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My top 12 audiobooks




It's hard to have a conversation with me these days without hearing the words "I was listening to this audiobook," leave my lips. Audiobooks have quickly become the cure to a recent insufficiency of spare time. Time and I are locked in a battle of wills, I'm cupping the minutes tightly in my fist and holding them to my heart and head so as not to waste a precious drop but it's slipping away through my fingers in the way that it does. In the way that it always will. Books will always be like oxygen to me but these days I have to snatch at the surface by listening instead of seeing, before diving back into life again, buoyed up by their wisdom. A quiet hour here and there to settle alone with a book is nice but as always, as with everything it seems, I want more. 

Equally, there is something quite beautiful about hearing an author read their own work. The emphasis placed on a favourite word or phrase, the recollection of a particularly painful memory or the whimsical delivery of a favourite anecdote. I feel the so much more when it is their voice in my ear instead of my own in my head

Here are a list of my current favourite Audiobooks, there were supposed to be 10 but I had to extend the list. I like to listen to lots of different genres so I've included a wide range of topics from autobiographies to thrillers to comedies so that hopefully everyone can find something they'll love




Scrappy Little Nobody 
- Anna Kendrick


I loved her before but now I love her even more. Anna’s not-so-rags to kind-of-sort-of-riches tale is hilarious from start to finish, giving the inside scoop on the usually pretty unglamorous world of making movies - fake pig guts anyone? I also particularly enjoyed her fictional party plans and her rightfully unashamed views on female sexuality and felt a certain kinship in the "Huh. We are totally going to have sex" moment. I feel like Anna translates really well to the audiobook format as her personality is so effervescent, her book is like one of those ridiculous over-sharing conversations you have with your best friends after one too many martinis 

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Lean In 
- Sheryl Sandberg 


 This audiobook resonated so passionately with me that it prompted me to request the promotion that I was recently granted. It's a kick-ass, take no prisoners kind of book that urges women everywhere to celebrate their strengths and fight for their right to have those strengths recognised. This book celebrates women who balance a career and a family in a way that says that you can have it all but you'll need to be more assertive if you want it to work. Sheryl Sandberg doesn't sugar coat the pull of motherhood for women dedicated to a career she offers practical ways to manage that pull. This book is the first sentence in a conversation that we, as women need to be having   

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The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo 
- Amy Schumer



Amy Schumer just absolutely cracks me up, her dark sexually explicit humour is exactly my cup of tea with no sugar. Like me, she has no filter and a very low tolerance for bullshit. She gets herself into some ridiculous situations and often oversteps the mark entirely, leading to numerous "TMI" moments. Hmmm I wonder why I liked this audiobook so much...could it be that I can entirely relate to it? That aside, there were some really interesting insights in this audiobook which resonated deeply with me without the seriousness of other works, for example on the subject of Introversion: "Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re shy. It means you enjoy being alone. Not just enjoy it—you need it. If you’re a true introvert, other people are basically energy vampires. You don’t hate them; you just have to be strategic about when you expose yourself to them—like the sun. They give you life, sure, but they can also burn you"

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The Feminist Fight Club 
(An office survival manual for a sexist workplace) 
- Jessica Bennett



Although a bit too “gimmicky” at times and read by someone with the most annoying voice I've ever heard, the message is good one. Buzzwords and americanisms aside this book offers up some practical advice to women everywhere who are faced with overt sexism every single day of their lives. In a world where physically assaulting someone is maybe, slightly frowned upon this book gives helpful tips to women when dealing with tricky situations with both the same and opposite sex. I now understand that when a Man tells me something I already know in very slow and simple speech that he does not deserve a HB pencil rammed into the eye-socket, he is merely "Mansplaining" something to me and I as an idiot woman must listen and respect his opinion (Sarcasm alert) WELL worth a listen if you find yourself rolling your eyes or banging you head against a table in the workplace at times

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How to be a Woman - Caitlin Moran
Moranthology - Caitlin Moran
Moranifesto - Caitlin Moran
How to build a girl - Caitlin Moran



I ADORE Caitlin Moran, she was the first woman I ever heard talking openly about female issues like periods and losing your virginity and how backcombing is step one to being  an absolute powerhouse. The first three books are Moran talking about various topics, the first more female based, the second less so and the third covering a wide range of topics from the Olympics to Michael Jacksons funeral and her theories on how David Cameron is actually a robot covered in ham. I particularly enjoyed her critique of celeb tweets during key news events, she basically narrates the twitter spats and it's comedy GOLD.

The second, How to build a girl, is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale following Johanna Morrigan who reinvents herself of Dolly Wilde. Dolly is a goth-hero, heavy drinking, sex crazed adventurer, quite at odds with Johanna's own persona and the scrapes she gets into, the not quite fitting in resonates deeply as she battles on through a journey of self-discovery through invention. Some of the wordplay in this book is truly heartrending, the scene above the clouds in particular   

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The girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins


I don't normally read thrillers but I kept seeing the film trailer with that hauntingly slow version of Kanye Wests 'Heartless" and it chilled me to the bone so I thought I'd listen to the audiobook when I was working one wet and cold November afternoon. The thing I love about listening to rather than reading this book is that three separate actresses read the three separate parts of Anna, Rachel and Megan. This gives the book a character distinction that I just don't think would have been as powerful in my own voice alone. The plot itself follows Rachel, who invents perfect lives for the people she watched from the train every day until she witnesses something that shatters all of her invented narratives and leaves her questioning her own sanity. It's a hugely tense book which I think lends itself really well to the audio format

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The Confidence Code 
The Science and art of Self-assurance 
What women should know 
- Katty Kay and Claire Shipman 



This book is truly fascinating. It is full of studies into the human brain and behaviour patterns  which go far beyond the reach of confidence alone. It breaks the heavy topics of gene analysis, gender bias, genetics and cognition into digestible chunks and allows you to learn more and more about your own predispositions to things like stress, depression and your perception of happiness. Its a great starting point for people wanting to learn more about human psychology but it will mean sitting in the car for an extra twenty minutes outside your house each night because you are just too fascinated to turn it off and go inside. Kay and Shipman shed some much needed light on the role that confidence plays in how women succeed and how we boost out confidence in real, sustainable ways

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Happy 
- Derren Brown



This book really opened my eyes to the corruption of the self-help industry, our reliance on material possessions and how social comparison has shaped us as a generation. It's an insightful, no bullshit approach to defining happiness which I feel may have been a little heavy to digest had I not listened to it audiobook format given its philosophical grounding. That aside, this is one of those books that you listen to and just feel things click into place, the kind of thing you can learn from and make legitimate changes as a result of understanding. It's an incredibly perceptive and clever book in a saturated market where instant gratification seems to be the promise
   
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Back Story 
- David Mitchell 


David Mitchell is one of my comedy heroes so listening to his incredibly warm and witty memoir was no chore, in fact I was so sad when the book ended that I sat and watched an entire series of Peep Show to wean myself off his endearingly ardent rhetoric. From his early childhood peculiarities to his time as a not so studious student at Cambridge to the creation of his sketch-shows and sitcoms that we all know and love today, all delivered in a flurry of beautiful, expressive words that continually had me snorting with laughter. Equally, his account of meeting and missing the chance with his soulmate had me in tears, in all the wit and the jokes it was a real raw moment of insight which, when read in his own words, really allowed you to really feel his pain


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I really hope that you'll listen to one or two of my suggestions, perhaps on a long car journey or to help keep you company during the housework. I am always looking for more audiobooks, podcasts and Tedtalks to enjoy so if you have any recommendations then please do leave them below in the comments






6 comments:

  1. I'd love to read/listen to Amy Schumers, though there are also loads here on my to read list! I spend quite a lot of time driving, so audiobooks work perfectly! Alice xxx

    www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

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    1. Me too. I'm always listening to them on the drive to and from work! Also works brilliantly when I'm cooking with the wireless headphones :) xx

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  2. I wish I was like you and liked reading or listening but I don't! I will however pass this on to my sister in law who is a book worm like you! xx

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    1. You hate reading and writing and listening! How are you such an amazing blogger with all that to compete with! Haha at least your sister in law will appreciate the post

      Milly
      xx

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  3. I really, REALLY want to read Anna Kendrick's book! And I LOVED Amy Schumers - both ladies I admire a LOT! Great list x

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    1. It is brilliant! I never really rated Schumer until Trainwreck but now I love her. Her stand-up is also hilariously honest, her trademark I think!

      Milly
      xx

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