I only recently found joy in audiobooks. I use to be a snob and thought it wasn’t really reading. I thought I was better because I physically read every book I consumed. Man… was I wrong. A study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience in Aug 2019 (and many articles followed) that proved that consuming a book either way stimulated the same cognitive and emotional areas.
I finished my first audiobook, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, in Jan 2018 and I’ve been hooked ever since. I will admit that the reason that I decided to try an audiobook was because I use to commute over an hour each way and I thought of it as “lost” time. By listening to an audiobook I could be more productive with my time and read more books each year. I can do this to accomplish more! So I dove in head first and finished 25 audio books in 2018 and have constantly had an audiobook going ever since.
I have definitely found some favorites and found a favorite genre. Personally I love either a memoir read by the author or a full cast audio books. Those are my jam! And Nick Offerman… ANYTHING read by Nick Offerman. I think I only have a couple Audible books left and I will have listened to everything on there read by Nick Offerman. I have been a fan of his audiobooks before I became a fan of Parks and Recreation and it’s usually the other way around. If I ever meet him in person I will 100% fan girl over his books and woodworking before I get all excited about the fact that I’m meeting Ron Swanson… but let’s get back to audiobooks in general.
If you haven’t listened to a full cast audio book, you are missing out! So. Good. The first one that I listened to was Lincoln in the Bardo. I didn’t even realize that there was such a thing as full cast audiobooks. I picked Lincoln in the Bardo because the main voice was none other than… Nick Offerman. See a trend? I saw other names listed and was like… huh… this’ll be interesting. I haven’t listened to many fiction audiobooks… let’s see how it goes. Wow. 166 people, including Nick Offerman, voiced Lincoln in Bardo. 166 different voice actors! It was candy to my ears. The main voices were: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris and George Sauders (the author) himself. Other voices include: Susan Sarandon, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Ben Stiller, Lena Dunham, Megan Mullally (duh!) and so many more.
Once I finished I started looking into more full cast audios and Daisy Jones and the Six came up. Again. Wow. I don’t know if I would have liked the print book as much as I absolutely LOVED the audio version. I can still call up the emotion that I felt coming through my ear buds from Jennifer Beals portraying Daisy Jones. Yes… that Jennifer Beals from Flashdance fame. Other known (to me) actors on that recording include Benjamin Bratt and Judy Greer.
I’ve listened to so many good audio memoirs read by the author that it’s hard to pick a top 5 or 10 because there are different things that I enjoyed about each one. And there are bits of interesting trivia that I learned about a variety of actors and famous figures. Here’s a list of ones that were memorable and why…
Favorite Audio Memoir Read by the Author: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah; He has such a pleasant reading voice and such an interesting story.
Audio Memoir That Made Me Feel the Most: The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish; I listened to this before I knew who she was and was impressed. She has been through a lot and she has worked. Her recounting the story about her mom brought me to tears. You could hear the emotion as she was telling it and it just showed so much vulnerability and strength. It’s not for everyone as there is a lot of cursing. A LOT.
Audio Memoir That Had the Most Interesting (to me) Factoid: I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart; He was a swimmer and was on a swim team for a while. A famous swim team at that. He was coached by Jim Ellis who created the first African American swim team and was featured in the movie Pride. I’m a swimmer, so that is fascinating to me. Also, Kevin Hart is another person who has worked hard to be where he is today.
Audio Memoir That Has the Craziest Title: How to Get Run Over By a Truck by Katie McKenna; She really was run over by a truck and in this memoir she tells what happened and describes her recovery. Not for the squeamish.
Audio Memoir That Pulled Me Out of My Grief and Got Me Laughing and Reading Again: Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson; I cannot recommend this book more. It is awesome! I love the taxidermy animal stories. I love what she names her animals, both pets and stuffed. I love her frank and real talk about depression. This was the perfect book at the perfect time and I laughed out loud for the first time in a while, while listening to it.
I could go on and on and I feel like I’m doing some of the memoirs a disservice by not listing them on my post. I wish I started this blog earlier so I could have captured their reviews and told everyone about them. But such is life.