Several post ago ago I boasted about the amazing amazing-ness of audio books. They are a wonderful discovery for someone like me, who has to schedule breathing and can barely fir in time for reading. Listening to audio books has become my favorite thing to do while working on my jewelry. Books and crafting simply make a great combination.
I promised some reviews on the books I have listened to so far. Some I would highly recommend, others, well, they weren’t for me. I’ll let. you decide what you think. In this post I’ll cover which books I’ve listened to from the Humor genre so far. Looking for a pleasant book or two, I’ve had these delivered to my kindle typically after a heavy horror novel. Some of them delivered on their promises of chuckles more than others.
“Letting Go of God,” by Julia Sweeny. I’m pretty partial to actress Julia Sweeny. Partly because she’s from where I live in the Inland Northwest, but also because she certainly knows how to deliver an engaging monologue. I purchased this audio book in remembrance of the video performance I had seen and thoroughly enjoyed, “God just said Hah!” Once again, she did not let me down. This short listen (just over 2 hours) is pleasant and heartfelt. Julia describes her adult struggles with her Catholic faith, and many of her observances came very close to my own at once time or another. But the best part is how well she handles such a delicate subject with a stream of humor that will leave you smiling and remembering.
“Bossypants” by Tina Fey. Tina does an excellent job of narrating her own book. She makes hilarious observations and remembers moments of her past that can be really touching. A little too much of the book is focused on her Sarah Palin impersonations, but I guess those are the same performances that shot her to fame. As a long time Saturday Night Live fan, this was a must-listen for me. It was awesome to hear about how many of the performers on SNL also do most of the writing, and just how much Tina puts into making 30 Rock. If you are looking for a laugh and a quality performance, this is an EXCELLENT choice in audio performance.
“America (The Audiobook)” by Jon Stewart and the Writers of the Daily Show. I’m a big fan of the daily show. As depressing as it is to sometimes only get “real’ news form a comedy network, I enjoy it thoroughly nonetheless. This audiobook is a bit outdated, as political material tends to be, but still a chuck-a-licious look at our country’s history and contemporary political process. Warning: it will make you mad at how much money runs our current system. The book includes several winning performances from Stephen Colbert and many other familiar comedies on and from the Daily Show. If you are worried about conservative-bashing and one-sided political opinion, you will not find it here. A pretty decent summary with lots of humor to pull you though.
“If You Ask Me (Which of course you won’t)” by Betty White. This book isn’t funny. Betty White is a sweet and adorable actress whom I just LOVE on screen. Buy this book if you want to hear about her work towards helping animals and a few tips on how to stay healthy. But other than that there really isn’t very much content in here. If you absolutely love Betty, then it’s nice to her her narrate her own novel, but other than that the story portion of the book is lacking. I did like hearing about little extras, such as the fact that she writes everything out in long-hand first before typing it on the computer. Also, hearing about her work with Sandra Bullock is fun. Not the quick-witting, often stinging humor you get from her comedic performances though. Which is unfortunate because she is so friggin good at them.
“America on Purpose” by Craig Ferguson. Craig is a hilarious light-night show comedian. In my opinion, none of the other late night shows even compare to his comfortable, conversational humor and witty banter. All delivered in that love-able Scottish accent. One of my favorite things about his audio books (which he also does the narration for) is hearing about what it was like to live in Glasgow, Scotland. Although i am of Scottish heritage, I have yet to visit Europe at all, Scotland included, so I love to hear about it in anticipation of my one-day travels. Unfortunately if you are looking for humor, as I expected this book to be filled with considering how funny Criag’s late-night performances are, I didn’t really find it here. A huge majority of the book is taken up with the mistakes of Criag’s earlier life. Drugs. Sex. Alcohol. More drugs. More sex. More alcohol. It is very transparent in that respect, as Craig kind of “bears-all” and is not ashamed to display his previous mistakes out for all of the world to see. He seems to hit “rock-bottom” several times before he finally seeks help and quits the booze and the drugs for good. I can imagine that his story would make an excellent read for anyone recovering form previous life addictions, as he does not paint these issues in any kind of positive light. They are exposed for the life-endangering and relationship-destroying substances they are. Good for him. There are times when I felt he was simply relaying event though, and more emotion or detail was needed to have kept my interest better. Otherwise it is just: Sex. Drugs. Alcohol. Bleh.
“Good Omens” By Terry Pratchett and Neil Giaman. I had quickly picked up this audio book after finishing and relishing American Gods, buy Neil Gaiman. This book is not at all the same. Of course, I figured it was more humorous and less of the serious, adult tone of American Gods by the reviews on Audible. “If you like British humor and Monty Python, you’ll love this book!” Is basically what many of the top reviews stated. I happen to L-O-V-E Monty Python, and from what I have seen of it, I don’t mind British humor either. However, this particular book, I did not much care for. While there are nuggets of chuck-a-li-cious humor similar to that of Monty Python, it is so crammed with puns and jokes and footnotes and trailings that the story line eventually disappears. As soon as it would start to pick up again and I could actually follow along, on would come more footnotes and gibber-gabber about randoms things that took far too long to explain. Also, I don’t mind a narrator with a British accent, Fool is a good example, this was just TOO much. I had to force myself to get through it, and I barely did at that. I had to keep switching to Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen just to give myself a break once in awhile. I don’t recommend this book until you REALLY, REALLY like British humor in a way I am no longer convinced I do anymore.
“Fool” by Chrsitopher Moore. I purchased this book because the negative reviews concerning “Good Omens” recommended it as an alternative that is actually enjoyable. Also, I heart “Lamb” a gospel comedy by the same author. That was a book that actually had be laughing out loud. While I did not find this book quite a enthralling or funny as Lamb, it was still a nice alternative to “Good Omens” and a funny portrayal of the traditional Shakespeare tale of King Lear, told from the point-of-view of his court Jester. Quite of bit of shagging occurs however, so prepare yourself if you are apt to pick this one up.