audibles you must audible

One of my besties recently got a fab new job. She now has a longer commute and knows that I like a good audio book on my drive. She asked for my recommendations and the list started to sound so good that I decided to share it here.

I have a subscription to Audible. It’s definitely a splurge, but one that I have found to be well worthwhile. My husband checks out audio books from the library. This is certainly a more economic way to go. But, since he does that, I feel that I can spend $14.95 a month. I like to have my other besties (Mindy, Tina, and Amy, duh) available on demand.

Audible sidenote: Audible does give you a nice little discount to get you hooked. The first three months are $7.49/month, then the price goes up. They do feature sales and you can pre-order books. Check it out.

Audible sidenote sidenote: No, they are not paying me to say all of this.

I love a good top ten list. Mindy Lahiri (of The Mindy Project) is quick to remind us that friendship is a tier. But, I feel that her creator, Mindy Kaling, would understand that ranking my favorite audio books could cause hurt feelings. Instead I will include a dozen audio books I love listening to and why. They shall be categorized and not given a hierarchy.

Mindy: the animated hand gestures, the outfits, the wisdom

The Women

Bossypants, by Tina Fey, read by Tina Fey

Tina is a delight. She grew up like a normal person. She follows the rules. She worked at a YMCA. She drives across Pennsylvania for her husband’s family Christmas each year. She has made mistakes and learned from them. I love all of these things about her. We will be good friends when we meet someday. We will just “get” each other. I hope you feel the same way when you listen to her describe her awkward summer camp days and how she cherishes the time she spends cutting her daughter’s fingernails. I have listened to this at least four times.

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler, read by Amy Poehler

Amy is a delight. She and I have less in common than Tina and I. Amy was edgier, she didn’t always follow the rules, she used substances that I would not recognize, and she tells fabulous stories about all of these things. I love her voice. I love her hair (please see book cover). I love Leslie Knope.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling, read by Mindy Kaling

Mindy, oh Mindy. I was young and naive when The Office originally aired and I missed some of her early brilliant writing the first time around. (To be sure, I have caught up on it and am now re-watching the series for a second time. humble brag) Mindy says what all women in their 20’s and 30’s are thinking. I keep typing different things to describe what this means to me and they all sound super cliche. Mindy speaks to me. I hope she speaks to you, too.

Amy Schumer’s book is out 8.16.16. You know I’ve pre-ordered that nonsense.

Take note, Angela Kinsey, Leslie Jones, and Cecily Strong — we would love for you to write some words and read them to us.


The Goddesses

Carry On, Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton, read by Glennon Doyle Melton

Glennon is a soulmate. Listening to her read her book feels like sitting with a friend. Sometimes she’s too upbeat, sometimes she’s too depressing. But, you love her and you keep going. She models the type of friend and woman and wife and mother and person I would like to be. She is partially responsible for me sharing parts of my life (the important stuff: adoption, baking, hair products) online. She vomits out her story without abandon. Sometimes I think, “What? Really? You shared that?” Then, I nearly always think, “Thanks. I needed to hear that. I went through that, too. My friend went through that. We are all going through that and should be telling each other about it.” What are we without our stories and our honesty? My dear Glennon is currently separating from her husband. This separation is happening right before her newest book, Love Warrior, comes out. This is bravery, this is honesty, this is love.

How To Be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran, read by Caitlin Moran

A dear friend recommended Caitlin’s book and said that she wanted her daughters to read it someday. Yes. This is a book to recommend to the women in your life. Read it and talk about it. Keep talking.

Bad Feminist, by Roxanne Gay, read by Bahni Turpin

Roxanne’s book is a collection of essays. She has brilliant insight on women’s issues, especially as a black professor in a small town. I often turn to books that include “people like me” instead of looking to new-to-me authors (Do we all do this? Am I terrible?). Reading Roxanne’s words expanded my views on women. You only know what you know. Our life experiences are often so limited. Find someone different than you and read their stuff. If you are a white Midwestern woman, read this book. If you are a black professor in a small town, read this book. If you are alive and you care about women, read this book.


The Required High School Reading, Class of 2002

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, read by Jake Gyllenhaal

Can’t we all just live in West Egg for the summer of 1922? I’ve read this book twice and have now listened to it once. I still don’t understand it all and I still pick up on new details each time. This might be revealing a lack of basic comprehension on my part, but who wants to book club this with me? Let’s all listen to Jake read it to us.

Aside: We saw Cafe Society in the theater today. It gives the same romance-y 1920’s feel as TGG. I recommend it, as well.

This is when we all fell in love with him, right? October Sky, 1999

Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, read by Kaiulani Lee

I was a biology nerd in high school. I loved (still love) my biology teacher. Silent Spring was one of the options for summer reading for Advanced Biology. Rachel was so forward thinking and prophetic. A book that was quite dry and difficult in high school was much more enjoyable the second time around. I liked pretending that Rachel was reading it to me.


David Sedaris

I have listened to, re-listened to, and laughed/snorted to so much Sedaris that he gets his own category. I remember seeing one of his books on a friend’s shelf years ago and thought I would check it out on Audible. Then I included my husband in on the fun. Then we kept listening to more books. Then my bro in law lent us one of his performances on CD. Then we listened to more books. Then we saw him live this spring. Glorious.

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris, read by David Sedaris

This is the first David Sedaris book I listened to. He tells tales of living in France and travelling. I’m sure that he provides embellishment to his stories, but I often listen to them and wonder what I’ve been doing with my life. He has a lot of stories and insights to share.

Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris, read by David Sedaris

David’s childhood stories are great. His dry humor causes many a loud snorty laugh from me. It is dryyyyyyyyyyy. And sometimes a tad too dark for me. And sometimes I feel guilty for laughing. And then I just come back for more.


Freebies

These two books were both freebies that Audible has thrown in as perks along the way. I believe that in both occasions, I was given a few options of short stories. I was pleased with both choices.

How to be Beyonce, by Madison Moore, read by Zane Sanchez

This was the obvious choice out of several short story options. 90 minutes of straight commentary on Beyonce’s life. The publisher’s note says it best, “How to Be Beyoncé isn’t a biography (mostly because nobody wants to get sued by someone who does everything so perfectly). Instead, it’s a meditation on her place in culture, why we love her so much, and what we can learn from her image and work-ethic, so we can reach our own potential.” A meditation. Buddha bless.

I know you care. 7/11, 2013

Making Toast, by Roger Rosenblatt, read by Roger Rosenblatt

Roger tells the heart-wrenching tale of his beautifully talented daughter dying, leaving her husband and children. Roger and his wife move in with their son-in-law and grandchildren to help pick up the pieces and keep the family going. I pray we never know a story like this too closely.


I recently saw an article titled “Is Listening to an Audio Book Cheating”? No!!!!!! It’s the best way to double your reading. In my ideal world, I would have the energy and time and desire to read for an hour each day. Instead, I try to wake up before my child each morning and I always lose. Then, I claim that I will read when he goes to bed. Instead, I often end up scurrying around to clean or do laundry or pay bills or fall asleep in front of the television.

If listening to audio books is “cheating”, then bring it. I’m cheating all day, son. I love having the author read her or his words to me. I love being a part of someone’s story on my commute. What have you been listening to?

Schmidt is not completely necessary for this space. But, I got a little GIF-happy.
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