What I’ve Been Audiobooking Lately

All of my audiobooks lately were new reads to me and I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t get any re-reads in via audiobook because I have been loving that. I also didn’t audiobook as much as lately because of my new podcast obsession.


The Running Dream

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

Oh man, I really liked this one! It’s about a girl who loses a leg and is facing the new reality of her life as an amputee. I was just really inspired by this book even though it was fictional because I know this could be someone’s story. I found myself so invested in Jessica and her journey — watching her feel defeated to watching her really work to walk and run again and her growing friendship with Rosa. It was just such a good book that really gets you pumped about how strong the human spirit is and makes you feel like you can accomplish anything. I also loved how it explored how we treat people who are sick or disabled or just physically different through Rosa’s character and Jessica understanding some of what Rosa has gone through. I do wish it would have been a little more grittier as it explored some of her depression after the accident and her struggles to run again. It definitely was a lighter, more uplifting story that gave an inspirational message, and while I definitely was moved by it, I know I would have felt more for it had it been a little grittier in areas. I would probably READ this one because I found the narrator so irritating — kind of valley girl like or how an adult might think a teenager sounds like — and just not my favorite. If I wasn’t so into the story I would have quit because of the narrator.


Boy Meets Boy

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

I’ve loved so many of David’s books but had never read this one. IT WAS SO DELIGHTFUL and the audiobook was soooo good. It was Full Cast Audio and it was my first time every listening to an audiobook where all the different characters had their own narrator when they spoke. The narrators were just all so great and engaging. As far as the story goes, it was just such a cute romance and I just adore all the characters! The setting was so interesting because it’s not at all like any high school I’ve ever seen — it’s this sort of made-up, fantastical  sort of high school where the cheerleaders ride motorcycles, the prom queen is also on the football team and there is so much openness/acceptance when it comes to sexual orientation. It was such a great book about friendships, too. I LOVED the friend group and how they were there for each other so much plus that sexuality wise it was all over the spectrum — people who were really confident in their sexuality and people who weren’t sure what they identified as, etc. This one was just so charming and funny and I just loved David’s books so much!


story of a girl

Story of A Girl by Sara Zarr

I just felt weirdly ambivalent to this one which was sad for me because I really loved Sweethearts. I do wonder if it was the format for such a quiet book…maybe reading it would have been better for me and I would have connected with Deanna better. There is always this sad yet beautiful undertone to Sara’s books and this definitely had that. Deanna was a character it was easy to feel truly bad for — she gets branded as the school slut at a young age when sleeping with her older brother’s friend and her dad is the one that catches her and basically hasn’t been able to look at or talk to her for years. The past has really affected her even years later, particularly because she was so young when it happened, and all she wants to do is get out of her parent’s house and have a new start. My heart ached for her through so much of this story even when she made incredibly bad decisions. I loved the relationship with her brother — that was a shining relationship for me in this story! I think I just wanted more when it comes down to it — Deanna was an interesting character but I only got invested to a certain point. There was just something missing for me.  The narrator was Sara Zarr herself and I thought she was good. I always like when the author reads because they kind of KNOW the inflections and how things are supposed to sound.








Have you read any of these books?? Tell me what you thought! What have YOU been audiobooking lately?

What I’ve Been Audiobooking Lately

I used to do audiobooks all the time (exhibit A) but then I stopped. Mostly it was due to the fact that I changed workouts and couldn’t listen to audiobooks anymore while doing it and also just having this feeling like I’d rather listen to music all the time. But I have found my way back to audiobooks when I feel like it in the second half of April and May I finished 3 audiobooks.

Also, side note THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your amazing recommendations in the comments of this post. I’m STILL going through them all and adding to my list! THANK YOU THANK YOU!


First up I did a reread of one of my favorite books:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I had been wanting to reread If I Stay for a while (it’s been YEARS since the first time I read it) so audio was the perfect way to get to it. It was a really solid audio performance. Really solid narrator. I will say I’m glad that I READ the book first as a physical book because I think I was way more connected to that. But as a REREAD…the audio was great. It was nice to revisit a story I know so well as a favorite but also experience all these details you’ve forgotten. It made me love this book one hundred times more. I really appreciated the details. Also, I realize how many details I “remembered” were actually things from the movie which I saw more recently than I read If I Stay obviously. Even knowing everything that happened this was just as emotional for me as it was the first time. I’ve talked before about why I’m afraid to reread books sometimes and I’m happy that this one held up for me…because it’s a major fear of mine.


Then I went on a little Dessen binge which I so enjoyed. As a general statement I find that her books make nice audiobooks (at least for me).


First up was Someone Like You:

Someone Like You by Sarah DessenSomeone Like You by Sarah Dessen



I really loved this one. Some of my friends say they didn’t like some of her early books but man did I love this one. I hadn’t read a ton of Dessen prior to this — a few books here and there — but this one was a little bit more serious or darker (I don’t even know if those are even the right words) than I remember the ones I had read a long time ago. I loved the friendship of Hayley and Scarlett in this one and how they were there for each other through some hard times — loss, day to day struggles, pregnancy, boy drama, etc.. The relationship between Hayley and her mom was an interesting one — I related with having a mom kind of similar to her — very overbearing and strict. I was actually REALLY surprised about the romance (he’s a bad boy type) and how it developed/where it went and even more shocked about how it all ended. I was REALLY happy with the ending — very refreshing and not something I see a whole lot. Regarding the audio, I had no qualms with the narration. Easy to follow.

And then I followed it with:

Lock & keyLock & Key by Sarah Dessen



Oh man did I love Lock & Key!! My heart was just so full and happy listening to this one. Teared up quite a bit. Dessen is just so damn talented in having complex and great relationships — romantic, family, friendships. Ruby’s home life is so sad to me and I was really excited to see her reunited with her sister Cora and how this sister relationship was explored — all the hurt of these years apart, the mistrust, the shared history as kids. It was so touching. And OH MY GOD I LOVED JAMIE. Jamie is Cora’s husband and he just made my heart so happy with his enthusiasm for holidays and family and his earnest welcoming of Ruby into their family. I just LOVED how much about family this book was. Like I’m tearing up thinking about it now — the family we have and the family we make out of friends and romances. And Nate. Oh man, Nate. Loved that dude. Such a great relationship between he and Ruby. I just really didn’t want the audio to end at all. I want more of all these characters. Again, I enjoyed the audio and found it engaging and easy to follow.

Have you read either of these Dessen books? I’m also curious if anyone has reread If I Stay &  if so how it held up for YOU.

I Need A Recommendation: Audiobooks

So I used to do the audiobook thing (while I worked out and cleaned and commuted) but in the past couple years I kind of wasn’t into them. It was a combination of starting a new workout routine (Pilates rather than lots of time on the treadmill/bike), preferring music to audiobooks on my commute to my nannying gig (oh um also being unemployed and not having a commute except the one around my one bedroom apartment) and just not having any idea what audiobooks were solid/losing focus on them.

I was talking to my very wise friend Asheley about this (you should check out her blog!) and she suggested that, since two of my goals were to get back into audiobooks and also reread more, that I should try audiobooks as a way to reread. UM BRILLIANT. I think I could focus more on a reread as I get back into the audiobook thing because I’m already familiar with the story and plus YAY revisiting favorites.

Ya audiobook recommendations

So, I have two things I need help with. I’m going to list some books I want to reread and hope some of you have listened to them on audio and tell me if they are solid. AND I’d love to get your recommendations for THE BEST audiobooks you’ve listened to — YA, adult, non-fiction. Don’t care. I’m open to anything that’s a good audiobook and you all know my tastes are pretty varied.

Books I Want To Re-Read & Am Considering An Audiobook For

*I don’t ACTUALLY know if they all have audiobook versions but am too lazy to check at the moment*

Golden by Jessi Kirby
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
The Hunger Games series
Unearthly series
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
The Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Just One Day by Gayle Forman (though I’m kind of leaning towards reading the physical book for some reason)
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

And lastly, don’t forget to leave me your recs for the BEST audiobooks you’ve listened to!


Thank you in advance!!!


Also, I’m curious about your audiobook habits! Do you audiobook? Why or why not? If you do, when do you get your audio-booking in? What are your favorite things to listen to as audiobooks?

How Books Are Turning Me Into A Super Fit & Productive Person!

Let’s have a moment of full disclosure before I begin: I am in no way a trained fitness guru or a doctor. Seriously, up until last month working out to me was walking to the freezer to mingle with my friends Ben & Jerry or car dancing to Call Me Maybe. This has just been my method to get myself more active with something I love.

It’s true.

I have discovered the amazingness of audiobooks in helping me curb the lazy and get done All Of The Things I Hate To Do But Have To Because I’m A Grown-up. I have been an audiobook participator prior to this. They made me a wee bit less stabby during my commute and I really started to not care about sitting in traffic (minus when I have to pee or when I’m really hungry). They’ve been great on long car rides when I’m by myself. I had become a fan of them finally after being scared of them.

But I never realized how fantastical they were as motivators.

How They Are Helping Me To Get In Shape & Be Productive Maniac Around The House

I’ve always been a pretty thin girl (runs in the family) but I’ve  noticed that the ol’ metabolism just ain’t what she used to be so the husband and I decided we were going to work out. Guys, I hate working out. I’m 27 and haven’t worked out regularly since I played lacrosse in high school. I’d rather been subjected to torture than willingly work out. Though working out really is about the same as torture. I feel like I am going to die every moment I’m working out and make the most hideous faces doing it. I call BULLSHIT on the glowing people who feel all magnificent and like they could conquer the world after working out. LIES. I look like death and feel like death afterwards.

I’ve never been able to be consistent about it until now. I mean, I’m only a month in but UM this is an accomplishment for me. Here’s the deal:

1. Pick an audiobook you know is going to REALLY REALLY capture your attention or that you’ve been dying to read. I go for something lighter because sometimes really densely written books are hard for me to concentrate on. I also ask other audiobook lovers or read audiobook reviews to find audiobooks with really great narrators. A narrator can make or break your experience, folks. Nobody wants to listen to someone that reminds them of the most boring, monotone professor they ever had. This is an IMPORTANT step because it ties into step 2.

2. Motivation is a problem for me and I needed strict rules. I’m like the horse that needs to follow the carrot. Thus I have made a rule that I am not allowed to listen to my audiobook anywhere else except for working out (or taking a walk) or while cleaning. This is why #1 is so important because I have to WANT to find out what happens and to finish the book. I made a strict rule about my “Active” audiobook not being allowed to be used in the car. I’ll have another audiobook for that.

3. Figure out what “active” is to you. The rules I have made for myself for now as I’m easing in to the workout thing is that I must do some sort of cardio for at least 30 minutes every day. Sometimes I do some free weights. I also let myself listen, as I said, when I’m being active around the house — washing dishes, cleaning, folding clothes or even yard work like raking leaves. I’ll cut myself some slack if I’m sick or in other situations where I may not be home and have access to a gym but that’s it. Even if I’m not feeling like I want to do a really intense workout, I still make myself at least walk on the treadmill slowly for 30 minutes.

4. Give yourself reward: The audiobook itself is a reward in a way but I’ve decided that for every three ( you can change this accordingly) audiobooks I complete I get to go out and buy a new book (y’all know I am still looking for work as I got laid off from work right before my wedding so this is a big deal to me). Pick whatever reward you want — new shoes, new makeup, a fancy dinner, a whole chocolate cake after your workout. Whatever will help motivate you.

5. Give yourself a punishment: You don’t HAVE to do this but I’ve made a rule for myself that if I skip a workout because I’m just being lazy that the next time I work out I am not allowed to listen to my audiobook or my music. So that’s THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES OF TORTURE IN WHICH I AM NOT DISTRACTED BY ANYTHING. It has helped me by making me less likely to skip a workout for lazy reasons.

6. Enjoy the results! I don’t feel like I’ve drastically seen a difference in my body yet but I honestly have stuck to my workout which I truly have never done before. I feel super productive because I’m getting through a book a want to read and keeping myself active and healthy. It’s funny because I also find myself sometimes getting done with a workout and ending on a good part and so I’ll come home and do the dishes just so I can end at a better place. The house is staying a little bit more clean and I really dread doing some of these tasks less because I’m doing something I enjoy. I still don’t enjoy working out but this helps. It does.

A few other things:

– Let’s do the math a little bit. Let’s say you work out/are active for an hour each day and your audiobook is 8 hours long…you can have that sucker done in a little over a week. So that would be 3-4 extra books you could be “reading” per month! WOO!

– I find them to be great for times when you might want to re-read a book in the series before the next book comes out. It will be easier for you to concentrate and follow because you are already familiar with the story. Same goes for old favorite. Harry Potter fans SWEAR by the audiobooks and say that the narrator is incredible so all you HP fans who are dying for a re-read it might be a good route to go!

– I’ve been utilizing my library for free audiobooks as well as their Overdrive system where you can download it online. Sometimes I can find decently priced ones on Amazon. There is also ITunes and of course Audible.  Another great option is Paperbackswap. You basically get credits for swapping books and sending them out to people in exchange for credits. I used to use it A LOT. That way when you are done with the audiobook you could put it back up there and get a new one!

-Be careful. I know it’s easy to get all caught up in a book but I don’t want to see this happen.


What about you guys…do you listen to audiobooks to help you work out or get things done around the house? What are some of your favorite audiobooks? I’m sure others (including myself) would love some good recommendations for audiobooks that were so captivating!

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