#1 Posted by DukeT (119 posts) -

For a while now I've been downloading every podcast I can get my hands on so I can listen to them in my spare time. Seems I have a lot of that time on my hands as of late, and I was wondering if anyone could suggest some books (preferably available as audiobooks) to listen to.

I trust the tastes of GiantBomb's community for some decent suggestions, and honestly I don't even know where to begin the process of looking for a good book, as any reading I do already comes from school or the internet. I just want some entertaining stuff, and I'd rather ask around instead of browsing a best seller list for something that I might not even like.

#2 Posted by xdaknightx69 (450 posts) -

The complete Sherlock Holmes. always a great read/listen. if you are getting the audiobook version find one with a British accent.

#3 Edited by xyzygy (10078 posts) -

A Song of Ice and Fire! They're really fucking good, I'm on Clash of Kings and they seriously just get better and better. The cast of characters are wide, varied and unique, and the universe is very fleshed out.

The first book is nearly identical to the TV show (except for two scenes which were deleted or altered) and the second is a little different even from the first few chapters.

#4 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -

Ready Player One audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton. Phenomenal.

#5 Posted by mlarrabee (3064 posts) -

The Man Who Was Thursday.

An utterly brilliant book by an utterly brilliant man. If you appreciate Hitchcock's sense of the MacGuffin and the ironic, you'll enjoy it.

And a second for the Sherlock Holmes series.

#6 Posted by Breadfan (6590 posts) -

World War Z is amazing in audio book form.

#7 Posted by Aegon (5840 posts) -

Name of the Wind

Game of Thrones

#8 Posted by Barrock (3553 posts) -

I just started a fantasy trilogy that I'm really, really enjoying. Starts with Prince of Thorns, and I'm reading King of Thorns now.

When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king...

It's time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what's rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar's men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father's castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

I also just finished Horns by Joe Hill which is fucking excellent. It's going to be made into a film soon so jump on it.

Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin's murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover . . . and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it's time for revenge . . .
#9 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

The Hobbit has a great audio book, used to listen to it when I was a kid. Dunno if you can purchase it anymore but i found it again on a certain bay where the pirates would stay.

#10 Posted by wewantsthering (1594 posts) -
  • The Graveyard Book
  • Dracula (The original book is amazing)
  • The Giver
  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead
  • The Disappeared (Retrieval Artist)
  • The Hunger Games (The first book is good)
  • Harry Potter
  • Brave New World
#11 Edited by TruthTellah (9475 posts) -

@DukeT: The Harry Potter series audiobooks are actually fantastic. I would say that listening to those books on audiobook, read by Jim Dale, is a right delight not to be missed.

#12 Posted by MegaLombax (427 posts) -

@xyzygy said: The first book is nearly identical to the TV show (except for two scenes which were deleted or altered) and the second is a little different even from the first few chapters.

I thought it was meant to be the other way round?

#13 Edited by Triumvir (496 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

A Song of Ice and Fire!

I can't echo this sentiment enough. I've been reading those books since the late '90s, and reread them when a new one comes out. It's the best piece of fantasy lit to be produced in the last two decades, in my opinion. Read at least to the end of the third book, which is the best. The last two, you might find lacking somewhat, but they have a troubled history and are basically building to the final conclusion of the series. There are audio books available for them, but I'm pretty sure they are abridged.

Have you ever read the Odyssey of Homer? A lot of folks are intimidated by it, but it's actually a really, really, good read. My favourite translation is by Robert Fagles. In fact there's an unabridged audiobook of that translation being read by Ian McKellen. It's pretty boss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IiP74_5Mnc

#14 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8607 posts) -

I can recommend some game novels, they are easy reading and can still be pretty enticing.
The first three Mass Effect novels are pretty good, as are any Warcraft books by Christie Golden.
Deceived and Revan from the Star Wars The Old Republic series are great as well.

#15 Posted by Ley_Lines (261 posts) -

I really enjoyed the steve jobs biography. I got it for free via amazon's audible (audio book) service. It's a decent service that gave (i don't know if it still does) the first audiobook for free.

#16 Posted by Levius (1230 posts) -

Its not a book but the Hardcore History podcasts are absolutely fantasic.

Book wise:

  • Brave New World
  • Night Watch by Terry Prattchet
  • The Battle for Spain by Anthony Beevor
  • Bad Science by Ben Goldacre (may be to UK centric in some places, but there's enough universal stuff)
  • Tokyo Year Zero by David Peace
#17 Edited by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

While listening to the last bombcast I tried looking for Jurassic Park on audiobook, but for whatever reason it's hard to find, damnit. Found The Lost World on Audible.com, but it says Jurassic Park is not available in my region.

In the past few months I've bought a bunch of Stephen King (dark tower series, It and 11/22/63) and Neal Stephenson (Reamde, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon) plus the Song of Ice and Fire series on Audible. I also would like to get the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book versions (I bought the radio versions though, and those are good too). I listened to Ready Player One and thought that was quite good, as well. (though it drags a bit in the middle, in my opinion)

I'd also recommend Hyperion and The Terror (but that only seems to be available in an abridged version on Audible, unfortunately, find the unabridged!) by Dan Simmons.

Blindsight by Peter Watts

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell (again only the abridged versions are on audible, don't settle!)

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (god damnit, abridged again. his novel The Prague Cemetery is unabridged, and that one was pretty good as well, but not in Pendulum's league really.)

The Player of Games by Iain M Banks (maybe his other book Consider Phloebas too. It's not quite as good, but still interesting. His book Use of Weapons is great but it's not available on Audible.)

Pick whatever Cormac Mccarthy book interests you and try that as well. I'd suggest The Road.

#18 Posted by Taborlin (177 posts) -

Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

Everybody I've given that book to has loved it, it's an awesome read.

Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch

Another great in my opinion, but it's got mixed reviews. It's basically crime, but it's not so dark...really funny in places.

#19 Posted by mtcantor (951 posts) -

@McGhee said:

Ready Player One audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton. Phenomenal.

Or you could just cut out the middleman and read/listen to Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson.

#20 Posted by wemibelec90 (1837 posts) -

Am I the only one that can stand someone reading a book to me? It drives me absolutely crazy.

#21 Posted by caska (145 posts) -

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher being read to you by James Masters (Spike from Buffy) is absolutely amazing!

I'm assuming you meant that you can't stand someone reading a book to you and I was much the same in the beginning but I now since I've listened to a few while at the gym or driving to uni I can safely say that it's just as engrossing and really passes the time. The only thing I've found is that you do need fairly well paced books. At first I tried to 'reread' the Wheel of Time by listening to it and well that failed....

Online
#22 Edited by blackichigo (176 posts) -

@caska: Sir, you deserve a virtual high five. I was just about to suggest The Dresden Files.

Everyone else, READ/LISTEN TO THIS SERIES. It is so damn fun. If Harry Potter grew up and became a private investigator, you would have The Dresden Files. What I love most about this series, is that the monsters are MONSTERS. Vampires and werewolves finally have their balls back. There are some genuine tense and sometimes scary moments in the series and is only eased by the chance that your main character can blow these beasts to hell. Plus James Marsters may now be my man-crush. I wouldn't sleep with him, but if wanted to borrow my girlfriend for the night.... maybe.

#23 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#24 Posted by skittles (156 posts) -

Oh man, I don't recall who was doing the voice-work, but I grabbed an audiobook of Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P Lovecraft, and it was fantastic. I was hoping the guy that did it would have done a bunch of other books as well, but it wasn't to be :(

#25 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

@McGhee said:

Ready Player One audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton. Phenomenal.

Or you could just cut out the middleman and read/listen to Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson.

Snowcrash is one of my all time favorite books, and while both involve virtual realities, they are completely different stories. Both are worth checking out.

#26 Edited by imsh_pl (3314 posts) -

Universally Preferable Behavior: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics

It's available both in pdf and audio format.

http://freedomainradio.com/FreeBooks.aspx

@blackichigo said:

@caska: Sir, you deserve a virtual high five. I was just about to suggest The Dresden Files.

That's the series Day9 praised isn't it?

#27 Edited by CosmicBatman (317 posts) -

I can easily recommend the last two books that I've read:

American On Purpose by Craig Ferguson (Autobiography)

John Dies At The End by David Wong

#28 Posted by Taborlin (177 posts) -

@wemibelec90:

I hate it, I only like certain voices and I like being able to set the pace...a lot of the time I read just to tire myself out as well so audiobooks just aren't that appealing - I can see how they'd be useful, though...I just have too much time on my hands to take advantage of it, heh.

#29 Posted by hanktherapper (384 posts) -

I joined Audible.com recently and here are the audiobooks I've enjoyed.

  • Firestarter by Stephen King.
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
  • 14 by Peter Clines
  • Masters of Doom by David Kushner (I purchased this today but haven't listened to it yet. It's on sale this week for members)
#30 Posted by Sergio (2257 posts) -

Here's my Goodreads list. Anything with 5 stars is what I'd recommend.

#31 Posted by Hunkulese (2875 posts) -
@xyzygy

A Song of Ice and Fire! They're really fucking good, I'm on Clash of Kings and they seriously just get better and better. The cast of characters are wide, varied and unique, and the universe is very fleshed out.

The first book is nearly identical to the TV show (except for two scenes which were deleted or altered) and the second is a little different even from the first few chapters.

They get better and better? You haven't even read two of them. I found that the series peaked with the red wedding and they've been fairly tedious to read since then.

There's nothing can can ruin a great series more than a fantasy author trying to extend it to far more books than he actually has interesting material for.
#32 Posted by Sergio (2257 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

@xyzygy

A Song of Ice and Fire! They're really fucking good, I'm on Clash of Kings and they seriously just get better and better. The cast of characters are wide, varied and unique, and the universe is very fleshed out.

The first book is nearly identical to the TV show (except for two scenes which were deleted or altered) and the second is a little different even from the first few chapters.

They get better and better? You haven't even read two of them. I found that the series peaked with the red wedding and they've been fairly tedious to read since then. There's nothing can can ruin a great series more than a fantasy author trying to extend it to far more books than he actually has interesting material for.

I agree. The books have progressively gotten worse. My problem is that I will still end up reading the next one simply to find out what Arya, the only character left of interest to me, will do.

#33 Posted by Undeadpool (4998 posts) -

@DukeT: World War Z

City of Thieves (it's Ron Perlman, nuff said)

There's a stage production of Dracula with Simon "Kain" Templeman as Drac that's pretty good, if a BIT hammy.

#34 Posted by DarthOrange (3906 posts) -
#35 Posted by caska (145 posts) -

and Wholeheartedly agree with what you guys are saying! His books reach a point where shit's just too depressing and nothing good ever seems to happen... and then you find yourself in a lull flicking forwards through pages to find how many pages you have to slog through before you reach an interesting POV. Still haven't even gotten around to reading Dance of Dragons and to be honest don't even know if I could be bothered at this point until he releases all of his books....

Online
#36 Edited by xyzygy (10078 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

@xyzygy

A Song of Ice and Fire! They're really fucking good, I'm on Clash of Kings and they seriously just get better and better. The cast of characters are wide, varied and unique, and the universe is very fleshed out.

The first book is nearly identical to the TV show (except for two scenes which were deleted or altered) and the second is a little different even from the first few chapters.

They get better and better? You haven't even read two of them.

I mean as you read. As in, chapter by chapter by chapter. Not book by book.

#37 Posted by Sergio (2257 posts) -

@caska: Dance of Dragons was terrible. Too much time spent on uninteresting PoVs for new characters introduced to the story you won't care about because they won't be in the next book since they die. I slogged through that for only one or two chapters that were worthwhile. I've been surprised that so many people actually liked it.

#38 Posted by Zella (827 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell (again only the abridged versions are on audible, don't settle!)

Reading that series currently, on Enemy of God at the moment. Really interesting take on the Arthurian "legends". I would also recommend the Saxon series by Cornwell.

#39 Posted by peachesrcool (78 posts) -

Dune Series?

#40 Posted by buttle826 (124 posts) -

I'm reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods right now, and It's pretty phenomenal. also, Name of the Wind, and its sequel, The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss are both excellent.

#41 Posted by JJWeatherman (14571 posts) -

@buttle826 said:

I'm reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods right now, and It's pretty phenomenal. also, Name of the Wind, and its sequel, The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss are both excellent.

I'm also reading American Gods! Started today! I'm on chapter eight and I can't put it down.

I have to read more Neil Giaman after this.

#42 Edited by Geralt (335 posts) -

John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise. Very funny for absurd humor (which I think you're into it because of the bombcast)

Robert Evans's The Kid Stays in the Picture. Weird insider stuff. And the fact that the narrator is "the guy" gave out the contextual for the story very well.