A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

Audible.com Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway!

Today I've got a fun and unique post for you. How many of you use audio books? I was first introduced to them in college while on my way to my summer study course in Paris. My Honors professor had suggested I bring a few for the long plane and train travels. Similar to reading travel guides in companionship to whichever biography I'm reading at the moment, I've found that audio books can really enhance the traveling experience. I see it as another form of cultural immersion. Below I've compiled a gift guide of favorite reads, as well as ones that I hope to read soon. Audio books can make an excellent gift for you or a friend - a unique present that will be sure to delight anyone on your list. When ordering a subscription, you'll get through series and trilogies in no time! I've even included gift ideas for children - all my friends are having kids (so I figured all your friends probably are too)! Currently Audible.com is having a great special: 50% off subscriptions! Right now you can get 3 months for $7.49 per month. Below are my favorite selections from Audible.com.

Audio books for self improvement

This is the time of year where everyone wants to start new. Maybe it's the promise of spring, or the itchiness of all those wool scarves that make us want to shed layers and start fresh. Survival of the Beautiful is the book I took with me to that summer course in Paris all those years ago. I've never forgotten it. I had originally picked it because I thought it was going to be about a young woman beating the odds in some catty college setting. Clearly I didn't bother to read the back cover before boarding the plane. It's actually a anthropological study on what humans and nature, deem as "beautiful". Turns out it was the perfect read for that summer; my class was on the study of Beauty in art, nature and architecture.

I love reading about powerful, successful women, so naturally Diane Von Furstenberg and Sophia Amoruso's books are high on my list. Both audios are well done from what I have heard for myself, and I cannot wait to hear more. The best part is that with a subscription, I'll never run out of listening material. Also, be sure to check out the Audible coupon codes page! They've got some great specials going on. 

Audio books for traveling

I have read C.S. Lewis' Till We have Faces at least six times. I first discovered the book in the 7th grade on my mother's bookshelf. It was my first C.S. Lewis book, and again, I didn't read the back cover. At the time I knew nothing of Greek mythology and it completely blew my mind. There is a passage of the book that to this day I still find myself thinking of; it portrays perfectly the sense of desperate loneliness and the heart wrenching desire to make everyone whole...even it it leaves the catalyst desolate. Orual reminds me so much of Catherine De Medici, it's incredible. Listening to the book on audio gives it an incredibly rich experience. So if you're planning a trip to Greece..!

I dream of traveling all throughout France - from Paris to Lyon, from Nancy to Nice, and to all the little country villages in between. Madame Bovary would be a great  audio companion while on the trains.

When not daydreaming of traveling within France, I also dream about exploring Russia. Robert K. Massie is one of the best, most incredibly thorough biographers of Russian royalty that I know of. He's my guaranteed companion for sure! 

Of course the best part of audio books is that they can transport you from wherever you are; on your daily commute to work, while waiting at the doctors office, or as an alternative to television in the evening.

Audio books for Children

Televisions on the backs of car seats have always made me cringe in a way. Of course I'm not a parent, so I have no right to pass any judgement. Still, I think that for me personally if I weren't the one driving I would much rather look out the window! One of my favorite things to do as a child in the back seat was to try and get strangers to wave back to me. For your friends who have children, these would provide much more entertainment than waving at strangers! Dr. Seuss is always a classic no matter what audio or book, and the French Club is both fun and educational, and will have everyone in the car speaking French in no time. With a monthly subscription, they will always have access to something new! An added bonus is that audio books are excellent as bed time stories as well.


Now that you're geared up to download lots of listening material from Audible.com, here's the best part! You can enter for a chance to win a $200 e-gift card to Amazon.com (which owns Audible.com)! I've teamed up with several bloggers (thanks Cheryl!) and Coupons.com to give you a chance to win. Use the Rafflecopter box below for a chance to win!

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A Mused Blog | A Northern California Sonoma County Blog