Because I couldn’t stop at ten!
Quality Versus Quantity
This past year taught me a big lesson in quality versus quantity. In 2016, I heard a whopping 108 audiobooks. That might not be too impressive, but I’m proud of it, especially considering I came back from a deficit of 10 down. It was definitely an uphill battle and one that I won’t soon repeat. My New Year’s resolution is to hear a minimum of 100 books a year, instead of trying to constantly outdo the previous year’s goal.
I’m approaching this new goal with a rather “laissez-faire” mindset. I want a goal that will push me, but not stress me out so much that the fun is lost. My 2016 goal caused me lose some of the joy I find in listening to audiobooks and I won’t allow that to happen again. I’m also learning to say no to certain review requests if I suspect I’m not a good fit for the title. I think this is a hard lesson for some to learn, especially new bloggers. But I like to think of it as passing the opportunity onto someone else, rather than just passing on the opportunity.
Know Your Tastes
I think I’ve sampled enough this past year to identify where my interests most strongly lie and that should help me know which opportunities to take on in which to pass on to someone else. My 12 favorite audiobooks of 2016 probably seem like a mixed bag of Time travel, YA, thrillers, and contemporary fiction, but those are the genres and subgenres I get the most out of as a listener.
One third of my top 12 list is dedicated to titles released in the past year (The Raven King, Don’t You Trust Me?, The Bird and the Sword, and The Chemist). The remaining two thirds are titles I stumbled upon in one way or another. My favorite narrator from 2015, Will Patton, has two audiobooks on the list (The Raven King and Doctor Sleep). While Katherine Kellgren, the object of my current listening fascination, has locked down that honor for 2016 with her performance in the Her Royal Spyness series.
Click covers to read my reviews
The ‘Memorability’ Factor
There are plenty of ways one could rank a year’s worth of audiobooks.
- Favorite narrators
- Best overall listening experiences
- Highest rated audiobooks
- By genre
- Hidden gems (favorite underhyped audios)
- Not to mention several ranking methods for audios of the less pleasurable variety (DNFs, etc.)
For me, memorability was the most important factor when choosing my favorite audiobooks of the year. When I sat down at the end of 2016 and reflected on what I had heard in the previous 12 months, these were the titles that stood out most fondly in my mind. To be sure, I rated them all very highly, but that’s not why they made the list. Each of these made such an overwhelming impression on me that their characters, storylines and narration stuck with me long after putting them down.
➜ Close your eyes right now and reach back into the recesses of your mind, all the way back to the beginning of 2016. What do you remember reading over the past 12 months? Don’t use Goodreads–that’s cheating! Which titles standout to you? What do you remember loving? Or hating? Anything in between probably isn’t memorable.
My tastes are certain to change with time (and with my mood). It will be fun to reflect few years from now and see not only if/how my feelings towards these 12 titles have changed, but also if/how my overall listening preferences have evolved. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to list your favorite listens of the year or at least make note of your listening habits for future reference.