To write well, it helps to expose yourself to good writers. Those whose budget won’t quite allow subscriptions to Audible might want to check out:
What you’ll find are mostly public-domain books read by Librivox volunteers but repackaged to load more easily on smartphones. Many are classics that are well worth hearing. Almost all the readers are quite good, even if they’re not quite pros. The books are also broken down into categories, so it’s easy to find one you like.
If you’re looking for a good place to start and love mysteries, you might try one of the pioneering classics, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins:
It’s the audio equivalent of a book you can’t put down.
Note the various audio formats on the lower right. If you’ve got an iPhone, either the podcast-like iTunes podcast version or the iPod/iPhone M4b audiobook version is the best. The latter is specifically designed for audiobooks and does a good job of keeping your place in the book. Just remember that for longer books such as The Moonstone it may come in two or more parts. You’ll need them all to listen to the entire book.
Audiobooks are great for walking, jogging or making long trips more enjoyable. When I had to make a six-day 2900-mile move cross-country pulling a trailer last year, I got a series of audiobooks done by a real pro at a reasonable price and that made the trip go far better. The professional reader, B. J. Harrison, has a free, Classic Tales podcast that’s well worth hearing. You can find it here:
If you’re a lover of language, you can’t get any better than Kevin Stroud’s History of English podcast:
Note that, out of 389 ratings, an amazing 371 are five star. It’s that good.
Ever wondered why the spelling in English is so inconsistent. He explains one reason. Words came into our language from sources as varied as Anglo-Saxon, Viking (Danish), French and Latin. At different times and from different languages, the rules for spelling them out varied. From spelling differences such a “ch” versus “k” you can often tell a word’s long-ago origins. It’s a fascinating podcast and a labor of love for its creator.
When each episode arrives, the Story of English and the Classic Tales podcasts immediately go to the top of my podcast listening list. They are that good.
–Michael W. Perry, co-author of Lily’s Ride and other books