Listen Up! Audiobook Challenge: 4th Quarter Update


Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…


Now that I am firmly part of TEAM AUDIOBOOK and an avid listener, I signed up for the annual Audiobook Challenge hosted by The Book Nympho and Hot Listens. My personal goal is to meet the My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) level 30-50 audiobooks during 2015. For more information about the 2015 Audiobook Challenge, click the image below.

Hot Listens/2015 Audiobook Challenge

Audiobook Challenge Fourth Quarter Update

It’s time to wrap up a wonderful year of listening to #audiobooks! Although the year isn’t quite over (I *should* be able to get in one or two more books before December 31st), I am happy to report that I completed my personal goal of listening to 50 audiobooks this year. I actually surpassed my goal of meeting the My Precious Level. Here is a list of the audiobooks I completed so far this quarter:

The MartianBook 40: Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost, Narrated by Tavia Gilbert (9/29)
Book 41: The Martian by Andy Weir, Narrated by R.C. Bray (10/7)
Book 42: Brighter Than the Sun by Darynda Jones, Narrated by Lorelei King (10/10)
Book 43: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher, Narrated by James Marsters (10/19)
Book 44: Death Masks by Jim Butcher, Narrated by James Marsters (10/27)
Book 45: Blood Rites by Jim Butcher, Narrated by James Marsters (11/5)
Book 46: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep, Narrated by Brittany Presley (11/16)
Book 47: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep, Narrated by Brittany Presley (11/23)
Book 48: Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis, Narrated by Karen White (11/27)
Book 49: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, Narrated by James Marsters (12/8)
Book 50: London Bound by Jessica Jarman, Narrated by Tatiana Sokolov (12/12)
Book 51: Drawn That Way by Bronwyn Green, Narrated by Tatiana Sokolov (12/16)

My favorite story that I listened to during the fourth quarter of 2015 is The Martian by Andy Weir; hands down – no contest. After hearing so much hype, I thought for sure it would be a let down. But I am here to tell you that the book will be in my top reads/listens of 2015! The Martian in audiobook format is near perfection when it comes to storytelling and narration. Additionally, I continued my love affair with the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I adored Death Masks (book #5) most of all, giving it an A. I like that we got to see a more human and emotional Dresden than in prior stories.

My favorite narrative performance this quarter is R.C. Bray in The Martian. He nailed the the performance, and absolutely made this story come to life. His voice embodied the passion, frustrations, and humor that defined the protagonist, Mark Watney. Honorable mention goes to James Marsters in The Dresden Files. Listeners enjoy a deep, rich, soothing voice that embodies all that is Dresden, creating the illusion of actually being inside Dresden’s mind as he works his way through his cases and life. His performance alone is worth listening to over and over.

You can find most of my audiobook reviews either by checking out my Listen Up! Posts or on Booklikes and GoodReads.

What about you – how are you doing in the Audiobook Challenge? Do you like to listen? What are your favorites of 2015?


  • I loved The Martian too. It my only relisten this year. I just picked up the next Dresden Files from the library to listen to very soon. I’ve been on the waiting list for a while. I just have to finish my current listen.

    So glad to have you as part of the Audiobook Challenge and audiobook community. Can’t wait to see what you listen to next year.

    • I’ve listened up through the 7th Dresden book – it was pretty dark. I’m taking a break and then I’ll get on the waiting list for the next one during 2016!

      I’m thinking I’ll bump up my goals for next year!!

  • Rummanah

    I’m so glad that you are enjoying the Dresden series! I love James Marster’s narration (well, I might be bias because I love Spike!). I have to get back in the series. I have heard that somewhere in the series there is a new narrator for a couple (?) of titles. Not sure.

    • It’s my understanding that originally one or two of the books were narrated by another performer, but that all of the books have been re-voiced with James. According to Wikipedia: “All 15 volumes of The Dresden Files, along with the companion short story anthology Side Jobs, have been released as audiobooks. Originally, all except Ghost Story have been narrated by James Marsters. Per a release on Jim Butcher’s website on June 27, 2011, he reported that, “due to scheduling conflicts”, James Marsters would be unable to voice Ghost Story; instead, the narration was performed by John Glover. James Marsters returned to read the Cold Days audio book. In April 2015, a rerecorded version of “Ghost Story” read by James Marsters was released.”

  • Lisa @ Captivated Reader

    Oooo, I keep hearing that the audio version of The Martian is FABULOUSLY well narrated!! I currently have the paperback version of The Martian waiting to be read by moi, but I am wondering if I should ditch it for the audio version!

    • I really loved the audiobook version because of the humor. Also, I imagine it’s easier to listen to the complex engineering rather than read it!

  • The Martian was one of my favorite audiobook performances of the year as well. I agree with you, the narrator embodied the Mark Watney and brought him to life.

    • It was so realistic, I kept looking for Mark Watney updates from NASA on my Twitter feed.

  • Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

    Great job. I really enjoyed The Martian too but I’m not sure if it’s my top fave audio.

    • I don’t know for certain, but it was probably my top listen of the whole year, but certainly this quarter.

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