My exam period just ended a couple of weeks ago and during that time I (obviously) didn’t have time to read but I did become obsessed with puzzles again – the simple yet completely absorbing task calmed me down. And while I was doing the puzzles, I started listening to the audio book of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This turned into a habit and I continued with other puzzles and new audio books. The beautiful weather outside also coaxed me out of my winter slumber and I’ve been taking long walks almost every day. That presented another opportunity to listen to audio books.
Audio books are of course immensely practical for our hectic life styles. You can listen to them while commuting, driving, cleaning, walking, exercising, basically whenever you have another task at hand which doesn’t require a lot of thinking. And after a long day when you’re too tired to read, audio books mean a more passive way of still enjoying your favourite story. Here are three of my favourite audio books:
- The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesyle Walton: the story is magical and unpredictable, even sad and plain terrible at times but totally worth reading it. This is magical realism at its highest. We get to follow three generations of women, each with their own painful memories and challenges. The story explores love but not just the easy, warm kind of love, but also the dark kind that can fuel terrible actions.
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: this is a historical novel and a coming of age story. It’s written in a form of a journal and the main character Cassandra lives in a dilapidated castle with her family – and their lives are far from romantic. When two young Americans move nearby, Cassandra’s and her sister’s lives are changed and suddenly they have to deal with heartbreak and the emotional insecurities of love. You can also watch the film adaptation but I highly recommend reading the novel first.
- The Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire (the books in order of publication: Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Beneath the Sugar Sky, In an Absent Dream): this is the perfect read for fans of fairy tales and fantasy literature. Each book is actually a novella, around 150-200 pages long, so you can tear through them pretty easily. The second book is also narrated by the author herself which is just amazing. The stories are all linked so I would recommend reading them in order of publication but you follow different characters in each book. Think Alice in Wonderland meets The Chronicles of Narnia. Beautiful writing style, amazing LGBTQ+ representation and wonderful, lovable characters.
My ultimate audio book recommendations are of course the Harry Potter books. I listened to the British editions which are narrated by Stephen Fry and they are just brilliant! He does a fantastic job at reading people’s voices, Mrs. Weasley’s is one of my favourite (and Dobby, Dobby is just hilarious).