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Audiobook Reviews - Hillinger's California, Siddhartha, and St. Iggy

Updated on May 30, 2015

The Audiobook Review

The Audiobook Review is a series of articles for anyone looking for good audiobooks to listen to. Each issue contains three reviews. Today's audiobooks are of diverse genres: first a non-fiction collection of travel articles, second, a classic of spiritual fiction, and third, a young adult novel.

Hillinger's California

Tufa formatations at Mono Lake, California.
Tufa formatations at Mono Lake, California. | Source

Hillinger's California

This audiobook, written by former Los Angeles Times columnist, Charles Hillinger, features something unique and fascinating about each of the 58 counties in California. Hillinger visited each county looking for at least one notable place, and profiled it, interviewing locals and researching history.

In Del Norte County he wrote about the Smith River Easter Lilly farms. In Humboldt County, he profiled the Samoa Cookhouse. Inyo County's Death Valley got his attentions, and so did Bodie, the remote ghost town in Mono County.

Narrator Jeff Riggenbach did a masterful reading of the book, perfectly exemplifying the personable, friendly demeanor of author Charles Hillinger. I looked forward to my daily walks so I could listen to more of these California tales.

Hillinger's California

Hillinger's California: Stories from All 58 Counties
Hillinger's California: Stories from All 58 Counties

If you love California, you will love reading this book. One travel narrative from each county. I found it enlightening and heartwarming. This link is for a book, not an audiobook.


How to get the audiobook... from Audible.Com

You cannot directly buy the audiobook at Amazon - it must be downloaded from Audible.Com - a service I've been subscribing to for about six months - and I have only good things to say about it. Since I listen to audiobooks on my Sandisk Sansa Fuze, it is easy to buy the recordings, download them, and upload to my MP3 device. There are options for many similar sound devices plus CD burning. The audiobook sound quality is fantastic.

Florence Lake in Fresno County - One of 58 Places Hillinger Wrote About in Hillinger's California... He Mentioned the Boat in the Store

SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)
SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)

This is the MP3 player I use to listen to audiobooks. The price is right, and I love everything about it. The last one I owned lasted more than three years. The one I have now is still going strong.


Next Audiobook: Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha | Source

Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha was one of the novels I first read as a teenager, and I thought fondly of it for years ever after. I recently downloaded it from Audible (see link above) and listened. Honestly, I had a hard time following along; the narrator's voice wasn't all that pleasant to listen to, so I'd recommend skipping the version on Audible and getting the audiobook available on Amazon instead. Different narrator, and that has to be a good thing! The book is mainly narration; there's very little dialog, and perhaps that contributed to my impatience with the book this time around.

The story itself is mystical, meaningful, and memorable. Siddhartha leaves his hometown with his friend, Govinda. They join a band of wandering ascetics. After years of self-sacrifice and begging, they find Gautama Buddha's camp. Govinda converts, but Siddhartha doesn't. He decides to learn spirituality by being part of life, rather than being a follower of a Wise One.

Siddhartha Movie Trailer

Next Audiobook: St. Iggy, by K.L. Going

Tenement housing - something like what St. Iggy lived in.
Tenement housing - something like what St. Iggy lived in. | Source

St. Iggy, by K.L. Going

Saint Iggy
Saint Iggy

This links to the book; you can get an audiobook at Amazon, or download from Audible.


St. Iggy, by K.L.Going

This is by far one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to. It is a short young adult novel about a teenager living in a tenement in a large city. His parents are drug addicted, and his mother "went visiting" and never returned. His home is filthy. He has a hard time thinking - not because he's using drugs, but because his mother did when she was pregnant with him.

When I first heard Stephen Hoye's narration, I thought I might have a hard time appreciating the novel, but before long I was deeply into it - and as it turns out, the voice was just right for Iggy. I will definitely be listening to this heartbreaking story again.

This St. Iggy video was made at a high school... it has no spoilers, though there's a bit more swearing than I remember in the book!


Thank you for coming by to visit this hub:

Audiobook Review #3: Hillinger's California, Siddhartha, and St. Iggy.

Prior issues:

Audiobook Review #1: Room, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Glass Castle

Audiobook Review #2: Leviathan, Anthem, and Water for Elephants!


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    • LindaJM profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @SueJanet - same here.. I listen while I do housework or take walks. Audiobooks definitely help the time go by.

    • suejanet profile image

      suejanet 7 years ago

      I love audio books. I work on a computer all day, and some of the work I do is tedious. Audio books make it more enjoyable.