Audiobooks that are collections of essays read by the author
September 21, 2019 6:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations of good audiobooks, but with some specific criteria: collections of essays that are read/narrated by the author. Books like this that I've enjoyed: Lindy West's book Shrill, Scaachi Koul's One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Kimberly Dark's The Daddies, and various David Sedaris books. I like these for content (often, memoir mixed with social commentary) but also because the authors are expressive/good performers. (Other topics are OK too, but I'd like to stick to nonfiction.)
posted by needs more cowbell to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Stephen Fry, Mythos and Heroes. He also has an autobiography called More Fool Me I have not read or listened to.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:14 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


This is the story of a happy marriage, by Ann Pachett
posted by scantee at 6:23 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Stephen King’s On Writing.
posted by Autumnheart at 6:50 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino ( She reads quickly which works in this collection of essays)

The Unspeakable by Meaghan Daum
posted by loveandhappiness at 7:18 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


I haven't listened to it myself, but Tressie McMillam Cottom reads her own Thick, which is my favorite of the recent very strong crop of black American nonfiction essay/memoir releases and which was just longlisted for the National Book Award.
posted by praemunire at 9:24 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Maggie Nelson's Argonauts
Sarah Manguso's 300 Arguments
David Whyte's What to Remember When Waking (more poetry/self help)
Esme Wang's Collected Schizophrenias
posted by dobbs at 9:30 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Sarah Vowell, a public radio pro, writes amusing and informative essays about American history. Half of her work is narrated by a full cast, but she's the sole narrator in these three:

- The Partly Cloudy Patriot [C-SPAN excerpts from her political essays.]

- The Wordy Shipmates [publisher's page on group biography of Massachusetts Bay pilgrim colony]

- Assassination Vacation [WC link to a road trip themed by murdered politicians
posted by Jesse the K at 9:36 AM on September 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


Highly recommend Trevor Noah's memoir Born a Crime. He's an excellent narrator who speaks six languages, with the comedic timing he displays on The Daily Show. Excerpt from introduction on Soundcloud
posted by Jesse the K at 10:16 AM on September 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


Priestdaddy: A Memoir by and narrated by Patricia Lockwood, which she did a good job narrating

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman, who, among other things, has a podcast and is a good narrator. If you end up liking it, Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms is also by him and read by him and coming out Oct 15th.

I haven't listened to these yet though I would probably like them: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me? are both by and narrated by Mindy Kaling, who I know as an actress and fully expect to have a good clear expressive narrating voice.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:28 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Jenny Lawson!!!
Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Furiously Happy

I love her so much
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:50 PM on September 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


Seconding Born a Crime
posted by soelo at 10:41 PM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Highly recommend Trevor Noah's memoir Born a Crime... Excerpt from introduction on Soundcloud

Content warning: animal abuse. In the first 60 seconds. Which is as long as it took me to nope the fuck out of there. I'm sure it's a wonderful book and I'm sure worse things happen in it, but just... no.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:48 AM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


Hunger by Roxane Gay is an excellent memoir, read by the author and written in sections that read as stand-alone essays. She has several other anthologies of essays, but many are not narrated by her.
posted by LightMayo at 9:30 AM on September 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


Thanks all! I've already read and loved The Collected Schizophrenias and Hunger in print--they're definitely the sort of works I'm looking for.

Currently listening to Vacationland, which is great and perfect for listening to. I'd heard of John Hodgeman but didn't really get who he was, and now I feel like I'm in on some kind of secret.

I appreciate the warnings about Born A Crime, I'll make sure not to start listening when I'm in need of warm fuzzy feelings.

I've read a bit of The Argonauts in the past and as a butch woman I have some criticisms of (the whole genre of) cis femme people writing about complicated queer masculinity, but maybe it's worth trying again if only to be able to discuss it more fully.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:12 AM on October 2, 2019


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