I read fifty (fifty!) books this year, and I am not what you would call a speed reader. I never would have been able to read that many if not for the eight or nine of them that were audio books. I’m not a huge audio book fan, because I like to marinate in good books more than the format allows (hence my slow-reading tendencies). But I spend about an hour in the car on a typical weekday, and listening to a book is a good way to occupy the part of my brain that’s not watching the road, which I assure you is what the vast majority of my brain is doing, like, seriously 99%, officer, I swear.
Anyways, on to the best!
Best Audio Book of 2018
The Everlasting Man – G.K. Chesterton
This was my first experience with any of Chesterton’s writings, and, man, it absolutely blew my mind. The premise of the book is Chesterton methodically explaining how Christianity just makes sense. And, spoiler, it really does.
This has inspired me to get to know Chesterton more, and probably to re-read this book in, y’know, actual book form too. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s interested in reading and/or listening to some masterful apologetics.
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
After listening to more audio books than usual this year, I had come to the conclusion that the format was better suited to non-fiction than to fiction. With a non-fiction book, the narrator just read it to you. But with a fiction work, apparently the narrator is expected to “perform” the book, with drama and different voices for all the characters and all that. To me, this was always too cute by half — I thought the narrators were making a good effort, but the result was always extremely meh.
Then I listened to Brave New World, and I realized that it wasn’t the format, it’s just that the other narrators weren’t that good at it. Brave New World was performed by Michael York, star of many things and well-known (to me, at least) as Basil Exposition in the Austin Powers movies. And his performance here is truly amazing. This is the first time I’ve thought that I enjoyed a book more as an audio book than I would’ve enjoyed actually reading it.
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
And this is the second. Narrator Rob Inglis has done both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings audio books, which makes sense because his work here is phenomenal. His reading provides a perfect, Middle-Earthy vide. There’s a lot more singing from the characters than I would’ve thought, but Inglis pulls it off with a great deal of panache.
The Weight of Glory – C.S. Lewis
It’s C.S. Lewis. Enough said.