audiobooks aren't as cheesy as you might think: a resmarted collection
How often are you reading books for leisure? Chances are if you have a normal schedule that involves doing shit you don't want to be bothered with, then you aren't getting too much alone time with a book in your hand. You may even be one of those people that has started and gotten through quite a bit of several different books at once, reading in sporadic doses like an ADHD maniac who can't choose which story she needs to be on next. How many books have you started and never got around to finishing? If you're anything like me it is an embarrassing amount.
When I first started listening to audiobooks it was in the early 90's when I would check out books on tape from the library by anyone and everyone. I listened on headphones to obscure authors tell tales of sex and debauchery, and there was a memoir by then-popular comedian Sinbad that I remember playing on repeat one summer. I listened to Anne Frank's diary and cried when the speaker's voice hitched from her own personal breakdown, and I looked like an absolute freak sitting with my yellow walkman bursting into tears while other kids played basketball in their driveways.
Now there is a new version of audiobooks that don't require library cards or tape players and they are not limited in selection as they once were. I know it sounds lame at first, but think about how often you are listening to some lame ass song on the radio that you don't even like just because you are either too lazy to change the station or too defeated by pop culture itself. Think of how many times you have listened to the same shit on your iPod for countless hours of your life, and compare that to the amount of learning and growth you've received in return. Did a Taking Back Sunday record really allow you to grow as a person or is it something you're going to be embarrassed about in five years when you realize all the time you wasted doing nothing? Is Rihanna singing about S&M to super fun beats really making your life progress in the direction you want it to?
Audiobooks are a way to enhance your reading level, believe it or not. The amount of knowledge you gain in a handful of hours can be extraordinary when contrasting to the same amount of time spent numbing your brain into oblivion. Look, I like listening to The Strokes until the wee hours of the morning just like any other human with a pulse, but the average audiobook is about 4 hours and is more accessible than ever. You can listen in the car or while you cook, or if you don't drive or engage in culinary arts, you can listen while scrolling through pages of naked hipsters on Tumblr. Even better, you can brag that you read books most people will never get to in their lifetime. Who is going to know or care how you received the information? Whether by listening or reading, it's still the same information. In fact, authors often voice their own works, so you get a much clearer depiction of what they're trying to say. Reading has seriously never been easier. Think about it, can you read a regular book while drunk or stoned? Probably not as well as you can with your eyes closed and headphones on. Give audio reading a try, I promise it won't kill your buzz.
audiobooks worth checking out
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling Mindy Kaling's book is funny and I know this because I have a hardcover copy as well as the audiobook and have listened to and read both of them multiple times. This is one of the lightest reads you will ever have and when you're finished you will be surprised by how easy breezy the experience was. Mindy Kaling suffers no real trauma and basically this is a white girl problems style of reading, but it is funny and insightful if you are a fan of hers. The greatest parts were her memories of writing and performing a play inspired by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, appropriately titled Matt & Ben, as well as her fantasy scripted interaction with her one time co-worker Kristen Wiig.
I'm the One That I Want by Margaret Cho
I read this book in high school after seeing her standup of the same name, and before that was a fan of her old sitcom All-American Girl. Margaret Cho is a unique comedian who openly discusses the struggles with her weight, race, abortion, and the hardships she had to endure entering the television industry. This was an inspiring read and is already on my list to listen to as she narrates her own story in this 5hr audiobook. If you are a fan of Cho's work, this is an absolute must-have. If you haven't seen I'm the One That I Want by all means, get in the goddamn loop already, girl.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
You may have heard or seen this book absolutely everywhere. Tina Fey's candid tales of growing up in Upper Darby, learning to adapt to Chicago weather, working at the YMCA and beyond are way more amazing to hear in her own voice. She even opens with a jazzy introduction and never fails to deliver with great enthusiasm and hilarious voices. I'll be honest - I totally got a pirated version of this audiobook that leaked before the official release date, but by the time it was up for sale I got my own copy as well as one for a friend. This is an inspiring, feel-good listen that you will definitely want to hear more than once.
Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch
You may remember Rachel Dratch from SNL during the better part of the new millennium. Dratch is probably the most underrated female comedian in the history of Saturday Night Live, if not the most underrated comedian of the entire world. Though her visibility in the media was a small droplet of joy, she is still alive and still funny, and now she's insightful too. From her stupid date scenarios to her accidental pregnancy at 43, she has wisdom we can all benefit from. The first top notch advice to get from this book if anything is never use the pull-out method.
Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman
You didn't think we were getting through this list without Sarah, did you? I purchased the hardcover the day Bedwetter came out, and can remember being really patient and smiley as the Border's employee went through the shipment boxes to find it. Incidentally, that Borders is now a Fresh Market. Sarah's story is that of an overmedicated child feeling too depressed to go to school for years and experiencing a bedwetting problem into her teenage years. If this sounds a lot like you sans the midnight gold then you might find the creator of The Sarah Silverman Program to be much more human and relatable than meets the eye. Don't let the bizarre comedy acts fool you, this is a deceptively heavy read, though her sing-song style of speaking might sway you from experiencing too much trauma.
We Are What We Pretend to Be: The First and Last Works by Kurt Vonnegut
If Kurt Vonnegut is one of those authors you think everyone is just reading to appear hip and smart, you might be right on some level, but don't let the long library of works intimidate you. A brilliant mind that comes from a funny and loving place is what you will get from anything by Vonnegut, and his fictional journeys are unforgettable. I began reading his books at age 10 and live by his quotes to this day. This audiobook includes the first book he ever wrote that has never before been published, along with the last book he was working on when he died entitled If God Were Alive Today. It also includes a bonus interview with his daughter Nanette as she shares memories and commentary on the included content. This is a great resource for long time Vonnegut fans and newcomers alike.
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
Jaycee Dugard's story is hard but an important one. She was eleven years old living with her working mom, dickbag stepdad and new baby sister, and struggling with her 5th grade identity when she was kidnapped on her way to the bus stop one morning. Phillip and Nancy Garrido tased her into submission and drove off with her tied up in the back of their van, and she wasn't heard from again for 18 years. In that time she became a mother to his children and lived in their backyard, using her resourcefulness to raise and educate her kids, and survive the layers of abuse she experienced daily. Her voice gives a lighter feel to the story itself, and you can hear the peace she has made with it as she narrates. She shares diary entries from the perspective of a surprisingly hopeful young girl in the darkest hours of her life.
I know what you're thinking: bitch, I can't afford 20 bucks for a fucking audiobook that I will only listen to once, if even that. Getting a subscription to audible is the best way to save money on book purchases and you can do so here or with the image link above. Besides, your mom could be so proud to see that you are venturing into educational leisure time that she might even help you out. Just hand her a joint and send her on over to resmarted.net for more info.
More from entertainment