The Best Audiobooks Currently on Scribd

PicMonkey Collage-5.jpg

I recently joined Scribd – an app that allows you to listen to unlimited audiobooks and read unlimited ebooks for a set monthly price. Like with anything else my instant instinct since signing up has been to troll their catalogues for books that spark my interest, in particular audiobooks because it’s a massive saving listening this way. As an avid audiobook listener, however, where was I to start – their selection seems endless. So apart from searching the app I’ve been asking on Twitter for recommendations, and using google to look for other Scribd users favourite audiobooks. During this proccess it occured to me that if you are looking for something, chances are, someone else is too. And since I’m asking for your help I thought perhaps I could also lend a hand of my own. Which brings us to this blog post where I’m going to share my selection of the best audiobooks currently available on Scribd (this may vary depending on the country you’re listening in). Most of these I have already listened to either prior to downloading Scribd or since I installed the app but a few are books I’m incredibly excited to listen to myself in the coming weeks and months. I hope you find some recommendations from this list and do let me know what audiobooks on Scribd you would recommend.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – I’ve already written a dedicated review to this book on my blog, which you can read here, so I’ll keep it brief. This is the first novella in an addictive science fiction trilogy that packs a punch despite its size. Even if you’re hesitant to dive into the sci-fi genre I’d urge you to give this one a listen.

Persuasion by Jane Austen – I’ve selected this Austen novel as it’s the only one I’ve listened to on audiobook, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’re an Austen fan, or hold the potential to become one, however, there are quite a few of her novels available on Scribd to listen to.

Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman – This is one of my next listens. I’ve been meaning to read/listen to this collection for quite some time and was incredibly excited to see it was available on Scribd. Freeman often writes about mythology including that of the ancient Greeks, my main squeeze, as well as translated ancient latin texts but this volume focuses on the exciting world of Celtic folklore.

The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier – Juliet Marillier is one of my all-time favourite authors. She writes the most absolutely exquisite fantasy novels you will ever read. This is not one I’ve read yet but was unsurprisingly ecstatic to see that it was available.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells – The first audiobook I listened to on Scribd and I don’t regret it (I’m currently listening to book two). Another science-fiction novella series but this one focuses on an introverted android trying to avoid human contact at all cost.

Because We Say So by Noam Chomsky – OK, I’ll admit, I found this one a little dense listening but nonetheless fascinating and I couldn’t make this list without including some political non-fiction. Chomsky always makes for thought-provoking reading.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – Libba Bray is another one of my favourite authors, her historical fantasy series following the young Gemma Doyle, in particular, holds a special place in my heart. This book, on the other hand, is a witty, feminist reinterpretation of Lord of the Flies.

Soulless by Gail Carriger – The hilarious, tongue in cheek adventures of a willful 18th-century high society lady in a London full of vampires and werewolves; what more could you want?

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward – This is a gorgeous novel that I first experience on audiobook and focuses in on the days leading up to hurricane Katrina in Mississipi. It follows a young girl who discovers she’s pregnant whilst her family try to prepare for the impending weather warning and draws on the myth of Jason and Medea.

Eragon by Christopher Paulini – One of my top five favourite books of all time. I’m ready to re-listen to this one now for the hundredth time.

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson – Another longtime favourite, this book partially inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series! It is a children’s fantasy novel following an orphaned boy from a magical world and will utterly capture your imagination regardless of your age.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler – I’m reading this one myself for my book club in November and December and I can’t wait. It is one of the first ever science fiction novels written by a black woman in English and has an exceptional reputation.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan Maguire – I’ve had the fortune of being able to continue on with this series since downloading the Scribd app with book two. Book one, however, centres on a boarding school for children who were taken to different fairy realms before being unceremoniously returned to the mortal world and are finding it difficult to adjust. Clever right!

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente – Valente is an author I’ve heard nothing but good things about and have been meaning to read for myself. Where better to start than with a novel inspired by Russian folklore?

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel – Historical fiction set in the prehistoric age of homo-neanderthal? Give it to me now!

Advertisements

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

25667918

Title: Binti

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Publisher: Tor

Feeling: Expansive

★★★★★

I knew finally signing up to my local library in London would be a good thing! Binti has been on my radar for a few years; it consistently pops up on sci-fi readers’ channels on BookTube and in particular Elizabeth from BooksandPieces sells this story with infectious passion. Now I’m no hard-core science fiction reader. I enjoy John Wyndham and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy plus I’ll devour any dystopian novel you hand me. Aside from Douglas Adams, my experience with stories sent in space itself, however, extends as far as Dr. Who, Star Trek: Next Generation and Firefly. It’s not something I’ve actually read a terrible amount of. But if anything could convince me to do so it is Binti.

This book blew me away with the emotional impact it was able to have in less than one hundred pages. A novella as opposed to a full-length novel this book is the first in a series, of which two more are already available (and I’m half way through number two). It follows our protagonist Binti, a member of the Himba people who are one of multiple cultures that live on Earth. The Himba tend to remain in their own community and never do they leave Earth. Binti, however, is the first of her people to have been offered a place at Oomza University, situated on a planet other than her own, and she is not about to turn it down.

Read More »

Hungry Eyes (Flash Fiction)

This year I’ve been pushing myself to write more. Creative writing was my first love when I was a child, I went through endless notebooks writing my own stories and ‘novels’ (usually about dragons). As the years have gone on and I’ve moved through university and academia my fingers have become more and more occupied with non-fiction and academic writing. This isn’t a bad thing but I do miss regularly writing fiction, even if it’s mediocre fiction. In 2018 I’m trying to focus on doing things I love and after finding that I was spending more time writing in 2017 than I had been recently I wanted to set aside time to pursue that pleasure on a regular basis this year. I am, however, somewhat rusty so I’ve been experimenting with lots of different forms and having a bit of fun with it. A few of you mentioned you’d be interested in reading some of the little things I’d come out with so here is a piece of ‘flash-fiction’ I wrote earlier this year that I’ve imaginatively titled ‘Hungry Eyes’. Enjoy! (Or don’t, whatever.)

Read More »

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

51J0dhoqQDL-1._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Author: Libba Bray

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Feeling: Longing

★★★★★

This is the first book I have read by Libba Bray who is, in fact, quite the prolific author and incredibly popular amongst fans of Young Adult literature. My interest was peaked in Bray’s writing after reading an article she had written here for EW that Monica from SheMightBeMonica shared online. Upon reading Bray’s article I immediately ordered both A Great and Terrible Beauty and Beauty Queens by the author. Seeing her discuss the influences and objectives of her young adult work made me see them in a much more complex light than perhaps the blurbs alone would have. Not only did my first foray into her work not disappoint, it far exceeded all of my expectations. A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first in her Gemma Doyle series and what a beginning it is.

The year is 1895 and our story follows Gemma Doyle, a young woman from a wealthy English family who has spent her entire life thus far growing up in India. After tragedy strikes, however, her life is uprooted and she is sent to board at a girls’ finishing school in England. Her life in England is far more than elocution lessons and keeping up with this season’s latest fashions; Miss Doyle is haunted by visions of another world, one both terrifying and beautiful.

This book melds together 19th century Britain, female friendships, sexual awakenings and magic. The story and characters are engaging and mysterious with so much more bubbling under the surface. There is so much I enjoyed about this first book in the series that it is difficult to condense my feelings for you in one blog post, but here I go.

Read More »

Hollow Pike by Juno Dawson

Title: Hollow Pikeimages.jpeg

Author: Juno Dawson

Publisher: Orion Books

Feeling: Secretive

★★★★

Rarely does an author’s debut novel accomplish everything it sets out to do. Hollow Pike sets up a premise, introduces us to its characters and takes us on a journey that ticks every box the reader is looking for it to fulfill. The novel itself first came out in 2012 and is not my first foray into Juno Dawsons’s writing. I had previously read Say Her Name when it was released in 2014, a novel which also falls into the Young Adult Thriller/Horror genre, and shortly before picking up Hollow Pike I had finished listening to the audiobook of Dawson’s first adult nonfiction work The Gender Games. In fact, it was listening to The Gender Games that had me itching to finally pick Hollow Pike up from my shelf having acquired it shortly after finishing Say Her Name. This is not a review of The Gender Games but I think it is safe to say that the book had to be pretty good to have me jumping straight into another work by that same author.

Hollow Pike, as I have mentioned, is a Young Adult book that could be described as a thriller or even horror novel. Due perhaps to the flexibility of Young Adult writing, where Dawson herself feels authors are freed from the confines of a single genre, Hollow Pike offers a little more than goosebumps. The book follows Lis who has recently moved from her high school in Wales to one in Hollow Pike, Yorkshire, after a bad bought of bullying at her last school. Bullying, moving, new environments, making friends and first romances are all prevalent themes throughout the novel; all accompanied by a good, creepy mystery.

Read More »

Time Management Made Simple

Semi Sheer

No matter the life you lead it probably requires some sort of time management. Sometimes it feels as though the world around us thinks we all have time-turners stashed in our back pockets when loading our plates with daily tasks. Whether it is simply balancing your workload for school or university or juggling multiple work loads from your actual paying work to your creative pursuits, I hope I can help you with your time management with a few simple tips that have always worked for me.

Falsify Your Deadlines? (Creating Personal Deadlines)

This is my number one tip for time management and that is simply because it has always helped me. I don’t know about you but time makes me anxious (inconvenient given how it’s always there). Because of this, I like to take a little control when it comes to my deadlines. If I have a big project due on a certain date, assuming I’ve been given more than a week’s notice, then I will always put the deadline in a few days earlier in my diary than it is really due. At university this was usually a week ahead of an essay deadline but there is obviously room to tweet this tip to the piece of work you are dealing with. I would then, without hesitation, work to my new, self-imposed deadline. This significantly decreased my personal anxiety at having a deadline. Despite my treating the new deadline as seriously as if this was really the day an essay was due in, almost always completing my work for that day, simply knowing that if I missed that deadline I wouldn’t affect my overall grade put me at ease. It is also effective if you have multiple projects like essays due in on the same day or very close together. Set new, evenly spaced deadlines for each project, one of which may be the original deadline. It helps to take the pressure of that one date and to focus your mind on each item individually.

Read More »

Must Visit Green Spaces in Edinburgh

PicMonkey Collage-4
All pictures are my own and were originally posted on my Instagram account.

Edinburgh has always struck me as unique in its ability to be a bustling capital city where you can easily turn a corner to wonder if you have accidentally stumbled into the countryside. In this post I want to share with you four of my personal favourite green spaces in Edinburgh, from extinct volcanos to magical fairy gardens and much, much more.

Arthur’s Seat & Holyrood Park

There is nowhere I love in Edinburgh more than Arthur’s Seat and the surrounding parks. It is the one place in Edinburgh that I miss now that I live in London, as I truly cannot find anything comparable in the hustle and bustle of the UK’s capital. Arthur’s Seat itself is an extinct volcano and it is surrounded by expanses of greenery, multiple lochs and is attached to Holyrood Park where, surprise, surprise, Holyrood Palace is situated. Once you find yourself roaming the hills around Arthur’s Seat you forget you are in a city. It’s a beautiful place to escape to, never too busy especially if you explore the areas off the beaten track. I’ve spent a lot of my life in this park: playing imaginary games with friends, walking our dogs, rolling eggs on Easter and just taking time to myself to walk and unwind as an adult.

Read More »