An Introduction to the Team and Our Favourite Audiobooks
By Cameron Phillips and Emily De Vogel
Here in the audiobook team we’re passionate about audiobooks and all they entail, but before we get stuck into the new releases and trends, we wanted to introduce ourselves.
I’m Cameron Phillips, one half of the team and a History graduate with an aspiration to be a writer and editor. I fell back in love with books after I graduated from university, particularly with fiction. Having spent four years reading for academic purposes, I am revelling in being able to explore the genres I once immersed myself in as a child.
I’m Emily De Vogele, the other half of this team. I graduated a few months ago with a degree in Language and Linguistics with hopes of becoming an editor. University helped me to rediscover my love for literature, as did college. Historical Fiction is my favourite genre – by a mile! Reading for pleasure is one of my favourite pastimes and audiobooks allowed me to adapt my reading habits to my lifestyle, something I am ever grateful for.
Any form of fiction is my preferred genre, but particularly those in the fantasy and science fiction spheres. The escapism they allow for is unmatched by any other genre in my eyes, but most importantly, I think they are the genres that allow for the flexible exploration of important and contemporary topics without the monotony of everyday life. Whether it be science, religion, philosophy, sexuality or ethics, SFF can present debates in these areas in interesting and alternate ways. For example, I would much rather read and debate the feminist qualities and shortcomings through the lens of Tolkien’s work than read the ground-breaking work of Judith Butler. However, I will divert from that line of thought at the moment, as my favourite audiobook is one that is definitely governed by our circumstances. Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is one of my favourite works, one that I’ve read many times. Never intended for public release, it is a truly remarkable read from a man who was the master of the known world, yet grappled with his own traversal of life and its pitfalls. The reason I love listening to the audiobook, however, is that it really feels like Marcus is reading his own thoughts aloud to himself as he is writing them down. We will never know what Marcus Aurelius sounded like, but the audiobook form gives me a fairly good platform to extrapolate from. Given the times we have lived through, the words and guidance of Meditations has helped me navigate lockdown both mentally and physically. Whilst this book certainly comes under the ‘classics’ bracket, I cannot help the circumstances with which I find myself in, the anxiety which the Meditations audiobook soothes and puts to ease.
There’s something fascinating about the past, learning how people lived decades, centuries, millennia before us. History has always been a passion of mine, one I’ve been able to explore in literature in recent years. While it’s hard to pick a specific favourite audiobook, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller springs to mind. There aren’t enough positive words in the English language to express my love for this novel. Between the breath-taking prose, vivid characters and heart-breaking romance, Miller has a talent for telling ancient stories like no one else. The audiobook’s narrator, Frazer Douglas, does such a brilliant job of making the story and words his own. From the first chapter there is a clear cadence in his voice, a mission to tell this story in a way that encapsulates you. I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve listened to this audiobook and forgotten where I was and what I was doing, allowing myself to escape to Ancient Greece, amid the bloody battles and tender moments between Achilles and Patroclus. In recent months, I have seen a trend of overlapping the audiobook with classical music, creating an entirely new piece of art to appreciate and fall into. There are so many ways to enjoy this audiobook, it lends itself to the quieter evenings with the romance, or the heavier days where you need to leave the modern world behind and live in another time all together. Discourse surrounding this book is very much alive, almost a decade after its publication. The peace I feel listening to this audiobook is indescribable, it is the pinnacle of audiobook narration.
We hope you enjoyed our little introduction and we can’t wait to share more of our favourite audiobooks with you in the future!