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June signals two things to me. Summer and audiobook month. So why not put the two together?! You may have heard of the term “beach read” and like me you might have wondered what makes a book a “beach read”. When I looked the term up I found things like “easily digestible”, “happy endings”, “fun and fast to read”, etc. Some people might say a beach read is a fluffy read. I think of them as fun and entertaining.
I’m not a huge fan of the beach (sand, hot, birds, other people’s kids) but if I was a person to sit on the beach (with a protective hat and sunscreen!! PSA from someone who works in a dermatology clinic) I wouldn’t want to be bothered with holding a book or ereader. I would want to be hands free to enjoy my beach read. So audiobooks!! Many fun novels can be even funnier with a great narrator.
Below are our top 5 list of audiobooks to enjoy at the beach.
Jennifer’s Top 5 List1Molly Harper
Any book written by Molly Harper and narrated by Amanda Ronconi. If you like funny paranormal romances then check out these series: Jane Jameson, Naked Werewolf, and Half-Moon Hollow. Fur and fang not your thang then try Harper and Ronconi’s work in contemporary with the Bluegrass series and a stand a lone title, And One Last Thing.
Harper’s writing is a snark filled, laugh out laugh ride from cover to cover. Ronconi is the perfect narrator to bring that sass to your ear buds. You will be laughing while drinking cocktail on the beach.
Speaking of cocktails, you’ll want to check out Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series out on audio narrated by Heather Smith. This author and narrator team are hilarious. You will be spitting your umbrella drink out while listening. People will wonder what’s wrong with the lady in the big hat, snorting and rolling in the sand.
The author duo of Christina Lauren writes funny and sexy romances that translates well to audiobook. Their Beautiful Bastard series is a great place to start for newbies to audio books and to Lauren’s work. With a cast of twenty-somethings friends, their journeys to HEA are an uproarious listen for summer time road trips are sitting pool side. The narrator changes with the books but they are all grade A performers: Grace Grant, Sebastian York, Jonathan Cole, Jeremy York.
4 Emma Chase
You want to listen to a romance written from the hero’s POV and laugh while doing it? Take a listen to Sebastian York deliver a snarky and cocky performance with Emma Chase’s Tangled series. Chase writes the stories funny and hot and York delivered with a swagger in his voice.
5 Kevin Hearne
Who says a beach read has to be a romance?! What something just as fun to listen to but not really looking for any romantic elements? Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles is a great listen in the car or sitting in the corner away from those pesky kids at a BBQ. Luke Daniels delivers a grand performance while bring Hearne’s fantastical characters to life.
Anne’s Top 5 List
I have to totally agree with Jennifer’s pick of Molly Harper books narrated by Amanda Ronconi. My first and still loved was The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires. I’m buying them as I get a chance. They are snarky and interesting and sexy.
A beautiful audio that captured me totally is Uprooted by Naomi Novik narrated by Julia Emelin. It is a standalone fairy tale fantasy with dragons and magic. The narrator’s voice has a perfect tone to weave the imagery in my head.
Listen to a clip here.
Another snarky, sexy, laugh out loud series is Charley Davidson by Darynda Jones narrated by Lorelei King. The grim reaper with her hot guy, best friends and family has plenty of mysteries to solve and chances to kick-ass. The first in this urban fantasy series is The First Grave on the Right.
Wanting more adventure, more subtle humor and lots of action? Harry Dresden is your guy. The series written by Jim Butcher is narrated by James Marsters (Spike!) and I had to own them all!
5J. K. Rowling
Last but not least, is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling narrated by Jim Dale , starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I LOVE it. Once I started, all I wanted to do was listen to it ALL the time. There’s the great characters, the magic, the mysteries and adventures. And now I get all kinds of references to it which are EVERYWHERE. And, who doesn’t love an accent? This, as the others, makes me feel, makes me laugh and it lives with me forever.
Jonetta’s Top 5 List
My definition of a beach read is any book you know is going to be good and can read it in a tranquil setting without interruption. So, you’ll see more mysteries/suspense on my list.
My favorite right now is Karen Rose’s Romantic Suspense series. She uses different narrators but all have nailed her writing tempo and characters. I switched to audio about halfway through the series and will never go back. These are definitely the kind of stories you want someone reading TO you.
2William Kent Krueger
I’m also listening to William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series, mostly narrated by David Chandler. I wasn’t sure about the series living up to the first book but five books in, I’m unbelievably hooked! And, I would definitely listen to this in a beach atmosphere.
Anything by Jojo Moyes on audio makes my list but specifically One Plus One, Me Before You and Paris for One and Other Stories. She typically uses multiple narrators, which really works for her writing style. Try it. You’ll love her.
One of my treasured favorites is Pamela Clare’s I-Team series, narrated by the delicious Kaleo Griffith. I’ve got one book left to finish the series and won’t read it until she can get it recorded. She’s waiting on Kaleo’s schedule and so am I. Every book was fantastic.
I saved the best for last. That would be Kristen Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series, narrated by Emma Taylor. I could lay out on a beach, under an umbrella from dawn to dusk listening to these stories. They’re all long with lots of dialogue and drama, perfect for uninterrupted reading. *sigh* I’m there.
If you want to see more posts on audiobooks to get more recommendations check out the JUNE IS AUDIOBOOK MONTH BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY SCHEDULE where other bloggers share their lists. But before you go enter there’s a giveaway.
Earbuds and a card with 3 free audiobook downloads on Audiobooks.com
Open to US ONLY
After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.
While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).