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 »

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 »

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

31349579.jpg

Title: Stay With Me

Author: Ayobami Adebayo

Publisher: Canongate Books

Feeling: Astonishing

★★★★★

This book was first put on my radar when it was longlisted for The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction this year (2017). And let me tell you, I will be forever grateful it did. For me, the experience of reading this book demonstrates what is so magical about the Women’s Prize for Fiction, as without it I may never have picked Stay With Me up. Which would, I assure you, have been a great loss for me.

The book itself takes place in 1980s Nigeria and predominantly follows Yejidi, whose husband Akin, in the very first few pages of the book, takes a second wife without informing Yejidi that he is about to do so. Although he is not alone in their circle of family and friends to marry multiple women he did so against the express wishes of his first wife. The reason that Yejidi’s life is suddenly turned upside down is due to her inability thus far in their marriage to conceive a child and the pressure that has incurred from Akin’s family to find a wife who can. From that point on nothing unfolds as you might predict.

Read More »

10 Books Reading Challenge

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 13.41.00.png

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.

Read More »

The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

29087788.jpg

Title: The Arrival of Missives

Author: Aliya Whiteley

Publisher: Unsung Stories

Feeling: Expectant

★★★★

Prior to reading this novella I had read Aliya Whiteley’s other short novel The Beauty and a selection of her short stories; all of which deeply unsettled and disturbed me (The Beauty genuinely gave me nightmares). This is not a criticism, however, Whiteley’s writing is beautifully addictive and I was ready to read anything she wrote. I, therefore, instantly requested a copy of The Arrival of the Missives upon its release. For one reason or another, it took me a few months before I actually got a chance to read it but as soon as I arrived back at my parents home in Edinburgh for Christmas, where my books currently reside, I picked it up off the shelf. A decision I do not regret! I sped through this book, I quite literally could not put it down and it has made me all the more excited to see what Whiteley comes out with next.

The premise of the story begins with our protagonist Shirley, a 17-year-old girl about to complete her schooling and living on a farm in rural, post World War 1 Britain. We are made aware from the offset of the novel that she has feelings for her 24-year-old school teacher Mr. Tiller who returned from the war permanently injured. It is her intention, however, to make her feelings known to him now that her schooling is coming to an end in order for them to be together. From that point on absolutely nothing goes as you would expect it to.

Read More »

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

9781509818389The Wonder.jpg

Title: The Wonder

Author: Emma Donoghue

Publisher: Picador

Feeling: Steady

★★★★

I was a little apprehensive to pick up Emma Donoghue’s latest novel. Having previously read two of her other works and absolutely adored both I had high expectations for anything else she wrote. High expectations, can, sometimes be a terrible burden for any book to handle. The Wonder, however, bore my hopes steadfastly throughout my reading experience and assured me that Donoghue’s beautiful prose are here to stay.

The story is set in 1850’s Ireland and follows our protagonist Libby, an Englishwoman unfamiliar with rural Ireland. She was trained as a nurse by the renowned Florence Nightingale and thus comes with a certain reputation. She has been specifically hired to watch over Anna, an eleven year old Irish girl who has supposedly not allowed a morsel of food to pass her lips in the past four months. Naturally a collective of authority figures including priest and doctor wish to discover whether this is due to divine intervention or some trick that is being played; it is Libby’s duty to find out.

Read More »