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List of Audiobooks ‘read’

Towards the end of 2019, I discovered Audible after my son enrolled me for my birthday. I renewed the membership once the initial offer expired and I had become hooked. This was a way of increasing my consumption of titles and I particularly like listening to people reading their own memoirs, although I have branched out a little more in recent months.

Then, in 2020, Covid-19 lockdowns certainly boosted my reading of actual hard-copy books.  I’ll stick that on a separate page.

Audiobooks – 

Becoming – written and read bMichelle Obama. I found this completely engrossing. Mostly listened in Richmond Park and local walks.

This is going to Hurt – written and read by Adam Kay. Light entertainment which I enjoyed dipping into on my walks. Who knew at the time I read it (November 2019) that he would soon become a favourite commentator on the pandemic? Mostly listened in Richmond Park.

Me – written by Elton John and read by Taron Egerton (who also plays Elton in the film Rocket Man, which I watched on the plane to my last holiday before Coronavirus restrictions). I thought this was a great and apparently honest story. Mostly listened in Richmond Park.

Who Am I, Again? – written and read by Lenny Henry. Another engaging listen. As well as the usual walks, I particularly recall it as an accompaniment on the top deck of a bus as I travelled up to see a play at the Royal Court.

Lady in Waiting – written and read by Lady Anne Glenconner. I was unsure whether I would like this, but warmed to the voice and was astonished at some of the hardships related. Mostly Richmond Park again I think.

Gotta Get Theroux This – written and read by Louis Theroux. I struggled with this one, although finished it in the end. I like his TV stuff but somehow couldn’t warm to this very much. Again Richmond Park walks.

Wham! George & Me – written and read by Andrew Ridgeley. I had never been a Wham! fan nor particularly George Michael although I reckon he is one of the best male singers ever in the pop field. (Him and F Mercury). Not sure why I chose this, but it made an interesting listen. Local walking as per usual, but for some reason there are a couple of streets on my way to the Park where I remember listening to particularly interesting bits (not sure why).

Not Dead Yet – written and read by Phil Collins. This may have been an autobio too far, but I got to the end of it. Somehow he protests too much, despite being open and honest about his mistakes. Strange. The great thing about listening to this though was that I kept stopping it in order to play Genesis or Collins tracks on Spotify, which took me back to my teenage years and early twenties. Mostly Richmond Park.

Ayoade on Top – written and read by Richard Ayoade. This currently has the prize for being the only book (apart from the current ongoing one) that I have failed to finish. I might have persevered with an actual paper book, as I think the writing is clever, but I just couldn’t keep listening to the parts (the majority, and the main reason for the book) about the Gwyneth Paltrow film. Would have worked much better as a TV show I reckon. I quite liked the odd autobiographical bits though.

Dreams from my Father – written and read by Barack Obama. This covers his pre-presidential time and I enjoyed it, although there were parts where I think I zoned out a bit. Made it to the end though and I am keen to read his newer memoirs (but I will wait for those to come to paperback and read them in the old-fashioned way). Richmond Park

Till the Cows Come Home – written and read by Sara Cox. I veered in and out of this one, but had a couple of consolidated sessions on trains to and from Cornwall when I went walking in September 2020. I’m not a particular Cox fan, but I like the down-to-earth nature of this book. Interesting that she is a half-generation younger than me, so there were comparisons to make from that perspective as well as noting her different background.

The Great Godden – written by Meg Rosoff, read by Andrew Scott. I thought I’d make an exception and listen to a novel for once. Weird juxtaposition of a hot summer beach holiday in the book and a cold winter walk in Richmond Park in reality, plus a strange feeling of uncertainty about the narrator. The writer is a woman, the audiobook reader a gay man – I still don’t know what sex the narrating protagonist actually is. For me, that was the best bit (once it dawned on me), but the story was interesting enough to keep me listening to the end.

Life’s What You Make It – written and read by Phillip Schofield. Once again, a book written by and about someone I have not followed before but which was a great listen. I don’t think I’ve ever watched This Morning, aside from the occasional accidental few minutes, but I have certainly seen the joyful clips of Phil and Holly practically wetting themselves laughing and these are something of a ‘go to’ if I’m miserable, so I suppose I was sort of a fan (?). Prompted by last year’s news of his coming out on the programme, and due to clever marketing and a continued surfeit of Audible credits, I gave this a go in January 2021 and romped through it quickly. Although I don’t think it really explains his sexuality situation, other than the practicalities of making the announcement etc, there was plenty of wonderful material in here, especially in relation to his fascination with broadcasting much of which served to feed my nerdy need to understand how it all works. Great sections about his stint in musical theatre, which I had forgotten. I listened to most of this pounding the pavements of Kingston and Surbiton, making deliveries to GP surgeries during Lockdown 3.0.

Other buys and listens on Audible in 2020 included 

  • Dubliners by James Joyce (read by Andrew Scott). Aside from the reader, I chose this because it was an A-level text for me which, at the time, I really loved. I remembered some of the stories quite well, others not at all. Still dipping into this one. Most annoying is that the stories are not easily separated on the audiobook so it’s hard to navigate or stop/start in the right place.
  • Titting About – a podcast by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, apparently exclusive to Audible. I LOVED this and listened to all episodes in rapid succession.
  • Lunch: Complete Series 1-4 by Marcy Kahan. This is a BBC radio series starring Stephen Mangan and Claire Skinner. I have not taken especially well to it, but have listened to 3 or 4 episodes and will probably continue on and off.  I do associate it with the main approach road to Richmond Park and to a particular piece of open land in the middle of the Park near to Pen Ponds where I listened whilst looking at a large deer herd one day.



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