Sunday, January 22, 2023

Signing Up for Another Challenge: 2023 Audiobook Challenge!

As an Indonesian, I’ve always daunted by audiobooks because English isn’t my first language. Reading is easy, speaking isn’t a problem once I’m used to it, but listening... now that is something else, and I was not too patient to learn the skill. However, after my mom was diagnosed with cornea guttata several years ago, which means her sights are declining with age, I’ve been more and more considering audiobooks. I would be crushed if I can’t read as much as I want due to declining eyesight, and if I want to be familiar already with audiobooks when ‘the day comes’, then I have to start soon!

A few weeks ago, I’ve had my eyes checked by the optician, and I got a prescription for new lenses. It means that I was without glasses for 24 hours while they were replacing the lenses. This was not the first time, so I knew the procedure. Still, I can’t think of not reading anything, that in the end I decided to just try on an audiobook that I’ve been putting off long enough.

I installed Scribd app on my phone, and browsing the titles, I found a lot of Agatha Christie’s books on it, narrated (partly) by none other than David Suchet and/or Hugh Fraser! So, I instantly picked the next Agatha Christie in my Agatha Christie Perpetual Reading Challenge list, that is Sad Cypress, sat comfortably on my chair, and tapped ‘Listen Now’. It was wonderful!!

A week before, I happened to discuss about audiobook with JoAnn, and she suggested that I pick a familiar book, or one that I loved. She also mentioned that I could adjust the speed, lower or faster. Now that’s a thing I wouldn’t have known! So, thanks partly to JoAnn @ Gulfside Musing, I’m now quite an adept beginner to audiobook! I promised myself that I will read more and more audiobook along the years.

And then, I found this perfect reading challenge:

The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2023 than you did in 2022 (I’m the first, of course!). I might be rather ambitious by aiming for Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10 level on my first year, but a challenge is supposed to challenge one, right?

I’ve decided to read Agatha Christie’s novels I’ve intended to read this year, all 5 of them, in audiobook version. I’m so in love with David Suchet right now, he’s not just the perfect Hercule Poirot, but also a wonderful narrator (performer is more appropriate)! The other audiobook I’m excited to read is Ken Follet’s historical fiction, narrated by John Lee (UPDATE: I ditched it, it's not as appealing as I've thought).

Audiobooks I’m going to read during the year:

1. Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
2. Heads You Lose by Christianna Brand
3. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
4. N or M? by Agatha Christie 
5. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder 
6. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim 
7. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
8. The Ladies' Paradise by Emile Zola 
9. The Incredible Theft by Agatha Christie
10. An Autobiography by Agatha Christie 

Do you often read books in audiobook version?
Do you have any suggestion for an audiobook-newbie, for whom English is a second language? Maybe your favorite apps or narrator?


  1. I don't love audio books, but I know what you mean about maybe needing them one day. Good luck with this challenge!

    1. Thanks Lark! Listening to audio books lacks the depth we are used to in reading, it's true. That's why I prefer lighter books such as mysteries to listen from.


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