Why Some Authors Come Alive On Audiobooks

Today’s post by She Reads co-founder, Marybeth Whalen | @marybethwhalen

Marybeth Whalen

My love for Joshilyn Jackson’s books was not instantaeous. I would hear how good they were, pick them up, page through them (because I still love a print book, yes I do) and put them down again. I had a hard time “getting” her books. The characters had strange names and talked funny. I am a southerner, to be sure, but I tend to shy away from deep southern accents. Suburban North Carolina and small town Alabama are two entirely different things. To be honest, I just thought that Joshilyn had something going on that was entirely apart from my literary tastes. And no matter how many rave reviews I heard or read, that wasn’t going to change.

Until.

My friend (and She Reads blog network member) Sandy Nawrot explained that the best way to grasp the greatness that is Joshilyn Jackson is to experience her books on audio. Because she reads them herself you get the full extent of what she was going for in her writing– pronunciation of those crazy names, inflections of those funny accents. You literally and figuratively hear her voice. So I decided to give the audio version of one of her books a try. I had a car trip coming up and my library had one on the shelf. I snatched it up and hoped for the best.

And the best is what I found. The best voice. The best characters. The best humor. The best weaving together of events and emotion, secrets and drama. One book and I was hooked. Since then I’ve worked my way through all of Joshilyn Jackson’s books, declaring each one of them “my favorite.” My friend Sandy was right, listening to her changed my opinion of her books and ushered me into what I’ve privately dubbed as my “year of JJ.” (Last year, incidentally, was my “year of Sarah Addison Allen.”) Of course very few writers actually read their books on audio but in this case it only magnifies the story. I highly recommend  reading Joshilyn Jackson. And if reading doesn’t work out, then give her a try on audio. Either way don’t miss her.

We’re giving you an opportunity to experience her latest book on audio. Leave a comment on this post to win a copy of A Grown-Up Kind Of Pretty.

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About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

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57 Responses to Why Some Authors Come Alive On Audiobooks

  1. Kathy September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I want to now go to the library and pick up an audio book by her. I must confess that I haven’t given audio books a fair chance.

  2. bermudaonion(Kathy) September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I haven’t tried Jackson’s books on audio but I do love them. I get what you’re saying though, there are many different parts of the South – I’ve lived in quite a few of them, including small town Alabama.

  3. Sherry September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Audiobooks were a big part of my life when the children were small. They loved them and we didn’t have cable back then, so books were our thing and there was a story going going on in our home all the time. The audiobooks added extra color to the tales they heard. I never considered them for me, isn’t that funny? I would love to become reacquainted with this format and this book is just the gateway!

  4. Nancy September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love audio books. Time in the car is well spent when listening to a book. Our family has listened to audio books for years when we traveled. I remember many a time when we had arrived at our destination only to sit in the car until we finished that chapter!

  5. Christina Hill September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love Joshilyn Jackson and I love audio books, but I have never listened to her books on audio. I will have to check one out!

  6. Jill W September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love her books!

  7. karenk September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    one of the first audiobooks that i listened to was by “JJ” i loved it.

  8. Amy Sue Nathan September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    OK, this is MEANT TO BE. I am listening to Gods In Alabama on audio right now! How fun would be it to get right to another JJ book right after???

  9. Bernadette Gray September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love her books!! I listened to Between Georgia on audio and she really does have a gift for bringing her books alive.

  10. stephanie September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    LOVE all of joshilyn jackson’s books. the only one i haven’t listened to yet on audio is grown up kind of pretty! must have!

  11. Abigail September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I really adore Joshilyn and have since her debut Gods in Alabama. Since then, my mother, sisters, and I have devoured each new book with a passion, calling each other across the state, country, and eventually, the globe to discuss her characters and plot twists. I got to meet her at the Blue Ridge writer’s conference, she called me pretty, I nearly died. I have got to get a copy of the audiobook, because I’m sure it’s just as wonderful.

  12. zibilee September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    There are some books that I can only really read in audio. For example, I tried and tried to read Wolf Hall, and just couldn’t get into it, but I wasn’t ready to give up, because it had been so loved by so many bloggers. I tried it in audio, and fell in love. It was one of my best books of the year, and I could barely read it in print. I do also agree that Jackson’s books are better in audio. I love that she narrates them herself, and that she does all the voices differently. I am a big fan of her books, but will only try them in audio. And that is thanks to Sandy too!

  13. Linda Anderson September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve listened to audio books for years. First on cassette tape, then on CD and now on my Ipod. I started out just listening in the car on trips. Then when I was doing housework. Next I started listening as I was sewing (I’m a quilter). Now I can even bring my Ipod to work (I cook at a daycare)and listen as I clean up the kitchen and do the dishes. I have never listened to Joshilyn Jackson’s books. This is a must on my book list. Thanks!

  14. Robin September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Audiobooks are my absolute favorite. I often find myself in the car alone going to visit my family that lives in another state or running my kids all over the place and waiting for them. These are great times to listen to a book.

  15. apple blossom September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    love audio books when I’m exercising I can listen.

  16. JanellK September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Have never tried audio book, but going to see what my library has. Would love to try this one.

  17. Cammi Hevener September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love audio books!! Especially when traveling .. I share them with my aunts and my mother .. We all pass them around!

  18. Kathie September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve read all of Joshilyn Jackson’s books, can’t get enough! I only wish she would write faster. . Lol Have listened to a few of them, would love to hear this one!

  19. Ann Hite September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love me some Joshilyn! Loved your post Marybeth.

  20. Deb September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I LOVE audio books! I first experienced them as an adult returning student who didn’t have time to read anything other than textbooks. My first audio book was read by the author himself, Christopher Reave – Still Me. I was hooked. Another wonderful author who reads his books is Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes. I have often said “I read such-and-such”. My kids would tease me and say, “No, you didn’t. You listened to it”. I countered with “Would you tell a blind person who uses brail that they didn’t “read” the book?” They read with their fingers instead of their eyes. I read with my ears instead of my eyes. Now that I’m no longer a student, I still find audio books a great way to “read”, especially when my husband and I go on trips. Our first trip out of town is to the local library. So, I would love to read Ms. Jackson’s audio books!

  21. Janet Estridge September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love to listen to audio books especially when I’m cleaning the house.

  22. Sherrie September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I couldn’t agree more – Joshilyn is hands down my favorite audio book narrator. She just recently narrated another book that isn’t hers (Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer) that I’m can’t wait to get my hands on as well. If you haven’t tried her audio, definitely do it!!

  23. Holly Gault September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I adore Joshilyn. She molds language like a sculptor does clay. Not an ordinary sculptor, though — her creations are strange and wonderful.

  24. AnitaL September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I have to also give thanks to Sandy for leading me the audio books of Joshylin Jackson. After my first listen I’m now over half way through her books and I have the other two on my I phone…waiting their turn.

  25. Din T September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Would love to win a copy. I haven’t tried any audio books yet. Thanks!

  26. Paula Dolin September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I have never read any of her books – I’ll have to check them out! Thanks for the chance to win.

  27. Katherine Jones September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Love this story! What a great endorsement for thinking–or reading!–outside the box.

  28. Chris Sanders September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    AMEN to some books being better by audio! They have saved my sanity in Atlanta traffic! :) I would love to be blessed by this book–have never read any of JJ’s!!
    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Chris

  29. Charity September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I’d love to try an audio book. I can’t read in the car since it makes me car sick, so it would nice to have them for long trips.

  30. Sherry September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Audio books make the drive time seem a lot shorter.

  31. Tiffany September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I love Joshilyn Jackson and have read all her books. I’m anxious to hear A Grown Up in her voice. I bet she makes the characters really come alive!

  32. Nancy Mininger September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve ‘read’ every one of Joshilyn Jackson’s on audio, except A Grown-Up Kind Of Pretty, which I haven’t been able to get yet. Would love to win it, but if I don’t, I will eventually get it and have a listen. Some authors are great on audio, and JJ is one of them!

  33. Jessica September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I am always singing Joshilyn’s praises. I listened to The Girl Who Stopped Swimming as an audiobook and loved hearing Joss read it. Would love to win this!

  34. Kristina September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    So enjoyed the book and would love to share it with my carpool amigas!

  35. Dara September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I read all of Joshilyn’s books, then went back and listened to them on audio. There were times I had to press the pause button because I was laughing so hard at what a character said and they way she said it that I would miss the next part. Other times, I would swear she added things to the audio book that were not in the paper version – because it became so alive for me. Each book quickly becomes my favorite. And I agree with Kathie – she needs to write faster ;)

  36. Karen September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I read the book and loved it. It’s totally worth a reread, both on paper and audio.

  37. Veronica September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I listened to a couple books of the Mitford series on audio read by the author and really enjoyed them, so I agree that the author reading their own work really adds to the story. This author sounds great!

  38. Sharon cox September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I too have read then all and I sincerely love them all!

  39. Barbara September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve never listened to an audiobook, but I’ve read all of Joshilyn Jackson’s books in the more traditional way. I’d certainly love to hear her voice again — that wonderful voice I heard at her talk and book signing for A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty here in Richmond, VA in February.

  40. Chris September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    My wife and I both love all of Joshilyn’s books, but we’ve never tried the audio versions. As clever and hilarious as the writing is, I can only imagine how much better it is hearing it the way she heard it when she wrote it!

  41. Kimberly September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I have read all of her books, but would love to re-experience their loveliness through Joshilyn’s own voice!

  42. Linda F. September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Would love to win an audio version of this book! I can’t read in the car b/c I get ill:( Having an audio book would do the trick!
    Thanks for a chance to win!

  43. Nicole in WI September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I love audio books – but can’t listen in the car – I get too interested in the book and forget where I am going! ;-)

  44. Laurel September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Enjoying your blog. Getting ideas for my “in person” book club. Love JJ books.

  45. Vicki September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Really enjoyed the audiobook of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming. Would love to win an audio copy of A Grown-up Kind of Pretty.

  46. Amanda September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I commute 1-2 1/2 hours daily. A wonderful friend convinced me to try audio books, so I gave it a shot. I absolutely love them and I’m always searching for new books. It’s amazing how they can change a mundane trip into an enjoyable one. Radio just doesn’t measure up. Yay, audio books!

  47. Nan September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I agree that an audio book can bring the story alive, particularly if it is read by a good reader and especially if that person is the author. I would love to hear this book.

  48. Kristie September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Love me some audio books! It’s a new way of enjoying a book and bringing the words to life!

  49. Janice Cumberlidge September 21, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I absolutely LOVE Joshilyn Jackson, I have read all her books (the print versions) and can’t get enough of her. BUT I have to confess I don’t have much time at all for reading anymore, so I think audiobooks might be the way to go. I’ve listened to other audio books and I love the way that the intimate relationship between your earphones and your brain creates an even more vivid picture in your head. I’d especially enjoy the accents that would hopefully come out in one of Joshilyn’s audio books.
    For anyone who hasn’t tried her books, get one now, I recommend starting at the beginning, I was hooked straight away with ‘Gods in Alabama’.
    So, please, please enter me to win the audio copy of Joshilyn Jackson’s new book!!
    Thanks!
    Janice.

  50. Anna Evans September 21, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Would love to have this audio! I enjoy your posts and look forward to them each day.

  51. Mary September 21, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve read EVERY ONE of her books! Would love to hear one read! Please enter me on the give away!

  52. Carole Dixon September 21, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve listened to all of Joshilyn Jackson’s books. She snagged me with Gods in Alabama and I’ve been on board with each one since then. Gods in Alabama remains my favorite.

  53. Brooke September 21, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I too, am a lover of printed books but would be willing to try an audio…..if I had one! :) Brooke

  54. Sandy September 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    You just know my heart is singing right now. WE ARE JJ APOSTLES!!!

  55. Midge Roton September 23, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I drive 48 miles a day to & from work & listen to a lot of audios. I have read all of Joshlyn Jacksons’ books, would love to listen to A Grown Up Kind of Pretty, think that is the best book J J has wrote..

  56. Rachel Harrison September 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I have to say, That I am one of the luckiest gals out there, to have had the honor of meeting Joshilyn Jackson. She came to Niceville FL. The beginning of this year for a lunchon & signing of her latest book A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty. (Best Birthday Gift Ever!) What an amazing Author & Storyteller she is!!!! She read us a few paragraphs from her new book!!!!
    Please consider me, for the Audio Book.
    Much Thanks,
    Rachel

  57. gillian September 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    have read and heard all her books, but only read this one.
    would love it on audio to add to my collection. please pretty please

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