August Audiobook Wrap-up 2018

Saturday, September 08, 2018
I'm sadly coming to the end of my BookBeat subscription and I wanted to listen to as many short audiobooks as I could this month to boost my read books for the month and because I've had so many of these on my saved list for ages! As I was on holiday this month I was able to read and listen to a lot of books and there were quite a few car journeys in August too so I could listen to an audiobook or two in one car journey (especially travelling to and from Chatsworth for my birthday which was about a four hour round trip). I managed to listen to 15 audiobooks this month which I'm so happy with!

*The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Jane Magnusson via BookBeat ★★★
As my BookBeat subscription is coming to an end (cries), I am trying to listen to all of the short audiobooks I've had my eye on for a while and this was one of the newer ones. The title definitely drew me in and I thought it would be like those other minimalism, tidying up books that have been making the rounds recently but it wasn't what I fully expected sadly.

It's from the perspective of the author as an elderly woman who recounts lovely personal stories as well as tips to help you live more minimally and it introduced a concept I'd never thought of, death cleaning. Death cleaning is a Swedish concept in which you sort your belongings so they're less of a burden to your loved ones when you die - or you can do this for others rather than yourself. I found that concept very thought provoking, I liked the narrator, it was a very gentle/easy listening book and there were some useful tips but overall it was a little generic in terms of the advice and most of the tips were quite forgettable. I would recommend it as an interesting and very quick and easy listening audiobook but it was a little disappointed as it wasn't fully what I expected or wanted if I'm honest.

*Aesop's Fables by Aesop via BookBeat ★★
Another very short audiobook was one I've wanted to listen to for a while but it's an ancient classic as well as a childrens book so I didn't know if I'd like it and it turned out to be fairly disappointing, not what I expected and a little pointless, if I'm honest. It's described as enjoyable for children and adults alike but it's definitely more of a childrens book as the moral lessons for each very very short story are basic and far more suited to children than adults. The narrator was ok and I recognised some of the stories (tortoise and the hare etc) but it wasn't what I expected and the book seemed to be composed mainly of music/sound effects rather than the stories.

*The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson via BookBeat ★★ (2.5)
Yet another audiobook I've been meaning to listen to for a long time and a classic that even though I'm familiar with it, I hadn't read it before. I think we all know the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from pop culture and I thought that the audiobook would be very simple and it was to an extent but the actual story is more philosophical than pop culture retellings. I did enjoy the audiobook to an extent, it was very short (I was able to listen to it fully in two sittings) and I'm glad I have now ticked it off my 'classics to read' list but it isn't something I'd ever listen to or read again.

*The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka via BookBeat ★★
First published in 1915, The Metamorphosis is Kafka's most well known works and a famous novella within literary circles. We follow the thoughts of a man who has transformed into a giant insect...it's a very unusual and melancholy audiobook. I think that perhaps some of the themes went over my head! I don't think it's something I'd ever read or listen to again to be honest but as with the previous audiobook, I'm glad it's now ticked off my list.

*History In An Hour: George Washington via BookBeat ★★
I've listened to a few of these and some of them can be a little forgettable and that's the case with this one for me, maybe these very short non-fiction audiobooks just aren't for me! I didn't know much about George Washington so it was an informative audiobook; however, it is quite forgettable.

*The Arrangements by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie via BookBeat ★★
This very short audiobook is one of the more unusual as it's Adichie's imagining of the life of Melania Trump featuring Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka. I don't know how I feel about it, maybe some of the deeper themes went over my head but if it's something your interested in then check it out as it is an incredibly short, very quick audiobook that you could listen to in your lunch break or in the car.
*Orlando by Virginia Woolf via BookBeat ★★★
Orlando is one of the more unusual and unconventional works of Woolf, although I think it wasn't meant for readers but a friend of hers. We follow Orlando who initially is a male elizabethan noble who then transforms into a female ambassador and then a suffragette. The switching between genders is a very unique and interesting aspect of the book and I also enjoyed the historical elements. I didn't know how I'd feel about this classic but I did enjoyed it; however it was a quite forgettable for me (or maybe I lost my concentration - I usually listen to audiobooks as I'm doing other things).

*Classic American Stories via BookBeat ★★
As well as short audiobooks, I also wanted to listen to a few classics for my last month so I decided to listen to Classic American Short Stories from a variety of famous American authors such as Mark Twain. While I did like Jack London's story and how very short this audiobook was (I was able to listen to it in one sitting while in the car on the way to Chatsworth), overall it was extremely disappointing and mundane.

*The Importance Of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde via BookBeat ★★★
Another book I was able to listen to in one sitting in the car was a famous facial comedy play from Oscar Wilde. I think most people study classics within school, including this play but the only piece of classic literature we studied was Of Mice And Men! The audiobook was in the style of a dramatic radio play with sound effects etc which I loved. The narrators were all fantastic, it was an extremely short audiobook and it's the first play I've listen to - I was very surprised by how much I liked it!

We follow two friends; Algernon has discovered that his friend Ernest has created a fictional brother that he uses to escape mundane country life and Algernon poses as the fictional brother. What follows is comical confusion and lies that makes for an entertaining, very short audiobook. I'd definitely recommend it!

*Second Variety by Philip K Dick via BookBeat ★★★
I read The Man in the High Castle last year and while I didn't love it, I did want to give his writing another go so I listened to this very short audiobook on BookBeat and I definitely enjoyed this audiobook novella more. It was first published in the 1950's and it's set in a dystopian world in which technology has turned against humans, war has ravaged the world and everyone struggles to survive. It was an enjoyable and interesting audiobook, I liked the narrator and I would definitely recommend it as an interesting, very short sci-fi audiobook.

*Chilling Ghost Stories via BookBeat ★★★
Autumn is coming closer as is Halloween and I cannot contain my excitement which is why some of my reading and audiobooks have a spooky, autumnal vibe. Chilling Ghost Stories is exactly what it says, it features a range of authors including Edgar Allan Poe - his poem The Raven was definitely one of my favourites from this audiobook but sadly the others were very forgettable.

*Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh via BookBeat ★★★ (3.75)
I actually found a few favourite audiobooks in August and this was one of them. I only came across this audiobook as I was looking for very short audiobooks on the BookBeat website and I actually enjoyed it so much! We follow Paul Pennyfeather as he takes a teaching job at Llanabba castle and what follows is a ridiculous, comic farce. The narrator was very impressive! It has an air of Terry Pratchett's unseen university in terms of the shenanigans which I loved and it was an interesting, entertaining audiobook that I cannot recommend enough.
*The Crystal Crypt by Philip K Dick via BookBeat ★★★
I have been loving Philip K. Dick's very short sci-fi audiobooks recently as not only are they so easy to follow and finish (I finished this in one car journey) but they are more enjoyable than I thought they'd be especially as I'm not the biggest sci-fi fan. This was the shortest but it was still entertaining and interesting. However, as with some of the other audiobooks on this list, it's just a little forgettable if I'm honest, maybe because I'm reading and listening to so much this month.

*Monday or Tuesday by Virginia Woolf via BookBeat ★★
On the whole I rate most books and audiobooks three stars which is very good for me and something I'd recommend. My ratings are based in numerous factors such as the writing style, shock, entertainment etc and the narrator if it's an audiobook but my main factor is if I enjoyed the book or audiobook. Sadly with this one, apart from a couple of the short stories (the second and final stories), I didn't enjoy it at all. Perhaps I started with the wrong collection or maybe I'm not a fan of the stream of consciousness style.

*The Death of Ivan Ilyitch by Leo Tolstoy via BookBeat ★★★
Last but not least is a short classic from the famous Russian author, Leo Tolstoy. I read War and Peace last year and was surprised but how much I loved it so I wanted to read something else by Tolstoy but one that didn't have the weight of War and Peace. The Death go Ivan Illyitch is the story of a man who reaches the prominence and comfort of being a high court judge with a family and seemly everything he could want but he becomes ill with an unknown affliction. What follows is his deterioration and his contemplations of death, his life and what he has and hasn't accomplished. As with most of the audiobooks I listened to this month it was interesting, very short and fairly easy to finish but it was also a little forgettable for me and I think I'll stick to longer, richer and more in-depth audiobooks from now on.

My favourite audiobooks of the month have to include: Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh and The Importance Of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde with my least favourite being Monday or Tuesday by Virginia Woolf, Classic American Stories and Aesop's Fables sadly. I cannot recommend BookBeat enough for the amazing range of audiobooks they have, how easy the app is to use and how you can listen to as many audiobooks as you want in one month for a set price, rather than paying per audiobook.

Have you read or listened to any of these books?

21 comments

  1. I cannot wait to start listening to audio books on my way up and down to university every day, at last I will have uninterrupted time lol

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  2. I really want to get into audiobooks, I really wish I had more time for reading!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk

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  3. These all sound like fairly deep and hard going books, I’d definitely chose something lighter for an audiobook If I listened to them.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  4. I do like the idea of being able to listen to as many books as you want rather than pay per book x

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  5. Every time I hear you mention audiobooks I think I should check them out - I NEED TO! x

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  6. I've not tried audiobooks, but I am definitely going to consider it!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  7. Great post! I haven't listened to audiobooks but I keep meaning to! Well done on listening to so many! I wouldn't mind listening to Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. I remember reading Aesops fables in school as a child.

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  8. You've certainly had a few hits and misses this month!

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  9. Need to get into audio books x

    http://www.joycelauofficial.com/

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  10. I still need to switch from my love of podcasts to books! x

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  11. Lots of impressive books here x

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  12. I have never listened to an audio book before - I must!xo

    Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk

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  13. I need to start listening to Audiobook’s but I am so attached to my hard back books. X

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  14. I read The Castle by Franz Kafka and swore I would never read anything by him again! I just didn't get it.

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  20. I definitely think I'm more of a Audio book kinda person this days!

    www.bybusby.co.uk

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