The Best Audiobooks Currently on Scribd

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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!

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10 Books Reading Challenge

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That’s right everyone, I have met my Goodreads reading goal for 2017! We are two months into the year and I’ve already hit that coveted goal, so why bother reading any more for the next ten months? Bring on the TV binge watching.

I know that last year when I changed my Goodreads reading goal to 10 books I had a few questions about why I’d set my challenge to such a ‘low’ target. Since this is a number I have decided to stick with I thought I might address the issue of ‘why’ in a wee blog post.

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100 Women Writers

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I think it’s fair to say that the vast majority of lists, especially from mainstream outlets, suggesting ‘100 Books You Should Have Read in Your Lifetime’ are dominated by male authors. Fantastic authors with great books, sure, but nevertheless unrepresentative of the population makeup. My mum and I have a penchant for scrolling through these lists together and seeing how many of the books on it we have read – my mum in particular likes to set herself the goal of reading as many of these books as possible. More often than not, however, we despair at the overwhelming gender bias they present. Even when I sought out specifically female focused lists of ‘100 Authors You Must Read’ they did not offer 100 female authors but 100 books by female authors many of which were written by the same authors.

This is in no way due to a lack of phenomenal women writers to chose from. As fantastic as Jane Austen is (you will see her featured here) there are many more women writers out there. So I have decided to curate my own list of ‘100 Women Writers I Need To Read In My Lifetime’. The women on this list go as far back as antiquity and as far forward as the 21st century. They have been pulled from the suggestions on the standard ‘100 Books To Read’ lists, my own experience with women writers who have made important contributions to literature and recommendations from my mum (with a few adages from friends). Each and every one deserves to be on this list but it didn’t take long for me to realise 100 was a very small number; this list is, therefore, by no means exhaustive.

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The Hunger Games the 2nd Time Around

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Over the span of the last week, I have re-read Suzanne Collins’ entire Hunger Games trilogy for the second time and what an adventure it has been. I originally read the trilogy shortly after the first film was released on DVD and I watched it one night not expecting much but coming away thoroughly surprised and impressed. After that I just had to read the books; I had to know what happened to Katniss, Peeta & the rest of the citizens of Panem. So I delved in with the first book in the series only to learn so much more than the film had shared with me and continued to zoom through books two and three. I was honestly shocked by how these books actually managed to successfully live up to the hype I had been hearing from left, right and centre; just based on past experience.

Now, four years on, I decided it was time to re-read the series for the first time. I am an avid re-reader as much as I am an avid reader. If life is proving stressful there is nothing I find more soothing than to return to a story that brought me joy the first time around and re-emerse myself in its pages. The re-read often provides with me with as equally an exciting journey as the original read, a return to old emotions and the discovery of new. The Hunger Games did not disappoint. Everything I enjoyed about the series the first time around was waiting for me and something extra too.

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It Begins With Picture Books

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Books provide so many things, at different times and for different people. More often than not, however, they expand our world. They introduce to new places, and people, and ideas. They develope our vocabulary and show us how to use language in new and exciting ways. They make us consider ourselves and the people around us. They inspire and give us hope.

One of the most wonderful things my parents gave to me was the joy of reading. This simple passion has taken me to so many places, metaphorically and literally, that I may never have gone if it were not for them. And it all started with picture books. I was lucky that amongst my children’s picture books were insights into different cultures from my own, varied characters of different races, sexualities and backgrounds and introductions to difficult but important topics; I’m certain I’m a better person for it.

I was thinking about this most recently because of two books that came through my letter box (OK the postie had to ring the doorbell). These are truly beautiful books: beautiful ideas, beautiful words and beautiful images. They break down prejudices, open up the reader’s mind and potentially make some feel a little less alone. For that reason I had to share them with you all in someway or another.

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Books that made me | The Argonautica

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The Argonautica; Jason and the Golden Fleece; Jason and the Argonauts; apparently the book with a million names, by Apollonius of Rhodes (can we also acknowledge that he wasn’t even from Rhodes).

So, because who cares about chronology lets jump many years into the future for my next ‘Books that made me’ instalment: from secondary school the early years to university the early years. This book first entered my life in January of 2012 – recently enough that I can be that specific. It was one of the three set texts for my Classical Literature course in the 2nd term of my 2nd year at university. The course itself was all about Ancient Epic and featured along side The Argonautica Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. Neither of which quite did it for me in the way Apollonius’ work did.

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Books that made me | The Penelopiad

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The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

What can I say about this book that I haven’t said before? Probably nothing so that’s why I’m going to start at the beginning and probably repeat some things that the 3 people who have actually watched every single one of my YouTube videos will have heard before.

This post is not a book review per say but the first in a series of posts sharing with you the ‘books that made me’; this is to say the books that have stuck with me since the day I read them, that have had an impact on the decisions I have made, the way I perceive the world and the person I am today, big or small. You can assume that I recommend each and everyone of these books before I say anything else and what I’d like to do here is just give some context to what that book has meant to me in my life.

So back to The Penelopiad.

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