Throwback Thursday (Audiobook Style)

Pardon me while I fall off my chair. Tracy Jackson, yes our Tracy Jackson, a printed-page-purist through and through, just announced she's willing to give audiobooks a try. Gasp. First puppies and now this. I swear I hardly know her anymore. While I'm beyond thrilled she's willing to climb aboard for a trial run, I feel the need to intervene or this train may derail before it makes it outta the station.

Although Sissy Spacek reading To Kill a Mockingbird is a guaranteed home run, it pains me to say that not even Colin Firth could salvage The End of the Affair for me. Depressing with a side of yawn. (My apologies if you loved it.) Pop in your Pride and Prejudice dvd instead, followed up with The King's Speech for some icing on your Mr. Darcy cake.

Enough about Colin, back to Tracy. This experiment is too important to leave to chance, folks. We need to pull out the big guns. Here are five of the biggest:

Hands down favorite listen. I don't care if you've read The Help five to ten times and seen the movie, you still need to listen to this book. Trust me, you'll thank me later. If this book doesn't turn you into an audiobook lover, I don't know what will.

Two words: Edward Hermann. Now there's a narrator. His voice feels like home to me. Who better to bring Joe Rantz and The Boys in the Boat to life? (Speaking of voices that feel like home, David McCullough's reading of The Wright Brothers is right up there as well. Perfection.)

Speaking of Gilmore Girls (Edward Hermann), Big Stone Gap feels like the Stars Hollow of rural West Virginia. Bonus: Adriana Trigiani narrates the book herself. This is one of those books I think are made better by the listening. Kathryn Stockett (author of The Help) wrote of Trigiani: "I don't know how Adriana goes into her family's attic and emerges with these amazing stories, I'm just happy she does. If you're meeting her work for the first time, get ready for a lifelong love affair." Amen.

The Bartender's Tale made my top 5 last year and it's one of my favorite listens as well. I've yet to meet a Doig I didn't loveā€”on the page or in my ear. The same narrator of this one, David Aaron Baker, knocks it outta the park again with The Last Bus to Wisdom. And Jonathan Hogan's reading of The Whistling Season series tops my list too. I do love me some Doig.

This last slot featured a slug fest between The Invention of Wings and All the Light We Cannot See with Wings pulling it out on a technicality: the writing is so exquisite in All the Light that I had to buy the hard copy so I could mark line after scrumptious line. So Wings wins for costing me less money. Flimsy argument as I did the same with Doig. Do yourself a favor: listen to both!

***Did I leave out one of your favorites? From the comments below I can tell I already left out some of mine. Melissa has me thinking maybe All the Light We Cannot See should've one that slug fest. And how could I forget I Capture the Castle and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? This is why I struggle with favorites... Share some you love so we can all find new favorites!

Posted by Rachel