The Bees: Should You Read or Listen?

For quite some time now I’ve been trying to come up with a “regular feature” for my blog.  Something unique that I can offer the community.  On my ride into work, inspiration hit.  I listen to a ton of books.  My 0:45-1:30 commute gives me ample time to listen to books.  However, I really like listening to books that I have read already.   That way when the person in front of me slams on the brakes and I have to make evasive maneuvers I don’t miss any of the plot.  I can pick up right where I left off.  Bingo!  I can do reviews of reading versus listening to a book.  That way if you aren’t like me and automatically do both, you can gain from my dual book experience.  Without further ado:

Should you read or listen to The Bees, by Laline Paull?

The Afthead Summary:

The Bees is a remarkable novel told from the perspective of a honey bee.  Flora 717 isn’t just any honey bee, she a bee from the lowest class worker in her hive.  Flora shares the life of her hive from child rearing, to drone care, to foraging, to fighting enemies and through her life we learn of the political and social struggles of hive living.


I read the novel first and the book moved quickly and was one of my favorites of the year.  I loved Paull’s description of the hive and the places Flora visited.  Her perspective of life as a bee was so unique that it sucked me in, and I couldn’t stop reading.  I learned about the novel from NPR’s list of best books from 2014, which has contained some of the best books I’ve read this year.


The listen on this wasn’t quite the experience of the read.  I’m a dedicated Audible user and I downloaded the book to my iPod to enjoy while I drive.  Sometimes the story is enhanced on the second telling, but for this one, I think the power of the story was in it’s uniqueness.  That was lost the second telling.  Also, the magic and the flow for me weren’t as apparent with the audio version.  I liked flying fast while Flora was on the wing and slowing down when she was tired.  The reader didn’t bring the same pacing to the story that I had internally.  Also, I’m a fast reader, and tend to miss details when I read.  In this case I think that helped.  At times I got tired of all the details, because in an audiobook I listen to them all.



Let me know what you think about this feature.  If it’s popular I’ll make it a normal Monday post.  Also, does anyone know about using images of book covers in my blog?  I took this picture, but since it has Paull’s cover, is that kosher?

3 thoughts on “The Bees: Should You Read or Listen?

  1. Pingback: A Dirty Job: Should You Read or Listen? | Afthead

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