Celebrate Audiobook Month!

June is audiobook month, so to celebrate, I’m listing my top 10 audiobook picks. Need more suggestions? Check out these links to other bloggers from the Audio Publishers Association. You can also win prizes during the month of June!

Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan. Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend are the other two titles in this series, and they are all delightful. The narrators are gifted linguists and breeze through multiple language with ease. It’s truly amazing to hear.
  2. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) as well as books 2 and 3 in the series are delightfully evil crime novels that had me on the edge of my seat. These are the types of books that make me take the long way home after work, just to keep listening.
  3. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. I was surprised I loved this book so much, as the premise isn’t one I’d normally pay attention to, but the narrator’s voice is soothing, and the topic of an elderly man walking 600 miles to deliver a message to a dying acquaintance is much more touching than you may think.
  4. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.  This book made me so nostalgic for college, and yet so thankful I’m not 20 any more. However, there are many days I wish I was still an English major, reading and writing most of the day.
  5. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. I know almost nothing about baseball, but that doesn’t matter even though this novel’s protagonist is his college’s baseball star. This book also made me nostalgic for college, and I was impressed with the author’s ability to capture complicated relationships so well.
  6. The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner. I love Jennifer’s books and have read all of them, but this one is my favorite. I also love the narrator’s voice, and this is a book I revisit in both print and audio.
  7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Another college-era novel that I loved. Can you see a theme here?
  8. Taylor Stevens’ Vanessa Michael Monroe series starts with The Informationist and continues with four fantastic and gripping titles. This is a series I can only listen to – not read in print – and I think you will understand why once you read them.
  9. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes is the best self-help book you’ll ever read. It’s on my list to read yearly, I find it that inspiring.
  10. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. Did you know Lauren Graham is not only a fantastic actress but also a talented writer? And that she wrote this book while shooting Parenthood? It makes me love it even more.

 

Affiliate links to Amazon hyperlinked above.

 

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The 5 Best Books I’ve Read This Year

My friend Beth asked for book recommendations, so here we are near the end of National Blog Posting Month, and I’m gladly taking requests! One more day!

  1. Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld. I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen and this was a humorous modern take on one of my favorite books. And while I know the plot of the original backwards and forwards, there were a few surprises in Sittenfeld’s retelling to keep me guessing. Highly recommend.
  2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I had read about this book on many blogs and book sites, but what finally grabbed my attention was that Bill Gates had read it and loved it so much he was gifting it to his friends. Definitely worth the read!
  3. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. This is by far the best self-help, get up off your ass and seize the day book that I’ve ever read. I recommend this book to everyone. And listen to the audiobook! You will not regret it. I’ve already made a resolution to listen to it at least once a year.
  4. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. Before you read this one, read or listen to her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir. You will laugh and cry and feel less alone in the world, especially if you’ve ever suffered from depression or anxiety.
  5. Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini. I became slightly obsessed with scientology after listening to one of my favorite podcast’s 9-part series on the mysterious church. So when I heard that Leah Remini had left the church and wrote a tell-all story, I had to listen. After listening to hours of the podcast and hours of her book, I’m still mystified by scientology and can’t get enough!

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Friday Reads

A New Mantra for Moms: I am the Standard takes a look at the guilt and shame mothers project and suggests we work on changing our self-image. Is this possible?

I’m a big fan of audiobooks, as is the author of Audiobooks and the Return of Storytelling. I’ve found that a terrible reader makes a book indigestible and I will inevitably abandon the book no matter how intriguing the story, hoping to pick up the print version at the library. I really enjoy autobiographies read by their author: Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey and Andy Cohen are all great writers/readers.

Uber Cab Confessions is a behind-the-scenes look at the newish Uber car service, that allows anyone to order a car to take them where they want to go. It’s like a cab service, only faster and easier. Just don’t forget the driver is listening and watching.

Super nerdy and super interesting if you’ve ever wondered why you have a 10-digit phone number is Our Numbered Days: The Evolution of the Area Code.

How to Avoid Commuter Rage

I’ve mentioned before that I have a terrible commute. I live 26 miles from work, a commute that can take up to an hour and a half on a bad day.

It took me a couple months to figure out that the only way to stay sane is to listen to something interesting enough to keep my mind engaged. At first it was NPR. But then I got bored. I’m not a news junkie and my commute coincided with boring programs.

As I’ve talked about before, podcasts and audiobooks became my salvation. Through friends, I discovered the Nerdist and Pop Culture Happy Hour (I want Linda Holmes’ job. Damn it, she was even a lawyer once!!!). I found The Moth and continued listening to Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! I even tried Dan Savage’s podcast, but it’s um…a bit much.

I’ve discovered the key to quelching commuter rage (I’m sure I have some form of it!). Choose a book or podcast that is so interesting you don’t want the commute to end. Most recently, it’s been The Art of Fielding and Night Music by way of books. I’ve recently enjoyed the Nerdist interviews with Nick Offerman and Steve Carell and The Moth’s Elna Baker.

Tonight I was listening to The Informationist. It’s not the type of book I would normally read but that’s what’s so great about actually browsing a physical library’s shelves. The cover looked interesting and description captivated me. And tonight I just wanted to keep driving and driving.

Audiobooks and/or Podcasts

I have a long commute to work. Forty minutes to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. It’s awful. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I was listening to audiobooks, but since I refuse to buy them, I am limited by what my library is offering, and the offering is rather limited.

So far I’ve listened to: Andy Cohen’s Most Talkative, Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, Tiny Fey’s Bossypants and Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot. I prefer to listen to autobiographies or memoirs rather than fiction, but for whatever reason The Marriage Plot really worked as an audiobook. 

In the podcast arena, my favorites are: Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, Pop Culture Happy Hour and Nerdist

Do you have any recommendations?