These Are The Audiobooks I’ve Loved Listening To Recently
As I’ve mentioned before, working in the kitchen by myself during the day I like to have sound. A lot of this comes from podcasts (you can find some of my favourites here, and I’m working on a new list to post soon!) but since going full time self employed in 2017 I’ve treated myself to an Audible subscription where I get something new to listen to each month. Obviously I have all the Harry Potter books on there, but I thought I’d share some of the other audiobooks I’ve been loving recently for your commute, workout, or to listen to while you’re making dinner. If you don’t have Audible yet, you can sign up for a free trial and your first book for free here!
This book is both hilarious and heartbreaking, with the added bonus of being read by the author. I’ve wanted to read it for some time, and only having seen people tweet about it and not actually having read the dust jacket, I thought it would be a political book about the state of the NHS, which I would find eye-opening and would get me a little bit angry, either because I found myself agreeing with it, or because I come from the opposite side of the political spectrum to the average junior doctor. There is some politics in there, but mostly it is a hilarious, heartwarming diary of life in an NHS hospital for an average junior doctor, stuffed with anecdotes about some of his former patients that had me having to stop what I was doing because I was laughing so much.
Chances are if you have Netflix, you’ve seen Orange Is The New Black. The book the show is based on is fascinating, taking you right from when Piper is charged with her ancient crimes, right up until she is released. Some characters will be familiar and others new, and it is a fascinating blend of narrative of the quirks of the experience, and a comment on some of the less than shiny parts of American prisons, something the show does not really highlight.
I don’t tend to read or listen to many popular fiction novels (I stick mostly to non-fiction, historical and fantasy books) but I follow Rebecca Reid on Twitter and her first book sounded like something to pass the time on the train to Birmingham and back. This is an excellent, gripping book about three school friends, going back and forth about the terrible thing that may or may not have happened when they were at school, and how it is impacting the things that they may or may not be struggling with as adults, all told across the backdrop of a pretty disastrous dinner party. I was heartbroken to finish it, and it left me with so many questions – I can’t wait for a re-listen in a few months time, now I know how it ends and I can go back and look for clues.
Unlike Quidditch Through The Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, this Harry Potter and British Library production is not an extension of the Harry Potter world, instead it is a look behind the curtain of the Harry Potter exhibition that was on at the British Library a few years ago. Natalie Dormer talks us through some of the magical history that J.K. Rowling drew on in the Harry Potter books, and talks a lot about the process behind the writing and the publication of the book, from how a publishers daughter is responsible for it going to print in the first place, and some of J.K. Rowling’s own illustrations she brought her imagination alive with. A must for people interested in magic and narrative (like me), and any wannabe authors who want to know how to plan their novel. However, the book uses clips from both the American and British Harry potter audiobooks, and I must warn you if you’re British and were brought up on Stephen Fry, you – like me – may find hearing the American versions a little traumatic!
It is no surprise that Mythos was the most downloaded Audible audiobook of 2018. Stephen Fry has lovingly re-told first all of the Greek myths, then the stories of the Greek Heroes chronologically, with modern references and respect to the original traditions in such a way that I can’t wait to listen to them all over again. I studied all these myths at school as I did Classical Civilisation right up until I left at 18, but even if you’re approaching them for the first time, they’re fantastic stories made better by the fact Stephen Fry is probably the best audiobook narrater of all time.
Another book that was very funny in the way the story was told – though I don’t think it was very funny to be David living the experiences he was describing! As you’re sitting here reading a food blog, you’ll know David Lebovitz as one of the original food bloggers, writing his fantastic blog from his Paris home, and churning out some fantastic cookbooks like My Paris Kitchen, that I don’t cook from nearly enough. I loved reading his first non-cookbook, My Sweet Life In Paris a few years ago as it was both informative – what is it actually like moving to Paris as an ex-pat? – and very funny as he narrated the various eccentricities of the French state. L’Appart tells the story of David trying to buy – and then renovate – his first apartment in Paris. There is a shocking amount of red tape and laissez-faire developers galore; this book should really appear in the comedy section.