Finally got around to writing my little reviews for the audiobooks I’ve read in the last several months! Couldn’t be better timing with what’s going on in, am I right? Listening to podcasts and audiobooks are a great way to get that sense of human connection if you’re isolated at home during coronavirus. I love listening to them when I go on my walks, when I’m cooking, getting ready for the day, and even when I’m working at my desk if the tasks I’m working on don’t require reading/writing! Kinda makes you feel like you’re having a conversation or hanging out with friends, even if the conversation is one sided. If anything, it’s a bit of entertainment when you get sick of playing the same music playlists. Below are some recent reads and what I thought – let me know what you think I should read next! Click on any of the underlined titles below to shop what you see on Amazon. You can find my past book reviews here!
This is definitely one of my favorites I’ve read in the last year! The story hooks you within minutes, and you won’t want to stop reading/listening until it’s over. This is a psychological thriller, featuring a struggling author who has been hired to help “co-write” and finish the books in a series for a famous, but now disabled, author. There are twists and turns throughout, but nothing prepared me for the twist at the end! SO, so good. Cannot recommend enough. I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook, but I think it would be just as good reading in print. Can’t wait to read other books by Colleen!
I’ve heard many mixed reviews, and after reading it myself I’m on the negative side of it. It was incredibly hard for me to follow – perhaps that would be different if I were reading versus listening to the audiobook format like I did. I just couldn’t get into the storyline! There was all this build-up throughout the book, but the climax was anything but exciting. It felt really silly and overhyped. It’s the story of three friends who wind up on different paths, and how their lives change and intertwine over time. I had high hopes for it, but I just didn’t enjoy it!
If you enjoy True Crime, this book is for you! I do want to say this is one of the more horrific stories I’ve heard and can be hard to listen to at times. It’s a true story about a family in Washington, run by a incredibly abusive and sadistic matriarch. There’s torture, murder, child abuse, and all the bad stuff you could possibly think of in one book. It’s certainly not going to cheer you up or reduce your anxiety during this crazy Coronavirus time, but if you’re into true crime you should add it to your list! Such an insane story.
This book is another at the very top of my list that I absolutely loved! I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I HIGHLY recommend listening to the audiobook version, as Jessica herself narrates her own story. Her tone and inflections make it so amazing! She talks about everything from growing up in a super religious family, to breaking into showbiz, to dealing with her divorce and following relationships. She spills some major tea (um, John Mayer!), and shares her struggles with prescription drugs and alcohol. While her life has taken many turns and seems out of the realm of possibility for most of us (being that famous/successful/wealthy), her story is very real and relatable. Highly recommend!!
Speaking of relatable, this book is almost TOO relatable for me! The story is about a “relationship” told from two perspectives: the guy and the girl. The girl sees it as a relationship and thinks everything happening is very meaningful, the guy is sociopath who feels no guilt, does what is only convenient for him and always has another girl on the side. It’s told over a period of years – the girl is in high school, then in college with the guy, then post college and still trying to work things out with the guy. I’m not going to tell the whole story, but you get very frustrated with both characters! It’s a good read though – it was a story I definitely needed to know the ending to!
I started and finished this one last week! I didn’t realize the author also has a podcast, which is something I’m going to look into after this. I bought the audiobook like I have for everything else on this page, and was impressed at the ease of her storytelling. Obviously it’s not just a story for her (it’s her life!), but she’s a natural narrator. In this book, she talks through three very serious tragedies she went through in a very short amount of time: losing her husband, her father and her unborn child. While this summary may turn you off of it (who wants to read something so sad?!), Nora’s look back is painfully honest and most of the time humorous. She shares the messiness of her life at that time, things she learned through the process, and all the while sharing funny anecdotes and stories from a very unfunny time in her life. Whether you’re dealing with your own trauma or not, it’s worth a read – her outlook on life is something we should all strive for! I have her other book No Happy Endings on my list next!
I haven’t read a ton of biographies in my life, but I’ve recently become a big fan! After reading this and Alexis Coe’s You Never Forget Your First this week, I think biographies may be my new go-to when I need a break from thrillers, romance, etc. This one in particular was very interesting to me as a business owner and someone who works in the tech/media industry! We’ve all heard about Steve Jobs and what he was like, but it was really interesting to deep dive into his thinking, processes and his career over time. It’s particularly fascinating to see how he approached things at Apple, came up with new products (naming them, for example!), etc. I loved it! Definitely recommend this read for any entrepreneurs, creatives or business-owners.
Following my positive experience listening to audiobooks like Tiffany Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn, where the comedian/actor narrates their own autobiography or book, I decided to give Ali Wong’s Dear Girls a try. I’ve never watched any of her comedy specials, but loved her in Always Be My Maybe! This book was portrayed as letters she’s writing to her two young daughters with advice for life, love and success. It was fun to hear about how she got her start in comedy, how she travels with her whole family on tour, and just other little snippets about her life/background throughout. The book was way more dirty than I was expecting (apparently her shows are like this too!), but it made the audiobook more funny to listen to. I just wouldn’t recommend listening to it without earbuds/headphones!
Whether you’re religious or not, hearing stories and learning about intense religious groups and cults is fascinating. This is the story of Megan Phelps-Roper, a girl raised into and previous follower of the Westboro Baptist Church. If you’ve never heard of them, the Westboro Baptist Church is considered an extremist group that was born out of a traditional baptist church in Topeka, Kansas. They were the church that picketed the funerals of people in the military, and protested homosexuality and other alleged vices of the public. The story is of Megan’s introduction to the church, what she was asked and then forced to do as a member, the church’s demise and what ultimately got her to leave. While a lot of it was hard to listen to (it’s truly unbelievable!), it’s worth a read!
I don’t know why it took me so long to read this one, especially with my obsession with the royals crescendoing over the last couple of years! I read this almost immediately after reading and loving American Royals by Katharine McGee. You can read about that here! While American Royals is focused on what if the US had a royal family instead of a President, The Royal We is about an American girl who falls in love with a British prince. She’s a little Kate, and a little Meghan: she’s American (Meghan) studying at Oxford when she meets the prince (Kate). She goes through all the struggles both Meghan and Kate did (dealing with the press and a disapproving family, a royal engagement, etc). The story hooks you early on, and it’s one you won’t want to put down. I loved every minute!
While I enjoyed this book, this one took a while for me to get into and stay with. There’s just a lot of information that I’m not entirely interested in (mythology, goddesses, etc), so I found myself getting distracted more easily while listening to this book. It is beautifully written, but it’s definitely not an “on the edge of your seat” kind of read. I didn’t find myself dying to know what happened next! But if mythology, goddesses and the like are up your alley, read this book!
As a fan and follower of their popular My Favorite Murder podcast, I knew I wanted the audiobook version of their first book! It did not disappoint. Not only was it nice to hear them tell their own stories, but there were clips from live shows and other events that we’ve never heard on the podcast (that you obviously won’t hear if you buy the book version). It’s a very endearing look at their own lives, along with helpful advice and tips on how to “stay sexy” and not get murdered. Definitely recommend if you already love the podcast! Otherwise you may be a bit lost.
Another purchase thanks to my interest in psychology, this book is about a real therapist, her patients, and her own therapist. From the trying patients like John the know-it-all screen writer, to the overwhelming patients like Julie who is dying of cancer, it’s an interesting look at how therapists interact with patients and then how those patients effect them long after their appointment is over. This book is about to be turned into a TV show for ABC! A really lovely read, narrated by my favorite audiobook narrator: Brittany Presley.
Adding this one in last as I just finished this book yesterday! As I mentioned above in the Steve Jobs section, I think I’m going to be reading more biographies. Deep dives into people like Steve Jobs and George Washington are so fascinating, especially when done in an entertaining way like Alexis Coe has. As she mentions in the foreword, very few biographies have been done for George Washington by women (and for women)! The same can be said about many of history’s big names. Historical biographies can be very straightforward and dull, but Alexis has brought a modern touch and humor to the content. She explores sides that are rarely seen in other biographies of him, simply because the books were written by men for men – they don’t talk about it romance with Martha and paint her as a controlling, stubborn wife. For example, she takes Washington’s handwritten notes about romance/courtship and translates the long drawn out sentences into what we’d say today – it’s really quite funny. I learned more about George Washington in this book than I ever did in a history class, and I actually enjoyed myself! Highly recommend, even if you’re not a history buff. This audiobook is also narrated by Brittany Presley – I swear, she’s the best narrator out there!