I’ve really gotten into audio books lately, especially now that I spend more time than I used to driving. I prefer listening to podcasts and audio books while in the car. (Here’s my latest podcast obsession!)
With audiobooks, I am kind of (okay, very) picky about what I listen to. It has to be something that keeps my attention and that’s easy enough to follow without seeing the words/names… and, the real kicker, I can’t be annoyed by the narrator’s voice. (I’ve listened to books on tape before in the past where I absolutely did not like the book even though I think I might have, had I actually read it instead of listened to it.)
I listened to two audiobooks this month and loved both. They are completely different from each other and I recommend them both highly!
When I drove up to Cape Cod to visit my friend, I downloaded Tina Fey’s Bossypants to listen on the way. I had read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and liked it so I thought I would give Bossypants a shot. Because Tina Fey narrates the book, you really feel an extra connection to her story; it’s like she’s sitting right next to you chatting away The audio recording itself could be better… it sounds like she did it at home instead of a studio if that makes sense… but if you turn up the volume you should be just fine. 
In the book, Tina Fey shares a lot of witty career and life advice that’s interesting to listen to. It’s not cheesy or cookie cutter. She draws on her personal experiences sharing tidbits and little stories along the way. Of course, two weeks after I listen to the book, Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin character is revived due to the current events… and the book seems even more relevant the ever. (That was one of my favorite sections, it’s fascinating to hear the behind the scenes of how she got that particular gig!) 
So I listened to this in the car and she kept referring to “the PDF” which I assumed was something that I was supposed to be able to download somewhere. I’m very anti phone-while-driving (seriously, put your phones down!!!) so I just let it slide and waited until I got home to investigate. Turns out there IS a full PDF, even though I had no idea how to get it. Thanks to Reddit, someone uploaded it here to view.

On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, I listened to When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi just a week later. Wow. Just wow. I had heard incredible things about this book and the audiobook didn’t disappoint. This should be required reading for everyone. Just before Paul Kalanithi is about to finish his residency as a neurosurgeon, he’s diagnosed with lung cancer. This book examines life and death… and living while dying… and facing death while still living… and just what exactly that all means. It’s truly moving. With his extensive medical and literary knowledge, the memoir transcends the typical cancer story. Paul Kalanithi covers it all with such a raw and honest voice: love, career, family, life, and (of course) death.

This is a must read.

Does anyone have any great audiobooks that you recommend?

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I drive long distance a lot and have just started getting into audiobooks as well. I highly recommend the app Overdrive. It's a free app from itunes that allows you to "rent" audiobooks from a library you belong too. All you need to do is input your library card number and it lets you rent audio books (and even ebooks) for free from that library! The book stays in the app for 2 weeks and then gets "returned" to the library. My phone is hooked up to my bluetooth in my car, so the book plays right through my speakers! The only thing I would recommend is looking for a book early because some titles can be hard to find if there's something in particular you're looking for. But overall, it's awesome for trying out new books that you aren't sure of! (I'm currently listening to American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin….pretty good!)

Olivia Gould

I loved Bossypants – the first audio book I listened to, actually! My Audible subscription is a game changer for my daily long stretches in my car. Definitely listening to When Breath Becomes Air soon. I've read a lot about it since I follow Joanna Goddard's blog and the author was her brother-in-law.

Sara White

I have always had a hard time with audiobooks. I absorb information better when read instead of listening. I always watch TV with subtitles on because of that! Also, so many of the narrators sound too goofy. I'd only successfully listened to one audiobook (Gone Girl) previously when I had a 40 minute commute by car.

However, I'm currently reading the Outlander series and book #5 is very long and a bit dull. I got the recommendation to try to listen to it to get through it instead (because the next book gets better) and it's been easier. It helps that the narrator is not bad and that I am already familiar with the "world" so I don't have to pay super close attention to the characters they are talking about.


"When Breath Becomes Air" is on my must-read list, hopefully sooner rather than later! I've noticed many bloggers talking about how great it is!


I have a love/hate relationship with audiobooks. I love them when I'm driving, but I'm very picky and sometimes I hate the narrator (which is most of the time). I got Yes Please because of you and loved it! I'm currently listening to Ready Player One on audiobook and so far so good! 🙂


I have a love/hate relationship with audiobooks. I love them when I'm driving, but I'm very picky and sometimes I hate the narrator (which is most of the time). I got Yes Please because of you and loved it! I'm currently listening to Ready Player One on audiobook and so far so good! 🙂

Ali Henriques

I just finished listening to Yes, Please by Amy Pohler and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kailing, which are both phenomenal because of the narration. I also listened to the Song of Ice and Fire series, which is an awesome series on audiobook because the narrator has different accents for all of the characters! Also, the outlander series of audiobooks is great and super action-filled. And full of Scottish accents.