Yay! Another week of Nonfiction! This week Becca asks us about Nontraditional Nonfiction. It’s no secret that I prefer to listen to nonfiction rather than to read it in print. Of course there’s always exceptions to this rule, but I find I focus on nonfiction better on audio than even fiction books on audio. Whenever someone mentions they don’t love nonfiction or are having a tough time listening to audiobooks, I recommend pairing the two together.
Five Must-Listen Nonfiction Audiobooks
Yes Please by Amy Poehler – Celeb memoirs are one of my favorite types of nonfiction to listen to–even in the case of Poehler’s where I’m only moderately familiar with her work. Out of all the ones I’ve listened to (Fey, Kaling, Mandvi are some of my favorites), Poehler’s Yes Please was the one I felt I could relate to the most. While she did blab on about show business quite a bit, she also shared a lot about womanhood and motherhood. She’s not a born narrator, but listening to her book felt like I was sitting listening to someone very real. She is laugh out loud funny and there are several moments that made listening rather than reading well worth it (her conversations with Seth Meyers were great).
At Home by Bill Bryson – The only thing that makes me sad about a Bill Bryson audiobook is when Bill Bryson doesn’t narrate the book himself! At Home is a brief history of every room in the house and the things that fill up those rooms. It’s fascinating, to say the least, but the way that Bryson delivers this wealth of information is the icing on the cake. His humor can be wry and a bit sarcastic, but he has a way of drawing readers in with his voice. While by the end of the book you might not remember every detail, you’ll have very much enjoyed the journey!
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (narrated by Edward Herrmann) – Unbroken is an incredible story–one that most of you are now familiar with thanks to the movie, but it’s a fantastic audiobook. In fact, I’ve listened to it twice and forced it upon my husband and his father. I do have the paper copy but only referenced it for the pictures included. Herrmann (also known as Rory’s Grandpa on Gilmore Girls) is the perfect narrator and has perfect command of his audience while reading Unbroken. There were times when I had to pull over while listening to Unbroken because not only was the content emotional but so was Herrmann’s delivery.
Freakanomics by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt – Freakanomics was one of the very first audiobooks that I listened to and it was one of those experiences that made me realize that listening to nonfiction was a fantastic way to go. I’m not sure if any of the information is outdated at this point (though I believe there’s a podcast?), but it made my 45 minute commute in the mornings and evenings an absolute breeze and there were times when I’d get home and sit in the driveway just to finish my chapter! Definitely a great starting point if you’re new to audiobook listening!
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (narrated by Bahni Turpin) – Bad Feminist is a number of essays on race, social status, gender, politics, Sweet Valley High by author Roxane Gay and the narration by Bahni Turpin is spot on! While I could have done with highlighting ability while reading Bad Feminist, I loved the way that Turpin’s inflection really brought life to Gay’s essays–her inflection was serious one moment and lighthearted the other. At times she sounded exasperated, at times defeated, at times downright pissed off–all of which helped to really drive home the points in the essays. She made me laugh and then she would make me sit up and pause. A lot of this could have been gleaned from the book, but hearing made this experience one that I’ll remember.
Do you enjoy nonfiction books on audio? What are some of your absolute favorite nonfiction listens?