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When I was small I had a cassette tape of Winnie the Pooh stories. I listened to them so often that I could tell them back to you now word for word, remembering exactly all the nuances of the narrator. (Who, it turns out after some research, was a chap called Norman Shelley.)
It was wonderful. Perfect in every way. I would lie in bed in the dark and I could SEE the stories in my mind. (It took me quite a long time though to understand that Pooh and Piglet weren’t following a woozle around that tree.)
What I’m trying to say is that listening to someone else tell you a story rather than reading a book can be a wonderful thing.
It can be a convenient thing too, as you can listen to books at the same time as doing other things, like exercising, travelling or just lying about on the sofa. I love listening to audiobooks while I’m driving – I fall into this (very safe) trance like state and I’m IN the story.
(At the same time as paying careful attention to the road.)
Unlimited listening with BookBeat
This week I’ve been trying out BookBeat.
BookBeat is amazing audiobook app, with thousands of classic and new fiction and non-fiction. The great things about BookBeat, which gives it the edge over some other audiobook offerings, is that once you’ve paid your monthly fee – which is only £12.90 – you can listen to unlimited books.
Yup, you heard me.
As many books as you like, every single month, with no restrictions, including a ONE MONTH FREE trial. You can download them and listen offline too, and there is no contract. You can cancel at any time.
It’s basically Netflix for books, and who doesn’t like a bit of Netflix?
The BookBeat app is very easy to navigate. You can search for specific titles or authors, browse by category, or check out the most popular titles and BookBeat recommendations.
When you’ve found a book you like the look of, you can save it to your collection, download it, or dive right in and listen straightaway.
(I’ve already added The Sinking Admiral to my collection, otherwise the ‘remove’ button would say ‘save’.)
In this way you can create your own virtual library, full of books that have tickled your fancy. Then you just need to crack open the cookies and put your feet up.
An autumn BookBeat playlist
Because there are SO many books to choose from on BookBeat, I thought I’d give you a bit of a headstart and pick out a selection of 11 audiobooks that I think you might enjoy. Some of them are books I’ve read in the past, some are ones I’ve listened to in BookBeat, and some I just thought sounded intriguing.
If you were looking for a BookBeat discount code, BookBeat are offering a ONE MONTH FREE TRIAL for Slummy Single Mummy readers, so you’ve got literally nothing to lose. Pop over and sign up now and let me know what you think of my suggestions!
(And yes, I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I did pick some pretty ones didn’t I?)
And The There Were None by Agatha Christie
If you didn’t catch the recent TV adaption of this then you are in for an absolute treat. It’s classic Agatha Christie – ten apparent strangers stranded on a remote island, each dying one by one. Tension mounts, bodies accumulate, but who did it??
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
If you listen to one thing during your two week free BookBeat trial, listen to We Should All Be Feminists. It’s only short, but will make you question everything you’ve always accepted as ‘normal’ and hopefully inspire you to ‘dream about and plan for a different world’.
You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman
I’ve not listened to this thriller yet, but it was longlisted for the Gordon Burn prize and has has some interesting reviews. Vogue called it ‘Fight Club for girls’ and Buzzfeed said ‘this book will unsettle you; this book will make you feel intensely alive.’ Intriguing…
The Marriage Lie by Kimberley Belle
I picked out this one as it was a suggestion for Liane Moriaty fans and I LOVED Big Little Lies. A plane crash, a lying husband, a confused wife – it has all the ingredients to make it a classic page turner, except of course that you won’t even have to go to the effort to turn the pages.
Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham is just ace isn’t she? I’ve read this one in actual book form – (so old fashioned!) – and absolutely loved it. One to listen to if you want someone to help stop you ‘having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act.’
Break In Case Of Emergency by Jessica Winter
Getting old is tough, but it’s even tougher if you find your life going off in a different direction to the people you thought were your closest friends. Break in Case of Emergency explores the resulting tensions, but with a sense of humour. I’m looking forward to this one.
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
Is it wrong that the maths geek in me picked this one based purely on its name?? I’ve listened to a few chapters already and am really enjoying it. If you’ve ever looked at your life and wondered what might have been, this is one for you.
The Sinking Admiral by Members of the Detection Club
I’m so excited to listen to The Sinking Admiral! It has been written as a collaboration between 14 amazing writers, continuing a tradition from 1931 when Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Freeman Wills Crofts and eleven other esteemed authors wrote The Floating Admiral.
The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel
Women is science often don’t get the credit that they deserve, and that’s why books like this are so important. The Glass Universe: The Hidden History Of The Women Who Took The Measure Of The Stars does exactly as the title suggests – I’m sure this one is going to be fascinating.
I, Partridge by Alan Partridge
What can I say about I, Partridge? If you’re an Alan Partridge fan I don’t think I need to say anything at all to be honest. Just listen to it. I know you will. It’s perfect as an audiobook – so much funnier read by Alan than it would be reading it yourself. I’ve laughed a LOT.
Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald
Offshore is a Booker prize winner, exploring themes of loneliness, community and the importance of human connections in giving our lives a sense of purpose. I picked this one as a reminder to nurture relationships with other people – what else really is life all about?
Don’t forget to use my BookBeat discount code! Go and sign up for your one month FREE BookBeat trial now and let me know if you have any audiobook recommendations for me.