I loveeeee audio books. I used to breeze through title after title during my two-hour round-trip commute to and from work each day - and even though the drive (and the traffic) totally sucked, my silver lining was that the commute time gave me an opportunity to 'read' tons of books I otherwise wouldn't have had time to get through!
So needless to say, I have listened to A LOT of books. And you'll hear me use the words 'listened' and 'read' interchangeably, because in my mind, it's all the same. Some people will ask me, 'isn't that cheating??' NO, silly! I'm absorbing the information, and being affected by the words, so this book is checked off my list the same way it is for my neighbor who rented it from the library!
I digress. So because I LOVE sharing a good book with my best friends, family members and coworkers - I thought, why not share some of my all time favorite titles with my Lauren Gardner Blog fam? And because I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here - I'm including a one-sentence summary that I found on the internet, followed by my take on why I think the title is one that I would recommended to everyone I know! OH and each book title and image is linked to the audible book on Amazon!
Year of Yes
Summary: "For one year, one of the most powerful showrunners on television (Shonda Rhimes) said yes to everything. She said yes to commencement speeches, yes to accepting more help, and — you guessed it — yes to herself." - vulture.com
My Take: I have recommended this book to countless people. Not only will it make you reconsider those "no's" you might be quick to jump to, but it will keep you laughing, smiling, and downright loving every word that comes out of Shonda's mouth (she is the reader of the audiobook). If you love the fast-paced, smart, and funny writing on Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, you'll love listening to this summer must-read.
The Book Thief
Summary: "Narrated by Death, The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a nine-year-old German girl who (was) given up by her mother to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann in the small town of Molching in 1939, shortly before World War II." -Gradesaver.com
My Take: Maybe the summary sounds dry but the book is not. This is such a wonderful read -- it will remind you of the magic that is getting lost in a good book, and I can promise you'll be recommending it to your friends once you are done!
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
Summary: "After becoming used to the stereotype of screaming, ill-tempered children, an American mother living in Paris was amazed at how well-behaved French children were. In this book she explains how parents can make their lives less stressful by taking some pointers from the French art of child-rearing." -NPR Books
My Take: I partially credit this book for helping me get Ava sleeping through the night at 3 months, because of what the author refers to as 'le pause.' This book offers simple little insights on the subtle differences between French and American parenting, and left me with a new perspective on motherhood. It also left me wanting to move to Paris, but I guess there are worse things!
Summary: "The Help tells the story of black maids working in white Southern homes in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi." -Cliffnotes.com
My Take: We all know and love the movie -- and maybe you've read the book. But LISTENING to this book takes things to a whole new level. It's narrated by two readers, but they do all the voices SO WELL that you feel like you are listening to multiple actors in a play. This is easily the best 'performed' audiobook I've ever listened to!
Summary: "Delivering Happiness explains how mega online shoe retailer Zappos built a unique company culture and customer experience worth remembering, which turned it into a billion dollar business." -fourminutebooks.com
My Take: Read by the author and CEO, this book is an inspiring account of the rise of a little startup called Zappos. His view on customer service and company culture is both refreshing and insightful.
The Bone Season
Summary: "The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut." -Recaptains.co.uk
My Take: If you like the fantasy genre, you'll LOVE this book. And even if you don't (I haven't read too many fantasy novels outside of the Harry Potter series, so I don't typically seek out these types of books), you will still love this book. You do have to pay attention to some new vocab and a somewhat complex storyline, but it will draw you in and keep you sitting in your car an extra 5 minutes to finish that last chapter.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Summary: "Big Magic is the book that’ll give you the courage you need to pursue your creative interests by showing you how to deal with your fears, notice ideas and act on them and take the stress out of creation." -fourminutebooks.com
This book will give you a creative jump start, and the encouragement you didn't know you needed to start living your most creative life. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, also has a podcast called 'Magic Lessons' (where she helps listeners work through creative road-blocks) which I also highly recommend!
So that's it! I hope you add a few of these titles to your summer read list, and enjoy them as much as I did!