Happy Audiobook Month!
By Ellie Brady, Lucy Lillystone, Kelly Stone and Sarah Lundy
In celebration of June being audiobook month, we have put together a list of our top favourite books that we loved listening to. Whether you’re new to audiobooks or a devoted listener, you’re not going to want to miss these amazing books; perfect for whether you’re commuting, working, exercising or just enjoying the book!
Calypso by David Sedaris
David Sedaris has made a career from his wit, sarcasm and sardonically shrill voice. His books, much like the rest of his work, are hilariously funny and deeply personal all at once. This makes Sedaris a firm favourite of mine in the world of audiobooks and Calypso is one I recommend to everyone and anyone, whenever I get the chance. A collection of twenty-something autobiographical essays and anecdotes, this book still feels cohesive and full, touching on more sentimental notes such as his strained relationship with his father, to outrageous escapades in Japan with his equally famous sister Amy. Sedaris’ delivery of this audiobook makes it all the funnier and a book I can listen to whenever I need some uplifting.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
The first in an action-packed science fiction trilogy, Sleeping Giants tells the story of what happens after a young girl finds a giant robotic hand that may just be of alien origins, after reading and analysing interview transcriptions. This unique format makes it perfectly suited for a cinematic audiobook experience as a full cast of narrators voice the characters’ interweaving testimonies. The series is called The Themis Files as each scene portrays a confidential file disclosing the cataclysmic events that surround the research of this alien species and how its presence impacts the world on a massive scale. Meanwhile, the characters who are closely involved in this investigation reveal intimate details of their personal journeys. From Rose, the brilliant researcher who first discovered the robotic hand when she was a child, to Kara, the rebellious army pilot whose life becomes embroiled in the mission, this colourful cast of characters makes for a heart stopping listening experience.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
I’m not usually a listener to audiobooks. Yes, I have what some would consider a pretentious love for the feel of a physical book in between my hands. However, a book that stands out to me as better listened to than read is Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Having Michelle Obama narrate her own book about fighting for what she thought was right, her life to a man often absent is so much more intimate and personal than reading the words on the page. Focusing less on politics and more on her life as a mother, Michelle’s voice is both uplifting and beautiful and the audio version allows you to listen in bursts, giving time to reflect on her story. Warm, wise and revelatory, listening to Becoming is like having tea with the former First Lady of the United States as she inspires us to defy expectations.
Dear NHS: Stories to Say Thank You Edited by Adam Kay
Many things have brought us together over the past year and one that shines out is our boundless appreciation for the NHS. Adam Kay has curated a beautiful book that features household names sharing their NHS stories and why they love this wonderful service. I listened to it as an audiobook because, brilliantly, the contributors recorded their own chapters. The personal touch this adds to each story really drives home all the pain, humour, and gratitude they feel for the NHS. Even better is that it can be dipped in and out of like a podcast because the chapters are completely separate from one another. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and shout from the rooftops about how much we need to love and protect this incredible institution. Plus, all of the profits go to NHS Charities Together!
Ramble Book by Adam Buxton
If you’ve ever listened to the Adam Buxton podcast, you’ll know that he is a master of audio entertainment. His Ramble Book audiobook pretty much redefined the things people can do in this format. With added music and a bonus podcast episode at the end of the book, Buxton made the audiobook the most desirable way to experience his book. More than this, the audiobook was released several months before the physical book which encouraged people to experience it in this way. There really is no better way to hear the stories of his life with the wit and emotion coming through in bucket loads, as well as the music and jingles that listeners of the podcast know so well.