When the lockdown began earlier this year, many of us wondered what we would do with all the ”free time” we would have while sheltering in place.
I thought I would have more time to cultivate new hobbies, to finally complete that business plan- I’d been sitting on for far too long, or maybe take an online course. But amazingly, I found myself busier than ever, doing ALL of the emotional labor for my family, not to mention becoming a full-time educator, chef, maid, and guidance counselor overnight. So that free time I had anticipated seemed shorter and shorter. Just finding time to read a book became a task, and I gradually found myself too exhausted to sit down and focus on reading anything. I ended up falling in love with audiobooks instead.
Audiobooks are a great way for multitaskers who are constantly working on several things at once to stay informed, entertained, and motivated. You can listen in your car, while you exercise, or while you handle other pressing obligations.
The allure of a great audible book is in the mental picture created by the narrator, often the author themselves, who can give you a first-hand account of their amazing stories.
This year Amazon and Audible.com have become my go-to bookstores and I’ve gotten the opportunity to listen to some of my favorite people while also being enlightened by some of the most brilliant authors and writers in today’s literary landscape.
Here are some of my favorite Audible Books- that I think you’ll enjoy as well (in NO particular order).
Becoming– Michelle Obama: When I bought our former first lady’s book in 2019, I had all intention of reading it but found myself getting distracted with other things- the audiobook (narrated by Mrs. Obama herself) sucked me in and gave me an opportunity to listen to her life story in her own words and actual voice.
A Promised Land– Barack Obama: I’m such a huge fan of our 45th President, Barack Obama, for so many reasons, but his charisma and personality are definitely at the top of my list. Those elements shine through in the audio version of his book, and it’s great to listen to him give his first-hand account of his monumental life.
The Meaning of Mariah Carey– Mariah Carey: This audiobook was so entertaining because Mariah Carey gives us “MARIAH.” The diva, the stories, the tea, and the shade (in her own voice)- all the things we’ve all come to know and love about her are overflowing when you listen.
Surrender White People– D.L. Hughley, Doug Moe: D.L. Hughley does a great job of making this book feel like a conversation. He discusses the world we are living in today with brutal honesty that takes White America to task for 400+ years of White Supremacy and White privilege.
The Vanishing Half– Brit Bennett: Brit Bennett wrote and narrates this complex story about twin sisters who were raised in a black community in a small, southern town. The sisters run away at age 16, and their lives take two completely different paths. Bennett paints a great picture of their lives while directing our attention to universally complicated topics of family, identity, and race.
Born A Crime– Trevor Noah: Trevor Noah personally takes us through his life with stories from his childhood growing up in and through the turmoil in South Africa.
Caste– Isabel Wilkerson: This book (recommended via Oprah’s book club) is an international bestseller, narrated by Robin Miles, Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson, which gives us amazing insight into “caste” shaped our world.
The Decision– Kevin Hart: Kevin Hart’s latest book was surprisingly motivating. I expected jokes and anecdotes from the comedian but got a life coach instead. “Coach” Kevin drops jewels while you listen.
The Baddest B*tch In The Room– Sophia Chang: Sophia Chang has been described as the “first Asian woman in Hip Hop,” and her book tells the story of her rise in the music industry working with some major hip hop legends like Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest. Chang is rough, rugged, and raw about being an entrepreneur, the realities of marriage and motherhood, and how often women in the music business are marginalized.
Each book was a worthwhile experience. Interesting and entertaining all at once and a great way to get over your quarantine blues.