I just finished listening to "Pegasus Descending" by James Lee Burke, read by my all time favorite recorded books reader, Will Patton. I honestly don't know which I enjoy more, Burke's impecible writing or Patton's fantastic vocal performance.
I've read or listened to so many of Burke's novels I feel like I understand Dave Robicheaux fairly well. He's a complex man. I even like his violent prone side-kick, Cleat Pursell (even though he does sometimes have a potty mouth).
I've been so impressed by Will Patton's reading that I had my local library do a search of all the books on tape in their collection that were read by Patton. I think I could be entertained by hearing that man read the telephone book.
I've been giving some thought to the way I process books diffently when I listen to them rather than when I read them myself. I have read some books later after having first heard them on tape, or visa versa. The experience is clearly different, although I am at a loss as to really explain how.
Generally speaking I will avoid books read by the author. There are some great writers out there who can craft a superb tale but have no style at all when it comes to reading aloud. There are some exceptions...but a bad reader can destroy a good book. I usually prefer male readers...although I have heard a few read by women that I very much enjoyed (such as the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I will never in all my life forget the classic dog humping scene in one of those tales...my husband and I both got to laughing so hard while we were listening to it on a road trip over Bluett Pass we almost went off the road!)
I will never give up on the delicious experience of curling up in a cozy chair with a good book...but the chance to make use of car time to get lost in some stories is something I appreciate as well.