the treat of listening to that one! The print book is a big favourite of mine.

I was surprised to see will grayson, will grayson on YALSA's top 10 list because I found the audio version disappointing. I LOVED the print book and then recently listened to the audio before I booktalked it, in order to have the story fresh in my mind. The gay Will Grayson sounded much too angry to my ears; his character as it lives in my mind is more despairing and hurt. In the scenes from Tiny's musical, where audio format could really have shone, the story was simply narrated. Too bad. If I had only listened to the audio, without having read the print book, I doubt that I would feel such affection for this story, which was one of my top reads of 2010.

I'm curious about the audio version of The Knife of Never Letting Go, which was another favourite in print. How will the Noise translate? Also, Todd's idiosyncratic spelling will be absent. Hmmm. I'll give it a listen, anyway. I'm reminded of M.T. Anderson's Feed, which was done brilliantly in audio (by Listening Library), so I can see the possibilities.

YALSA's Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults includes Silksinger by Laini Taylor (with her name misspelled - oops!). Davina Porter's Recorded Books interpretation of Taylor's first book in the Faeries of Dreamdark series, Blackbringer, was so absolutely perfect that I'm afraid to hear Cassandra Campbell's version for Brilliance Audio. Campbell's voice might be better for all-American teen girl and women's stories. I did like her reading of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn (Penguin Audio).

I'm in total agreement with One Crazy Summer being on both the Amazing Audiobooks and the ALSC Notables lists. (My review is here.) Sisi Aisha Johnson does a fabulous job as reader; I think dialect translates particularly well in audio format - maybe even better than print.

There are lots of audiobooks on these lists that sound great - I look forward to hours of good listening.

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