I'm very picky when it comes to audio books, so it is surprising then that I find myself in the position of having joined Audible (via Amazon) and racking up credits that I now need to use. I like listening to audio books when I'm walking outside. When I'm walking in the gym on the treadmill it has to be a book (or sometimes my Nook). People at the gym seem to think I am something of an oddity. They tell me they would probably fall of the machine if they were reading, but I promise that in all my years of walking (and I only walk and not run) on a treadmill that has never happened. I get my best reading time in (almost anyway), while at the gym.
There are only certain books I will listen to on audio. I don't do well with really detailed stories or nonfiction books. If I really want to read a book, I want to "read" the book and not listen to it, as listening sort of doesn't feel like it counts. And if the person reading the story has a grating voice or reads weirdly then I will usually just not bother, as that ruins the experience for me. In the past I have always borrowed audio books and downloaded them onto my MP3 player. If I didn't like the reader, then it was easy enough to simply delete it and find something else. But with Audible it's a little different. Once I use my credits, whichever book I choose is mine.
So the story behind the story of joining Audible is a simple one. Richard Armitage. Yes, really. Some of you will know he has narrated several Georgette Heyer novels, and after I discovered this I was very keen to give them a go. I finally broke down and searched the books out on Amazon planning on purchasing one, but there was even a better deal. Get one free for trying Audible, which I did. You are free to cancel at any time, but if you continue your subscription you pay a monthly fee and get (as I am signed up for the cheapest plan) one audio book credit a month. Tricky thing is, that in order to cancel, you have to remember to do it. There's always a catch, isn't there? I wonder how many people they rope into this situation--lured in by a free book narrated by Richard Armitage?
I listened to Georgette Heyer's Venetia (as read by RA) and loved it. I think it is one of my favorite Heyer's, and I should really write about it sometime. My only complaint is that they offered only an abridged version, and while well done seemed like it was missing something (because it was indeed missing part of the story). So now I need to use up my three credits (and think I will likely cancel my subscription--or put it on hold until I listen to what I will soon have). They are having a great 3 for 2 sale--I can get three audio books for just two credits (selecting from their list of course).
So far I've narrowed down my choices to:
Winds of War by Herman Wouk (45+ hours) --Sweeping war (WWII) story about one American family. Now this would see me through many hours of walking!
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (18+ hours) -- I just read this not too long ago and Loved it! I wouldn't mind another go at it listening this time (since I already know the story).
Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell (20+ hours) --Now this one is familiar...I started reading this earlier in the year. I wonder if I would stick it out listening, though I think I still prefer to read the books in this case and not just listen.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (36+ hours) -- I read this one last year and again wouldn't mind listening to it again.
Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid (14+ hours) -- I've heard many good things about Val McDermid. This won a CWA Dagger and is a mystery.
Dead Sleep by Greg Iles (13+ hours) -- I've never read Iles before. This one sounds thriller-ish and is set in the art world.
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi (26+ hours) -- I don't usually like listening to nonfiction but as this is true crime and I am already somewhat familiar with the story it might make for interesting reading. I read one of Bugliosi's books years ago and found it an engaging book.
More difficult decisions! Any ideas about any of these books? Any listeners out there familiar with these? I can listen to a sample luckily so that may help narrow down my choices. As for the other credit? That will likely go for another Heyer novel read by Richard Armitage!