7 audiobooks performed by celebrities
As an avid audiobook lover, I often fall in love with certain narrators to the point of listening to just about anything they perform. And I have found that this rule often applies to certain actors as well. Meryl Streep plays Charlotte’s canvas? Of course, I’ll listen to it again! Viola Davis reads Corduroy? Of course, I will add this audiobook to my library. There is something unique that happens when a well-known movie or theater actor picks up a book and starts reading it to you, so here are a few of my favorites.
To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han
After a film adaptation of To all the boys I’ve loved before premiered on Netflix, we got a brand new edition of the audiobook, this time performed by asian-american actress ali ahn (Billion, Supernatural). To all the boys I’ve loved before follows a mixed race Asian American girl who writes letters to all of her past crushes, but never intends to send them. But when someone sends the letters without her consent, she finds herself forced to reconnect with the crushes of the past to deal with the consequences.
Reported by Ali Ahn
Eye of the world by Robert Jordan
The mini-series of Eye of the world definitely ranks among the most anticipated fantasy novel adaptations of the year. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Pride and Prejudice), who plays one of the main characters of the miniseries, tells a new edition of the audio version of Eye of the world. His performance is phenomenal. I was a little scared to pick up a 30 hour audiobook, but before I knew it I was halfway through it.
Reported by Rosamund Pike
World-End Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry by Wendell Berry
Wendall Berry, a pillar of Appalachian literature, has been featured on my TBR for over a year now. So when I saw that Nick Offerman (Parks and recreation) told the audiobook, I was like, “Yes, please! Berry writes extensively on land stewardship, which fits with Offerman’s general aesthetic. The combination of Berry’s writing and Offerman’s performance is the perfect combo.
Reported by Nick Offerman
The color purple by Alice Walker
Considered to be Alice Walker’s masterpiece, The color purple follows Celie, a young black girl who grows up in rural Georgia. Her sister leaves Georgia to become a missionary while Celie is married to an older man. We stay with Celie throughout her life as she tries to make the most of what she has, keeping hope and finding love in the face of the challenges that come her way. Samira Wiley, from Orange is the new black and The Handmaid’s Tale, performs the most recent edition of the audiobook. Wiley’s performance is a masterful example of audiobook storytelling and captivates listeners as they cling to every word.
Reported by Samira Wiley
Stomach pains by Nora Ephron
Meryl Streep. Wait, should I write more? Alright, sure. Meryl Streep AND the fiction of Nora Ephron. Alright, alright, let’s get into a few more details. Stomach pains is Ephron’s best-known novel, and it’s full of his signature humor and witty dialogue. It presents the breakdown of the “perfect” marriage and all the embarrassing consequences that flow from it. Oh, and did I mention that our protagonist is seven months pregnant?
Reported by Meryl Streep
Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Before listening to the Hamilton soundtrack for the first time, I fell in love with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s performance of Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. This young adult novel follows two teenagers who fall in love. The book is so heartfelt, with two characters worthy of a cinnamon roll.
Reported by Lin-Manuel Miranda
The return of the native by Thomas Hardy
Look, I read this novel at the time, and it was okay. A classic British novel about a man who leaves his hometown in Essex and returns after many years. It contains as much angst as the Victorian period would allow. But let’s be honest: I picked up this novel because Alan Rickman played it. There is just something special about hearing Rickman’s familiar voice telling this story which adds a depth of emotion and sets a whole new kind of mood for the book.
Reported by Alan Rickman