Books

Audiobook Recommendations

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I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately, mostly in an attempt to avoid being immersed in the news all day. These are two recent favorites, available on audible.com

Born a Crime is a memoir by Trevor Noah, read by Trevor Noah, about his childhood in South Africa during and following apartheid. Firstly, you should read the audiobook just to hear Noah speak Xhosa, which is one of those amazing African clicking languages. He also does great accents.  Secondly, the book is just full of stories that are both so foreign yet familiar. The racial politics of post-apartheid South Africa are dicey, and Noah being of mixed racial origins gets the best and worst of it. His mother is really the main character of the book, and she does seem like a true character. Interestingly, Noah does not venture into his rise to fame even to discuss much beyond a few references to working in comedy clubs. This is truly about his childhood.

Gulp by Mary Roach, read by Emily Woo Zeller– another monosyllabic title from this taboo-breaking author. I like her consistency. Honestly the parts of Packing for Mars (wait I guess not all of her books have one-syllable titles!) that I remember best are about pooping in space. This book encompasses a multitude of digestive interests, but let me just get down to the real nitty gritty: there is a whole chapter on Elvis’s megacolon.. Emily Woo Zeller won an award for her reading of this book.

Other recommendations: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is the best audiobook I’ve read this year; the cast of characters is incredible, and it was just 1,000x more fun than reading it. Chris O’Dowd reading Fantastic Mr. Fox is a lot of fun also.

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