Monday, September 26, 2011

3 Quick Audiobook Reviews

I listened to three audio books in the last few weeks that fall under the genre of humor/memoir. While I find these types of books interesting, they generally don't do much more for me than simply pass the time so I don't feel a real need to write up and post a review for each. Instead, I'll do a short recap of them all in one post.

First up was Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far).

I know a ton of people love Dave Barry and always read his columns, but I never really got sucked into them. I thought I'd try out the audio version of this book and, while I did find it humorous, I wasn't laughing out loud constantly or anything. To be completely honest, there may be some truth in the fact that I don't know enough about world history or contemporary politics to get all of his jokes. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't completely in the dark, but with the way he mixes fact with fiction in his historical accounts, some of the jokes just went over my head. So, if you're a fan of Barry already, you're probably going to like this one. Otherwise, it's a toss-up.

Next was Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster.

Oh, how I wanted to love this book. But, unfortunately, I really didn't care for Jen for the whole first part of the memoir as she was describing her superior job skills and fashion sense. I couldn't connect to her as a reader, and I found her superior attitude annoying (maybe if I cared more about name-brand fashion I would feel differently). However, as soon as she got laid off and had to deal with the unemployment office, frugality, and the never-ending job search, bam! Now we were on the same page. I've never been in the world of high finance and fashion, but I have been in the world of job searches, desperation, and lowered standards. I liked that Jen seemed to learn her lesson at the end (money isn't everything) but she kept her witty attitude toward life and didn't let the setbacks get her down. If I were to read more of her work, I would definitely be selective in the books I chose, looking for more of the can't-keep-me-down Jen rather than the I'm-superior-at-everything Jen.

Finally, I Was Told There'd be Cake by Sloane Crosley.

Of the three, I really liked Sloane's story and style of writing the best. I'm not used to reading a book of essays and this might be why I had a hard time remembering each story. I'm very much used to the novel where everything flows from one circumstance into another, and with essays or short stories I always want to know, "Then what happened?" and "What's the timeline - did this happen before or after the other thing?" That aside, I really liked Sloane's narration and her stories were quite humorous. Her accounts of sleep-deprivation and an unchecked desire to make her horrible boss like her ending in a cookie decorated to resemble said boss, and then presenting it to her as a gift, had me laughing, and her memories of playing Oregon Trail brought back a little nostalgia of my own. A perfect easy read for a fall evening when you just want something light and funny.

Any of you read these? Did you read the print version of listen to the audio? Which type of media works better for you with these types of books?

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