In praise of audiobooks

I’ve fallen in love with audiobooks. I no longer feel like I am cheating on ‘real’ books when I listen to them. While I walk my dog, load the laundry, unload the dishwasher, or fold clothes, I enjoy losing myself in the stories.

My recent indulgence has been listening to memoirs and autobiographies of celebrities, and for no particular reason they turned out to be three funny, smart women. I listened to Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler tell me about their lives in their own words and voices. Each of them came from diverse backgrounds but succeeded in the same arena. They are all such good writers and performers. I learned about their lives and laughed aloud with them, relishing my temporary escape from the lockdown.

Writing a memoir is probably one of the toughest things to do. You have to be honest since there is no room for fictionalizing things just because you are uncomfortable about something. A memoir is not just about the person writing it; it involves other people in their lives. Many memoir writers probably omit certain topics that are too personal and painful.

One memoir that hasn’t omitted anything is Demi Moore’s Inside Out. As I recall, Demi Moore and Julia Roberts were two Hollywood stars that walked alongside the men in their industry, commanding and receiving huge paychecks. Listening to Demi’s candid story in her own words–on her fame, fairytale romance and path downhill–was revealing and moving. The voice of the whole memoir is candid and raw. Kudos to Ariel Levy, a staff writer for the New Yorker who helped Moore tell her story.

The next audiobook on my list is The Brothers Karamazov. The baritone voice in an English accent keeps me entertained as I become familiar with Dmitri, Alyosha, Grushenka and all the other characters.

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