Guest Post By: Ari Schjelderup
Fall and winter are filled with many opportunities to read books in a quiet environment away from distraction. Right? Or is it a time filled with bustling around, getting things done, and going on adventures? Don’t give up on reading a good book! Have you ever heard, “the book was better than the movie”? How about, “the audiobook was better than the book”? No? Well, if you don’t have time to sit and soak in a good read, here are 5 books that are better when read aloud anyway.
Read by Karen Savage
Total Running Time: 10 hours 23 minutes
Pride and Prejudice, one of Jane Austen’s most well known novels, is charming when read aloud. For younger readers, or just readers who aren’t used to the language, the book’s structure may feel forced and choppy when reading, but Karen flows through the words naturally as she reads. Her English accent is an extra bonus.
From the very start, her voice has you hooked, and from there, the story is easy to visualize. A book that many may avoid because of the old writing style is easy to get through in the 10-hour audiobook.
Read by Nancy Wu and Ed Sala
Total Running Time: Books 1-7 range from 4 hours–7 hours 45 minutes
For an action-filled book you need a reader like Nancy Wu. You think you feel the urgency from reading the book? Just listen to this audiobook and you will know the meaning of suspense. Each cliffhanger has you on the edge of your seat. You will find yourself leaving the headphones on until the last sentence she reads.
When the story is being told from the point of view of Max (the main character), Nancy reads, but when it switches to third person, Ed Sala takes over. Need a breath? Ed Sala is a little more laid-back so there is time to relax—until the next cliffhanger, that is.
This classic takes you through many emotions, and Ron Rifkin adds a layer to the story with his sincere voice. By the end of the book you will feel sad or thoughtful (no spoilers)… but by the end of the audiobook you should be in tears. There is also a soundtrack that adds wonder or suspense at intense parts of the story.
For your next car trip, plug in The Giver for 5 hours of drama and wonder. On second thought, Ron has a calming voice, so take The Giver on a thought-provoking walk and save #2 for that road trip!
Read by 28 actors from Graphic Audio
Total Running Time: 18 hours
Yes, this is the dramatized version of the book, but it is also the better version. Between the soundtrack and the actors, this is a stunning edition to listen to. It might take a minute to get used to the different voices to know who is speaking, and the music may be a little loud at times, but you will not be able to stop listening.
By the end of the book you will feel chills when the music comes on, and anguish when familiar voices express their pain.
This is a great book to listen to while walking through trees or driving through the great open country. Actually, this is simply a great book to listen to anytime and anywhere . . . as long as you have enough time to get stuck on a cliffhanger.
Read by Jim Dale
Total Running Time: Books 1-7 range from 8 hours–27 hours
Whole series length: 117 hours
Reading Harry Potter is a wonderful experience whether read in your head or read aloud. However, these audiobooks are not just read aloud. They are read by Jim Dale. Though a man of many talents, some might think Jim Dale’s older voice would not work well reading Harry Potter since the whole series is read from a child’s point of view. However, they would be wrong.
With each book, Jim Dale gets better and better giving unique voices to each character in this magical series. You get so completely lost in his charming voice and the enchanting story that you can practically see the characters right before your eyes.
If you have never listened to these books before, make sure you give them a try. Work, walk, drive, or simply relax as you listen–whatever you do, the 117 hours will be time well spent.
We hope you can enjoy a book this winter read aloud while having an adventure or relaxing with the family. After all, “listening to audiobooks isn’t just great entertainment, it is a great way for your family to experience and enjoy books together.” -Jim Dale