Continuing on with my “top fives” of the year…
So narrowing this list down to 5 was actually pretty easy, because I don’t listen to nearly as many audiobooks as I would like. Stuff gets in the way! Like podcasts, or my car needing the muffler replaced, or whatever. But here are my Top 5 Audiobooks of 2016.
In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero – I don’t watch anything that Diane Guerrero plays in (though I REALLY want to check out Jane the Virgin), but I grabbed this on Audible because it sounded interesting, and certainly topical. It’s about how Diane, who was born in the U.S., came home from school one day to find that her undocumented immigrant parents had been taken by ICE and deported. Diane herself narrates which is awesome, and she talks a lot about her relationship with her parents, how deportation broke up their family in more ways than one, and how she survived after they were taken out of the country. This was a great listen, and I HIGHLY recommend it, especially now with an incoming president who is out to vilify people like Diane and her family.
The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy – I saw Tara Clancy at Book Riot Live, on a panel with two other amazing, hilarious women, and I immediately downloaded her audiobook. She talked on the panel a bit about being from a working class family, and how after the election people were pointing at white working class families like hers as the reason behind Trump winning, and she made us laugh and then made us all tear up and she talked about knowing that her father, this kind man who brushed her hair when she was a little girl, probably voted for this horrible man and how she’s trying to deal with that. The audiobook is about her growing up in Queens but almost in two separate worlds – working class and just getting by, but also spending weekends in the Hamptons thanks to her mom’s very wealthy boyfriend. Tara is the reader, and thank goodness because she has this great voice with a strong Queens accent, and she’s a fantastic storyteller. I loved every minute of this one.
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter (read by Mariska Hargitay) – Y’all, I bought the Hamiltome as soon as I could get my hands on it, but let’s be real – I was never going to sit there and actually read that giant thing. I have it for the lyrics and the gorgeous pictures. But I DID jump at the chance to get it on audio, because I heard that Lin himself reads a bit – as it turns out, he reads his annotations to the lyrics. The narrator Mariska does a good job, and I got to learn a bit about what went into making Hamilton. Wins all around.
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer – Can you tell I’m a sucker for memoirs on audio? It’s true. I’m not even a big Amy Schumer fan, mostly because I haven’t really seen her in anything and the skits and stuff that I have seen were okay. So I grabbed this on Audible thinking it’d probably at least be good for a laugh, and it was – but it was also surprisingly poignant and there were times I just sat in my car to finish a chapter. So yeah, a great listen, and I need to see Trainwreck.
Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud by Elizabeth Greenwood (read by Arden Hammersmith) – You don’t think you want to read a book about death fraud, but you do! Elizabeth takes a look at that shady occurrence of people faking their own deaths – whether for insurance fraud, to hide from an abusive ex, or just to escape the drudgery of your life and start over somewhere. I learned a lot of weird things listening to this, as my family will confirm, because I kept dropping tidbits into random conversation. The only part I didn’t love was when she talked about people who thinking Michael Jackson is still alive, because dude I just do not care enough. He could come back tomorrow, would make no difference to me.
Confession time: I only listened to seven audiobooks this year, so like I said this was pretty easy BUT they really are all great and you should listen to them. Here’s to hoping I can reach double digits with my audiobook listening next year!