Armchair BEA: Beyond the Books

Day three of Armchair BEA brings this topic:

Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, webcomics, etc)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reading experience?

If you check out my Review page, you'll see that I listen to a lot of audiobooks. So many in fact, that it's becoming the format I choose most to engage in literature. This is something that happened due to a couple of factors: they became easier to access, and I spend too much time on things other than sitting down and reading. I'm crafting or walking or cleaning or working on some project. I can't seem to sit still! An audiobook helps keep me involved in the book blogging world.

Access became much easier with the rise of iphones. It used to be I'd have to get a book on CD (usually many CD for one book), put it on my computer, then transfer it to whatever listening device I had. If the CDs came from the library, they were usually in bad shape and parts were corrupted. Now I can go onto Overdrive and borrow from the library where the book gets added to my phone's app. I'm fortunate enough to get audiobook ARCs and can access them through an app or download them from Dropbox. It's so much easier!

This format does affect the reading experience. Obviously, there is the narrator, who can make or break it. A good narrator should be unobtrusive. They should be like that little voice in your head you have while reading, or as close as you would imagine. They shouldn't overwhelm the text with their own personality, but become the characters in the book. This is more than reading. This is acting! This can have the effect of being forever associated with certain characters. I'll always hear Susie Riddell as Jane Steele.


Here are some audiobook experiences that I really enjoyed:

  • Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye read by Susie Riddell
  • Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu read by Megan Follows
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis read by James K White
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey read by Tina Fey
  • The Winter People by Jennifer MacMahon read by Cassandra Campbell and Kathe Mazur

How about you? Do you listen to audiobooks? Or do you have another format you enjoy?


  1. Always looking for a good audiobook! Thanks

  2. I LOVE THE WINTER PEOPLE! It was so good. Great choice.

  3. I have been slowly getting back into audio books over the last month or so! I listened to The Winter People last year and enjoyed it!

  4. I love audiobooks and have WAY too many from Audible but I still get frustrated that my library doesn't have a better selection through Overdrive. I was going to subscribe to Scribd but then they changed their format and I'm not sure I want to pay for the limitations. LOVE Cassandra Campbell's narrations!

  5. When I drove an hour into Houston each morning and an hour back home each night, I got through a lot of great audiobooks. Now my job is five minutes away. Gain some, lose some.


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