Inside Audible

How Audible Makes This Family “Better, Smarter, and More Engaged”

A young boy and girl are being held by their mother and father, posing for a photo. All are dressed in festive holiday clothing. This is the Wenks family.

Every holiday season, the Wenk family from Virginia delivers notes of gratitude to various people or organizations that have that made meaningful impacts on at least member of their family over the last year. This year, Audible made their list, and we received a personalized letter from Melissa Wenk, Vice President of Sales at Optum and Audible member since 2016.

From engaging her children’s imagination to providing a moment of me-time for the parents to relax or feel inspired, Melissa expresses how listening to Audible makes the Wenks a “better, smarter, more engaged family”. Read her note below, then explore their favorite Audible books for both kids and adults.

Dear Audible Employees,

My family and I wanted to thank your business for the impact you have had on our family. Audible is a way of life for us, and we listen to Audible books daily. Our library of 100+ titles ranges from non-fiction guides to help improve job performance to Scholastic favorites which are constantly on repeat.

We are believers in reading and learning, but we are evangelical about audiobooks. I even shared audiobooks as my one recommendation to friends in my birthday reflections on Facebook last year.

Some of the benefits of listening we enjoy…

  • Enriching our children’s love of books and storytelling
  • Enhancing our children’s vocabulary through the repetition of favorite materials
  • Providing a parental respite without the use of TV or movies where our children seem to zone out versus engage
  • Offering an incentive. Our children beg for audiobooks over breakfast or when winding down at night, and I reward myself after successful school drop offs or as an indulgence after a long stint at work.

If someone had told us a 2-year-old could memorize the Miss Nelson Collection or would squeal when one of James Marshall’s works was brought home in hard copy from the library, we wouldn’t have believed it. And we love that our kindergartener has begged to use the bills slipped into holiday cards from his grandparents to buy another Encyclopedia Brown on Audible.

We are a better, smarter, more engaged family because of Audible (and it justified tripling the number of Amazon Echos we now own).

We appreciate everyone who makes Audible tick (and we have separate notes out to favorite authors). Please know your work and service is very meaningful. The world would be a better place with more audiobook fans!


Melissa and the Wenks

The Wenk Family’s Top Audible Books

Kids Recommendations:

1) Disney’s Children Favorites Series -- These are a great value, as they include dozens of stories about our children's favorite Disney characters. We've recently been listening heavily to volume 3, which includes Christmas tales.

2) Miss Nelson is Missing, Miss Nelson is Back, and Miss Nelson Has a Field Day by James Marshall-- These nostalgic stories full of playful tricksters always amuse our kids.

3) If I Build a Car and Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen -- The printed books have incredible illustrations, but the clever rhymes make these ripe for listening!

4) Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol -- Each book includes more than a dozen short, bite-sized mysteries that are engaging and prompt discussions at our kitchen table around problem solving.

5) Young Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish -- The silly antics of Amelia Bedelia in grade school cater to a younger audience, and it always yields lots of giggles.

Adult Recommendations:

1) Indistractable by Nir Eyal -- A new release with great tactics for how to focus one's daily life. It has great tips for enhancing professional focus, so much so I gave it as gifts to my team members, but it is also applicable to how to be a more engaged spouse and parent.

2) On Fire by John O'Leary -- A humbling and inspiring book about living an inspired life, told through a firsthand tale of a boy's miraculous recovery from getting burned on 100% of his body.

3) Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell -- This eye-opening book examines how we interact with and translate the behaviors of people we don't know, using Gladwell's typical format of rich anecdotes and case studies; the audiobook version weaves in engaging music and clips to enhance the listening experience.

4) The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath -- These brothers always produce great work, but this was inspiring about how to leverage noteworthy experiences to enhance interactions.

5) To Sell is Human by Dan Pink -- This book not only gives strong tactical advice for those who work in sales, like me, but also dissects how humans respond to sales, making it a worthy read for any consumer.

Are you looking for age-specific audio for children? Fuel children’s imaginations while improving reading skills and vocabulary. Discover our curated selection of audio for kids by age range.


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