Favorite Audiobooks

For the last few years, I’ve listened to quite a few audiobooks. They’re perfect to listen to before falling asleep or while doing things around the house.

(I’d definitely recommend looking into checking out digital copies from your local library–that’s how I listened to all of the books on this list!)

Here are some of my favorite audiobooks!

ast5-square-4001. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Narrated by Jim Dale — Jim Dale has a deep, pleasant voice that he uses to create distinct voices for each character. He’s amazing at setting the mood for this magical story, in which the physical setting of a mysterious circus takes on a life of its own. AND he has an English accent! Nothing against American accents (because I, of course, have one), but I’ve (generally) found English voice actors much more pleasant to listen to for long periods of time.

b9hf-square-1536.jpg2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, Narrated by Dan Stevens — Okay, so Dan Stevens is the actor who plays Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey. Firstly, he’s very attractive so it’s kind of fun knowing that he’s reading the book to you. Secondly, he’s so fantastic at his different voices for all the characters that you sometimes forget it’s even him. Thirdly, his accent in general is fantastic. And, come on, Agatha Christie is the queen of mystery, and this is one of her very best. A group of strangers all meet on an island and they mysteriously die one by one. Add all that together and you get hours of edge-of-your-seat entertainment.

b9hi-square-1536.jpg3. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, Narrated by Dan Stevens — Well, obviously, after listening to And Then There Were None, I just had to listen to another one of Christie’s best novels narrated again by the good ol’ Dan Stevens. A train full of people becomes stranded in the snow as a passenger’s death occurs. The French detective Hercule Poirot is then put on the case to find out who on the train was responsible. Dan Stevens somehow manages a fantastic French accent for Poirot, along with a unique voice for every other character. The whole thing is great and I have a lot of feelings about the brilliant narration.

pride-and-prejudice-audiobook-carolyn-seymour4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Narrated by Carolyn Seymour — Finally a female voice on my list! (Still British, though…) Listening to this recording was how I first experienced this beloved classic. It was my first Jane Austen novel, and it prompted me to take a fantastic Austen Lit/Film college course. No matter what form you choose, Pride and Prejudice is a must-read classic, especially for the back-and-forth between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. If you have an aversion to classics in general, maybe try listening instead! If done well, a recording can make it a more lively experience.

atjc-square-1536.jpg5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Narrated by Rebecca Lowman & Sunil Malhotra — It’s a whole other kind of awesome listening experience when an audiobook has dual narration! The recording uses a female narrator for Eleanor’s chapters and a male narrator for Park’s. This was the perfect way to absorb the loveliness of this Young Adult Contemporary that quickly earned a spot among my favorites. It’s a story, set in the ’80s, about teenagers Eleanor and Park as they navigate their own lives and find comfort in each other. A sweet, heartfelt, but deals-with-real-issues contemporary.

imgres.jpg6. Crooked House by Agatha Christie, Narrated by Hugh Fraser — Can you tell I love Agatha Christie? Here’s another by an English narrator who has narrated quite a few other Christie novels. Excellent, soothing voice. This story revolves around the sudden death of a wealthy elderly man, and suspicions rest on all those who reside in the mansion. Another twisted, unexpected tale with brilliant narration.


Those are just a few of my favorite audiobooks! I plan to make more lists once I’ve accumulated more favorites.

What are your thoughts on audiobooks? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

xx bits of prose and whimsy

The Ultimate Book Tag

I found this tag through booksoverpeople and it looked like a lot of fun! I’ve watched a ton of booktubers do tags like this, but I’ve never done one myself. So, here’s my first book tag!


1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Usually, yes. Especially in the passenger seat. I can read for a bit but have to stop pretty quickly. It’s kind of a bummer during long road trips when I have time to get some reading done.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

Neil Gaiman. Hands down. I don’t even understand how he writes the way he does. There’s so much mystery and magic in his words. Please go read some Gaiman if you haven’t. Neverwhere was my first of his and I highly recommend it.

3. Harry Potter series or Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

I’ve never understood why this comparison became a thing. I guess it’s because of the movie franchises? Obviously Harry Potter. Come on.

1. The world-building. The fantastically rich world that J.K. Rowling came up with? Spectacular. The world-building in Twilight is noticeably superficial.

2. The characters. Essentially all of Rowling’s characters are memorable. I would pretty much read anything she could ever write about any of her side characters. I can’t even pick my favorites. (Well, Lupin is definitely up there.) Twilight, on the other hand, has very one-dimensional characters with little personality. Besides Bella’s dad, most of them are pretty boring.

3. My childhood. Like so many others, I literally grew up reading Harry Potter. I can’t imagine another series ever replacing it as my favorite.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books…)?

Well, now that I’m not in school anymore, I don’t carry a book bag. But, when I did, I would often have my laptop, notebooks, pens, kindle…Pretty standard.

5. Do you smell your books?

Not usually, but I do love the smell of old books.

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

I’m fond of both, but some stories lend themselves well to illustrations. They can add something special if done well.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

Twilight. In either 8th grade or my freshman year of high school, I started reading the Twilight series and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books. I enjoyed them for what they were, but I would definitely feel differently about them if I reread them in my 20s.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Hmm not really…But I was really obsessed with keeping my books nice, so any scratches or bent pages would really stress me out. I still like to keep my books looking good, but I don’t drive myself crazy over it.

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

I don’t know for sure, but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is definitely one of the thinnest.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

One of the Harry Potter books, most likely. Maybe Order of the Phoenix?

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future being an author?

I do write! I took a creative writing class my last semester of college, and it definitely helped me with consistently writing and gaining confidence in my work. I would absolutely love to be a published YA author. It’s one of those far-fetched dreams that I hope I can one day achieve.

12. When did you get into reading?

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. During my teen years, however, I didn’t read much for pleasure, as I was overwhelmed with all the required reading for school. I’m so happy that I’ve made reading a priority during the last few years.

13. What is your favorite classic book?

The Great Gatsby or any of Jane Austen’s novels. I’m also fond of Great Expectations and To Kill a Mockingbird. I plan to read more classics this year!

14. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

Yes, it was through most of school. Ironically, I didn’t take many English classes in college.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

I would act like I was excited and hadn’t read it before so the person who gave it to me wouldn’t feel bad. I’d eventually donate it.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

I honestly can’t think of one…

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

I don’t think I’ve been at this long enough to have already acquired a bad habit. 😛

18. What is your favorite word?

I have many words I love, such as silhouette and conundrum.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Mostly a nerd, and perhaps a dork as well. 🙂

20. Vampires or fairies? Why?

I’m not sure, since I haven’t actually read any books about fairies. Vampire books can be really terrible, but some are enjoyable.

21. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Probably shapeshifters. The idea of shapeshifting is so cool to me. Maybe due to my fascination with animagi?

22. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

I’m not sure whether I simply don’t like books involving spirits. At the very least, I’ve had terrible luck with them. Werewolves can be awesome. Remus Lupin, anyone?

22. Zombies or vampires? Why?

I haven’t read any books about zombies. These questions have shown me that I definitely need to expand my horizons in the fantasy/paranormal genre!

24. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

Probably love triangle. Maybe. Right? If they’re done well. For example, the love triangle in the Throne of Glass series is great. ( But I’ve only read the first two books.) They can also be super obnoxious.

25. AND FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in? 

I’m typically not a fan of full on romance books. They can be a bit nauseating. So I’m gonna go with the latter.


Why is it so fun to answer random book-themed questions? Beats me.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my preferences or have any suggestions for fantasy/paranormal books to read! That would be rad.

Reading Goals for 2015

Despite it already being February, I’ve decided that it’s time to set myself some reading goals for 2015. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately, so maybe some goals will help me get back on track.

  1. Read 50 books — This was also my goal for 2014, but I was just shy with 48. I’m determined to reach 50 this year! Because reasons. I don’t know. I like that number. I’ll bump it up later if I’m rockin’ it.
  2. Read 8 classics — I’m using the word ‘classics’ somewhat loosely so that it includes children’s classics as well. I have three shelves of beautiful editions just sitting in my room waiting for me to finally pick them up.
  3. Reread the Harry Potter series! — I haven’t reread them in years, so I really want to get back into that world. And it’s Harry freaking Potter. Do I really need another reason? No. The answer is no.
  4. Finish 5 series — These can be either series I’ve already started or ones that I begin this year. Obviously, finishing up series that I’ve already started is preferable, but I’ll end up reading whatever I’m in the mood for.
  5. Listen to 4 audiobooks — Audiobooks are a nice change of pace, so I’m going to try to listen to them more often. And checking them out from the library is the easiest thing ever, so I don’t really have any excuses. (Well, besides my tendency to fall asleep when I listen to them before bed.) But yeah, audiobooks.

I think those are all pretty manageable. Does anyone have any other suggestions for reading goals that have worked for you? I’d love to hear ’em!

Cheers to a splendid year of reading!