Banish your preconceptions regarding Scandinavian writing! This Swedish novel is neither a crime story, nor is it dark and gloomy. Allan Karlsson, the eponymous centenarian, cannot face his imminent birthday celebration at the old folks home, presided over by the mayor, so he impulsively clambers from his window and escapes in his slippers. Steven Crossley jubilantly recounts... Read More
This book is an absolute aural treat. It’s the transcription of an oral history told by Nate Shaw, an elderly African-American sharecropper living in the South. While the written words might be interesting, in audio they are absolutely transfixing. Sean Crisden narrates the work with just the right regional accent, cadence, and pacing. Even the ramblings seem natural. It takes... Read More
Using the convention of a history professor who transcribes months of interviews into a coherent and episodic oral history, Gaines creates the fictional autobiography of an indomitable African-American woman who lives through slavery, emancipation, reconstruction, segregation and the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement. More than a history lesson and an exciting... Read More
Zora Neale Hurston’s previously unreleased work offers a rare glimpse of the experiences of the last surviving person to have been taken from Africa, brought to the United States as a slave, and then freed. Capturing the dialect, accent, and intonation of Cudjo Lewis, then living in Alabama, presents a challenging task for narrator Robin Miles, who must deliver one of the... Read More
David Von Drehle warmly narrates his audiobook about his neighbor, Charlie. In search of a topic for a book he can share with his children, Von Drehle finds the perfect subject right next door. Charlie, who is 109 years old, shares stories with Von Drehle that "unlock the time machine of memory." Charlie's life is filled with fascinating experiences: He served in the military,... Read More
Celebrated author John McPhee narrates this long-awaited audiobook of essays on writing nonfiction with his characteristic precise language and keen observations reflected in his delivery. He can sound by turns like a grandfather doling out advice or a scold impugning fashion and fancy in the world of nonfiction. Calling on his experiences over more than half a century of... Read More
Tovah Feldshuh's mature voice and acclaimed acting skills make her an excellent choice to perform this heartfelt advice from a 93-year-old Jewish-Hungarian clinical psychologist and Holocaust survivor. Feldshuh's lilting phrasing is incredibly varied, beautiful to hear in itself, and finessed to match every nuance in the shifting themes of this work. Her performance really... Read More
Dan Bittner flawlessly narrates this matchless memoir, which captures writer Gary Paulsen's bittersweet life. (He calls his parents vipers.) Listeners will be shocked when, in 1944, 5-year-old Gary is taken from his mother after she dresses him in a tiny uniform to entertain soldiers in bars. Life improves when rural relatives give him love and attention, and teach him fishing,... Read More
Lewis wrote this near the end of his life after a dramatic and unexpected romance that ended in the death of his new wife from cancer. The work stands in contrast to THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, which he wrote twenty years earlier. The contrasts are striking, both in style (clinical in PAIN, transparently personal in GRIEF) and listenability. Containing much that is difficult to follow... Read More
Thomas, the 89-year-old author of books about the social lives of animals and early humans, offers an intelligent and intimate meditation on what it's like to be old. Narrator Sara Sheckells's mature timbre is a good match for the author's age and perspectives. In total sync with the author's writing, her whimsy and dramatic flair make listening fun. This audiobook is rich with... Read More
Narrator Raphael Corkhill channels 100-year-old memoirist Eddie Jaku, sounding as thoroughly aged, German accented, dignified, and spirited as the author. Both author and narrator demonstrate master storytelling skills with pacing and verbal imagery that compel listeners to witness the experiences Jaku lived through. After a patriotic middle- class childhood, he was arrested on... Read More
Betty White, winner of seven Emmy awards, provides a series of patchwork essays and vignettes that exhibit often self-deprecating wisdom gained over a life that is approaching 90 years. Whether exploring friendship, television sitcoms, or her profound love of animals, White is positive and highly engaging. There’s a special talent that effective actors have for projecting their... Read More
Dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp's optimism and practicality shine through in her engaging narration of this inspirational audiobook. Listeners will find themselves nodding along with her helpful anecdotes and pragmatic recommendations for a purposeful and rewarding approach to everyday life. While Tharp's phrasing can be slightly awkward, and her pacing halting, it is a... Read More
Award-winning actor Dick Van Dyke offers optimism and enthusiasm for enjoying a full and happy life, no matter what your age. The emphasis is on how to thrive during what some call the sunset years. Van Dyke provides a well-paced, warm narration. He exhibits that special skill, so rare today, of successfully projecting his personality from the studio microphone to one’s ears.... Read More
Beverly Little Thunder's transfixing memoir is a melodic collaboration involving three Native women. Wanting to tell her life story as a two-spirit Lakota Elder, the author recounts her memories to two-spirit Métis writer Sharron Proulx-Turner. The resulting published text has become an oral memoir once again through the sensitively attuned narration of filmmaker/writer/actress... Read More
A recipient of the Jewish Book Council's Natan Notable Book Award, author/narrator Michael Frank brings a friendly, professorial tone to this biography of Stella Levi, a 99-year-old Holocaust survivor. Levi grew up on the island of Rhodes, part of a group of "Judeo-Spanish-speaking Sephardic Italian Jews." Frank spent six years and 100 Saturdays visiting with and listening to... Read More
This audio production of Alan Arkin's short memoir is top-notch listening. The work is less about the details of the man's life and more about a very smart, very funny octogenarian's search for spiritual meaning. In his inimitable irreverent style, Arkin delivers anecdotes on a range of topics: his parents' conviction that everything would be better if people just lived the way... Read More
Helen Prejean's audiobook bubbles with levity, enthusiasm, and inspiration. In her soft Louisiana drawl, she describes her experiences while a novice with the Congregation of St. Joseph as a "boot camp for the Brides of Christ." By the time she was fully professed, Vatican II in 1962 had changed her life. She blossomed under the new church paradigm while remaining committed to... Read More
Lucky listeners receive the gift of a great narrator and an amazing writer in THE SECRET SCRIPTURE, which was nominated for the 2008 Man Booker Prize. Ninety-nine-year-old Roseanne McNulty has been a patient in an Irish mental hospital for over 50 years. Not apparently crazy, she decides to write her story at the same time that the hospital director begins to interview her.... Read More
If ever there was an audiobook that conjures the timeless feeling of languid summer days, this gem is it. Natasha Soudek narrates these vignettes of a grandmother and her young granddaughter, Sophia, who are spending their summer together on a small island in the Gulf of Finland, where they go on adventures, exploring their environs and conversing about life. Soudek is... Read More
Jan Morris's piquant, irreverent daily diary about life as a nonagenarian in the 21st century is brought to vibrant life by narrator Jennifer M. Dixon. As she did in her first book of jottings, the famous Welsh author and historian, who died in 2020, observes everything from world politics to neighborhood birds--from aging, family, and love to the pleasures of jam on toast in... Read More
Yareli Arizmendi's masterful narration of this audiobook is astonishing. Listeners will become addicted to this novel; the author and narrator are perfectly paired. The year is 2000; 100-year-old Violeta Del Valle is dying. She writes about her life so that her grandson knows her truth. She recalls, through humor and the wisdom of hindsight, how she rejected societal... Read More
Narrator Elizabeth Wiley impeccably voices indomitable Dr. Gladys McGarey, who provides listeners with inspiration and practical strategies for living with full energy at any age. Listeners are also treated to stories and suggestions directly from Dr. McGarey, which are interspersed throughout the audiobook. As a centenarian who is both a woman and a medical doctor, Dr. McGarey... Read More
The late Morrie Schwartz was the subject of the popular book and movie TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE. Here, actor Steven Weber narrates Schwartz's posthumously edited guide to aging. Weber sounds seamlessly connected to the author's timeless wisdom and altruistic spirit. Weber's wonderful tone and creative pitch range never upstage Morrie's thoughtful observations and advice. The... Read More
Narrator Suzanne Toren's mature pitch and thoughtful phrasing are perfect for this memoir-like review of the various ways women transition into their later years. Her sensitive interpretation of this nuanced writing will make many listeners feel like they are being invited into the author's life as they hear her intelligent observations and advice. The 71-year-old psychology... Read More
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