I just checked my Audible app to find out how many hours I’ve spent listening to audiobooks since I downloaded it, and it turns out that I’ve logged over a month in reading through my ears. I’ve always loved reading aloud and being read to. My husband and I read the ENTIRE seventh Harry Potter book aloud to each other between midnight and dawn on the day it came out. There’s so much that goes into an audiobook performance that makes the experience different from just reading it. There’s an intimacy with the text, interpretations of characters, and subtle changes in tone that change the way I remember the story forever.
Today I’m extremely proud to share that Angela Dawe‘s performance of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife has been nominated for an Audie Award in the category for science fiction. Her performance of my debut novel moved me and revealed to me (me! the author!) things I hadn’t realized were in the text. Her interpretation of the characters I wrote (particularly Roxanne and Honus) absolutely blew me away. I’ve read my own book many, many times. Her performance of it was a new experience for me.
There are a lot of very talented folks nominated this year whose performances I would recommend as your first audiobook, if you’ve never tried one.
Bahni Turpin’s performance of Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad is enormously moving, and she nails accents in a way that made me doubt there was a single reader at work.
Zachary Quinto did an amazing job with John Scalzi’s The Dispatcher, a book that ended far too soon for such a riveting premise.
Lindy West performed her own book of essays/memoir Shrill, a book that I bought in three formats because I loved it and the author so much.
If you’re the last person in America who hasn’t read J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, the audio performance by the author is incredibly compelling. If you’re white, you will see yourself reflected uncomfortably in at least some of it.
I’m pleased as punch to share this news, and proud as hell of the team and the reader that brought my book to life this way.
If you’ve never tried an audiobook this is my official endorsement, homely and basic though it is: they are great art. They are comfort and excitement in one. They are a singular experience. They also make it possible to read books while doing dishes. Or laundry. Or walking in the rain. Stuff books into all the holes in your face, not just your eyes! Eat them. Snort them. READ MORE BOOKS.